Friday, January 20, 2017

One for All; All for One; Nope, Gone: One for One; Only One; No Exceptions

Our politics is broken and the crack will widen 

It started one-minute past Noon, January 20, 2017

As I say above, it started the minute Donald J. Trump took the oath of office. He officially started breaking the law of the very oath he had just taken. … Cite various legal expert opinions in this fine article (from Media Matters):
SETTING THE SCENE and based on this announcement from Mr. Trump himself wherein he said in part that he will retain an ownership interest in the Trump Organization even while he serves as President as his two sons run the operation.
That statement was made on January 11 during a press conference wherein he said he would “transfer control of The Trump Organization to a trust controlled by his eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg,” but, quickly added that he would still retain an ownership interest in the business and receive reports on its finances. Therein lies the legal problems as follows.
Trump’s attorney said the company would also appoint an in-house ethics consultant to review future actions and cancel pending foreign deals. Ethics experts later said these measures were insufficient to resolve conflict of interest concerns. [Reported on by Forbes, 1/11/17; CNN Money, 1/11/17; and the New York Times, 1/12/17]
Now legal opinions from government ethics experts:
Kathleen Clark says that under that plan, Mr. Trump “Will receive money from Foreign Governments and that is what is Prohibited.” In an interview with Media Matters, Ms. Clark, a law professor at Washington University School of Law, and legal ethics expert, raised the Emoluments Clause in criticizing Trump’s business plan with the word: “prohibited.”
Then from these three ethics legal experts: (1) Norman Eisen, a former Obama administration ethics attorney and current chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; (2) Richard Painter, a former Bush administration ethics attorney and current vice chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; and (3) Laurence Tribe, a leading expert on constitutional law and professor at Harvard University Law School.
In their summary, Painter, Eisen, and Tribe conclude that the Emoluments Clause of Constitution requires a total divestment in business interests by Trump and his children, with the divestment process conducted by “an independent third party, who can then turn the resulting assets over to a true blind trust.” Their analysis also explains that Mr. Trump turning over his business operations to his children would not constitute such a blind trust.

That Emoluments Clause is explained this way:

“Under the text and purpose of the Emoluments Clause, a “blind trust” in which Mr. Trump’s children manage his assets and run the business is wholly deficient since payments made (and benefits conferred) by foreign states and their agents would still qualify as “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever.”

More Legal Views:

All of the concerns about blurred loyalties animating the Clause would remain fully implicated. Blindness in this context works only if neither side can reasonably conclude that the seemingly opaque “wall” is actually a one-way mirror that the other side can see through.”


Commentators have proposed a dizzying array of possible solutions to Mr. Trump’s oncoming Emoluments Clause violation. But the only true solution is for Mr. Trump and his children to divest themselves of all ownership interests in the Trump business empire. That divestment process must be run by an independent third party, who can then turn the resulting assets over to a true blind trust. Even if, as some experts believe, there is nothing that Mr. Trump could do to avoid the significant tax consequences of divesting, fidelity to the Constitution, and to American foreign policy and national security interests, manifestly overcomes all such loss to Mr. Trump or his immediate family (who will remain extremely wealthy, in all events). [Reported on by the Brookings Institute, 12/16/16]

Worthwhile note: According to Eisen and Painter: “Every President in the past four decades has taken Personal Holdings they had before being elected and put them into a Blind Trust in which the assets were controlled by an Independent Party.” [Reported on in the New York Times, 11/30/16]

