How damaging is ‘Comey memo’ for Trump?

May 17, 2017

By Anthony Zurcher

The White House has denied a report that President Donald Trump tried to persuade the FBI to end its investigation into former aide Michael Flynn.

It’s not the only Trump crisis of the last 24 hours, coming hard on the heels of the news that the president shared sensitive material with Russian diplomats.

The bombshell memo and the ‘I’ word

Donald Trump is discovering just how dangerous an adversary James Comey can be.

A person doesn’t rise as high as Mr Comey did in the federal government without learning how to cover his, er, posterior.

With this latest bombshell from the New York Times it’s clear that the former FBI director, who was unceremoniously sacked by the president, is poised to enjoy the last laugh. Thanks to his propensity for memo-writing, he may have constructed an arsenal capable of mortally wounding the Trump presidency.

At the moment the White House is denying Mr Comey’s reported characterisation of the conversation the two men had shortly after the president fired Michael Flynn. In a “he-said, he-said” situation, however, the man who wrote contemporaneous documents – memos plural – will have the upper hand.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

318 comments on “How damaging is ‘Comey memo’ for Trump?

  • @OP – Thanks to his propensity for memo-writing, he may have constructed an arsenal capable of mortally wounding the Trump presidency.

    Contemporary notes of meetings, trump retrospectively concocted “alternative facts” – especially if the classic format, of knee-jerk White House denials conflicting with Trump’s alternative set of “alternative facts”, is followed!

    Ousted FBI Director James Comey declined an invitation from the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify in a closed session on Tuesday, committee aides told Politico on Friday.

    No immediate explanation was given for his refusal.

    The panel had asked Comey to appear so they could question him about the circumstances of his firing and other topics, most likely including the ongoing FBI probe into possible Russian ties to President Trump.

    The president, Vice President Mike Pence and administration spokespeople have offered a dizzying variety of reasons for Comey’s ouster.

    Trump said it was at least partly based on his frustration over the Russia probe, which he called “fake news.”

    But Pence and his reps insisted days earlier that Comey was fired solely on the recommendations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his top deputy.

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  • Now why would the FBI be interested in investigating political appointees who have business connections with Russia in recent years??

    The Kremlin’s spy agencies have such a close relationship with top organised criminals that Russia has become a “virtual ‘mafia state’,” the cables say. The gangsters enjoy secret support and protection and in effect work “as a complement to state structures”.

    A senior Spanish investigator alleged to the US that Moscow’s strategy was to use “organised crime groups to do whatever the government of Russia cannot acceptably do as a government“.
    Recent operations included gun-running to the Kurds “in an attempt to destabilise Turkey” and “arms trafficking” in the mysterious Arctic Sea cargo ship hijacking in 2009.

    The allegations are made by José “Pepe” Grinda Gonzalez, Spain’s national court prosecutor. Gonzalez has spent 10 years battling the Russian mafia and was responsible for the investigation of Zakhar Kalashov, reportedly the most senior mafia figure to be jailed outside Russia.

    Spain conducted two major operations – codenamed Avispa (2005-07) and Troika (2008-09) – against mafia networks on its territory, resulting in the arrest of more than 60 suspects.
    They include four of the alleged leaders outside Russia: Gennady Petrov, Alexander Malyshev (Petrov’s deputy), Vitaly Izguilov (a key lieutenant) and Kalashov. Despite this, the networks are said to have swiftly reconstituted.

    On 13 January 2010 Gonzalez, a special prosecutor for corruption and organised crime, gave a “detailed, frank” briefing to US officials in Madrid.

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  • Russian interference is not really what is consequential. It will continue in the USA to as great an extent as Putin can manage just as it does in France, Germany and other countries. What differentiates the USA from any of these countries is what you really need to worry about. Why do American voters keep voting for Republicans who only ever act against the interests of the people who voted them in? How can Republican politicians continue to support someone as vile as Trump despite the protestations of their own constituents? How could the electorate not see Trump for what he really is?

    The answer to most of this is that American politics is so partisan on the Republican side since religion infected it in the 1980s that there is no basic common sense left to direct people’s decisions. The primary motivation to vote for “your side” is demonisation and hatred of the “other side” even though that other side is greatly more likely to act in the best interests of the average voter. Nearly all Republican campaigning these days is negative campaigning, attack ads, and also the vast majority of it is untrue. Lying has become normalised in American politics because it proved to bring with it no penalty. Even when a lie has to be retracted or admitted or corrected enough people still continue to believe the original lie to make the strategy worthwhile.

    For 20 years or more Democrats have tried to rise above the depths that Republicans were willing to sink to and all it has done is hurt them. McConnell and Ryan did everything in their power to obstruct Obama for 8 years including stealing a Supreme Court seat and the electorate didn’t apparently take a blind bit of notice. The average attention span is so short that anything more than a few weeks old is yesterday’s news and no longer consequential.

    Obama will go to his grave knowing he could have done two things at the very least which would almost certainly have guaranteed Hillary winning and the world not being engulfed in this current Trump horror show but he didn’t. The main reason he didn’t do either of them is because he didn’t want to exacerbate the partisanship that already infests politics or be accused of doing so. Firstly when Comey announced that there was no evidence of illegality in Hillary’s email server investigation but then went off on a long sanctimoneous and political harrangue about her supposedly ill advised behaviour which was not his place to comment on he should have been sacked forthwith. It could never have been known at the time but that would also have avoided his 11th hour interference with her chances when he suddenly decided to break protocol and tell everyone he was reopening the investigation because of emails on Weiner’s laptop.

    Secondly Obama could have instantly destroyed Trump’s chances by revealing everything he knew about Russian interference in the election and Trump campaign collusion with it. The magnitude of his error in not doing this is immeasurable and unforgiveable. He simply could not believe that Trump stood a chance of winning anyway but that was the same mistake that nearly everyone else made – the massive underestimation of the stupidity, gullibility and disfunctionality of the American non-urban voter.

    What the Republican politicans get away with all the time, the lying, obstruction, denials, obfuscation, deflection, they only do so because the electorate allow them to. The same people who would not stand for a teacher lying to their children don’t punish Republican politicians for lying to their electorate. It’s essentially a subset of the religious fervour that doesn’t really consider lying for Jebus as real “lying” because it’s a holy war. You do what you have to to defeat the enemy and the ends justify the means.

    Every other western democracy holds its politicans to a higher standard. We accept they are never going to be completely truthful and that they’ll “spin” anything they can for all it’s worth but someone like Trump could not have stood in front of tv cameras in the UK and spouted his bullshit without being booed off stage. The Democratic electorate in the USA hold their own candidates to a much higher standard than the Republican electorate do. Not quite as high as in other countries but more nearly normal at least. That’s why Hillary was so easily tarnished by emailgate and Benghazi and “crooked Hillary” while everything slid off Trump like he was teflon coated.

    Politicians are a mirror held up to their electorate. They can only behave in ways their electorate allow them to get away with. No matter how you slice it, American politics is only so disfunctional because a large proportion of the American people are so disfunctional. If you want to cure the former then first you need to cure the latter.

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  • Q for Arkrid or anyone who knows: how much of this investigation, now being led by Mueller, will be public? Will there be hearings on TV like they had with Watergate and will the public be kept up to date on what’s going on; or is everything going to just drag on for months or years with the public remaining in the dark?

    (Sorry if the questions sounds silly; but I am not quite clear about this process as it relates to the public’s being apprised of any and all progress along the way.)

    By the way, anyone who watched Maddow last night knows that “the president” (Trump, that is) has the authority to fire Mueller.

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  • Very true, Olgun. (My mother sends me information about stuff like that, American hypocrisy, all the time.) But it’s still wrong, finally, even if it’s we who are the victims this time. The FBI too has a long history of malfeasance, but I am also glad we have the FBI to investigate this matter and others.

    “Meddling” covers a broad range of tactics and methods and motives, and like everything else needs to be examined closely and in the proper historical context. False equivalents can be odious, while identifying hypocrisy is always good. Not sure if we’ve ever used cyber warfare and fake news via the internet to influence an election. That’s a different animal.

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  • @Arkrid #7

    The answer to most of this is that American politics is so partisan on
    the Republican side since religion infected it in the 1980s…

    While I agree that is a factor, I do not think it is the biggest factor. IMO, gerrymandering, coupled with unlimited funds for Super Pacs via Citizens United have more to do with how voters are swayed.

    I agree Comey should have been sacked in July and Obama dropped the ball. However, releasing info on Russian influence was a little trickier. He knew the perception could easily be construed as administration interference in the election process. I don’t think we’ll ever know which route would have worked better: his silence in the matter or alerting the public.

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  • This morning on the MSNBC show Morning Joe one of the contributors, I think it was Susan Collins, Senator of Maine, said that when the dust settled with the Watergate investigation there were more than forty people sentenced to prison. I wasn’t aware of that number. Could it be that the top Dems (including Obama) are sitting tight and waiting for the full story to come out so that they can deliver a devastating blow to the Repubs a la Watergate and knock out as many opponents as possible, even if that meant that by withholding the info that they had at the time of the election they lost election in the end. Worth it?

    Give them a little rope and hang one idiot or give them several miles of rope and wait to see how many idiots will be hanging at the end of the year.

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  • A little rope to hang themselves. I like that expression. ???? Mika Brzezinski is a joke; poor thing; she looks so ill at ease in front of the camera, always looks like she’s checking herself out in the mirror, and says nothing, just chimes in once in a while with something superfluous. She does deserve credit for banning the mendacious Kellyanne Conway from the show – although I am sure that that decision was corporate.

    Ailes died, you know.

    I agree with you, Vicki; not just about religion. More about what you mentioned along with other things. What we are witnessing is what Marx called the final stages of capitalism, “where global capital will be unable to expand and generate profits at former levels.” Hence the mania for short term profits.

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  • Politico is fake news, and Trump is being persecuted; this is, as he said, a witch hunt. (Kidding, but that’s the kind of crap, minus the expletives, that you can find all over Youtube in the comments sections. So many ignorant, angry, bigoted people out there. So many.)

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  • Dan #8
    May 18, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Q for Arkrid or anyone who knows: how much of this investigation, now being led by Mueller, will be public? Will there be hearings on TV like they had with Watergate

    Absolutely not. The Watergate hearings that were televised were Senate hearings and those would also be televised today but a special prosecutor investigation will be extremely secret as its purpose is strictly to determine criminal liability and you absolutely do not disclose what you’re finding out and thus alert potential future witnesses or anyone who might eventually be charged in such a matter.

    What we can expect is at least a year and probably longer of pretty much zero information coming out before this is concluded. I also don’t expect any leaks because Mueller is an absolute professional who holds the utmost respect of those he’s worked with. If Trump has anything to hide then he should be very afraid at this point because this guy is going to find it.

    This appointment is going to have much more profound consequences than just in finding out about Russian interference in the election. It will stymie the Trump administration, quite probably to an almost complete standstill, while it’s running and it will bring enormous pressure onto Trump himself to not tweet or say anything on camera that’s unscripted. If Trump doesn’t heed his advisors on this then we are going to see resignations from people who give up on trying to control him and people like that then have nothing left to lose if they get called to testify before Mueller’s investigation.

    My gut feel is that Kuschner and Ivanka will now desert this sinking ship at some point. If not they stand to get dragged down with it too and they have a hell of a lot to lose in terms of their own business empires.

    I said this a few months ago.

    In his private and business life he could avoid the spotlight whenever he needed to. Find someone to fire each time he screwed something up and blame them instead. Now the spotlight is on him 24/7 and he will burn in its flame like a moth in a candle. The White House is leaking like a sieve. You have to know that lots of his staffers hate him. Nothing he does will stay hidden.

    Trump’s incompetence, narcissism and stupidity has destroyed him in just over 100 days. He may turn out to weather the criminal part of the investigations but the credibility of his presidency is already gone. He will go down in history as the fastest president to get investigated by a special prosecutor at the very least.

    We should be careful what we wish for though. If Trump is impeached we face the possibility of President Pence and I think that evil weasel might prove to be even worse than Trump, maybe much worse. I would like to see the investigations find some real dirt in time for the 2018 elections, let the Dems take back the House and Senate, carry on long enough to stop the Trump administration from achieving any significant legislation and alert the low information public to the danger of what they voted for last time so they don’t do it again in 2020. While Trump is in the Oval Office his stupidity, intemperance and narcissism is on full display. That might be the best thing the Democrats could hope for.

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  • Arkrid, allow me to pay you a sincere compliment: your comments are wonderful. You are a Dawkins site treasure at this point. (Sorry for the corny word “treasure”, couldn’t think of any other word.)

    Enjoy the week-end.

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  • I’ve just found out from an internet piece that the common UK saying “he’s lost the plot” does not really exist in the USA. There’s another UK saying which any Brit will know might also not exist in the USA. It’s “You would be dangerous if you were smarter” or various variations on that theme. Trump shoots himself in the foot every time he tweets or talks on camera. He’s too stupid to understand the consequences of his words or actions. That prevents him from getting any major legislation through or doing too much damage to the USA or the world. If he were a bit smarter he could do real damage.

    If he goes and Pence takes charge I think the potential damage could be much worse. I actually want Trump to stay in office for the remainder of his 4 years. He’s already a lame duck president just 4 months into his term. We know he’s a moron so we can plan accordingly. We also know that he hates this job and it’s destroying him and his mental state so let it roll. Do not impeach! Just give him more rope. He’ll take every inch and hang himself as sure as eggs is eggs.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #19
    May 19, 2017 at 1:17 am

    We also know that he hates this job and it’s destroying him and his mental state so let it roll.
    Do not impeach! Just give him more rope.
    He’ll take every inch and hang himself as sure as eggs is eggs.

    I would not worry – about timescales!

    Impeachment is a long protracted process with much debate, so the opportunities for foot-shooting and rope entanglement are plentiful!

    Given the quality of Trump’s “knowledge” and intellect, the “advisors” HE (rather than the senate) has appointed, and the sheer impervious resistance to expert advice, those opportunities are likely to be taken at every turn!

    According to Trump’s psychological projection, it is the investigation into Russian associates interventions in the set-up and working of the US government machinery which is “dividing the country” – NOT Trump’s interfering stupidity in incompetently meddling with mechanisms, laws and regulations he does not understand!

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  • I haven’t mentioned it before but I keep getting freaked out by the website I view every day – It’s updated every day at about 11.30 am UK time and several times now I’ll post something in here at night and they post the exact same thing next day. I can’t honestly believe they read my posts in here but it’s definitely getting quite bizarre. Last night I posted #17 with a salutory final paragraph about maybe not impeaching Trump would be better than doing so because his incompetence is a virtue and Pence could be much worse so be careful what you wish for. This morning electoralvote posted this:

    Democrats Should Not Be Demanding that Trump Be Impeached

    While the Democratic base is demanding Donald Trump’s scalp, from a political standpoint that is a terrible idea. A piece by Jeff Alson makes that very clear, laying out a variety of reasons.

    Trump is incompetent: While Democrats don’t agree with Trump on many issues, they can take heart in knowing that he is not very good at carrying out his own program. He can send out tweets that drive Democrats crazy, but he is unlikely to build a wall on the Mexican border, impose a 45% tariff on goods imported from China, or ban all Muslims from entering the country. Sometimes incompetence is a virtue.

    The Republican brand: It’s tough being a Republican politician now, but getting rid of Trump would help the Republican brand immensely. It would be foolish for Democrats to remove the albatross from around the Republicans’ collective necks.

    President Pence: Although Mike Pence has a calm demeanor, he is extremely right wing and a capable administrator who knows how to work with the legislative branch. He would try to help Ryan to pass his program, plus some things dear to his own heart, such as voter-ID laws. Pence would also get a long and peaceful honeymoon period in which public opinion would favor him.

    In short, be very careful about what you wish for. You might get it.

    Freaky or what?

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  • @OP – The bombshell memo and the ‘I’ word.

    US President Donald Trump told Russian officials that firing FBI director James Comey eased “great pressure” on him, US media report.

    Citing a document summarising the meeting, the New York Times said Mr Trump called Mr Comey a “real nut job”.

    Mr Comey had been running an inquiry into possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s election campaign.

    The White House has not disputed the report.

    “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr Trump told the Russian officials, the Times reported.

    The psychological projection of Trump’s utter nuttery, becomes more and more blatantly obvious!

    “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

    But, warning that leaks were undermining national security, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said: “By grandstanding and politicising the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia.

    Well yes! If some of the US negotiators were Russian agents or stooges, that would kind of put pressure on the ability to negotiate!

    “The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it.”

    The BBC’s Gary O’Donoghue, in Washington, says the White House has chosen to interpret the president’s words as relating to the national interest rather than to himself.

    But Trump’s interests ARE the national interest – at least they are in Trump’s mind and the minds of his sycophants!

    The summary was drawn from a formal account of last week’s meeting between Mr Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, who is at the centre of many of the controversial contacts between the Trump campaign and senior Russian officials.

    Mr Trump had fired Mr Comey the evening before.

    Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that a current White House official is a significant person of interest in the investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    @OP – It’s not the only Trump crisis of the last 24 hours, coming hard on the heels of the news that the president shared sensitive material with Russian diplomats.

    . . . . .. AGAIN!!

    So Trump informed Russian officials that he had sacked the investigator who was investigating the collusion of members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials!

    I have seen some stupid politicians in my time, but this is at a level where you could not make it up in credible novel!

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  • Alan4discussion #23
    May 19, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Olgun #21
    May 19, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Excellent analysis on the link!


    There’s a good analysis of Pence here who is undoubtedly a very well practiced liar in his own right as befits someone toadying for Trump. It is beyond all credibility that he claims he knew nothing about Flynn’s contacts with Russia and in fact his lies on this are starting to get caught out.

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  • Further to #25 –

    But, warning that leaks were undermining national security, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said:
    “By grandstanding and politicising the investigation into Russia’s actions,
    James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia.

    It is of course ironically laughable to claim that it is the leaks disclosing Trump’s obstruction of the investigations into security risks, which “are damaging national security”!

    The Atlantic reports the same story here:-

    In a statement, Press Secretary Sean Spicer acknowledged that Trump believed dismissing Comey would distract from the Russia probe.

    Despite Spicer’s charge of “grandstanding,” the few public statements Comey made about the Russia investigation were under oath in front of congressional panels. Comey also said he had been authorized by the Justice Department to confirm the existence of a probe into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Presumably, that means he received approval from Rosenstein.

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  • Pence […] a very well practiced liar… -Arkrid

    That is very true; Pence is a total liar too! This lying business is really quite serious. I remember watching his debate with Kaine, who I like. That was, by the way, the worst, most pathetic debate I have ever seen. They had to cover nine topics is one hour. They started off with foreign policy. Two minutes of arguing and then on to a new topic. That should not be allowed. Three topics and very little moderation. I wish they could fix that, but it’s probably by design; the debate commission, or whatever they’re called, were probably pro-Trump. Less time for real debate benefits the liar.

    But what I wanted to say is this: Trump was accused by Kaine of saying that women should be punished for having abortions. Pence shook his head. “Are you saying he didn’t say that?” asked Kaine. Pence continued to shake his head and then changed the subject. Afterwards, the fact checkers and news people showed a clip of Trump saying just that. There were many other lies.

    Liars! And don’t tell me “they all lie.” That’s pernicious, a false equivalence. False equivalences were and are made by Trump’s evil surrogates all the time. And with the public they are all too common, although it is improper. These cynical or ostrich-like people, with no sense of proportion, are fodder for conservative politicians who lie as a way of life. I still hear it; “they all lie.” According to one of many fact checkers, Hillary lied a few times during the debates, like about some trade deal being the “gold standard”. Innocuous stuff. Trump and Pence lied their asses off and have been doing that ever since. Quantity changes quality.

    That is why Trump kept saying crooked Hillary and lock her up. That’s a typical swinish move to take the focus off himself. Common practice among sociopaths and criminals.

    And now we have….well, what we have now: scandals and lies heaped on top of each other – along with real national security issues at stake – and, finally, a legitimate, independent investigation and prosecutor.

    (And the Russia issue is just one part of the disaster called the Trump administration. Let’s not forget that. Science websites have been taken down etc., etc., etc. )

    They fooled too many people this time, Mr. Lincoln.

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  • Dan #28
    May 19, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    we have now: scandals and lies heaped on top of each other – along with real national security issues at stake

    Comey was doing his job (of investigating real security risks from Flynn etc.) so Trump fired him for “not doing a good job” (of covering up for Trump’s stooges) – as Spicer pretends and asserts, that this is “in the interests of national security”, while Trump blabbers about the security issues and sackings to the Russian minister and ambassador!!

    Denials of security risks from those in positions of authority, ARE very high security risks!

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  • It seems Trump is getting on with promoting the interests of the people he really represents!

    Trump in Saudi Arabia: First foreign trip starts as home troubles mount

    Multi-billion dollar deals between the US and Saudi Arabia will be signed on Saturday as US President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip begins in Riyadh.

    Mr Trump and his wife Melania were greeted in the Saudi capital by King Salman on Saturday morning local time.

    The visit comes as Mr Trump faces uproar at home following his sacking of FBI director James Comey.

    He has strongly criticised the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee an inquiry into alleged Russian influence on the US election.

    Mr Trump is accompanied on his visit by his daughter Ivanka, an unpaid White House adviser, and her husband Jared Kushner, a key member of the Trump cabinet.

    Like British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on their recent visits to Saudi Arabia, Mrs Trump and Ivanka Trump did not wear headscarves.

    In January 2015, Mr Trump criticised then-First Lady Michelle Obama for doing the same. In a tweet, Mr Trump said she had “insulted” her host.

    On Sunday, Mr Trump will attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh and speak about his “hopes of a peaceful vision of Islam”.
    Aides say the president hopes his speech will resonate worldwide and express “a common vision of peace, progress and prosperity”.

    Mr Trump caused controversy during his campaign by calling for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the US over security concerns. Legislation aimed at restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries remains tied up in the US courts.

    Apparently the travel bans and calls for “peace and prosperity”, do not apply to elite rich oily Muslims who have buckets of money to spend on US weapons for waging war!

    Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, he is not expected to highlight human rights during his trip.

    On Saturday morning, Amin Nasser, the chief executive of Saudi oil giant Aramco, said $50bn (£38bn) of deals would be signed with 11 US companies.
    The deal is part of a wider drive to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil.

    Separately, US media say Saudi Arabia will commit to buying about $100bn of US-made arms.

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  • Up-dated earlier BBC page:-

    The US says it has signed deals worth more than $350bn (£270bn) with Saudi Arabia as Donald Trump begins his first foreign trip as president.

    The agreements included an $110bn arms deal, which the White House described as the single biggest in US history.

    Mr Trump and his wife Melania were greeted in the Saudi capital by King Salman on Saturday morning local time.

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the arms deal was aimed at countering the “malign” influence of Iran.

    “The package of defence equipment and services supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the entire Gulf region,” he told a news conference in Riyadh.

    It sounds more like tooling up the repressive Saudi regime for more aggression against it neighbours and escalating Shia – Sunni conflicts with Iran and Syria, and with the Shias in the Yemen!

    The summit agenda is expected to focus on combating Islamist militants and the growing regional influence of Iran.

    Mr Trump has been a fierce critic of the international deal with Iran which eased sanctions in return for a curb on its nuclear activities.

    In a tweet, King Salman praised Mr Trump, adding that he hoped his visit would “strengthen our strategic co-operation”.
    He later handed the US President Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour, the King Abdulaziz medal.

    On Sunday President Trump will try to address these concerns in a speech to more than 40 leaders of Muslim nations in which he will call for a united stand against extremism and intolerance. 🙂

    Some have already commentated that Donald Trump is an unusual choice to deliver such a message but for now, Saudi officials are giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Saudi Arabia had signed a deal to buy just under $110bn (£84bn) of American-made arms, which he said was the biggest such deal in US history.

    Reuters news agency reports the deal includes the assembly of 150 Blackhawk helicopters in Saudi Arabia, worth about $6bn alone.

    AFP quoted a White House official as saying the deal will bolster the kingdom’s “ability to contribute to counter-terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the US military to conduct those operations”.

    Rex Tillerson said the arms deal and other investments would add up to more than $350bn.

    US giant General Electric said it had signed agreements worth $15 billion, and Saudi oil giant Aramco, had been expected to sign $50bn (£38bn) of deals with 11 US companies.

    So much for Trump’s earlier claims to be later speaking at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh about his “hopes of a peaceful vision of Islam”.

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    One cartoon retweeted 71 times places Mr Trump and the Saudi rulers at the centre of the Yemeni conflict.

    The cartoon shows the Saudi monarch and his son accompanied by Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi submissively welcoming Mr Trump as he exits his jet.

    On one side of the red carpet are bodies of dead Yemenis. On the other side, a man stands over a kneeling woman in a burka with a sword, apparently about to behead her.

    The cartoon was tweeted by @753_yamen_87 who sneered at Arab leaders and commented: “After Trump prohibited Muslim citizens from seven Arab countries from entering America, the Saudi Arab Death [“mahlaka”, a play on the Arabic word for kingdom, “mamlaka”] responds by gathering 17 Muslim leaders to welcome him. #Age_of_decadence.”

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  • The Saudis certainly know what little Donny’s favourite things are. Getting presents and being told how great he is and signing things in front of cameras. So they’ve given him a big gold medal he can boast about when he gets back home and let him sign lots of trade deals. I’m sure the trade deals were all going ahead regardless but he can boast about those as well now as if he’d actually negotiated them personally although I doubt he had any clue what was actually in any of the bits of paper he signed. It’s all very predictable and all very pathetic but for little Donny I’m sure it’s like getting taken to the zoo for the day by mummy and daddy and thern getting an ice cream with a Cadbury’s flake in it on the way home. The little chap will sleep well tonight anyway.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #34
    May 21, 2017 at 12:31 am

    It’s all very predictable and all very pathetic but for little Donny I’m sure it’s like getting taken to the zoo for the day by mummy and daddy and thern getting an ice cream with a Cadbury’s flake in it on the way home.

    Of course it could also be the other way round!

    “Hey you 17 VIP Arab leaders!
    Look at this rare performing dinosaur the clever king has obtained on loan, and put on show in his circus ring for the local media, before the exhibit moves on to the Zionist circus next door for different stunts!”

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #34
    May 21, 2017 at 12:31 am

    he can boast about those as well now as if he’d actually negotiated them personally although I doubt he had any clue what was actually in any of the bits of paper he signed. It’s all very predictable and all very pathetic

    Given Trump’s level of understanding and compliance with American federal and state laws, it is also predictable that his wellies will plodge through various international laws and treaties – putting his foot in one after another!

    Still! If he sells lots of US made weapons to the Saudis and the Zionists, that should achieve his stated objective of achieving world “peace and prosperity” (see #30)! 🙂 – just like back in the US of A, executive orders permitting the selling of guns to the mentally unstable, improves US citizens’ safety and security! 🙂

    (I suppose it creates “prosperity” for arms manufacturers and gun-runners! – Not so much for the destabilised war-torn, famine infested regimes, under attack!)

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  • There’s an interesting article in the WP about Trump’s personality traits by Tony Schwartz the guy who spent a year with him while writing The Art of the Deal for him.

    The main points:

    Trump’s emotional maturity never really developed past childhood – he’s still the little boy constantly seeking approval but never being satisfied by any he does get. His sense of self worth is constantly under threat.

    Trump has none of the emotions that normal people feel for others, compassion, empathy, sympathy nor does he even seem to have any built in sense of right and wrong. Everything is transactional with him – contests to be won or lost, the latter never being acceptable.

    Trump is incapable of admitting fault or error and still sees his most abject failures as successes because to accept the truth would crush his fragile sense of self worth.

    In all the time Schwartz spent with Trump he never heard a single person dare to contradict him or tell him he was wrong. The bubble this creates around him means that reality never gets through.

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  • Dan #37
    May 22, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Even some of the educated highly indoctrinated can see through the shallow transparency and superficiality of Trump’s bunch!

    It’s getting harder to find hand-picked tame cheerleaders – like the bunch of Arabs the Saudi king invited to Trump’s “Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh”.

    Protesting Notre Dame students walk out of Pence’s commencement speech

    Pence was chosen to give the commencement address at the nation’s most prominent Catholic university — even though the school ordinarily invites newly inaugurated presidents to give the address in their first year of office.
    Thousands of students and faculty members signed a petition asking Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John Jenkins, not to invite President Trump, and the university chose instead to invite Pence, a former Indiana governor.

    Clearly, the rather dim sycophant – Rev. John Jenkins, “did not GET the message”, about attitudes to the incompetent bigoted Trump administration!

    On Saturday, Pence delivered the commencement speech at Grove City College, a Christian liberal arts school in Grove City, Pennsylvania, about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh. Grove City is one of a handful of religious schools that have refused federal funds so they do not have to comply with specific federal mandates, such as Title IX, which bans discrimination based on the sex of a student.

    Anyone who had done their research homework should have known what to expect!
    Apparently the students did THEIR homework, but their college president was not up to the job! Perhaps their Reverend Jenkins was using “faith-thinking” in place of deductive reasoning?

    The Notre Dame protest was far smaller than that faced by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos when she recently delivered the commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Florida.
    Some students stood up and turned their back, and the booing was so loud at different points in the speech that the school’s president stood up, interrupted DeVos, took to the microphone, and said to the students,
    “If this behavior continues, your degrees will be mailed to you. Choose which way you want to go.”

    Now let me think? Which choice would an educated student would prefer? –
    To receive a hard earned qualification through the post, or be forced to listen to, and give undeserved respect without challenge or interruption, to an uneducated, puffed-up, deluded science illiterate, babbling ideological drivel, and posturing as a condescending educational expert authority figure in a university?

    Making Betsy DeVos Education Secretary, is an insult to the students’ intelligence!

    Perhaps a chant of “Send her back to grade school for a proper education”, would have been more appropriate than booing!

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  • After initially encouraging further West Bank settlements, I see that Trump has been babbling empty rhetoric in Israel about everyone “working together and living in peace”!

    This is ironical preaching from a clueless man who cannot work together with the regulatory agencies and experts in his own country, is threatening to tear up agreements with Canada, Mexico, his Pacific trading partners, and the international climate plan in Paris!

