(11/23/2017) "Dying to see the end of Trump" By Melinda Welsh in LA Times - "I was diagnosed with cancer at age 58.  My doctors gave me six months to a 'yearish' to live, as I have written about in The Times' Opinion pages in the past.  Thanks to breakthroughs in immunotherapy and all-around good fortune, I've out-survived my prognosis by several years.  But I may not survive President Trump.  I gave my husband a multiple-choice quiz the other night: Will the anxiety Trump generates: 1) have no effect on me, 2) kill me off sooner than expected, or 3) actually extend my life by inspiring me to hang around long enough to see him thrown out of office?  Needless to say, we're hoping for No. 3.  Trump's presence as commander in chief has invaded my brain and made it more challenging to face mortality as I had planned - with grace, humor and a sense of peace.  Instead, I'm cursing at television newscasts and bemoaning early morning Twitter storms from the White House.  My idea was to live what remained of my life fully and with optimism - eyes wide open to the miracle of life.  But Trump has thrown a monkey wrench into all that.  The president represents the flip side of everything I love about America.  He traffics in fear and has divided us into warring camps on issues of race, gender, football - you name it.  He builds walls, figuratively if not yet literally.  He seems willing to do and say anything to score a win.  He is full of himself, and so little else.  He has eroded the very institutions that make us a democracy by attacking the courts, assaulting freedom of religion and mugging the media.  He lies without shame, he never admits a mistake and his supporters don't seem to care.  He's a terrible role model - a bully with no regard for facts, let alone truth.  Finally, the man is dangerous as hell.  I'm not alone in worrying that he's going to tweet the world into a nuclear war.  I've been advised to drop out of the daily news cycle so as to avoid stressing about Trump - just 'unfollow' current events.  But that wouldn't suit me.  I'm a retired journalist; I want to stay informed and involved.  When I learned that I could expect to die within a year, I was at least comforted by the belief that humanity was slowly evolving toward the better.  This may sound naive - I knew we hadn't vanquished poverty, war, racism or inequality.  But millions of people around the globe no longer lived in extreme poverty or died of preventable causes.  And we seemed to have made steady advances in important realms; e.g., we humans had finally begun to understand our precious status as caretakers of the one Earth we possess (see the Paris climate talks).  Trump and his tribe have set up colossal roadblocks to my optimism.  It will take decades to undo what his presidency has done so far and - when it comes to averting the worst of the climate crisis - that's time we may not have.  I know I'm lucky to be around right now.  Like many cancer patients, I've fought to make it so, with surgeries, chemotherapy, rounds of radiation and all manner of treatment in several research studies to extend the time I have left.  I recognize the beauty of each new day in ways people without grave illnesses perhaps do not.  I no longer fear my own death.  But that's less solace than it used to be because Trump has made me fear for future generations.  I've never been a bucket-list person, but I do now have one wish before I die: That Trump be banished from office, our country's ideals upheld and America set back on its imperfect but still exceptional trajectory toward the light.  Trump no longer president.  I hope to live to see that day."

(11/6/2017) Per John Schindler - "Since Big News in KremlinGate is coming, it's time for a brief tweetstorm on what's really going on behind scenes with Team Mueller.  If you're surprised that Moscow Misha is cooked, you've not been paying attention, Sr. & Jr. are both going down on a bunch of charges.  Flynn, like Manafort, desperately wanted a deal from Mueller, but they had 0 to offer that DoJ didn't already have.  So, they're screwed.  The Team Mueller + FBI/IC joint investigation here is truly massive, a CI inquiry this expansive hasn't been seen in DC sincer VENONA.  Together, they're investigating HUNDREDS of targets for poss. ties to Russian spies & mobsters.  Public will be shocked when it comes out.  These CI targets include WH officials; Trump associates, friends & family; journalists and lobbyists; even bloggers.  It's a wide net.  It will take years for this CI inquiry to be conducted - VENONA ran from 1943 to 1980, folks - but the answers will stun public.  Anticipate a bunch of indictments in the next year or 2, perhaps many more in the long run; it depends how indictments round 1-5 go.  The Russian conspiracy in DC took years to metastasize, it will take years to unravel in all.  Marathon not sprint, as I say.  Patience."


