Friday, July 20, 2018

Re-edited and Re-posted: Info From Misinformation to Disinformation and Hoaxes

Simple chart depicts what we face today across all media avenues
(And of course, word of mouth, too)

Re-edited and re-posted from previous post with legal stuff and up-to-date stuff added on the same timely subject: 

What could truly bring America and other great nations down? War, sure; famine, certainly; terrorist attacks, yep; trade wars, maybe; disease, always; but more importantly this item, if left unchecked or not stopped in any way. I mean the free-wheeling Internet and the phenonomum of the so-called “social” networking. 

I don’t mean a clamp on free speech, but I mean a filter on speech that is freely given or posted, but false, fake, and purposely placed to deceive and cause harm that appears real, but is not. Nowadays that aspect is more and more out of control for attention seekers and revengeful posters, despite the efforts of Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and Google otherwise to screen and block it.

So, what’s at the heart of all this that is behind the seemingly harmless “social networking?” Actually, pretty simple: a lot of targeted disruption of our brand of democracy due to:

“Disinformation:” – Definition: Overtly or covertly and knowingly spreading false or fake information to deceive on a grand scale.

The word is the English transliteration of the Russian word: дезинформация that is: “dezinformatsiya,” which was derived from the title of the former KGB’s “black propaganda department” handbook titled: Disinformation. It documented how Joseph Stalin coined the term by giving it a French-sounding name to falsely claim it had a Western origin. Precise Russian use of the word began with in the old Soviet Union’s “Special Disinformation Office” in 1923.

Another example: Operation INFEKTION (Operation: Infection) also was an old Soviet disinformation campaign to influence opinion that said the U.S. had “invented and spread AIDS.” Ironically, the U.S. did not actively counter Soviet disinformation until around 1980, when a fake document reported that the U.S. supported apartheid and moved us into counter-action.

In the 2016 election, we saw it up front, personal, targeted, and coupled with the new Internet phenomena called: Bots (which means: Web Robots). They were slick and highly-expensive Russian political Ads that were all linked and posted on a wide range of social media sites. And then Guccifer 2.0 hacked the DNC we now know by the Russians who funded DC Leaks – a domain they tried to pass off as American owned. It was Russian, thus they aimed to blame us by deflecting any blame and damage from themselves. 

The damage as we now know was significant.

What actual impact and damage was on the final vote tally? Well that is very hard if not totally impossible to assess and measure without asking each individual voter: “Did those Ads influence your vote in any way – if so, how?”

So, yes, all that it true and it would please George Orwell in any update of his famous novel, 1984, only this time highlighting “Big Brother” as Vladimir Putin.
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It is all tied to Trump today more so than ever:

Background from CNN via MSN. The story contents is startling and damn scary vis-à-vis how Trump reacts to FOX News stories vs. all other media outlets, which he calls “Fake News” but never labels FOX in such a way – they are his Bible and rock-solid source for his “news,” and he constantly reminds everyone on every speech – that is slick propaganda: Enforce the lie – it will stick long term. Trump apparently regards FOX as the ultimate prophet and soothsayer.

This is excellent related article (from ned.org) (Their topic: Distinguishing disinformation from propaganda, misinformation, and “Fake News”).

Trump as stated relies on dubious FOX News reports to unleash attacks on former President Barack Obama and always without any real evidence just like Trump tweeted that Obama granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians as part of nuclear deal, saying in his tweet seen here.

(I Note: This latest Trump personal Obama attack was false, nasty, and ugly).

“Just out that Obama Administration granted citizenship, during the terrible Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians – including to government officials. How big (and bad) is that?”

That is flat out 100% false, totally. See on this after this reminder of the liar-in-chief.

Another excellent example of Trump’s M.O. (via tweet to spread lies and false information):

Monday (June 25, 2018): President Trump tweeted that Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, had encouraged liberals to “harm” supporters of “the Make America Great Again movement” and warned her to “be careful what you wish for.”


Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

By Tuesday, the tweet was shared more than 40,000 times, and many users included comments critical of the president. Both critics and supporters of Mr. Trump said the tweet contained a veiled threat against the congresswoman, who called on people to confront Trump officials in public as a form of registering their disapproval. 