    It is also noteworthy that he has just been involved in vilifying Shia Muslims, a massive arms sale to Saudi-Arabia who have been arming various terrorist groups, and he has been escalating tensions with North Korea.

    He may be talking to chosen audiences, but the international press is also listening and looking for any real content or consistency in what he says!

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  • “Working together and living in peace.” That’s infuriating.

    Speaking of his audience, I was watching Fox News last night (in a spirit of masochism and morbid curiosity) and someone said that the speech about terrorism that he gave in Saudi Arabia was the greatest speech she had ever heard. All the dumb asses on the panel nodded their heads in agreement. And the viewers did the same, I’m sure.

    We all know that Trump is an idiot, but what about all those ignorant and angry and indoctrinated people out there? The propaganda is only going to get worse. I think he might win a second term and that the Democrats may lose badly in the mid-terms. Why should we expect anything different? I am feeling pessimistic again. Why? Why should we be encouraged? It’s a pathetic country. If you’re not for Trump you’re a socialist or a “libtard” or a “snowflake” (a new term of abuse). That’s our country; millions and millions of frightened, insanely loyal, unthinking, angry, and passionate, hate-filled people. They don’t care about Russia or the environment or even Medicaid or social security. Education? Forget it. Religious freedom? Sounds fine! And the mid east? Forget it! They know nothing about the brutal and illegal occupation and care less than nothing! And their own interests are secondary; loyalty trumps all the rest; they are as recalcitrant as they are dumb. Even if the ACA is repealed they’ll still vote Republican. On and on it goes.

    It’s a lottery at this point. Who outnumbers who? I don’t know if the numbers have changed much since the election.

    We need to get rid of the electoral college vote.

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  • Dan

    Watching Trump parading around the “holy land” with his yamaka on and standing in front of the Western Wall pretending to be emotionally engaged with the whole thing, touching the wall with closed eyes etc,. Is he channeling the spirit of the martyrs? The drama makes me sick. Anyways, I wonder why he is wearing the yamaka. Is it some kind of rule that all guys must wear it to walk into the area there? Strange though because with Melania and Ivanka refusing to wear the head scarf (which I was admittedly happy about) then why did he wear the yamaka? Seems inconsistent to me but is there an explanation?

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  • Hi LaurieB. Wearing a yarmulke while in a synagogue or in the Holy Land is considered a sign of respect. And as Trump has respect for nothing (except money) he’s doing this because he is obviously beholden to Israel and its leadership and therefore is doing what someone in his administration said he should do. The man almost certainly knows nothing about Judaism, expect for the fact that he probably believe that Jews own the media he claims to hate, etc. It’s weird and ironic that his son in law is Jewish and his daughter has apparently converted (to Orthodox Judaism no less!) Her conversion is clearly one in name only.

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  • While Trump is trying to create major diversionary distractions abroad –
    Back in the US of A, – those Trumpoids, who think they are a law unto themselves, demand to do as they please – regardless of national interests or legal requirements :-

    Ex-national security adviser ‘to defy Senate Russia inquiry’

    The fired US national security adviser will refuse to hand over documents to a Senate panel investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

    The Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to get the documents

    Michael Flynn reportedly plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination on Monday.

    The Senate Intelligence Committee is probing possible links between the Trump campaign and Kremlin.

    Mr Flynn quit in February, after it emerged he lied about the nature of his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

    The committee issued a subpoena – a legal summons – two weeks ago to obtain the documents.

    My Flynn’s lawyer had previously demanded legal immunity from “unfair prosecution” in order to cooperate with the committee.

    Last week the committee’s chairman Senator Richard Burr told reporters that Mr Flynn was “not cooperating” with the investigation, adding that they had not received “a definitive answer” on whether he would testify.

    Mr Flynn is also being investigated by the Department of Defense, after it was revealed that he received payments from Russia and Turkey shortly after leaving the Pentagon.

    He is also at the centre of an FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

    Former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed last week to lead the FBI investigation following Mr Trump’s firing of the law enforcement agency’s director, James Comey.

    If Mr Flynn continues to refuse to comply with Senate investigators, it is thought they could vote to hold him in contempt of Congress, or even refer his case for possible criminal charges.

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  • Steven007

    Her conversion is clearly one in name only.

    Err..if that’s s true then she’s putting an extraordinary effort into it! They do the total sabbath thing and go incommunicado apparently. I don’t think it’s in name only. You know what they say about adult converts…they’re cuckoo for coco puffs and every one of them I’ve met are quite a frightening thing to experience. I think she swallowed the kool-aid.

    I’ve had the bad luck to find myself in social gatherings with two different American women who converted to Islam on two different occasions. Both of these women couldn’t wait to tell me about their conversion experiences, thinking that they’d find me to be sympathetic and admiring of their submission – because I’m married to an Algerian and lived in that country for three years. Both of these women were seriously deluded and really miscalculated. Their stories met a blank stare from me and with one of them I said that going from the Methodist church (we both grew up in it) and going to Islam was, for women, going from the frying pan into the fire. She turned hostile to me at that point. The whole conversation went downhill. We were in a mosque at the time and they were holding funeral services for a friend so of course I was super pissed off about their treatment of the infidels who were there in mourning and were being treated like crap. That’s a whole other story 😉

    For women, wearing a headscarf is also a sign of respect in the Muslim lands and even in the American mosques (which I refuse to do). Just if it’s not completely required of Trump then it’s a blatant political move, transparent ass kissing if there ever was any and then previously, his own wife and daughter disrespect the head covering in Saudi. The whole thing is stupid.

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  • LaurieB

    I think she swallowed the kool-aid.

    I would agree to an extent. As a Jew myself (most agnostic/atheistic Jews still refer to themselves as Jews because we are seen as more of a culture than a religion it seems. To the extent where people often say “he looks Jewish”. Growing up I always wondered why no one ever said “he looks Catholic/Episcopalian/Presbyterian/Lutheran/Evangelical, etc”) when I was younger I remember being told by the rabbi that converting to Judaism is much different than converting to other religions. He was obviously saying this with pride. I remembering him saying “unlike Christians we don’t encourage conversion. In fact we make conversion difficult enough to weed out those not truly interested”. I found this meaningful at a young age and even took pride in it. To that extent and echoing the beginning of your post, I agree. But from what I can tell they are classic cherry pickers. Going back to the yarmulke, I’ve never seen Kushner wear one when he’s not in temple. Every Orthodox Jewish (the brand they proudly claim) male I’ve ever seen wears a yarmulke at all times. Most Orthodox branches also require the women to wear babushkas or tichels. Obviously Ivanka does not do this. So yeah, they observe what they observe when it’s convenient.

    I have the feeling that Americans converting to Islam is even worse…

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  • Steven007

    Growing up I always wondered why no one ever said “he looks Catholic/Episcopalian/Presbyterian/Lutheran/Evangelical, etc”)

    I laughed at that but it’s only funny because “looks like a Jew” has some really unacceptable bigotry behind it and I can tell you that in 50 years no one has ever said to me -“you look like a WASP”. What would that even mean? I wear boring sensible clothing with non-confrontational pearl jewelry? Eat bland food and belong to the country club?

    Interesting though about the info on Orthodox requirements. Seems like cherry picking then. Is it a whole lot of virtue signaling? Tribal affiliation?

    I think that the atheist Jews are an important group in our community. In the beginning of this adventure, years ago, I looked to that group to see how they handled the cultural attachment piece. Although I gave up most of Christian culture, I saw that one could be an atheist and keep or dispose of what elements were right or wrong, on an individual basis. So no judgement if someone wants to participate in religious traditions in the family or in public. I don’t like to do that but it’s none of my business to drive a wedge between any atheist and their family members who are devout.

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  • Steven,

    You’re Jewish? No problem. I still want you to be VP. (Sanders opened the door for you.) Laurie, are you still interested in running in 2020? Don’t renege now, please! I have been working hard raising funds. I sold out to AIPAC; look I’m a pragmatist; what do you want? We have to work within the system.

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  • @Dan

    I had my horns filed down years ago so no one suspects me as being Jewish these days. I jest. Is that even funny? That reminds me of something though. True story. Early in my career in one of my first jobs in the lab I worked for a private lab. It was owned by a consortium of doctors, something that was legal at the time but no longer is. It was run by a non technical business man who knew many of the doctors. He was generally a congenial guy and he took a liking to me. He was a Roman Catholic Italian who was observant but definitely not devout (think Michael Corleone). One day he found out I was Jewish. He came up to me and said “so I heard you’re a Christ killer!” (he pronounced killer, “killah”) I had never heard the term before. I was still young a naïve. I asked him what he meant and he told me the Mel Gibson version of the crucifixion. Quipping back I told him, “sorry for your loss and I suppose I should apologize on behalf of my people”. He reared his head back and laughed and told me I had a good sense of humor. From that point on, periodically (and in mixed company) he’d call me “Christ killah!” and I would always zing back, “careful, you could be next”, and he’d howl with laughter. This was obviously the height of non PC work behavior.

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  • Further to #46

    President Trump said Michael Flynn had been “treated very unfairly by the media”

    But would Trump even notice if conversations or documents were full of lies or “alternative facts” ?? 🙂

    Ex-US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn “lied” about income from Russian companies while renewing his security clearance, a top Democrat says.

    Elijah Cummings released a letter that shows Mr Flynn said his foreign trips were paid for by US firms, but a Moscow visit was funded by a Russian company.

    The claim follows Mr Flynn’s refusal to hand files to a Senate panel probing alleged Russian political meddling.

    He was fired after misleading the White House about his Russian contacts.

    The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena – a legal summons – two weeks ago to obtain documents related to Mr Flynn’s contacts with Russians dating back to June 2015.

    But in a letter to the panel, his lawyers said he was rejecting its request in response to the current political climate and an “escalating public frenzy against him”.

    I wonder if courts would accept that excuse from notorious bank-robbers or fraudsters? 🙂

    Mr Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, later published a letter urging the panel’s chairman, Jason Chaffetz, to subpoena the documents.

    The letter highlights a February 2016 interview in which Mr Flynn told security clearance investigators that he was paid by US companies when he travelled to Moscow to dine at a gala with Russian President Vladimir Putin the year before.

    But the trip was actually paid for by Russian state news agency RT.

    If Mr Flynn did lie to investigators, he could face felony charges and up to five years in prison.

    Also on Monday, a new report claims President Trump allegedly asked two top national security officials to publicly deny that there was any evidence of collusion.

    Shortly after Mr Flynn left the White House, the Department of Defense also launched an inquiry into the payments he received for the RT gala, and for lobbying on Turkey’s behalf.

    Senate Intelligence Committee chairmen Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner said they were “disappointed” at his decision not to hand over files on Monday.

    However Mr Flynn’s letter to the Senate panel says that his refusal to testify is not an admission of wrongdoing.

    If Mr Flynn continues to refuse to comply, it is thought Senate investigators could vote to hold him in contempt of Congress or even refer his case for possible criminal charges.

    Two other former top Trump aides – Paul Manafort and Roger Stone – have reportedly complied with the committee’s request for information.

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  • Steven #53

    Quite a story.

    You have remarkable self-restraint. I wouldn’t have been able to control myself, would have pushed him down, or reported the SOB to someone, gotten him in trouble somehow, or quit; that’s extremely antisemitic. Then again, it’s hard to know how one would respond; if the job was important to to me and it didn’t bother me I guess… who knows…

    He laughed at your comment because it fit in with his notion of the self-deprecating, zany Jew a la Woody Allen.

    That’s what they said to my mother when she was a kid: Christ killer. Those are, in my view, among the lowest types of humanity: the vicious and ignorant bigots (and I would say the same thing had the situation been different and he had used, say, the N word or the F word, etc.).

    (Right now it’s “the Muslims”; but I could imagine a desperate Donald Trump in a last ditch effort to gain control saying something, with arms outstretched, like: “let’s face it people, the Jews killed Christ. That was the worst thing that ever happened in the entire history of the world; they killed Christ, and now they control the banks, the media…” If it wasn’t for Kushner I think a lot more people would be a bit more worried, but Kushner is their cushion and even makes Trump endearing in their eyes. I call it The Kushner Effect. It’s out there.)

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  • Meanwhile – as investigations and inquiries progress, that Russia collusion issue just won’t go away, regardless of Trump’s denials, distractions and diversionary gimmick allegations about investigators!

    Former CIA Director John Brennan has said an investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Kremlin is “well-founded”.

    He told the House Intelligence Committee he was aware of intelligence showing contact between Russian officials and “US persons involved in the Trump campaign”.

    Mr Brennan said the Russians “brazenly interfered” in last November’s US elections and were “very aggressive”.

    But he said he did not know if the Trump campaign intrigued with Moscow.

    Mr Brennan, who stepped down as CIA director in January, testified on Tuesday: “I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals.

    “It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals.”

    His evidence undercuts President Donald Trump’s claim that the investigation is a “taxpayer funded charade”.

    The House inquiry is one of two congressional investigations into claims that Russian hackers tried to tip the presidential election in Mr Trump’s favour last November, and whether members of his campaign aided the alleged Kremlin conspiracy.

    The FBI also has its own investigation on the issue.

    Mr Brennan added that he left office with many unanswered questions about Russia’s influence over the election, but that the FBI’s probe was “was certainly well-founded and needed to look into these issues”.

    Mr Brennan also told lawmakers that he had warned his Russian counterpart, FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov, during a phone call last August against meddling.

    He told Mr Bortnikov any attempt to interfere would “destroy any near-term prospect” of repairing relations between Washington and Moscow.

    Mr Bortnikov twice denied interfering and promised to bring up the matter with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Mr Brennan.

    As CIA Director, Mr Brennan, along with the FBI and the Office of Director of National Intelligence, released an intelligence report in January concluding that Moscow attempted to influence the outcome of the election.

    Days afterwards, Mr Trump strained relations with the intelligence community when he accused spy officials of leaking allegations that Russia had compromising information on him, likening it to “Nazi Germany”.

    At the time, Mr Brennan called Mr Trump’s accusations “outrageous”.

    In a separate congressional hearing on Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to comment on a report that Mr Trump asked him to publicly deny there was any evidence of collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

    According to the Washington Post, Mr Coats and Admiral Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, rejected Mr Trump’s alleged request.

    Earlier Trump could play the “blame it on the Democrats card, but now with Republican majorities in both house and senate, he can no longer play the contrarian “other party card” when he and his group are called out for lying to investigators!

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  • It appears that rather than helping the safeguarding the US government from foreign infiltration, Trump is once again choosing the perverse option, and appointing members of the Trump “in-crowd”!

    Donald Trump has appointed lawyer Marc Kasowitz to represent him in an inquiry into Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential election and any links to the Trump campaign, US media report.

    Mr Trump has used services of the New York lawyer – known as a tenacious litigator – for more than a decade.

    Last week, former FBI boss Robert Mueller was named special counsel for the Department of Justice inquiry.

    President Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Russia.

    However, US intelligence agencies believe Moscow tried to tip the 2016 election in favour of Mr Trump.

    Mr Kasowitz and the White House have so far made no public comments on the reported appointment.

    Mr Kasowitz is well known to Donald Trump, and it was he who – during the presidential campaign – threatened to sue the New York Times newspaper if it didn’t retract a story about Mr Trump touching women inappropriately.

    The Times stood by its story and a retraction was never published.

    “He can be aggressive – he’s got that in him for sure,” John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, who has worked with and opposite Mr Kasowitz, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

    “He also can be smooth as silk, respectful and deferential,” Mr Quinn added.

    Calls for a special investigation had mounted since President Trump fired the most recent FBI director, James Comey, earlier this month.

    The FBI and Congress are also looking into potential links between Mr Trump’s campaign team and Russia.

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  • Less than two weeks and the USA has now stabbed two allies in the back. First Trump boasting to the Russians about Israeli intelligence on ISIS, now it’s the UK’s turn. The suicide bomber who killed and injured so many in the appalling attack in Manchester which is on all our minds over here was identified by police from his remains. He was known to work as part of a network and his identity was kept secret so as not to alert others until arrests could be made. However his identity had been shared with US authorities who promptly leaked it to the press over there.

    I was very puzzled to see the bomber’s name so quickly in US media yesterday but I didn’t yet realise the full implications. Let us sincerely hope that no one slips through the police net because of this and goes on to take the lives of more of our children. However it is clear that our former trustworthy ally which has been run by growups for the last 8 years is no longer being so well run and no longer to be trusted.

    We would also appreciate your idiot president keeping his idiot mouth shut if the most appropriate thing he can think to call the disgrace to humanity who did this is “loser”.

    I’m afraid I’m not feeling very charitable to the USA or its people at the moment. This in some small way is our 9/11, perhaps partly because so many who were killed and injured were just children and it’s hitting us very hard. A beautiful little 8 year old girl just starting out in life, hers now snuffed out in an instant, others just teenagers. I was on a road trip yesterday, 9 hours of driving, much of it in tears as new reports kept coming through on the radio and people’s emails and texts of support were read out. As our security forces try to contain and control this situation and ensure it doesn’t happen again their efforts get hampered by loose lips in the USA. What Trump did in the Oval Office with the Russians didn’t quite bring it home to me since it was “only” about Israel and Syria. Now when it’s our own children’s lives at risk in my own country it suddenly hits home very hard.

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  • Meanwhile Trump babbles on – with his words contradicting his actions – and he still can’t do science, logic, or maths!

    US President Donald Trump has said he is “more determined than ever” to pursue peace in the world after meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican.

    The United Nations has warned that President Donald Trump’s plans to cut contributions to peacekeeping will make such work “impossible”.

    The spokesman said the UN was studying Mr Trump’s plan.
    “The figures presented would simply make it impossible for the UN to continue all of its essential work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance,” he said.

    The BBC’s Nick Bryant at the UN says such a warning from the organisation is unusually blunt.

    More Trumponomics and double-talk?

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #60
    May 24, 2017 at 10:15 am

    There is another link here about the leaking of information on a live UK investigation to the US media!

    UK investigators have reacted with anger after a US newspaper published photos apparently showing the scene of the Manchester bomb attack.

    Senior counter terrorism policing figures said the leak undermined their investigation and the confidence of victims and witnesses.

    BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford said senior people in counter terrorism policing were “clearly frustrated”.

    “They said the leak undermines the relationship with important partners and undermines the investigation and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families,” he added.

    Labour’s Yvette Cooper, who chaired the influential Commons Home Affairs Committee before the general election campaign started, tweeted: “V troubled by US leaking intelligence UK has given them in middle of live investigation where public safety at risk. What is going on?”

    Monday night’s attack at Manchester Arena killed 22 people – including children – and injured 64.

    Information about the bomber’s identity first emerged in the US – with American TV networks CBS and NBC naming Abedi as the suspect.

    On Wednesday morning Ms Rudd was asked whether she would be looking at how information sharing may have resulted in the premature release of details the British police and security services had not wanted in the public domain.

    “Yes, quite frankly,” the home secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

    “The British police have been very clear they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity – the element of surprise – so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources, and I’ve been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again.”

    Pressed on whether the Americans had compromised the investigation, she said: “I wouldn’t go that far, but I can say they are perfectly clear about the situation and that it shouldn’t happen again.”

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  • Analysis of Trump’s verbal capabilities now compared to 20 or 30 years ago reveal he may be suffering from dementia.

    His vocabulary which used to be college level has now dropped to about the level of the average 12 year old. The syntax is so garbled that many sentences are incomprehensible and missing words and incorrectly used words make this worse.

    This all ties in with the numerous stories out of the WH that he has a very limited attention span now, reacts more to pictures and charts than written text and only tends to even keep reading if he sees his own name mentioned. In fact those preparing his daily intelligence briefs try to keep them to one page and try to mention his name in every paragraph so he even keeps reading to the end of that page.

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  • Arkrid, I understand your anger. There are tears on this side of the water too. Children are children anywhere.
    This is more of the dysfunction of the USA spreading to the rest of the world. I wish he was gone tomorrow.
    Alot of us have had stress related increases since Trump. They even have a name for it now.
    These idiot cowboys in this country are making me sick. I would like to wake up to a normal day. I would like to wake up in a normal country. This seems like a nightmare..

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  • Well the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its report on the second Trump healthcare bill which was forced through the House before either those who voted on it bothered to read it or anyone else had a chance to discuss it. Finally after a miserable couple of weeks for most people there’s actually some good news. Not only will this new bill save a bit of money over 10 years it’ll only take healthcare away from 23 million people rather than the 24 million the first bill was going to do. So win/win basically. Well done Republicans. The 23 million will mainly be poor and/or black so no one gives a fuck about them I suppose and the mega rich will get a nice tax cut so they can buy more yachts. What they spend on yachts will then trickle down into the economy to yacht builders, paint makers, carpenters etc until a few thousand of the 23 million people who lost their healthcare can afford it again.

    However before those lucky few thousand get too complacent the Republicans have also released their budget proposal which will slash spending on education, Medicaid, food stamps, student loans, the EPA and international aid so the rich can get even more tax cuts. More good news for yacht builders.

    Some time ago I described America as really consisting of two countries rather than just one. On one side are the normal humans like we have in the UK and other places and on the other side are the Republicans. I got a bit of flack for it. Does anyone still disagree with me now after 4 months of Trump in power?

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #60
    May 24, 2017 at 10:15 am

    However his identity had been shared with US authorities
    who promptly leaked it to the press over there.

    I was very puzzled to see the bomber’s name so quickly in US media yesterday
    but I didn’t yet realise the full implications.
    Let us sincerely hope that no one slips through the police net because of this and goes on to take the lives of more of our children.
    However it is clear that our former trustworthy ally which has been run by grown-ups for the last 8 years
    is no longer being so well run and no longer to be trusted.

    I see the UK police are no longer sharing intelligence with the US, now the Trump administration has progressed to fouling up abroad as well as at home!

    Police investigating the Manchester Arena bomb attack have stopped sharing information with the US after leaks to the media, the BBC understands.

    UK officials were outraged when photos appearing to show debris from the attack appeared in the New York Times.

    It came after the name of bomber Salman Abedi was leaked to US media just hours after the attack, which killed 22 – including children – and injured 64.

    Theresa May is to raise concerns with Donald Trump at a Nato meeting later.

    Greater Manchester Police hopes to resume normal intelligence relationships – a two-way flow of information – soon but is currently “furious”, the BBC understands.

    The force – which is leading the investigation on the ground – gives its information to National Counter-Terrorism, which then shares it across government and – because of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing agreement – with the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

    In total eight men are now in custody following the attack, carried out by Manchester-born Abedi, a 22-year-old from a family of Libyan origin.

    Home Secretary Amber Rudd had said she was “irritated” by the disclosure of Abedi’s identity against the UK’s wishes and had warned Washington “it should not happen again”.

    However, the pictures of debris – which appear to show bloodstained fragments from the bomb and the backpack used to conceal it – were subsequently leaked to the New York Times, prompting an angry response from within Whitehall and from UK police chiefs.

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  • Alan4discussion #66
    May 25, 2017 at 5:33 am

    The White House has denied the president’s budget proposal contains an “egregious” maths error.
    Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers pointed out the spending plan double-counts $2tr (£1.5tr).

    The budget clearly does double count the same $2.1trillion in supposed tax revenues to both pay for tax cuts for the rich but then to also reduce the budget deficit. However it only assumes that $2.1 trillion will be generated in the first place by GDP growing at 3% annually every year in future which is pretty much impossible given that it’s A) never done that before B) it’s currently at just under 2% growth rate and C) the economy is already at full employment with little scope left for more growth.

    In short it’s all just fantasy numbers with little relationship to reality even if whoever prepared it hadn’t got the basic maths wrong as well. It is hard to understand what is going on in this government which now seems to be run by complete incompetents in all departments. It’s possible that people working under the Trump administration have now just given up trying any more.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #68
    May 25, 2017 at 9:38 am

    It is hard to understand what is going on in this government which now seems to be run by complete incompetents in all departments.

    He has a cabinet full of muppets, and he has got rid of the people who gave competent legal and security advice he did not want to hear!

    It looks like the Trump “plan” to safeguard America from Russian intelligence infiltration, is to appoint his regular pet litigation prevaricator, to obstruct the investigations while Trump sits in denial and his fumbling idiots muddle on!

    Alan4discussion #58
    May 24, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Donald Trump has appointed lawyer Marc Kasowitz to represent him
    in an inquiry into Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential election
    and any links to the Trump campaign, US media report.

    Mr Trump has used services of the New York lawyer –
    known as a tenacious litigator – for more than a decade.

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  • @#67 – Police investigating the Manchester Arena bomb attack have stopped sharing information with the US after leaks to the media, the BBC understands.


    US President Donald Trump has told a Nato meeting in Brussels terrorism must be “stopped in its tracks”.

    Will Nato be doing more to defeat IS?

    The Nato gathering will see the alliance agree to a US plan for Nato to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamist militants, particularly IS, but France and Germany insist the move is mostly symbolic.

    Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Nato states would contribute more in terms of information sharing and air-to-air refuelling.

    “This will send a strong political message of Nato’s commitment to the fight against terrorism and also improve our co-ordination within the coalition – but it does not mean that Nato will engage in combat operations,” he said.

    It looks like Trump’s bunch of leakers, have just stuck their wellies in that project, – while his $110billion of arms sales to Saudi Arabia is unlikely to do much to “reduce strife” in Yemen or Africa!

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  • This may unfortunately give Trump a diversionary scapegoat to distract from the various scandals and investigations!
    It does however look as if the person or persons responsible, are in deeeep trouble!

    US President Donald Trump has said leaks of the investigation into the Manchester Arena attack to the US media are “deeply troubling”.

    They were a “grave threat to our national security”, he added, and pledged to get to the bottom of it.

    He pledged to ask the US Department of Justice to launch a review, and “if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted”.

    By Anthony Zurcher, North America reporter

    There may be someone in the US government who thinks these revelations could pressure the UK to take more aggressive steps of its own to address what Mr Trump in the past has termed “radical Islamic terrorism”.

    Then there’s the possibility that the leaks are merely one person’s attempt to gain favour with a reporter or burnish his or her reputation as a knowledgeable insider.

    If there’s one lesson to be learned from the past year, it’s there is often no need to look for complex explanations when simple individual pride or incompetence fits the bill.

    Whatever the explanation, officials in both the UK and the US say the Manchester leaks are going to stop – and, given that the information is being cut off at the source, they probably will.

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  • US President Donald Trump has told a Nato meeting in Brussels terrorism must be “stopped in its tracks”.

    No shit Sherlock. The only question being how of course. I thought destroying ISIS was going to be so easy and so quick or at least it was on the campaign trail. Then of course Dementia Donald has to actually perform and has no clue what to do about anything. I mean who knew that healthcare was so complicated or that running a country is not as easy as running a property company. At least by the end of your trip Jared will have solved the Israel / Palestine problem no? I mean he’s out there with you so he must have a couple of days to sort it all out for us.

    The eight year old girl who died in Manchester this week wasn’t even born when George W Bush invaded Iraq. Now she’ll never know that if anyone is ultimately reponsible for killing her it was him and the Republicans who voted for the illegal war. The war that destabilised the Middle East, gave Al Qaeda thousands more converts and eventually led to the creation of ISIS from the Sunnis who were locked into internment camps and discriminated against by the Shia puppet government that Bush installed in Iraq. Now those same Republicans who voted in lock step for Bush’s lies are fawning over someone even dumber, more mendacious and more amoral. Someone who told the middle east he might be coming for their oil, imposed a travel ban on them, supports Putin who supports Assad but still can’t understand why they are so pissed off with the west.

    The suicide bomber who killed all those children was a vile, reprehensible, filthy criminal but he wasn’t the most dangerous man on the planet. That honour goes to Donald Trump and those who support him, excuse him or don’t speak out against him are as guilty by association.

    The single concrete goal that would do most to make the world a safer place would be to get rid of Trump, his cronies, his surrogates, all the Republicans who vote for his bills and make sure that Republicans never get into power again.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #72
    May 25, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    US President Donald Trump has told a Nato meeting in Brussels terrorism must be “stopped in its tracks”.

    The war that destabilised the Middle East, gave Al Qaeda thousands more converts and eventually led to the creation of ISIS from the Sunnis who were locked into internment camps and discriminated against by the Shia puppet government that Bush installed in Iraq.

    Of course England has had cities like London bombed by terrorists before, – but in those instances by IRA terrorists funded by donations collected in the Irish bars of New York and other US cities!

    Then of course there are the civilian deaths from the civil wars started by “regime change” foreign powers, which may have people seeking to revenge them!

    The United Nations has raised grave concerns about reports of high civilian casualties in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

    A senior UN official in Iraq said she was stunned by accounts of “terrible loss of life”, after claims that at least 200 people had been killed in air strikes by the US-led coalition.

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  • Arkrid #72

    Here here.

    I’m not sure I would call trump amoral; immoral? — Hillary Clinton aptly described his budget proposal and the attempt to repeal ObamaCare as “showing unimaginable cruelty.” Trump wants to send more troops to Afghanistan. As Hedges predicted: “the hypermasculine values of military culture [under a Trump administration] will define political and cultural discourse…”

    “At least by the end of your trip Jared will have solved the Israel / Palestine problem no? I mean he’s out there with you so he must have a couple of days to sort it all out for us.”

    Funny! Sad and pathetic, but funny. “A couple of days”; not bad!)

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  • Well it looks like Trump got well and truly served by the President of France who gave him a taste of his own medicine in the handshake bullshit that Trump loves to inflict on everyone else. It’s not quite so easy to bully other presidents is it little Donny compared to your own employees or the surrogates who toady up to you? You can bet that’s now a score to be settled in Trump’s childish mind.

    So his first foreign trip hasn’t been a total disaster yet although if Obama had done what Trump did you can bet the Republicans would be screaming about it from the rooftops. He shoved the Montenegran Prime Minister out of the way to get to the front of a photo op, cozied up to the Saudis and Bahrainis while berating Nato allies, refused to smile and wave with everyone else when President Macron suggested it and we find out he recently gave away yet more classified information by boasting to the President of the Philippines that two nuclear subs were off the coast of Korea.

    We’re starting to see what the Trump campaign’s relentless demonising of the press is now leading to. A reporter in hospital in Montana for asking a polite question and a vicious attempt to blame it on him for being a liberal reporter. At least Gianforte has been charged with assault but sadly he also still won the election. When the free press is under attack then democracy is under attack.