Finally these two legal opinions:
1.  Mr. Tribe called the Trump “scheme” simply a “deceptive web of mumbo-jumbo rather than a serious way to comply with his constitutional oath.”
Tribe then addresses the Emoluments Clause criticisms directly this way:
“It is important to stress that the ethics officer [that Trump] proposes to install wouldn’t have true independence, and anyway it’s not only that particular transactions would be unethical; it’s that the whole phony setup would make President Trump a living, walking, talking, tweeting violation of the Emoluments Clause each time banks or funds linked to foreign sovereigns are allowed to take steps that Trump will necessarily know are enriching the total value of his family’s mega-business.” [Reported on in Law Newz, 1/11/17]
2.  From Attorney Joshua Matz, a former U.S. Supreme Court clerk and current appellate litigator, explains this way:
“But Trump’s new plan falls woefully short. His continued ownership interest in the Trump Organization will keep his financial welfare tied to the business. And nobody seriously believes that the affairs of the company will truly become mysterious to Trump.
“To the contrary, he generally will know exactly what assets the company holds and how they will be helped or hindered by his actions. Foreign powers, too, will act with awareness (or at least suspicion) that benefits conferred on Trump enterprises – if not in the form of deals, then in a thousand other forms – may elicit favor or wrath from President Trump.
“Notably, the Trump Organization simply cannot turn over to the US treasury all profit from interactions with foreign powers. For example, consider the significant benefit conferred by a foreign state that decides to host a series of widely advertised functions at a local Trump hotel, greatly increasing the property’s cultural cachet and thus markedly boosting its profit margins and those of other properties branded “Trump”.
“For these and other reasons, Trump will remain in violation of the emoluments clause even if he adheres to this plan. While his lawyer denied that the clause applies to “fair value exchanges” – presumably as distinguished from sweetheart deals – that conclusion defies common sense.” [Reported on in the Guardian, 1/12/17]
Finally, America I ask all of us and more so to all of the Trump voters this simple question: “What the hell have we done?”

So, I guess, stay tuned. BTW: Mr. Trump said in his swearing in speech that the country is in the hands of the voters… So, are we about to see government and the country run by instant polls say from Fox or across Talk Radio la-la land? Whew boy… rough times ahead, folks. Extreme caution needed. Hang on tight.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

CBO-JCT Combined Impact Report of Repealing Obama-care in One Word: Duck...!!!

[click image for larger view as if we needed larger view]

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Combined synopsis from NY Times and Fiscal Times about repealing the ACA (Obama-care) impact:
The nonpartisan CBO said today (see their .pdf 4 page report here) (January 17, 2017) that repealing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, while leaving other parts in place, would cost 18 million people their insurance in the first year and could increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million in 10 years, while causing insurance premiums to double over that time.
A little more than a year ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimated the budgetary effects of H.R. 3762 (Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015), which would repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — eliminating, in two steps, the law’s mandate penalties and subsidies but leaving the ACA’s insurance market reforms in place.
1.  Eliminate the tax penalties for people who go without insurance.
2.  Eliminate spending for the expansion of Medicaid and subsidies that help lower-income people buy private insurance.
3.  Requires insurers to provide coverage at standard rates for any one even regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.
4.  Eliminating the mandate penalties and the subsidies while retaining the market reforms would destabilize the non-group market, and the effect would worsen over time.
Estimates an increase of 32 million people without coverage by 2026 results due to three changes.
(1) 23 million fewer people would have coverage in the individual insurance market.
(2) 19 million fewer people would have Medicaid coverage.
(3) Those changes would be partly offset by an increase in the number of people with employment-based insurance (so, would more employers pick up that slack).

My conclusion for what it’s worth: GOP changes that Trump insists on immediately implementing surely takes us back to the pre-ACA (Obamacare) years and thus “Back to the Future” as it were. So, where are Marty McFly and Doc Brown – fire up the DeLorean, boys, we have a new trip planned in this version of the GOP's installment.
And, hang on tight – wow – talk about “Death Panels” they are coming for sure. Seems that Palin was right all along, um (but for the wrong party).

Friday, January 13, 2017

Come on Mr. and Mrs. GOP Make Up Your Mind: Hate ACA or Love ACA

Conflicted GOP (Super PR Stunt)
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GOP Plan for the ACA (Obama-care)
(Oops, no replacement plan right now)
[click image for larger view, but not really necessary]

Historical Healthcare Cost Facts
[click chart for larger view]