(10/7/2017) Our oldest son, Cameron was married to Chris Foster today in Long Beach, CA.  Chris did a great job of planning and decorating for the wedding at Bethany Lutheran and the after-party at the American Legion hall.   Chris & the band (What's Next?) sang and played all night.  DJ Tempoe organized the recorded music and the photo booth.  Shelby and Ripley were the stars on the dance floor. 


(5/24/2017) Claude & Louise - The best research and journalism re Trump/Russia crimes is happening behind the scenes and being reported on Twitter accounts.  Intelligence and media employees are leaking info to Claude Taylor and Louise Mensch because their bosses will not allow their reports to be seen in the main stream without an overwhelming amount of proof.  If you are not reading Claude & Louise, you are at least two weeks behind the headlines.

(5/16/2017) President Hatch? - Virginia Grand Jury Indictment - Money Laundering - 70 Republicans involved.  Is this really happening?

(4/22/2017) Jacob's Ladder - Step 1: Jacob Chaffetz is a House Representative from the State of Utah
Step 2: Jacob is the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Step 3: Jacob's Committee investigated Hillary Clinton prior to the 2016 Presidential Election
Step 4: Jacob's Committee leaked a letter from FBI Director James Comey just before Election Day
Step 5: Jacob may or may not have received an unusual campaign donation when Comey's letter was leaked
Step 6: The FBI is investigation unusual campaign donations to Jacob
Step 7: Jacob announced on April 19, 2017 that he would not seek reelection in 2018
Step 8: Stay tuned

(4/8/2017) Hateful Bloated Punk - H: per Sean Penn - "Bannon was then, and he is now, simply another bitter Hollywood wannabe who went rogue by way of taxic narcissistic iconoclasm.  But, deep in his heart, he's just a conniving hateful bloated punk who despises mankind.  And then there are also the bad things about him ..."

(4/7/2017) What Really Happened Here? - So, one Syrian (or Russian?) bomber dropped nerve gas on Syrian civilians and then the Trump administration gave Russia advance notice of an air strike on the Syrian base.  Are you buying this, America?  Now it's back to business as usual.

(4/4/2017) Unpresidented Firsts - L: per Max Boot - "Herewith, a partial list of the myriad ways in which Donald Trump has already gone where no president has gone before.  He is the first president to:
1. Be elected with the help of a hostile foreign power ...
2. Be investigated by the FBI for possible collusion with that same hostile foreign power ...
3. So fulsomely express admiration for a Russian dictator ...
4. Lie so regularly and brazenly and often about matters, such as the size of his inauguration crowds, that are of little consequence ...
5. Accuse his predecessor of 'Watergate/Nixon' crimes ...
6. Rely so prominently on his family in government ...
7. Have so many blatant conflicts of interest ...
8. Appoint his former campaign chairman to the National Security Council's principals committee in spite of his lack of national security credentials ...
9. Fire his first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, after 24 days in office ...
10. Alienate so many allies so quickly ...
11. Leave so many executive branch jobs vacant [491 of 553] ...
12. So vitriolically attack the judiciary ...
13. Publicly denounce the media as 'the enemy of the American people' ...
14. Be so ignorant of public policy.  According to New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, citing a 'senior European diplomat,' at his recent meeting with German  Chancellor Angela Merkel, 'Trump knew nothing of the proposed European-American deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, little about Russian aggression in Ukraine or the Minsk agreements, and was so scatterbrained that German officials concluded that the president's daughter Ivanka, who had no formal reason to be there, was the more prepared and helpful.'
15. See two of his signature initiatives - an attempt to limit Muslim immigration and to repeal Obamacare - defeated so early in his first term ..."

