The Facts, Folks … Just The Facts

Okay, folks … it’s getting really old, don’t you think?  I’m sick and damn tired of listening to Trump blame every damn person he can find to blame for everything under the sun in order to deflect attention from his own corrupt, heinous behaviour. Never any facts, just speculation, just made up grievances, contrived situations in the tangled mind of the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.  ENOUGH!!!

There is no bloomin’ Obamagate, folks … it is a fantasy made up in the deranged mind of the Oaf in the Oval Office.  It doesn’t exist.  If you even remotely believe a single word of this made-up tale by Trump, his lawyers and his cronies, please do us all a favour and seek psychiatric counseling immediately!

The Facts:

Fact:  Russia interfered on behalf of Donald Trump in the U.S. 2016 election.  That is not disputable nor disputed and there is sufficient evidence to prove the fact to the blindest partisan.

Fact:  Michael Flynn is guilty of contacts with a Russian official, a series of high-profile leaks, blatant lies to the public and to the FBI, potential blackmail and almost everything in between.

Fact:  The Mueller investigation offered Flynn a plea deal whereby he would only be charged with lying to the FBI and not the rest of his crimes, in exchange for his testimony in the Russian investigation.

Fact:  Flynn was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2012 to run the Defense Intelligence Agency, the top military intelligence service in the country.

Fact:  In 2014, Flynn came under suspicion as having too many close ties with Russians such as GRU chief General Igor Sergun, and a close Russian ‘associate’.  Because of his questionable associations, after two years on the job, Flynn’s contract was not renewed and he left the Defense Intelligence Agency and retired from the military.

Fast forward to 2016 …

Fact:  Flynn launched a consulting firm and reemerged in 2016 as a Trump adviser. He became a prominent campaign surrogate and gave a polarizing speech at the GOP convention calling for Hillary Clinton to be jailed. On what grounds is anybody’s guess.

Fact:  During 2016, President Obama planned to impose a series of sanctions against the Russian government for their interference, by then well proven, in the 2016 election.  He planned to oust 35 Russian diplomats from the country in December 2016.

Fact:  Flynn, by this time having been named to be Trump’s national security advisor, was privy to this information and had numerous conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, whereby he made certain promises to reverse the sanctions as soon as Trump took office.  Because of Flynn’s past history with Russian agents, the calls were intercepted by US intelligence, the FBI and the Justice Department.

Fact:  President Obama, well aware of the conversations between Kislyak and Flynn, warned Trump that Flynn was a danger to the nation and warned him against making him his national security advisor.

Fact:  Days after Trump took office, the FBI questioned Flynn about the calls, and he told four distinct lies, according to court filings.  The lies were about a series of calls Flynn had with Sergey Kislyak. The calls were about two distinct events: a controversial vote at the United Nations about Israel and President Obama’s decision to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 US election.

Fact:  Justice Department officials soon warned the Trump White House about Flynn’s dishonesty, and how Vice President Mike Pence and others had publicly repeated Flynn’s lies, making them vulnerable to Russian blackmail. Flynn was fired in February 2017 after three weeks on the job, and Trump said at the time that Flynn had to go because he had lied to Pence.

Fact:  Michael Flynn and Robert Mueller reached a plea agreement in December 2017. Flynn agreed to help the probe and eventually provided evidence against Trump. Mueller let Flynn plead guilty to one count of lying to the FBI and agreed not to bring charges on Flynn’s other lies or on the illegal lobbying.

Fact:  Last June, Flynn fired his lawyers and brought on an aggressive team of right-wing firebrands. Instead of letting the case wrap up as planned and proceed to sentencing, Flynn’s lawyers started accusing the FBI of bias and misconduct, and he later asked to withdraw his guilty plea.

Those are the facts, they are proven, documented, and not disputable.

Listen to lawyer Bradley Moss respond to the question of “Obamagate” on Fox ‘News’ …

Now this month, Trump’s toadie Attorney General William Barr announced that the Justice Department would be dropping the single charge against Mike Flynn, he would be a free man, and both Trump and Pence announced their willingness to have him back on their team.  So … what happened?