FROM the Heritage Foundation and their PAC: “Heritage Action”
It simply cannot be overstated, S. CON. RES. 3 represents the only mechanism to expedite the Obamacare repeal process and thus deliver on six years of campaign promises.”
(I Note: So a campaign promise is the key to tossing 20 million Americans under the bus or in the nearest sewer - I see, I see).
(Updated: It did pass the Senate 51-48 and the House (235-188) straight party line with 4 GOPers who did not vote. The 4 are pending Trump nominees for higher office).
And the Heritage threat or promise to the GOP (mostly to the GOP): We support S. CON. RES 3 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard to measure how members voted.
Let’s be very clear on this S. Con Resolution 3 (Senate Concurrent Resolution number 3) is NOT law. So, what are concurrent resolutions? (Mostly flair for political points back home).
1.  It is a resolution passed by both the House and Senate but is not presented to the President and does not have the force of law.
2.  In contrast, joint resolutions and bills are presented to the President and once signed, or approved over a veto, then if enacted, have the full force of law.
Concurrent resolutions are generally used to address the sentiments of both chambers or to deal with issues or matters affecting both houses. Examples of what concurrent resolution address are things like the budget and spending limits and now today, set the scene to repeal the ACA (Obama-care). 
Current Resolutions do not have the full force of law based on a 1983 USSC decision that ruled the practice was unconstitutional the case of INS v. Chadha 462 U.S. 919. And thus ended that practice since they were also sometimes used to override executive actions via a mechanism known as the legislative veto, thus not legal.
More from those whacko’s at the Heritage:
The importance of repealing Obamacare is more than simply fulfilling a campaign promise; it is about beginning the process of expanding choice in and lowering costs of a health care system that is currently bankrupting the nation, hurting hardworking Americans, and slowing economic growth.  There is no mystery why Americans, on everyday matters that directly concern them, continue to oppose the ACA law (Obamacare) law. Those reasons:  
1.  Health insurance premiums continue to burden businesses and families.
2.  Obamacare generates big and surprising out-of-pocket costs.
3.  Obamacare reduces insurance competition and consumer choice.
4.  Obamacare destroys jobs and discourages employment.
5.  The overall health care cost curve is “bending” upward.
6.  Obamacare imposes major tax increases on America’s middle class.
7.  Medicare payment cuts threaten seniors’ future access to care.
8.  Obamacare increases deficits and debt.
9.  Obamacare forces Americans, in direct violation of their rights of conscience, to fund abortion through their own tax dollars.
10.  Obamacare imposes arbitrary rules and costly mandates.

I say the GOP’s hatred for Mr. Obama still drives this argument and has since 2010 (when it became law) and probably ever since Mr. Obama took office nearly a full 8 years ago (Noon on Jan 20, 2009) even as the country faced the darkest economic days since the Great Depression. In short, this GOP has no shame, yet they remain shameful.

Their illogical argument follows: Obama is bad and thus so are his policies awful, just terrible, horrible in fact (sounds like words Trump repeats in the same sentence), so we must repeal and replace the ACA (Obamacare) and everything he ever signed into law or by Executive Order since 2009 and then erase any record of him ever even have serve as president…
Related sites with good info:
1.  ABC News.
2.  Kaiser Family Foundation (good health care trackers).
So, can the GOP be one huge bunch of liars and fact seekers at the same time? I say nope, but watch them try their darndest.
Let’s hear it, boys–all together now: Waa Hoo…!!! Now, a timely valid message for the GOP: 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

POP QUIZ: Spot and Identify the Rex Tillerson BS in His Senate Testimony

THEN: Vlad I Addressed Sanctions — Not Lobby for or Against

NOW: We at Exxon Lobbied on Sanctions — Not for or Against
(We Didn't Even Like Sanctions)

Introduction: George Orwell, author of “1984” introduced us to the words doublethink and newspeak, but the one word he DIDN'T use, which actually combines the two is: “Doublespeak.”

Doublespeak is saying one thing and meaning another, usually its opposite like he wrote saying that when BIG BROTHER (government) and the Party say PEACE they mean WAR; when they say LOVE they mean HATE; and when they say FREEDOM they mean SLAVERY.

Well that is the same kind of doublespeak we got in the below exchange between Sen. Corker and Rex Tillerson during Tillerson’s Senate confirmation hearing regarding his nomination for Secretary of State.

See if you can spot the slick bullshit lingo in this exchange from Tillerson during that hearing (January 11, 2017).

The full article comes from here and has this headline under the picture of Tillerson testifying:

Trump Nominee Says Exxon Didn’t Lobby Against Russia Sanctions, Despite Evidence It Did

