Vladimir Putin and Russia put out their ‘read-out’ first, as usual in the Trump years, creating their version of the narrative of Friday May 3rd 2019’s hour-and-a-half telephone conversation between the two leaders. Apparently absent in those 90 minutes was any admonishing or warning from Trump threatening Putin to halt any further intervention in our elections. Trump acted befuddled and stressed when asked directly about his lack of fortitude vs. Putin by the press after the phonecall yesterday.
From TASS, the Russian publication providing the readout:
‘[Sarah] Sanders informed that the two leaders had discussed the outcomes of the investigation by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the situation in Venezuela and North Korea, as well as the prospects of prolonging the New START and signing a new nuclear disarmament treaty between Russia, the US and China. “They [Putin and Trump] discussed a nuclear agreement, both new and extended, and the possibility of having conversations with China on that as well,” she stated. The White House press secretary hailed the phone call as “overall positive”. “They also talked about North Korea. They also spoke about Ukraine and Venezuela – an overall positive conversation,” Sanders said, adding that the leaders have noted an increased level of trade between Russia and the USA. Trump…stressed the need for a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela, Sarah Sanders stated.’
Then we heard that though John Bolton and Mike Pompeo were continuing their propaganda campaign toward a successful coup of Venezuela’s elected President Nicolas Maduro, stating that Russia was involving itself in supporting Maduro, and telling Maduro not to get onto a plane going to Cuba, Trump said that he believed Putin telling him Russia was not involved with what was going on in Venezuela. ??? Helsinki all over again! Trump believing Putin over our intelligence community. The Mueller Report saying ‘The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.’ Putin denying Russia interfered in our 2016 elections.
What were these two buddies talking about really during their conversation? Why didn’t the USA put out OUR version in a readout? Why are Russia and Putin always at least one step ahead of our fawning President when it comes to displaying intelligent propaganda, putting the USA story out first to gain the advantage over Russia? Trump did this via William Barr casting the Mueller Report in a false light, so people would not be moved to read it and discover what was actually revealed in detail in its 448 pages. Then Barr lied to Congress about what he knew about Mueller’s reaction to his 3/24/2019 four-page summary of the Report. As now we know Mueller was not happy and formally for-the-record wrote a letter stating that Barr’s summary ‘did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions,’ in his March 27, 2019 letter of reaction to Barr. Yet Barr pretended in April questioning in Congress that he did not know what Mueller thought of his summary, as if he never received or read Mueller’s 3-27-19 letter. That is called lying. Which Barr is very proficient at, but perhaps a chump rookie compared to his President who has now surpassed the 10,000 false claims threshold as tallied by the Washington Post, since Trump assumed the office of President.
Lest we forget, Barr has done this sort of thing before, perhaps saving both Presidents Reagan and George HW Bush jailtime for their criminal activity in the IranContra affair by advising the issue of 6 pardons in 1992. As headlined in the NY Times in this article:
Watch out for future pardons issued by Trump to today’s Russia-complicit criminals.
Meanwhile Trump and his legal team are deciding not to cooperate with the House of Representatives investigations into his sordid affairs, and Russia attacking us via cyberwarfare in 2016, now, and in the future. Recent news is that in Florida, Russia hacked into voting machines in 2016, and could have changed or deleted voter information, and voting choices! Also, be aware, that Russia was not just attacking Democrats and their computers. Republican computers in two districts in southern Florida were also infiltrated by Russian hackers back in 2016, though this is not being re-reported for some reason.
Trump is following the game plan of non-cooperation, and stop-this-investigation-now, that Richard Nixon prototyped in the early 1970’s re his involvement with the Watergate burglary. And we know how that worked out.
Our President Trump: he needs people to like him. Despite science or intelligence information, he goes ‘with his gut.’ That guy Kim Jong-un, the dictator of North Korea, he felt liked him. So, instead of dealing with him in a disciplined carefully organized way, he told us Americans right after their first meeting in Singapore, that Kim told him North Korea would start denuclearizing “Immediately.” And then in the last two weeks or less, North Korea tested two short-range missiles. And North Korea has been doing work on improving nuclear facilities in that country, not denuclearizing as Trump was tricked into ‘thinking [??]. Similarly, his interactions with Putin seem to be premised on Putin ‘liking him.’ That’s OK on facebook, but not in our world of nuclear dangers and political strategy, that Putin deploys much more expertly than our doltish Donald.
Yet, here is a disturbing (to me and probably to many of you, I am sure) Quinnipiac poll May 2, 2019 result: approval vs disapproval of Trump’s handling of his job as President:
Men voted 48-46% in favor of approval! While women polled 34% approval vs 62% disapproval. What does this mean? Men approve of his rough manly unscientific approach to doing his job? But women abhor his misogynistic bullying ignorant performance in office? How will this translate to voting? Women are in the majority of voters. Will Republicans focus on voter-suppression of women in 2020, besides attempting to suppress minorities, millennials, senior citizens, and potential or actual Democrats-in-general? That remains to be seen. Read the interesting Quinnipiac poll results for yourself. Note that in total: 55% disapprove of Trump’s performance vs. 41% approve. These numbers are most pronounced in young (57% disapprove), black (87% disapprove) and hispanic (63% disapprove), while Republicans approve 88%; and Democrats disapprove 96%. The all-important Independent voter spread came out to be: 55% disapprove vs. 37% approve. Here’s the link:
Be ready for the Russia hack-hack henceforward, as Trump doth not protest to his superior-brained antagonist, Vladimir Putin, while Russian intelligence, Russian hackers and cyberwarriors continue tallying-HO! – All these Russians should be considered Trump’s enemy and the enemy of the American people, while Trump believes Putin again, as Rome continues burning, and America is not being made great again.
For more information about Venezuela outside of the Bolton/Elliot Abrams/Mike Pompeo/Pence narrative:
One thing to remember about current USA policy sanctions/blockade regarding Venezuela: if we care so much about the Venezuelan people, and not stealing their greatest-oil-reserves-in-the-world, why do we have INSULIN on the taboo list? If type-1 insulin-dependent diabetics can’t get their insulin, they will die, and ‘we’ Americans have killed them! Think about that while you ponder the imperial narrative being spewed by everyone about Venezuela from the Trump administration to the NY Times to Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.
The devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant 150 miles north of Tokyo is still leaking highly contaminated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean at the rate of 80-150 TONS per day. Fukushima Prefecture is still far too radioactive for human habitation, yet the Japanese Olympics 2020 Committee is scheduling Olympics events in Fukushima!! and daring to start the Olympics Torch Run IN FUKUSHIMA!!! This will threaten the athletes and the visitors needlessly with long-lived microparticles of radionuclides that they may inhale, or ingest while eating, that could eventually cause cancer. Plutonium, strontium, cesium, iodine are some of the names of the hundreds of radioactive radionuclides that potential victims will be exposed to.
Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,000 years and a ‘hazardous life’ (equal to 10-20 ‘half lives’) of 240,000 to 480,000 years – and only one millionth of one gram is the lung-cancer causing dose (454 grams in one pound). See more in the description under the youtube video you have the link to click on above. There have been over 47,000 views of the video thus far (4-16-19). I will add more to this post in the future. Also, I have started a petition with moveon.org to Stop Japan Scheduling Olympics 2020 Events In Fukushima, that you are able to sign. People have requested this amidst the over-1500 comments on the video.
(C) 2019 Conrad Miller M.D.
The post image of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Explosion by Charles LeBlanc on Flickr, image-191637-panoVqfree-vfij from 3-14-2011, license with no changes made is Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Rosatom – Russia’s Atomic Corporation, Now Controlling 60% of World’s Nuclear Technology[/caption]
While we have been distracted by the Trump chaos affecting the entire world over the past few years, Vladimir Putin and his nuclear ambitions have taken over 60% of the world’s nuclear technology. This includes his brilliant idea of developing and selling FLOATING nuclear reactors. Where will their waste end up? Who will possibly monitor it? There is bribery and corruption in the tale, spread across the planet from Egypt to Bangladesh to South Africa to Finland and Egypt, as only the murderous dictator Vladimir Putin could create. Michael Flynn wanted to be part of the sales team, as we now know.
Putin’s Nuclear Ambitions Now Threaten Planet Earth[/caption]
Here are the details, provided by California’s Ace Hoffman, anti-nuclear archivist and activist:
November 15th, 2018
Rosatom (formerly known as the Federal Agency on Atomic Energy, and now also known as the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, or the Rosatom State Corporation (1)), is the state-controlled Russian nuclear energy company that builds nuclear reactors (including icebreakers and — upcoming — floating power reactors, several of which are under construction at this time (2018)) (2). Rosatom also mines, refines, enriches and reprocesses uranium, and — big surprise here — makes Russia’s nuclear weapons. Established in 2007, its headquarters are in Moscow. Rosatom currently has over a quarter of a million employees (3).
