Friday, January 27, 2017

Russian Breadcrumbs

Follow the breadcrumb trail...
  • In September 2016 there was a warning by the FBI that the election had been hacked, and IP addresses related to the hack had been traced back to Russia.
  • In October 2016, the Dept of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security warned before the election that there was evidence of an effort by Russia to affect our election, including emails that were hacked and stolen from the DNC.
  • In December 2016 the CIA released a report claiming that they have evidence that Russia interfered with our election process.
  • In January 2017, a Joint Intelligence Report was released with allegations that Russia, and Putin himself, conspired to influence our election and prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected.
  • A well-respected British Op, Christopher Steele, gathers info on Trump and releases the dossier to BuzzFeed, claiming that Russia has dirt on Trump. Then Steele promptly goes to ground, apparently fearing for his life. He is said to have obtained his information from Russian entities.
  • Now Rex Tillerson, who is a close ally to Putin, is pegged to be our next Secretary of State.
  • It came out today that Sergey Yuryevich Mikhailov, deputy director of the FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation), was in a meeting when he suddenly had a bag thrown over his head and was dragged from the building, never to be seen again. It's been reported that he has been arrested for "treason". (…/) So the question is "whether the government that he's charged with aiding and abetting is our foreign government." (Rachel Maddow) The non-state controlled Russian press is reporting he was arrested for tipping off the US to what Russia was doing to influence our election.
  • And today the Trump administration purged the State Department of many high-level career diplomats, who have been with the department for 30 or 40 years (no replacements have been selected to fill their positions).
Laura Kennedy (@AmbKennedy_ret) tweeted today:
"As a career diplomat, I experienced many transitions & never saw anything like this dangerous purge of public servants now underway at State"
  • In their urgency to vacate the offices, well-respected long-timer Tom Countryman was on a plane to Rome for a meeting when he was ordered to turn back and unceremoniously let go. He was told today to leave his position by tomorrow. He's been serving since 1982.
  • Susan Glasser of Politico has now reported in a tweet:
"update: several sources reporting the proposed order would unilaterally lift sanctions."

This has become real life.

UPDATE 2/11/17:  Since this list was compiled, there have been a few other developments:
  • In an interview with Bill O'Reilly released on 2/4/17, Trump defended Putin by saying that America is a killer, too.
"There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?"
  • Putin's good friend Rex Tillerson was confirmed as our new Secretary of State.
  • It has been learned that National Security Advisor Michael Flynn called Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on 12/29/17, the same day that President Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for Russia's hacking. It is believed that Flynn may have spoken with the ambassador about the impending sanctions and reassured him that Trump would back off on the sanctions once he was in office.
  • It was announced that Russia was considering handing over Edward Snowden as a "gift" to Trump.
  • And, though it isn't related to the Trump-Russia connection, it bears noting that Putin seems to have done it once again and has poisoned another "enemy". Putin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza fell ill a couple of weeks ago after being poisoned by an unknown substance. The thing is, this is the second time he was poisoned, having narrowly survived a poisoning in 2015.
UPDATE 2/15/17: Michael Flynn resigned on 2/13/17 amid allegations that not only had he spoken to Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, but he had indeed implied that the Trump administration would back off on sanctions against Russia, and the call was recorded by intelligence offices. Putin then backed off on his threats of retaliation, and Trump tweeted how smart Putin was for not retaliating. Flynn also put Pence in a bad position by lying to him about the nature of his phone call with the ambassador, causing Pence to lie to the American public about it. Then apparently Trump knew about the phone call for weeks before telling Pence.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The First Five Days in a Trump Presidency...

It seems we will see utter devastation of constitutional and civil rights under Donald. We already knew we'd see a complete loss of human decency. And it seems Republicans will sit by and cheer him on as he does it or simply remain quiet, with only a few decent folk like McCain standing up in defiance.

