Paul Manafort Never Really Left The President’s Campaign/ Rick Gates

Compared to the building corruption in the White House, with many, many more shady Russian connections than even most conspiracy-theorists ever imagined, Watergate was a minor faux pas, and Nixon merely a scamp. I have been keeping an eye on the unfolding of what I believe will end up being confirmed treason, but have not written about it because … fellow-blogger-friend Gronda has been hard on the trail and is doing an excellent job of providing factual information and trying to help us all decipher this tangled web. Today I share her post about the ties to Paul Manafort and her conclusion that in reality, Manafort never really left the Trump campaign back in August. Please, if you have any desire to stay abreast of the unfolding events, take a moment to read Gronda’s excellent post. Thank you, Gronda, for all your hard work and dedicated research … and for implied permission to re-blog!

Gronda Morin

Related imageRemember that Paul Manafort and our republican President Donald Trump go way back at least three decades. Mr. Manafort has been a long term resident at Trump Towers since 2006.

Mr. Manafort bought his upper-floor apartment in Trump Tower in 2006, under the LLC he controlled, John Hannah LLC. Public records show a purchase price of $3.675 million for a condo around 1,500 square feet. But in 2015, he places the Trump Tower property in his own name. He and his wife own several high value properties.

Around 2006, a young gentleman by the name of Rick Gates became an assistant to Paul Manafort.

When Paul Manafort left the president’s campaign in August 2016 when his Russian/ Ukraine ties were being questioned, it was his deputy Rick Gates who took over the management of the Republican convention events.

Image result for photos of paul manafort and rick gates Paul Manafort

As per a 3/23 CNN report by Elizabeth Landers and Jeremy…

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Encourage a No vote on the AHCA

As Trump is is bullying and threatening our elected Representatives in the House, demanding a vote be taken today on his terrible healthcare plan, it appears there will not be sufficient votes to pass it. Fellow-blogger Keith has drafted an excellent, short piece that he posted to his representative’s website today, and I recommend that anyone who wishes to “just say ‘no'” to this bill use it as a guideline to send a message to your own representative! Thank you, Keith!


The following is an email posted to my US Representative’s website today.

As a retired benefits actuary, consultant and manager, I encourage you to vote no on the AHCA vote today. The CBO says the modifications made do not alter the expectation that over ten million people will lose coverage. Plus, two hospital groups, two Doctor groups and the AARP have all recommended a no vote.

As a benefits professional, my strong recommendation is to improve the imperfect ACA. It is disappointing that my former party has highlighted the negatives of the ACA, while downplaying the many positives.

I would recommend the ACA be improved with a few changes:
– fully fund the risk corridors to reimburse insurers for adverse selection, the absence of which drove premiums up and forced some insurers out of the market,
– introduce a public option in areas that have no competition,
– encourage the…

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Zero Credibility

The title of this post by my fellow-blogger and friend, Keith, says it all. Zero Credibility. Credibility, like trust and respect, must be earned. Our current president has earned none of these, and the cost is likely to be our standing among our allies. Please take a moment to read and think about Keith’s post … it sums our current standing in the international community quite accurately. Thank you Keith, for your very good, concise summary and for permission to re-blog!


If you were a foreign leader, let me ask you a simple question. Would you trust the current President of the United States? Unfortunately, the answer is an obvious no. The sad part is the leaders have less trust in America.

With the continuation of his lying and insufficient knowledge of the issues, he has offended several leaders in so little time. His mistakes are unforced, so he has brought them on himself.

His worst mistake which weighs him down as investigations continue are his continuing insistence that his predecessor had his offices wire tapped. He greatly complicated this false accusation by indicting the British in the wire tapping. He damaged a relationship with our best ally, so that he would not be caught in a lie. So, his solution was to lie again.