Rosatom is the world’s largest exporter of nuclear technology, with roughly 60% of the current market (4). Rosatom is building, operating or has approval for approximately three dozen reactors in Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Egypt, Finland, Hungary, India, Iran, Turkey and elsewhere (5). Expected service life for their current large power reactor series, the AES-2006, is a minimum of 60 years (6). In 60 years one reactor will produce approximately six million pounds of high level nuclear waste.
It is reasonable to assume that most, if not all of Rosatom’s foreign and domestic (Russia) reactors are approved through the payment of bribes. The resulting costs are usually far higher than they would be otherwise.
For example, in Bangladesh, where a “deep-rooted and widespread corruption culture” exists, all types of power plant cost far more than elsewhere in the world. One study estimated the average price of a power plant in Bangladesh was double the global average. Russia is building two units in Bangladesh (Rooppur 1 & 2), due to go online in 2030, currently estimated to cost 45% more than the same style of plant would cost in Russia (7).
In Saudi Arabia, where “corruption is widespread” (8): “Two committees in the US House of Representatives are investigating efforts by former US National Security Advisor Mike Flynn to enlist Russia’s Rosatom in a deal to deliver nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia” (9). Mr. Flynn recently pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials and faces up to five years in prison (10). Rosatom doesn’t yet have a deal in Saudi Arabia, but is on the “short list” to build the first two reactors there (11). (Apparently, solar and oil are not considered viable options for the sun-rich and oil-rich nation.)
Another country plagued by corruption — and building and operating Rosatom reactors — is China. China and Rosatom recently (June, 2018) signed “the biggest package of contracts in the history of the two countries’ nuclear partnership” (12) to build four “Gen III+” VVER-1200 units as well as a CFR-600 fast reactor pilot project, and to supply Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators and Radionuclide Heater Units for China’s “lunar exploration program” (13). The space nuclear units will use Plutonium-238, one of the most toxic substances known, nearly 300 times *more* toxic than weapons-grade plutonium-239 (Pu-238’s decay cycle is correspondingly less than Pu-239’s 24,100 year half-life).
How corrupt is China? “At least 12 senior-level NEA [National Energy Administration] officials have been investigated or charged with corruption in the past decade, including two directors and four deputy directors” (14). The NEA agency is only one decade old! In 2010 the former head of China’s main nuclear energy company was jailed for life over bribes (15). At the current pace, China will be the leading producer of nuclear energy by 2030 (16). China will thus also be the leading producer of nuclear waste. After Fukushima, China decided to place most of its new nuclear reactors along its coast, not at interior sites, presumably so that if/when there are meltdowns, most of the radiation will be spread globally, with a much smaller proportion poisoning China itself.
Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Unit 3 Destroyed March 2011 Tsunami/Earthquake/Explosion; China Wants To Now Place Their New Reactors Close To The Ocean So That Any Radioactive Leakage/Accidents Would Flow Into The Ocean, Rather Than Forever Contaminate Much Of Their Land[/caption]
In 2017 Rosatom signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the nuclear power division of Brazil’s state-owned energy companies (Eletrobras and an affiliate of Eletrobras), with the plan of building at least two reactors there (17). Brazil is now governed by a far right-wing racist president, Jair Bolsonaro, considered by many (for example, his son) to be “just like Trump” (18). Bolsonaro ran on an “anti-corruption” platform; however his campaign was accused of fraud, spreading fake news, and violating campaign finance laws (19).
Recently Rosatom signed deals with Egypt to build the first nuclear power plants in North Africa. Russia will provide 85% of the projected $21+ Billion cost. Four 1200 Megawatt reactors will be located about 100 miles south of Cairo (20). The cost of Russia’s loan to Egypt could swell to over $70 Billion during the 35-year life of the loan, and cost overruns are typical with all Rosatom deals (21).
In India, where Rosatom has contracted to build a dozen reactors (22), India’s former chief regulator was concerned that substandard parts were being supplied by Rosatom subsidiary Zio-Podolsk, after one of Z-P’s directors was arrested on charges of corruption, fraud, and supplying “cheap Ukrainian steel blanks and steam generators” for the reactors at Kudankulam (23).
In Finland, Rosatom took over partial ownership of the Hanhikivi 1 reactor after financial problems nearly sunk the project before it even began. It is “the biggest investment project in Finland” (24). Construction is expected to start in 2020. Originally claiming the project would cost around $5 Billion, current estimates put the total cost nearing double that, with completion optimistically expected in 2024 (25). Doubling (or worse) of the cost of nuclear reactors is so frequent it can’t be accidental — therefore it should be considered a form of corruption.
One deal that Rosatom tried to make apparently fell through — a $76 Billion scam to build ten nuclear reactors in South Africa. The arrangement “reeked of corruption” and would have represented 1/4 of South Africa’s GDP (26).
Rosatom makes deals that involve loaning massive sums of money to cash-poor countries, and requiring payback even if the projects are not completed on time (or ever). Most of the financial arrangements are kept secret and — as can be seen from the above examples and many others — most probably involve corruption, mismanagement, bribes, and other scandals. Once a deal is in place, the Russian government uses the arrangement to exercise political pressure, stopping construction until the country bends to their demands or — as in the case in 2014 in Ukraine — threatening to cut off nuclear fuel supplies for their Soviet-built reactors (27).
And even in countries without a Rosatom nuclear power plant deal, Rosatom corruption runs deep. According to a New York Times article from 2015, Rosatom “had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West” (28). The sale gave Rosatom control of 1/5th of all U.S. uranium capacity in a deal signed off by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who’s Clinton Foundation then received over $2.35 million in donations from four family members of the Russian company known as Uranium One (which became a fully-owned Rosatom subsidiary in 2013). Tens of millions more dollars were donated to the Clinton Foundation by “a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia” (UrAsia merged with Uranium One in 2007). These donations were not properly disclosed in a timely manner, despite Hillary Clinton’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to do so (29).
Rosatom pushes nuclear technology in all forms, including having built more than 120 “research” reactors around the world, representing nearly half of all research reactors (30). So-called “research” reactors, more often than not, merely train reactor operators for future jobs in industry, and many are fueled with uranium enriched to up to 20% U-235, instead of the 4% to 5% enrichment for most power reactors. Such enriched fuel is more easily converted to bomb material.
In an undated page at Rosatom’s web site, they claim to have adopted an anti-corruption and anti-embezzlement program which “has already contributed to building a corruption-free environment within ROSATOM” (31).
But meanwhile, Russian president Vladimir Putin, through his security forces and rabid supporters, continues to assassinate political opponents, reporters, whistleblowers, lawyers, and former security agents, even those who have left the country and sought asylum in Western democracies.
Life isn’t always kind. Things happen. Choices are made, some terrifically gratifying,
some unexpectedly tragic as the years roll by. We have goals,
projects we dream of completing, starting, that don’t always hit the runway.
Then you see that big number 70 on the computer screen amongst the ages of
other patients, and that does not seem to be you – but an initial weight of possible
problems that an individual might have that you will be expected to encounter and solve.
Tom Petty, Rockin’ American Tunesmith[/caption]
It’s inspiring from the late Tom Petty, that he sang “You’ve got to stay in the game,
Or you’ve only got yourself to blame.” Or the Payolas singing about not playing dead
when your number is called. So we have to go on, even though the lights are getting
dimmer, time is getting shorter, who knows when the end will come, like Tom suddenly
dying from a heart attack when he was so skinny, and you thought he’d be around forever
(but then you discover that he smoked, and had had a bad acquaintance with heroin
that he’d overcome by 2005).
So, there is the day to day, when what you do and enjoy doing fulfills you, although
the world is contracting around your soul, with Trump and idiotic Republicans and
the Nazis and KKK brutes emerging out of the wormholes, rallying around the country.
America In The Time Of Trump – Manafort, Gates, Vladimir Putin Interfering In USA Democracy[/caption]
The USA. Not quite the country we’ve been sold on, not with all these morons
supporting one of the greatest con-men in history. But then there’s baseball,
our national sport (though many contend football is really America’s most popular
sport…but then there are the white people who can’t fathom what it is to be black
in America, and now hate the NFL without compassion for black Americans taking
a knee to express their fear about the lack of justice being served from the
plantation minds of those with white privilege controlling the chains of power.)
Yes, we all have our troubles, BUT it’s World Series time! Autumn in America.
And Sunday night gave us one of the most engrossing fantastic baseball games
ever played. Between the Houston Astros from their hurricane decimated city,
and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have not been to the World Series since 1988.