Initially during the hearing, Tillerson was emphatic when describing Exxon’s lobbying, saying point blank:  “I never lobbied against the sanctions. To my knowledge, Exxon Mobil has not lobbied against the sanctions.”
Sen. Corker (R-TN), seemingly confused, interjected, saying: “I think you called me at the time.” 
Then Corker called for an early break before noon. When questioning reopened, Corker’s first question back to Tillerson was to ask him to clarify his earlier statement about the sanctions line of questioning. Corker asked the question this way:Has Exxon simply lobbied on sanctions rather than “against” them?
Tillerson quickly responded:Senator that is correct.”
Then Tillerson just as quickly added to that:I never lobbied against the sanctions. That characterization that Exxon Mobil lobbied against the sanctions is just inaccurate.”
Tillerson’s former employer (ExxonMobile) echoed that latest explanation, saying:As our former chairman said, we provided information about impact of sanctions, but did not lobby against sanctions. The lobby disclosure reports you cited do not contradict his testimony.” (This was provided by Alan Jeffers, a spokesperson for Exxon who spoke to that and to BuzzFeed News).
Background: In 2014, as President Obama began sanctioning Russia for the annexation of Crimea, there were at least three proposed pieces of legislation that, among other things, upped military aid to Ukraine and issue sanctions specifically against Russian energy firms.
Exxon lobbied on all three of those proposals, Congressional filings show even though the filings don’t indicate the details of Exxon’s lobbying effort, Tillerson himself made the company’s views clear at the time in 2014, saying clearly:We do not support sanctions, generally (Tillerson told shareholders) We don’t find them to be effective unless they are very well-implemented comprehensively — and that’s a very hard thing to do.”
Do you see my point in all this? Keep in mind, this is not just a case of clarifying previous words – this is a blatant effort to redesign the original words with clear intent to deceive and cover up possible real motives of Tillerson and about his stated views and purpose if confirmed to get the sanctions lifted for both Russian and ExxonMobil benefit and a huge, huge profit.
Doublespeak – dare I say (but not too loudly)? BTW: I hope you easily spotted the disconnect (the deceptive wording)… clever, but not for me, and I’m sure (and hopefully) not for you.

My final simple Q: How can someone lobby ON something without being FOR or AGAINST that something?
Thanks for coming by… Oh, yeah Tillerson should not get the SOS job, but with this majority of GOPers in charge, well… he will, sadly.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Ignore Time-tested Traditions, Values, and Principles: Market Only the Trump Name

Renaming the Past 

Trump Aims for New Prize
(The country first, then the world)

Things are moving very fast — the latest: Trump will appoint his son-in-law Jared Kushner as special white council… skirting the anti-nepotism law of 1967 or conflicts of interest laws, which all GOPers seem to think is his prerogative as President. Consider this brash statement by Rudy Giuliani on CNN recently: “You do realize that those laws don’t apply to the president, right?”
These are all possible scenarios. But most likely of all is Trump’s option of keeping family members close by, treating them as advisers and informally involving them in presidential business. It’s hard to imagine Trump’s children won’t be frequent guests at the White House. If they’re in the building, there’s little to prevent them from joining the action, even if they’re running the Trump Organization at the same time. There are few ways to stop this outcome.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, charged with monitoring the anti-nepotism law might find it hard to claim jurisdiction over the president. The courts, an obvious limiting authority, might call a president’s personnel practices a “political question” and decline to weigh in and Trump would love that scenario beyond any doubt.
The oath of office that every president takes is to swear or affirm “…to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution” and by extension all laws contained therein, expect I guess laws that Donald J. Trump wants to skirt or totally disregard like this one regarding son-in-law appointment as Special White House counsel. Seems he will comply with laws that he approves of and to test as many others as possible along the way to his achieved end, which is to enrich the Trump family name brand on a much wider national and international stage, which is painfully clear. More examples are:

1.  Trump team tells Ambassadors to be out of office on inauguration day – no exceptions… more or less, just pack it in and get out.

2.  Trump would sell America to pay the debt and make a profit in an April 2016 interview with Washington Post and from here on the same subject.

4.  Trump and GOP run congress both say taxpayers may end up paying for Trump’s wall until deal is made with Mexico to reimburse as Trump promised.

With all of the business-types we see nominated for office, including now, his own son-in-law (discussed above) will Trump and they all try to run the country like some new business acquisition? How about we cite this incredible story from China first with this short instruction to illustrate this question:
As Trump betrays our nation to Putin in some sort of act of treason he is also handing the biggest source of new good jobs to China according to (1) this Think Progress article and (2) this from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Just as Trump plans to cut clean energy spending hear at home, we see this from China: 
1.  Beijing’s newest 5-year energy development plan invests a stunning 2.5 trillion yuan ($360 billion) in renewable generation by 2020.
2.  Of that, $144 billion will go to solar, about $100 billion to wind, $70 billion to hydro-power, and the rest to sources like tidal and geothermal power.
3.  The Chinese National Energy Administration said in a statement the resulting “employment will be more than 13 million people.”
4.  China is already doing way better than the U.S. in this regard, and President-elect Trump’s commitment to opposing clean energy will not make things any better.
Further, as IRENA reported last year, China already has over 40 percent of all jobs in renewables, globally, while the U.S. has under 10 percent (refer to the chart below).
So, while Mr. Trump is out there lying about being the savior of a few hundred jobs here and there (Carrier, et al) all the while he has plans to ignore the biggest growth market to come around perhaps since the IT boom.
Time will tell, but folks, it ain’t pretty in this early development stage; not by a long shot.
As always stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Night Scene After Snowfall January 5-6, 2017 and Prior Year With Two Deer