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  • Dan #47
    May 22, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Kushner is a remarkable and gifted young man. I concur.

    It seems he is also under investigation! – Of course any competent president would have people screened and any conflicts of interest tidied up, BEFORE appointing them!

    President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is under FBI scrutiny as part of the Russia investigation, according to US media.

    Reports say investigators believe he has relevant information, but he is not necessarily suspected of a crime.

    The FBI is looking into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 election and links with Mr Trump’s campaign. The president denies any collusion.

    Mr Kushner’s lawyer said his client would co-operate with any inquiry.

    US officials, who were not named, told NBC News that the interest in Mr Kushner, 36, did not mean the investigators suspected him of a crime or intended to charge him.

    Separately, the Washington Post reported that the investigators were focusing on meetings he held last year with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, and a banker from Moscow, Sergei Gorkov.

    Mr Gorkov is the head of Vnesheconombank, which has been subject to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    The bank is under the control of Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev and other members of the government, and has been used to fund major projects such as the 2014 Winter Olympics in the southern Russian resort of Sochi.

    Mr Kushner has said he did not discuss sanctions with Mr Gorkov.

    Congress is also looking into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and any Trump campaign ties.

    Mr Kushner has already agreed to discuss his Russian contacts with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    “Mr Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings,” Mr Kushner’s lawyer Jamie Gorelick told the BBC.

    “He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry,” the lawyer added.

    The White House has been engulfed in crisis over allegations that Mr Trump asked the ousted FBI chief to drop an inquiry into links between his ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

    Mr Flynn was forced out in February after he misled the vice-president about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador before Mr Trump took office in January.

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    Donald Trump’s son-in-law attempted to set up secret communications with Moscow a month after Mr Trump’s election, US media say.

    Jared Kushner wanted to use Russian facilities to avoid US interception of discussions with Moscow, the Washington Post and New York Times said.

    Mr Kushner, a senior White House aide, has not commented.

    He is said to be under scrutiny by the FBI as part of its inquiry into Russian interference favouring Mr Trump’s win.

    What did Kushner do?

    The most recent reports – which cited unnamed US officials as sources – said Mr Kushner had spoken with Moscow’s Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, about setting up a back channel using Russian diplomatic facilities in America.

    The meeting was held in early December at Trump Tower in New York – Mr Trump’s power base.

    According to both reports, Mr Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn was present at the meeting.

    The secret channel was supposed to be used to discuss Syria and other policy issues during the transition period between Mr Trump’s election in November and his inauguration in January 2017.

    The Washington Post says the proposal surprised Mr Kislyak as it meant Americans using Russian facilities at their diplomatic missions in the US.

    The New York Times said the line was never established.

    What’s unusual about a direct line to Moscow?

    The US and Moscow have always had a hotline – popularly referred to as the Red Phone, even though it was not a telephone. This was meant to enable the two superpowers to avoid nuclear catastrophe during the Cold War.

    Mr Kushner appears to be proposing a similar set-up.

    But what is unusual is that this would be a channel using Russian hardware.

    So this would have been outside official communications normally used by a team about to assume the leadership of the US – meaning US leaders were using Russian channels instead of their own.

    And, significantly, these communications would not form part of documented US policy-making.

    Is the timing significant?


    Remember that Russian allegations of interference to sway the election in favour of Donald Trump emerged in May 2016 with the first reports of hackers targeting the Democratic Party.

    What followed were reports that US intelligence agencies had traced the breaches back to Russian hackers. In August, Wikileaks released 20,000 internal emails of members of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), stolen by the hackers.

    Mr Trump’s then campaign manager, Paul Manafort, resigned after being accused of accepting millions of dollars in cash for representing Russian interests in Ukraine and US.

    Meanwhile Trump has been trying to discredit the intelligence agencies and plug the leaks which are exposing these very suspicious activities!

    It looks as if impeachment procedures are well overdue!

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  • It seems that Trump’s advisors on national security are as useless as his advisors on environmental protection!

    Senior US advisers have refused to answer questions about Donald Trump’s son-in-law, following reports that Jared Kushner tried to set up a secret communication line with Moscow.

    National Security Adviser HR McMaster said backchannel communications between different governments was normal.

    Economic adviser Gary Cohn said: “We’re not going to comment on Jared.”

    Mr Kushner is said to be under scrutiny as part of the FBI inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    Reports in the US say investigators believe he has relevant information, but he is not necessarily suspected of a crime.

    On Friday, the Washington Post and New York Times reported that Mr Kushner had wanted to use Russian facilities to avoid US interception of discussions with Moscow.

    Lt Gen McMaster refused to comment on the specific reports against Mr Kushner, but said that he would not be concerned if a government official set up a secret line with Moscow.

    “We have backchannel communications with any number of individual [countries]… what that allows you to do is communicate in a discreet manner.”

    “I would not be concerned about it.”

    Mr Kushner reportedly took part in discussions about a backchannel with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, in December.

    At the time, Mr Kushner was a private citizen, but working in Mr Trump’s transition team.

    While US government departments do set up secure lines with foreign leaders, it is unusual for a transition team to do so, Washington Post reports.

    The backchannel would also have been unusual as it would have used Russian hardware at its embassies in the US, the report added.

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  • Well everything seems to be back to “normal” in the USA now Trump is back home. He’s busy tweeting that everything in the press is fake news over and over again but it’s getting awfully stale now. He’s alienated most of NATO and Merkel has called for Europe to do its own thing as the USA can’t be relied on. Macron of France is right with her and it seems his handshake with Trump I commented on above was quite deliberate. He had planned to stick it to Trump beforehand and crush his tiny hand until Trump gave up which he did. Kudos to the guy.

    4 months in and America is now the world’s pariah apart from with other dictators. A new world order could be starting. Brexit could not possibly have come at a worse time because now the UK has lost much of its standing in Europe and might be stuck with trying to cozy up to this mental case Trump. I wonder if Theresa May is going to do the lapdog thing with Trump like Tony Blair did with Bush and embarrass us all again.

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  • I can honestly say I’ve never spent so much time and effort trying to understand another person’s mental state as I have with Trump. I’m not much of a people person at the best of times so this does not come naturally to me but I’ve been surprised at the insights I’ve gained even if some of the answers remain elusive. I think another key to the puzzle fell into place recently though.

    6 months ago I was naive enough to still faintly wonder if Trump could change enough to rise to the gravity of the office. We now know he can’t. It occurs to me that most people change because they learn by their mistakes and by facing the consequences of their actions. I now realise that Trump has never actually faced the consequences of any of his actions. That’s not to say that every action didn’t have a consequence, which they all did – but Trump has never faced any. His narcissism means he can either view failures as a success or even if he admits failure it’s still other people’s fault. He maintains this by almost never doing anything where the blame can only fall on him alone. Everything is done via subordinates. That’s why he wouldn’t pitch the first ball this season. If it sucked there was no one else to blame.

    A man who can’t learn from his mistakes is doomed to repeat them. Other than his base property empire nearly all of Trump’s other ventures have been abject failures. Casinos, Trump University, steaks, wine. But all were done with other people’s money, Trump rarely risks his own, and so again he never had to face any consequences. An analysis I saw recently calculated that during his career Trump has lost about 6 billion dollars of other people’s money. His own net worth might only be a few hundred million rather than the billions he claims. He actually lost a court case trying to prove he was a billionaire which indicates he probably never has been one even though he claims net assets of about 10 billion.

    If his tax returns get revealed by subpoena then the bubble will burst. I suspect he’s more worried about this than any other aspect of the Russia investigation which I’m guessing will never come up with criminal charges against him personally because he’s well enough insulated via subordinates doing the actual dirty work.

    How Kuschner pans out is going to be fascinating though. What happens if Trump has to throw his own son-in-law under the bus to save his own skin? He loses his daughter perhaps as well as the wife who is already suspected of hating him anyway. If he resigns the presidency he loses the immunity the office gives him from almost everything short of impeachment, which is never going to happen, so he’s stuck there even if he hates doing the job and is hopelessly inadequate to its demands. Every day that goes by reveals more of his incompetence and there’s a lot of days still to go in 3 years and 8 months. I surmised before that he would burn in this spotlight like a moth in a candle flame. All that remains to see is how quickly.

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  • Another find mess from the Laurel and Hardy team of Trump and Spicer!

    The White House communications director has resigned only three months after being hired by President Donald Trump.

    Mike Dubke, an experienced Republican strategist, was hired to revamp the White House media strategy.

    As part of the shake-up, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer will reportedly hold on to his position, but there will be fewer media briefings.

    The reshuffle follows reports of disarray in the White House communications team.

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  • Back at those super Trump family “great deals” it seems they are only “great” for some people!

    A Chinese activist has been detained while investigating alleged workers’ rights abuses at a supplier for Ivanka Trump’s shoe brand.

    Hua Haifeng was working undercover for the US-based China Labor Watch (CLW), which said he had witnessed examples of forced overtime and wage violations.

    Two other activists involved in the investigation are missing, CLW said.

    The supplier also makes products for other brands including Karl Lagerfeld, Coach and Nine West, it said.

    CLW called on US President Trump to press for the release of Mr Hua.

    Amnesty International has demanded the release all three activists, saying the two missing are feared to also have been detained.

    “The trio appear to be the latest to fall foul of the Chinese authorities’ aggressive campaign against human rights activists who have any ties to overseas organizations, using the pretence of ‘national security’,” William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

    There has been no comment so far from Chinese authorities, the Trump administration or the Ivanka Trump brand.

    CLW said Mr Hua was detained in Jiangxi province on suspicion of illegally using eavesdropping equipment but that this allegation had “no factual basis”.

    The group’s executive director, Li Qiang, told the BBC the firm Mr Hua had been investigating, Huajian Group, had “violated workers’ rights in ways that included: forced overtime, wages lower than China’s legal minimum wage, managers’ verbal abuse of workers, and violations of women’s rights”.

    In 17 years of investigating Chinese factories it was “the first time any [of] our investigators have been detained under a criminal process,” Mr Li said.

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  • Another murderous attack on us here in the UK last night and another catastrophic response from Trump. A van mowed pedestrians down while others start stabbing people in a restaurant. 7 dead so far and dozens injured. Trump starts tweeting about his Travel Ban (in caps), once again making it clear it really is a travel ban and not the various things his administration has tried to convince the courts it is. Only later does it occur to him to express any sympathy for those who died. It is of course very hard for him to simulate real emotions such as empathy, having none himself.

    The real problem of course is that most of these attacks are prevented with the help of information from the public, from the communities where the potential attackers live. Trump is alienating everyone with even the smallest potential grievance against the west and turning those into big grievances. He’s also destroying the trust that intelligence services had in each other and particularly in everyone else’s for America. Information that might save lives is less likely to be forthcoming now.

    People will die because of this sick man. It is very possible that some of those who have died recently are because of him and his policies except that as a target he himself is out of reach so others suffer in his place.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #84
    Jun 4, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Trump starts tweeting about his Travel Ban (in caps), once again making it clear it really is a travel ban and not the various things his administration has tried to convince the courts it is.

    Yep! – No problem for Trump with white supremacist gun-toting Americans – Who as immigrants, history suggests, were none too friendly to the native Americans!

    Back in England, my wife’s family is from those darned Scottish immigrants, whereas my side of the family is descended from those nice peace-loving Viking immigrants!! 🙂

    Trump claims to be of Scottish descent, so maybe he would like a project to reinstate Hadrian’s Roman Wall to keep the English out of Scotland! 🙂

    After all! Walls are in vogue, and trumpies were never very good at learning from history!

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  • Trump now attacks the Mayor of London for reasons which are unclear. Earlier today the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, informed the BBC that there would be a higher than usual armed police presence in London following the attack last night to keep the streets safe and urging the people not to be alarmed about the police numbers in their own right as not being indicative of any other attack being in progress or specifically expected.

    Trump then selectively quoted just a part of this, ignoring the fact that it was about police numbers and not terrorism, to attack him with “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”

    Whether this was stupidity, mendacity or just more evidence of Trump’s mental illness I could not say. Or maybe it’s because the Mayor’s name is Khan and he’s not white.

    I for one have had about enough of Teresa May clinging to what might once have been a special relationship and not just rejecting Trump whole heartedly as other braver European leaders are doing. We can’t trust Trump, it’s clear we’ll never be able to and only maybe if the leaders of enough G7 countries reject him outright will it send a message to Republicans that he is not acceptable on the world stage and nor are they while they support him.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #86
    Jun 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I for one have had about enough of Teresa May clinging to what might once have been a special relationship and not just rejecting Trump whole heartedly as other braver European leaders are doing.

    Other EU leaders have made it clear that they will maintain amicable relationships with Americans – American States, American businesses and American people. – It is Trump and the trumpoids who are the problem!

    However, Teresa May is desperate to have some wish-thinking “special” brexiteer trade deal to flaunt in the light of the likely serious losses of trade with Europe as a consequence of likely failed brexit negotiations.
    Any deals outside of established world trade groupings and alliances, are likely to token symbolism, and of little value, but the readers of tabloid comics can’t do big numbers or proportionality, so happily buy into junk-news headlines about “great deals” and the “wonderful benefits” of ideology!
    Along with his other nutty anti-co-operation priorities, Trump is a Farage and brexit fan and does not like the EU!

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #86
    Jun 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Trump now attacks the Mayor of London for reasons which are unclear.

    Well it seems the reasons were actually known but not to me. Trump is holding a petty grievance against Mayor Sadiq Khan who criticised his Muslim ban and endorsed Hillary last year so Trump is using the deaths of more Brits in another terrorist attack to further his childish desire for revenge. There are no depths to which this vile man will not sink.

    The thing is, Trump could not act this way if he were not being constantly enabled by Republican congressmen for whom no act of his is sufficiently vile to contemplate condemning him. He’s clearly colluded with the Russians to win the election in what can surely only be called treason, he’s tried to block the investigations, we now find out he tried to get the sanctions lifted as soon as he took office and also wanted to give the Russian compounds they had been spying from back to them, he’s given away state secrets, revealed Israeli intelligence, put lives at risk but hardly any Republican will put country before party. It is a party utterly without honour or principles. I have been saying so for a long time in here.

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  • What a wonderful concert last night in Manchester to support the dead and injured of the terrorist attack there and also in London. What a spectacular job Ariana Grande did, organising the concert, leading it with such maturity and poise, holding herself together despite the tears.

    Meanwhile Donald Trump took the same opportunity to lauch a petty and vindictive twitter attack on London’s Mayor.

    A 23 year old girl of extraordinary maturity and compassion brought a city, and a country, together in love and determination to never buckle under terrorist attacks while the 70 year old supposed leader of the free world just trashed the memory of the victims for his own childish spite and revenge.

    We in the UK thank you in the USA for the best of what America has to offer, the 23 year old girl and the other acts who came over to support her. What I think ought to happen to the vile orange turd though I might be best advised not to say in here.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #88
    Jun 4, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Well it seems the reasons were actually known but not to me. Trump is holding a petty grievance against Mayor Sadiq Khan who criticised his Muslim ban and endorsed Hillary last year so Trump is using the deaths of more Brits in another terrorist attack to further his childish desire for revenge.

    Sadiq Khan was and is, an embarrassment to Trump! –

    While Trump was ranting about banning Muslims from the US – Sadiq Khan – a Muslim, – was elected mayor of London – and is currently – as mayor, working with the security services to fight terrorism!
    Trump was asked by the media some time ago, if he was banning the mayor of London from visiting the US!
    Apparently mayors of London (like Saudi princes), can be treated by Trump as cherry-picked exceptions when he is asked embarrassing questions !! 🙂

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  • Trump’s pathetic blusterings and blunderings along with his refusal to withdraw stupid claims and correct his mistakes , make him an embarrassment to himself and to the USA!

    US President Donald Trump has again lashed out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan over his assurances to Londoners following a terror attack.

    Mr Khan had said people should not be alarmed by an increased police presence on the streets.

    But Mr Trump on Sunday accused him of playing down the threat and on Monday said the mayor’s clarification of his statement was a “pathetic excuse”.

    So pointing out Trump’s disreputable quote-mining is “a pathetic excuse” according to Trump!!

    After the tragedy, the mayor said: “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed.”

    The US president criticised Mr Khan for this but failed to provide the context, writing: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!'”

    Trump is clearly quote-mining to mislead!
    Refusing to correct the “mistake” would indicate wilful deception! –
    perhaps unsurprising from a habitual liar!

    In response to Mr Trump’s attack, a spokesman for the mayor said on Saturday that Mr Khan “has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context” the mayor’s remarks.

    Mr Trump’s attacks on Mr Khan have drawn condemnation from both sides of the Atlantic.

    His critics have accused him of being insensitive and twisting the mayor’s words.

    Politicians in the UK on Monday called on the prime minister to withdraw the invitation for Mr Trump’s state visit later this year.

    The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, said: “This is a man insulting our national values at a time of introspection and mourning.”

    Over the weekend, Prime Minister Theresa May refused to criticise Mr Trump, simply saying that Mr Khan was doing a “good job”.

    “Try to imagine the UK prime minister attacking the Mayor of NYC the day after 9/11,” said European Parliament cabinet member Simon O’Connor.

    The US Conference of Mayors, representing more than 1,400 American cities, backed Mr Khan.

    “He has risen above this crisis of death and destruction, as mayors continue to do, to alleviate fear, to bring comfort to his people of London”, the mayors wrote in a statement on Sunday.

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also took to Twitter to defend Mr Khan saying he “is doing an extraordinary job supporting Londoners in a time of pain”.

    “President Trump’s attack on him is unacceptable.”

    I think much of the world has now got the measure of Trump and his silly Twittering tantrums!

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  • Last year after the town hall debate with Hillary when Trump stalked her round the stage in a way I found extremely threatening and ominous I said it was looking more likely to me that he was a full blown psychopath rather than just a sociopath. This insane, and now repeated, attack of his on the Mayor of the capital city of what is supposedly America’s closest ally in a time of our national mourning is however taking me beyond what I could have expected from even someone as foul as Trump. Does anyone in here still deny or refuse to accept that this man is severely mentally ill?

    If Theresa May declines to condemn him then as far as I’m concerned she can stand with him and therefore against us, her own people. I’m now ready for the UK to break off diplomatic relations with the USA while this vile person is president.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #92
    Jun 5, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    I’m now ready for the UK to break off diplomatic relations with the USA while this vile person is president.

    As we were discussing on other threads about global warming and Paris, Europe is maintaining relations with the States, Mayors, and businesses of the USA, but simply by-passing Trump and his White House stooges!

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  • Arkrid, others—

    …This insane, and now repeated, attack of his on the Mayor of the capital city…

    As I said on another thread recently, this is not necessarily insane; it can be; but it is most likely a tactic: we are seeing the politics of distraction at work. Trump and his advisers know what the US TV media is like; they eat that shit up, spend a day or more on these tweets and comments, have panels with Washington insiders and paid contributors to discuss inappropriate remarks. I watch it too; it’s fun. But in the mean time we are being distracted from other things – all the surreptitious maneuverings, and the Comey testimony is coming up, etc. They stage things and set things up (such as a bizarre tweet) at key moments. This is typical, is characteristic, of authoritarian regimes in the past and present. We are dealing with a very insidious administration, an administration at war with the liberal tradition, at war with the old ways of doing things; this is, at bottom, a radical insurgency we are dealing with: look at this religious freedom order, the travel ban, etc. Bannon, by the way, is a strong believer in propaganda. His goal is to create a situation where the Republicans will have control of the Congress and the executive branch for fifty years. By the end of the fifty years, what will we be then?

    But that aside, they want to distract us, so that the thugs can continue to engage in thier surreptitious maneuverings and distract the news people and the public from what is really going on, to divert attention away from the dangers the White House is facing, thanks to all the reporting and leaks and the ongoing investigations.

    Do you think my theory sounds plausible? Actually, it was Hillary Clinton who made that point (about authoritarians) with regards to that bizarre tweet.

    Looking forward to hearing what Comey has to say.

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  • Dan

    By the end of the fifty years, what will we be then?


    Ok, I am NOT waiting fifty years for this disaster to turn around. I need to see positive results at the midterms and a total turn around at the next Presidential election. I’m thinking about the generations that are younger than we are. What kind of place is this to grow up in? I’m still open to a Canadian residency. I can’t see how to get out of this mess with the present bogged down system. I told my Republican family members that Trump could really do a LOT of damage in a short time and this is coming true. Not that I’m looking for praise and that’s a good thing because they’re still hammering me for being a renegade. No buyers remorse with them at all! o_O I’ve had it up to here.

    I’m also going to watch the Comey hearings with some small hope that he’ll move this horror show along in the right direction.

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  • Dan #94
    Jun 5, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    but it is most likely a tactic: we are seeing the politics of distraction at work.

    I would say no, absolutely not. When Trump wants to distract he starts talking about fake news or witch hunts. Things which his base lap up and which seem crazy to rational people but at least don’t do Trump himself any more harm than he’s already done multiple times. However, attacking America’s staunchest ally in the midst of their grief at the deaths of children is so utterly toxic that even his base can’t all support this. Most Americans have some British heritage and the UK has a different relationship with the USA than any other country. In many ways the UK is revered as an example of the things that Americans can’t ever aspire to. We are the ancestor country, we have history going back thousands of years, a culture that you can never catch up to. We have museums with socks in them that are older than your nation. We may be smaller and weaker than in the days of empire, a bit like aged parents now, not as strong but enormously revered.

    It might be possible to get away with attacking France as happened after 9/11 when they wouldn’t support Bush’s invasion plans (Freedom Fries etc), or Italy, or Germany but not the home country. Millions of Trump supporters will have roots here, they will be as shocked at the slaughter of 8 year olds as we are. This is Trump’s unrestrained vengeful child, the ID in Freudian terms, unrestrained by the ego or super-ego it lashes out at a perceived foe for supporting Hillary instead of him last year, regardless of the utter inappropriateness of doing so in a time of grief. When criticism appeared in the press he did what he always does, doubled down and lashed out again, unable to apologise or back down.

    This will cost him dearly. People who merely distrusted him will start to hate him. Those who trusted him will start to suspect they were wrong. Those who thought he was sane but outspoken will now wonder if there really is mental illness or dementia. Disrespecting the deaths of children is a bridge too far.

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  • Arkrid 96

    I would say no, absolutely not.

    Okay, I see your point. That reference to the Mayor of London was not a way of diverting attention in this instance, but they do engage in the politics of distraction on an unprecedented scale, which is something new, and that –and I am sure you’d agree – is the mark, or one of the marks, of a corrupt and authoritarian regime.

    In many ways the UK is revered as an example of the things that Americans can’t ever aspire to.

    American movies and television, since its beginnings, has, for the most part, been far, far superior to that of the UK. Our food is better. Our comedians are better. In terms of “popular culture” we are the kings – not including The British Invasion; but Rock n Roll started here as did jazz! Jazz and blues! Our great literary figures are at least as good as yours. We were the first to land on the moon…. Our Constitution is probably a little better.

    Sorry….Getting carried away.

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  • Laurie,

    Your Republican family members sound very – how shall I say this? – confident that the fundamental soundness of their own views is beyond question. You have my empathy. I have family members that are almost too progressive (too one-sided at times), which I guess is a luxury problem.

    Time for Maddow. Is she back yet? We’ll see.

    Ciao, for now. (That rhymes!)

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  • Arkrid S.

    Trump’s shameless attacks on Sadiq Kahn seem only geared toward doing evil.

    Maybe mentally ill, as you say, and evil. One does not exclude the other, in my opinion. It has to be one or the other or both, at this point.

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  • Hello Dan Laurie Arkrid,
    Are we still a country? Trump has isolated us from our allies, wrecked our economy, caused social disturbance and is probably a Russian ally.
    Hmm. I give him another few months…………..

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  • Laurie, I’m afraid I’m of the camp that doesn’t want Pence as Potus.
    In the mid terms if we can capture both houses we can neuter Trump for two more years.
    So I would like to not see impeachment unless Pence goes too. I don’t know if there is any incriminating evidence yet.

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  • Hi Alf!!

    I am just as worried as you, alf, and I think your fears of Pence are justified. I wish I could offer some words of comfort. All I can say is that we’re all in the same boat, and that I understand and share your anxiety.

    Laurie, me and alf are afraid.

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  • ther EU leaders have made it clear that they will maintain amicable relationships with Americans – American States, American businesses and American people. – It is Trump and the trumpoids who are the problem!

    Alan, to be honest I wish none of the worlds leaders would have anything to do with us until we get this under control.
    There is no trusting Trump or a good percentage of the USA.
    Isolation is a good weapon for stupidity.

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  • Guys

    Of course Pence is a freak show! I’m aware of it. But will Pence get us into WW3 ? I think Pence if given the opportunity will attack Roe v Wade immediately, and bring his religious delusions to reality as far as he possibly could. If he only wreaked havoc on the national stage I think we might survive it. With the time Trump has left in office in just the first term he will wreak havoc on the world.

    The Republicans are keeping Saint Pence on a sparkling pedestal entirely removed from the specter known as Trump and co. When everything goes down the shitter they will present their savior, Saint Pence to the world.

    Yes Alf, I agree that the Europeans should have nothing to do with us. I wish they would send blunt statements to that effect straight onto FUX news so Trump’s low information voters will see it, hear it and believe it!

    Low information…right…you know what I really want to say.

    we can neuter Trump

    What, literally? Oh gee that’s brightening my mood significantly…oh wait a minute, I’ve come out as being absolutely opposed to that sort of thing haven’t I. Dammit. So inconvenient.

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  • I just heard Kellyanne Conway on the Morning Show being asked about Trump’s horrendous remarks about the London Mayor. He, as you know, took his words out of context and made it seem like he was downplaying what happened.

    Once again she wouldn’t answer, seemed offended and again attacked the media for focusing on these irrelevant things that (according to her) are not even accurate. That pig Huckabee did the same thing at the so-called press conference.

    These are thugs, agents of destruction, professional liars! You ask them why Trump did it and they deflect. Why is the press so passive? There seems to be an almost sadomasochistic thing going on here, doing the same thing and expecting different results. Like Lucy withy the football I wish I didn’t have to look at Conway’s face and Huckabee’s face and listen to this fucking garbage all the time. It’s sick!!!

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  • Dan #109
    Jun 6, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    I just heard Kellyanne Conway on the Morning Show being asked about Trump’s horrendous remarks about the London Mayor.
    He, as you know, took his words out of context and made it seem like he was downplaying what happened.

    Taking words out of context to deliberately mislead, is the dishonest precess known as “quote-mining”!

    Quote mining
    (also contextomy or, when used to attack somebody, Breitbarting) is the fallacious tactic of taking quotes out of context in order to make them seemingly agree with the quote miner’s viewpoint or to make the comments of an opponent seem more extreme or hold positions they don’t in order to make their positions easier to refute or demonize.[2] It’s a way of lying.
    This tactic is widely used among Young Earth Creationists in an attempt to discredit evolution.

    Quote mining is an informal fallacy and a fallacy of ambiguity, in that it removes context that is necessary to understand the mined quote.

    I think we can guess where it was developed into a fine art!

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  • Dan

    Just for the record, I am opposed to sterilizing Trump. Is he a bad man? Of course, but….

    For the record I’m against it too and I shouldn’t joke about that sort of thing. You remind me that sterilization has some long dark history in this country. Not funny.

    You have family members that are too progressive? What does that even look like?! I can’t imagine it.

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  • Laurie 111

    Just for the record, I am opposed to sterilizing Trump.

    I thought my remark was funny. I just looked up sterilization in American history; you’re right; thought that was just a Nazi thing. Live and learn. Maybe one shouldn’t joke about such things, but black humor has its place. Hard to know where to draw the line.

    …too progressive?

    Poorly phrased. My mother can be a little annoying. My sister and I, with the help of her 14 yr old daughter, make fun of her sometimes (behind her back).

    Me: ISIS is terrible, right?

    My niece imitating my mother: We created ISIS!

    Me: what about this Russian hacking business?

    My niece imitating my mother: We have interfered in elections!

    Me: What do you think of Comey?

    Niece: I hate the FBI!

    What about….

    Niece: We, we, we, we, we! We did it! We caused it!

    You get the idea. —But my mother, as I think you know, is an exceedingly wise and enlightened person. That’s on the record too. And no joke.

    Here’s part of a recent exchange, a real one:

    Me: The FBI has a history of abuses? So? What do you want to do, ignore the fact that Trump broke the law and attempted to obstruct justice? I am sick of your articles.

    Mom: No Dan
    Trump must go along with his sick VP and surrounding fascists.
    This article was just about getting a realistic view of the FBI. Corrupt. Don’t forget J Edgar Hoover, Roy Cohen, the McCarthy House on UnAmerican activity. Trump’s father was involved with these hoodlums as he and his family are now. Despicable but they did not come from nowhere. You need to know the history of this country and you get some sense of how we got here now.
    I hope you come up Sunday and stay the week.

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  • It has been puzzling commentators why Trump picked a civil litigator, his long time attack dog Marc Kasowitz, rather than an experienced defense lawyer to defend him in the potential upcoming matters with Congress and the Mueller investigation. It transpires that you reap what you sow. No one else would act for him. He approached several of the top law firms and they all said no. The main reasons were he won’t listen to advice, he might not pay given how prone he is to stiffing contractors and it would be bad for their reputation acting for a person like him.

    Maybe finally Trump is going to end up facing the consequences of his actions if this all turns out very badly for him.

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  • One has to wonder after Trump’s bizarre tweets about the “TRAVEL BAN” which his administration and lawyers are desperately trying to not call a travel ban, and have argued as such in court, if he is deliberately trying to sabotage it to cover his own arse in case of any future terrorist attacks in the USA. Then maybe he can try to blame everything on the courts for blocking it twice. We know he’s stupid and impulsive but can he be so stupid as to call it, in caps, what he knows was one of the main points it got thrown out because of?

    I suspect he’s now so deep in damage limitation mode with Comey about to testify, and fearful of impeachment or being accused of obstructing justice, that he is prepared to sacrifice anything and anybody, including the security of the USA, to save his own arse. If so then America could be in for a very dangerous time if he makes every decision on how it affects him personally rather than the country he’s sworn to protect. He can’t play the fiddle but I have little doubt he’ll play golf while Rome burns.