This kind of Twitter outrage cycle has repeated itself countless times since Mr. Trump began his presidential campaign in 2015, and it is one of his tried and true methods for injecting disinformation into public discourse, experts said.

Iranian nuke deal lie from above by Trump: No part of the Iranian nuclear deal (official name is JCPOA) in any shape, form, or fashion granted U.S. citizenship or legal resident status to any Iranians.  So where is Trump getting this explosive information, and does it hold up? 

Background: This unsubstantiated claim first gained attention on Monday (July 2) with story on FOX News website that relied solely on the word of an Iranian cleric who is also a member of the country's parliament. The FOX article was written by Chris Irvine, FOX News senior editor. Irvine cited an Iranian news agency that cited an Iranian newspaper that quoted the single Iranian cleric. That single cleric said the Obama administration provided citizenship to 2,500 unidentified Iranians during nuclear deal negotiations.

The article itself quoted, toward the end of the story, the network's own commentator, former Obama State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, who said: “This sounds like totally made up BS.” The story also said that DHS and State both declined to comment, and that a representative for former Obama DHS Secretary, Jeh Johnson, could not be reached.

(I add: Then the FOX-Trump “Spin” Machine Kicked into High Gear).

Prior to the FOX News article, the claim had not received any noticeable attention from any U.S. media. However, soon after FOX News published its story, other outlets, primarily in the conservative media space, published similar stories like on:  The Daily Mail, The Gateway Pundit, and Town Hall. Those claims were further shared on Twitter by FOX’s Sean Hannity and frequent FOX guests David Clarke and Charlie Kirk.

Then just hours before Trump's tweet, the story hit on “FOX & Friends First” the network's early morning show who then from there it was aired on FOX’s “America's Newsroom” – their late-morning news program.

(I note: FOX and Friends is Trump’s early morning go-to news source).

Jeff Prescott, the former senior director on Obama's NSC called Trump's allegation “Absurd and entirely false.” Prescott then shared with CNN immigration data from DHS which showed that the number of Iranians naturalized in the United States over the course of both the Obama and Bush administrations was relatively consistent and he added: “There was no connection between the Iran nuclear deal and immigration policy” and concluded: “It shouldn't be lost on anyone that this is a case of Trump parroting FOX News, which is peddling the claims of an Iranian hardliner.”

Jake Sullivan, a former Obama official and on CNN’s “Situation Room,” who was involved at the start of the Iran nuclear negotiations, also skewered Trump for relying on Fox News' thin report to make what he called a “completely false” claim,” and added: “What is interesting about this is that what happened is a hard line crank in Iran just randomly made this comment, FOX News writes a story on it, and then Trump tweets it. Trump had every opportunity to call people in his own DHS and State Department and ask whether or not this was true. And they would have told him it wasn't. Instead, he relies on FOX News. And the scary thing is that he's increasingly relying on sources like FOX News to get his intelligence rather than the professionals in his own government.”

FOX News or the White House did not respond with any comment that subject.
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Related from Cornell Law on this subject: 

8 U.S. Code § 35 – Imparting or conveying false information:

(a)  Whoever imparts or conveys or causes to be imparted or conveyed false information, knowing the information to be false, concerning an attempt or alleged attempt being made or to be made, to do any act which would be a crime prohibited by this chapter or chapter 97 or chapter 111 of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 which shall be recoverable in a civil action brought in the name of the United States.

(b)  Whoever willfully and maliciously, or with reckless disregard for the safety of human life, imparts or conveys or causes to be imparted or conveyed false information, knowing the information to be false, concerning an attempt or alleged attempt being made or to be made, to do any act which would be a crime prohibited by this chapter or chapter 97 or chapter 111 of this title — shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(Added July 14, 1956, ch. 595, § 1, 70 Stat. 540; amended Pub. L. 87–338, Oct. 3, 1961, 75 Stat. 751Pub. L. 89–64, July 7, 1965, 79 Stat. 210Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147).
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My 2 cents: The B/L is simple: This is not be the first time Trump has tweeted false or questionable claims that have originated in right-wing media – mostly via FOX, too. 