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers Great Pitcher (But Maybe Not So Much In Postseason)[/caption]
Clayton Kershaw, the farmboy greatest pitcher (in the ‘regular season’) of his era
started the game versus Dallas Keuchel (pronounced Kike-ill) whom Kershaw had
bested in game one of the best of seven games series. The Dodgers get off to a
great start in game 5, garnering 4 runs,, with Kershaw on the mound, it looking
like this game was over already, and then the Dodgers would only have to win
one more game in Los Angeles on either Tuesday or Wednesday, and they would
be crowned World Champions.
Jose Altuve & Clayton Kershaw, Faces of the Franchises of Astros & Dodgers[/caption]
But these are two talented teams, and it turned out that Kershaw didn’t have his slider
working that well, and before you knew it, Jose Altuve and his Astros had tied the game,
and Kershaw was out, sitting on the bench in the dugout staring depressedly into
nothingness by inning number five, with the score tied 7-7.
Cody Bellinger, Dodgers’ Rookie Slugger First Baseman[/caption]
However, the Dodgers are the team with the best record in baseball for 2017, and they
showed us the reason for that. Collin McHugh (an ex-Met > I’m a Met fan from the
beginning in 1962 when both the Mets and the Astros were created, entering the
National League as its two new ‘expansion teams’ in that year.) had relieved Keuchel.
McHugh was rusty as he hadn’t pitched but twice since the beginning of October, and
he walked the first two batters to face him. Then up came probably the rookie-of-the-year
for the National League, Cody Bellinger, who had struck out ten times in the first four games,
but then had hit the two doubles in game four that had been the most crucial hits in a game
that the Dodgers had then won to even the series 2-2. Would he strike out again? Would
McHugh walk him to load the bases? Would AJ Hinch, the Astro’s manager come out to the
mound and yank him? The Astros bullpen not doing that well in the Series so far…? McHugh
threw a breaking ball that fooled Bellinger, making him seem off-balance as he leaned forward
and somehow launched the pitch just over the wall into the stands in right center field, and BAM!!!
the Dodgers pushed back ahead to be winning 7-4! McHugh survived the rest of the inning, relying
on his fast ball to get the job done, as he too could not command his breaking balls.
Now could the Dodgers bullpen corral the rest of the game, acting the part of the
well-hyped best relief pitching team in baseball?
The Astros were the best offensive team in baseball in 2017.
The Dodgers had brought in Kenta Maeda, who up to then had been very successful
in the post-season as a long-reliever, but the 5’ 6” 3-time batting champion Jose Altuve hit Maeda’s
most fateful pitch of the game (up to then), a 450 foot home run, to tie the game in the bottom of the 5th.
McHugh calmed down and relying only on his fastball pitched a scoreless 6th. Maeda did the same
in the bottom of the inning.
Justin Turner, Dodgers’All-Star Big Veteran Bat, Tough Out[/caption]
Then the Astros, desperate for someone else to be a reliable reliever, bring in
Brad Peacock who had just pitched almost 4 innings to save game 3. He was
not sharp, giving up a near homer to the Dodgers Justin Turner (ex-Met, who the
Mets let get away for nothing) that hit the wall about 9 inches below the yellow
home run line in right center field. Kiki Hernandez (not Keith, our greatest everyday
Met player 1983-1989) then is asked to bunt Turner over to third, after he had been
called out on a third strike that was inside and never crossed over home plate, in his
previous at bat. His bunt was too hard, going straight back to pitcher Peacock, who,
directed loudly and astutely by catcher Brian McCann, fielded the ball and fired sharply
to third, where Alex Bregman firmly applied the tag, knocking off Turner’s cap, his long red hair
flying in his face as he belly flopped behind the base.
Now up comes Bellinger again. Peacock’s breaking stuff wasn’t working, as most of the
beleaguered relievers on both sides were experiencing, so his fast ball was smartly
struck by Bellinger on a line drive into left center field that center fielder George Stringer
gravitated toward, but couldn’t catch as he dove for it, not even touching the ball. Which
rolled way behind him to the warning track where another outfielder belatedly picked it up
and threw back into the infielder. Kiki Hernandez scores from first, Bellinger ends up on
third. Making it 8-7 now, Dodgers in the lead.
After Kiki had scored, he was captured by the camera, very very happily clapping his hands,
certainly thinking he had gained retribution on the umpire and the Houston fans for that
earlier strikeout he had been charged with. Peacock managed to end the scoring there.
For the bottom of the seventh, the Dodgers bring in Brandon Morrow, who had been
the ‘set-up’ man for Kenley Jansen, the big powerful closer during the regular season,
Morrow usually pitching the eighth inning, with Jansen usually mopping up the ninth inning,
as manager Dave Roberts’ formula to help win over 100 games for the Dodgers in a 162 game
season. Alas, Morrow had never pitched three days in a row during this 2017 season and
his upper 90-miles-an-hour fastball wasn’t as electric as it should have been.
First pitch Houston’s George Springer sees, he smacks a monster home run tying the game
at 8-8. Which relieved the center fielder of much of the guilt he may have felt for the error he had
made in the top of the inning, giving the Dodgers the lead. Then 3rd baseman Alex Bregman hits
Morrow’s second pitch for a single, Jose Altuve, the probable MVP (Most Valuable Players) for the
American League, strokes a double, Morrow throws a wild pitch, giving Altuve third base, Carlos
Correa makes that moot as he blasts another gigantic Astros home run, and after a total of
just seven pitches, Morrow has taken the Dodgers from a one run lead that normally would
win the game for the mighty Dodgers via their impregnable bullpen, to an 11-8 deficit.
More weary relievers, a Brian McCann insurance solo home run, and more drama later, we are
in the 9th inning. Dodgers last chance – score 12-9 in favor of the Astros. Exhausted Houston
fans are standing expecting to have beaten the Dodgers, despite this being a game started
by the GREAT Clayton Kershaw, which most pundits had put into the Dodgers win column
before game 5 had even begun.
Yasiel Puig then manages another mindblowing feat of
strength, lifting the ball into the left field seats off Houston’s Chris Devenski, the Astros
usual 8th inning set-up man, with a one-hand swing, making the score 12-11. Cody Bellinger,
who had walked before Puig’s at-bat, scored run number 10.
Austin Barnes, manager Roberts’ Yogi Berra, for his doggedness and smartness as the
Dodgers’ catcher, then doubles. We get down to two out, two strikes, with the ever-battling
Chris Taylor at bat. He had had great at-bats and hits during the National League Championship
series with the Yankees, earning co-MVP status along with Justin Turner for that series. And
now…he pokes a hit right up the middle to score Barnes and the game is tied! 12-12! The inning
ends at that score. It has been the longest nine-inning game in World Series history, in terms
of time played. People were falling asleep all over the country; Astros fans disappointedly plopped
back into their seats. Extra innings!
I’m stopping here. I’ll leave you with the drama of who won the game and a few links to
watch the rest of the game right here. You may want to watch the whole game!
Or more condensed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDnfOJUfVGY
Condensed into 28 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXWp_gUSxHw
Condensed into 14 minutes, more highlights per second:
It may have been the most dramatic game ever played in the history of baseball, certainly
in the World Series, on the teeter-totter offensive front!
Justin Verlander pitches game 6 tonight for Astros[/caption]
Game 6 comes up tonight. Justin Verlander pitches for the Astros. He has not lost a
game since he came over to the Astros at the trading deadline in July. However, he
was supposed to win game 2 in Los Angeles, but that didn’t happen. So, you have
to play the game. I’ll be watching again tonight. No Mets, but I love watching both
these teams. I’m a little guy, so I am rooting for the Altuve-blessed Astros. I also love
Alex Bregman, Gifted Astros Third Baseman[/caption]
the disciplined determined quiet Alex Bregman, and his family history of escaping
Russia going back to his great grandfather, and the way he plays, and that unforgettable
play/pinpoint throw in game 7 he made to essentially earn the victory in the
National League Championship series. (Yankees on both first and third when ball was hit.)
More game 7 Astros/Yankees series 2017 with the Bregman throw
Life goes on. There are small and big joys to experience, even as the curtain begins to go down.
Baseball in Trump’s America.
George Papadopoulos, First Confessing Guilty Trump Campaign Russia-Colluder[/caption]
George Papadopoulos has pled guilty as the first colluder with the
Russians to be convicted. Paul Manafort has been indicted. More shoes will fall. Meanwhile it’s
baseball cleats tonight and another terrific game is expected in the 2017 World Series. Hope I
gave you a good heads-up to excite you to tune in at 8:20 PM eastern standard time for game 6.
It’s been a beautiful show of our national pastime so far.