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  • alf

    I know what you meant. I always give the benefit of the doubt on these word choice matters but then I thought, the enemies of secularism would like nothing better than to wail and gnash their teeth about scary atheists who support infanticide, social Darwinism, euthanasia (see the dirty panties thread) and now add forced sterilization to the list! This website seems like a cozy conversation between a group of like minded friends with the occasional random theist tossed in from time to time. I’m sure I have no idea of how many people are lurking in the shadows. Come out, come out where ever you are.

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  • Let’s see what is going to come out next in the senate investigation!

    Trump-Russia probe ‘bigger than Watergate’ says Clapper

    The Watergate scandal of the 1970s is not as big as the Trump-Russia investigation, the former director of US national intelligence has said.

    “Watergate pales” with what the US is confronting now, said James Clapper.

    US intelligence agencies believe Russia interfered in the US election and they are investigating alleged links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

    But there is no known evidence of collusion and President Donald Trump has dismissed the story as “fake news”.

    US intelligence chiefs are to be questioned on the matter by the Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday.

    Senators say they plan to ask Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein whether Mr Trump attempted to derail the Russia inquiry by firing former FBI boss James Comey.

    The testimony comes a day after the Washington Post reported that Mr Coats told his associates Mr Trump had tried to persuade the FBI to back off their investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his ties to the Kremlin.

    But Mr Coats, through a spokesman, said on Wednesday he never felt pressured by Mr Trump to end the investigation and suggested he would not reveal his discussions with the president.

    The following day will see the much-anticipated testimony of Mr Comey, who was leading one of the Russia investigations before Mr Trump fired him.

    He will be quizzed on his interactions with the president before he was sacked.

    Mr Comey reportedly told Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he did not want to be left alone with the president.

    Mr Clapper’s comparison with Watergate will raise eyebrows – President Richard Nixon resigned amid an unprecedented American political scandal involving spying, burglary and a cover-up.

    The former intelligence chief, speaking in Australia, said it was “absolutely crucial” for the US – and the world – to get to the bottom of the allegations.

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  • I don’t care what the enemies of secularism think, and I don’t think we should get too hung up on words . We know what’s right and wrong. What’s obscene is this healthcare bill, and the denial of climate science, and the lies.

    (Wish I hadn’t posted all that personal stuff about my mother. I act like a stupid moron sometimes.)

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  • I have just been watching Tv coverage of the senate committee questioning Comey about the FBI investigations and discussions with Trump!

    What a contrast in Comey’s professional perceptions and understanding of what can be presented openly in public with clarity, what is confidential, what is prejudicial to on-going investigations, and what is classified and restricted to closed sessions for security reasons – when compared to Trump’s reckless Twitterings, blitherings, and petty tantrums!

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  • Dan

    I admire your mother for her stand on many issues and for the fact that she took action in the past to prove her devotion to human rights. Silly stories couldn’t change that. I do wonder what it must be like to have a liberal family. Your comment made me chuckle.

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  • Laurie

    Thank you.

    Depends on which liberal family we’re talking about, I suppose.

    I am very lucky, have (and have had) great parents. And your folks must have done something right; you’re great. Love all your comments.

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  • Aaarrrgghh!! Free market fundamentalism. As bad as religious fundamentalism. These Republicans! We’ll have another meltdown, in addition to the one in the Antarctic and elsewhere. And Trump likes this. I miss Obama.

    Short-term profit. Collusion. Corruption. Greed. Stupidity. Vile, sick. These Republicans are indeed monsters, agents of destruction: immoral, unenlightened, and spiritually (?) impoverished.

    The legislation proposes a significant unwinding of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, one of President Barack Obama’s signature achievements, which imposed new regulations across the financial system in the wake of the 2008 meltdown.

    Passage was a major victory for Hensarling, a fierce fiscal conservative who opposed the bank bailouts under the Bush administration and has led a crusade for years against Democrats’ response to the crisis.

    Hensarling argues that the economy and consumers would benefit from his vision in which market forces rather than government regulation would keep the financial system in check.

    (Quotes from Politico)

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  • Phil (others)

    The Russia thing is important, but it bothers me that no one on the major cable news channels is talking about all the terrible things that are happening: an abominable religious liberty order, financial deregulation, climate change denial, attempting to repeal the ACA, and so much more. A lot more.

    The mainstream media is failing us, for the most part. That’s very serious. It is like People Magazine; they put the same people, like Jennifer Aniston, on the cover – because it’s easy; it works, it brings in the dough. I know someone who used to work for a magazine; that’s what they do, how they think: status quo and bottom lines.

    Capitalism does not appear to be working in the US. Do you agree?

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  • Something tells me that Comey’s testimony and the ongoing investigation will not result in impeachment. Nor do I think the Republicans will necessarily do that bad in the mid-terms. There are just too many “low information” (or “stupid”; take your pick) voters. Trump may even win a second term. This idea of the Democrats being “status-quo” has caught on, and in spite of everything and whatever happens the low information/stupid voters like that idea and would vote for a monster rather than vote to maintain what they’ve been told is the status quo. I just spoke to a Trump supporter who lives in my building. Like talking to a wall. My God. He despises Hillary, of course. And thinks the media is unfair to Trump. This guy’s a doctor! Dumb ass.

    This mentality has spread to the UK too, I think. Anything but the “status-quo”. Give us an earthquake, an asteroid, anything… Pathetic how dumb people are. It’s awful. I don’t blame them; I really don’t; it’s not their fault entirely. It is only partially their fault. Many reasons why people are dumb: bad parenting, too much TV, too much… Hell, I don’t know what it is… Genes? That’s no answer.—I think it’s all of these things – along with a whole host of other factors.

    My pessimism and my own brand of misanthropy is back.

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  • Dan #126
    Jun 10, 2017 at 8:28 am

    This mentality has spread to the UK too, I think. Anything but the “status-quo”. Give us an earthquake, an asteroid, anything… Pathetic how dumb people are. It’s awful.

    It has spread to the UK to some extent, but there again, Theresa May’s government which was dancing on puppet strings to placate its nutty right wing, called snap election to “win a massive landslide increase in its majority of MPs” – and in a classic own goal, has lost its overall majority in the House of commons, so is trying to patch together some support from the 10 Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party MPs to prop up a lame government in a “hung” parliament!

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  • Dan

    The panic I felt during and after the election has now morphed into a toxic bitter resentment and despair over the prospects of this country for the future. Will we recover from the damage these greedy psychopaths are doing to the country and the Americans and to others around the world? My natural optimism is being ground down into the dirt. My husband is sick to death of my declarations involving the collection of new nationalities for the good of the generations to come. 🙂

    I’ve had the same experience with Republican Trump supporters as you describe above. Hopeless pure aggravation. No possibility of productive civil discussion. They bark out Fox news slogans and shallow ignorant statements. Ask them to explain the statement and they give you a blank stare. “Low information” is an extremely generous adjective. I will use that term in public but the words that are in my mind are; stupid, brainwashed, selfish. I’ll take my lumps for that because I do feel bad about it to some degree. I don’t want to feel that but in the moment I can’t stop my mind from going there.

    A few days ago my two daughters were here for a visit with a couple of their friends. I pressed them for their opinions about the twenty somethings and how they think the next election will go. Are they informed about the situation? Are they upset? Are they thinking about the future consequences of the actions of the administration?
    I was not very satisfied with their answers and although they were disgusted with Trump, much of the criticism seemed too shallow for my liking. Except for one of them…

    One of the friends just graduated from Suffolk U. (political science) here in Boston and she was discouraged. She said that she is worried about the midterms and she doesn’t count on the young people to turn out for a decisive vote. She hopes the boomers flood the voting stations and vote against Trump & co. Neutralize him at the very least. She just landed her first job as manager for a campaign for a city rep of town of Cambridge (where Harvard, MIT, etc are located across the river from Boston proper.) I know my daughters will jump in and volunteer for this. I reminded the friend that there is a huge science crowd in that town and no doubt, high number of atheists and secularists in general. I mentioned that there must be some resources for the campaign to help her access this ever increasing voting block. I will look into this for her and if she agrees I will do what I can to help her liberal candidate.

    I want the midterms to get here quickly and be over with so we’ll know better where we stand.

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  • I am encouraged by the young in the UK starting to wake up. They played a large part in kicking T.May in the teeth.

    My daughter circulated a spreadsheet to help people with strategic voting for maximum May protest. Both my kids seem increasingly politically engaged. My son is shifting his post MA work to involve an attempt at creating share-able social narratives and identities rooted in place yet independent of migration status. He sees a rather poisonous closing in and narrowing here that is quite toxic and needs challenging.

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  • Phil #129

    My eldest son has been very active too and has made me proud. He is openly promoting paying more tax for the good of us all. He was criticised (tongue in cheek) by one of his friends for the job he does and how much he earns and his views contradicting with one another. He sees no contradiction if he pays more tax.

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  • Phil & Olgun

    They played a large part in kicking T.May in the teeth.

    This was mentioned in news coverage of that election here. A distinct note of optimism. Very encouraging about all of the participation.

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  • Dan

    Capitalism does not appear to be working in the US. Do you agree?

    Yes. It and the psychopaths at the helm have purchased too much power. Regulation not deregulation is needed. The very worst thing to happen is taking the brakes off the financial sector yet again or rather even more!

    Mixed economies work because of the different times scales the sectors can work in. Same old drum here sorry, but doing everything we can to lengthen investment cycles and make money from services, sustainable manufacturing, and resources, the circular economy, is essential to create stability and the independent thriving of all communities free from the threats of global upset.

    The US media need remaking. The BBC at least raises the bar to middlebrow-with-integrity in the UK. It shouldn’t work but it does surprisingly well. In the US the FCC needs a complete revamp and should mandate much higher standards. “Fox News” is a blatant oxymoron. Its viewers know less actual facts than those watching no news.

    Al-Jazeera (Eng) continues to rise in my estimation.

    The problem is entirely rooted in the ownership of the media. This is the means of mass control after religion gives up the (holy) ghost.

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  • Ollie, Laurie..

    My friend’s daughter a lawyer at 25 is earning enough money to buy a small north of England village….almost. She is an enthusiast for much higher levels of taxation at her level.

    And bravo to your boy, Ollie.

    I’ve always thought this might be the last (or penultimate) hurrah of the scared and mentally elderly. There will be a back-swing because the current phobic chicken little screeching is too ugly and blatantly wrong to sustain. I hope for longer term stability if we can only lift more people out of poverty so they become less biddable by the klepto-scaremongers.

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  • Laurie

    Our polling station is about ten houses up from us in a small hall. They have some youth events there sometimes and it can get a little noisy with them piling out at the end of the night. I have only had my windscreen wipers ripped of only once in twenty four years. It was very different listening to their noisy exchanges walking past our house because we knew they had just been to vote and as Jeremy Corbyn said, a vote for hope.

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  • Oh, on a more personal note, I believe, mobilising the Turkish Cypriot community, we managed to get a racist, sexist, lying, anti gay marriage conservative out of a north London borough.

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  • Olgun #135
    Jun 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Oh, on a more personal note,
    I believe, mobilising the Turkish Cypriot community,
    we managed to get a racist, sexist, lying, anti gay marriage conservative
    out of a north London borough.

    Unfortunately it looks like Theresa May is going to drag a bunch of homophobic, anti gay marriage, anti-abortionists from Ireland, into more influential parliamentary positions!

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  • Olgun #137
    Jun 10, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Hope those who lost their seats pull her down.

    Careful what you wish for!

    Boris of the Trump-hair is manoeuvring!

    I am disappointed that she did not lose a few more seats, and be forced to learn to work with a consensus of views. –
    Still – there could always be a few sick-leaves or by-elections!

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  • Can’t say it any more than hope on my part but, surely people have seen him for what he is. A novelty as a mayor, scary as a minister but definitely not a prime minister?

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  • Laurie

    “My natural optimism is being ground down into the dirt.”

    I am, of course, sorry to hear that; but I have to say that I smiled when I read that line; it’s a good line, funny in a weird way. It would be a good line in a movie.

    I can’t be a pessimist if everyone else is going to turn into one too! Let me cheer you up: We’ll be okay. How’s that? I mean it too (I think).

    (I paid you a nice and sincere compliment somewhere above. 123. Did you see it?) ????

    I like what Phil said about the young people starting to wake up. That’s true (I think). I was annoyed and disappointed, however, when I heard that many of Sanders’ young supporters ended up voting for a libertarian flake rather than the steady and imperfect Hillary. And some of these politically engaged and conscientious young “progressives” voted for the outsider Trump, I’m afraid.

    This deregulation business is awfully troublesome.

    Alan, or Olgun or Phil,

    Is Corbyn that bad? My mother likes him so I figure how bad can he be? You can be honest. Don’t feel constrained. Alan is deeply critical of the guy, considers him to be a real phony and unprincipled.

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  • Dan #140
    Jun 10, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Is Corbyn that bad? My mother likes him so I figure how bad can he be? You can be honest. Don’t feel constrained. Alan is deeply critical of the guy, considers him to be a real phony and unprincipled.

    Corbyn is like Trump! He is really good at telling crowds of supporters what they want to hear, and motivating crowds of superficial ideological thinkers to voice support.

    He is absolutely hopeless at organising an effective political party which puts forward properly evaluated and co-ordinated policies, or picks out big issues which need to be challenged.
    If a crowd like the sound of disjointed sound-bites and will cheer, that’s fine by him: – even if the crowd adopted the perverse ideas from reading the junk news propagandists and have no idea what the bigger implications are!
    He is quite prepared to throw away whole packages of workers’ / citizens rights, and trade agreements, which have been hard won in Europe – and then pose as the “workers’ and business (martyred?) champion”, trying to win bits of them back again, in negotiations from a weak position.

    Like Theresa May, his priority has been to adopt vague bits of nutty UKIP brexiteer policies, to regain votes from the mindless rebels of UKIP, and become prime minister, without regard to the damaging effects of those policies to the national interest.
    The UK has been, and still is suffering from a popularist, divisive consensus, of fanciful, asserted, ignorant, stupidity!

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  • For me Corbyn is fatally incomplete, as are the people he most immediately surrounds himself with (this latter based on personal experience.) The problem is an understanding of industry/business beyond coal and steel.

    I have no problem with most of his policies at the moment. Tuition fees are a monstrous imposition on the young and will cripple lives for the poorer student. It is socially divisive without limit. Strategic re-nationalisations of some infrastructure/utilities is exactly where we need that longer term investment and a degree of dirigisme like the Chinese. But he may not manage to release the potential of the entrepreneur until he gets more sanguine about what old money businesses truly need to die and not be preserved as a social salve. I see very little understanding of economics and the levers they offer for change. (How can we create a banking system like the German one working with the Mittelstand sized companies? George Osbourne, onetime conservative chancellor of the exchequer, pushed for this but was thwarted by the time scales needed for such a culture change. Labour seems to shun policy making that could be mistaken for supporting wealth generation. ) His tacit support for Brexit covered by a feeble remain stance angers me now and speaks to a horrid populist pandering not consistent with a brave outward facing, modern Britain.

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  • I like your mother even more now Dan.

    Late last night on Newsnight, afraid I didn’t catch the German ministers name, just changed channels, commented on the fact there is a new movement in the EU against austerity and against conservatism. France, Germany and now U.K. Corbyn stance to talk to everyone and understand and work together globally is the new way. No more Britain on its own regardless of Brexit. If it happens then I see nothing but good come out of it. I am proud of the young and others that voted for this. Setting up the country as a business, as Trump has, can only bring conflict. Other EU countries must now see that the brits are not as callous as Brexit made them seem. A much better platform to work from. I don’t want those Labour leaders that just want to play in the old world. They may have the experience but it is the elision of the old world. Trumps world of conflict and lies. Business lies that everyone thinks is an inextricable part of our lives. First comes trust between us all then those who did not back Corbyn had better work in the new world or they will become dinosaurs. Of course there are problems with the ultra left thinking and his policies on Cyprus go against mine but I see it as a chance to find the new middle ground and have a true left and leave out the ultra.

    Osbournes view is fine but the same can be said of their other policies. They are there to solve a problem. The problem is that solving problems costs money but they chose austerity instead of investment. People cheating the dole is a problem. More people to sort out the mess is needed not job cuts. Same right across the spectrum. We pay either way and I would rather we paid as a whole rather than putting all on the poor. The conservatives are still trying to use the old colonial stick. Time to break it up into match sticks.

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  • I forgot to mention that the German minister also said that there has been record number of young voters in France, Germany and the UK.

    How embarrassing that we are looking to the young to show the way!!

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  • Just a note on benefit fraud. Of Benefit and Tax Fraud and excluding other criminal and business frauds which greatly exceed these two, benefit fraud is 8% of tax fraud. The poor perpetrate BF, the rich mostly TF. Fraudulent benefits are spent at the local supermarket buying food and clothes. It is re-injected into the economy. TF often is about money going off shore to be hidden. It is often taken out of the economy and benefits few in the taxing nation. The same will tend to apply to the grander frauds that dwarf both these two.

    All Fraud £73bn
    Tax Fraud £18bn
    Benefit Fraud £1.6bn

    Like immigrants (net a boon to the UK economy) benefit fraud is mostly a scare story used by the kleptocrats to distract from their own ongoing thefts and ensure they retain power creating unity through a mostly phantom enemy.

    President Nixon almost had it right. Universal Basic Income. Cheap to administer and exactly the way that tricks like quantitative easing should have been applied, rather than benefiting the rich who take money out of the economy as a habit.

    UK 2013 figures.

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  • Thanks for the figures Phil.

    It is a scare tactic but I can tell you from 40 years of working in council estates that it generates from what they see next door, a lack of empathy and understanding and of course more fuel is added by the unscrupulous. Those with no carpets on their floors complaining about the Indian family next door with a disabled child having a great big people carrier and three televisions, lift etc…. The English give up too easily on their claims and all manner of obstacles are put before them. The Indian culture seems not to notice the hardships. They press and press and get what they entitled too. Osbournes view makes it harder only for the English culture. Of course, the Indian family next door is better educated in most cases. So many flats I went into that had people living in them that were not supposed to be with the rent book being in the name of a homeowner who has not declared it. Hackney council would turn a blind eye because the “landlord” had just taken care of three peoples housing problem instead of just the one. People see all this on their estates and can only think it an injustice. Never mind that they are probably cheating some themselves.

    The police and fire brigade have claims left right and centre for early retirement because of backache. I know one of each profession who did just that. The fireman was caught landing heavy suitcases onto the top of his car and was punished by being made to do two years touring schools and then his pension came up and he got all of it. No other punishment. I saw the policeman fraudster laying out on a powerful motorbike down the high street a few years ago. He was a horrible shit in School and as bad as a policemen. They hear about the much larger frauds but it is not really in their world.

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  • Olgun #147
    Jun 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Theresa May has demonstrated her abilities to throw away a firm stable position and trade it in for a worse one.
    Fortunately she has done this to the Tory party, – and some may take this as a warning and stop her and her brexiteers, from doing it to the country!

    Apparently and unsurprisingly, trying to get an agreement between the Tories and the religiously deluded Irish of the DUP, is taking some time and running into some difficulties!

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  • Olgun

    How embarrassing that we are looking to the young to show the way!!

    In America [and Britain] the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
    Oscar Wilde

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  • Interesting stuff from former NY attorney Preet Bharara who was also fired by Trump while he was investigating Trump associates in a similar way to Comey. Their stories seem to agree on many levels.

    He says Trump tried to cultivate a relationship with him too, kept phoning him inappropriately, Preet reported this to the AG’s office as he was not comfortable with it, then Trump fired him the day after Preet refused to take yet another phone call from Trump. This was in the midst of Preet investigating Tom Price’s share dealings which appeared to be insider trading.

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  • Olgun

    Not sure myself, Olgun. Cynical, as always, I guess he means – and this is what I wanted to convey – that “experience”, as opposed to youthful naivete (in the best sense), is not always a good thing. That’s how I interpreted it. But he may have meant something else.

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  • Does Price have conflicts of interest? Does Pruitt? The National Review says no. So the answer is yes. Conservative media is a hundred times more biased tha the so-called liberal media.

    Price, Pruitt, DeVos, Bannon, Spicer, et al., and Trump’s surrogates: agents of destruction.

    I can hardly repeat that phrase enough. It is the most apt description there is.

    We need campaign finance reform, and we need to lift the “biddable” people out of poverty, as Phil says, and improve the public school system, especially in the Red states, but across the board. We can do this!

    Arkrid, I’m not an engineer like you, but I share your feeling of frustration about not being able to fix something that is broken.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #151
    Jun 11, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Interesting stuff from former NY attorney Preet Bharara who was also fired by Trump while he was investigating Trump associates in a similar way to Comey.

    There are improper defences to vested interests, hints of corruption, and attacks on the honest and competent all over this “swamp” administration!

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  • In America [and Britain] the young are always ready to give to those
    who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
    Oscar Wilde

    Dan/Olgun, The irony is I took the known wit and often sarcastic/sardonic Wilde at his ‘word’. It read to me as if Wilde was poking fun at the young thinking they have all the answers. Idealism and naiveté is not the exclusive province of the young, but these attributes are cultivated in the young mind. Generally maturity changes these into more realistic worldviews.

    But Olgun’s link seems to disagree. In fact the ‘explanation’ [IN CONTEXT – THE AMERICAN INVASION] reads to me as almost satire. Implying that young boys and girls correct their parents in front of adults and strangers flies in the face of every parental convention I’ve ever read from that period of history (perhaps less so today). Take the opening salvo of the explanation: “From its earliest years every American child spends most of its time in correcting the faults of its father and mother […]” – this is surely satire. It seems to say that a toddler begins correcting her parents immediately; that this continues into childhood and obviously into adolescence. This is ridiculous on its face, particularly given the period.

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  • @#154 There are improper defe{re]nces to vested interests, hints of corruption, and attacks on the honest and competent, all over this “swamp” administration!

    It seems that at last, some state prosecutors agree with this, and are prepared to take action!

    Officials in Maryland and Washington DC are expected to sue Donald Trump for accepting payments from foreign governments via his business empire.

    The lawsuit cites the US constitution’s emoluments clause, which says no federal official should receive a gift or a fee from a foreign government.

    The legal action alleges “unprecedented constitutional violations” by the US president, the Washington Post reports.

    It would be the first such lawsuit filed by government entities.

    A non-governmental organisation, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, lodged a similar legal action in January.

    At that time, Mr Trump told a reporter in the Oval Office the case was “totally without merit”. He has not yet commented on the latest move.

    Another legal headache – Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News

    The constitutional challenges to Donald Trump’s ongoing business ties as president just got some state-level muscle behind them.

    While the lawsuit by the District of Columbia and Maryland isn’t the first attempt to force the president to more fully separate himself from his real-estate empire, the two governments bring a new level of legitimacy and resources.

    The first hurdle the states face is whether they have the proper legal grounds to file this case. Given that this is judicial terra incognita, there’s no telling how the courts will react.

    There’s never been a businessman-turned-president quite like Mr Trump, so there’s never been a lawsuit quite like this one.

    If Marlyand and DC are able to proceed, the case could turn out like many other Trump-related controversies, where the president’s own words – and those of his associates – are used against him.
    While Mr Trump pledged to extricate himself from his day-to-day business operations, his son Eric has acknowledged he still gives his father regular financial updates.
    Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway also was recently reprimanded for praising daughter Ivanka’s clothing line.

    Mr Trump is already contending with inquiries by congressional committees and a special prosecutor into his campaign’s alleged links to Russia, which American intelligence agencies accuse of meddling in last November’s US election in a bid to boost support for the property developer.

    Since taking office in January, Mr Trump has turned day-to-day control of his real estate empire and other assets over to a trust managed by his adult sons.

    But he has not sold them off as critics said he should do in order to avoid conflicts of interest.

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  • Steven #156

    I thought the same thing at first , because of who said it, but, to me, it sort of says what Dan intended.

    The child is born into the NEW world and it will be at home in that world whereas the older generations become more and more detached. The child then has to keep ‘teaching’ its parents what’s new and not to act in the old stuffy way.

    The young now , in politics, are saying we will teach you what we want for when we take over. No more of your political ramblings. No more of your hate and suspicion. No more of your wars.

    Wilde is saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new. IMO!

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  • Hi Olgun. I think you’ve been reading too much of Dan’s philosophizing (all due respect, Dan!) I agree with your interpretation if taken at face value, I’m merely saying I find it (that interpretation) preposterous! Are there young people that can teach us a thing or two? Of course! But to imply that ALL children of ALL adults have lesson upon lesson of their magical nascent wisdom to impart to their dim parents is simply ridiculous on its face. I will repeat verbatim this quote (my emphasis) – “From its earliest years every American child spends most of its time in correcting the faults of its father and mother […]” That’s just ridiculous. Simple as that. That’s really all I can read into it. Because the great Oscar Wilde said it does not make it so. He’s wrong.

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  • Hi Steven

    Not sure how you can agree on the face of it, as per my account, and accuse me of philosophising?

    Maybe he is misleading in his use of the word ‘teaching’. Maybe he meant learning which I have done since the first child?

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  • Olgun, I was merely being rhetorical in a clumsy manner (including a clumsy jab at our friend Dan; philosophy is far too dusty a topic for me); I certainly mean you no offense. In fact it seems I’m the one who does not “understand”. Or I understand all too well and simply disagree. I can agree that parents can learn from their children in the manner you allude to with your last sentence. But that is an altogether different kind of learning than the one ascribed by Wilde (or interpreted/misinterpreted after the fact).

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  • I agree, another learned opinion would be nice. Alas, it seems to be a slow news day here. What I find dusty others find exciting. Perhaps we need to talk about soiled Orthodox Jewish women’s panties?! That was [ahem] a joke…

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  • If any further proof were needed of the full extent of Trump’s narcissism and mental instability you might want to force yourself to watch the 11 minutes of this video of Trump’s so called cabinet meeting today. It isn’t easy viewing. Trump started off by saying he’d achieved more in 143 days than almost any president in history and then forced every person in the room to give a little speech praising him and saying what an honour it was to work for him. You can imagine Kim Jong Un doing similar things and then executing anyone who doesn’t praise him lavishly enough with an anti-aircraft gun.

    Not a single person who works for Trump can have any shred of self respect left, if they had any to start with of course.

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  • Arkrid,

    Yes Trump is like a petty dictator, has many of the same sensibilities and proclivities. Moreover, his policies suck. He is not a good man, and he needs to go, along with this hyper-capitalism (obsession with the free market), this current tidal wave of libertarianism (and racism is part of its history), which will eventually destroy us: our country and our economy.

    Olgun, Steve

    Thanks, Olgun. I was not familiar with the original article.

    I think an article or an aphorism or a play or a novel is good if there’s enough there to generate different interpretations and differences of opinion.

    There’s a marvelous dialogue, which was in a book I had; it was not quite the complete works of Wilde but had a lot in it. (Lent it to someone. Lost it.) But these two guys are having a very civil difference of opinion about age versus youth: one guy praises the young and expresses criticism of the old, whereas the other guy does just the opposite. What was interesting and funny is that all the arguments, from both characters, had a ring of truth to them – in spite of the fact that they kept contradicting each other.

    I suppose the young in this or any context is, or can be, a double-edge sword.

    I think it is safe to say that Wilde was enamored of youth – and I most definitely do not mean it that way.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #164
    Jun 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    It isn’t easy viewing.
    Trump started off by saying he’d achieved more
    in 143 days than almost any president in history
    and then forced every person in the room
    to give a little speech praising him
    and saying what an honour it was to work for him.

    His solution to the terrorist and immigrant problem is “an outstanding success”! –

    Apart from obstructing visits of people from the wrong countries on a basis of racial discrimination, causing chaos at airports, and being blocked by various courts as illegal and unconstitutional! 🙂

    Demonstrating the “impressive” level of “legal expertise” and “administrative competence” of Trump and his team! 🙂

    A US appeals court has upheld a [lower court] decision blocking President Donald Trump’s revised “travel ban” on people from six mainly Muslim nations.

    Ruling on a case brought by the state of Hawaii, the appeal judges found that the executive order violated existing immigration legislation

    It is a further legal setback for the president’s efforts to get the ban he promised his supporters.

    The dispute may end up being decided in the US Supreme Court.

    Those “so-called-judges” keep telling him he is wrong!

    Did they never go to Trump University to learn how to do Trump-style “great deals”??? 🙂

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  • I suspect that most people still don’t really understand everything that Trump is capable of or how far he is prepared to go to save his arse so I’m going to throw a few suppositions out. I have no doubt that Trump is already weighing up the possibility of firing Mueller, or at least ordering Rosenstein to do so, that if necessary and if he goes this route he’ll replace Rosenstein if he refuses to fire Mueller and go the full Nixon until he finds an AG who will obey him.

    Trump’s main concern seems to be Flynn and what he knows so his easiest way to get Flynn off the hook is to pardon him for everything that has or might have happened. The same might apply to everyone else accused of a crime such as Sessions and Kuschner for not listing meetings with Russians on their security clearance forms.

    It has never been tested but there seems to be the possibility that a President can pardon himself. Even if it is not clear one way or the other, Trump could just do it and force congress to prove otherwise. That would entail a legal case going up to the Supreme Court but let’s say Trump loses that case but simply ignores it, or indeed anything else Congress try to do such as impeachment. He’s protected by the Secret Service, he’s C in C of the armed forces. How do you physically remove him from office if he won’t go? What if in retaliation Trump gets his AG to charge everyone in Congress trying to impeach him with treason?

    In 4 years time what if Trump just refuses to leave office or let an election take place? Maybe he declares martial law, starts disappearing people who try to run against him. Appoints puppets who’ll just do his bidding to be Defense Sec and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and mobilises the army.

    On past performance we know that anytime Trump is attacked he doubles down, he has no morals so he has no limits to how far he’s prepared to go to win. I don’t doubt he’ll create a consitutional crisis without batting an eyelid, that he’ll use, and indeed exceed, every possible presidential power available to him and if necessary just claim presidential power if none exists. I think he’ll burn the country to the ground if necessary.