Trump has a long history of stoking conspiracy theories that target his political rivals convincing this followers to believe his every word and claim, and I admit fully that Trump is skilled at that – very much so. 

Trump has to be held to account for his blatant lies like this story present … not to do so, set a very dangerous precedent for the country. 

Like this quote from the Nixon era:If the president does it, it’s not illegal.” 

Or now today with the Trump era: When the President says it that means it’s true.” 

Right now the GOP and Trump supporters somehow don’t give a damn whether Trump has a string of over 3,000 or not. That is also very dangerous to our very structure. 

This story concludes and I totally agree, and I suspect the vast majority of Americans do, too: That Trump increasingly relies on sources like FOX News to get his news and intelligence report rather than his our own professional government agencies. That, too, is very damn scary. Does Trump also consult Alex Jones or some crystal ball gazer along with FOX and Hannity? 

This is surely an American first for the history books. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Trump Copying Nixon With the GOP, the Public, or Both: Very Hard to Tell Right Now

America's newest political dilemma: Blind, Deaf, and Dumb
Divided More than Ever

Bloomberg via MSN – President said confused for the full third day about Russian meddling in our elections by saying he thought Russia isn’t currently targeting the U.S.,” that diverges from a public statement his own national intelligence director made two days earlier by the DNI Dan Coats (R-IN).

After a reporter asked during a cabinet meeting whether Russia was still targeting the U.S., Trump first tried to avoid answering by telling the assembled media “thank you this ending the questions” usually a sign that he won’t take any questions. But he then lowered his voice and responded, “No.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders later said Trump’s “no” meant that he didn’t want to take questions. She said the administration is taking measures on Russian meddling “to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
“We believe the threat still exists,” she said.

Sanders’s explanation of Trump’s response was met with skepticism inside the White House briefing room and outside. “Do I believe that? No” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) when he was asked about Sanders’ interpretation.

The exchange raised further questions about Trump’s true position on the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the U.S. intelligence community’s consensus that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election and is still trying to undermine American democratic institutions. 

Trump made stronger remarks in an interview later on Wednesday (July 18) with CBS News anchor Jeff Glor, saying he holds Putin personally responsible for Russian interference in U.S. elections, saying in part:Because he’s in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country.” 

Trump then added that he told Putin:We can’t have meddling.”

Trump provoked fierce bipartisan criticism after joining with Putin on Monday, at a summit in Helsinki, to question U.S. findings that the Kremlin meddled in the election and criticize the Department of Justice investigation that followed. 

DNI Coats issued a statement on Monday after the Helsinki news conference saying, “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.” 

Trump said at the news conference in Helsinki that he gave equal weight to Coats’s assertions that Moscow interfered in the election and to Putin’s denials. 

(My note: See more on this time line and background in my post that follows).

This story continues at the Bloomberg link

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Department of Energy (DOE) Transports and Loses Small Amount of Plutonium

Amount of plutonium transported and lost similar to this small 
plastic disk amount

“Dirty Bomb” materials lost or stolen (maybe / maybe not) … that story is here from The Center for Public Integrity – details follow (my emphasis included):

Two security experts from the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory drove to San Antonio, TX in March 2017 with a sensitive mission: “To retrieve dangerous nuclear materials from a nonprofit research lab there.”

(Simple enough job, um? Okay, then task two simple-minded morons…!!!)

According to documents and interviews, their job was to ensure that the radioactive materials did not fall into the wrong hands on the way back to Idaho, where the government maintains a stockpile of nuclear explosive materials for the military and others.

To ensure they got the right items, the two specialists from Idaho brought radiation detectors and small samples of dangerous materials to calibrate them: Specifically, a plastic-covered small disk of plutonium (picture similar to above shot), a material that can be used to fuel nuclear weapons, and another of cesium, a highly radioactive isotope that could potentially be used in a so-called “dirty” radioactive bomb.

