Tuesday, July 18, 2017

150,000 attempts to hack South Carolina voting system on election day

By the way, just in case some of my friends want to think that evidence of Russian interference just isn't there, on election day in South Carolina there were about 150,000 attempts to hack the voting system on election day.  Apparently not successful, but we have been warned.  Too bad we have a president who is thankful for Russian interference on his behalf rather than a president who sees the danger to American democracy and to America itself.

Disgusting man.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trump Jr, aka "Fredo", spills the beans

Apparently Donald Trump Jr. has the nickname of "Fredo" amongst Trump campaign staff, referring to the incompetent son of mob boss, Vito Corleone, in the movie “The Godfather”.  Even amongst the low standards of ethics and wisdom of the Trump world Trump Jr. seems to set a low bar.  Recent revelations show that he took a meeting with a Russian operative on the promise that he would receive damaging opposition research from the Russians.  Remember that Russia is a hostile foreign power whose boss, Putin, is dedicated to weakening America any way that he can.

This is direct evidence that:
·         Russia was interfering in our American elections
·         Russia was interfering so as to defeat Clinton and elect Trump
·         the Trump campaign was willing to work with the hostile foreign power, Russia, to defeat Clinton.  

Smoking gun.  Conspiracy.  Perhaps treason.  


"The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with opposition research on Hillary Clinton.
The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
If the future president’s elder son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.
He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
*******
Donald Trump Jr. agreed, adding that he would most likely bring along “Paul Manafort (campaign boss)” and “my brother-in-law,” Jared Kushner, now one of the president’s closest White House advisers.
On June 9, the Russian lawyer was sitting in the younger Mr. Trump’s office on the 25th floor of Trump Tower, just one level below the office of the future president."
So, what should Jr, and (Manafort and Kushner) have done? Inform the FBI! This is a serious crime against our very democracy itself.
"When Gore campaign was sent Bush debate brief book, they called FBI. If foreign interests offer you info on former SOS, you call the FBI.
— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) July 10, 2017"

It has never been much of a mystery why Trump has been trying to stop the investigation into conspiracy between the Trump campaign and hostile foreign power of Russia.  Just win baby?  Even if it takes an act of treason to do so?  Well, let’s hope that these remarkably corrupt people do not get away with it.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Donald "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" Trump

Donald Trump thinks he is more powerful than the Congress of the United States because he is president.  I believe he will be president only as long as the Republicans in Congress allow him to be president.  They can impeach him at any time because there are grounds for impeachment any time they decide to exercise them.  And he keeps pressing his luck.  Will he eventually become so disgusting that Republicans will decide the only way to protect themselves is to get rid of him?

His most recent offense is a personal, disgusting attack on the co-host of the Morning Joe TV show.  What an embarrassment this “man” is.

Speaker Paul Ryan criticized President Donald Trump on Thursday for a crude attack on MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski’s physical appearance.
“I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,” Ryan said at a press conference, less than three hours after Trump ridiculed “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” for “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”
The point is that Trump presents many targets for impeachment.  He has been in violation of the Emoluments Clause ever since he refused to divest himself on his businesses and put them into a blind trust – his properties and brands are ways that he gets money from countries who curry this president’s  favors.  This might even be considered a violation of the Bribery Clause which is a black letter impeachment offense.  Indeed, Trump got a deal with China for using his trademark in China prior to his negotiating U.S. trade business with China as President.  Isn’t this bribery?  Here is the quote from the Constitution:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Obstruction of justice was the first article of impeachment against both Nixon and Clinton.  His firing of the FBI director, James Comey, because Comey was investigating the Trump campaign, and possibly Trump himself, for collusion with a hostile foreign power, Russia, to get Trump elected is certainly obstruction of justice.

Any time the Republicans finally decide that this dangerous and embarrassing buffoon is endangering their jobs he is toast, it seems to me.  And if they see the House falling to the Dems in 2018, that could be the final straw.

I think some of my conservative friends think the push to impeach Trump is just politics as usual, liberals trying to stop conservatism.  But, that is not how it is to me.  Trump is the walking definition of an unqualified person to be entrusted with the powers of the presidency.  If he is thrown out his successor is the right wing fundamentalist true believer Mike Pence, who is worse for liberals ideologically than Trump.  My desire is to stop a deeply corrupt and unstable person with strong authoritarian urges. 


Impeaching Trump is not about stopping conservatism; it may be what is needed to preserve our precious democracy.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Senate Republicans' health care bill cuts 22 million from health care

Imagine if some kind of economic catastrophe in the United States caused 22 million people to lose their health care.  Imagine the headlines, the photographs, the videos, the stories of untreated illnesses, of the diminished lives, of the diseases and deaths of of millions upon millions of people.

What kind of economic catastrophe could do that?  Stock market crash? Massive unemployment? Depression, deflation, hyper-inflation? Russian cyber-war that destroys the banking system? 

How about a man made catastrophe of the most avoidable kind - ideologically caused economic catastrophe.

That is what the Republican Party is rushing to do to America today.  This isn't Trump's doing.  Trump just barely has an opinion about health care in America.  Trump never thought for more than a few moments about health care in his life, other than to find the hot button phrases that could excite the conservative base into voting for him.

No, this is ideology - a blind ideology that has been entrenched ever since Obamacare was debated and put into law. This is the ideology of the Republican Party, and it is a disastrous lurch into economic calamity.  This is a rush to pass a law without debate, without inputs from the various medical players, without testimony from expert witnesses - oh, I forgot, conservatives don't like experts, they hate experts I guess because experts say different things than talk radio and Fox News folks say, so you can't trust experts because experts don't say simple things that can be put on bumper stickers or baseball caps.

