Contributors

Showing posts with label Donald Trump's Presidency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald Trump's Presidency. Show all posts

Monday, March 20, 2017

Good Words

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

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.

---FBI Director James Comey, testifying today before the House Intelligence Committee.

The question now is how long Trump will be in office.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tin Foil Hat or Playing the Part?

The last couple of weeks has seen President Trump accuse the former president of wiretapping his office, the British of wiretapping his office, and President Obama of wiretapping both himself and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The icing on the cake was this.

“What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other,” Conway said as the Trump presidency marked its 50th day in office during the weekend. “You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of ways.” 

Conway went on to say that the monitoring could be done with “microwaves that turn into cameras,” adding: “We know this is a fact of modern life.”

Wow.

We've officially entered the Tin Foil Hat Brigade territory. Microwaves? Really??

Perhaps not, though, because I've been wondering of late if Trump and his team are merely pretending to be batshit nuts in order to appeal to their batshit nuts constituents. After all, his supporters are the short wave radio turned email forwarders turned bloggers turned social media fake news voracious consumers crowd. They really do think that the government is spying on them via microwave ovens.

Trump is a reality TV star so it wouldn't surprise me if there is some sort of directive out there to play up all of this nutty shit.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Completely Tanking

President Trump's approval ratings are officially tanking. Every major polling outfit, including Fox News, show him underwater. His first weeks in office have been an absolute train wreck. It's one paranoid disaster after another.

But that's what you get when you elect a right wing blogger who is essentially a Russian asset.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ou Est The Donald?

Is it just me or has the Donald been out of the news of late? The media seems very focused on the new health care bill proposed by the House Republicans. Things seem...weird...when they aren't hyper obsessing about the latest thing that Trump did. Perhaps it has something to do with this.

Trump's poll numbers have been on the decline...even more so than usual. Rasmussen has him seven points under water. This was the poll that favored Trump and relies on robotic data collecting. So, if there are any "shy" Trump voters, they can say they favor him without any social recriminations. Gallup has him sixteen points down which is really fucking bad. Perhaps he's just not getting the ratings anymore.

He's likely in the low 40s right now and if the health care plan fails (which it will) then he's going to drop below 40.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

What The President (and all of us) Could Learn About The Economy

Great piece in today's Times about the economy, especially if you want to know the basics about economics. Here was my favorite part.

Oh, and about the dollar. Finally, the president’s economists will need to answer his question about the dollar. Here’s the simple version: The value of the dollar in foreign-exchange markets is just a price. Like other prices, whenever it changes, some people gain, and others lose. It is not useful to think of a stronger or a weaker dollar as either good or bad. One has to look at the situation at hand and the underlying drivers of the change.

Yep. I've heard so many arguments over the years for both strong and weak dollars that it gets frustrating after a while. This sums one simple paragraph sums up why it should be analyzed as such.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Wikileaks (Russia) Outs the CIA

Wikileaks has released a treasure trove of documents that detail CIA hacking operations. These documents essentially state that our intelligence agencies can hack any phone or computer whenever they want. Is anyone out there shocked?

What's really not shocking is the timing of the release. Wikileaks is essentially Russian intelligence and this act is clearly a message for those intelligence gathering agencies within our government: don't fuck with our guy. That guy being Trump.

The Russian thing is really sinking in now for the president and he's not making matters any better for himself by continuing to insist that Barack Obama has been hacking his offices. Loving the chaos in our government, the Russians have now thrown this monkey into the wrench to make things even worse.

I feel like I'm reading a spy novel in the 1980s...sheesh...

Monday, March 06, 2017

Your Unreality Is Not Going To Hijack This Country

The media needs to start covering President Trump differently. When the right wing blogger/commenter in chief makes his usual assertion to deflect and redirect attention away from the real issues at hand, the media needs to call him on it. Simply stating that there is no evidence isn't enough.

They need to call him a coward. And that's just what I am doing today.

In fact, I'm asserting that Mr. Trump, like nearly every conservative I've ever had an online conversation with regarding politics, is a coward. They refuse to face the responsibility of what they or the people they support have done. Instead, it's invariably "Look! Squirrel!! The Democrats do it too!!" This is a common tactic that is deeply rooted in flawed logic.