(4/2/2017) Our Dishonest President - L: editorial - "It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters.  The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a 'catastrophe.'  Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.  Like millions of other Americans, we clung to a slim hope that the new president would turn out to be all noise and bluster, or that the people around him in the White House would act as a check on his worst instincts, or that he would be sobered and transformed by the awesome responsibilities of office.  Instead, seventy-some days in - and with about 1,400 to go before his term is completed - it is increasingly clear that those hopes were misplaced.  In a matter of weeks, President Trump has taken dozens of real-life steps that, if they are not reversed, will rip families apart, foul rivers and pollute the air, intensify the calamitous effects of climate change and profoundly weaken the system of American public education for all.  His attempt to de-insure millions of people who had  finally received healthcare coverage and, along the way, enact a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich has been put on hold for the moment.  But he is proceeding with his efforts to defang the government's regulatory agencies and bloat the Pentagon's budget even as he supposedly retreats from the global stage.  These are immensely dangerous developments that threaten to weaken this country's moral standing in the world, imperil the planet and reverse years of slow but steady gains by marginalized or impoverished Americans.  But, chilling as they are, these radically wrongheaded policy choices are not, in fact, the most frightening aspect of the Trump presidency.  What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself.  He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation.  His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation - these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected.  But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous.  Although his policies are, for the most part, variations on classic Republican positions (many of which would have been undertaken by a President Ted Cruz or a President Marco Rubio), they become far more dangerous in the hands of this imprudent and erratic man.  Many Republicans, for instance, support tighter border security and a tougher response to illegal immigration, but Trump's cockamamie border wall, his impracticable campaign promise to deport all 11 million people living in the country illegally and his blithe disregard for the effect of such proposals on the U.S. relationship with Mexico turn a very bad policy into an appalling one.  In the days ahead, The Times editorial board will look more closely at the new president, with a special attention to three troubling traits.  Trump's shocking lack of respect for those fundamental rules and institutions on which our government is based.  Since Jan. 20, he has repeatedly disparaged and challenged those entities that have threatened his agenda, stoking public distrust of essential institutions in a way that undermines faith in American democracy.  He has questioned the qualifications of judges and the integrity of their decisions, rather than acknowledging that even the president must submit to the rule of law.  He has clashed with his own intelligence agencies, demeaned government workers and questioned the credibility of the electoral system and the Federal Reserve.  He has lashed out at journalists, declaring them 'enemies of the people,' rather than defending the importance of a critical, independent free press.  His contempt for the rule of law and the norms of government are palpable.  His utter lack of regard for truth.  Whether it is the easily disprovable boasts about the size of his inauguration crowd or his unsubstantiated assertion that President Obama bugged Trump Tower, the new president regularly muddies the waters of fact and fiction.  It's difficult to determine whether he actually can't distinguish the real from the unreal - or whether he intentionally conflates the two to befuddle voters, deflect criticism and undermine the very idea of objective truth.  Whatever the explanation, he is encouraging Americans to reject facts, to disrespect science, documents, nonpartisanship and the mainstream media - and instead to simply take positions on the basis of ideology and preconceived notions.  This is a recipe for a divided country in which differences grow deeper and rational compromise becomes impossible.  His scary willingness to repeat alt-right conspiracy theories, racist memes and crackpot, out-of-the-mainstream ideas.  Again, it is not clear whether he believes them or merely uses them.  But to cling to disproven 'alternative' facts, to retweet racists, to make unverifiable or false statements about rigged elections and fraudulent voters, to buy into discredited conspiracy theories first floated on fringe websites and in supermarket tabloids - these are all of a piece with the Obama 'birther' claptrap that Trump was peddling years ago and which brought him to political prominence.  It is deeply alarming that a president would lend the credibility of his office to ideas that have been rightly rejected by politicians from both major political parties.  When will this end?  Will Trump moderate his crazier campaign positions as time passes?  Or will he provoke confrontation with Iran, North Korea or China, or disobey a judge's order or order a soldier to violate the Constitution?  Or, alternately, will the system itself - the Constitution, the courts, the permanent bureaucracy, the Congress, the Democrats, the marchers in the streets - protect us from him as he alienates more and more allies at home and abroad, steps on his own message and creates chaos at the expense of his ability to accomplish his goals?  Already, Trump's job approval rating has been hovering in the mid-30's, according to Gallup, a shockingly low level of support for a new president.  And that was before his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, offered to cooperate with congressional investigators looking into connections between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.  On Inauguration Day, we wrote on this page that it was not yet time to declare a state of 'wholesale panic' or to call for blanket 'non-cooperation' with the Trump administration.  Despite plenty of dispiriting signals, that is still our view.  The role of the rational opposition is to stand up for the rule of law, the electoral process, the peaceful transfer of power and the role of institutions; we should not underestimate the resiliency of a system in which laws are greater than individuals and voters are as powerful as presidents.  This nation survived Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon.  It survived slavery.  It survived devastating wars.  Most likely, it will survive again.  But if it is to do so, those who oppose the new president's reckless and heartless agenda must make their voices heard.  Protesters must raise their banners.  Members of Congress - including and especially Republicans - must find the political courage to stand up to Trump.  Courts must safeguard the Constitution.  State legislators must pass laws to protect their citizens and their policies from federal meddling.  All of us who are in the business of holding leaders accountable must redouble our efforts to defend the truth and values from his cynical assaults.  The United States is not a perfect country, and it has a great distance to go before it fully achieves its goals of liberty and equality.  But preserving what works and defending the rules and values on which democracy depends are a shared responsibility.  Everybody has a role to play in this drama."

