Feb. 21, 2018
First Read by Chauncey DeVega
Russian trolls, fake news and provocateurs: That’s been Trump’s method all along: Mueller’s indictments confirm my “wrestling heel” theory: Trump’s a master showman who rigged the whole spectacle
Today's American conservatives value partisanship more than patriotism. America's democracy will be forever broken. Short of a great reckoning, repairing it may be impossible
Here's a feel good story which brought tears to my eyes (I get tearful a lot lately) because last night I watched David Letterman interview George Clooney. He and his wife Amal are amazing people.
My Daily Kos story for today is getting a fair number of comments (83) - click here. It is one of their dozen Recommended Stories, something that rarely happens to with I put on the website. This keeps it on the front page all day.
Trump wants a man on the moon again so he cancels one of the most important NASA missions ever
Many of my readers don't subsribe to the WaPo, so here are excerpts from this story. There's more about this on CNN.
She believed her best chance to be heard was through sheer repetition, so Rachel Crooks took her seat at the dining table and prepared to tell the story again. She was used to difficult audiences, to skeptics and Internet trolls who flooded her Facebook page with threats, but this was a generous crowd: a dozen women, all friends of her aunt, gathered for a casual dinner party on a Friday night. The hostess turned off the music, clanked a fork against her wineglass and gestured to Crooks. “Would you mind telling us about the famous incident?” she asked. “Not the sound-bite version, but the real version.”
“The real version,” Crooks said, nodding back. She took a sip of water and folded a napkin onto her lap.
“It all happened at Trump Tower,” she said. “I had just moved to New York, and I was working as a secretary for another company in the building. That’s where he forced himself on me.”↓↓↓↓
“Thank you,” Crooks said, even though she sometimes still wondered. She reached for her water glass and lifted it up into the air to use as a prop. “He took hold of my hand and held me in place like this,” she said, squeezing the sides of the water glass, shaking it gently from side to side. “He started kissing me on one cheek, then the other cheek. He was talking to me in between kisses, asking where I was from, or if I wanted to be a model. He wouldn’t let go of my hand, and then he went right in and started kissing me on the lips.” (She estimates this lasted about two minutes.)
A star-crossed mission nearly 20 years in the making that was intended to seek an answer to the most burning, baffling question in astronomy — and perhaps elucidate the fate of the universe — is in danger of being canceled.
The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, or Wfirst, was being designed to investigate the mysterious force dubbed dark energy that is speeding up the expansion of the universe and search out planets around other stars.
In 2010, a blue-ribbon panel from the National Academy of Sciences charged with charting the future of space-based astronomy gave the mission the highest priority for the next decade. Under the plan, it could have launched in mid-2020s with a price tag of $3.2 billion.
But it was zeroed out in the NASA budget proposed by President Trump last week.
It was early in the morning, and the office was mostly empty. She walked toward Trump, who she remembers was standing by himself in the small waiting area near the elevators. She held out her hand, intent on introducing herself not as a fan or as a secretary but as a business partner.
“Mr. Trump, I wanted to say hi, since our companies do a little work together,” she remembered telling him that day, and then, before she understood what was happening, she remembered Trump becoming the second man ever to kiss her.↓↓↓↓↓↓
She didn’t think of it as a tragedy. She had gone on to graduate school in Ohio, bought a home close to her family, in the nearby town of Tiffin, and begun a career that allowed to her travel around the world, but she also believed some small part of her had never come back from New York. “It was one of the first real failures or defeats of my life, where the world wasn’t what I hoped it was going to be, and I started to really doubt myself,” she said.
For several years she had barely told anybody about Trump, because she assumed nothing would come of her story. Now she had spent 18 months repeating it and proving herself right.
“I am not sure I’ve changed one person’s mind,” she said.
But what choice did she have, except to let it go silent as if it never happened at all? She didn’t want to retreat anymore from that moment, to cycle back into self-doubt. So she would go on television. She would speak at the news conferences. She would deal with the hate mail. She would run for office. She would repeat her story over and over whenever she was asked, even now, to a few women in Columbus marching alongside her in the snow.“It happened right by the elevators,” she said, beginning the story again, even if she was telling it mostly for herself.
