Friday, February 23, 2018

The Evil That Trump's Manafort Served






We should all be disgusted that Paul Manafort had a role in putting someone into our White House, namely Donald Trump, for whom he acted as campaign manager for six months. As bad as Trump is, Manafort is arguably worse. He is as wretched a human being as his employers in the Ukraine in their political campaigning.

Do you understand what Putin's minions did in the Ukraine presidential campaign?

They poisoned the opposition candidate.

Literally.

The handsome man pictured below was close to beating the Putin candidate for the presidency of Ukraine and thus keeping that country out of the controlling hands of Russia.

As the election neared, the Putin puppets were scared this man would indeed win, and so they poisoned him, thereby disfiguring his face and making him repulsive to voters.


Before Poisoning by the Russians


After poisoning by the Russians

When a woman candidate then took over the run against the Putin puppet, she was kidnapped and jailed.

The next move of the pro-Putin people was to hire Manafort for $15 million. His job?  To hide the evil done in the Ukraine election and to burnish the image of the Putin puppet in the world. 

This is the kind of man Manafort is. He aides and abets the worst kind of criminality. And Trump not only hired him to run his campaign but himself defended Putin and Russia during the campaign even at the expense of America. When a news reporter challenged Trump's friendliness with Russia, pointing out that Putin "kills people", Trump replied that the USA also kills people.

Yes, we have killed to get our way, although CIA political assassination in other countries is now outlawed by our federal laws.  But we haven't poisoned people so that their faces become disfigured and scarred.

And American political donations should not go into the pockets of men like Manafort who try to hide such vicious acts. 

But that's exactly what has happened. Yesterday Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller revealed that he had filed additional charges against Manafort, these being for tax fraud in Manafort's deceiving the feds about the $15 million he got from Putin's Ukraine puppets. The "hush-it-up" money was paid by Putin's criminals right into Manafort's hands. These funds then were disguised by Manafort in his  crimes of tax fraud and money laundering. 

What kind of man is Trump to hire such a one as Manafort? And to pay him from donors' contributions? Do Trump's supporters know what their money has been used for?

He who sits down to sup with the Devil must use a long spoon. 

There is however no spoon long enough to adequately distance one from  the evil Manafort serves.



Monday, February 19, 2018

BRING BACK GEORGE WASHINGTON!

WE USED TO HAVE PRESIDENTS WHO DIDN'T TELL LIES. Happy George Washington's Birthday! And Happy Lincoln’s Birthday too. He didn’t lie either. In fact, none of our prior presidents were famous liars…..

BRING BACK GEORGE WASHINGTON! OR LINCOLN Or even Franklin Pierce? Polk? ......

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Tell These Children We WILL Do Gun Control Locally. AND MEAN IT!

Look at them. Each one of them.  The Names and Faces of the Florida School Shooting Victims   

Feeling bad isn't enough. Do something about it! Do as I have just done.

I looked intently at each of these people, especially the children, and I said aloud to each, "I am sorry. I should have done something to prevent this happening." And I should have. 

And so should each of you. Do it now. Look at each of these soft young faces and tell them you're sorry we didn't do enough. Then get busy campaigning for local and state gun control laws. The Supreme Court explicity allows that appropriate local regulation is acceptable. So we can't get a GOP Congress to do it? Then do it where you live! 

And campaign for candidates who support gun control. 

We owe these sweet children and their brave teachers. We owe them our efforts to save other children. They may be our children or grandchildren. But all children are our children.

These Florida children were our children too.


Trump Is More Scared of Mueller AFTER Russian Indictments!

At first Trump claimed that the Robert Mueller grand jury indictments of 13 Russians had cleared him of any complicity in the attack on the 2016 campaign process:  All he said in those first hours was, "I am vindicated... No collusion"

But two days after that assertion he is acting more guilty than ever and is again trying to shake the FBI off his tail.