This is from a Facebook post (author unknown):

Utter devastation. And we are only 5 days in.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.
* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.
* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.
* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”
* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.
* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.
* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.
* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.
* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is of the 2009 inauguration of 44th President Barack Obama, and is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.
* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.
* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.
* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”
* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.
* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

April 15 Anti-Trump March

We just finished the Women's March on Washington and sister marches all around the world (I participated in the one here in Naples, FL), and already the next march is being planned. This one is being planned for April 15th, in order to take a stand and try to pressure Trump into releasing his taxes. Kellyanne Conway has said that the American people don't care whether he releases his taxes, when polls have shown that 60% of Americans do in fact want him to release his records. This march is intended to make a statement and show that Americans insist that Trump release his tax records. Take a stand!

SUMMARY: What's happening in the World According to Trump?

My friend is overwhelmed and depressed over everything Trump, and can't even deal with reading everything that comes out surrounding him. So she's taken to wanting me to just summarize things for her. Here is today's summary of Trump news from the last day or two:

  • Trump has named January 20th a National Day of Patriotic Devotion. If that doesn't frighten you, then you are just plain stupid.
  • CBS News has confirmed that Trump's team brought a group of about 40 people who filled out the crowd at the CIA when Trump spoke to them on Saturday.
'CBS News confirmed reports that President Donald Trump brought a studio audience to his visit with the CIA on Saturday. The news agency reports that an official said the visit left a wake of “unease,” “made relations with the intelligence community worse,” and was “uncomfortable.”
Intelligence people were “stunned” and “offended by the president’s tone,” CBS reported U.S. government sources tell CBS News that there is a sense of unease in the intelligence community after President Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday.”

Also, Trump did bring cheering props, which fits with how he has operated previously in requiring a cheering section – a sort of laugh track of supportive extras like those his campaign hired for his announcement event. It has been confirmed by Trump insiders that the President loves props.'
  • Saturday we had the dressing-down of the media by press secretary Sean Spicer for their accused lying about the size of the inauguration audience. Trump's outfit maintained that the inauguration crowd was about 1.5 million, which is nearly twice the official government estimate of 800,000 attendees. Other estimates run as low as 250,000. However "crowd scientists", who are experts at analyzing photographs to determine crowd size, have actually placed Trump's crowd as something more akin to 160,000, with estimates of the Women's March crowd in DC around 470,000. When Chuck Todd pushed Kellyanne Conway to explain why Sean Spicer would lie about something so inconsequential when it was something we could all easily fact-check, the only explanation she could come up with is that there are "alternative facts", a term which quickly went viral.
  • The Trump administration has frozen all EPA grants and contracts. And they have banned employees from providing updates to reporters or on social media.
  • In addition to the gag on EPA employees, there is also an order forbidding the research unit of the US Dept of Agriculture from releasing "public-facing documents", and the National Park Service was ordered to cease any tweeting last week. But despite this, someone took control of the Badlands National Park Twitter account and began tweeting out climate change information. Booyah!
  • The New York Times flat-out called Trump a liar for continuing to spread his rhetoric (now as President of the United States rather than simply as a campaign candidate) claiming that he lost the popular vote due to 3-5 million fraudulent votes, even though there is not a single piece of evidence to support such a claim.
  • There is a video clip taken at the inauguration during the offering of something of a prayer, where a smiling Trump turns to his broadly smiling wife, and everything seems fine, and then he says a word or two and wipes the smile from his face and turns coldly from her and leaves her crestfallen as he smirks in pleasure. It's extremely disturbing.
  • And perhaps most astounding of all is a story in New York Magazine attesting that nearly a dozen Trump "senior White House officials and other Trump advisers and confidants" have opened up about the first few days in the White House, accusing Trump of being infantile and prone to temper tantrums, egotistical and easily embarrassed. They also have some not-so-kind words about Kellyanne Conway, describing her essentially as an attention whore. We are only four days into this presidency, and already some of Trump's closest confidants are breaking ranks and spilling the beans.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cops: Greenwich Republican Insulted Town Worker, Then Pinched Her Groin

'He allegedly replied: "I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct," according to the warrant.'

And so it begins. Life under a Trump administration.