Adding to these lies are the Russian conspiracy investigation, the incompetently handled travel bans and various…

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The Connections Between Deutsche Bank, Russia And Our President, Part V

I have mentioned on more than one occasion that, with all the murky ties of Trump surrogates to the Russian government, it is like a huge, sticky spider web, and that at the end of the day I suspect the threads to lead directly to Trump himself. Friend and fellow-blogger Gronda Morin has been diligently researching and I would like to share one of her posts with my readers. I think that there is far, far too much smoke for there not to be a fire … it is only a matter of time, and of those who are charged with investigating such things to get off their collective posteriors and trace the connections. Please take a moment to read this excellent post, and drop Gronda a comment thanking her for all her in-depth research. Thank you, Gronda, for implied permission to share, and for the hours I know you spent on this series of posts!

Gronda Morin


The year 2008 was a pivotal one for our republican President Donald Trump. This was the year that the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev purchased the president’s property in Palm Beach for the inflated price of $95 million to $100 million dollars when it was appraised for about $60 million dollars.

During the same time frame, the president was suing his largest creditor Deutsche Bank over a $40 million loan that came due. He claimed that the 2008 downward spiral in property values, due to the US recession was as an “Act of God” which absolved him from this obligation. Somehow this whole incident was taken care of and Deutsche Bank continued to loan the president monies.

It is important to note that the president has a history of shady dealings. The information detailed below demonstrates that this is the way he operated to where his having less than above board dealings with Russian officials should not surprise anyone.

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I Believe…

This post by fellow blogger Rob Goldstein needs no introduction, for it speaks for itself. Please take a moment to read!

Art by Rob Goldstein

If you agree with this post sign your name with a link to your blog in the comments section and reblog the post.

You don’t have to be a citizen of the United States to sign this!

You can also copy the text and use it as a post on your own blog.

Thank you to Karen Kleis for sharing this with me.

I Believe….

I believe that Donald Trump, his Cabinet and administration, and his Republican enablers in Congress are a real and active threat to me, and
to the people I love.

Trump says he won the election and wants us to “work together” to
“Make America Great Again”.

This is my response:

•I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years.

•I will not “work together” to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.

•I will not…

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Survival Guide: Keeping Your Sanity Intact

A month or so ago, a new reader somehow came upon my blog, and has since become not only a regular reader, but also a friend. In addition to being knowledgeable on most any topic and having a unique sense of humour, he has a positive outlook, and that is what made me decide to share this post on my blog tonight. I found this post to be calming in the midst of the storms surrounding us all these days. Please take a few minutes to read this post by Roger, writing as heroicallybadwriter (although he is actually a quite good writer!) And thank you, Roger, for the implied permission to re-blog!


As we know in this day and age in the light of events recent and not so-recent you cannot help but wonder…..’WHAAAAAAAAT!’

Now I know most readers will think I’m going down the road of the USA Presidential Elections or the UK British Brexit referendum, which would be rational, however they are but two examples.

Let me just cite a few in my recent experience both personal and witnessed.

The ‘religious forum’ I gave up on. The fundamentalist atheist who argued I had no business believing in science and a God and had a closed mind for doing so (no kidding…It’s E=MC2 or nothing in his world)

The british comic who in his temper-tantrum (no satire, just a foul-mouthed tirade) over the US elections (his followers thought he was being witty) ranted “Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against Americans. I like overweight mass-killers as much as anyone” (The…

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Good Season(al Adjustment)

This morning’s news is all about the February job report, which is favourable. In under an hour after the release of the report, Sean Spicer broke the Office of Management and Budget’s Statistical Policy Directive No. 3, which states that “employees of the Executive Branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time.” But of course, the Trump administration could hardly wait to take credit, even though the credit is not truly theirs to take. Fellow-blogger Erik Hare, writing as Barataria, is my ‘go-to’ person for economic insight, and as always, he is one step ahead of the game with his analysis of this morning’s news, so I am sharing his post with you today. Thank you Erik, as always, for your valuable insight!

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

By the time you read this, the big news is likely to be jobs. It hasn’t been a hot topic since the election, and most of what was said during that strange period wasn’t exactly true. The big job gains for February, along with a large round-up for January, make it impossible to ignore.

The economy has definitely turned around.

It’s all over but the shouting, of which there will be a lot. There is little doubt that Republicans will claim credit for a big turnaround in 2017, which will be utter crap. This has been a long time in the making and things have not been actually bad for a long time. Nevermind. Positive news will feed on itself and everyone will be happier.