Night tree scene in my front lawn  
(January 5-6, 2017)

Same tree night scene with two deer forging for grass 
(January 13, 2016)

My front lawn: A simple FYI post for those who ever get heavy snow or deer in their yard (or both), even in the city like we do often.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Intelligence Report Blames Russia Without Doubt Except for Trump

Let the Word Go Forth All Across Mother Russia
(Midnight: November 8, 2016)

Ensure President Putin Knows About Comrade Donald’s Win 
(Oh, don’t worry, he knew before anyone else)

Russians were somewhat neutral about Trump election night victory and they showed amazing Russkie restraint and pooh-pooh about their hacking and influence, etc. etc., etc. Their calm is amazing... utterly amazing as reflected above, oh, except for this teeny tiny tidbit as it were: 

Everyone is content that any suspicions or doubt they had before have now been confirmed by this report, that is everyone except Donald J. Trump. He is still not content or satisfied. He still blames the CIA for being late about releasing the report as Trump claimed. He even said so in one of those infamous Trump tweets. 

Here is a screen shot of that tweet:

The “Intelligence” briefing on so-called “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!

(Note: It was always scheduled for release today, Thursday, Jan 5, 2017 to President Obama first (aw promised) and to Congress and committee chairs for their hearings and inquiries (e.g., Sen. McCain example). 

He was always scheduled to be briefed on Friday and that is after the sitting president was properly briefed first, not the one in waiting.

Trump is lying about any delay, but what the hell, lying is his middle name – it’s SOP with him – comes natural. Sad, isn’t it – that this man will actually be in the Oval Office on Jan 20th?

And, already Trump is pledging to “revamp” the entire Intelligence apparatus to fit how he thinks it should operate. Any bets that our enemies won’t be taking notes?

Also, sorry, folks, a Rick Perry “oops” won’t suffice by the time Trump is done tinkering with the CIA, FBI, NSA, HSD, DNI’s office, and everything in between.

The damage the incoming Trump administration can do, if they get their way, will be enormous and I predict set back our country for decades… we should be improving things we have now, not redesigning them to fit the Trump failed business model.

But, it appears to be kind of late isn’t it, Mr. and Mrs. GOP in charge – but, hey, it’s up to you now – do your duty for the people as you always profess... 

Thanks for coming by.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Donald J. Trump: Trail of Lies, Denial, Deception, Practices, and False Hope

A Funny Cartoon Yet Very Serious 
(Makes the point about denial)

Take Your Pick: Compulsive or Pathological Lying 
(Can’t be both, right)

This medical introduction to the following post that is both timely and I think strongly warranted at this point in American presidential history – enjoy.
Donald Trump: Documented Trail of Lies, Denial, and Deceit
Introduction and Background:
Compulsive lying often develops when individuals are very young and heightens with age when more opportunities for fabrication are presented. Gradually throughout childhood and adolescence into adulthood, lying becomes more and more frequent, eliciting a sense of control in the affected individuals. 
They experience a sense of power over situations when they lie and become uneasy and uncomfortable when forced to tell the truth. Soon enough, dishonesty becomes habit, which then leads to classification in the compulsive lying disorder category.
Compulsive Lying Disorder: This is frequently confused with pathological lying, but it’s important to recognize the difference between the two.
1.  Compulsive liars engage in dishonesty because it is their automatic response to questions and situations.
2.  Pathological liars skilled at manipulation of people and to achieve their goals with complete disregard for the feelings of others.
However, both compulsive and pathological lying is associated with antisocial personality disorder, more commonly known as “psychopathic behavior.” For more information about the various aspects of personality that can make an individual more or less susceptible to developing disorders such as the ones described above, take a look at this course on the psychology of personality.
Now to this post as I try to tie the above afflictions into the Mr. Trump’s argument that the Affordable Care Act (ACA – Obama-care) “doesn’t work and provides lousy healthcare.”