The latest example of this is Trump's accusation that President Obama had him wiretapped. There is zero evidence of this (other than Mark Levin's ravings) but who cares? About 20 percent of eligible voters will believe it. Both the media and the left have to get to the heart of why these folks are so easily taken in. Or they need to merely get more people to the ballot box every year so these people lose. Perhaps the latter might be the best route to go because I doubt the Trump voter can be saved. When you are that filled with spite and hatred, change is most difficult.

President Trump is going to continue to behave this way until he loses. Why not? He's won so far with this tactic so why change. It's up to all of us to make him lose and send the alt right a message.

Your unreality is not going to hijack this country.


Saturday, March 04, 2017

Tied Up Phone Lines


Thursday, March 02, 2017

Sessions Under Fire

Another day, another Trump administration official under fire for his links with Russia. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two contacts with the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, last fall.

What was the subject of these conversations? Sessions has issued several contradictory statements. He testified in his confirmation hearing he had no contact with the Russians. Now, he's saying he had contact but it was in a Senatorial capacity. Several Republican leaders have called for Sessions to recuse himself from the ongoing investigations into Trump's Russian ties. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for Sessions to resign.

I think he should definitely recuse himself. Resign? Eh, not yet anyway. I'd rather have him hold out as long as possible so if he is really guilty of lying and the Russian connections, he'll get taken down while AG.

That would leave a mark!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Rally 'Round The President, Boys and Girls!

Last night was the first time in nearly two years that Donald Trump acted presidential. Or, at least that's the narrative for today. I think Trump and his people came to the realization that they couldn't get anything done if they kept on the way that they were. They had to at least put up an appearance of normal, hence the "new" Trump complete with a different take on immigration, asking for compromise with the Democrats and even sporting a new tie!

Well before the speech, Politico put a piece up about the president and how he is a great performance artist pretending to be a manager. I think there is a great deal of true to this. Last night, he turned up the volume to 11 with this tack and is now REALLY looking presidential (emphasis on the word "looking")

Every single American needs hold him accountable to act on what he said last night. His actions, not his words, will tell us how serious he is. If he passes a law on immigration reform and signs a bill for a trillion dollar infrastructure plan, he's going to have my support.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Smelling More Like Nixon

The Trump Administration must be pretty nervous about its Russian ties these days. Apparently, they asked the FBI to "knock down" stories about Trump ties to Russia. Appalling in many ways and a gross breach of ethics. Further, it tightens the comparison to Richard Nixon in the final months of his presidency. Considering we are barely out of the first month of the Trump administration, the future does not look good for this president.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Which View?


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Keep Baby Happy

How do new mommies keep baby happy? Well, we fill baby's world with happy things so they don't get sad and fussy. We don't want them to look like this.














We want them to look like this














It's the same thing for our president. His staff has learned that if they only show him praise from the media, he won't have a tantrum on Twitter. In fact, they go out of their way to steer him clear of all that bad, poopy headed stuff and only let him see the happy things.










I for one am so comforted that our president, like most right wing bloggers and commenters, fills his world with light and not darkness:)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Three Separate Probes

Reuters has a piece up regarding the THREE separate probes that the FBI is currently conducting regarding the connections between Russia and the Trump Administration. Before I highlight each one, I find it highly amusing and outright LMAO that the same people who were chanting "lock her up" last year are now excusing everything that has to do with Trump and Russia. They call it everything from fake news to an Obama shadow government operation running by the Ladies Optimists Club of Hibbing, Minnesota. The cognitive dissonance runs deep with these folks...

The three probes are:

-The FBI's Pittsburgh field office, which runs many cyber security investigations, is trying to identify the people behind breaches of the Democratic National Committee's computer systems, the officials said. Those breaches, in 2015 and the first half of 2016, exposed the internal communications of party officials as the Democratic nominating convention got underway and helped undermine support for Hillary Clinton.

- The bureau’s San Francisco office is trying to identify the people who called themselves “Guccifer 2” and posted emails stolen from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s account, the sources said. Those emails contained details about fundraising by the Clinton Foundation and other topics.

-Beyond the two FBI field offices, FBI counterintelligence agents based in Washington are pursuing leads from informants and foreign communications intercepts, two of the people said. This counterintelligence inquiry includes but is not limited to examination of financial transactions by Russian individuals and companies who are believed to have links to Trump associates. The transactions under scrutiny involve investments by Russians in overseas entities that appear to have been undertaken through middlemen and front companies, two people briefed on the probe said.