    I really wonder if the possibility exists of America becoming a dictatorship before enough people realise what is happening to stop it. That’s essentially what Russia is. People are being arrested in the hundreds at present for demonstrating against Putin. Maybe that’s what’s in store for people demonstrating against Trump.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #164
    Jun 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    It isn’t easy viewing.
    Trump started off by saying he’d achieved more in 143 days than almost any president in history, and then forced every person in the room to give a little speech praising him and saying what an honour it was to work for him.

    If we remove the delusional rosy-viewing bias blinkers, and move into objectivity mode, his statement is approximately correct!

    Trump started off by revealing he’d disrupted and destroyed more useful working systems in 143 days than almost any president in history, and then forced every selected sycophant yes-man in the room to give a little speech praising him and saying what an honour it was to work for him.

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  • Meanwhile Trump is back to casting aspersions, and making innuendos, about anyone who looks into his dubious and incompetent activities!

    Having sacked one investigator into Russian connections, he is now finding the replacement investigation “bothersome”!

    Trump casts doubt on Russia investigator Mueller

    President Donald Trump has questioned the neutrality of Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in last year’s US election.

    Mr Trump said Mr Mueller’s friendship with James Comey, who had been heading the inquiry until sacked from his role as FBI chief, was “bothersome”.

    Mr Mueller has not given any details of his investigation but US media have reported he is investigating Mr Trump for possible obstruction of justice, both in the firing of Mr Comey and whether Mr Trump tried to end an inquiry into sacked national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    President Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia, calling it a “witch hunt”.

    He did so again in his interview with Fox & Friends on Friday, saying “there has been no obstruction. There has been no collusion.”

    He called the accusations of obstruction of justice “ridiculous”.

    A president who is so on top of the job, and brilliant in the appointments he has made, that he is certain that there has been no infiltration of his administration by foreign agents”: – even before the investigations have been concluded 🙂 – or maybe not!!!

    Asked whether Mr Mueller should recuse himself from the inquiry because of his friendship with Mr Comey, Mr Trump said: “Well he’s very, very good friends with Comey which is very bothersome. But he’s also… we’re going to have to see.”

    He also said that “the people that’ve been hired were all Hillary Clinton supporters”.

    . . . and as we know, in the realm of Faux and friends, there are “Democrat facts”, “Republican facts”, and “alternative facts”! – While scientific facts and historical facts, seem to be in rather short supply!

    Asked on Fox News whether Mr Mueller should step down, Mr Trump said: “We’re going to have to see.”

    Mr Mueller was given the role of special counsel by the justice department to lead its investigation into alleged Russian interference after Mr Comey was sacked on 9 May.

    When Mr Mueller was appointed Mr Trump was said to be furious, but the special counsel won widespread initial praise from both Republicans and Democrats.

    However, lately some influential conservatives have intensified their attacks, openly calling for Mr Mueller’s dismissal.

    Trump advocate Newt Gingrich urged the president to “rethink” Mr Mueller’s position, saying: “Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair.”

    The New York Times has reported that Mr Trump has considered firing Mr Mueller but has so far been talked out of it by aides.

    Earlier this month, Mr Comey testified to Congress that Mr Trump had pressured him to drop the investigation into Mr Flynn.

    Mr Flynn was sacked in February for failing to reveal the extent of his contacts with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington.

    Mr Comey testified he was “sure” Mr Mueller was looking at whether Mr Trump had obstructed justice.

    US media said Mr Mueller was also examining whether Mr Comey’s sacking was an attempt by the president to alter the course of the investigation.

    It does does look like Trump is weighing up what he thinks the Republicans in Congress will let him get away with!

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  • So having been in denial over Russian meddling in the election, having sacked one investigator, cast aspersions on the replacement, Trump continues to babble blaming others, when the investigations into the facts of the situation are still on-going!

    Mr Trump said the Russian investigation should focus on the Obama administration

    Yep! – Anywhere except his appointed cronies associations with Russia and his commercial connections!

    President Donald Trump has accused his predecessor Barack Obama of inaction over alleged Russian interference in the US election in 2016.

    Mr Trump said Mr Obama had learned well before the 8 November poll about the accusations and “did nothing”.

    His comments followed an article in the Washington Post which said that Mr Obama learned last August of President Vladimir Putin’s “direct involvement”.

    The alleged meddling is the subject of high-level investigations in the US.

    The Post said Mr Obama secretly debated dozens of options to punish Russia but in the end settled on what it called symbolic measures – the expulsion of 35 diplomats and closure of two Russian compounds. They came in late December, well after the election.

    What? A professional debate with US officials on options?
    He did not blabber it all over Twitter!
    What sort of president was he? 🙂

    The Post reported that Mr Obama was concerned he might himself be seen as trying to manipulate the election.

    Now who would possibly accuse Obama of “manipulating the election”? 🙂
    (No prizes for answers)

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  • Hi folks. I’ve been rather quiet in here recently. Partly because of something in my own life which is weighing a bit but also because the situation in the USA is so depressing it’s getting harder to keep facing it and writing about it. It grinds you down over time. What Republicans are trying to do on healthcare, or tax cuts for the rich as it really is, is so appalling it just feels like a huge tsunami of evil rolling towards you and nothing you can do to stop it. The constant spin and lies, Trump now trying to blame Obama for not fixing the Russia situation he still won’t even admit exists. That would even seem to be an oxymoron but of course logic plays no part in any of this.

    There have been a couple of things I thought were interesting but never got round to posting about. A couple of weeks ago on one of the MSNBC shows, maybe Lawrence O’ Donnell but I can’t remember, there was a Republican congressman who had once been a climate change denier but is now fighting actively to try and prevent it. What changed him was his son telling him this was real and he’d better get his act together. What was fascinating was why he had always denied it though. One reason was he knew very little about it despite the reams of info which he had never bothered to look at. The main reason though was that Democrats were on one side of the issue so he was automatically on the other. Whatever they liked he hated just from a default position. Facts didn’t matter until his own son finally got through to him.

    This single case encapsulates for me almost the entirety of the partisanship and hatred which now exists in Republican politics since the Reagan era. It’s why they are so desperate to repeal Obamacare despite having nothing better to put in its place. In fact what they replace it with is almost irrelevant in terms of how many people they hurt in the process. A Democrat brought it into law and not just any old Democrat but a black, muslim Kenyan one and they hate him and everything he accomplished with a vitriol that defies description. If 20 million people lose their healthcare then tough because they want to erase everything Obama did from history.

    Obamacare was not so dissimilar to Romneycare which Republicans seem to have had no problem with and I’m sure that if Obamacare had been introduced by a Republican president they’d defend it to the hilt. But facts don’t matter. All that matters is Democrats are for it so they automatically hate it.

    In a political climate that is so partisan and vitriolic there can never be any meeting of minds across the aisle. Hatred of the other side drives everything for Republicans. A hatred so deep that even the possibility of collusion with Russians by their own side in what amounts to treason is less important than just opposing everything that Democrats want. A hatred so deep they’ll stick with someone as disgusting as Trump rather than put country first. Watching Marco Rubio sucking up to Trump now after what they said about each other during the campaign sickens me. The same with Ted Cruz. Gingrich attacking Mueller ferociously now after initially saying what an honest man he was and that hopefully everyone would just shut up and let him get on with his job.

    This is not just a matter of corrupt and evil politicans. It’s an electorate who feel the same way about the other side and enable the politicians to act as they do. It’s a cancer in society that needs to be cut out if things are to ever improve.

    This article today about the number of presidential appointees who have been convicted of crimes in both Republican and Democratic presidencies is enlightening.

    Since, and including, the Nixon years there have been 120 indictments and 89 criminal convictions of Republican presidential appointees. The score for Democrats is only 3 indictments and just a single conviction. Even if you exclude the Nixon years and Watergate there have been 44 indictments and 34 convictions for Republican presidential hirees from Gerald Ford onwards, the vast majority of those under Reagan and Bush 2. It’s hard not to conclude that Republicans appoint liars and crooks into office and that Democrats don’t. It’s also abundantly clear that this is what Trump is doing too and of course that he is both of those himself.

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  • Yes. Ditto. Well said, as always. That sort of commentary – the truth, basically – is not heard often enough on the news. And it’s nice to hear, for a change, something other than “both sides are too blame.” No.— Any democrat who supported any of the proposals that have been put forward by the Republicans since Trump got in would not be compromising; he or she would be engaging in something other than compromise, something more along the lines of doing harm to the people. But they would work with the Republicans if it seemed reasonable and right to do so. That can’t be said of the republicans.

    It’s a cancer in society that needs to be cut out if things are to ever improve.

    I posted an article and comment (43) recently on the Falwell thread about red states and how so many voters vote agains their own interests, and how we can perhaps remedy this over time. Not sure how good the comment is, but I am trying to come up with solutions; it’s so damned hard.

    (Phil, I wrote something on the Life Driven thread. You are under no obligation to read it. Just letting you know.)

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  • There’s one more thing I wanted to write about and that’s racism. For a long time now I’ve been saying that racism is a much greater factor in American society, its politics, and in why Trump won the election than most people want to admit or even think about. New analyses of the election results are bearing this out though.

    While Internet polls raise numerous questions about how representative they are, one thing they are very good for is longitudinal studies. Since the email addresses of the respondents are known, they can be contacted multiple times to see how their attitudes change over time. A new study based on 8,000 Americans surveyed in 2011, 2012, and again in 2016 gives some insight into why some people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 switched to Donald Trump in 2016.

    First, what didn’t matter: trade and the economy. What did matter: feelings toward blacks and especially towards Muslims. The study showed that 37% of white Obama voters had a negative view of Muslims and 33% said illegal immigrants were “mostly a drain” on society.

    Then also more evidence here:

    Rural Americans Resent Minorities, non-Christians, and Big City Dwellers

    A New Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that people in rural areas are more troubled about changes in the country’s demographics than about the economy. About 70% of rural Americans say their values are different from those of people who live in cities, and 40% say their values are very different. The divide shows up very clearly in politics. Urban counties went for Hillary Clinton by 32 points; rural ones went for Donald Trump by 26 points. That’s a 58-point spread.

    One point of disagreement is on immigrants. In rural areas, 42% see them as a burden while only 16% of city dwellers say that. Clearly, Trump’s anti-immigrant pitch struck a chord in small towns and villages. Larry Redding, a retired canning factory employee in Pennsylvania, summed it up with: “They’re not paying taxes like Americans are. They’re getting stuff handed to them. Free rent, and they’re driving better vehicles than I’m driving and everything else.” Many rural residents say that abuse of government benefits go hand in hand with race. It is a variation of Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queen,” which also had racial undertones.

    Another theme the poll revealed is many rural Americans believe Christianity is under attack. Sixty percent believe that, despite the fact that most blacks and most immigrants from Mexico are actually religious Christians. Even rural Democrats believe that Christian values are under siege. Given this knowledge, though, it is not clear what the Democrats can do. Turning the calendar back to 1950 isn’t an option.

    There wasn’t a single specific policy detail in Trump’s entire campaign, just a litany of how great everything he would do was going to be, but he tapped in very effectively to the racism and fear of immigrants that infects rural American society. The wall to keep out Mexicans and central americans, the travel ban to keep out muslims and a crack down on the blacks who supposedly rule all city centres in a grip of crime and fear.

    Combined with the fear of christianity being under attack, this lurking racism, which I’m sure most of the Trump voters would not admit to or maybe even realise they suffer from, is what enabled 62 million people to vote for a man who is patently mentally ill, a crook, a pathalogical liar and the most unfit person to ever hold the office of president. In years to come, sadly perhaps not for a long time though, Americans will look back on this as one of the most shameful episodes in the country’s history.

    One of the things I’ve found ironic over the years is how America likes to think of itself as the land of the free and home of the brave but is actually gripped to a large extent by fear. During the cold war it was fear of ruskies – reds under the bed. During the McCarthy era it was fear of jews. After the Berlin wall came down it was fear of the Chinese and since 9/11 it’s been fear of muslims. America also likes to think of itself as great but in every election I can remember there’s been some slogan or other based on “make America great again”. How can it both still actually be great but also need to have its greatness restored? Again it’s fear underlining all this. Fear of losing, or having already lost, an imaginary greatness that in reality is just thinly veiled racism and religious panic because things are no longer like they were in the 50s.

    This jingoism has never existed in other western democracies. We Brits would never dream of automatically parotting that the UK is the greatest country in the world as most Americans will do without even thinking twice. Well maybe we once were back in the days of Empire but that was 150 years ago. Religion is not much of a factor in our politics, or indeed our daily lives, and therefore nor is abortion, homosexuality, transgender bathroom issues and all the other BS that infests American politics. Racism exists everywhere to some extent but nothing like it does in the USA.

    Religion poisons everything but so does racism and the two things both work in very similar ways. They both divide people into “our” dog pack and “their” dog pack and foster hatred of anyone who doesn’t think or look the same way as you do. Take them in combination and that’s why a man like Donald Trump who would be a laughing stock in any other country’s election is now your president.

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  • Religion poisons everything but so does racism and the two things both work in very similar ways.

    Too simple, Arkrid, although I share your disgust with most of the aspects of religion that I know about. Religion does not poison everything – and if religions (plural) do, they poison in different ways, as there are different religions, cultures, contexts. Nor is religion similar to racism in all or even most cases. My friend, an African scholar and a late-Wittgensteinian, wrote this. It’s part of a longer message .

    “Try growing up in dire poverty in Nairobi in a Church – and – mosque – going society, then imagine that there are churches were even poor people can directly experience “revelation”: imagine that as a vehicle for the suffering, to band together as second-to-none in God’s eyes, and feel exalted. And assist one another. And perhaps to contest powers around them and make more of a space for their own autonomy.”

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  • In rural areas, 42% see them as a burden while only 16% of city dwellers say that.

    Is that racism or ignorance (lack of education)? Or both? It’s both.

    This presidency is so fucked up it isn’t even funny! I’m sick of it, and sick of the complacent, gleeful, unencumbered reporters on TV. It almost seems like a conspiracy concocted by the devil to destroy the very soul of America, to poison its life blood, and to ultimately destroy us in a physical sense. (A lot of saber rattling right now vis-a-vis Syria, North Korea.)

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  • It is perhaps no surprise, that the global view or the US has gone downhill in most countries since the beginning of the Trump presidency!

    Trump causes ‘major’ shift in global view of US: Pew

    Donald Trump’s presidency has had a “major impact on how the world sees the United States”, a large new study says.

    The survey, by the Pew Research Center, interviewed more than 40,000 people in 37 countries this year.

    It concluded that the US president and his policies “are broadly unpopular around the globe”.

    The survey shows only two of the 37 countries have a better opinion of Mr Trump than they had of his predecessor Barack Obama: Israel and Russia.

    People were surveyed at the end of Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency, and after the start of Mr Trump’s term – they were asked if they had faith that the president would do the right thing for world affairs.

    This is how some US allies (and Russia) responded:

    Do you have confidence in the president to do the right thing globally?

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  • Meanwhile Trump’s ban may have been partially restored, but his half-baked plans keep running foul of the law!

    A federal court in Michigan has blocked the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqis living in the US who have been targeted in recent immigration raids.

    US District Judge Mark Goldsmith expanded an order he issued last week, initially halting the removal of 114 Iraqi nationals from the Detroit area.

    He sided with immigration advocates who argue the detainees face persecution or death if returned to Iraq.

    The move comes as the US Supreme Court reinstated parts of a US travel ban.

    Judge Goldsmith ruled in favour of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which said those being deported – many of whom are Chaldean Catholics, Sunni Muslims or Iraqi Kurds – faced physical danger in Iraq.

    “Such harm far outweighs any interest the Government may have in proceeding with the removals immediately,” he wrote in a seven-page opinion and order.

    The judge last Thursday ordered a hold in the deportation of Iraqis in Michigan for at least two weeks while he considered whether he had jurisdiction over the matter.

    But on Monday he granted a request from ACLU lawyers to expand the order to apply to Iraqi nationals nationwide who face final orders of removal from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    The decision applies to some 1,444 Iraqi immigrants who have been issued deportation orders for overstaying a visa, or due to a criminal conviction.

    But only 199 of those Iraqis were detained during recent immigration raids, federal prosecutors said in court on Monday.

    Many of those detained had convictions for serious crimes like rape and kidnapping, according to ICE.

    The decision gives those facing deportation at least until 10 July to find legal representation to appeal against the orders, according to the judge.

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  • Yep. Get poisoned.

    Yes; I suppose you’re right.

    I just don’t like blanket statements like “religion poisons everything”; because we know that but they don’t. Perhaps this is one blanket statement that is true. Even so, it behooves us to try to understand why religion is “true” for so many, and to really dig deep, to try to penetrate into the inner meanings associated with this phenomenon – rather than just repeating the obvious, that “they” are all deluded and poisoned. It is an unpleasant and arduous task, but is to be preferred to issuing statements that are obvious to you and me, and to be preferred to continuous judgment and condemnation.

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  • phil rimmer #179
    Jun 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    even poor people can directly experience “revelation”

    Yep. Get poisoned.

    Literally in the case of shamen and other users of psychedelic drugs – in addition to those immersed since childhood in “the opium of the masses”!

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  • Another little insight into the deeply damaged Trump persona and that no matter how much we might like to think we understand how overwhelmingly huge his ego is it’s still probably even bigger than that. Hanging on the walls of his golf resorts in Scotland and the USA is a framed cover of the March 1st 2009 Time magazine issue with a photo of the Donald filling it and exultant headlines about his Apprentice show.

    Except there never was a March 1st 2009 issue of Time magazine. The cover is a fake and a rather badly done one at that. He who keeps ranting about fake news seems to have no problem creating it himself to laud his self perceived greatness. Mad as a box of frogs.

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  • Dan,

    If I said Religion Contaminates Everything, perhaps it is easier to see what I think the real intent of the aphorism is. Poisoned to death is not the claim but degraded, lessened, infantilised, a natural humanity thwarted, etc. etc. It has gone everywhere, yet there is not a single virtue it once achieved in the long ago that cannot now stand proud on its own two feet. Its residuum just degrades a once noble history. GUT V1.0 (600BCE was its best before date.)

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  • Phil,

    I agree. (I gave you a “like.”)

    I posted this before and no one commented. I think everyone should here this speech. It’s the most important political speech in 40 years. I’ll try again. He may go a bit too far, wants to abolish capitalism altogether; and he’s too critical of Obama and Hillary; but apart from that his remarks about Trump and his mad agenda are spot on; this is the truth; the bitter truth, Arkrid, Phil, Laurie, others, please check this out, if you can.

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  • I see that Trump is still
    “draining that swamp” of elitist corruption INTO Washington!

    Trump holds $10m fundraiser at his hotel

    US President Donald Trump has hosted an event at his hotel in Washington, to raise cash for his 2020 re-election campaign.

    Protesters greeted the president with cries of “Shame!”as he arrived at the $35,000 (£27,000) per person bash.

    Many were unhappy with the Republican healthcare plan, holding placards that said “Healthcare, not tax cuts”.

    Holding the fundraising event at Trump International Hotel has increased concerns about conflicts of interest.

    Richard Painter, who served as the chief ethics lawyer in the White House for former President George W Bush, said it was unacceptable for the president to be potentially benefiting financially from this kind of event. He should have picked another hotel, he said.

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  • Paul Manafort has now registered retroactively as a foreign agent after admitting to receiving over $17 million for lobbying the USA on behalf of the Ukraine. Along with Flynn he’s now guilty of a felony for failing to register foreign interests in advance and declaring the earnings. So Mueller now has both of them firmly by the balls to turn witness against Trump if necessary. It’s not exactly looking good for Kushner either who shortly before election day got a $285 million loan from Deutsche Bank while they were embroiled in Russia money laundering accusations from NY state legislators. Maybe Kuschner did nothing provably wrong here but it’s curious how everything connected with Trump points to Russia. It boggles the mind though how both Manafort and Flynn thought they could get away without registering foreign interests and also work in a presidential campaign or even its administration under the full spotlight of media attention and not get found out. Are these people just stupid, or so arrogant they don’t think the law applies to them? I’m sure the latter is what Trump thinks but he seems to surround himself with people equally stupid and arrogant.

    However Manafort’s $17 million looks like chump change compared to what Trump’s latest lawyer appointment has just been found out on.

    The Donald hired Jay Sekulow to, in essence, run his Russiagate PR campaign. Sekulow is not only a lawyer, but also a talk show host and frequent guest on right-wing television programs. Thus, he’s very smooth in front of a microphone or a camera. He’s also an activist, as leader of several ultra-conservative political PACs that raise money by targeting poor people and frightening them into making lots of small donations to combat the evil Muslims, or the evil undocumented immigrants, or the evil Obamacare, or whatever other nuisance is the evil do jour.

    On Wednesday, some very troublesome information was made public: Sekulow has reportedly steered a large amount of the money collected by his PAC Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE) to himself, to members of his family, and to their businesses. How much? A mind-boggling $60,000,000.

    In any event, this story immediately raises two questions. The first is: Does Donald Trump know anyone who doesn’t have major skeletons in their closet? The second question is: Does anyone in the White House understand how bright the spotlight on them really is?

    It seems every day there’s a new revelation that on its own would have been the major scandal of an entire presidential administration but for the Trump administration it’s just yet another horror story in a list that’s now so long we can barely keep up with it. One has to wonder if the Trump administration actually does any vetting at all of those who work for it or even in some incomprehensible twist if they only appoint crooks. I suspect there are very few honest men, if there are any of those left in American politics, who would want to work for Trump anyway.

    Meanwhile the average of two polls just conducted show that only 1 in 7 people (14%) approve of the Senate version of the healthcare bill. That means even most die hard Trump voters are against it. Republican state governors are also coming out against the bill now that the CBO has scored it as 22 million people losing their healthcare entirely over the next 10 years and it cutting $770 billion from Medicaid.

    So why did the House vote for, and now the Senate are pushing for, something that will cripple the country’s healthcare system, cause millions of deaths and you would hope guarantee that Republicans never get into office again in living memory? I have no answers. It’s beyond all comprehension for this Brit because we don’t have people in my country who think or act like Republicans do. It’s like an entirely different species to me, some sort of weird alien race I can never hope to understand. And yet there are still some congressmen who don’t want to vote for it because it’s not harsh enough!!

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #188
    Jun 29, 2017 at 10:26 am

    It’s beyond all comprehension for this Brit because we don’t have people in my country who think or act like Republicans do. It’s like an entirely different species to me, some sort of weird alien race I can never hope to understand.

    I don’t want to be pedantic – BUT aren’t you forgetting that mini Trumpoid, and now Faux News political journalist: – Farage?

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  • Arkrid

    Yes you do have people in your country that think like republicans do. I have met them and heard them. They are the ones that are over here. And I assume that there are quite a few “moral monsters” (James Baldwin) where you are, cut from the very same cloth as Bannon, Rand Paul, Cruz, Spicer, Trump, et al.

    I know a few people from the UK and have heard a few British reporters on Fox News and elsewhere who are as bad as any American.

    My former neighbor, a landlord, was from the UK; he was in love with Ayn Rand. He was a greedy libertarian, a sleaze bag (but kind of nice too, if you can believe it). Don’t kid yourself. The UK is not as sick as we are (different culture, history, system, etc.), but, at their worst, they are as bad as we are. They are out there. There’s a British guy on Fox news who is as bad as Hannity. You probably have nice friends and just haven’t had the displeasure of running into our Republican counterparts over where you are.

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  • Look, of course there’s a few in the UK and other western democracies who aren’t that disimilar to the Republicans but it’s a few. There are 62 million over there who thought that electing president psychopathic 6 year old was a good idea.

    Talking of which it’s curious how the epithets that president 6 year old uses when he can’t control his tweet impulses any longer are ones that really apply to himself. “Low IQ crazy Mika”, “Psycho Joe”, “Crooked Hillary”. I wonder if deep inside him, the storm that rages inside Trump is caused more by self loathing than directed at those he attacks. However such psychobabble is not really my field of expertise.

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  • Trump’s insanity and Russiagate are consuming so much oxygen that much of what is going wrong in other parts of government flies under the radar. Here’s a piece about how Tillerson is gutting the State Department to the point where after only a few months it’s almost totally disfunctional. He’s blocked all incoming hires of foreign service officers, blocked all lateral moves within departments and three people have to leave before one can be hired. Furniture from now empty offices litters the hallways.

    As the article goes on to say, the reasons are unclear. America is not in a time of austerity, the recession is long past, unemployment is low and tax revenue high. Money is not in short supply. Nonetheless the very fabric of government itself is being dismantled. Maybe the savings are to go into more tax cuts for the rich as the USA closes its borders and bows out of all foreign involvement. I don’t imagine North Korea needs much of a state department either. Is that to be the future of the USA? A country hiding behind its own borders, no immigration, no participation in world affairs or climate change, a madman at the helm and his bunch of incompetent sycophants squabbling and bickering as Rome burns around them? They don’t know how to run a government so they just close it down instead?

    I suggest you all pay less attention to the things that are making the most noise and pay more to what Carson is doing at HUD, Devos at Education, Tillerson at State, Perry at Energy.

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  • Arkrid,

    Yeah, you’re right; we’re much worse.

    What is Carson doing? I forgot about that creepy psychopath. I’ll look into it. And Devos? Price? How much destruction has there been while Trump deliberately distracts us all with his tweets?

    By the way – and I’ve said this before – Mika Brzezinski is the biggest jackass on TV. Bar none. Trump was wrong to say what he did. But we all know that he’s unfit.

    That being said, I really can’t stand that lady. She just says “yeah” and “right”, makes a semi-pertinent, short comment once in a while, and the rest of the time reads the prompter, checks herself out in the camera like she’s looking in the mirror, rolls her eyes, pouts, makes faces, looks self-conscious. She is so irritating, never says anything. And she gets paid big bucks. Watch that show some time if you can. She’s a joke. Is it on over there? And Joe is all over the place and keeps interrupting her (which is rude, even if she is an air head). I hate Morning Joe.

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  • Dan

    I started watching Morning Joe a few years ago because I hated all of the other shows worse than M.J. so I guess that’s not much of an endorsement. I know you’ve said in the past that you weren’t a fan of Mika and that’s your opinion and that’s fine. Joe aggravates me everyday with his blustering and interrupting and off topic rants, but all in all, I still think the show is ok. Her eye-rolling doesn’t bother me because I think she has the patience of a saint to put up his mansplaining and talking over the top of her. I hope she IS well paid for that. I would have walked away from that table a hundred times.

    But anyways, setting all of our opinions aside, (because no one is holding a gun to our heads and forcing us to watch that show) I was taken aback by the new low that our ignorant pig of a President has displayed. I won’t say I’m surprised because his life-long record of treating women like sex objects is well established. The level of arrogant self entitled misogyny that Trump displays on a daily basis frightens me and I fear that we only see the tip of the iceberg on his bad behavior with women.

    I’m watching M.J. right now and Mika and Joe have just come on and made their statements about Trumps bizarre tweet storm against them. I thought she was very graceful about the whole thing. I hope American women are outraged by this attack of her but of course there will always be those gender traitors who jump right into victim blaming, complicit with the sadistic oppressive bullies like the one sitting in the oval office right now. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders making supportive statements and excuses for Trumps despicable behavior won’t be forgotten by women here. Trump is psychologically twisted. The whole thing was just ugly.

    After the segment of their reaction to the latest display of hate, the show has now moved on to important policy issues as they should. As Arkrid said in #192, these infantile outbursts are a distraction from the destructive actions going on everyday in D.C.

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  • Here is an excellent article on why people vote Republican from someone who used to be one and then swapped sides. It throws a lot of light on something I have often said in here I struggle to understand as well as tips on how Dems can communicate with Repubs in ways that they may better understand.

    So, here is why your friend voted for Trump. She was voting for the perceived Republican Brand, not for Trump.

    The Republicans have done an excellent job of defining their party in terms of class and social status. This status is primal and tribal. It is not easily shaken. Here are four components that underlie Republican Party affiliation:

    1. Perceived Affluence—If you were born into wealth, Republicanism is a family tradition and, frankly, an obligation. If you weren’t, voting Republican suggests an economic class status that is free to obtain.

    2. Power Association—If you are a Republican, you need no one. The brand conveys that you are quite capable of going it alone and succeeding. The feeling of strength that comes with that is intoxicating, even if it is not remotely true.

    3. Economic Justice—Republicans are convinced that Democrats want to take taxpayers’ hard-earned resources and give them to the undeserving out of misguided sympathy. The favor in this perceived redistribution effort is intolerable to Republicans.

    4. Faith Fortification—The Republican Brand is seen as an imprimatur of the faithful. It is a stamp of Christian fidelity, regardless of any actual ascription to Christian principles.

    This makes a lot of sense to me. Some of the things that I constantly see being criticised about Dems are they can’t shake off the image of being wishy-washy liberals, they are weak, they always seem to only manage to bring a knife to a gun fight, Repubs vote in lockstep, organise and get things done, Dems vote their conscience and thus divide and conquer themselves.

    Reading this article and then thinking about it and writing about it has caused me to consider this. On points 2 and 3 above about Power and Economic Justice it strikes me that underlying a lot of Repub philosophy is actually something very Darwinian and “survival of the fittest”. That the strong should succeed on their own merits and the weak shouldn’t get handouts or social care, they should be left to die out and leave the strong to improve the general fitness of the species. How extraordinarily ironic then that such a philosophy should be espoused by people who in the main don’t even believe in Darwin because their faith, Point 4, makes that impossible for them.

    So this suggests an entirely different strategy in trying to persuade Repubs why the Trumpcare bill is so bad. Instead of whining it will take away healthcare from 22 million people which I suspect most of them don’t give a damn about as long as they aren’t one of the 22 million how about the argument that a strong and inclusive healthcare system makes a for strong, fit and productive workforce? That in turn leads to full employment and high tax revenues which can then be spent on the military so that the USA can crush all the other puny humans. World domination could be within reach again with a healthcare system that turns every American into a superhero, a paragon of fitness, capable of doing two full time jobs instead of just one. Americans who can dig coal faster than anyone in the world. Americans who can drill for oil in the harshest terrain and fell mighty redwoods with a single blow. Americans who can lift and assemble the huge lumps of wrought iron and gas guzzling V8 engines that are needed to build proper cars like daddy drove in the 50s not the flimsy little ricemobile imports they are stuck with today. All this could be yours but for the lack of an inclusive healthcare system.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #191
    Jun 29, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Look, of course there’s a few in the UK and other western democracies who aren’t that disimilar to the Republicans but it’s a few.