Mr. Trump continues to have former President Bill Clinton saying the ACA law is “crazy” and that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said the law “is no longer affordable.”

But both comments are lifted out of context – Fact Check proves it.

Mr. Trump has vowed all along to work with Congress to repeal and replace President Obama’s signature legislation (the ACA) soon after he takes office on January 20 at high noon. Indeed, on January 3, the new all-GOP Congress took the first step toward that repeal of the law.

And, on the same day, Trump took to twitter (his fav pastime it seems) to argue that even Democrats who once supported the law now think it is bad, ergo: The Clinton and Dayton quotes out of context. He began by referring to comments back in October from former President Clinton, who at the time was campaigning for his wife, Hillary:

People must remember that ObamaCare just doesn't work, and it is not affordable - 116% increases (Arizona). Bill Clinton called it “CRAZY.”

His second tweet a mere five minutes later referenced comments made by Gov. Dayton:

The Democrat Governor of Minnesota said “The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is no longer affordable!” – And it is lousy healthcare.

In both cases, Trump shortened the quotes to present them in a light less favorable than a fuller context reveals. Further, and in both cases above, Clinton and Dayton made comments critical of the ACA, but both said they remained supporters of the law and blamed Republicans for refusing to make changes to improve it.
Thus, I now more firmly believe and much documentation proves me correct as well as hundreds of others including medical experts that Donald J. Trump is one or both or combination of the liars described above. Do you agree or not? That is expanded on a bit more below:
Sociopathic Liars: Defined as someone who lies continuously in an attempt to get their own way, without showing care or concern for others. They are goal-oriented.  Even though it might seem hard to believe, lying is focused – they are focused on getting their own waySociopaths don’t have a lot of respect or regard for the feelings and rights of others. They tend to be charismatic and charming, but they will use their exceptional social skills in a self-centered and manipulative manner.
Compulsive Liars: Defined as someone who continually lies from sheer habit, and tends to be their normal manner of responding to any questions from others. They will always bend the truth, regardless of how small or large the question is. For them, telling the truth doesn’t feel right. They are uncomfortable whenever they tell the truth, while lying makes them feel right. Their lying is often thought to manifest during childhood, due to being put into situations and environments where lying became a necessity. Most of the time, compulsive liars aren’t cunning or manipulative, rather they only lie because it has become such a habit for them.
All the country can do now is wait and watch (mostly his tweets on policy or some raw insult about others for us to absorb). Thus, what to expect or will comes about in the upcoming Trump administration leaves a lot of blank spaces. 
In all honestly taking all that Trump has said and done up to this point does not foreshadow well for the ending to this dramatic story, at least in my opinion.
Stay tuned.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Con-Artist, Flim-Flam Man, Imposter, Scam Artist, Shyster, Swindler, Serial Liar

Year End Cover for My Magazine 
(If I owned one)

Trump, Inc., & Government Business Logo

This post highlights one item pulled from the Donald Trump Import Line of Goods and Services — it is typical and follows this routine Trump Q&A line of discussion:  

Q to Trump in 2015:  “On the day you announce to run, how many years of tax returns will you release?”

A from Trump: “I will go over tax returns, and let me tell you, nobody knows the tax-returns world or business better than me. You have to understand, I’m a businessman and I work for myself. I have a phenomenal net worth, a lot of cash, and very little debt. Actually, I’m the only candidate in history who has submitted his financials the last time. And I didn’t run. I actually submitted my financials, because to be very honest, I’m very proud of my financials. My financials now are much better.”

Q to Trump: “But, will you release tax returns, though?”

A from Trump: “Can’t. I'm being audited as usual, but after the audit I’ll release them.”

NOTE: IRS Law and Federal Rules state anyone can release their tax returns at any time regardless of any ongoing audit or not.

Then this kicker from Trump which shows who he really is at hie core, and what his goals are, even as he now prepares to enter the highest office in the land:

“I would release my tax returns. And I’d also explain to the people that as a person looking to make money, I’m in the business of making money until I do this. And if I won, I would make money for our country. I would make so much money for our country that they wouldn’t have to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”

NOTE: The job and duty of our president, any president, IS NOT to come into office TO MAKE MONEY and then ditch valuable programs for our citizens.