Based on this information, as well as other reports of secret deals regarding Ukraine and the Flynn resignation, it's only a matter of time before Trump is toast. GOP leaders in Congress will begin to weigh how expendable Trump is compared to what they could accomplish with a President Pence. Let's recognize that Pence is a fairly stable conservative who would work much more easily with Republicans in both the House and the Senate.

The only thing really holding them back at this point is the voters. They know that around 40% of this country love and blindly follow Trump...for now. If that number dips below 35 percent, I suspect we will start hearing impeachment talk.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Everything is Awesome!

Here is the entire, unedited press conference yesterday with President Trump.


Nikto has a post going up later with his own thoughts but here are mine.

The entire thing reminded me of every right wing blogger and right wing blog commenter that I've ever had a discussion with in my life. Filled with lies...arrogance...a profound sense of self importance where there really shouldn't be any...imperial decrees...unfocused...rambling...all of the above. In Trump's world, everything is awesome! Honestly, if we can make it through this presidency (however long it lasts), our country is the strongest in human history.

Of course, his supporters (around 40% of voters) think that it was AWESOME! They are cheering the smug liberal elite communist media and libtards freaking out over yesterday. Yay, us!! Watch them all squirm. Never mind that our president is nuts. We just love us some liberals being tortured!!!
Perhaps they might want to be a little nicer to all of us considering we are going to be the ones cleaning up this mess. Like many adolescents, I don't expect them to see this. To be totally fair, though, there are some Trump supporters (and I think this number is growing as more of this insanity happens) that are calling him to the mat. If he loses a significant portion of them, Congress would be more amenable to a President Pence.

The best thing the sane people can do in this country is focus on winning back one or both houses in 2018. Donald Trump is going to continue to be himself until he loses. He truly believes that he has the majority of the country behind him. He won't change until he is forced to change as we saw with the judicial block on his immigration ban.

Get everyone registered to vote and get them out THIS year so they know what they are doing and be ready for 2018.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Reach Out And Feel Their Pain



Bill gets pretty serious in the video above as he discussed the relation between drug addiction and states that voted for Trump. While mildly funny at first, it's really not a joking matter. People that have lost hope reach out for charlatans like Donald Trump because they convince themselves that he can save them.

If Democrats want to start taking back the state houses and ultimately Congress and the White House, they need to reach out to these folks and feel their pain.

A New Level of Moronic

CNN has a nice summary up of what we know regarding Donald Trump, his advisers, and Russia. It's good information to have but there are few things that have been left out.

Perhaps the most important item is the fact that the president has now declared war on the intelligence community. It makes sense after this tantrum that we now know they are keeping sensitive information from him. Further, Trump's open disdain is likely going to cost him in a big way. Check this out.

US intelligence is not the problem here.

The President's collusion with Russian intelligence is.

Many details, but the essence is simple.

Now we go nuclear. IC war going to new levels. Just got an EM fm senior IC friend, it began: "He will die in jail."https://twitter.com/JWal077/status/831871381570781184 


John Schindler is a former NSA intelligence analyst. I've always thought that Donald Trump was idiotic but this is far worse than I could have possibly imagined. Pissing off the people who likely have compromising information on you is a new level of moronic.

Worse, these are the people that protect us on a daily basis from extremist attacks. The alt right (aka Russian intelligence useful idiots) is now accusing them of being some sort of Obama shadow government perfectly illustrating the epic fail of responsibility and ownership of their actions. They are in charge and they are STILL blaming Barack Obama!

Wow....

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How Long?

With members of both parties in Congress calling for a deeper investigation into Trump administration ties to Russian intelligence, we've now moved into a place where it's easier to imagine the president not lasting very long.

High-level advisers close to then-presidential nominee Donald Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence, multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials tell CNN. Michael Flynn, the recently fired National Security Adviser who barely lasted three weeks, shared information with the Russian Ambassador to the United States and the White House knew about this three weeks ago.

How much more synergy is there between Russia and Trump and his administration? Based on the president's past comments and actions (see here, here and here), it's obvious that he is beholden to Russia in a detrimental way. The Flynn revelations make it necessary for there to be a more complete and intensive investigation.

So, how long is Trump going to last as president? He's barely started and this investigation is going to severely impede his ability to get anything done. That and the fact that his staff of right wing bloggers and commenters are so incredibly incompetent and allergic to reality that they can't seem to function as a team and get anything done.