My educated guess is that in mid-2019 Trump decided that Flynn, with his pre-established Russian connections, and given that the intelligence community has already verified that Russia is once again playing a role in our election, might be a useful tool, a liaison as it were.  So, Trump advised Flynn to fire his lawyers, withdraw his guilty plea, and he promised him a full pardon.  Then this spring, as Trump saw his polls tanking as a result of his shoddy response to the coronavirus pandemic, Trump sought the help of his sycophant sitting at the head of the Justice Department … if one can still refer to it as the ‘Justice’ Department.

So, just where did Trump cook up his “Obamagate” conspiracy???  The first thing to remember is that Trump’s ego was damaged by the fact that he lost the popular vote, in essence lost the election, to Hillary Clinton.  His ego was further damaged by the facts uncovered by Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian interference into our election that did, regardless what anyone says, play a role in helping Trump get elected.  Would he have been elected even without Vladimir Putin’s assistance?  We’ll never know for sure, as there were other misdeeds afoot that also gave Trump an unfair advantage, but it’s a fact that Russia did help him in more ways than one.

Trump cannot, when his ego is prodded or poked, let sleeping dogs lie, cannot be the gentleman and realize that this, too, shall pass.  No, it is his nature to find someone to blame, someone to call names, someone to say “Lock her/him up!”  This time it happens to be President Obama.

When asked by Philip Rucker of The Washington Post just exactly what crime Trump was accusing President Obama of when he decried “Obamagate!”, Trump responded …

“You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours.”

And that is really about all Trump has, folks.  A non-answer for a non-issue.  It was no different than when he called Bob Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” over and over again, ad nauseam.  It’s no different than his constant and annoying habit of referring to all the legitimate media as “fake media”.  It was no different than when he started the “Lock her up!” chant against Hillary Clinton, over and over again, ad nauseam.  It is a rallying cry, a ploy to turn the attention of the public from his own crimes to some imagined crimes by an imagined enemy.  Must be working, for I just spent two hours digging into the facts and writing this post in an effort to enlighten and clarify.

Don’t, however, let it fool you and don’t even dignify the questions and “whaddabout” queries by your republican friends. Smoke and mirrors.  Trump is a snake oil salesman and his act plays well with about 40% of the people in this country.  He deals in grandstanding, smoke & mirrors, and gaslighting.  He is not a politician, he is not a leader of people.  President Obama was a leader of people, a uniter, and a damn fine man … Trump is none of the above and he feels the lack … he retaliates in the only way he knows how … nastiness, name-calling and vicious lies.

I end where I began … there is no crime, no illegal act, by either President Obama or Vice President Joe Biden.  There is no Obamagate.  The crimes all lie with none other than Donald Trump, the worst, most corrupt president in the history of this nation.  Please, friends, help us get him out of power before he finalizes the destruction of the United States of America.  I’m begging … please.

Timely Advice From Morning Joe

Yesterday, I found myself completely overwhelmed by the amount of news … tariffs, Trump’s trip to the UK, anti-trust investigations, impeachment, gun control, anti-abortion laws, etc., etc., etc.  Where to start?  My mind spun, then bounced as I read article after article, most somehow involving Donald Trump.  I think we are all beginning to feel as if we are on a carousel that is spinning faster and faster while we try to hold on for dear life.

This morning I happened upon an OpEd by former member of Congress, now host of Morning Joe on MSNBC with Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough that I think makes a lot of sense.  Mr. Scarborough offers us some timely advice about keeping our eye on the ball, so I decided to share it with you.

Disregard Trump’s ground noise. Focus on the signal.

By Joe Scarborough, June 3 at 4:08 PM

Joe-ScarboroughMy first year in Congress was spent absorbing attacks from a local newspaper unimpressed by the fact I was the first Republican elected in my area of Florida since Reconstruction. They appreciated my lectures on small government conservatism no more than does the current collection of Big Government Republicans in Washington.

During my freshman year on the Hill, I tried to respond to every charge from every article, political cartoon or editorial page. After one particularly stem-winding speech that I delivered at the downtown Rotary Club in Pensacola, Fla., three-star admiral Jack Fetterman took me aside and gently offered advice that I carry with me a quarter-century later. He put his arm around me and said, “Joe, you have to learn to separate the ground noise from the signal. And here’s the secret, son: It’s almost always ground noise.”

I thought of the admiral’s words this weekend as I glanced at the news feed coming in over my phone.