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“Do we really think 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?” Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) told CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday Story: HUFFPOST
Since August 2015, Kingston has been chairman of the Georgia Republican Party Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Georgia GOP. In 2016, he endorsed Ted Cruz for president, but later he served as senior advisor and spokesperson for the Donald Trump campaign. In 2017, he became a CNN political commentator. Wikipedia
↓↓↓For today's opinion
Excerpt: Where does Donald Trump rank on the list of American presidents?
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EXCERPT and Video: Apparently set off by a sweeping indictment of 13 Russians and plea deal with one American, which revealed the extent of the Russian conspiracy to manipulate the election President Trump spent the week in a frenzy, blaming the FBI and Democrats for the shooting in Parkland, Fla., and suggesting that if the authorities lay off investigating him, then more children won’t die.
He falsely denied he ever doubted that Russia meddled in the election. (“I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer. The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia — it never did!”) Twitter users almost instantaneously responded with tweet in which he had done just that. The Post’s Glenn Kessler found a bunch of these tweets as well.
Trump lashed out: “If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!” Actually, they succeeded and are laughing, very likely, because they helped elect an unhinged, erratic president who will not protect the United States against Russian meddling. The discord comes from Trump smearing the FBI and making up lies (e.g., accusing President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower).
Tony the Tiger is the perfect emblem for the flakes who support Trump
by Hal Brown
|I wrote about this yesterday, scroll down|
What does this scene from Caddyshack have to do with Trump?
Feb. 1 - 10, 2018
Feb. 18, 2018
I had to look up who Judge Smails (above left) was in Caddyshack because of this reference in The New York Times:
"Mr. Trump as a golfer is like the villain in a comedy movie about golf. For “Caddyshack” fans, Mr. Trump is like if Judge Smails had a baby with Rodney Dangerfield and the baby grew to be a man’s size and yelled its net worth from his yacht at unsuspecting dolphins."
From: Trump Makes Golf Look Bad
While Americans focus on Trump's recent Tweetstorm, Dan Coats tells allies to ignore his Tweets. Comments on Daily Kos
Feb. 17, 2018
Hal Brown, in Daily Kos
Feb. 16, 2018
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Mueller plus Melania divorce: Russia and #METOO could bring down Trump presidency.
Feb. 15, 2018
Unlike videos of people speaking at conferences, this video was professionally done in a studio. It is a fast moving 15 minutes if you want a refresher.
Another hard to find article:
|THE NATION'S COMFORTER IN THE |
AFTERMATH OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE
The leader of the Republic of Florida, a white nationalist militia, told reporters the suspect participated in the group’s drills.
Tom Steyer's panel sounds the alarm. Another warning about Trump's dangerous mental state. By Hal Brown Read comments on Daily Kos
Newsweek: MUELLER INVESTIGATION IS PRESSURING TRUMP TOWARD ‘PUSHING THE NUCLEAR BUTTON,’ MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT SAYSThe Week: A VERY STABLE GENIUS Mental health professionals argue Trump's mind is grounds for impeachmentAlertnet today: The Terrifying Danger of Trump’s Deteriorating Mental Health
Feb. 14, 2018
A Valentines Day Gift:
Batshit Crazy News: Third White House official quits because he can't get permanent clearance. Why? He admitted to smoking marijuana in 2013.
A former CIA analyst who also previously worked at the State Department and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Banks emerged last year as the administration’s lead policy expert on the Paris climate change agreement, and he played a key behind-the-scenes role in the months-long internal debate over whether to remain in the pact.
A former Obama administration official who worked on personnel and vetting issues said the Obama White House usually only denied clearances when there was both past drug use and a lack of full disclosure.Breaking News about the abuser-in-chief: A manager for the adult film actress known as Stormy Daniels told The Associated Press today that Daniels believes Trump’s lawyer invalidated a non-disclosure agreement by publicly discussing the payment. The actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, will discuss her alleged 20006 extramarital affair with Trump.