But there is one final twist to the very good news – it’s really in the adjustment.

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What Does Putin Want?

Warfare has taken on many personae throughout history, from the spears, shields and swords used in ancient Greece and Rome to the hydrogen bomb used by the U.S. to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. More recently, the world has seen the ‘new and improved’ version of nuclear weapons, though thankfully they have not been used to eradicate cities or nations … yet. But it may well be that nuclear weapons are not needed to wreak havoc and cause mass destruction. Perhaps all that is needed is … a computer? Today I am sharing a comprehensive post by fellow-blogger and friend, Robert Goldstein who has done a great deal of research and his post deserves … nay, NEEDS … to be read and pondered by us all. Please take a few moments to check out his post, and also some of his links. If you have been following the news about the Russian government hacking the DNC in order to manipulate our elections, you will find this post chilling. Thank you, Robert, for the hard work you put into this, and for generously permitting me to share it!

Art by Rob Goldstein

I assume Putin has strategic goals and chooses his weapons wisely.

I wanted a logical explanation for why Putin would choose
Information as a weapon of war.

I ran a search on Google and found the 2016 NATO Defense
College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare

It is exactly what I wanted.

After I read it I fully understood what the CIA means when it says
Russia hacked
the 2016 US election.

I also understood why some in the Intelligence Community
call it an act of war.

The most disturbing analyses in the handbook is the one that explains
why Putin chooses the media as his new battleground.

A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare

The attack is protracted and subtle.

People don’t realize they’re under attack until it’s too late.

A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information…

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The Russians are not coming. They are already here.

In basic journalism or writing classes, we are taught the five ‘W’s: Where, When, Who, What, & Why. While all these are essential to a good story, the most relevant and interesting is almost always the last one … WHY? Fellow-blogger Eric Hols, writing as Middle Man, has written an excellent post posing the ‘why’ question to the Russian connections we have all been avidly following in the news for weeks now, and I think he did a nice job summing up that all important question: WHY? Please take a few moments to read his post … it will give you some food for thought! Thank you, Eric, for permission to re-blog.

Middle Man


I know some of you may be weary of the drip drip drip of political posts from your friendly neighborhood Middle Man. But this business with the Russians is deeply concerning and goes beyond politics for me.  I have made a few simple observations and asked a few reasonable, serious questions that deserve answers and quickly.

1.) The Russians have been confirmed to have interfered in our election for the benefit of Trump. There is no evidence that this interference affected the outcome of the election, but that is beside the point.  They wanted Trump.  Why?  This is not new for Putin and Russia. They have done this before in other European countries, always with the intent to have a candidate elected who is sympathetic to Putin’s agenda, which is to strengthen Russia’s global influence.  Does anyone really believe Russia did not attempt the same thing here?

2.) There are…

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The Family and Civil Society

How many times do we hear someone say, “I just don’t know what’s the matter with people today”, or something similar? Everyone, it seems, has a theory: too much television, not enough discipline, they are too liberal, everybody expects things to be handed to them, or some variant of those. I have no answers either, but blogger-friend Hugh Curtler, who is a much deeper-thinker than I, wrote a thoughtful and thought-provoking post today that may point us in the direction of an answer as to why civil society has changed so much in the past century. Please take a few minutes to read his post … I promise you will come away thinking … and if enough of us think, perhaps there is hope for solutions to be forthcoming. Thank you Hugh for this post and for always allowing me to share!


At the very core of what used to be called “civil society” sits the family. This is where the young are taught such things as civil discourse, self-discipline, responsibility, and the restraint that eventually becomes what we call “character.” There are those who insist that the family so described is no more. In 1942 Joseph Schumpeter, a Harvard economist who spent forty years writing Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (once regarded as a “must” read and now simply becoming musty on the forgotten shelves of university libraries) predicted the dissolution of the family and eventually of civil society. This would result, Schumpeter insisted, from the success of capitalism — not the failure, as Marx would have it. This is because capitalism breeds a culture of calculation focused upon self-interest and short-term thinking. But above all else, it breeds a temper opposite to the temper that insists upon self-sacrifice for the needs and goods of…

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