Video from the Sun, a British tabloid, showed that President Trump called a princess “nasty”; then he denied calling her that; then Trump had his team release a tape that showed he called her that; then Fox News hosts attacked those quoting the Trump manuscript that showed he called her “nasty.”

Trump then dismissed reports of him calling her “nasty,” waving off the Sun’s transcripts as “fake news.”

I also learned from my news feed that Trump staffers told the Navy to keep the USS John S. McCain out of Trump’s line of sight; Trump then denied that request was ever made; Reporters proved that request was, in fact, made. Trump staffers admitted to the request.

Trump then dismissed the reports as “fake news.”

It is easy to be blinkered by the ground noise generated by from the president’s Twitter feed, or from his ministers of propaganda, or from his quivering quislings on Capitol Hill. It is difficult to brush aside the steady stream of lies and half-truths that insult our intelligence. But the good admiral would tell you that you have no other choice unless you want to fly your fighter jet straight into the side of a mountain.

Ignore the ground noise and search for the signal, instead. That may seem difficult but, after three years of Trumpian madness, it is imperative.

The signal is the Mueller report. Read it. The evidence inside is both impeachable and indictable. It also documents that the Russians tried to undermine U.S. democracy and that the president and his team, rather than reporting the interference, welcomed our enemy’s help.

William P. Barr is ground noise. The attorney general has been caught lying to the American people with his letter, lying to Congress with his testimony and lying to the media in his interviews. Maureen Dowd of the New York Times accurately labeled Barr as Trump’s minister of disinformation. She is right. His words are now as meaningless as Kellyanne Conway’s or Roger Stone’s.

The signal is the United States’ $22 trillion debt; record deficits; a fading bond market; trade wars with Mexico and China; a $16 billion welfare scheme for farmers; tariff taxes; a bloated defense budget that funds military-industrial complex programs that the Pentagon does not even want; a Middle Eastern war taxpayers are underwriting for the benefit of a bloodthirsty Saudi prince; and rising tensions in the Persian Gulf also aimed at mollifying that same leader, who had a Post contributing columnist tortured and killed.

Focus also on the pattern of behavior. After the economic crisis, Donald Trump endorsed the Wall Street bailout and praised the feds for giving billions of dollars to bankers whose greed had crushed middle-class workers. A decade later, the populist plutocrat championed tax cuts for multinational corporations and millionaire members inside his clubs. As Trump told a group of wealthy Mar-a-Lago Club members the day he signed the tax bill into law, “You all just got a lot richer.” In this one respect, Trump was right. His Palm Beach buddies did make millions from “tax reform,” but as with the tariffs he keeps touting, it is working-class Americans who will ultimately pay the tab.

Ignore the noise and focus on the signal coming from North Korea, where the building of a nuclear program continues unimpeded. The president’s bewildering response to this growing threat has been to adopt the party line of North Korea’s Communist Party and profess his love for the dictator who tortured and caused the death of a U.S. college student for trying to bring a poster home. A strong warning signal also gets sent every time Trump chooses to accept the word of a former KGB agent over the professional conclusions of the FBI, CIA, the director of national intelligence and Homeland Security leaders that the president, himself, appointed.

That signal may lead us back to the Mueller report as well as Trump’s personal pursuit of riches. And focusing on that signal may lead us to better understanding why the president has been so willing to sell out American democracy to Russian dictators and Saudi Arabian sheikhs.

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What’s Behind The Smokescreen???

Smokescreen:  a cloud of smoke created to conceal military operations; a ruse designed to disguise someone’s real intentions or activities.

Smoke and Mirrors … Trump’s most recent rude & crude tweets appear to have taken over the internet, airwaves, and every other communication venue.  I will address those in a later post, as I, too, have much to say about them, however … those tweets are NOT the most important news of the day.  In my last post, I informed you that your voting history is about to be made public information by the Trump administration, and now I have more news …

smokescreenAll week long, the big news has been the Senate’s so-called ‘health care’ bill, written by America’s #1 Obstructionist, Senator Mitch McConnell, with the assistance of only a handful of other senators. The bill, once revealed, showed that the Senate bill was just as egregious as was the House bill that passed the House in May.  In the Senate, however, it requires only three (3) republican senators to vote ‘nay’ and the bill is dead in the water.  As the week progressed, it became clear that the republicans would not have the votes to pass this abomination of a bill that would cost every single lower-to-middle class person in the country.  So, the vote was delayed, much to the chagrin of McConnell & Trump.