I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't make it to the end of the year...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Arrogant, Self Important, and Ideologically Blind

Jordan Greenhall's piece entitled "Situational Assessment 2017: Trump Edition – Deep Code" is the current "darling post" making the rounds in alt right circles. I've decided to offer my own "deep code" of it because it's quite possibly the most arrogant, self important, and ideologically blind piece I have ever read. There are several profound flaws in it and I will detail each one as they appear throughout his piece.

Greenhall mentions the “Trump insurgency” and how it will affect change in our country against what he perceives as the status quo. The problem with this line of thought is that it’s no longer an insurgency. Donald Trump is president. Steve Bannon is a senior adviser. Trump’s staff is filled with insurgents with alt right bloggers and pundits now regular staples of the White House. All of this means they are no longer insurgent but in charge. They are now responsible for leading this country. To continue to claim that they are some sort of rebels is not reflective of reality and makes me wonder if they know any other way to behave. Certainly, they are going to find out because the American voter will hold them responsible.
His lack of comparison to the 2000 election and his attempt at synergy with the American revolution are both in error. As with the 2000 election, the 2016 winning candidate lost the popular vote and this time by nearly 3 million votes. Some “revolution.” Further, the margins in the states that put Trump over the top in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan were so small that they clearly betrayed a lack of enthusiasm for either candidate. In fact, the voters that won it for Trump are the same ones that voted for Obama twice. Again, what revolution? That’s merely people perpetually voting for change.
The comparison of the alt right to the American revolutionaries has become rather tiresome. Honestly, it’s overly self important and arrogant. The Tea Party did it 8 years ago and it wasn’t really applicable then. The federal government is not a monarchy with a mandate from heaven. The media is not some ogre like entity bent on destroying the US Constitution. No king is stopping people from getting involved in the political process. People are represented by the people they elect who are mostly Republican these days.
Greenhall’s analysis of the communications infrastructure makes no sense whatsoever. Donald Trump has been a part of the legacy sensemaking system. He has been a huge drive of multiple elements within the Deep State network for three decades. He is still an executive producer for a show on NBC! How is that insurgent? New media is dominated by political viewpoints all across the political spectrum. The “insurgency” isn’t merely limited to the alt right. Does Greenhall think that Benie Sanders grew out of a vacuum?
No one in the mainstream media is preventing people from posting on blogs, social media, or their own web sites. There is a veritable multitude of information outlets out there, so much so, that the real challenge is to sift through it all and find accurate information and critical thinking. Clearly, Greenhall is not embracing the such thinking as he openly derides the criticism of “fake news.”
What he perceives as a threat to their way of life, critical thinkers in outfits like the New York Times and CNN see fake news for what it is: lying. When you have a group of people leading our country who regularly engage in ignorance of facts, people are going to lose their lives. It’s just that simple. Now, either they are doing this because they are ideologically stubborn (bad) or they are doing it because they are delusional (worse). Either way, we have to have an acceptance of fundamental reality.
If someone posts something that is factually incorrect just because they feel like it, this same person should not be excused simply for the sake of insurgency.
Donald Trump is not a leader of a “nomadic war machine.” He’s an authoritarian fronting a group of like minded individuals who only want to follow the laws they like and hate being told what to do. These are folks that are proud nationalists who embrace xenophobia and are openly antagonistic against anyone who is different from them. There is no plurality here which makes me wonder just how large this “insurgency” actually is.
Greenhall’s prediction of old media’s downfall is ludicrous. They still have a ton of money and are more popular than ever. Check out the recent ratings of Saturday Night Live. Moreover, the money behind new media is from folks like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, both “smug, liberal elites.”
I’m not sure why the Russians hacking our political system is put in quotations. Does he truly believe that this was a hoax? If so, this betrays an even deeper problem. It’s one thing to look critically at information that comes from our national intelligence agencies. It’s yet another to dismiss ALL information about this as “deep state propaganda.” Does Greenhall not want to admit to being used as a Russian dupe?
His analysis of globalists smacks of mercantilism and protectionism, two ideologies that have been shown, time and again, to be deeply flawed. Free trade and economic liberalism has raised both income and life expectancy in the world. Given Greenhall’s success in the business world from these policies, I wonder how truly genuine he is about this aspect of his analysis.
The whole “Blue Church is killing us” is basically code for, once again, not wanting to follow rules that help society but might be a little inconvenient. And that’s where the rest of his piece descends into Alex Jones territory and I found little merit in what he was saying.
As mentioned in the other answers, Greenhall seems like he’s trying to disseminate propaganda for the alt right to lap up and, in return, heap glorious adulation upon him. It’s as arrogant, self important, and ideologically blind as the people he is trying to impress.