"Naked Russian women SUPPORT sex pest producer Harvey Weinstein in bizarre demonstration. The sickening scene was filmed near the US embassy in Moscow." One of the performers in this event also participated in an intervention at Navalsky's campaign headquarters and was also the author of a book describing deal-making between an oligarch and a deputy prime minister.
Champagne wishes and caviar dreams…
The Russians may try to kill the internet itself (at least within Russia) to stop a YouTube/Instagram video.
Fortunately the Web doesn’t drink polonium tea, and as the WH tells us, there’s no Russian-Trump collusion; it’s a hoax, don’t you know.
However, this story has been percolating for many months and while its emphasis has been in Russian domestic politics, a new video has taken its #TrumpRussia association to become a social media threat against the Putin regime. CONTINUEDI know Russians read this blog, so this is for them, at least for those who aren’t in their intelligence agencies.
…. I got the idea for my story, also on Daily Kos, today watching Velshi and Ruhle onMSNBC this morning. I usually agree with them. This time I didn’t. Neither did their two guests.
The fish rots from the head down. Velshi and Ruhle get it wrong, Alcindor and Kristol are right. By Hal Brown Comments on Daily KosScroll Down ↓↓↓↓
Feb. 13, 2018 - Below: Netanyahu in legal trouble, Omarosa offers sex to Piers Morgan, Morning Joe and Trump evangelical, Vox story on White House lunacy, Daily Beast on Trump lawyer's possible book.
Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing in both cases. In a Facebook video published last week in response to news of the impending recommendation, the prime minister maintained his innocence and said the investigations would turn up “nothing.”
“Many of you are asking, what will happen? So I want to reassure you: There will be nothing, because I know the truth,” he said, according to a translation of his address. “I’m sure that at the end of the day the qualified legal factors will come to one conclusion, the simple truth: There is nothing.”
In a follow-up statement, also posted to Facebook last week, the prime minister criticized the investigation and claimed “a great shadow” had been “imposed tonight on police investigations in the matter of Prime Minister Netanyahu.”
“Any fair-minded person will ask themselves how people who say such delusional things about the prime minister can investigate him objectively and make recommendations in his case without bias,” he wrote.
The more we learn about the Trump sell-out to Russia the more the word traitor fits. I watched the open hearings today with the heads of our intelligence agencies. They have to know this. I can't imagine what they are thinking about working for this traitor.
This doesn't even have much or anything to do with their knowing he is psychiatrically unbalanced. If they are doing their job they have top mental health professionals - perhaps some we know of and probably others they have on the payroll - explaining the dangerous case of the president.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be on TV for the presser in a few minutes. I keep hoping a reporter will ask her whether Trump considers Putin a friend (or to put it politely) an adversary. I don't expect them to use the word enemy. They should. Putin allied with Trump is far more an enemy of our democracy than Kim Jung Un.
Article: Christian author crashes and burns after Morning Joe challenges him to show evidence of Trump’s ‘spiritual voyage’
Michael Cohen is promising publishers a book that truly ‘understands’ the president and will explore the ‘complexities and nuances of the Trump family.’
The proposal claims Trump Revolution will describe the “complexities and nuances of the Trump family” with chapters on first lady Melania Trump and the Trump children. Cohen also explains away Trump’s erratic tendencies, saying the president is just a wily strategist who pretends to be crazy to create “an incredibly effective smoke machine,” fooling even formerly close allies like ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
“There truly is a method to his madness, to quote that old saw, and people who think otherwise can quickly get buried,” Cohen said. “Steve Bannon comes to mind, but there are plenty of others who are now six-feet under due to this basic miscalculation. I’ll also be talking about this in some detail.”
Feb. 12, 2018
A Reckoning with Women Awaits Trump The New YorkerExcerpt:
My Daily Kos story this morning. Includes hour long video of this incredibly moving ceremony ↓
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Feb. 11, 2018
A rare self-aware insight from Donald Trump. He knows he's a narcissist and thinks it's a good thing.
By Hal Brown
|Actually, he didn't flicker. But he might as well have.|
Feb. 1 - 10, 2018