    I think they are handled quite differently in Europe, as the supporting uneducated sheeple herds are much smaller and more transient.

    There are also much more stable professionally qualified teams of civil servants, so presidents do not have such sweeping powers to rapidly change staff by making political appointments. – These are of course the very systems using expert advice, which Trump hates!

    French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has been placed under formal investigation over an alleged European parliament funding scandal.

    The allegations were passed to French investigators who have opened a case.

    The parliament suspects some €5m (£4m; $5.4m) went to assistants of Ms Le Pen’s National Front (FN) who were not working for MEPs but were actually engaged in FN party work in France.

    The National Front has denied the allegations.

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  • Arkrid

    Regarding how to talk to Trumpists about health care:

    When trying to discuss universal healthcare with the super capitalist free market Trump crowd I’ve had some success with the idea that if they really are as pro-business as they say they are then why are they supporting the idea of job based health insurance? As a former small business owner I can say that all of the paperwork and financial responsibilities of dealing with employee health care plans is a drain on the business in time and money. How can we compete with international companies that have all of this taken care of by their governments? Entrepreneurs here in the States are being strongly discouraged by all of this health insurance red tape and financial responsibility. If only all American citizens and residents would chip in and take the onerous business of health insurance away from our beleaguered small business owners then just think of how American businesses would surge ahead! American insurance companies are really the great evil here. They’re profiting handsomely by preying on our ingenious young entrepreneurs.

    Conclusion: If we really do support our excellent Capitalist free market system then we need to remove the burden of health care from the companies both large and small and make the free loaders chip in and pay for their own health care insurance. (Do not say the word “taxes”).

    This conversation is aimed at the very people described in comment 196. Personally, I have a different view of why universal health insurance is necessary. It has to do with human rights and compassion and good management policy.

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  • Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski now allege that three White House officials at different times tried to blackmail them into stopping attacking Trump or face damaging articles about themselves in the Enquirer magazine.

    Allegedly the WH officials said these stories could be made to “go away” if the couple fell into line. If any of this proves to be true it’s an outrageous abuse of the Executive branch power but it seems all too likely given Trump’s usual standards of behaviour and paranoid delusions.

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  • Laurie 194

    I thought she was very graceful about the whole thing.

    Yes, I acknowledge all your points. There are worse shows. I simply am too distracted by her facial expressions, her weird way of looking into the camera, etc., to enjoy the show. I turn it on once in a while. I saw the segment where the statement was delivered too. Even that seemed scripted. She’s too dumb to even make a statement on the fly. She wasn’t graceful; she is unencumbered and in over her head, seemed jubilant that morning after Trump had won in spite of her claiming to “be a democrat”, i.e. maybe caring about the issues.

    Trump’s tweets and Huckabee’s daughter defending the Don and Conway too and and all of this shit (reactionary politics gone mad, healthcare, class warfare, etc.) is starting to really depress and anger me in a serious way! And it has now entered my dreams. I dream of tanks and bombs now quite often, like I am in a goddamned war or something. Prophetic? “God” help us.

    (Mika might be intelligent and nice in real life but she should find some other kind of work, imho. And Trump is a sexist; but hell, we all knew that.)

    Happy 4th, Laurie. Stay cool.

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  • I’ve been listening to reports about the guy now working for Trump who is, apparently, committed to the great cause of voter suppression. And Sessions! It all makes sense now. I had a moment of clarity. Trump’s statement: “three million voted illegally” was not Trump being a buffoon; he is part of a conspiracy, led, presumably, by Bannon, to destroy our social state. This has been long in the making. They do not believe in Democracy.

    Far right radicals, with the aid of the religious right, are attempting to subvert our democracy. Propaganda and voter suppression, denigration of the press, lies, and the blurring of reality and unreality: all the classic marks of incipient fascism, tyranny, oligarchy, authoritarian regimes, totalitarian societies… Call it what you will. It’s all of those things. How much harm can they do? would the harm be irreversible? and can our system of checks and balances protect us? I don’t know. But these people are extremely dangerous and nefarious. A crisis is what it is; and most people are just driving their cars and drinking beer. That’s how it always is. The illusion of normalcy… Why is every reporter on CNN and MSNBC smiling? Come on; no more kidding around. Let’s get serious. (That means you too, Alec Baldwin. Your impression isn’t funny anymore. Not to me, it isn’t.) The reporters should be frowning! Frown once in a while! Cry! Scream! Let it out! This is horrible! I hear that the number of people who will lose their health insurance is now over thirty million, according to the CBO’s latest calculation…

    If Justice Kennedy retires under our would-be fuhrër, worse evils than the travel ban (just the beginning) will befall us.

    Where’s the outrage? Where?

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  • Dan

    I agree that the M. Joe statement was scripted. I expected that and I would have done the same thing. I think they were being very careful about the wording and had decided ahead of time just what would be disclosed and what would not. No matter what we think of Mika (I like her just fine) she came off as a victim and Trump came off as an infantile misogynist and I’m pleased as punch about that.

    Can you believe what a caustic ass Conway was about this whole incident? I can’t even stand to look at her when she talks and then she goes and praises Trump for “hitting back even harder”. I can’t even express what a treacherous vile person she really is. And then there’s Ivanka the dainty princess who claims to be an advocate for women’s rights – give me a break. She’s an advocate for wealthy women who want to rake in a few more million bucks but poor women with too many kids, no education and no medical insurance? Then she’s nowhere to be found.

    starting to really depress and anger me in a serious way!

    Yes I agree. Dan, is this how the Obama haters felt for eight years? Is it the same thing? I don’t want to turn into those haters. Tanks and bombs? That seems like a guy thing but I do have a certain appreciation for the nice neat Utilitarian solutions in this life. What would Jeremy Bentham do? I feel the old man glaring at me right now from his auto-icon display over there at the University. Present but not voting.

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  • LaurieB #202
    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Can you believe what a caustic ass Conway was about this whole incident? I can’t even stand to look at her when she talks and then she goes and praises Trump for “hitting back even harder”.

    I’ve seen that sort of attitude before, – but that was when I was in playgrounds, separating squabbling naughty children from problem families!

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  • Laurie,

    Tanks and bombs! No, Laurie, let me explain; you misunderstood me as I wasn’t being clear. I was not suggesting military action when I mentioned my now recurrent dream; I am violently opposed to war; I am a frightened victim in the dream, not a soldier. In the dream I am hoping I am not blown to smithereens. (Funny how I am always looking out the window in my dream and viewing the war stuff from my old building (9E), the place I grew up. One time I saw a mushroom cloud!)

    A guy thing? Yes and no. Don’t kind yourself; a lot of female war mongers out there too, unfortunately. Not as many, I hope.

    Hatred is bad in itself. Or is it? As Melville said, only fools hate. But it’s just a word; it’s all about context. One can hate racism and sexism; that does not make one a “hater” like the Obama haters. This is semantics; and you’re right; one can let hate poison one – even of one is right minded and just. You raise interesting points, make me think.

    “Violently opposed to war.” Do you think that would have made my hero Mr. Wilde smile?

    Bentham? Who’s he?

    Just heard a conservative schmuck talking about that ancient lie again: the free market. Yup; the free market’s gonna take care of everything! Bullshit!

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  • Dan

    Yes I saw someone parroting the same old free market crap on TV today. What the hell is wrong with these people? Just try telling them that free market is fine for some things but not for everything – like health care, easy example. They look at you like you’ve got two heads. Do they even try to consider different solutions to a problem? They seem incapable of dealing with any thought that doesn’t fit into their safe little boxes. Fear based thinkers.

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    (I hope the wise and discerning Hillary-hating Bernie or Bust folks are feeling rueful and sick.).

    WASHINGTON — In the four months since he took office as the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt has moved to undo, delay or otherwise block more than 30 environmental rules, a regulatory rollback larger in scope than any other over so short a time in the agency’s 47-year history, according to experts in environmental law.

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  • The links between Trump and Russia, just keep getting more and more tangled, making his denials, diversions, and attempts at distractions from investigations, even more suspicious!!

    The US president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, has admitted meeting a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer last year.

    The encounter is thought to be the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and a member of Donald Trump’s inner circle.

    A special prosecutor is investigating whether Trump associates colluded with alleged Russian efforts to influence last November’s US election.

    Both Mr Trump Jr and the lawyer say the campaign was not discussed.

    Mr Trump Jr was accompanied by the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and then-campaign head Paul J Manafort, meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya at New York’s Trump Tower on 9 June, two weeks after Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination.

    Mr Trump Jr said in a statement that they discussed a suspended programme for Americans to adopt Russian children.

    He said it “was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow-up”.

    Mr Kushner’s lawyer said he had previously disclosed the meeting on security clearance forms.

    President Vladimir Putin suspended the adoption programme in 2012 after the US Congress voted in a law to allow the US to withhold visas and freeze financial assets of Russian officials thought to have been involved with human rights violations.

    Ms Veselnitskaya, who played a key role campaigning against the law, said “nothing at all was discussed about the presidential campaign.

    “I have never acted on behalf of the Russian government and have never discussed any of these matters with any representative of the Russian government.”

    Last week Mr Trump said interference in the election “could well have been” carried out by countries other than Russia and interference “has been happening for a long time”.

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  • So – fresh from ignoring and rejecting all the sound expert advice on climate at the G20, and messing up big-time – followed by egotistically pronouncing his damaging efforts a “wonderful success”, Trump has moved on to rejecting the expert advice on trusting Putin, and is now posing as an expert on diplomacy!!

    US President Donald Trump says it is time to work “constructively” with Russia after his meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

    He tweeted that Mr Putin “vehemently denied” interfering in the US election at their first face-to-face encounter at the G20 on Friday.

    But Mr Trump’s position contrasts with some of his own senior officials.

    The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said the US “can’t trust Russia” and “won’t ever trust Russia”.

    She told CNN that talking to Russia should never mean that the US “take our eyes off the ball”.

    And US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said interference in the 2016 election remained an impediment to better relations with Russia.

    A special prosecutor is investigating whether Trump associates colluded with alleged Russian efforts to influence last November’s US election.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Mr Trump accepted Mr Putin’s assertions that the allegations were not true.

    He (Trump) said the pair discussed forming “an impenetrable Cyber Security unit”, prompting derision on social media.

    Prompting derision on social media as can be seen on the link!

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  • Further to #208 –

    Donald Trump Jr met Russian lawyer who promised Clinton information

    US President Donald Trump’s son has admitted meeting a Russian lawyer last year who he says had promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

    But Donald Trump Jr said that Natalia Veselnitskaya had given no “meaningful” material on the presidential candidate.

    Also at the meeting, first reported in the New York Times, were the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign head Paul J Manafort.

    US officials are investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

    The FBI and Congress are both looking at whether Trump campaign officials colluded with an alleged Kremlin plot to undermine Mrs Clinton’s campaign. The inquiries have yet to show evidence of collusion.

    The meeting with Ms Veselnitskaya, said to have links to the Kremlin, took place on 9 June 2016 at New York’s Trump Tower, just two weeks after Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination.

    It is thought to be the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and a member of President Trump’s inner circle.

    After the New York Times first reported the meeting on Saturday, both Mr Trump Jr and Ms Veselnitskaya confirmed it had taken place but said the US presidential campaign was not discussed.

    On Sunday, the Times said that Mr Trump Jr had agreed to the meeting after being offered information that would potentially prove detrimental to Mrs Clinton, who was Democratic presidential candidate at the time.

    The paper cited three White House advisers briefed on the meeting, and two others with knowledge for it, as its sources.

    The Times said Mr Trump Jr had told the paper in March that he had not met any Russian nationals to discuss campaign-related matters.

    It becomes increasingly clear that both greed and incompetence are involved in these Trump Team members associating with Russians, with little regard for legal requirements or national Security issues!

    Trump’s blustering denials over his failure to properly check out facts before posting the twitterings of Chairman Trump, and his interfering in investigations, can do nothing to reassure the American public, congress or officials about the required standards of propriety and security!

    Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

    If it walks like collusion and talks like collusion… what exactly is it?

    For the first time there appears to be direct evidence that three individuals in US President Donald Trump’s inner circle met with a well-connected Russian prior to the presidential election where the campaign – including the possibility of damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton – was discussed.

    Donald Trump Jr has denied that anything relevant came out of the meeting, but that could be beside the point. Intent is key, and this may end up just one piece of a particularly unseemly puzzle.

    This is also troubling news for the two other principals involved – son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chair Paul J Manafort – who are both embroiled in their own Russia-related controversies.

    In May the president insisted that he had not colluded with the Russians, “but I can only speak for myself,” he said. Some in his administration may have swallowed hard at that line – and now three individuals, if the New York Times is right, are leaking dynamite to the press.

    Try as they might, the Trump team cannot seem to escape this Russia-related vortex. It makes one wonder what grim reality spins beneath the surface, pulling everyone down.

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  • @ #209 – He (Trump) said the pair discussed forming
    “an impenetrable Cyber Security unit”,
    prompting derision on social media.

    I think this further illustrates Trump’s reckless ill-considered babblings which he presents in his egotistical delusions about his personal “diplomatic skills”!
    He is so blatantly incompetent at handling any major global issues, in the role of president, and so blatantly averse to seeking any competent professional advice, before making public statements, or announcing pubic policies!

    Donald Trump has backtracked on a proposal to work with Russia to create an “impenetrable” cybersecurity unit to prevent election hacking.
    Hours after promoting the idea on Sunday, the US president said that he did not think it could actually happen.

    The idea of a partnership with Russia was ridiculed by senior Republicans.

    It comes after Mr Trump’s first face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany on Friday, in which the pair discussed the issue.

    Mr Trump described the outcome of the talks as positive and suggested closer co-operation between the two nations.

    “Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit so that election hacking, and many other negative things, will be guarded and safe,” he said.

    The initial proposal immediately prompted derision from Democrats, as well as some Republicans who questioned why the US would work with Russia after the Kremlin’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election.

    Mr Trump shifted his position on Sunday night.

    “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a cybersecurity unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t,” he tweeted.

    Only a prize idiot or traitor, would propose the idea of a partnership with Russia on cyber security, while obstructing the FBI and congressional investigations into cyber abuses by the Russians with possible collusion from the Trump Team, – Not to mentions throwing out proposals for further sackings of US investigators!

    “Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit so that election hacking, and many other negative things, will be guarded and safe,” he said.

    Or – translated into real world of Trumpism!

    I discussed forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit between the Trump Team and Moscow, so that LEAKS ABOUT election hacking, and many other negative things, will be guarded and safe from investigation.

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  • I don´t really see why everybody is so upset about medling from without.. The USA have been medling in other countries politics since there is a USA.. And not always with the intended effect…
    We just have to wait for this blistering idiot to do something unlawfull and hope he gets impeached (but what will we get in return… President Pence… That´s not really a win-win-sizuation, or ist it?)

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  • Further to #208 and #210

    Evidence contradicting Trump Team denials, keeps coming to light!

    Donald Trump Jr was told that material on Hillary Clinton offered by a Russian lawyer was part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s election campaign, the New York Times has said.

    Publicist Rob Goldstone, who arranged the June 2016 meeting with the lawyer, stated this in an email, it reported.

    Mr Trump Jr has defended attending the meeting, saying the promised damaging information did not materialise.

    US officials are investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

    What is in the latest New York Times article?

    The paper reports that three people with knowledge of the Goldstone email said it indicated the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information on Mrs Clinton.

    But the paper says there was no mention in the email of any wider effort by the Russian government to interfere in the election, nor was there any indication of a link to the hacking attack on the Democratic Party that was first reported a week after the meeting.

    Mr Goldstone has previously denied any knowledge of involvement by the Russian government.

    Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC that the New York Times report was “a very serious development”.

    “It all warrants thorough investigation. Everyone who was in that meeting ought to come before our committee.”

    Mr Trump Jr’s statement on the matter on Sunday did not indicate he had been told of any Russian government involvement.

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  • Further analysis on the #213 link:

    Analysis: A grim situation for Trump Jr

    Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

    Whether by plan or happenstance, Donald Trump Jr is stumbling into an increasingly dire situation.

    The pattern has been set.
    The New York Times runs a story, Trump Jr issues his response, then the noose tightens.

    First he said the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was about adoption issues. Then the Times reports that Trump Jr thought he would learn damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

    The presidential son says he was conducting routine opposition research. Then the Times reports that he was told it was the Russian government itself that was coming to his father’s aid.

    In a traditional campaign, a foreign government’s attempt to offer incriminating information about an opponent – or even the hint of such an overture – would set off all kinds of alarms. The FBI would have been notified. Senior staff would have insulated themselves from incrimination.

    The Trump team was not a conventional campaign. And time and time again, it made novice mistakes or, more ominously, took unprecedented risks.

    Its candidate prevailed, but it has led to countless political headaches. Now it appears the president’s own family, and his presidency itself, could be in peril. They have only themselves to blame.

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  • Alan4discussion #209
    Jul 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    So – fresh from ignoring and rejecting all the sound expert advice on climate at the G20,
    and messing up big-time – followed by egotistically pronouncing his damaging efforts a “wonderful success”,
    Trump has moved on to rejecting the expert advice on trusting Putin,
    and is now posing as an expert on diplomacy!!

    US President Donald Trump says it is time to work “constructively” with Russia after his meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

    He tweeted that Mr Putin “vehemently denied” interfering in the US election at their first face-to-face encounter at the G20 on Friday.

    But Mr Trump’s position contrasts with some of his own senior officials.

    The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said the US “can’t trust Russia” and “won’t ever trust Russia”.

    And US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said interference in the 2016 election remained an impediment to better relations with Russia.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Mr Trump accepted Mr Putin’s assertions that the allegations were not true.

    It appears that Trump’s self-professed “wonderful” new co-operation with Putin, is less of a success than he claims”! No surprises there!

    Russia is ready to expel about 30 US diplomats and seize US state property in retaliation for Washington’s sanctions, Russian officials say.

    The threat came from Russian foreign ministry sources, quoted by the daily Izvestia. Other Russian officials have made similar statements recently.

    In December the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two intelligence compounds.

    The measures were a response to alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

    Russia was already under US sanctions.

    Ex-President Barack Obama acted against Russia after US intelligence sources had accused Russian state agents of hacking into Democratic Party computers to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the issue of the Obama sanctions with US President Donald Trump when they met in Hamburg on 7 July, Izvestia reported.

    In addition to expelling 35 Russian diplomats from Washington and San Francisco, the Obama administration imposed sanctions on nine entities and individuals including Russia’s GRU and FSB intelligence agencies. The US closed Russian intelligence compounds in New York and Maryland.

    Mr Putin refrained from tit-for-tat retaliation – unlike in previous diplomatic spats.

    Russia says President Trump presented “no plan to resolve the crisis” when the issue was raised in Hamburg.

    How very Trump-like!
    Many twitterings, but no plan when he met Putin for diplomatic discussions at the G20!

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  • It is quite obvious that the amateurish Trump organisation has no checks and balances with reporting what the different members and sections are doing!

    The just blunder along with little regard for laws, regulations or codes of conduct, and make denials and ad-hom attacks on any critics of their damaging incompetent actions!

    <emUS President Donald Trump’s son has said he did not tell his father about a meeting with a Russian lawyer who said she could help his election campaign.

    . . . and it seems neither did the other two, – and avoiding putting information on record, or concocting cover stories, – is hardly a surprising feature of spying or conspiracy activities! !

    Donald Trump Jr told Fox News the meeting was “just a nothing” but he should have handled it differently.

    He released emails showing he had welcomed an offer to meet the lawyer, who allegedly had Kremlin ties and material damaging to Hillary Clinton.

    US officials are investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

    Since he was elected, President Trump has been dogged by allegations that Russia tried to sabotage Mrs Clinton’s campaign.

    He has denied any knowledge of this and Russia has also repeatedly denied interfering.

    Asked by Fox News’ Sean Hannity if he had told his father about last year’s meeting, Mr Trump Jr said: “No. It was such a nothing. There was nothing to tell.

    “I mean, I wouldn’t have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff. It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame.”

    Donald Trump Jr, his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chairman Paul Manafort met Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York in June 2016.

    Trump Jr received an email from an intermediary, British music publicist Rob Goldstone, promising documents from Russia that would incriminate Hillary Clinton.

    At that time, his father was the presumptive Republican nominee and heading towards an election fight against his Democratic rival, Mrs Clinton.

    The meeting was reportedly arranged by Russian businessman Aras Agalarov and his son Emin, a pop star who was managed for a time by Mr Goldstone.

    One email from Mr Goldstone said the information they had been promised was “obviously very high-level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.

    Mr Trump Jr’s response to it was: “If it’s what you say I love it”.

    Paul Manafort – of the undisclosed Russian business payments as a witness?!!!

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  • Whereas any competent government and president would be actively investigating and checking approaches by foreign powers, which were trying to manipulate elections or recruit agents, traitors,, or bought stooges, Trump just utters knee-jerk denials and makes propaganda doubt-mongering attacks on critics.

    This link gives a list of Trump team denials and personal attacks, many of which are ridiculous – illustrating their utter incompetence and the unfitness to hold responsible presidential or government positions|!!

    Timeline of denials by Trump team of campaign talks with Russia

    24 July 2016: On CNN’s State of the Union, Mr Trump Jr is asked about a suggestion by the Clinton campaign that Russia is trying to help his father’s election, an effort that included the hacking and publication of emails of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

    “It just goes to show you their exact moral compass,” he replies. “They’ll say anything to be able to win this.
    This is time and time again, lie after lie… It’s disgusting, it’s so phoney…
    I can’t think of bigger lies. But that exactly goes to show you what the DNC and what the Clinton camp will do.
    They will lie and do anything to win.”

    Mr Trump Jr – I can’t think of bigger lies.

    With his determined efforts at psychological projection and diversionary denial, he seems to be making a serious effort at thinking up and presenting these big lies! 🙂

    THIS IS JUST A FIRST SAMPLE – On the link the list goes on!

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  • It looks like Trump is having severe difficultly in finding loyal stooges from the professionals outside his incompetent clique of relatives and acquaintances!

    Donald Trump’s pick to lead the FBI has rejected the president’s depiction of a probe into alleged Russian meddling of the US election as a witch hunt.

    “I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt,” Christopher Wray said about the former FBI director who is leading the special investigation.

    Mr Wray also told a Senate hearing he would quit if the president asked him to do anything illegal.

    The last FBI director, James Comey, was fired by the US president on 9 May.

    The US president earlier on Wednesday tweeted: “This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!”

    Mr Wray told the Senate panel on Wednesday: “Anybody who thinks that I would be pulling punches as FBI director sure doesn’t know me well.

    “I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law, and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period.”

    The nominee said he was “very committed to supporting” the work of special counsel Robert Mueller.

    Mr Mueller, who was described by Mr Wray as “a straight shooter”, is a former FBI director who is now leading the special inquiry into alleged Russian attempts to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

    Mr Wray also faced questions about emails belonging to Donald Trump Jr – the president’s eldest son – arranging a meeting with a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin.

    The nominee told senators he was unfamiliar with the emails.

    Senator Lindsey Graham read out the text of the emails to him and asked if Mr Trump Jr “should have taken that meeting”.

    “I would think you’d want to consult with some good legal advisers before you did that,” said Mr Wray when pressed by the South Carolina Republican.

    “Any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation state or non-state actor is the kind of thing the FBI would want to know”, he continued.

    Mr Wray added that he has “no reason to doubt” the assessment by US intelligence agencies that Russia sought to influence the 2016 election in Mr Trump’s favour.

    Last month, Mr Comey told a congressional hearing that Mr Trump had requested a pledge of loyalty to him, which Mr Comey said he had refused to give.

    Mr Wray declared: “My loyalty is to the constitution, to the rule of law, and to the mission of the FBI.

    “And nobody asked me for any kind of loyalty oath at any point during this process and I sure as heck didn’t offer one.”

    Mr Comey had also told senators he was worried about meeting one-on-one with Mr Trump, because he was concerned the president might lie later about their discussion.

    When Mr Wray was asked how he would respond to a private invitation from Mr Trump, he said such a meeting would be “highly unlikely”.

    But he added it would depend on the circumstances and if national security was involved.

    Mr Wray also said he would attempt to work with Justice Department to ensure “it’s not a one-on-one meeting”.

    “I think the relationship between any FBI director and any president needs to be a professional one, not a social one,” he said.

    “And there certainly shouldn’t be any one-on-one discussion between the FBI director and any president about how to conduct particular investigations or cases”.

    If the president ever asked for him to do anything illegal, he told senators, “first I would try to talk him out of it, and if that failed I would resign”.

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  • Anti theist preacher

    I love the whole Russia meddling topic. Maybe we’ve meddled too, but I don’t know if we’ve used cyber warfare the way the Russians have. The whole purpose of this investigation is to establish collusion. Along with that will be exposure of obfuscation and lies: Trump and members of his inner circle and campaign will be exposed as the liars and hypocrites that they are. And even if Pence gets in, some of those arrogant and angry people that supported Trump and believe everything he says and look upon the investigation as a “witch hunt” because that’s what they heard him say, will be beaten into submission, will learn some humility after they realize that they were led by the nose. Maybe exposure of collusion, lies, and a coverup, will make them question their own stubborn refusal to question what they hear, make them think twice about their loyalty to a demagogue and a liar when the recognition dawns on them that that’s what they voted in. Maybe they’ll question their own judgment for a change, so that next time around they will be a little wiser and the rest of us will be a little better off.

    Or maybe it’ll accomplish nothing. I hope it weakens the Republicans a little.

    At the very least we’ll be able to say: remember Trump? You thought he was going to make America great again….

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  • Now Trump, that disgusting deputy press secretary (who is very religious, just like her old man Huckabee), and Fox News (The Goebbels channel) are trying to present yet another false equivalent by distorting a report from Politico, and saying that an operative with the DNC was “colluding” with the Ukraine to get info about Manafort. More deflection. Sociopaths do that. This is sociopathic behavior. I like the phrase “whataboutism”.

    It’s important to remember that what’s ultimately concerning about Russiagate is the possibility that the Trump campaign—including staffers now employed in the White House by the president—worked with a hostile government whose leaders attempted to influence and disrupt the election with cyberattacks. The Chalupa story is about officials in an embassy passing along opposition research to a Democratic operative and reporters. The two episodes are not close to being the same, but that fact obviously won’t stop Trump’s supporters from deploying the story for yet another round of Clinton whataboutism. (Slate, Osita Nwanevu, July 11)

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  • According to Trump, his White House stooges are in “fantastic mood” (or should that be “fantasy mode”?): – with delusions of all the pseudo-science, pseudo-law, pseudo-security measures, pseudo economics, and “alternative facts” – “functioning beautifully”, despite all the serious potential intrusions into the sycophant bubble, from the world of reality outside!

    President Donald Trump says the mood in the White House is “fantastic” despite intense scrutiny of his campaign’s alleged dealings with Russia.

    He told Reuters the administration was “functioning beautifully”.

    The president also defended his son, who it has emerged met a Russian lawyer during the election campaign.

    US media describe the White House as being in chaos over the story, with a Trump ally calling it a “Category 5 hurricane”, the Washington Post said.

    Donald Trump Jr met Natalia Veselnitskaya believing she had information that would damage his father’s opponent Hillary Clinton.

    Critics say he may have broken federal laws.

    Before he left Washington on Wednesday, President Trump sought to dispel media reports saying his administration was in crisis over alleged collusion between his campaign team and Russia, telling Reuters it was “a hoax made up by the Democrats”.

    Ah! Another hoax! – just like that “Chinese climate hoax” made up by the world’s scientists! 🙂

    How gullible are those who still think this is a person who fit to be a president?

    He said he was sure the Russians would have preferred to have Democrat Hillary Clinton in the White House.

    Why? “If Hillary had won, our military would be decimated,” he said.

    “Our energy would be much more expensive. That’s what Putin doesn’t like about me. And that’s why I say, why would he want me?”

    Trump just keeps making up his delusional “alternative facts,” – totally devoid of expert advice, competent research, or reality!

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  • It’s been three weeks since I posted in this thread and as could probably have been predicted back then the Trump administration just lurches from one crisis to another in a display of incompetence and mendacity that boggles the mind. Uday, or is it Kusay, Trump junior, changes his story about the Russian lawyer meeting so many times I’ve lost count. Alternatively he has either never had any meetings with Russians set up for him, he has but they were only about adoptions of babies, ok Clinton was mentioned but no information about her was ever provided, yes there was a meeting but it was purely for opposition research, ok dirt about Clinton was the whole point of the meeting and he was delighted about that especially “later this summer”.

    It’s clear to any onlooker that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Trump junior lies as easily and as ludicrously as Trump senior with one fatuous story after another coming in quick succession. This is obviously an entire family who believe that if you have enough money then the rules that apply to most people don’t apply to you and lying, deflecting and obfuscating are just part of the game. As more and more details emerge, the number of people at that meeting has now grown to eight including Manafort and Kushner, both of whom also “forgot” to mention it in their government disclosure forms.

    Meanwhile Jeff “I don’t recall” Sessions whose memory seems to be as poor as his grasp of the truth is revealed once again to be a consumate liar in his own right. It seems he did discuss the Trump campaign and potential Russia / America relations with ambassador Kislyak despite repeatedly claiming to have not done. Given that Trump has just also thrown Sessions, one of his staunchest allies, under the bus for recusing himself from the Russia investigation it may be that a presidential pardon for Sessions is not on the cards although he joins the ever growing list of people who are likely to need one.

    The cruel, evil and disgusting health care bill which would take health care away from tens of millions of people has died for now it seems although even a small change in the membership of the Senate might see it struggle back to life and John McCain’s own health could play a part here. A while back I opined that his bizarre display in a senate hearing appeared to be incipient dementia rather than merely tiredness as he claimed and we now find out it may well have been symptoms of the brain tumour he’s just been diagnosed with.