Then they stopped at a Marriott hotel just off Highway 410, in a high-crime neighborhood filled with temp agencies and ranch homes, they left those sensors on the back seat of their rented Ford Expedition. 

When they awoke the next morning, the window had been smashed and the special valises holding these sensors and nuclear materials had vanished.

More than a year later, state and federal officials don’t know where the plutonium – one of the most valuable and dangerous substances on earth – is. Nor has the cesium been recovered.

No public announcement of the March 21 incident has been made by either the San Antonio police or by the FBI, which the police consulted by telephone. When asked, officials at the lab and in San Antonio declined to say exactly how much plutonium and cesium were missing. 

But Idaho lab spokeswoman Sarah Neumann said the plutonium in particular wasn’t enough to be fashioned into a nuclear bomb.

(Whew, that’s encouraging, right – I guess?)

It is nonetheless now part of a much larger amount of plutonium that over the years has gone quietly missing from stockpiles owned by the U.S. military, often without any public notice.

Unlike civilian stocks, which are closely monitored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and openly regulated – with reports of thefts or disappearances sent to an international agency in Vienna — the handling of military stocks tended by the DOE is much less transparent.

The DOE declined comment for this story and they don’t talk about instances of lost and stolen nuclear material produced for the military, and they have also been less willing than the NRC to punish its contractors when they lose track of such material, several incidents suggest.

(Ergo: That nontransparent approach doesn’t match the government’s rhetoric.)

Protecting bomb-usable materials, like the plutonium that went missing in San Antonio, “Is an overriding national priority,” – that in the words of former President Obama’s press office said in a fact sheet distributed during the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit that he hosted in late March 2016 – a Washington event attended by more than 50 heads of state.

The administration boasted in the declaration that America’s security standards for military-grade materials “meet or exceed the recommendations for civilian nuclear materials” made by the Vienna-based International AEA. It also touted the strength of its tracking of such materials, which it said would “ensure timely detection and investigation of anomalies, and deter insider theft/diversion.”

The United States also boasted about its transparency, explaining that it “has published studies and reviews of nuclear security incidents, including lessons learned and corrective actions taken.”

Current President Donald Trump, speaking to a military audience at Fort Myer in Arlington, VA on August 21, 2017, parroted the Obama administration’s refrain that “we must prevent nuclear weapons and materials from coming into the hands of terrorists and being used against us, or anywhere in the world for that matter.” 

Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), released in February, similarly emphasized the threat posed by nuclear terrorism, and asserted that “preventing the illicit acquisition of a nuclear weapon, nuclear materials, or related technology and expertise by a violent extremist organization is a significant U.S. national security priority.”

But America’s record of safeguarding such materials isn’t sterling. Gaps between the amount of plutonium that nuclear weapons companies have produced and the amount that the government can actually locate occur frequently enough for officials to have created an acronym for it – MUF, meaning “Material Unaccounted For.”

(More like SNAFU – popular in many circles from the old military days you can figure out what that means – I already know (Hint: Situation Normal All F**ked Up – that’ll  save you some time (smile.)

My 2 cents: So I wonder whose grubby hands are holding that small amount of it – that is enough to possibly make a small dirty bomb – if they can’t, I bet they can find a buyer without much effort. 

I also bet the FBI and others are over the “Dark Web” with that in mind.

Thanks for stopping by.
  

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Trump-Putin Meeting, Summit, or Trump Reality Show: Very Significant Stay Tuned

Eye-to-Eye, or Aye-to-Aye, or Brand New BFF’s
(Everyone holding their breath for outcome)

HELSINKI (AP) — A face-to-face sit-down with a long-time foe – not an ally.

Endless media hype. Huge ratings. Trump is eager to recreate in Finland the heady experience that he had last month with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore at that summit due to the mass media event complete with powerful presidential images.

Ever the showman and insistent on establishing closer ties to Moscow, Trump overruled his advisers and demanded the rituals and pageantry of a formal summit.

FYI: Trump had boasted to confidants about the number of cameras in Singapore, claiming it dwarfed coverage of the Oscars, according to a person familiar with his thinking who wasn’t authorized to discuss private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump originally expressed concern that Helsinki was not glamorous enough and he favored hosting Putin at the White House. Trump was reassured by aides that it would be an effective backdrop.