In this morning's Tweets he blamed the FBI for the Florida high school shooting in which 17 students and teachers died this past week. Yes, the FBI failed to send to the local Florida FBI office a tipoff about the 19-year-old shooter. It was apparently a failure to follow the FBI's own procedures, but it was not an issue of available FBI manpower.

Nevertheless, Trump today leaped on this FBI failure as an excuse to resume attacking the FBI for investigating the relationship between his campaign and the Russians in swinging the election away from Hillary Clinton. As the headline in the Washington Post said this morning: Trump blasts FBI’s failure to probe tip on Fla. shooter, says ‘too much time’ spent on Russia.

This renewed attack by Trump on the FBI investigation of his campaign establishes that Trump is still afraid of Mueller's digging out a full Trump/Russian conspiracy in twisting the 2016 election. There is still a very scary skeleton waiting to pounce out of Trump's closet.

What is the scary skeleton?

Maybe Mueller actually knows by now, but it's obvious Trump still hopes Mueller hasn't peeked through the closet keyhole and seen Mr. Bones wearing a Trump cap.

I confidently bet Mueller isn't through picking over those old bones in the Trump closet. That's why as late as this past week Trump's once right-hand man, Steve Bannon, was being interviewed for 20 hours by Mueller and his team. It's also why Mueller is just now working on getting an interview session with Trump.

Trump does well to still be afraid. Mueller's hounds are still at his heels. And not even the death of 17 people at a Florida high school will be enough to turn Mueller from his purpose. Nor will it turn his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The latter elected to endorse the Mueller grand jury indictments by himself announcing them on television. He wasn't grabbing credit away from Mueller. He was protecting Mueller and the investigation by personally embracing it in front of God, TV and the entire American public. The investigation is now clearly the godchild of Rosenstein. (And don't lecture me on the politcal-religious-movie tangle I've created here with the godfather bit.)

Watch what people do! That's one of the prime rules of politics. People can say anything. Especially Trump, who can and does say anything without even an attempt to nod at the truth. Watch what they do. Words are puffs of noise on the wind; actions abide. Trump can say he's "vindicated" by the Mueller indictments but by going on the attack again against the FBI's investigating him, he's showing us he's deathly afraid of what Mueller may still find out.

The sun has just come out and I'm in a wild sort of mood so what the hell! I'll guess what is in Trump's closet that is terrifying him. I guess that it's some serious federal business crimes in his pre-campaign days. These types of crimes could include violation of such heavy-duty laws as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Law. Some of these federal business laws carry stiff prison sentences for the individuals involved. In short, Trump couldn't buy his way out by just paying a fine leveled on his family company. The Russians know about the crime and have the proof of it because it was conducted in collusion with some of the unsavory governments, e.g. Azerbijan, or the crooked businesses the Russians dote. That's the blackmail Putin holds over Trump. Blackmail that can put Trump in prison.

I don't think Trump would enjoy prison at all. Nor would his fellow prisoners enjoy having the boaster-braggart Trump amongst them. They'd probably prefer solitary confinement.

Wouldn't you?

Now let's wait for that creaky closet door of Trump's to squeek open and let his secret skeleton stalk out, led in handcuffs by Robert Mueller.

'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished....






Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mueller Is Apparently Still Tracking Co-Conspirators. Hi, Ho, Silver!

Keep this in mind. Common sense tells us that if Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller were through  investigating a possible Trump/Russian campaign conspiracy, he wouldn't still be interviewing potential suspects/witnesses. But last week his team spent 20 hours interviewing one-time Trump advisor Steve Bannon and is still negotiating terms with Trump's attorneys for interviewing the president. I doubt they are gathering to discuss canasta rules.

What follows here is a pretty good column from the Washington Post explaining the apparent Mueller strategy. I must admit though that I would sure like some reassurance that Mueller has not dismissed this original grand jury that issued the indictment. Read this piece and you'll see why that bit of information is key as to where we are in this investigation. Here's the relevant part of the Post column which appears in full at Mueller’s indictment only scratches the surface of a widespread conspiracy.