(4/2/2017) Tina - H: per Tina Fey - "A lot of this election was turned by white, college-educated women who now would maybe like to forget about this election and go back to watching HGTV.  I would want to urge them to like, 'You can't look away' because it doesn't affect you this minute, but it's going to affect you eventually.  Again, open two windows.  Do watch HGTV, (don't turn our attention away from what is happening.  I will personally make my own pledge as a college-educated white woman to not look away ... to not pretend that things are happening now won't eventually affect me if we don't put a stop to it."

(4/1/2017) From One Billionaire to Another on April Fool's Day - H: per Mark Cuban - "Here is my take on Trump and Russia.  Russians have made him a lot of money buying condos and investing in his bldgs and hosting his beauty pageant.  That makes them his friends.  He ignored their backgrounds.  But that's not unusual.  Starbucks takes anyone's money and so do most businesses, including mine.  He spoke favorably about Putin to get his approval for Russians to get $ out of Russia and into Trump deals.  He saw it as easy money.  When Manafort was recommended, he didn't vett him.  He saw it as a win win.  Win the election or open the door for more Russian business.  As people with Russian connects came into the campaign he had no clue that those connections were possibly being influenced by Russia.  His lean campaign took direction from people he trusted and he followed those directions.  He had no clue where the Russians fit.  When Mnafort got 'hot' he got rid of him but the campaign approach had been established.  Bannon took it to the next level FTW.  No chance this is a DJT led conspiracy.  He isn't detail oriented, organized or big picture enough to pull off any time [sic] of conspiracy.  I think Putin recognized trumps greed and took advantage by back channeling coordinated misinformation in an attempt to influence voters.  Trump had no idea this was happening.  He was doing what he was told to do.  Stick to the script and read what was written for him.  Because he didn't recognize or understand as it was happening he has no idea what to do now or how to respond.  So he turns to Fox News.  That's what I think happened.  Feel free to agree or disagree."

(3/30/2017) Clumsy Liar - R: per Rick Wilson - "The Ellis connection was obvious from the moment I heard it.  Nunes is a clumsy liar, and DC only rewards talented liars.  Spicer lied in his briefing about Nunes getting the intel from WH sources ... and I think it can be proven that Nunes lied to Ryan.  So two WH operatives - possibly improperly - accessed classified to pass it to Nunes as part of a *political* pushback operation.  Who ordered it?  Whos asked them to do so?  If you think two lower-level guys took it upon themselves to make this play ... I've got a Nigerian prince with $30 million dollars for you.  Who is running the WH pushback operation on Trump's Russia scandal?  It rhymes with Beeve Stannon.  This is where it gets good, so ride along with me.  Flynn's staybehind agent Cohen-Watnick was about to be shitcanned by McMaster.  Chen-Watnick - the NSC intel director - was a Flynnite from DIA days.  Flynn was gone but the channel was still open.  McMaster, Pompeo et al wanted him gone.  'But Rick,' you ask, "Why was he STILL there with all we know about Flynn?'  But Cohen-Watnick appealed McMaster's decision to two influential allies with whom he had forged a relationship while working on Trump's transition team - White House advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.  They brought the matter to Trump on Sunday, and the president agreed that Cohen-Watnick should remain as the NSC's intelligence director, according to two people with knowledge of the episode.  Why would Bannon and Kushner race to this guy's defense.  Because he's helping run the pushback operation on Russia with Nunes.  Strap in tight because this is going to be a rough landing."