P.S. We shall see how the dynamics of the managing eventuates during the next 2 games
(if there are two). Dave Roberts may have overdone his relievers, pulling out starter Rich Hill
in game 2 before the fifth inning finished and stuffing his bullpen staff onto the mound prematurely,
relying on analytics.
A.J. Hinch, Houston Astros Manager Working More With A Hunch Not Analytics To Excess[/caption]
AJ Hinch has been managing more with his eyeballs on what he sees from his
pitchers. I think Peacock has been surprisingly great, but probably not for tonight. Giles the
supposed Astros closer has been so bad, he can’t snap off any of his finesse pitches with any command.
His ERA is above 11, so Hinch said he won’t be closing. But could that change. Lefty Francisco Liriano
has not appeared in the World Series yet, so watch for him somewhere tonight. Starters tonight are
Verlander for the Astros, and Rich Hill for the Dodgers. Both have been terrific this year, at least
for the last few months . Base-a-ball has-a-been good to me!
We have another big firestorm distracting America, involving the ever-unapologetic Donald Trump.
This time it is over a poorly communicated condolence call to the wife of a black soldier killed in battle
in Niger three weeks ago, on October 4 2017.
The Late Sgt. La David Johnson Killed In Niger[/caption]
Trump finally telephoned the wife of La David Johnson of
Miami, Florida, twelve days after the soldier died, making the call October 16th. Johnson’s widow was riding
to the airport to meet the body of her late husband when the President’s call came into the cellphone
of Master Sergeant Neil, the military service member assigned to her. Mrs. Johnson states that
she asked “Neil to put his phone on speaker” so the other people in the car could hear what would
be said. Accompanying her in the car were Florida Congresswoman and friend of the family, Frederica Wilson,
Sgt. Johnson’s aunt and uncle, ‘who raised him [La David Johnson] after his mother died when
he was a small child,’ Sgt. Neil, plus the driver.
Remember non-millennials, this is 2017. Utilizing the speakerphone option is very common today,
especially if you’re not a fan of developing a brain cancer. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump insensitively
told the aggrieved pregnant Mrs. Johnson ““you know that this could happen when you signed
up for it… but it still hurts.” These words caused additional hurt and anger in Mrs. Johnson “at his tone of
voice and how he said it.” Mrs. Johnson stated in an ABC ‘Good Morning America’ interview
with George Stephanopoulus on Monday morning October 23. (Congresswoman Wilson said
that the tone sounded almost like that of someone making a joke.)
Congresswoman Wilson also stated that Myeshia Johnson cried throughout the phonecall.
Mrs. Johnson in the Oct. 23 interview, stated that she did not say anything to the President, she ‘listened.’
This seems to belie the claim from Trump that they had “a very nice conversation.” Conversation
means two people conversing, talking. Conversation.
““And when she [Myeshia Johnson] hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, ‘He didn’t even
remember his name.’ That’s the hurting part,” Wilson said. “It was horrible. It was insensitive. It
was absolutely crazy.””
“Trump on Wednesday 10-18-17 claimed Wilson’s account was “totally fabricated,” and claimed he had “proof.”
“What was the proof, Mr. President?” a reporter asked Trump.
“Let her make her statement again and you’ll find out,” he replied, and, pressed again,
repeated, “Let her make her statement again and you’ll find out.”
Cowanda Jones-Johnson, Johnson’s aunt, told the Washington Post on Wednesday that
Trump “did disrespect” Sgt. Johnson, Myeshia Johnson, herself and her husband. Asked whether
Wilson’s account of Trump’s conversation with Myeshia Johnson was accurate, Jones-Johnson said, “Yes.””*
So Trump, the pathological liar, reflexively reacts to such claims by lying, saying:
““I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife, who sounded like a lovely woman.
Did not say what the congresswoman said, and most people aren’t too surprised to hear that.””
A normal person would have shut up and not falsely tweeted about this unfortunate episode, but not Donald Trump.
Instead, this President goes on the offensive, tweeting ‘The Fake News is going crazy with wacky
Congresswoman Wilson (D), who was SECRETLY on a very personal call, and gave a total lie on content!’
[capitalized SECRETLY is Trump’s tweeted case].
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Called ‘Empty Barrell’ by General John Kelly[/caption]
A normal person would have called the widow back, out of respect for her and her husband, who had made
the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and softened the blow, apologized for his insensitive communication
with her, made it right. Instead he tweets/calls the Congresswoman ‘wacky’ to degrade her, capitalizes the
word SECRETLY in his tweet, and calls HER a liar! Again, this is 2017 and many people would have put that
condolence call on speakerphone to better diffuse the pain of what might be said, amongst several intimate loved ones.
Meanwhile, we now know that several people were listening in to the call on the other side of the conversation,
physically situated nearby Donald Trump on this ‘very personal call.’
Now as an Emergency Room (ER) doctor, I know how difficult it is to tell members of a family that their loved one
did not survive the emergency that brought them to the ER. In fact, after 45 years in the ER, I eventually
determined that of all the things I had to do, this act was the most stressful, terrible responsibility I had to perform.
However, I had to this in person, usually in a ‘family room’ where anguished loved ones were waiting in various stages
of hope for word on the status of the patient. In person, I had to deliver the news of the fate of a human being – –
that had died. Obviously, this stresses the soul of all people concerned. But in person, being a professional,
I learned to deliver this news in as empathetic a way as was possible, listening to the survivors’ words and
sensing their feelings. Leaving a few beats between what I said initially, and how anyone in the room reacted.
Mainly helping those involved understand what had happened, consoling them. Very occasionally I did
lose it myself, despite all my experience in trying to be a professional rock for the grieving family.
Doing this via telephone is more difficult. Especially if you are lacking in empathy in the first place, like
our apparently ill-prepared President. But maybe he became too nervous and could not say the right thing?
Maybe Mrs. Johnson’s crying dissembled his thoughts so that he forgot to mention La David Johnson’s name?
Or did he just do this job perfunctorily, poorly, not getting everything together in front of himself, so he
would say the right thing? Was there any racism involved? Does he have difficulty
relating to other-than-straight-white people fawning at his feet and praising him to the sky???
Bad as this all was, then we have General Kelly coming out to clean up the mess.
He did very well for a few minutes on October 19 2017, relating his experiences with his two soldier sons, one
who died while proudly serving America in the military. “He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he
was killed,” in 2010, Kelly volunteered. Kelly’s other son is serving active duty now.
But then out comes his reasons for being in the White House, supporting Trump.
He berates Congresswoman Wilson as an ‘empty barrel’ making so much noise – never mentioning her by name.
Also claiming (erroneously, we have discovered after fact checking) that she heinously claimed
responsibility for garnering the funds for an FBI building erected in her Florida district.
He was “stunned” by such self-aggrandizing behavior, he revealed. (Here is a link to a video
of General Kelly’s speech – from the Lawrence O’Donnell show Oct. 19 2017:)
And his now famous quote from October 19, 2017 [stunned!! Again]: “It stuns me
that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me.
I would have thought that was sacred.”**
We can see that the General is hypocritical and tone deaf. Other people were listening in the room
where Trump was speaking on the other end of the telephone line. Speakerphone mode is a common
option used in our current social media world, to help share experiences, and, in this case, share imminent pain.
After Kelly’s un-sacred remark about notification-of-soldier-death phonecalls, he subsequently threw in how
he thought that Gold Star soldiers and women were amongst what “this country used to hold
sacred,” as they were in his Boston Catholic childhood white world of the 1950’s, when husband-beaten wives
would go to confession and be told by the priest that despite their husband’s abusive behavior
there could be no divorce – as same-generation, same-home-town-Boston boy Lawrence O’Donnell
related that very October 19th night on his 10 o’clock show on MSNBC (check above link). For all of
Kelly’s words about women being sacred, and being respected, Kelly then disrespected the black
Congresswoman, misremembering what she said in her speech in 2015 (aired on the Joy Reid show in the
8-9 PM slot on MSNBC October 20, 2017), 3 minutes plus of which you can view / check via this link:
General Kelly accused Congresswoman Wilson of something she never said,
calling her an ‘empty barrel,’ not respecting her enough to
mention her name. Of course, we have to ask how much racism is in Kelly’s heart, how
much misogyny governs his behavior, and how does he get it so wrong re what he actually
remembers of Congresswoman Wilson’s speech commemorating the erection of the FBI building.
In which she thanked John Boehner for so quickly facilitating getting the logistics together for naming the
building after two deceased FBI agents. Congresswoman Wilson made no mention about
herself having anything to do with the funding for erecting the building, as you can hear
when you listen to her speech. (She states that she was not a Congressperson in 2009, when
the funding had actually been secured.)