"There were reports late Friday afternoon that Mueller’s inquiry into Russian meddling is not yet complete. With a grand jury investigation shrouded in secrecy, any prediction is an exercise in reading tea leaves. But there could be any number of reasons for Mueller to not yet show his full hand.
Once an indictment is returned, the grand jury’s work on the charged offenses must cease. If the investigation is not yet complete, prosecutors could choose to bring an initial indictment against Russian participants while continuing the grand jury investigation against others.

"That procedure could make sense. Friday’s indictment sets a dramatic stage for anything that will follow. It provides the most detailed public account to date of the activities that Mueller is charged with investigating, and puts to rest any notion that there is “no there there.” It also lets other potential targets know that Mueller’s knowledge of Russian interference is extensive, and that the wisest course may be to cooperate rather than to try to obfuscate or obstruct.
"Bringing the first major indictment against only Russian individuals is also a brilliant rebuttal to those who argue (without basis ) that Mueller’s inquiry may be politically motivated. It allows Mueller to reveal the breadth and seriousness of the misconduct without any distracting political sideshows. Surely the condemnation of the conduct set forth in Friday’s indictment will be bipartisan and overwhelming. That will give Mueller’s investigation considerable momentum and should provide substantial political insurance against any potential moves to fire the special counsel.
"If the investigation into election meddling remains ongoing, then a superseding indictment could later add additional co-conspirators and charges. On that point, it is interesting to note the indictment’s allegation that the defendants conspired not only with each other , but also with “others known and unknown to the Grand Jury.” This could just be boilerplate language — or it could be a signal about things to come.
"Finally, the other unanswered questions surrounding Mueller’s inquiry relate to other criminal areas such as obstruction of justice. There have been clear signs that Mueller may be probing potential efforts to thwart the Russia investigation and/or efforts by campaign officials to conceal Russian contacts. That parallel area of inquiry is not affected by this indictment. The obstruction of justice-related shoes, if any, still remain to drop.

"The indictment alleges an astonishing conspiracy. It remains to be seen just how widespread the conspiracy was, and whether there were criminal efforts to cover it up. Mueller may be just getting started." 
                                                **********
Meantime while we await further shoe-fall, be glad of these things:
1. Trump has been completely stripped of any claims that "the Russian thing is a hoax";

2. He and Congressman Devin Nunes and the other GOP Congressional Trump stooges look like such utter fools, even worse than usual;

3. Even the GOP in Congress must now see they have a duty to act against the Russian "warfare";

4. If they don't, the Democrats have a juicy issue to run against them in the fall election;

5. Mueller has sure put the lie to Trump & Company's lament that the FBI & Mueller are just out to get him as part of a Democratic conspiracy because some FBI guy's wife ran as a Democratic candidate in some state and a friend of Clinton's gave her money. (Wha? Mueller was indeed brillliant to go after the Russians right off the bat. Who would waste time on parrying such nonsense about the alleged partisan conspiracy?)

6. By focusing on the Russians in this initial indictment, Mueller has probably provided himself a shield against being fired by Trump.  With a lovey bunch of indictments in one hand, plus two confessed transgressors in the other, and a couple more apparent co-conspiritors in his back pocket, Mueller doesn't look like someone on an anti-Trump crusade but like an authentic law enforcement juggernaut cranking toward a satisfying enforcement of the laws protecting the nation.

In short, Mueller is a regular Lone Ranger!  So Hi, Ho, Silver, and let's get the bad guys into the hoosgow!

And enjoy the weekend. It was 60 degrees here yesterday and it is now snowing. The weather is mighty changeable, just like this week's politics! But spring will come, and Mueller's work will go on. I predict hot times by the Fourth of July!

Thirteen Indicted Russians. Where Are We Now With the Mueller Investigation?

In his ignorant stubborness Trump proclaimed yesterday that he is "vindicated" by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's 34-page indictment of thirteen Russians for interfering in our 2016 election.