(3/26/2017) Seth - K: quotes reporter Seth Abramson on 3/23/2017 - "The plot to sell America's foreign policy for foreign oil and steal an election in the bargain began at the Mayflower Hotel.  Per NYMag, Paul Manafort took over the Trump campaign on April 16 just 72 hours before Trump mathematically eliminated his competition.  The timing was intentional.  Manafort, hired in March, was slated to become the campaign's key player as soon as Trump became the nominee.  On April 21, 48 hours after clinching, Trump announced the first major policy address of his life.  It was scheduled for April 27.  The speech, arranged by Jared Kushner in mid-March, was to be hosted by the Center for National Interest, a conservative think tank.  The Center is widely known to have 'ties to the Russian regime of President Vladimir Putin' per Politico.  The speech was slated to be at the National Press Club, an august venue with a long history of staging secure events with large crowds.  Less than 24 hours before the speech, it was cancelled.  The Trump campaign (i.e. Manafort) declared the venue was too small and unsafe.  So Manafort moved the event to the Mayflower Hotel a smaller, less secure site.  The decision confirmed the campaign's excuses were lies.  The two things the Mayflower had that the NPC didn't were a) 581 private rooms for private meetings and b) restricted, VIP-only areas.  The latter was important because Manafort wanted Trump to hold an intimate, 24-person cocktail hour in the Mayflower's VIP Senate Room.  Among the 24 at the event: Trump, CNI event coordinator Heilbrunn, Jeff Sessions, Kushner, Lewandowski, Manafort and four ambassadors.  Another VIP at the event was Iran-Contra figure Bud McFarlane, one of America's chief advocates for a bargain with Russia on oil access.  The four ambassadors were the only four ambassadors in the world (out of 195 total) that the Putin-linked CNI had invited to the event.  The biggest oil deal in Russia's history occurred in December of 2016.  It involved the coordination of entities from three countries.  Individuals from those three countries - Russia, Italy, and Singapore negotiated the sale of 19.5% of Russia's state oil company, Rosneft.  The Russiagate scandal involves claims Trump was given 0.5% of Rosneft and aid in getting elected in exchange for lifting U.S. sanctions.  The Rosneft deal closed Dec. 5-7.  During that time McFarlane visited Trump Tower.  It's believed Russian ambassador/spy Kislyak did too.  WSJ wrote in April 2016 that Trump met separately with the ambassador at the Mayflower and was effusive.  Quote slate.com/blogs/the_slate.  Trump met at a VIP reception with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.  He warmly greeted Kislyak and 3 other ambassadors.  The ambassadors at the Mayflower: Russia/Italy/Singapore and the Philippines - which is routinely cited as a Rosneft expansion target.  So Trump warmly, privately chatted with the 3 Rosneft-deal nations at a cocktail hour right before his first big foreign-policy event.  In his speech Trump called for a Russian detente: 'We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia ... we are not bound to be adversaries.  We should each seek common ground based on shared interests ... an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia is possible [I hope to] make a deal under my administration that's great for America but also good for Russia.'  Richard Burt, CNI and Russian Alfa Bank advisor crafted the speech.  He was also Putin's pipeline lobbyist.  The only Kislyak meeting Sessions never disclosed to Congress even after accusations of perjury was the meeting at the Mayflower.  But per the organizer of the Mayflower Hotel event, Jacob Heilbrunn of the CNI, a third Sessions-Kislyak meeting definitely occurred.  Heilbrunn on the VIP event: 'At a reception in the Senate Room of the Mayflower, a number of politicians and Trump advisors, such as Senator Sessions and ambassadors [from Russia and the other nations] congregated before the event.'  The VIP event wasn't just a receiving line as Trump claimed.  It was a 'cocktail meet-and-greet' - a full event.  That Sessions would feel the need to hide his contact with Kislyak at the Mayflower event after accusations of perjury raises red flags.  The White House saying it has 'no recollection' of any of the VIPs at Trump's biggest-ever foreign policy event is also a red flag.  When Kislyak was asked if he'd met Trump or members of his team during the campaign he replied, 'What do you consider a campaign?'  Kislyak went on to fail to disclose his meeting with Trump at the Mayflower, citing only a meeting at the RNC.  We know Manafort and Kislyak would have known each other as Manafort indirectly worked for Putin for years.  We know Manafort set up the Mayflower event and was available for meetings at it - as was Kushner, who later met secretly with Kislyak.  Congress must investigate any Mayflower meetings between Sessions, Manafort, Kushner, Kislyak and the Italian/Singaporean ambassadors.  We know the White House lied about Mayflower.  We know Sessions has.  We know Kislyak has.  And we know the Rosneft players were present.  We know there was ample time/space for 'sidelines' meetings.  And we know Walid Phares was also there, and Trump Jr., and Stephen Miller.  So other than the RNC and suspicious Trump Tower meetings in December, the Mayflower Speech should get the most attention in Congress."