Trump’s own words: “He’s been very nice to me the times I’ve met him. I’ve been nice to him. He’s a competitor. You know, somebody was saying: ‘Is he an enemy?’ No, he’s not my enemy. ‘Is he a friend?’ No, I don’t know him well enough,” he concluded.

Drawing on his experience as a marketer, salesman, expert deal maker, Trump has long been convinced that his mastery of powerful images has been essential to his political rise. 

Trump masterminded many of the looks for his meeting with Kim, including the leaders’ dramatic initial greeting and handshake and, later, their one-on-one time. At one point, he startled the Secret Service by giving Kim an impromptu tour of some mighty American machinery — the presidential limousine known as “The Beast.”

Trump believed that the historic meeting with Kim was potentially his ticket for a Nobel Peace Prize and would become an essential part of his legacy. While summits with Russian leaders are far more common, Trump believes a similar boost would occur if he can improve relations with Moscow and get Putin to make concessions never attained by President Barack Obama.

Trump’s proposed approach to Putin seen and heard on FOX News last month: “I could say: Would you do me a favor? Would you get out of Syria? Would you do me a favor? Would you get out of Ukraine?”

The imagery of Singapore made the idea of a Putin summit much more tantalizing even with the risks entailed in meeting an experienced leader who is also a former KGB official.

The president met with Putin on the sidelines of two international summits last year — first Germany, then Vietnam — and both times he invited his Russian counterpart to the White House, according to three of the current and former administration officials. He reiterated the invitation on a call with Putin this spring and initially told aides that he wanted to have the meeting at the White House.

Trump was later persuaded to do it abroad, tacking the summit onto his planned visit to Belgium and Britain. Initially concerned that Helsinki was not a fitting location, 

Trump relented after being briefed on the history of U.S.-Russia summits in Finland and after seeing that it could be scheduled after a visit to one of his golf courses in Scotland, according to the three of the outside advisers and officials.

Trump aides argued to Trump that the chances of substantive progress on a host of thorny issues, including Syria and Ukraine, are slim. Hovering over Helsinki is the specter of the 2016 election interference and the ongoing special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia.

Then there were calls from Capitol Hill for the president to cancel the summit after the latest indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in an effort to help Trump.

From Sen. John McCain: “If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward.”

From U.S. Russian Amb John Huntsman on NBC’s “Meet the Press: “We’ve got a fraught bilateral relationship. The collective blood pressure between the United States and Russia is off-the-charts high so it’s a good thing these presidents are getting together.”

Trump repeatedly casts doubt on our Intelligence Agency’s conclusion that Russia was behind the hacking in 2016 and attempted election tampering. He always derides Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt.” In the UK, Trump said he would raise that meddling with Putin.

Trump emphasized no dramatic outcome is expected: “I don’t think you’ll have any ’Gee, I did it. I did it. You got me. There won’t be a Perry Mason here, I don’t think. But you never know what happens, right? But I will absolutely firmly ask the question.”


So....the bottom line as they say might be this most-interesting story and details therein with this headlines from The AP in the Chicago Tribune:
What Trump and Putin hope to achieve at Helsinki summit
Check it out – quite extensive article.

My 2 cents: Absolutes in play here:

(1) Yes, world leaders should always meet and try to resolve issues

(2)  Russia is not an ally.

(3)  Expectations run high with Trump – but not with anyone else (except Trump loyalists and staff).

(4)  Putin is skilled at this game (and yes, it is a high-stakes game), but not for Trump.

(5)  Considering all that has happened vis-à-vis Russian election tampering, Trump has to nail Putin on that – will he? Doubtful.

(6)  Putin at an expert at tap dancing and disinformation and such. 

(7)  Trump claims he is an expert negotiator about all things. 

A clash between the two might happen that is unless Putin plays a card we don't know about against Trump, or Trump concedes points only favorable to Russia and not us.

We are about to find out who is best at dealing on a host of critical issues that have a huge impact on our country and the future of our democracy.