    Melissa McCarthy is now apparently out of a job after Sean Spicer resigns in a huff. It’s hard to blame him either. He’s lied his little cotton socks off for Trump for 6 months now, utterly destroyed his own credibility and all he’s got for it is to be replaced by financier Scaramouchio Fandango who has no experience of communications roles but lies as fluently as anyone else associated with Trump from the few appearances of his I’ve seen on tv.

    And what of the big dog himself? The big, fat, orange, bald, combover queen who has barely had a mention in my ramblings so far which makes a change. Well his behaviour continues to disgust, appall, nauseate and repel all of us who are even remotely sane as of course it always will. Expert analysis of his bizarre speech patterns in recent interviews reveals even more deterioration in his linguistic ability which is now down to, or even below, that of a small child at times. It seems to vary a lot which is not unusual in dementia but at its worst Trump is now utterly incomprehensible. This can’t have escaped the notice of those close to him and perhaps medical investigation has already taken place.

    His treatment of those who have suppported him is astonishing. His recent lambasting of Sessions, replacement of Spicer, shake ups in his legal team make you continue to wonder why anyone would support this evil capricious whackjob when you can’t rely on his own support any further than you could spit a rat. As per usual he blames everyone and everything but himself, the very wellspring of all that goes wrong in his own particular orbit. Everything he touches turns to shit because he’s utterly incompetent, clueless, stupid, erratic and completely devoid of self control. He undermines his legal team with every tweet, rarely opens his mouth other than to change feet and barges from crisis to crisis like a bull in a china shop. In six months of governance he has achieved precisely nothing apart from cracking down on law abiding immigrants as swarms of ICE teams rip Mexican and other immigrant families apart, and putting climate change action back for what could be decades.

    Actually maybe that’s not quite true. What he has in fact achieved is to make chaos the new normal. Behaviour that would have led to impeachment in earlier times and stunned the American people to their core is now just a daily occurence. Lies that would set any honest man’s pants on fire fall from his lips every time he opens his mouth. All inconvenient truths are now Fake News and all incomprehensible lies are now Fake Truths in what has become the first Fake Presidency. The free world is now led by a madman and not even a vaguely competent madman. Just a madman, with a mental age of about 6.

    There’s a saying, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. How many times have Trump supporters now been fooled and what does that say about them?

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  • It’s nothing short of a coup.

    The Trump presidency is a bona fide conspiracy; we are being taken over by traitors, a hostile enemy, domestic terrorists, from within the US itself. They want to seize everything. No more government funding for anything: research, social and cultural programs, health services… No more “handouts.” It’s all about increasing the wealth and power of the few.

    Trump is not fake; he is all too real. So are all the other despots and oligarchs – past and present.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #222
    “There’s a saying, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. How many times have Trump supporters now been fooled and what does that say about them?”

    That they’re brainwashed (nearly?) beyond redemption, like religious nut-cases (which many of them may be anyway). They have been screwed over royally by Alzheimer Ronnie, by Newt and his band of thugs, by Deserter Dubya, by the scum who won (putsched in?) the 2010 midterm elections, and now with Duhnald, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Cognitive dissonance on a cosmic scale. I usually do not make such sweeping statements, but as far as I can see, there are only two types of Trump voters: putrid criminals and putrid morons. The former are the very, very much smaller group, but they desperately need the gullible morons. Whatever mental diarrhea the latter have been fed, it seems to have had the equivalent effects of a lobotomy removing the higher brain functions.

    “It seems to vary a lot which is not unusual in dementia but at its worst Trump is now utterly incomprehensible. This can’t have escaped the notice of those close to him and perhaps medical investigation has already taken place.”

    Even the Roman Curial “church” has provisions for removing a pope in the case of insanity (don’t ask me for details about how this is to be determined, and the removal then effected – there’s these Swiss Guards in the Vatican …). The Founding Fathers probably never imagined anyone so deranged as having a snowball’s chance in hell to get elected president. Now in Germany, while a doctor is allowed to consign someone to a psychiatric institution, this consignment must be confirmed by a judge from the appropriate court within 24 hours or so. And judges do this on weekends if it is necessary, as I know from personal experience. As far as I know, this is not necessary in the US, the doctor can act on his / her own authority. But what to base such a decision on? (The guy has access to the freakin’ nuclear briefcase!) I just don’t see Duhnald submitting to a psychiatric examination. And I have had the misfortune of witnessing the slow descent into dementia of a loved one, in retrospect the first symptoms may have shown themselves nine years before consignment became inevitable. But there was a huge difference between the beginning and the end of those nine years. Now with Duhnald being a raging lunatic in his “normal” behavior (or perhaps it has already become abnormal even for him?), how does one detect the differences that clearly point towards the need for serious medical treatment? Which doctor would dare put this lunatic in the loony bin where he belongs? (Is redecorating the Oval Office with padded walls a realistic alternative?)

    And P.S. The Republican Party ended up with a presidential candidate who entered the primaries a bit late, but then managed to bamboozle the pathetic US media (listed currently as 43rd on the Press Freedom Index, having been as low as 53rd during Dubya’s time, was occasionally better – 20th – in Obama’s early times, then going as low again as 49th later on – the frothing-at-the-mouth Obama bashing led by the Goebbels Channel aka Fox News) into slavering at his every outrageous statement (RATINGS!!!) that left even some right-wing nutcases flabbergasted. The guy was 70 at the time. But. Barack Obama is now 55. The best that the Democratic Party could come up with is a (then) 69-year-old woman and a 73-old man?!?!? I mentioned the pope above. Fer cryin’ out loud, this was a US presidential election, not a conclave in the Sistine Chapel!!!!!

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  • Dan #223
    “It’s all about increasing the wealth and power of the few.”

    In one word, neo-feudalism. Rule of the criminal parasites. That sharp-bladed thingy that came into fashion during the French Revolution sure looks like a desperately needed tool to save the US more and more. Do you send a dog infested with rabies to a dog psychologist?

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  • There’s an interesting article in the WaPo about rural voters, many of whom are oblivious to the horrors of the Trump administration we write about in here every day. People who are simply not concerned with non-local news, who maybe don’t even have internet because broadband doesn’t always even reach these areas.

    As one diner in an Ohio restaurant said of the Trump – Russia controversy, he’d not heard anything about it. That’s taking low information to a whole new level but it is maybe not as surprising as you might think. I have to spend hours a day trying to cover every aspect of the Trump Presidency. No matter how many news sites and MSNBC programs I watch there’s always something I’ve missed and often it’s my website that fills in the blanks each day for me. It’s an invaluable resource. But how many people have the time or inclination to follow all this news? Many no doubt follow none of it at all and if they do they’ll maybe only see Fox News and never get a true picture of what’s going on.

    Of course the last thing the Republicans want is an informed electorate, either in terms of news, climate change, science or just general education because informed voters are much harder to fool. What they want is religious idiots. Pliable, malleable, stupid, poorly informed.

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  • Arkrid, Grumpy, others

    The Russia issue is highly significant. I don’t agree with Chomsky that it isn’t. But Chomsky is half right in so far as there is something else going on that is even more significant, and that is this:

    It’s essentially about returning to a gilded age and thus creating a living hell for the excluded – and hiring agents of destruction to take over the agencies they have been assigned to. Pruitt and Devos et al. are nothing more than plants. Their job is circumvention, making sure that these agencies receive no federal funding. That is what it is about. If I may be allowed to quote myself it’s about “destroying federal funding and the programs along with it in order to create god knows what, a hell on earth where the wealth of the few is increased at the expense of everyone else…”

    “It’s about bigoted, corrupt, inhumane wealthy elites gaining ascendancy. Nothing particularly new, but shocking none the less. (Never thought they could pull it off. I think they can – from the looks of things.)”

    Meanwhile, the gleeful corporate media, with the help of the Republicans, who basically support their great and beneficent leader, Trump’s surrogates, and The Goebbels Channel and Sinclair, and the slick new communications director, will lull the low-information public into tranquility and acquiescence.

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  • Honest Abe’s old saw about not being able to fool all of the people all of the time (and some always, all sometimes). I find it hard to believe that he did not see the utter irrelevance of all-all. That some-always is all that criminal politicians need. And maybe he couldn’t imagine that there was a fourth case. Assuming the three cases above to be something needing to be convinced (or not) during an election campaign, there is then the mass of ignorant morons who need no fooling during a campaign, they are brainwashed quasi-lobotomized zombies that no Republican campaigner needs to waste effort on fooling.

    My hypothesis is that this only works for the Republicans. I have a vague memory about reading that Hillary Clinton neglected to campaign in some states that her advisors considered to be secure blue states. Some blue voters there had at least enough mental capacity to be fooled by Duhnald’s tsunami of lies – but this hypothesis assuming people were merely fooled does not take into account that the Republicans may have been up to their dirty tricks that they have been perfecting since Florida 2000, as then uncovered by Greg Palast. His take is that Duhnald and his criminal minions stole the 2016 election at least as brazenly as Dubya’s criminal minions did way back when. Perhaps even with outside help that Dubya could only have dreamed of.

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  • Dan #227
    Jul 22, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Arkrid, Grumpy, others – The Russia issue is highly significant.

    It looks like Congress is finally tired of Trump’s denials, distractions, and obfuscations!

    Leaders of both parties in the US Congress have agreed on legislation that allows fresh sanctions to punish Russia for alleged election meddling.

    The new legislation would also sharply limit President Donald Trump’s ability to lift any sanctions against Russia.

    He has previously said he needs diplomatic leeway with the Kremlin.

    Mr Trump’s time in office has been dogged by claims that Russia tried to influence last year’s US election.

    Moscow denies any wrongdoing but several US investigations are looking into whether anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials.

    Correspondents say the bipartisan agreement indicates determination in Congress to maintain a firm line against Russia, whatever Mr Trump’s view.

    The president could veto the bill, but in doing so would fuel suspicion that he is too supportive of the Kremlin, correspondents say.

    On the other hand, if he signs it he would be imposing legislation that his administration is opposed to.

    Senator Ben Cardin, the most senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said agreement was reached after “intense negotiations”.

    “A nearly united Congress is poised to send President Putin a clear message on behalf of the American people and our allies, and we need President Trump to help us deliver that message,” he said.

    The Kremlin has demanded that the seized compounds be returned and has threatened “specific measures” in retaliation.

    After high-level talks last week, one Russian official involved said the row had “almost” been resolved.

    However, the new US bill would make it hard for President Trump to alter sanctions or return diplomatic properties without the approval of Congress.

    During his presidential campaign, Mr Trump hinted he would consider recognising Crimea as part of Russia and suggested lifting sanctions.

    We – Congress, and the world, – await Trump’s reactions!!!!

    Will he help fix the problem, or just dig himself into a deeper hole?

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #222
    Jul 21, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    It’s been three weeks since I posted in this thread and as could probably have been predicted back then
    the Trump administration just lurches from one crisis to another in a display of incompetence and mendacity that boggles the mind.

    The next lurch is upon him!

    In a new twist on Saturday, reports emerged that Mr Trump was considering presidential pardons for family members, aides and even himself.

    Presidents have the power to pardon people before guilt is established or even before the person is charged with a crime.

    Could Trump pardon himself?

    He tweeted: “While all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS.”

    Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, described the reports as disturbing, adding: “Pardoning any individuals who may have been involved would be crossing a fundamental line.”

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  • This constant cry from Trump about fake news disqualifies him from being the president, as it is hurting the public. But I don’t know if that’s a legal argument. And impeachment is a political process.

    He should be proud of himself: he is just like Saddam Hussein and other fascist dictators in this regard – denying everything, blaming others, pointing the finger. Trump wants total control. It’s sickening that we have to deal with this shit now instead of having people in the White House and Congress who are progressive and humane and who can really be of service and come up with real solutions to the problems we’re facing as a nation.

    The scum that work for and around Trump are moral monsters. Scaramucci who professed his “love” for Trump repeatedly on camera the other day, is a good, slick little Nazi.

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  • Laurie

    I missed most of Friday’s show. I did see the interview with Walter Shaub on Wednesday, I think, and enjoyed hearing what he had to say very much. A good, decent, well spoken, capable man. I wish him success.

    “The current situation has made it clear that the ethics program needs to be stronger than it is. At the Campaign Legal Center, I’ll have more freedom to push for reform. I’ll also be broadening my focus to include ethics issues at all levels of government.”

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  • Re Propaganda

    Very serious. Dire. None of us in the US have seen anything like this in our lifetimes. Nazi style propaganda, state run media (!), lies on a continuous basis from Trump himself and the cowards, thugs and sycophants (brown nosing brownshirts) that speak on his behalf.

    The truest think Joseph Goebbels ever said:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    The lies they are telling and repeating about the Affordable Care Act are SICK. Sanders is right: this bill, if passed, would be as bad as 9/ 11. An attack from within of the same magnitude (if not worse). It would be another 9/ 11.

    We all know Fox:

    Fox & Friends: The market is soaring because investors don’t believe “fake news” about Trump colluding with Russia.

    @jessebwatters on @DonaldJTrumpJr meeting with Russian attorney: “I believe Don Jr. is the victim here.” #TheFive

    @KatrinaPierson: “This whole Russia nonsense is a hoax. We still to this day have not seen the DNC server that they claim was hacked.”

    Now get ready for Sinclair.

    Over the last few months, Sinclair has been requiring its stations to run more commentaries from pro-Trump personalities and expanding its reach to greater numbers of unassuming viewers in new local media markets. Now it’s defending these clear moves to mimic the aspiring state media over at Fox with warped, brainwash-y logic: The conservative propaganda it pushes on its viewers is necessary because the rest of the media is biased.

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  • It’s one thing to present a carefully prepared and worded account to be “economical with the truth”, and to sound plausible, but it is quite another to produce answers under cross examination, by people who will follow up on any evasive replies or contradictions of known information.

    President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner will tell a Senate panel later that neither he nor any member of the Trump campaign team colluded with Russian officials over the US election.

    He will say he had no improper contacts and had not relied on Russian funds to finance his business activities.

    Mr Kushner released his opening statement ahead of the panel meeting.

    The Senate, along with the House and a special counsel, are all investigating Russian interference in the election.

    Mr Kushner, 36, is a senior adviser to the president and was in charge of the Trump campaign’s digital strategy. He is married to Mr Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

    Mr Kushner, who keeps a very low media profile, will attend a session on Monday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and then appear before the House version on Tuesday.

    In the statement to both congressional committees he released on Monday, he says: “I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government.”

    “With respect to my contacts with Russia or Russian representatives during the campaign, there were hardly any,” he says. At the end of the statement he speaks of “perhaps four contacts with Russian representatives” both during the campaign and after.

    He does refer to a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June last year. She had allegedly promised damaging material on Hillary Clinton.

    Mr Kushner said he arrived late at the meeting, realised little of note was being discussed and that it was “time not well-spent”.

    He said: “I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for 10 or so minutes and wrote ‘Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting’.”

    Mr Trump Jr said former campaign chief Paul Manafort was also at the meeting and that no compromising material on Mrs Clinton was provided.

    Analysis: An exercise in caution

    Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

    In his Senate testimony Jared Kushner says he has nothing to hide and is “happy” to share information with those investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

    His written statement, however, is an exercise in caution and lawyerly discretion. He addresses only the controversies already in the public sphere, then offers his explanation for why they are no big deal.

    The incomplete security form was the result of a “miscommunication” with an assistant who submitted it too soon.

    Beyond that, there are no new revelations; no new disclosures. If what’s already out is all there is, Mr Kushner and his lawyers have done their best to defuse the bombs. When walking in a minefield, it’s the ones you don’t know about that pose the greatest risk.

    One matter on which Mr Kushner may face a grilling is his security clearance declaration, as he accepts he failed initially to reveal his contacts with Russians.

    He says the first form, a “rough draft that still had many omissions”, was filed by an assistant in error on 18 January and that declarations on his foreign contacts, not just with Russians, were added over the next six months “in the normal course”.

    Mr Kushner is also not expected to be under oath on Monday. However, what he says could be used against him at a later date and may well be passed to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, to help his investigation.

    Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence panel, said: “There’s a lot we want to know. We have a lot of ground to cover.”

    Mr Trump Jr and Mr Manafort had been scheduled to appear before Congress on Wednesday to testify but that has been delayed indefinitely as lawyers negotiate on the documentation and information to be discussed.

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  • Meanwhile:-

    The US House of Representatives has voted to impose fresh sanctions on Russia, despite President Donald Trump objecting to the legislation.

    Senior officials will be targeted in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the US 2016 election.

    The bill is likely to complicate President Trump’s hopes of improving relations with Russia.

    It needs to be passed through the Senate before it can be sent on to the president to be signed.

    The White House says Mr Trump has not yet decided whether he will veto the bill or not.

    Russia’s relationship with the president has dogged his first six months in office, amid allegations Moscow interfered to help Mr Trump get elected.

    The House voted overwhelmingly to back the measures, which will also see fresh sanctions against North Korea and Iran over ballistic missile tests.

    The bill, which passed by 419 to three, was described by House Speaker Paul Ryan as a sanctions package that “tightens the screws on our most dangerous adversaries in order to keep Americans safe”.

    The planned sanctions on Russia were drawn up in part to further punish its annexation of Crimea in 2014. They will place new restrictions on oil and gas projects, affecting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany.

    The legislation codifies sanctions imposed by Barack Obama over Russia’s Ukraine interventions, which would make lifting them more difficult.

    It also expands restrictions on doing business with Russian companies, in particular on energy development. That has the Europeans very worried they’ll be penalised for supporting Russian pipeline projects.

    But what concerns the White House is a measure that limits the president’s traditional right to waive the sanctions: he would be forced to consult congress first.
    That and the broad bipartisan support for the legislation shows just how wary lawmakers are about Mr Trump’s pro-Moscow approach.

    The White House has suggested the president may support the bill after some changes to the original draft, but he would have little room to manoeuvre anyway because Congress almost certainly has enough votes to override a veto.

    I think Trump’s pals in the Russian oil and gas business are not going to like this!

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  • The in-fighting and cover-up attempts continue!

    The newly-hired communications director for US President Donald Trump says he has a “very good idea” who the “senior leakers” are at the White House.

    In a quickly-deleted tweet, and in interviews on Thursday, Anthony Scaramucci appeared to point the finger at Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

    “If Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that,” he told CNN in a phone interview.

    “He’s gonna need to speak for his own actions”, he added.

    President Trump has said that leaks from the White House are a national security threat and must stop.

    The tensions between two of his top aides appeared to be made public when Mr Scaramucci tweeted on Wednesday night that his government financial disclosure form had been leaked.

    By Anthony Zurcher, BBC Washington

    This is not how any of this is supposed to work.
    The newly installed White House communications director accusing – on Twitter! – On a morning news show! – the White House chief of staff of criminal leaking.

    In a White House that has been characterised by feuds and shifting centres of power, these latest developments may represent an attempt by Anthony Scaramucci – and others – to push out veteran Republican Party hands and clear the decks for Mr Trump’s more unvarnished band of outsiders.

    Press Secretary Sean Spicer and one of his top assistants are already gone. Reince Priebus could be next.

    There’s no telling how Mr Trump is taking all this.
    On one hand, he seems to have a visceral connection to Scaramucci, a brash New Yorker not unlike himself.
    On the other, the president hasn’t always reacted well when subordinates step into his limelight.

    I suppose an enemy state could find information confirming that the Trump administration is a shambles, helpful to their interests and damaging to the USA,, – this this is hardly a closely kept secret! 🙂

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  • @#236 – The US House of Representatives has voted to impose fresh sanctions on Russia, despite President Donald Trump objecting to the legislation.

    Russia has retaliated to new US sanctions by telling Washington to cut its diplomatic staff to 455 and barring the use of some properties.

    The new US embassy staffing level would be the same as at Russia’s embassy in Washington.

    The Russian foreign ministry also said it was seizing holiday properties and a warehouse used by US diplomats.

    The new US sanctions are over Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and alleged interference in the US election.

    They come months after the Obama administration ordered the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and expelled 35 Russian diplomats in response to alleged hacking of the US Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    In a statement on Friday, Russia’s foreign ministry said: “The US is stubbornly taking one crudely anti-Russian step after another, using the utterly fictitious pretext of Russian interference in its internal affairs.”

    It comes a day after President Vladimir Putin decried what he called “anti-Russian hysteria” in Washington.

    The new US sanctions on Russia were overwhelmingly approved by both houses of Congress despite objections from the Trump White House.

    So Putin is echoing Trump’s denials of Russian electoral interference, although clearly the US intelligence agencies and congressional elected representatives, remain unconvinced by their denials!

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  • It seems that there is not much of a thaw in US – Soviet relations, despite earlier noises from Trump!

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that 755 staff must leave US diplomatic missions, in retaliation for new US sanctions against Moscow.

    The decision to expel staff was made on Friday, but Mr Putin has now confirmed the number who must go by 1 September.

    It brings staff levels to 455, the same as Russia’s complement in Washington.

    This is thought to be the largest expulsion of diplomats from any country in modern history, says the BBC’s Laura Bicker in Washington.

    The number includes Russian employees of the US diplomatic missions across Russia, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford in Moscow adds.

    Staff in the embassy in Moscow as well as the consulates in Ekaterinburg, Vladivostok and St Petersburg are affected, she says.

    Mr Putin did strike a conciliatory note, saying he did not want to impose more measures, but also said he could not see ties changing “anytime soon”.

    Mr Putin told Russian television: “More than 1,000 people were working and are still working” at the US embassy and consulates, and that “755 people must stop their activities in Russia.”

    Russia has also said it is seizing holiday properties and a warehouse used by US diplomats.

    Mr Putin suggested he could consider more measures, but said: “I am against it as of today.”

    He also noted the creation of a de-escalation zone in southern Syria as an example of a concrete result of working together.

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  • I see Trump has signed the Russian sanctions bill into law – although without his usual televised fanfare! 🙂

    President Donald Trump has signed into a law a bill which imposes new sanctions on Russia for their alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

    The bill, which was signed in private at the White House, also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

    The legislation “handcuffs” the president from easing penalties on Russia without congressional approval.

    Russia denies interfering in the US election, and Mr Trump has denied colluding with Russia.

    In signing the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, Mr Trump attached a statement calling the sanctions “deeply flawed”.

    He accused Congress, which last week overwhelmingly passed the measure and sent it to the White House, of overstepping its constitutional authority.

    “Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity,” Mr Trump’s statement says, adding that “it represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States”.

    “I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected,” he continued.

    “As president, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.”

    Russia had already retaliated by ordering 755 people expelled from the country’s US embassy and consulates.

    He accused Congress, which last week overwhelmingly passed the measure and sent it to the White House, of overstepping its constitutional authority.

    Ah! Trump’s “expert” pronouncements on law – which would be comical in any other context!! – Especially in view of Trump’s Executive Orders which have been overturned by several courts!

    “As president, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.”

    With the long list of sacked expert professionals, and the “great” cabinet team he has appointed, how could he possibly go wrong! 🙂

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  • Well who would have thunk it, the man who lies pathologically about everything also lies and cheats about his golf.

    Trump moves his ball if it’s in a bad lie, drives his golf cart onto the greens, frequently puts another ball down and plays a second shot if his previous one went astray and then pretends the bad shot never happened, lies about his handicap, his round scores and claims to have won 18 championships although not a single one of those could be verified by the reporter.

    Of course we could have guessed all this without the article because Trump’s essential pathology has been revealed for all to see by the spotlight of attention on him for the last couple of years. He fails at almost everything he does but the bigger the fail the bigger the lie he needs to claim how great everything went.

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  • Politico has published the full transcript of an interview Trump gave to the Wall St Journal on 25th July, the day after his atrocious and inappropriate speech to the Boy Scouts.

    It’s clear from the rambling and inarticulate Trump responses to questions that he has almost no grasp of any current topics, struggles to remember people’s names and turns many questions back to talking about his rallies and how huge the crowds were and how great his speeches were. However the bat shit crazy point which suggests dementia or that he no longer has any grip on reality at all is where he claims the following.

    In respect to his speech the previous day to the scouts and a comment from a WSJ reporter that the reaction to this was “mixed” Trump got very animated.

    from the time I walked out on the stage — because I know. And by the way, I’d be the first to admit mixed. I’m a guy that will tell you mixed. There was no mix there. That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left, and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix.

    And I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful. So there was — there was no mix.

    Funny then how the Scouts denied anyone called Trump after the event and the actual head of the Scouts wrote to his members 2 days later apologising for the inappropriate nature of the Trump speech they had been forced to listen to.

    Trump also claimed recently that the President of Mexico phoned him to congratulate him on his border policies. The sheer improbability of this boggles the mind but if there were any remaining doubt the President of Mexico responded that they had not had any phone calls for a month.

    We all know that Trump lies pathalogically but lying about imaginary phone calls from people who are actually alive and can be asked to rebut his claims suggests more than just pathology. Sociopaths and psychopaths are generally very good liars but Trump seems to live in a fantasy world of his own making where these lies are his truths but in the real world they make no sense.

    So we have to ask ourselves, just how dangerous could a man who lives in a dream world be if some sort of major shit hits the fan in the real world, like with N Korea or Syria or Russia and Trump just retreats into his fantasy place and either presses the red button or simply can’t deal with reality at all any more? had this yesterday.

    Continuing with the John Kelly theme, Newsweek reports some very interesting news about the new chief of staff. It would seem that, while he was serving as Secretary of Homeland Security, he and Secretary of Defense James Mattis coordinated their schedules, such that one or the other would always be near Donald Trump. That way, should the President ever be tempted to launch a military or nuclear strike, there would be an experienced, high-ranking military officer available to discuss it with him (and, ideally, to talk him out of it). Presumably the arrangement will continue, and will be even easier to execute, now that Kelly is in his new job.

    I have to wonder if the real reason Kelly took the thankless task of becoming Chief of Staff to a deranged person was to try and protect his country and the world from what Trump might do to it.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #242
    Aug 3, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Trump also claimed recently that the President of Mexico phoned him to congratulate him on his border policies. The sheer improbability of this boggles the mind but if there were any remaining doubt the President of Mexico responded that they had not had any phone calls for a month.

    Apparently, having shouted all over the media that Mexico was going to pay for his nutty wall project, he seriously thought the president of Mexico was going to shut-up about it because Trump told him to!

    US President Donald Trump urged Mexican President Pena Nieto to stop publicly saying he would not pay for a proposed border wall, according to transcripts.

    Mr Trump admonished Mr Nieto for publicly denouncing the wall during a 27 January phone call, transcripts obtained by the Washington Post show.

    **”You cannot say that to the press,””” he reportedly told Mr Nieto.

    Mr Trump launched his presidential campaign on a promise to build a wall along the US southern border and vowed to make Mexico pay for the project.

    But the transcripts show the US president acknowledged the funding would come from other sources, saying the money “will work out in the formula somehow”.

    He added: “If you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that”.

    Poor-diddums! – Fancy other presidents challenging Trump’s rants and pointing out features of sovereignty and real world finance!
    What next? Congress passing sanctions with cross-party legislation and requiring Trump to sign them into law whether he likes them or not?! 🙂

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    The special counsel investigating claims of Russian meddling in the US election has begun using a grand jury in Washington, reports say.

    The move suggests Robert Mueller may be taking a more aggressive approach to gathering data on possible collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign team.

    Grand juries are used to issue subpoenas to compel people to testify.

    The president has again poured scorn on the inquiry, telling a rally in West Virginia it was a “total fabrication”.

    It looks like Trump is digging himself into an ever deeper hole on an “obstruction of justice charge”!

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  • Meanwhile: it is difficult to know in the present circumstances, if action is being taken to deal with connections and conspiracies with foreign intelligence officers, or if public interest disclosures are being attacked!

    US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced four people have been charged over leaks as he launched a crackdown on disclosure of classified material.

    He said the suspects stood accused of unlawfully divulging classified information or concealing contacts with foreign intelligence officers.

    America’s top prosecutor said the administration has tripled the number of active leak probes since January.

    President Donald Trump has criticised Mr Sessions for not dealing with leaks.

    At Friday’s news conference, Mr Sessions said no government can be effective when its leaders cannot talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders.

    He said there had been a “dramatic” increase in recent months of unauthorised disclosures to the media and even foreign adversaries.

    “Referrals for investigations of classified leaks to the Department of Justice from our intelligence agencies have exploded,” he said.

    The attorney general also said he wanted to review policies on media subpoenas – compelling journalists to testify in court – to balance the role of the press with protecting national security.

    The move is likely to send a chill through US newsrooms that have been breaking almost daily scoops attributed to unnamed sources, which have embarrassed the White House.

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  • Danger! Danger! Nazi style propaganda machine on the rise. Trump’s own personal propaganda machine. He is taking credit for job creation numbers and the rise in the stock market, etc, – but jobs were rising and the stock market was rising before he took office, very deceptive. (This is the beginning of a bitter struggle for the survival of American Democracy. Perhaps the war is already over. This is online, only the beginning. Wait until the right wing, Trump supporting Sinclair conglomerate controls a huge, unprecedented amount of local TV stations across the country. That is scheduled to happen by the end of the year. People will turn on the news and won’t even know that it is being controlled by right wing political propagandists.)

    Look at this repugnant fascist, this sick jerk:

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  • The investigators just keep digging despite knee-jerk denials from Trump!

    The FBI has conducted a pre-dawn raid on the Virginia home of Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, US media report.

    Federal agents are said to have seized files and other material on 26 July, a day after Mr Manafort voluntarily met the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    Mr Manafort left the Trump campaign over questions about his foreign ties.

    The FBI is leading one of several investigations into alleged Russian meddling in last year’s US election.

    Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is head of the FBI investigation, left Mr Manafort’s home with “various records”, the Washington Post reported.

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  • Alt right, Breitbart, Birtherism, Bannon, Gorka, Miller, “Make America Great Again”, travel ban, Sessions, voter suppression, the new legal immigration policy, the wall, Charlottesville, “violence on all sides“…

    Anyone out there still not convinced that Trump is one of the most hateful men in the world and that this is a racist administration?

    Enough is enough!!! No more!!!! There has to be a legal way to remove these thugs from power. Goddammit!

    Pharmaceutical ads now. Jesus! One after the other. Sometimes I HATE America!!

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  • Dan

    The alt-right just showed their true colors in Virginia today. Let’s see who will continue to support them and who will finally break ranks. Let’s see if Bannon takes the fall for this one.