Check out some of the other reactions to it on Quora. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Motivating Factors Behind The Support For President Trump

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about why people are supporting Donald Trump. Given the diversity of people who support him, it's not just one factor but several and we can see this through the three main groups of people that support him.

First, let's take a look at the group of people who propelled him over the top: the Obama-Trump voter. Two recent articles summarize these folks quite well. The first is from the Chicago Tribune and the second is from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In reviewing both of these pieces, it's pretty easy to see that their primary motivation is money. Check out this pull from the first article.

Kramer, who voted twice for Obama, used to watch Trump on "Celebrity Apprentice." ''I said to myself, 'Ugh, I can't stand him.'" When he announced his candidacy, she thought it was a joke. "Then my husband said to me, 'Just think, everything he touches seems to turn to money.'" And she changed her mind.

Actually, everything he touches turns to debt and bankruptcy but that's not what they see. They see a celebrity from "The Apprentice" who is their lottery ticket. They truly believe that Trump is going to make them more money and he plays into that with classic PT Barnum panache. When he holds up his latest executive order, it has the appearance of him getting 'er done. Remember, these folks are not interested in facts and they, like our new president, don't read books. They, along with conservatives, are tired of being reminded that they aren't intellectual.

So, the motivating factor with this group is primarily money and a feeling of inadequacy. Trump makes them think they are going to make that money and, thus, be more important.

The next group of folks to examine are those conservatives (mostly right wing bloggers and commenters) who are just happy to see liberals squirm. Their agenda is to rub the smug elites face in it and laugh about how the silly liberals are complaining about Trump being unbalanced. They LOVE every minute of it because, like most adolescents, they are super hearting the chaos right now. They want the whole playhouse torn down because they are tired of people telling them what to do even it is for their own good and the good of society.

These folks don't really stand for anything even though they issue imperial decree after decree saying that they do. Their ideology in life has one core tenet: antagonize liberals. What's hilarious is they can't yet see they have to be responsible now that their guy is in charge. Worse, they are still under the delusion that they are fighting some sort of resistance. How is that possible when THEY are in charge now? Clearly, they don't get the new dynamic which I predict will ultimately be their downfall. The Obama turned Trump voter is going to hold them responsible and when they continue to blame liberals and the media, people are going to start wondering if they even had any ideas that worked in reality.

The next group of folks who support Trump are just your garden variety Republicans. They will never vote for a Democrat and will always vote GOP. They watch Fox News and read only conservative web sites, relying largely on their social media feeds for their "news." It's this group (along with the right wing bloggers/commenters) who were completely used by Russian intelligence over the last few years. Put out some red mead about liberals and you have yourself a group of useful idiots who will vote in the candidate preferred by the Kremlin.

In essence, it's these three groups that put Trump in the White House. While each one has their own motivating factors, they also have common threads that run between them. The first is fear. All of these folks are deeply afraid of how the world has changed in the age of automation and globalization. They are angry that people from other countries have taken their jobs and, thus, are sick and tired of hearing about diversity. In many ways, this anger has grown in to hate.

They feel insecure, inferior and inadequate. When someone who is more learned and accomplished than them reminds them of facts, their first reaction is to rebel. Why should they have to be reminded of all the crap they have to deal with all the time? All of these groups have been very successful at creating a cocoon or bubble in which outside information is viewed with great skepticism. All of this is also why they love themselves a candidate with zero experience in government. The dumber the better! Once they learn all them fancy book facts that they learned at libral college, then they think they are better than everyone else.

If Democrats want to succeed at a local level, which is where this battle is really being fought, they have to understand all these factors. They need to go into the counties that both Obama and Trump won (and many more beyond that) with the following stark message. Your jobs aren't coming back. They have been taking over by robots. Go back to school and retrain. Find a different vocation. Get a college degree. Join the 21st century and obtain the necessary skills to go along with it. Take some responsibility for your life and stop bitching about the government, the media and liberals.

No more excuses!