Then Sarah Huckabee Sanders, current White House Press Secretary, carries out more
insulting insensitive anti-democratic B.S. stating that it would be ‘highly inappropriate’
to dispute what a “4-Star marine General” claims. Patriotic angered members of the
Press and the common citizenry are taking exception to such an extreme point of view.
Which is obviously highly inappropriate in its wrong right, but perhaps not for those
who see military officers as the highest infallible form of mankind, even if they now
are working for the government in the role of a civilian servant.
Then we have to wonder how these four young men died in Niger, and what they were
doing there. Two were Green Berets: Bryan Black, 35; and Dustin Wright, 29.
Sergeant La David Johnson was 25; Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson was 39.
It may have been related to a political act that several diplomats have called
‘incomprehensible.’ In the latest edition of the Travel or Muslim Ban of September 2017,
the nation of Chad was added to the prohibited countries list. Chad is a large country in
Sub-Saharan Africa bordering Niger on the east, which has been relied upon by both the
USA and France, as a staunch ally in the fight against Isis and Islamic militants in Central Africa.
Niger Lies Between Chad On The East & Mali On The West[/caption]
Once the news arrived that the Trump administration was in the act of banning Chad citizens from
entering the USA, Chad began withdrawing their well-trained soldiers from Niger in the
last week of September. The battle in which the four soldiers were killed occurred
on October 4 2017. President Trump had not reached out to any of the families of
the four fallen soldiers until the beginning of the past week of October 16 2017,
nor had mentioned anything about it to the press or the citizens of the USA, though
it was the most serious military killing episode of his administration’s existence.
Chad is ruled by a dictator, according to Rachel Maddow (see below – link to her show of October 19 2017).
Oil is one of Chad’s great resources, and Maddow mentioned that a $74 Billion fine
was levied upon EXXON for not paying agreed-upon royalties/taxes within the last two years.
She could not discover exactly how the dispute was settled, or if it has been settled entirely,
but it might have upset EXXON and its former CEO Rex Tillerson, who is now the
Secretary of State of our country, heading our pitifully undermanned State Department.
Could this have led to the Chad inclusion in the Travel/Muslim Ban? Was it all a rookie mistake
on the part of the Trump administration? If so, is it impossible to admit to any mistake, or
ever apologize, if you are a member of the Trump administration, following the behavior
of our stubborn un-empathetic President?
As Oliver Hardy would commonly say to Stan Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy): ‘This is a fine mess you’ve gotten
me into!” Trump sends out Kelly to clean up his mess, and true to form, lying for a liar, the
General shows his true colors, both negative and positive, and digs the hole deeper and deeper,
with the nauseating assistance of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and an embarrassing crew
of psychological/ideological (?logical??) misfit sycophants populating OUR White House.
You would think the Trump administration would have quit being stupid here, but no.
At 5:30 AM Monday morning October 23 Trump has to tweet out: ‘I had a very respectful
conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from
beginning, without hesitation!’ which he has to know he did NOT do. But there he is,
pathologically lying. He can’t stop himself! Has to put that exclamation point there, after
the word ‘hesitation!’
During Mrs. Johnson’s ABC morning interview a few hours later, Mrs. Johnson stated
Congresswoman Wilson’s statement about Trump’s phonecall was “100% correct.” That
Trump did not know her husband’s name until about halfway through the call, he was finally
“stumbling” to say it.
Can we figure out what is going on here? Is this the typical misogyny we have to endure,
living like an infective virus inside the soul of our President? Is this the typical bullying of
an arrogant white man and his General old-school surrogate, of two black women, whom
they think they can outflank with the bluster of white privilege discrediting Congresswoman
Wilson and Mrs. Johnson in the eyes and minds of supportive white people, like those
who populate Trump’s ‘base?’ What he says being ‘truth’ to them; what the black women say
being inconsequential and unreliable?
Notice also that Trump has reverted to his perverted namecall-game, now capitalizing
the word Wacky when referring to Congresswoman Wilson in his newer tweets
referring to her, so that the three-word moniker has that alliterative
sound deploying those three ‘w’s. Wacky Congresswoman Wilson. Has a distinct
tang to it, doesn’t it? Great for the high school bully in the schoolyard, but not
for someone who is supposed to be behaving as our President.
P.S. Even with all this, the right things to do would be for both Trump and Kelly to call
widow Johnson, and Congresswoman Wilson, respectively, to apologize and correct
any misunderstanding, confess that each man made a mistake, resurrect whatever integrity
is resurrectable from this obscene episode. This could be done privately, without any
big bluster or public relations to-do, out of respect for a fallen American soldier, his family,
and a dedicated Congresswoman. It would be the right thing to do, don’t you think?
Additional information: We have 800 troops in Niger currently, more than in any country
in western Africa. Most Congresspeople, including Senators Lindsey Graham and
John McCain, were not aware of this, had not been informed of such military deployment.
Africom, our command center for Africa, is located right on site: in
General Joseph Dunford Discusses Niger; States Wife Of Sgt La David Johnson Not Being Able To View Body Is “Family Decision”[/caption]
General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in his
hour-long session with the press at the Pentagon yesterday, October 23, related that
though Mrs. Wilson in her morning ABC interview complained about not being allowed
to see her husband’s body locked into its casket, Dunford stated of her viewing of it:
“It’s the family’s decision.”
We’ll see what the actual story on that is, possibly, in the next few days.
Surfers up reel early going politically crazy…
Good rant Nick.
Donald Trump Has Been Mad-Crazy About FBI’s James Comey ‘Showboating’ On TV Amping-Up Russia Investigation[/caption]
However, right now, it’s Donald in the White House (WH) mad-angry at James Comey
for intensifying Russian FBI probe, Comey getting DAILY briefings last 3 weeks
instead of weekly, asking acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (RR) for
more fundage for probe, while also telling members of Congress about this.
Trump getting so crazy he summons recused Attorney General Jeff Sessions
and Rosenstein into his office to advise him on firing Comey – who testified
in the last month that he could not rule out investigating Trump in his Russia/FBI probe.
Acting Attorney General Vexedly Talked About Resigning After Trump Pretended Firing FBI’s Comey Was HIS Idea[/caption]
Story is Trump asked Rosenstein to write up what he ended up writing up about
Hillary Clinton-email-saga-screw-up, which Trump presented to the world, along
with his sophomoric self-exonerating letter saying Comey told him three times
he wasn’t under investigation (Lie Lie Lie? unlikely Comey would reveal anything
about an ongoing investigation. See Trump’s tripsicle contentions about this tonight in Interview
with Lester Holt NBC Evening News Anchor.). Then everybody lying about the story, following
Sorry Vice President Spews Out Partyline As He’s Told, Repeatedly Lying That James Comey’s Firing Wasn’t About The FBI Russia Investigation, Along With Other Kowtowing White Housers[/caption]
the party line, including lying Pence himself, doing it several times in public, and
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the latest upgrade to Sean Spicer, come WH spokeswoman,
the lie going (yesterday, 5-10-17) that ROSENSTEIN CAME TO HIM/Trump with the idea.
Rosenstein talking last night (5-10-17) about resigning, he is so pissed off that everyone
could now blame HIM for coming up with the idea. Washington Post article published last
evening with many co-authors who spoke to people at the FBI who are ANGRY (~75% lead co-author said)
or Fearful (~25%) of what der Fuhrer has done/might do to them, but mostly really angry
and they will do their probing with even more ire and dedication henceforth.
Supposedly Recused Attorney General Jeff Sessions Approves (Sez Trump) Comey Firing Because It Was About Hillary Clinton Being Treated Unfairly Not Russia Investigation[/caption]
And Sessions had recused himself from the Russian probe yet he – it is being said – reportedly
involved himself in the Comey firing, approving it, but Trump probably thinking the ridiculous
10-&-7-months–ago-email story should cover anything about Sessions violating his own recusal.
Fired Attorney General Sally Yates Performed Expertly & Graciously 5-8-17 On Pres. Trump’s TV, Enraging Him So Much He Precipitously Fires James Comey[/caption]
Trump also crazed by Sally Yates performing on TV so well, and authentically, on Monday that that
was the day he would work himself up to fire Comey. He also may have been nutsoed by Comey
being on television and in the public eye so much. In the interview with Lester Holt Trump calls
him a “showboat” and a “grandstander.”
James Comey “a showboat and a grandstander’ Jealous Donald Trump Tells NBC’s Lester Holt Usurping Trump’s Star Status on TV[/caption]
Never forget the Donald’s tumoraceous monster ego.
Also, Comey did hint that he was beginning to find indications of possible collusion.