The CBO projection is that 22 million people will lose their health care if the Senate Republican plan becomes law.  The CBO projected that 24 million people would lose their health care if the House of Representative plan would become law. Is this supposed to progress?

My conservative friends justify this stunning cruelty by telling themselves that Obamacare is collapsing of its own fatal flaws.  But it seems to me that those states that cooperated with Obamacare are having a pretty good experience, and those states that refused and obstructed Obamacare are having bad experiences.  It seems pretty clear to me that many Republicans, unfortunately including the president, are doing all they can to sabotage Obamacare, as if Obamacare were just some kind of idea that they didn't like rather than being the thing keeping people in their states alive and healthy.

I don't think the Republicans will overturn Obamacare because they won't be able to get the votes of both the "moderates" (i.e. those who don't want to watch folks die for lack of Medicaid funding in their states) and the "conservatives" (those who think the only thing that counts is cutting spending and shrinking or better yet eliminating the federal government which they see as some kind of evil restraint on freedom).

If a bill gets out of the Senate and goes to committee, it is hard for me to believe that a bill will then be be approved by both the House and the Senate and become law.  The "freedom caucus" (who I think are really pretty much blinded by their own dogmas and fanatical obsessions) will never go along with anything that smacks of compassion for the poor in favor of their most sacred of all desires - tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.

All I can say is that if a terrible health care law gets passed by both houses and is signed by Trump, people will be much better off if they live in California than if they live in Kansas.  I fully expect that those states that have encouraged people to enroll in Obamacare, and who have cooperated with the Federal Government's efforts to make it work will treat their people much better than those states that have done everything they could to sabotage it.   


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Warren Sapp to donate his brain to research when he dies

Multiple Pro Bowl football player Warren Sapp is donating his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for research upon his death.  He is 44 years old and is losing cognitive function due to the violence to his brain during his football years.  It doesn't matter how strong one's body is, or how much pain one is willing to take, there is no way to toughen up the brain to withstand blows to the head. 

"We're playing in a macho league and we're talking about Hall of Famers now who are immortalized forever, made busts and everything. Legends of the game," he said. "There's no way any of us wanna really admit that we can't remember how to get home or a grocery list that the wife has given us or how to go pick up our kids to the school, or whatever it may be.

"You try to [say], 'All right, I'm gonna get a little more sleep -- maybe it's something I did last night, maybe something I drank,' or whatever it is. You try to find a reason that it's not that it's my brain, that I'm not deteriorating right before my own eyes.
"It's the most frightening feeling, but it's also a very weakening feeling because you feel like a child. I need help. I need somebody to help me find something that I could've found with my eyes closed, in the dead of night, half asleep.""

He hopes the research can make the game safer, but as far as I can tell there is no way to make the game of football safe from brain trauma and damage.

I expect parents to stop letting their children play football. I expect the game to fade away.  All I see when I watch football is blocks, tackles, and brain damage.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trump's inability to understand the Russian threat

Trump's hyper-fragile grandiose ego has changed the Russia probe from what it really is - an investigation into Russian interference into the American election - into Trump's egocentric view of it - an investigation to discredit Trump's "fabulous" victory in November. 

This is about Russia's war on the U.S. and all of the West.  Russia tried to elect a Fascist in France, but the French were on to the ruse and defeated Russia's candidate.  Russia had and continues to havre massive control over Ukraine.  Russia continues to interfere in American politics.  It must be uncovered and countered.  They have fractured America's political system and damaged America's relations with our allies.  Russia is winning this war, which our president doesn't even recognize.  Amazing.

Russia has found new weapons in today's electronic world - hacking.  They are being quite successful, unfortunately.  And our current president is missing the entire point.  Not a big surprise, of course. 

It's not about Trump - it's the Russians, stupid...

Of course, if he actually did/does collude with the Russians, it becomes about him too...Could be a motive for him to try to stop the investigation, of course.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Why I think Putin is controlling Trump

I think Russia's Vladimir Putin is controlling America's president, Donald Trump.  Here's why:

  • The Russians hacked into the Hillary campaign and dumped emails into the media to damage her candidacy, while they did nothing of the sort to Trump
  • Trump cared about only one thing at the Republican Convention during the forming of the platform, and that was to delete any mention of condemnation of Russia's take-over of Crimea and Ukaraine
  • After the election and before the inauguration the CIA, FBI, and NSA all concluded that Russia interfered in the election with the goal of electing Trump
  • President Trump pressured FBI director Comey, Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, and Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency to call off investigations into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign
  • Top Trump campaign people are known to have Russian connections - from Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions to Ashton Carter, Roger Stone, and now Jared Kushner
So, what is the entire point of Putin putting Trump into office?  What does Putin want from Trump?  I think he just got it.  Trump refused to affirm America's support of Article 5 of NATO which says an attack on any member of NATO is an attack on all of us.  Germany has said that it is becoming clear that Europe was going to have to stop relying on America.

Perhaps Putin's prime goal is to keep NATO from opposing Putin's takeover of the Baltic states.  Looks like Mr Trump is in agreement with Mr Putin.

And then, of course, there is just the general Putin strategy around the world to discredit and weaken all democracies as his way of lifting Russia back into international power status.  How could he have done that more effectively than by putting an ignorant child into the White House.

Why is Trump letting Putin tell him what to do? Possible reasons - Trump owes Putin and his oligarchs billions of dollars - Putin has humiliating and/or incriminating evidence he can release against Trump - or Trump is just Putin's chump.

Not good for America or the world.  I believe.