No, Trump is not vindicated. He has entirely lost his claim that the Russians didn't interfere in the election, that it is just "a hoax" by the Democrats to explain why they lost the election. He has called the interference "fake news". It wasn't a hoax and it wasn't fake.

The indictment of the thirteen Russians on carefully described criminal grounds clearly establishes that the Russians did indeed interfere so severely as to constitute a war-like act against our country, as the indictment notes. Insofar as this was an act of war, any American who knowingly joined in it commited treason, the sole crime defined in the Constitution as warranting capital punishment.

The Mueller indictment also does not clear Trump and his coterie of collusion with the Russians, as Trump claims. The fact that there is no evidence in this indictment of such collusion, as Deputy General Rod Rosenstein has noted, does not mean there is no evidence elsewhere of such collusion. In fact, this same week Mueller went right on interviewing Trump campaign people, most notably Steve Bannon. Why would Mueller still be interested in the Trump campaign if there wasn't some indication of collusion?


So where are we now with the Mueller investigation? We are partly finished. All indications are that there will be more revelations, likely dealing with obstruction of justice, possible collusion with the Russians, and possibly Trump's business crimes as the hook by which the Russians got control over him. And maybe even more issues of which we don't yet have an inkling.

But this opening salvo is key. Mueller did well to begin his reporting by first explaining the Russians' role. In dealing with a crime in which there was possibly collusion, it is effective to first establish the misdeeds of one of the perpetrators before describing those of a second.

This opening report is also key because it sets before the American people — and the government — the danger still facing us, i.e. the looming Russian interference in this year's elections. The heads of all the federal intelligence agencies have just told Congress in open hearings that the threat in 2018 from the Russians is real and imminent. Mueller's report makes clear how well-organized and well-financed such Russian attack can be.

In light of Trunp's denial of this threat, Mueller had to sound the alarm bell now. Trump has the duty, first and formost, of protecting our country. He must not be allowed to duck that duty because he loves the myth that he beat Hillary Clinton all on his own and without Russian help. Whether he did or did not is one for the political scientists to figure out. All that matters now is unified American action to protect the 2018 election from Russian interference. To get unified federal action we need the leadership of the president.

If Trump doesn't respond, Congress must act. So far the GOP in Congress has been increasingly reluctant to part ways with Trump or leap to its duty on anything. An exception: in early 2017 Congress enacted sanctions on Russia for what was then known to have been interference in the 2016 election. Trump hasn't enforced these sanctions; the now criminally indicted Michael Flynn reassured the Russians even before Trump was sworn in that the new president would not be enforcing any sanctions against Russia. And Trump has kept Flynn's promise.

Now there must be new sanctions on Russia. They must be severe. And they must be immediate! Our families back to the Revolution have fought and died for our free and fair elections. These are the foundation rock of our democracy and must be protected.

Instead of protecting us from the Russians, Trump and his clownish Congressman Devin Nunes have done all they could to impede and denigrate Mueller's investigation. As one commentator put it, "They are doing the Russians work for them."  Bombshell Russia indictments: What do they all mean? - The ...

Needless to say, we must impeach Trump. If the Democrats win back Congress in November, impeaching Trump should be their first priority. He is dangerous. He has stoked the possibility of nuclear war with North Korea and has failed to protect us from the Russian "warlike" acts (so-called in the Mueller indictment). As ideaologically bad as Vice-President Mike Pence is, he wouldn't be as bad for the country as Trump. There couldn't be two like Trump.

Could there?







work for them." from wp 2-16-18 
Bombshell Russia indictments: What do they all mean?





Monday, February 12, 2018

How Trump Is Supremely Useful to the GOP's Ugly Plans for the USA!

Trump is a clear liability to the GOP, isn't he? He sure seems like it.

But not so fast! He is actually highly useful to them. And I apologize for not seeing their scheme of things. Here is a really good breakdown from the New York Times on what the GOP is up to and why they want Trump. It's scary! Read it and then sign up to work in the fall elections.

We have to save our country from this.

               Charles M. Blow G.O.P. Visions of Tectonic Realignment