So what next?  Well, Congress is now on its week-long July 4th break, but Trumpty-Dumpty has a brilliant idea!  “If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!”  Excuse me?  Take away healthcare from some 20 million U.S. citizens and give nothing but a vague … “one of these days we might give you something”?  I leave it to your imagination what words initially came from these fingertips, words that I have since replaced with nicer ones. (I may have to have a new computer soon, as I have beaten this poor little Dell to death in the past 5 months!)

Congress is officially on break as of the close of Friday, and the Senate will return on Monday, 10 July for three weeks before taking a month-long break in August.  Must be nice, eh?

To legislate Trump’s ‘repeal, no replace’ plan would cause anywhere between 20 million and 32 million people to suddenly be cut off from affordable healthcare.  Trump and certain members of Congress claim that this is what their supporters want, that they ran on a platform of repealing ACA and that is what they must do, whether or not they can come up with a viable alternative.  I cry FOUL! Though not a Trump voter nor supporter, I am a voter, I am a citizen of this nation, and my voice counts just as much as does any single Trump supporter. And my voice says I do not wish to see one single person lose their medical insurance, have to pay higher premiums, or see a reduction in benefits.

The idea was apparently the brain-child of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and is also supported by Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska.  However, health industry officials are warning that overturning the existing law, which has extended insurance to roughly 20 million Americans and changed the rules under which insurance is offered across the country, would create chaos in a sector that accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy. The Kaiser Family Foundation polled this very approach back in March, and found only 19 percent of Americans favored repealing Obamacare first and then working to replace it. A 51% majority of Americans say they do not want ACA repealed at all, but simply prefer to work through the problems.

ACA  chart.pngOne theory is that repealing ACA now would force Democratic senators to work more closely with Republicans to craft a viable bill.  The fallacy in that, of course, is that the Republicans have made it clear they are gearing any health care bill toward the wealthy and to hell with the rest of us, and I cannot imagine that Democrats are going to compromise their values for that.  Even some of the high-ranking Republicans who have been working on the legislation rejected it as impractical, making it doubtful that they could even obtain the 51 votes required to repeal without replacing.

A group of Senate Republicans suggested Friday that McConnell should scale back or cancel the chamber’s month-long August recess, given the lack of progress they have made on not just health care but a tax-code overhaul, spending bills, the debt ceiling and a budget resolution. Personally, though I think a month-long recess is excessive, I would just as soon they stay on break throughout August and give us a break from their shenanigans.  Perhaps if they get a nice, long rest, they will be able to actually engage their brains and get something right in September.  Meanwhile, we must all hope that Trump doesn’t get a notion to repeal ACA on his own via ‘executive order’!!!

Senator Kamala Harris Appears To Make The Old Boys’ Network In The Senate, Nervous

To some of us, there was never any doubt that it’s still a man’s world, especially in Washington. Freshman Senator Kamala Harris is getting a taste of this lesson, and blogger-friend Gronda has written an excellent, informative post about Senator Harris’ attempt to get answers in the ongoing investigation into the Trump-Russian connections. Please take a moment to read this post, and also pay attention to the comment by crustyolemothman, who has made a prediction that I would like to naysay, but I’m not sure he’s off-base at all! Thank you, Gronda for the post and permission to re-blog!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of kamala harris during hearingsThere is not a woman alive who has ever held any executive type position who has not experienced this phenomenon of being interrupted, talked over by male co-workers while she was simply doing her job. There are literally hundreds of published articles out there in the real world, advising women how to navigate successfully under these set of circumstances.

There have been credible studies which validate this assertion. For example the Harvard Business Review has published empirical data in its review dated 4/11/17, demonstrating that the Supreme Court female Justices are interrupted by their male counterparts at a rate of 3 times greater than their male colleagues.

Image result for photos of kamala harris during hearingsMost women who have been watching the US Senate Intel Committee hearings within the first half of 2017, have noticed the former prosecutor, former attorney general and freshman Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), as she performs her expected role in a professional manner, by…

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