(3/23/2017) This Really Happened - The chairman (Nunes) of the House Intelligence Committee that is investigating the possible coordination of the Trump campaign committee with Russian operatives, held a private meeting yesterday with President Trump.  Clearly, this was a treasonous act.  The question now is: Will the leaders of the Republican party in Congress continue to obstruct these investigations to protect those who committed treason during a national presidential election?

(3/21/2017) Trouble in Trumpville - MSN: quotes Maxine Waters - "Get ready for impeachment."; R: quotes Douglas Brinkley - "There's a smell of treason in the air."

(3/20/2017) Schiff into First Gear - R: quotes Joe Scarborough - "... the worst day of Donald Trump's presidency."

(3/18/2017) Follow the Rubles - H: "Russian Elites Poured $98M into Trump Buildings"

(3/17/2017) Snake Diane? - R: quotes Senator Feinstein - "I think he's going to get himself [MPT] out."

(3/14/2017) 10,000 Paper Cuts - Impeachable offenses, contacts with foreign agents (especially Russians), loans from foreign banks, surrogates who repeat the president's lies that he has read or heard from professional liars on FOX News & hate radio & pants-on-fire bloggers, lies & the lying liars who tell them, the ramping of the war machine, the gutting of social services - it goes on and on.  The voices of sanity must continue to attack these invasions with 10,000 paper cuts.  We are not alone.

(3/11/2017) Turkey with all the Trimmings - Now we know.  Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was a paid agent of the government of Turkey (through a Turkish agent) during the 2016 campaign as reported by Rachel Maddow, Chris Wallace, Morning Joe, New York Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, NBC and many other media outlets.  MPT and VP Pence are claiming ignorance but THEY. HAD. TO. KNOW!  This is a stunning violation of the U.S. Constitution.  When will the Republican Congress take any action?

(3/5/2017) Wiretrap - MPT has just learned that the FISA had probably authorized surveillance of the Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.  His head is currently exploding just thinking about all of his illegal activities during that time.  Now he needs to double his daily Propecia dosage.

(3/5/2017) And That Plane - The fact that a Russian financier purchased MPT's over-priced property for $100 million, and the appearance of that Russian private jet in at least six airports with the MPT jet, are pretty good evidence that Putin was paying MPT to run for president.

(3/4/2017) Just a Theory - (from Main Street Speaks) "A member of the 'good ol' boys club' got bailed out by Russian rich guys.  He used his influence (pageant/modeling contest) to peddle young girls to old rich guys.  He got caught on video doing things that he shouldn't have been doing by a man (Putin) who has a history of blackmailing politicians AND BUSINESSMEN.  Trump opted to run for office and self fund his campaign (actually a smart move).  Why keep paying politicians when you can spend less money and have more influence even if your bid fails.  Putin sees an opportunity to disrupt the American political process and used 'Influence' to pressure Trump into installing Manafort (someone Trump had never met before) as his campaign manager.  Installed other unknowns like Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, Wilbur Ross as Commerce Secretary who both have close ties to Russia/Putin and were unknown to Trump prior to his election win.  The danger and reason for investigation is simple, Trump has far too much to lose.  His office, his brand (money), his freedom.  These are losses that would make him HIGHLY vulnerable to manipulation."

(3/2/2017) That Russian Cabinet - AG Sessions met with Russian ambassador twice during the 2016 campaign.  Oh no! Not another one of those darn leaks.  What say ye now, Ryan & McConnell?