Are you listening, Mr. and Mrs. America? If so, allow me to say once again as I many times before: 


Directly related from another source (Business Insider here).

Thanks for stopping by, and whether you agree with my assessment or not does not matter because he will soon become our 45th President (at least for 4 years). Stay tuned, it's gonna be one heluva ride...!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Back Off: I Am My Own Adviser — I Won't Listen to Anyone Except Me

Stop. I Don't Want to Hear Any More About Putin or Russian Hacking

I often refer to the Trump Transition Team as (T-3). However, more so lately I think “D-2 T-2” is a much better fit:

Donald Denial Transition Team (D-2 T-2)

Why do I make this assumption? 

Trump continues to deny and doubt anything from any of our 17 reputable and factual intelligence agencies about Putin and the Russian sneaky stuff. Why it that?

Trump now says he knows more about hacking than anyone (even the CIA) just like he said he knows more about ISIS than the Generals or that he dislikes John McCain because he was captured in war. Then he said he has make great sacrifices for the country like building skyscrapers. Further, he said people should stop using computers and write notes and use couriers to be safe from hacking.

The man has lost it... surely he has. The worst part: His supporters don't give a damn. I wonder what the EC voters are saying behind closed doors? 

To me, and I'm pretty sure to millions of others, say plainly and honestly that this man is not fit, prepared, or capable of serving as president… 

We have royally screwed this up this election more so than any Russian hacking because we did it to ourselves, internally, without any outside help or hindrance, or so it seems.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my rant. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Weasels Entering Office & the Russians Are Coming: Duck!!! What Duck???

No, not a new movie comedy, either

As a way or introduction, this short 2-minute clip from NBC News back in September (Richard Engel reporting) (Note: http and https could cause disruption in viewing):

The subject of this post: “The Impact and Influence of Direct or Indirect Hacking and Mis- or Disinformation in Our Democratic Election and Overall System of Government.”

BTW: This post is not intended to a satire or The Onion kind of article. Hopefully it will not considered as “fake” news, either. And, it is not the marketing of any remake of that very funny 1966 movie by Norm Jewison starring Carl Reiner and Alan Arkin, either.

I hope this comes across as a serious post on a serious topic not only about the Russian hacking, but hacking in general, which is a serious cyber-crime. Both undermine our entire democratic system and structure (e.g., potentially our electoral process and technology in general across the nation).

So, how seriously must we take the Russian hacking (of the DNC, Podesta personal email, and a few named other places) – I mean serious issue or just the same-old, same-old political BS that hear mostly from Donald Trump and his camp, or use our own judgement based on, you know hard facts?

Did Russia influence or try to influence the election and if so, how precisely, exactly, factually? To be sure there are many ways, direct and indirect.

Directly: Tamper or toy with voting machines, the actual ballots before, during, and after being counted, and such cyber attacking (thanks goodness there is apparent proof of that and that is a good outcome).

Directly: False of “fake” news say like from RT media (which is Russian-backed and funded and state-run) – whatever that “news” were to influence public opinion one way or the other.

Indirectly (which I think is just as critically important a lot like “fake” news): The influence public opinion towards or against one candidate, or both, or one favorite over the other sort of fingers in the pudding as it were.

The best example I can come up with, which I believe is 100% creditable and still prevails today. Charges have been made that Putin wanted Trump to win out of his hatred for Hillary Clinton, a fact, even Putin stated his disdain for her. 

Did Putin and Russia directly help Trump win – no solid proof of that, but that is how this post and my angle come into play: Indirectly works on the public’s mind, by hampering or try to hamper and influence views by a back and forth praise of Trump for Trump and a Trump back and forth praise of Putin. What does that mean, even of some people say it does not matter? I believe it matter a lot. All that back and forth praise I’m sure has some effect on the public/voter opinions.

Some might conclude and say: “I’m voting for Trump since he will be better for us in dealing with Putin to ease East-West tensions than Hillary Clinton, who would only sustain that tension.” That thinking comes out in debates or in 30-second Ads and such. Ergo: That may have a direct influence on furthering indirect attacks. That is my point.

Is it valid or not. I believe its human nature to think in those terms and let’s be honest, many voters don’t follow issues closely at all, or more so when issues are not even discussed, and this past election proves that point: Tough and critical issues were not even a center topic hardly at all – a lot personal attacks and innuendo dominated mostly by and from Donald Trump – a proven fact. Plus, he has been rated #1 in the false statement department by many reputable trackers.