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  • Hello Dan, Laurie, Phil, Alan,,,,,,,
    Well, we all saw this coming. I am somewhat encouraged by the response by the locals in Virginia.
    I hope this does enlighten some who thinks this “alt-right” is not anything more than than the KKK.
    I already had a run in with a jerk who came around from in back of me in parking lot and swerved in front.
    He was carrying a firearm (open carry here) and asked me if I wanted to do anything about it.
    Little does he know I know the Police chief and half of the officers, and several council members.
    I just laughed at him.
    This is getting to the point where the worst fears we could have guessed is coming true.
    Three people were murdered today by the driver of the Dodge. He will be up for triple murder charges and may get capital punishment. That will anger the KKK types more.
    We are not far from a civil war. The constitution is failing to remove a dictator, we are extremely close to thermal nuclear war, we have a White House with traitors owned by Russia.
    Huh………….Couldn’t we have just a few more years of peace, (such as it was) before I die?
    I’ll try to be quick.

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  • alf

    The words “domestic terrorism” are being used in connection with white supremacist and neo-nazi on CNN. Finally they’re telling it like it is. The interviews feature guests using strong language against the response by Trump, the enabler. This nasty incident will be a litmus test for politicians and citizens too. This was really beyond the pale. I hope we get results.

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  • I think the people who voted for Trump have been clinging desperately to a number of things which they can no longer pretend might happen. Firstly that Trump’s vindictivenesss and viciousness was just campaign trail rhetoric but it’s very clear now that he really is a revolting slug all the time as the Australian parliament branded him.

    Secondly that his absurd campaign promises had some reality to them and he’d abide by them. They can now see that health care for everybody at a “fraction of the cost of Obamacare” turned into health care both getting far more expensive and also being ripped away from over 20 million poor people entirely to give tax cuts to the mega rich, that there is unlikely to ever be a wall and even if so then Mexico isn’t going to pay for it. He said he’d be too busy to play golf again for 4 years. He’s played every 5 days on average and wasted much of the rest of his time at rallies with the faithful. It’s not apparent that he’s ever done any actual work.

    Thirdly that he’d rise to the dignity of the office but the word dignity is apparently not in his vocabulary. He supposedly has “all the best words” but not this particular one.

    What I find ironic is that the key agent of his downfall is his own twitter feed which he still thinks helps him communicate with his base. What it actually does is constantly remind people how childish and vindictive he is when he launches attacks on those who he’s fallen out with for no good reason and how he throws anyone under the bus to try and absolve himself of blame like Sessions and McConnell.

    The true measure of how far his popularity has fallen with that base is the number who are “strongly favourable” of his performance. That’s now more than halved to just 18%. Even those who are just somewhat favourable is as low as 33% depending on which poll you go by.

    It’s curious how what goes around comes around. When terrorists drove a van into pedestrians in London, Trump took to twitter not to condemn the attack but to launch a vicious one of his own on the Mayor of London who had said he thought Hillary was a better candidate a year previously. It’s hard to imagine a better way of showing people how childishly you cling to petty grudges and how blind you are to when it’s appropriate to say or do something. Now that a similar act of terror has killed one so far and injured 20 more in Virginia he’s issued a feeble statement that failed to condemn the perpetrators and tried to say that none of this is his fault because it used to happen under Obama too and even before that. It’s a cowardly cop out and another squandered opportunity to make the best of a situation where he actually always unerringly says the worst possible thing you can imagine.

    I am not at all despondent though. He’s the constant agent of his own destruction and Congress and others are taking steps to limit what damage he might do. Happily he’s too stupid to be really dangerous. Pence would be far worse so be careful what you wish for.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #252
    Aug 13, 2017 at 1:06 am

    He said he’d be too busy to play golf again for 4 years.
    He’s played every 5 days on average and wasted much of the rest of his time at rallies with the faithful.

    Yep! He does not waste time or strain the poor little president’s brain with long tedious consultations or meetings with expert scientific advisors, economists, or diplomats!
    In fact he has saved loads of money on salaries by dismissing many of them 🙂

    It’s not apparent that he’s ever done any actual work.

    We could count up all those minutes spent signing executive orders in from of cameras! I don’t know if we can count any time for actually reading them before signing!

    Thirdly that he’d rise to the dignity of the office

    Ah! But surely the “office” is honoured, merely by Trump’s presence! (Look at all the chanting cheerleaders who endorse this with dignified banner waving and jumping around! 🙂 )

    but the word dignity is apparently not in his vocabulary. He supposedly has “all the best words” but not this particular one.

    I think you are confusing standard English with “alternative facts, and the Trump “New-Speak” dictionary! (More is less , truth is lies, Big-Bother is always right and always GREAT! etc.)

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  • I see Trump shrinks from specifically criticising even the most extreme actions of his far-right support base, even when some of them indulge in “domestic terrorism”!

    US President Donald Trump is facing criticism for his response to the violence at a white supremacist rally.

    A woman was killed and 19 people injured when a car ploughed into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    Mr Trump condemned violence by “many sides” – but stopped short of explicitly condemning the far-right.

    Republican Senator Cory Gardner said “Mr. President – we must call evil by its name.”

    He added: “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”

    His comments were echoed by senior Republican figures.

    Somehow, I don’t think border walls will have much effect on this sort of terrorism – but that is not one of those “acceptable” Trumpy “alternative facts”, which are taken into account in current presidential decision making!

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  • Happily he’s too stupid to be really dangerous.

    I don’t know about this, Arkrid. Somehow I can’t bring myself to feel happy. He has already done tremendous harm, has emboldened the scum of the earth, the white supremacists.

    Plus a lot of other shit happening and not getting enough media coverage. One of many examples of under covered horrors:

    Trump kills teen pregnancy prevention programs;


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  • Correction: One civilian killed. Two officers killed from the Helo crash.
    As a minority in the USA, I feel like this woman risked her life for people like me.
    I’m a little angry. But this needs to come out in the open. The wound will not heal until
    the infection is removed.

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  • “The Daily Stormer wrapped up its coverage of Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville by attacking House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for speaking out forcefully against white supremacists and neo-Nazis. It ended with nary a word about Trump — but an optimistic note to those who had protested in Charlottesville, and a word of warning to everyone else.”

    “And to everyone, know this: we are now at war. And we are not going to back down. … We are going to go bigger than Charlottesville. We are going to go huge. We are going to take over the country. … We learned a lot today. And we are going to remember what we learned. This has only just begun.”

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  • At what point will they start random terrorist attacks?
    At what point do I have to move to another country or arm myself.
    I’m way too old and busted to be dealing with this.
    Now, its the North Koreans AND the american terrorists I get to worry about.
    Today Seattle was targeted.
    Another round of violence and arrests. Kinda stupid to come to a city known for its liberalism. Unless Breitbart is inciting this.

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  • Dan #255
    Aug 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Arkrid Sandwich: “Happily he’s too stupid to be really dangerous.”

    I don’t know about this, Arkrid. Somehow I can’t bring myself to feel happy. He has already done tremendous harm, has emboldened the scum of the earth, the white supremacists.

    True, but it’s not like white supremacists are going to take over the country or bring government crashing down. It’s just one more in a long line of stupid disaffected cults who come and go over history. What Trump is really doing though is finally showing the American people just how bad things can get when voters are low information idiots easily taken in by rhetoric and seemingly unable to judge the true quality of a person’s character.

    Maybe some civil unrest is a small price to pay for letting people see just how appalling Republicans are, how they have no compunction about even killing millions of the poor by taking away their healthcare to give tax cuts to the rich, or destroying the planet by ignoring climate change, destroying the EPA, crippling the education system and science research.

    This constant cycle of disaffection with whoever was last in power no matter how good a job they did and trying “experiments” with outsiders to “shake things up” has to stop. I thought that the damage Bush caused with Iraq and then the economy and banking system would have taught people some lessons but memories are short and people are unfailingly stupid. Maybe it needed someone as awful as Trump to really bring the lesson home.

    In the short term Trump is no doubt bad but maybe in the longer term he’ll prove to be the shock to the system Americans needed to see where they really need to vote in their own best interests instead of against them. Trump’s great ability is to destroy the credibility of everyone who comes into contact with him. He sprays them with his taint like a skunk and they can never again wash it off. He’s turned the WH into turmoil, left a trail of bodies behind him in only 6 months, he’s doing untold damage to the Republican party and he’s mobilising Democrats like never before. He’a also pointed out just how damaging the Electoral College system and gerymandering can be.

    We know he’ll never change so he’s going to continue destroying republicanism for 3 more years and maybe giving Dems time to find a proper message and a decent candidate for the following 8.

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  • alf1200 #258
    Aug 14, 2017 at 1:53 am

    “The Daily Stormer wrapped up its coverage of Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville by attacking House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for speaking out forcefully against white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

    At least some people are taking appropriate actions!

    Web hosting company GoDaddy has given a US neo-Nazi site 24 hours to find another provider after it disparaged a woman who died in protests in Virginia.

    The Daily Stormer published a piece denigrating Heather Heyer, who was killed on Saturday after a car rammed into a crowd protesting at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

    The web host said the Daily Stormer had violated its terms of service.

    “We informed the Daily Stormer that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service,” GoDaddy said in a statement on Twitter.

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  • Alf

    Kinda stupid to come to a city known for its liberalism.

    I think you’re right. It entirely announces an intention to incite and achieve a high profile to draw fellow lice from the woodwork….

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  • Arkrid,

    Trump breaking every fucking thing may be the opportunity to rebuild and put expertise more resiliently into the state. I wish he’d break the banks too.

    Institutions like the judiciary and law enforcement chiefs need to be extricated from political and populist meddling. The tyranny of the masses needs the filtering of non partisan expertise, at least until education is superb and comprehensive.

    I would also recommend parliamentary democracy, but that for sure ain’t gonna happen.

    I’m still pine for the United States of Canada and the United States of Dixie. In this, global warming is our friend….

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  • AS

    In the short term Trump is no doubt bad but maybe in the longer term he’ll prove to be the shock to the system Americans needed to see where they really need to vote in their own best interests instead of against them.

    Not so sure. That’s a big maybe. I think what you’re talking about is the politics of worse (la politique du pire); but that’s analogous to letting addicts “hit bottom”. It’s a nice concept; but often times the addict dies in the
    process. He made a speech today and actually said the words “white supremacists” and “nazis” to get the media off his back but his policies won’t change: tax breaks for the rich, crippling the education system, all the things you mentioned. What bothers me is that Trump has alt-right people (Trump, Miller, others) working for him, advising him, guiding him. And meanwhile the, lies the deception, and the propaganda will continue.

    He is still bragging about the stock market and the economy. Most people don’t know how to interpret that, and analyze it; and he knows that. Higher stock prices tend to be good for those who hold stocks, which typically benefits the wealthiest one percent.

    Shock. You can’t easily shock the stupid morons, the cap wearing cows, that go to his rallies. Maybe some of the less dull and intransigent fence sitters will assess the situation with some degree of objectivity, get smarter and be able to change; but I doubt it. If they’re still on the fence now they’re still biddable, still angry, low information voters (fodder).

    It’s a lottery, a numbers game; how many people read and are informed and are right minded and how many people aren’t. I don’t see too many people being capable of being shocked. It’s never happened like that. They are like addicts, addicted to loyalty. The meltdown of 2008, as Phil said, didn’t do anything.

    I hope your optimism is more warranted than my reasoned pessimism.

    Maybe the democrats will develop a proper message and be able to get it out. But in this post truth, sick era of right wing populism (neo fascism) and with all this distrust and lack of comprehension of the value of “government”, it will be mercilessly attacked along with the messenger(s) with every trick in the book.

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  • Been thinking. It could be that Trump is finished. No legislation passed. Mueller working hard. Deregulation won’t win enough votes. Approval ratings at an all time, historic low.

    The only thing he’s done is hire a new Supreme Court judge.

    (Apart from 2020 or the midterms or even impeachment, Michael Moore made the point last night that he has federal agencies under his control and his agents of destruction are busy doing harm, are doing harm and no one knows about it. There will be unforeseen consequences of these surreptitious maneuverings for years to come.)

    And Fox News is working hard. And he’s getting tons of exposure. People like what they are familiar with.

    Finished? Maybe. Not sure.

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  • Meanwhile, even business leaders who have previously supported Trump, now recognise his shallow posturings, and wish to dissociate themselves from him!

    Two more chief executives have resigned from President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council following Charlottesville.

    Intel’s Brian Krzanich and Under Armour head Kevin Plank have followed Merck’s Ken Frazier in leaving the council.

    Following mounting pressure, President Trump denounced white supremacists groups on Monday.

    A woman was killed on Saturday when a car rammed into a crowd protesting against a white supremacist rally.

    After the death, Mr Trump was criticised for not specifically denouncing the far right, instead ascribing blame to “both sides”.

    Mr Plank sent out a tweet on Monday condemning racism.

    “We are saddened by #Charlottesville. There is no place for racism or discrimination in this world. We choose love & unity.”

    Ten hours later Mr Plank released another statement on Under Armour’s Twitter account announcing his resignation from the advisory body.

    Soon after, Mr Krzanich announced in a blog post on Intel’s website that he too was leaving the council “to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing”.

    “Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base.”

    In an earlier tweet, he had also said “there should be no hesitation in condemning hate speech or white supremacy by name”.

    Both men in the past have expressed some admiration for Mr Trump.

    Their resignations follow the departure of Ken Frazier, the head of drug’s giant Merck, and one of only a handful of black leaders of Fortune 500 companies, on Monday morning

    Mr Frazier said: “I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”

    “America’s leaders must honour our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.”

    In response, Mr Trump tweeted that Mr Frazier would now have “more time to lower rip off drug prices”.

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  • It looks like Trump is working on his next “America First” trade foul-up!

    US President Donald Trump has asked his country’s top trade official to review China’s practices regarding intellectual property.

    The move was incremental, but could eventually lead to the US imposing trade sanctions.

    Mr Trump is trying to balance working with China on relations with North Korea, with his “America-first” trade views.

    Beijing warned that it “will not sit idle” if the probe leads to sanctions.

    Mr Trump returned to Washington to sign the order, which authorises US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to explore whether to undertake a deeper Section 301 investigation.

    The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property estimates that the annual cost to the US economy from counterfeit goods, pirated software and theft of trade secrets is between $225bn and $600bn.

    The commission says that China is the world’s principal intellectual property infringer and that it accounts for 87% of counterfeit items coming into the US.

    In November 2015, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence put the cost of economic espionage through hacking at $400bn a year.

    The European Union, Japan, Germany and Canada have all expressed concern over China’s behaviour on intellectual property theft.

    Top Democrat Sen Chuck Schumer dismissed the memo as “tough talk” without action. The US already reviewed intellectual property practices in China earlier this year as part of a wider report.

    Analysts for the Eurasia Group said the decision suggested the administration had decided to prioritise co-operation with China over North Korea.

    “Rightly or wrongly, the White House believes that taking tough trade actions against China will harm its ability to elicit more co-operation from China on North Korea. This decision captures that prioritisation more than any other to date,” analysts wrote in a note issued on Monday.

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    President Trump has said he is scrapping two business councils after more bosses quit over his handling of violent clashes in Virginia.

    Mr Trump said: “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both.”

    Eight business leaders have withdrawn after the far-right rally last weekend.

    Businesses have been under pressure to distance themselves from Mr Trump over his handling of the clashes.

    Yep! Those business leaders just won’t settle into their role as uncritical sycophant window dressing for Trump! 🙂

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  • Alan4discussion #269
    Aug 16, 2017 at 2:04 pm
    President Trump has said he is scrapping two business councils after more bosses quit over his handling of violent clashes in Virginia.

    Except in reality the CEOs had shut the councils down already so Trump is desperately trying to save face and claim it was his idea after previously saying he had loads more CEOs lined up. Ha ha.

    But on Wednesday morning, the CEOs of Campbell Soup and 3M joined other business and labor leaders in announcing their departures from the manufacturing council. And at roughly the same time, Stephen Schwarzman, head of the Strategic and Policy Forum, held a call with members of that group to initiate its closure.

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  • It seems those leading business advisors, don’t see themselves as simply endorsing Trump’s bigotry and incompetence!
    Perhaps they had been misled into expecting something better!
    As usual we see the – “Who needs expert advice” attitude, from the clueless Trump!

    President Trump is dropping plans to create an advisory group on infrastructure, a day after two other business panels were dissolved.

    The president has faced a backlash from business leaders over his remarks this week on white supremacists.

    A White House official said the infrastructure council, which was still being formed, “will not move forward”.

    Mr Trump signed an executive order last month to create the group as he looks to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure.

    He has made updating US roads, bridges and airports a key part of his legislative agenda.

    However, on Wednesday he was forced to disband two other White House business panels amid an exodus of chief executives.

    The decision to drop his infrastructure panel comes as the bosses of some of the biggest US companies have criticised Mr Trump’s handling of far-right groups.

    But in a rancorous news conference on Tuesday he backtracked and again blamed left-wing counter-protesters for the violence too.

    That prompted business leaders to quit his manufacturing and policy councils, and drew criticism from the bosses of firms including Apple and JP Morgan.

    Mr Trump had originally planned to draw members of the Advisory Council on Infrastructure from real estate, construction and other parts of the economy.

    At the start of the year he said he was planning the panel and named two well known New York property developers to lead it.

    Representatives for the developers, Steve Roth of Vornado Realty Trust and Richard LeFrak of LeFrak, could not be reached immediately.

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  • Bannon is fired.

    I’m not sure how much to rejoice because loathsome though Bannon is he also kept everything in the White House off balance and unable to achieve much. The main thing is it’s another crushing blow to Trump’s ego and his appalling track record of picking people who never should have been. Only really bad managers keep picking the wrong people and then having to sack them. Sad, Loser, Bigly fail, to throw Trump’s own kinds of words back at him.

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  • It seems even with his die hard supporters the lustre is rapidly wearing off the Trump brand now. The latest poll numbers are still heading down after Charlottesville and his rally in Phoenix seems to have not gone so well. Not very well attended to start with and reading the coverage of it he apparently rambled and ranted on for 75 minutes as hundreds of those who had actually turned up steadily left the arena again, either from boredom or because it was roasting hot and security had confiscated everyone’s water. At one point Trump indicated he thinks that clean coal technology is just coal that’s been washed.

    “We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal, and it’s just been announced that a second, brand-new coal mine, where they’re going to take out clean coal — meaning, they’re taking out coal, they’re going to clean it — is opening in the state of Pennsylvania,” Trump said, completely misrepresenting what clean coal is.

    He attacked John McCain again and is said to no longer be on speaking terms with Mitch McConnell. It would appear that even trying just a little bit to stay on good terms with people you need to do business with is not a concept that has ever occured to him. This is all excellent news for Dems of course as Trump torches everything and everyone he comes into contact with.

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  • “This is all excellent news for Dems of course…”

    No. It’s good news for humanity as his policies will hurt everyone, and he’s quite capable of blowing us all up, the fucking piece of shit. You’ve read the articles: he’s cutting everything that has to do with the environment, cutting and slashing spending for much needed programs left, right and center. Trump is a sick jerk, is still lying about the fake news. Did you hear that scumbag speaking in wherever it was? He lied to his paid crowd with his token black gesticulating there in the back, and left out the controversial words “on all sides”. Then he promised to pardon some racist hillbilly cop. I couldn’t even watch. He’s a racist, a stupid jerk, and enough is enough. Pence is a liar. Hate him too. There all sick.

    Look at this. WTF? MLK’s niece? Nice.

    Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson proclaimed that “our lives are too short to let our differences divide us.” Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., led everyone in singing a few lines of “How Great Thou Art.” Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed for the politically and racially divided nation and asked the Lord to shut the mouths of “those in this country who want to divide, who want to preach hate.” And Vice President Pence declared that “President Trump believes with all his heart … that love for America requires love for all its people.” Meanwhile, a supporter seated directly behind stage even wore a T-shirt that stated: “Trump & Republicans are not racist.”

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  • As I said above, a few days ago, Trump has already done considerable harm. I don’t know what the effects will be or how easy it will be to repair the damage that is already underway.

    The Complete List of Regulations Trump has Undone:

    The economy

    Withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The trade deal would have established a trade partnership between the United States and countries on the Pacific Rim.

    Revoked a rule that expanded the number of people who could earn overtime pay.

    Reversal of a rule that would mandate that oil and gas companies report payments to foreign governments. The Securities and Exchange Commission will no longer receive this information.

    Ended limits on the ability of states to drug test those seeking unemployment benefits.

    Revoked an executive order that mandated compliance by contractors with laws protecting women in the workplace. Prior to the 2014 order, a report found that companies with federal contracts worth millions of dollars had scores of violations of labor and civil rights laws.

    Repeal of a rule allowing states to create retirement savings plans for private-sector workers.

    Cancelled a rule mandating that financial advisers act in the best interests of their clients.

    Repeal of a bill that mandated that employers maintain records of workplace injuries.

    Killed a rule mandating that government contractors disclose past violations of labor law.

    The justice system

    Rescinded an Obama effort to reduce mandatory sentences. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered that prosecutors seek the most stringent penalties possible in criminal cases.

    Cancelled a phase-out of the use of private prisons.

    Reversed the government’s position on a voter ID law in Texas. Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department argued that the law had discriminatory intent. Under Sessions, Justice withdrew that complaint. On Wednesday, a federal court threw out the law.

    Reviewed Justice Department efforts to address problematic police departments. An effort to address concerns in the Baltimore Police Department was delayed.

    The environment

    On Friday, Politico reported that some representatives of oil and gas companies are worried that Trump’s moving too quickly to reverse regulations on their industry. “[Y]ou don’t need to roll things back so far that it opens an opportunity for outsiders to criticize, or something bad happens,” one analyst said.

    Withdrew from the Paris climate agreement.

    Blocked the Clean Power Plan. The plan implemented under Obama focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

    Ended a study on the health effects of mountaintop-removal mining. The process involves blasting away the tops of hills and mountains to get at coal seams under the surface.

    Rescinded a rule mandating that rising sea levels be considered when building public infrastructure in flood-prone areas.

    Reversed an Obama ban on drilling for oil in the Arctic.

    Reviewed the status of national monuments for possible reversal. In April, Trump signed an executive order ordering a review of monuments added in the past 20 years, opening up the possibility that some areas previously set aside would have that status revoked.

    Withdrew a rule regulating fracking on public land.

    Rejected a proposed ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos. The month after this decision, a group of farmworkers were sickened by exposure to the chemical.

    Reversed a ban on plastic bottles at national parks.

    Repealed a ban on lead bullets. The bullets were banned under Obama because the lead can poison wildlife.

    Rescinded a limit on the number of sea animals that can be trapped or killed in fishing nets.

    Delayed and potentially rolled back automotive fuel efficiency standards.

    Repealed the Waters of the United States rule. This rule expanded the definition of water bodies that were protected by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Ended a rule banning dumping waste from mining into streams.

    Reversed a rule banning hunting bears and wolves. The ban applied to federal refuges in Alaska and prohibited hunting predators using certain methods.

    Repealed a rule that would have centralized federal land management.

    Removed a bike-sharing station at the White House.

    Foreign policy and immigration

    Cut the number of migrants and refugees allowed from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

    Repealed a rule allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military.

    Rolled back of Obama’s outreach to the Cuban government.

    Ended the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program. DAPA extended protections for some immigrant parents whose children were citizens of or residents in the United States.


    Rolled back school lunch standards championed by Michelle Obama.

    Withdrew federal protections for transgender students in schools. Under the rule approved by Obama, transgender students could use school bathrooms that corresponded to their gender identities.

    Reversed a rule that mandated how achievement is measured in schools.

    Repealed a rule mandating certain requirements for teacher-preparation programs.

    Other areas

    Halted or cancelled hundreds of other minor regulatory actions.

    Revoked a ban on denying funding for Planned Parenthood at the state level.

    Repealed a rule mandating that Internet service providers seek permission before selling personal information.

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  • While Trump blunders on as a disruptive and destructive irrelevance to anything useful to the average US citizen, we await names of the conspirators as the Russian collusion investigation continues!

    The first charges have been filed in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russia interference in the 2016 US election, media reports say.

    It was not clear what the charges were and who they targeted, CNN and Reuters reported quoting unnamed sources.

    Anyone charged could be taken into custody as soon as Monday, CNN said.

    US intelligence agencies said earlier this year the Russian government sought to help Donald Trump win the election.

    The document said that Russia led a campaign to “denigrate” his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton by hacking into email accounts and paying social media “trolls” to make nasty comments.

    Mr Mueller’s investigation is looking into any links between Russia and the Trump campaign. Both deny there was any collusion.

    The charges, approved by a federal grand jury in Washington, are sealed under orders from a federal judge, the reports added.

    A spokesman for Mr Mueller has declined to comment on the reports.
    His team is known to have conducted extensive interviews with several current and former White House officials.

    Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed by the Justice Department as special counsel in May shortly after Mr Trump fired FBI director James Comey.

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  • Meanwhile, as the Trump Administration and their media stooges continue in denial – others are treating them as irrelevant noise, and taking action: –

    Facebook has announced measures to make political advertising on the social media platform more transparent.

    Political advertisers will have to verify their identity and location and their posts will carry a disclosure saying “paid for by”.

    The steps come amid allegations that Russian-backed groups used social media ads to interfere in the US election.

    Executives from Facebook and other internet giants will testify before a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

    “When it comes to advertising on Facebook, people should be able to tell who the advertiser is and see the ads they’re running, especially for political ads,” Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice president of ads, said in a blog post.

    By clicking on the “paid for by” disclosure, users would be able to see more details about the advertiser, he added.

    Facebook said it was expanding the transparency measures to all ads, and that they would all have to be linked to a page. Users would also be able to view the ads any page was running, it added.

    Tests for the new tools would start in Canada, with a goal of having them in place in the US ahead of the midterm elections, in November 2018.

    Tech giants are keen to show they can self-regulate after it was found that Russian-backed groups were exploiting their ad platforms.

    On Tuesday, Twitter announced similar transparency measures, including labels for election-related ads and more details about who funded them.

    It also banned two of Russia’s biggest media outlets – Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik – from buying advertising amid fears they attempted to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.

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  • So while the Trumpies carry on attacking the messengers, and Trump replaces useful honest people with ideological stooges, his persecution complex must be raging, as the the world of validated information “conspires” to reveal the evidence based facts, and debunks his propagandist “alternative pseudo-facts”!

    Facebook says it has discovered a Russian-funded campaign to promote divisive social and political messages on its network.

    The company says $100,000 (£77,000) was spent on about 3,000 ads over a two-year period, ending in May 2017.

    The ads did not back any political figures specifically but instead posted on topics including immigration, race and equal rights.

    Facebook said it was co-operating with a US investigation into the matter.

    It is handing over its evidence to special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is overseeing an inquiry into alleged Russian interference in last year’s US presidential election.

    The advertisements directed users towards around 470 accounts that spread false information or were otherwise in breach of Facebook’s terms and conditions, the site said.

    “The ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum,” the company said in a blog post published on Wednesday.

    The company said elsewhere it believed, but could not independently confirm, that the accounts were created by the so-called Internet Research Agency, a St Petersburg-based group known for posting pro-Kremlin messages on social media.

    The accounts in question have now been shut down, Facebook’s chief security officer Alex Stamos added.

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  • There seems to be another one of these propagandist “think-tanks”, similar to the ones used by corporate carbonaceous science deniers! –
    A typical information source for ideological right-wing gullible voters, evangelical faith-thinkers, quack-medicine fans, and Trumpies!

    View from Russia – By Andrey Soshnikov, BBC Russian Service

    The Internet Research Agency is one of the many names used by a media conglomerate known informally as the “Russian troll factory”.

    The wider operation is linked to Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, a friend of President Vladimir Putin since the 1990s.

    His nickname is “Putin’s cook” since he was actually a cook, whose food was admired by the president.

    The business has never publicly been declared but is thought to be building pro-Kremlin public opinion via a big number of fake internet identities. Such activity is sometimes known as astro-turfing or internet sock-puppeting.

    Russian trolls also engage in cyberbullying and harassing people with democratic views on the internet.

    Although Mr Prigozhin has never acknowledged his involvement, about a dozen whistleblowers from the “troll factory” have talked to the media.

    At least one popular pro-Trump, anti-Clinton Facebook community called Secured Borders was managed from the operation, according a report by RBC magazine.

    Secured Borders boasted 140,000 subscribers. One of its posts, published at the height of the election campaign and heavily advertised on Facebook, reached four million people on the social network. It was “liked” more than 300,000 times and shared more than 80,000 times.

    The Secured Borders community has since been deleted.

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  • OK, I have no doubt the Russians and others tried to interfere with the US election a year ago. But as Jesus is supposed to have said : “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone. ” The CIA can hardly be said to be “without sin” , and wasn’t it just they who were spying on Angela Merkle’s phone ? Supposedly a strong ally of the USA. Like Britain before it, the USA tries to assert and increase its influence throughout the world, using whatever methods seem appropriate, whether attempting to assassinate Castro in Cuba, or deposing Allende from Chile. No bloody wonder if the Russians and all the others try to emulate the current No 1 world power ?

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  • Quantity changes quality.

    They didn’t just try to interfere; they did interfere – on a massive scale, using the internet, leaking emails, etc. This whole “fake news” business started with the Russian interference. Most, or many, of those stupid anti-Hillary ads on various websites, were fake.

    This week, it was revealed that Russian funded fake news stories were spread to as many as 70 million Americans on Facebook during the 2016 Presidential campaign.

    So, how does this happen? Let me explain.

    It starts with websites. Websites that look like real news sites… but are really spreading fake news. PolitiFact has been keeping a list… and right now, they count more than 200 fake news sites.

    And this kind of cyber warfare is probably still happening now, will continue. if the Trump machine – fascistic essentially – was involved and participated, let the arrogant monsters be held accountable.

    As for the CIA, I think we need it, in spite of this: The CIA considered bombing Miami and killing refugees to blame Castro.

    I wouldn’t put it past Trump’s people to stage something like that now. A terrorist act or something like that but committed by themselves so they can blame the liberals, the media, or immigrants, or Muslims, and further their own agenda. It was reported on Rachel Maddow last July that sh