(2/24/2017) FBI Misread - MPT apparently thought the FBI was an ally because Director Comey kept dumping on HRC during the campaign.  Now he is learning that the FBI does not like him either.  By sending Priebus to ask the FBI to quell rumors about the MPT admin's financial/political connections with Putin et al., MPT crossed a serious ethical barrier.  Priebus may become the fall guy for this gaffe to the delight of arch-enemy Bannon.

(2/21/2017) Whale of a Story - [The following is quoted from H on 2/13/17 per Moby without comment] "After spending the weekend talking to friends who work in DC I can safely (well 'accurately') post the following things: 1 - The Russian dossier on Trump is real.  He's being blackmailed by the Russian government, not just for being peed on by Russian hookers, but for much more nefarious things.  2 - The Trump administration is in collusion with the Russian government, and has been since day one.  3 - The Trump administration needs a war, most likely with Iran.  At present they are putting U.S. warships off the coast of Iran in the hope that Iran will attack one of the ships and give the U.S. a pretense for invasion.  4 - There are right wing plans to get rid of Trump.  He's a drain on their fundraising and their approval ratings, and the GOP and Koch brothers and other U.S. right wing groups are planning to get rid of Trump.  5 - Intelligence agencies around the world, and here in the U.S., are horrified by the incompetence of the Trump administration, and are working to present information that will lead to high level firings and, ultimately impeachment.  I'm writing these things so that when/if these things happen there will be a public record beforehand.  These are truly baffling and horrifying times, as we have an incompetent president who is essentially owned by a foreign power."

(2/15/2017) Flynnigma - It appears that nobody likes Mike Flynn very much.  But, his personality seems to be exactly the type that MPT likes to have around him.  So, why the quick hook?  Surely, MPT is not concerned about Flynn fibbing to Pence.  My guess is that MPT decided to throw Flynn under the bus to get the media off his back re Russian coziness.  Then, with the press feeding on Flynn, MPT could get back to his master plan.  But, what do I know? 

(2/13/2017) How Low Can You Go? - In three weeks, the minority president has seen his non-plurality drop from 46 to 40%, a point at which a sewer snoid with an "R" behind his name would receive the vote of every lock-step, knee-jerk, right-wing/ignorant voter.  What's next for the refugee-basher-in-chief?

(2/12/2017) Fat Bowler - Some of those 62 million voters are now realizing that they have hired a fat bowler to be the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.

(2/9/2017) They Said; Trump Said - Apparently, MPT knows better than several senators and the nominee's spokesperson what was said in private meetings between Judge Gorsuch and the senators.  What amazing super powers the new president has!

(2/5/2017) Vlad's Not All Bad - In an interview with Bill O'Reilly, taped for the FOX Super Bowl halftime, MPT doubled-down on his statement that that Russian leader can be a good ally even though he may be a killer because there are killers in this country as well; or words to that effect.  Is this who we are now?  Are we being led by an autocrat with a neo-Nazi (Bannon) as his top advisor?  Will MPT continue to defy Judiciary Branch decisions?  Republicans in Congress must take action soon to replace this president.

(2/2/2017) Pray for Arnold and Melania - The month of February has just begun and MPT has already insulted Arnold Schwarzenegger, black history, Iran, Australia and student protesters.  He has so much hatred and so little time to spew it all.  There is certain to be six more weeks of winter this year and John McCain will have many more apologetic calls to make.

(1/31/2017) Special Twofer Deal - The latest exec-order calls for all federal agencies (except Defense Dept.) to deactivate two old regulations whenever they enact one new one.  This is a silly, simplistic and childish way to reduce the number of regulations.  MPT must have concluded that all such regulations are unnecessary and thus can easily be disregarded.  Anyone with a basic working-knowledge of mathematics knows that if this order is followed, the eventual result will be zero (or only one) regulation per agency.  When I first read about this, it reminded me of the Woody Allen movie Bananas (1971) wherein the Latin America rebel leader makes his first speech to constituents.  After his statement: "Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check.", the film shows two medicals workers chasing the rebel leader with butterfly nets.  These are interesting times indeed.