Trump The Schoolyard Bully Taunts Senator Chuck Schumer in ‘Cryin’ Schumer’ Tweet Miscalculating Gravity Of His Impulsive Firing Of FBI’s James Comey[/caption]
Plus, Trump is such a mafioso that he ungraciously sophomorically taunts out a tweet at ‘Cryin’ Schumer’
like the schoolyard bully he is.
The class of an ass.
The hoodlum in him then does not graciously summon Comey to his office to diplomatically tell him
he is fired. He sends out his bodyguard to deliver the news like a true Don and is so arrogant and
uncivil that he doesn’t even care to find out where Comey could be when his hit man leaves with
the horsehead notification – for Comey is in LA delivering a speech to FBI employees there, where
he first discovers eye-ing a TV in the background announcing that he is fired, which he initially thinks is a joke.
Trump throwing away a dedicated head of the FBI like he’s a piece of sh*t.
Which enrages people in the FBI. Listen to their responses all over the media and on the internet. Most
have Trump in their sights now, as they know what he’s done, and that he is probably guilty of all charges
you could imagine, including treason, and they are now really going to get him. Trump bit the wrong rabid dog.
Comey is freer to comment on Trump now. He has been invited on Tuesday to testify as a citizen about Trump
behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee. He has not as yet accepted the invitation.
Michael Flynn, Disgraced Fired Head Of NSA, Approved By Trump Administration Despite Being Unregistered Foreign Agent[/caption]
Plus, Michael Flynn didn’t comply with requests for documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee, so a
subpoena was sent out to him from the committee yesterday.
The noose is getting tighter. Apparently, Trump the bully, has no one in the White House who can
reach any sensible area in Trump’s brain when he is raging, screaming at the TV, and OH, not letting in reporters
or Democrats to the Oval Office but joking around with the two Sergeys of Russia yesterday, fawning on them
but not allowing any American photographer in the room. USA media having to go to Tass the Russian
propaganda outlet to get photos of Trump palling around with these two men like happy gangsters.
Trump & The Two Russian Sergeys Guffawing Together In The Oval Office, No American Photographers Allowed To Be Present[/caption]
Someone bringing up that Trump never should have done this, because Russians like these are notorious
for doing their natural duty as spies and maybe planting some type of bugging device now in the Oval Office.
Donald acts like this with the Russians who have hacked our elections, laughing with them, while excluding
everyone else. Something wrong there, Nickie?
Oh, and then Trump being so blind he has who with him yesterday by the fireside as the forest fire is beginning
to burn out of control and people are comparing what is happening to Richard Nixon’s Watergate?
Why, Nixon’s evil Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger: the American responsible for more deaths than anyone
else in our history (perhaps excluding the World Wars): 4 million Asians during the Vietnam war.
And look who’s in the White House After Pres. Trump Fires The FBI Director Investigating His Administration: Henry Kissinger! Mass Murderer Responsible For Deaths of 4 Million Asians[/caption]
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump was within his rights to fire Comey. Many Republicans
and Trump supporters drink the kool-aid that he fired Comey for treating poor Hillary, who he dearly loves, unfairly.
But now all these facts are coming out, swinging the narrative off the lie-track that our liar-in-chief has railroaded
into his surrogates’ mouths. Pence complied with the party line. Too many Republicans believe the baloney. But
as the FBI digs in deeper, this will lead to the revelation of what Trump knows he has done, along with his confederates,
and that is why he is now going more and more crazy as he expresses himself and our nation
over the ledge of impeachment which is waiting for him and all the lemmings following him….
Here’s the link to the video (~2 minutes in length). You’ll never forget it! No Donald Trump in it either!!
NBC’s Lester Holt Interviewed Pres. Trump; Asks Specifics Of Claim Comey Told Him 3 Times He Was Not Under Investigation[/caption]
FYI – Trump now in the interview with Lester Holt states he was going to fire Comey all along. Yet he and the White House
put out the story yesterday that acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein HAD COME TO HIM with the idea.
That is why Donald Trump is President and Liar-in-Chief, making all his subordinates shell out the same lie all day long
yesterday, and this evening it will be a different lie/story. Who can keep up with all his lies? He can’t. When liars lie
they can’t remember which lie they lied last. But as Huey Lewis and the News said way back in 1981 ‘Sooner or Later,
Some Of My Lies Are True.’ But which ones?….
‘(Sooner Or Later) Some Of My Lies Are True’ – from Huey Lewis & The News first album[/caption]
Sally Yates Warned White House About Mike Flynn’s Underlying Conduct Being Problematic In & Of Itself[/caption]
For many Americans it has been a tortuous nightmare since the campaign, election, and onset of the Trump
administration has beset our country. Meanwhile Trump supporters seem very happy and faithful to their hero,
97 or 98% of those who say they voted for him, still supporting him overall. So far he has been very adept
at diverting the investigation into his people being possibly involved with the Russian interference in our election.
In fact, he has tweeted many of his supporters into delusion concerning the veracity of the entire
However, I did listen to much of the Sally Yates Senate Judiciary committee hearing yesterday May 8 2017 afternoon
and I was gratefully impressed by the opening acknowledging statements of both Senators Lindsey Graham of South
Carolina, and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. So please allow me to present these opening statements
for you now. Perhaps they will pull up the shades high enough to illuminate the facts of what
the Senate Judiciary Committee has discovered so far, for the benefit of all of us Americans:
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Discussed Russian Toolbox Used In Hacking USA Elections[/caption]
Opening Remarks of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime
and Terrorism May 8, 2017 [A select few key Sally Yates remarks follow this statement]
Thank you Chairman Graham, for the important work this subcommittee is doing under your
leadership investigating the threat of Russian interference in our elections. In January, America’s
intelligence community disclosed that the Russian government, on the orders of Vladimir Putin,
engaged in an election influence campaign throughout 2016.
In March, FBI Director Comey confirmed that, and I quote him here, “the FBI, as part of [its]
counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in
the 2016 election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals
associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was
any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” The FBI and the intelligence
community’s work is, appropriately, taking place outside the public eye. Our inquiry serves
broader aims: to give a thorough public accounting of the known facts, to pose the questions
that still need answers, and to help us determine how best to protect the integrity and proper
functioning of our government.
At this subcommittee’s first hearing, on March 15, we heard from expert witnesses about
the Russian toolbox for interfering in the politics of other countries. Now we can ask, which
of these tools were used against us by the Russians in 2016? Here’s a checklist.
Propaganda, fake news, trolls and bots: As Clint Watts told the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence in March, Russian state-sponsored media outlets RT and Sputnik in the lead-up
to the election “churned out manipulated truths, false news stories and conspiracies,” providing
a weaponized fake news effort openly supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy, “while consistently
offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.” This was, to again quote Watts, “a deliberate,
well organized, well resourced, well funded, wide ranging effort” by Russia, using trolls and bots
to amplify its messages, particularly across social media. These facts are not disputed by any
serious person, so this is a yes on the checklist.
Hacking and theft of political information: Throughout 2015 and 2016, Russian intelligence
services and state-sponsored hackers conducted cyber operations against U.S. political
targets including state and local election boards, penetrating networks, probing for
vulnerabilities, and stealing private information and emails. Attribution of these crimes
to Russian actors was confirmed in our last hearing, and by many other sources.
So this is another yes
Timed leaks of damaging material: Russian intelligence fronts, cut-outs, and
sympathetic organizations like Guccifer 2.0, DCLeaks.com, and Wikileaks then
time the release of stolen victim data to maximize its political effect, manipulate
public opinion, and thereby influence the outcome of an election. Longtime Trump
associate Roger Stone admits to having interacted with Guccifer 2.0, and he
foreshadowed releases of stolen data on Twitter in August and October 2016.
Timing can matter: on October 7, just hours after the damaging “Access Hollywood”
tapes of Donald Trump’s offensive comments were made public, Wikileaks began
publishing emails stolen from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. So yes again.
Assassination and political violence: Last October, Russian military intelligence
reportedly conspired to assassinate the then-prime minister of Montenegro as part
of a coup attempt.
In 2004, former Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yushchenko was disfigured when
he was poisoned in a suspected assassination attempt by Russian agents.
Vladimir Putin Leads Cyberattack on Elections in USA, France….Next…Follow the Trail of Dead Russians…[/caption]
Russian opposition figures are routinely the targets of state-directed political
violence: Vladimir Kara-Murza has survived two recent poisonings, while Boris Nemtsov
was brazenly murdered near the Kremlin in 2015. Thankfully, we have no evidence of
that happening here.
[As Clinton Watts previously testified: “Follow the trail of dead Russians…” my added note]
Investment control in key economic sectors: We learned from Heather Conley’s testimony
in our last hearing that the Kremlin playbook seeks to manipulate other countries through
economic penetration, heavily investing in critical sectors of the target country’s economy
to create political leverage. Putin’s petro-politics uses Russia’s control of natural gas to
create political pressure. But no as to that tactic here, so far.