Stay tuned as always and thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Memo for Trump: Belittle & Insult Our Allies With Care — They Will Repay in Spades

Trump must be surrounded by loyal all-pleasing kowtowing lackeys
(Or else Hell to pay)

Round-up on the following story updated here from Trump (from USA TODAY via MSN), and my previous other post on this same subject.

The previous news that broke last week: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein announced that the DOJ had officially indicted 12 Russian intelligence agency officials on charges of hacking Democratic emails during 2016 and releasing them months before voters went to the polls via WikiLeaks.

Trump’s response, while he is traveling to get ready to meet with Putin in Helsinki next week and from USA TODAY story above is totally expected from him: He blames Obama for that back in 2016, not stopping it, and everything in between since. 

(I note: I believe that will be Trump's message to Putin – don’t blame me, it was Obama’s fault — see below).

LONDON – President Trump blamed his predecessor today (Saturday, July 14, 2018) for not doing more to prevent and punish Russia's cyber-attacks on Democratic email servers in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump in another tweet said: “The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration.” 

Note: That was Trump’s first response to the indictments of those 12 Russian intelligence officers in the hacking scheme. 

That new 12-person indictment accuses the Russian operatives of a far-ranging plot to disrupt the democratic process by stealing tens of thousands of emails from Democratic Party officials and some Clinton campaign operatives, and leaking them via a website called DC Leaks (key facts here from the Mueller indictment).

More: Those leaked DNC emails became the source for countless news stories portraying Clinton in unflattering terms as she engaged in a hard-fought campaign with Trump. 

Trump said Obama could have stopped the leaks saying: “Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?” 

So, what did Mr. Obama do? 

He ordered an investigation into the hackings and confronted Putin about the cyberattacks in September 2016. Plus, Obama was hesitant to go public because of worries Obama would be seen as trying to influence the election himself in favor of Hillary Clinton just like the previous and later FBI Director James Comey in his two different announcements – the last just a few weeks before the election in November 2016.

(My Note: Obama was in no way able to stop the hacking is and followed the FBI golden rule: “No discussion or talking about any on-going investigation.” But as we know Trump does not give a damn about on-going investigations especially against his side and he proves regularly with his FBI bashing one day and then phony kudos for them the very next day – what a sorry hypocrite he truly is).

Trump also advanced a vague and unsourced conspiracy theory just like Alex Jones or Sean Hannity tweeting: “Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t the FBI take possession of it? Deep State?"

That response was almost identical to his reaction back in February to the indictment of 16 Russians accused of carrying out a social media propaganda campaign to influence the 2016 election. 

The differences now: 

These new indictments have thrown a new variable into the already uncertain agenda since Trump is ready to meet Putin in Helsinki on July 16.

One key highlight worth keeping from that phony GOP House-run Strozk grilling from the DEM on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), who said what a lot of us know about the GOP: “The most offensive thing is the degree to which the Republicans are, day in and day out, trying to undermine a legitimate investigation into Russian interference in our election by S/C Robert Mueller that they have sold their souls for Donald Trump.”

Impact is worrisome: The Republicans are creating a sideshow at a time when another opportunity for Russian meddling in elections in right around the corner in the November midterms and public polling tends to show that their support for the Mueller investigation is slipping. Why? Obvious: the GOP anti-everything is working – the raw ugliness and division they sustain is totally amazing and damn scary, too. Why?

Here from that joint committee grilling of FBI Agent Peter Strozk – the highlight of his statements.

His opening statement says what millions of Americans already know and boy did he nail it: “I understand we're living in a political era in which insults and insinuation often drown out honesty and integrity. But the honest truth is that Russian interference in our elections constitutes a grave attack on our democracy. Most disturbingly, it has been wildly successful, sowing discord in our nation and shaking faith in our intuitions.”

Trump in London recently with our #1 ally the UK: Citizens turned out to “greet” Trump shortly after he blasted PM May and then changed his mind as usual to fluff her later as he was leaving London to prep for his BFF, Vlad Putin. 