(1/28/2017) Muslim Ban 101 - MPT put the cherry on top of the whipped cream of his record-breaking exec-order storm by banning "refugees" from various Middle Eastern countries.  Yahoo reports today that six people with valid immigration visas were pulled from a flight from Cairo to NY.  The BBC headline is: "What is happening?"  But, this is exactly what 62 million marginally-intelligent voters wanted to happened.  Go back and read Orwell's 1984, people.  There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and 3.3 million of them are legal citizens of the United States.  Famous Muslims include Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Snoop Dogg, Janet Jackson, Dave Chappelle, Ice Cube, Mike Tyson, Ellen Burstyn, Cat Stevens and Dr. Oz.  Get ready for the holy war.

(1/26/2017) Freezing, Gagging and Bullying - MPT issued a flurry of executive orders, and promises of more, to freeze federal hirings, restrict communication of environmental studies, withhold all new visas from various Middle Eastern countries, get ready to build that wall and hire thousands of new border agents.  It remains to be seen if Congress will find enough money for his anti-immigration goals.  This very angry man seems to be driven by his zeal for revenge against anyone who criticizes anything he says.  Multiple news outlets are reporting that all scheduled meetings with Mexicans leaders have been canceled; the State Department leaders have resigned en masse; and plans for a Muslim registry are in the works.  Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has stated that she is "ready to register as Muslim."  The "Doomsday Clock" has been moved its closest to midnight since 1953.

(1/24/2017) Marchers and Liars - The Women's March on Washington DC on January 21 over-shadowed the inauguration ceremony and out-numbered the attendees of the inauguration of MPT on January 20.  An estimated three million people marched to protest the election of MPT, making it the biggest protest event in the history of the United States.  To fuel his unpopularity and, apparently, to feed his ego, MPT countered with a series of easily-refuted, blatant lies.  Following are the most disturbing lies reported by multiple media organizations:

1. "That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period." ("PANTS ON FIRE!" per P; photos comparing 2009 to 2017 make this a ludicrous statement)
2. "The media ... sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community." {"FALSE" per P; does MPT not know that his Twitter statements are part of the public record?  Outgoing CIA Director Brennan released the following statement through a spokesperson: "... Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump's despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA's Memorial Wall of Agency Heroes ... Trump should be ashamed of himself."
3. Fox News and many other sources reported that "Trump tells Congressional leaders 3-5 million 'illegals' cost him popular vote."  (This is a repeat of a similar November 2016 statement rated "PANTS ON FIRE!" by P; this Orwellian claim and Senior-Spinner Kellyanne Conway's "alternative facts" explanation cause me and many others to question the sanity of MPT and those who support him)

Signs in the crowd:
"George Washington could not tell a lie; Richard Nixon could not tell the truth; Donald Trump could not tell the difference."
"I've seen smarter cabinets at IKEA."
"Super Callous Fragile Ego, Trump You Are Atrocious"
"140 Character Flaws"
"What Meryl Said!!"
"Librarian for Facts"
"Tinkle Tinkle Little Czar, Putin Put You Where You Are"
"Orange Lies Matter"
"Tweet Women with Respect"
"American Nightmare Day 2"
"Rest of the World: We Are Sorry"


(12/26/2016) When making comments about news items, I will always try to cite at least two credible sources for each item.  I will not make any more comments about Minority President Trump (MPT) until his term begins on January 20, 2017.  Following are the current news sources (with abbreviations) that I consult:

A - aol.com
E - The Economist
F - Facebook (other than sources listed)
H - Huffingtonpost
K - Daily Kos
L - LA Times
M - Talk Media News
N - The Nation
P - Politifact
R - Raw Story
T - Television News (primarily ABC, CBS & NBC)
Y - yahoo.com

(12/19/2016) Greetings from the great mega-state of ORWACA (Oregon-Washington-California) where Hillary Clinton won the election by five million votes.  She also won the national popular count by 2.8 million votes.  But somehow, she is not our president.  Go figure.

I have been using this "History" section to tell interesting (?) stories from my life but now that I am almost 70, my life is not so interesting.  So, I have decided to use "2017" for comments about the condition of the country and the world in these challenging times.

Now it begins - The Era of Trump.


ASGE moved its annual technical to the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas.  Attendance has been growing every year.  [JAM 6/13/2020]