Shady business and financial ties: Russia exploits the dark shadows of economic and
political systems. FBI Director Comey testified last week that the United States is
becoming the last big haven for shell corporations, where the opacity of the corporate
form allows the concealment of criminal funds, and can allow foreign money to
directly and indirectly influence our political system. Since the Citizens United decision,
we’ve seen unprecedented dark money flow in our elections from 501(c)(4) organizations.
We don’t know who’s behind that dark money, or what they’re demanding in return.
Felix Sater pitched business ideas to Donald Trump “on a constant basis.” Sen. Whitehouse states Sater’s family has links to Russian organized crime.[/caption]
Using shell corporations and other devices, Russia establishes illicit financial relationships
to develop leverage against prominent figures, through the carrot of continued bribery or the
stick of threatened disclosure. How about here? Well we know that President Trump himself
has long pursued business deals in Russia. He is reported to have done or sought to do
business there since the mid-1990s. As he chased deals in Russia throughout the 2000s,
he deputized a colorful character named Felix Sater to develop real-estate projects there
under the Trump name. Sater’s family has links to Russian organized crime, and Felix himself
has had difficulties with the law. Sater said in a 2008 deposition that he would pitch
business ideas directly to Trump and his team “on a constant basis.” As recently as 2010,
Sater had a Trump Organization business card and an office in Trump Tower.
Donald Trump Jr. said in September 2008 that he’d made half a dozen trips to the country
in the preceding 18 months, noting that Russian investors were heavily involved in Trump’s
New York real estate projects. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia,” he said. One
Trump property in mid-town Manhattan had become, within a few years of opening, “a prominent
depository of Russian money,” according to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek. So here there
are still big questions. Of course, President Trump could clarify questions by releasing his business
and personal tax returns.
Corrupting and compromising politicians: In testimony before the Judiciary Committee last
Wednesday, Director Comey acknowledged that financial leverage has been exploited by
Russian intelligence “over many decades.” Back to the days of Joe Alsop, they use
kompromat, or compromising material, to pressure and manipulate targeted individuals
with the prospect of damaging disclosures. Has Russia compromised, corrupted, cultivated,
or exerted improper influence on individuals associated with President Trump, his administration,
his transition team, his campaign, or his businesses? Another big question mark. We know that
President Trump has had in his orbit a number of very Russia-friendly figures.
Michael Flynn Led The Cry To ‘Lock Her Up’ re Hillary Clinton Boomeranged By His Own Karma[/caption]
In August 2015, Trump first met informally with Michael Flynn, who as director of the Defense Intelligence
Agency [DIA] had developed strong professional relationships with Russian military intelligence.
In December of that year, Flynn traveled to Moscow for a paid speaking appearance at an anniversary
gala for RT, where he was briefly seated next to Vladimir Putin — quite a seat for a retired American general.
Two months after that trip, Flynn was reportedly serving as an informal national security advisor to Trump.
Trump identified a little-known energy investor named Carter Page as one of his foreign policy advisors.
In late March 2016, Page told Bloomberg Politics that friends and associates had been hurt by U.S. sanctions
against Russia, and that “there’s a lot of excitement in terms of the possibilities for creating a better situation.”
On April 27, 2016, Trump and several of his advisors, including Jeff Sessions, met Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s
ambassador to the United States before a campaign speech. The speech, which was hosted by the Center
for the National Interest, had been arranged by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kislyak attended the Trump
Republican convention, and he told the Washington Post that he had multiple contacts with the Trump
campaign both before and after the election. (In the days after the November election, Russia’s deputy
foreign minister confirmed that his government had communicated with the Trump team during the campaign.)
And we know Michael Flynn spoke with Ambassador Kislyak on December 29, the same day President Obama
announced punitive sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. Trump transition and
administration officials thereafter made false statements to the media and the public about the content of
Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, apparently as a result of Flynn having misled them. This eventually led
President Trump to ask for Flynn’s resignation, something I’m hoping Ms. Yates can shed some light on in
her testimony today. The President and his administration have yet to take responsibility for or explain these
and other troubling Russia links, dismissing facts as “fake news,” and downplaying the significance of individuals
involved. More than 100 days into the Trump administration and nearly two years since he declared his candidacy
for President, only one person has been held accountable for improper contacts with Russia: Michael Flynn. Even
then, the Trump administration has maintained that Flynn’s illicit communications with the ambassador were not,
in fact, improper – – he simply lost the confidence of the president.
We need a more thorough accounting of the facts. Many years ago, an 18-minute gap transfixed the
country and got everybody’s attention in another investigation. In this case, we have an 18- day gap
between the notification of the White House that a senior official had potentially been compromised
and action taken against that senior official’s role. At best, the Trump administration has displayed
serious errors of judgment. At worst, these irregularities may reflect errors of compromise or corruption
at the hands of Russian intelligence. My sincere hope is that this hearing and those to come will help us to find out.
During the May 8 2017 hearing, Whitehouse asked former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates about
her concerns about Flynn’s conduct.
Sally Yates Warned White House of Michael Flynn’s Vulnerability To Blackmail Because of Lying To Members of Trump Staff[/caption]
“To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians,” answered Yates.
“This was a matter of some urgency.” Yates also suggested that Flynn’s conduct was a legal issue even
without making misrepresentations to the White House and the
public. “The underlying conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself,” she said.
Again, the classified information upon which she based this statement also forbid her to give further depth to her claim.
Interview with Chris Hayes ‘All In’ TV show 5-8-17
President Trump Denies Knowing About NSA Director Flynn Working As A Foreign Agent, But Stated He’d Look Into It on 2-20-17[/caption]
Find http://www.msnbc.com/all …..look for 5-8-17 show segment, 8 minutes long, with Senator Whitehouse.
Incidentally at 4:24 into the segment now-President Trump is seen on Feb 10, 2017, denying knowing about
Flynn’s foreign agent work – though his Transition Team officially was notified Nov 18 2016 by Congress in writing
about Flynn’s working as an unregistered foreign agent; plus Flynn’s lawyers had also notified the White House twice
of Flynn’s paid foreign agent activity before Feb 10 2017.
Russian Ambassador Had Multiple Conversations With Michael Flynn About Sanctions Against Russia Being Relaxed[/caption]
Remember Sally Yates testified that she visited the White House urgently Jan 26 AND Jan 27, plus spoke on the
phone again, to the White House lawyer Don McGahn about General Flynn’s illegal activities, and the risk that
the Russians had recorded his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. This information then putting Flynn
as chief of the National Security Agency (NSA) at the mercy of Russian blackmail, because he lied about these
phone conversations, possibly to the FBI when interviewed by them on January 24, 2017, in addition to lying
to the Vice President and others in the administration. If the latter narrative is indeed true.
VP Pence Denied on March 9 2017 That He Only Found Out “Today” About Michael Flynn Being A Foreign Agent Though Congress Notified His Transition Team November 18, 2016 That Flynn Was Working As A Foreign Agent[/caption]
Of course, all this story could be false if Trump confederates had cooperated with the Russians during the campaign and
thereafter, and Flynn and Vice President Pence and everyone in the White House had lied and are continuing to lie about
the entire scandal. Remember also that knowing the above facts and dates, Vice President Pence said twice to FOX TV’s
Bret Baier in a March 9 2017 interview that “today” was the first he was hearing about Flynn working as a foreign agent.
Which has to be impossible, with him being the head of the Transition Team.
Here is some very interesting discussion/information now from yesterday’s Chris Hayes [CH] All In show 5-8-17:
Edited notes from segment with Malcolm Nance (MSNBC Terrorist Expert) [MV]
Author: ‘The Plot To Hack America’
Matt Miller – served in Justice Department under Eric Holder – AG Obama Administration
MM: Were they ever going to fire Michael Flynn, if it didn’t become public? [reported by the Washington Post]
…MV: He [Flynn] could be a turned asset of Russia
CH: That’s going very far…
MV: But why would you pick up a phone five times on the same day we’re kicking out  Russian spies?
Was he directed by the President? [?] Apparently not.
…MV: This was a hair-on-fire intelligence breach, no matter how you look at it. When I worked
at the NSA if this happened, everyone on my floor got repolygraphed; everyone was considered
….We need to re-clear everyone
Terrorism Expert Malcolm Vance Posits Goodfellas Attitude In Trump White House To Sally Yates’ Flynn Warning[/caption]
….MV: But they have this Goodfellas sort of attitude towards everything she [Sally Yates] was bringing
to them. Not just, “What’re you doing, nosing around in our business? What’s it to YOU!? You’re justice,
why are you here in our White House? And that’s sort of understandable, that she would come in there.