Some 100,000 marchers swarmed into central London in a show of collective anger at a U.S. president more divisive than any in living memory.

One good example:

From Paul Robert, age 45, who works in customer service, who said: “I am struggling to use words you can print (he told The Independent reporter). I just think he is a complete idiot. He does not understand how the world works. He does not understand what people think. He is aggressive. He is a narcissist. He is a misogynist. I think the world would be better off if he stuck to business, not politics. He likes to get angry and get people that are already angry, angrier. He is a spark to kindling and wants anything that gets him attention.”

Attention is something Trump certainly had on London's streets. According to organizers of the “Together Against Trump” demonstration, police told them that more than 100,000 protesters had joined the march by mid-afternoon

While the president described the relationship between the U.S. and the UK as being at “the highest level of special.” protesters in the capital chanted: “Donald Trump’s not welcome here.”

My 2 cents: Put all this put together, foreign and domestic, and I have to suggest: “Mr.  Proof meet Mr. Pudding.”

Trump never trusts any proverb or truth


Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Angry, Nasty, Ugly RED GOP vs. Cool, Calm, Collected BLUE Peter Strzok — He Wins

Bring the guilty SOB in. Give him a fair hearing, then hang him
(Unbelievable)

Under oath, truthful, honorable more than hypocrites he faced
(Believable)


Among hostile GOP Committee members, he remained cool, calm, collected, courteous, constructive, and cooperative under the withering and highly abusive GOP members’ ugly and harsh personal attacks.

Another interesting and related article also from the Daily Beast is an excellent roundup of that hearing as posted here 

This latest GOP spectacle as so many in the recent past (Benghazi, Clinton’s email scandal, the Clinton Foundation, and the super hyper phony Hillary gave-a-way our Uranium to the Russians the so-called Uranium-One deal). All of those things and this Strzok hearing have all been what better can be labeled in Trump’s own words: “Witch Hunts.”

The Strzok hearing was supposed to be the biggie – the one show and final nail in the DEM/Clinton/Trump hater’s effort to prove once and for all the “collusion” between those elements and the FBI to bring down Trump in everything from day one of his campaign until right now. 

That goal is simple yet a carefully crafted and designed plan (but a piss-poorly executed one) with one purpose only: “The destruction of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia ties.”

Republicans like Rep. Devin “Fredo” Nunes (R-CA) have tried to present a series of dramatic, table-flipping reality TV moments to reach that goal and he and they have failed time and again to derail that investigation. 

The Strzok hearing was yet another swing-and-a-miss for the Trump GOP. Details follow these two key points from Strzok which I find totally credible and honest:

The first point was his ringing defense showing the kind of real passion that makes for great television when in defense of himself and the FBI as Strzok punched Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) in the nose with his two statements:

I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, at no time, in any of these texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took. Furthermore, this isn’t just me sitting here telling you that you don’t have to take my word for it. At every step, at every investigative decision, there are multiple layers of people above me, the assistant director, executive assistant director, deputy director, and director of the FBI, and multiple layers of people below me, section chiefs, supervisors, unit chiefs, case agents and analysts, all of whom were involved in all of these decisions. They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me any more than I would tolerate it in them.

Strzok’s second statement:

That is who we are as the FBI. And the suggestion that I in some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me. It simply couldn’t happen. And the proposition that that is going on, that it might occur anywhere in the FBI, deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it is deeply destructive.”

Strzok concluded with this shot across Trump’s bow:

I understand we are living in a political era in which insults and insinuation often drown out honesty and integrity. I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”

My 2 cents: I love this Daily Beast piece by Rick Wilson wherein he concludes with this assessment, which I totally agree with and I’m pretty sure millions of Americans (fair-minded and rational thinkers who follow this mess would agree). That is this:

“You’ll see pro-Trump columnists herniate themselves stretching to turn flippant text messages into a vast conspiracy. Twitter will be a flood of moronic memes, white-hot takes, and promises that Strzok will soon be in Gitmo alongside Hillary, Obama, Podesta, and Soros.”

Kudos Mr. Wilson, grand prize for sure with this excellent article.

Thanks for stopping by.