All this is not some wild or hyped conspiracy statement either… I don’t deal in conspiracies and such nonsense. My thinking on this aspect of indirect influence is important and many people probably, I suspect, don’t even think about that in these terms.

Now part of what I mean is in following story and it shows how some points are sustained by Donald Trump himself or and/or by his team spokespersons. It in many ways reinforces what I just said, and that is: Elections can be thrown either way: directly by tampering with the voting machines, ballots and processes, or indirectly by influencing public/voter opinion. And, keep in mind, the Russkies are experts at disinformation – it was a trademark of the now defunct KGB (which Putin was a Colonel operative and chief in). Putin tries to come across as a nice guy – he is not.

The story is from the Washington Post with a few highlights verbatim from the article (not in any order per se) used to reinforce my points and reasoning along with my emphasis (shown in RED): 

1.  To be clear, we should show appropriate skepticism towards the charges of Russian interference — they are not proven — and we should cast a critical eye on the intelligence community’s findings once they are made public. But Trump isn’t showing natural skepticism. He’s being snidely dismissive, a stance that is made worse by the fact that Russia’s efforts may have been intended to help him in a campaign that featured him repeatedly praising Putin.

2.  Putin responded to President Obama’s administration’s announcement that the United States will undertake sweeping retaliation against Russia for its alleged interference in our election by booting out some 35 diplomats. But, in a surprise, Putin said he would not be expelling U.S. diplomats as part of the escalating tensions, and Trump praised Putin (in infamous tweet naturally) saying:
“Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!” @ Real Donald Trump, and later Trump said: We need to move on.”
The Post article asks (and I totally agree): But how much longer can Trump really sustain his dismissive, nonchalant posture towards Russia’s alleged assault on our democracy?

3. Senior Trump transition adviser Kellyanne Conway went on CNN and argued that Obama’s (expulsion) measures were designed to “box in” the Trump administration by forcing them to make a tough choice later on whether to continue those retaliatory measures (which Putin seems to be betting against happening). Conway added that Obama might be playing “politics” and argued that he was imperiling the peaceful transfer of presidential power. (GOP sustained pre-election message was: Clinton (ergo: Obama clone) is weak/and Putin is strong and decisive: vote Trump).

4.  In arguing that Obama is playing politics and might be imperiling a smooth transition, Conway implicitly admitted that the Trump camp does not see the possibility of Russian interference in our election as something the two parties should be united against. Makes Trump’s position look more absurdly nonchalant.

Finally, this last part of the story really makes the point of what I wrote about above vis-à-vis playing the public/voter mind game in favor of Trump (indirect influence in the election and hopefully the outcome Putin wanted?)

5.  Meanwhile, incoming White House spokesman Sean Spicer haplessly tried to argue that the real story here is that Democrats allowed Russian hackers to breach their emails:
Nobody by any way or shape is suggesting that that’s acceptable behavior,” Spicer said. “But I don’t believe once I’ve ever seen an interview where anyone at the DNC was ever asked a question about whether they take any responsibility for what clearly appears to be a lax effort on them to protect their own networks.”
Translation (which I think the Post nailed it precisely):Sure, I’ll pay lip service to the idea that what Russia may have done is bad, but it’s really the fault of Democrats for allowing it to happen.”
The way the Donald himself and his minions prop up Putin and tear down Mr. Obama now and the way they did with Hillary Clinton in the run up to November 8 was skilled influence to win the ugliest way.
Yes, is was pure, raw politics – but was it honest, fair, and democratic – well, I’ll leave that final say so up to history and those more expert than me and to you the readers of this post.
Thanks for stopping by…

UPDATED BY WASHINGTON POST correction now saying: “The headline changed to read: “Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say. This update now reads: “The code entered the Vermont utility’s computers.” But utility spokesman says the code was found only on one laptop and it was not connected to the grid. The grid is safe.”

Original Post Was This: This all is not over yet (Russia is now suspected of tampering around the edges of the electrical grid reported on in Vermont).

So, I wonder if Bernie is listening – no doubt he is. And, ironically this other take on that Vermont grid story… call it one opposing view – whether it is “fake news” or not I can’t tell (see correction above) which taken together makes the precise point of this entire post today.
So, stay tuned… this all might get a lot rougher ahead.