But a good White House counsel who’s really looking out for the interests of the United States would
say “This is a crisis meeting we’re having.”
CH: While you’re protecting your client [The President]…
…MM: This gets to what we don’t know what happened in the White House. We don’t know whether
they went to the President and the President said “You know what, I don’t care. I want to keep him anyway.”
MV: Yeah, this is a loyalist White House. This is a group of people – again the Goodfellas analogy.
They don’t care! So long as it’s all Cosa Nostra* amongst us.
*Sicilian Mafia; Cosa Nostra actually translates to Our Thing
This is a bit more insightful than what you will hear on most media outlets.
Now, Senator Graham’s opening statement to the 58-17 Judiciary Committee hearing to end this post:
Senator Lindsey Graham Chairman of Judiciary Committee Concerned About Russian Hacking Of USA Election[/caption]
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: “The hearing will come to order, thank you
all for coming. Here’s sort of the order of the day. I’ll give a brief opening statement along
with Senator Whitehouse, then we’ll have Senator Grassley and Feinstein follow some
questioning and it’ll be seven minute rounds initially and we’ll try to do a second round
of five minutes. To both of the witnesses, thank you for coming.
I’ll try to make this as reasonably short as possible and if you need a break, please let us
know. So people wonder what are we doing and what are we trying to accomplish? In January,
the intelligence community unanimously said that the Russians through their intelligence services
tried to interfere in the 2016 American presidential election, that it was the Russians who hacked
It was the Russians who broke into the Democratic National Committee and it was Russians who
helped empower WikiLeaks. No evidence that the Russians changed voting tallies, how people
were influenced by what happened only they know and God knows but I think every American
should be concerned about what the Russians did. From my point of view, there’s no doubt
in my mind it was the Russians involved in all the things I just described, not some 400 pound
guy sitting on a bed or any other country.
Russia is up to no good when it comes to democracies all over the world. Dismembering the Ukraine,
the Baltics are always under siege by Russian interference, so why? We want to learn what the Russians
did, we want to find a way to stop them because they’re apparently not going to stop until somebody
makes them. The hearing that was held last week with Director Comey asked a question, is it fair to say
that Russian government still involved in American politics and he said yes.
So I want House members and Senators to know it was the presidential campaign in 2016, it could be
our campaigns next. I don’t know what happened in France but somebody hacked into Mr. Macron’s
account and we’ll see who that may have been but this is sort of what Russia does to try to undermine
democracy. So what are we trying to accomplish here?
To validate the findings of the intelligence committee as much as possible and to come up with a course
of action as a nation bipartisan in nature because it was the Democratic Party of 2016 were the victims,
could be the Republican Party of the future. When one party’s attacked, all of us should feel an attack.
It should be an Article 5 agreement between both major parties — all major parties, that when a foreign
power interferes in our election, it doesn’t matter who they targeted, we’re all in the same boat.
Secondly, the unmasking the 702 program. Quite frankly, when I got involved in this investigation, I
didn’t know much about it. Director Comey said the 702 program, which allows warrants for intelligence
gathering and a vital intelligence tool, I’ve learned to bid about unmasking and what I’ve learned is disturbing.
So I don’t know exactly all the details, what goes into unmasking an American citizen, being incidentally
surveilled when they involved with a foreign agent. I’d like to know more and I want to make sure that that
unmasking can never be used as a political weapon in our democracy, so I am all for hitting the enemy
before they hit us, intelligence gatherings essential.
But I do believe we need to take a look at the procedures involved in 702, particularly how unmasking is
requested, who can request it and what can — what — what limitations exist, if any, on how the information
can be used. So that’s why we’re here.
We’re here to find out all things Russia and the witnesses are determined by the evidence and nothing else.
And the 702 reauthorization will come before the Congress fairly soon and I, for one, have a lot of
questions I didn’t have before.
I’ve enjoyed doing this with Senator Whitehouse, Senator Feinstein and Grassley have been terrific.
Let it be said that the chairman and ranking member of this subcommittee have allowed us to do
our job, have empowered us and have been hands-on and it’s much appreciated.
And with that, I’ll recognize Senator Whitehouse.”
When all is said and done, and sooner rather than later, an independent special prosecutor who
is above question about his or her integrity must be chosen to properly un-partisanly investigate
the Russian attack on our elections and country. Sally Yates, anyone?
P.S. Tuesday Night Massacre!! Now Trump fires the man investigating him and his people
Trump Suddenly Fires FBI Director Comey Investigating His Administration re Russian Attack on USA Elections[/caption]
concerning the Russian Attack On Our Elections: James Comey Fired as head of FBI!
How can Donald Trump dare do this? “This is Nixonian.” “This should send a chill down the spine of every American.”
are some early comments on this OUTRAGE! Trump claims he fired Comey because he treated Hillary Clinton
unfairly in 2016. Special Prosecutor NOW! or Impeachment!?!! What do you think? Nausea rising across our nation…
Last night 7-28-16 at Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, Long Island, NY
a fantastic band ‘Revel In Dimes’ blessed the stage with hot
pungent punktive bluesy rocking cosmic musicianship and humility.
Premo on the bass looks Hendrixy with his Afro, and plays near
that Jimi level on his instrument with his long fast funky exacting fingers.
My favorite rock bassist ‘of all time’ is/was, of course, Jack
Bruce of the Cream. The late great Jack Bruce, departed Earth last
year. Right now, on the strength of last night’s performing, it’s Premo.
He can do so much with his instrument, plus he plays harmonica, sings,
dances all around, makes animalistic noises that fit right in with
the extremely hard-to-resist danceable music Revel in Dimes produces.
Here’s 10 minutes of this fantastic band, starting with ‘K-i-s-s-i-n-g’
Primo singing the lead; Kia Warren right there beside him harmonizing!
Eric Simons from rural Kansas is the R.L. Burnside kine of guitarist,
but with a juicy 2016 electric fertile flow of sound, and bluesy
jazzy penetrating infiltrating satisfying seemingly ever-present
tasty licks emanating from his person/guitar/soul raising the music
to wondrous heights of beauty and rockingness. He’s one of my
favorite guitarists now. Riffs galore he supplies as each song progresses,
that ‘Little Axe’ kind of Mississippi voodoo late at night misty-rain-falling
in a quiet southern town, yet urban and contemporary futuristic, what
you will always want to hear if you love guitar and especially electric
guitar. Eric Simons. Don’t forget that name.
Drummer Washington Duke is great, right there in the middle, supplying
the essence of the bottom and the beat, pumping up the music, keeping it
solid and potent, especially with Premo’s bass playing off him and vice-versa,
and Simons contributing his licks and magic from the other side.
Kia Warren sings, and plays some kind of instrument that is very small and
sits on a pedestal. I never asked what it was, but I think it punctuates
and elevates and amplifies the music. Her voice is perfect, no
Alicia Keys/John Legend warbling thru and around the notes. She’s the
personable front person, focuses the energy of the venue and the band,
sings well and strongly.
It was a great night. There was a terrific version of ‘Whole Lotta Love’*
amidst the four-song start of the second set, wherein the band
let up a happy accomplished young little white woman to jauntily lead sing
and play her rhythmic baby blue guitar, while Premo/Eric/Washington played some
amazing music behind her. ‘K-i-s-s-i-n-g’ was another highlight
with Premo singing the lead and Kia harmonizing. The rhythm and sound of
this band is unique – it infiltrates your feet and body and mind. This is
a now group that you should not miss if you ever get a chance to see them,
if they come to your town, or a town you can travel to. I could definitely
see them playing the Super Bowl halftime show, their professionalism and
power suitable for them to take over any stage and blow the shorts off
everyone that loves modern music in the fortunate audience. REVEL IN DIMES!!
P.S. the band returns to the Talkhouse for your dancing listening grooving pleasure Aug 25
and Sept 16 @10 PM both nights, and will be in Montauk Aug 11. See ’em somewhere!!
It’s been thirty years today April 26, 2016 that the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
occurred. Life expectancy in Russia and Byelorus has dropped by 20 years since
the disaster. But 60% of the radionuclides spewed out of the damaged reactor
landed OUTSIDE the USSR, mostly in Europe. More than a million people have
died prematurely thanks to Chernobyl.
Fast Track Vote Imminent In Senate and House on TransPacific Partnership (TPP) – Huge Medicare Cuts Snuck Into TPP text which is ‘classified’ – meaning Congresspeople cannot discuss it with We The People, their constituents. Labeling GMOs would be outlawed by TPP tho >90% Americans in poll after poll want them labeled.