Trump Team Russian Connections

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UPDATE Mar 3 2017.  Washington Post lists the Trump people in the Russia web.

So many of Trump’s close inner circle of advisers and appointees have close ties with Russia, have met with Russian operatives and/or ambassador, or have lucrative business deals with Russian oligarchs, real estate or Rosnift (the Russian state owned oil company) that it’s becoming complex to keep score.  Below is an informal list, with very brief descriptions of each player.  (Strike-throughs indicate that this person has already resigned or been removed from their position.)  This list is expected to get longer as more information is revealed about the Trump camp.

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Why Putin Wanted to Elect Trump

Hidden beneath all the chaos of the first three weeks of the Trump administration — the  questionably legal Executive Orders, the inept wording and rollout of the Muslim ban, the tweet ravings against actors and department stores, the insults against our intelligence community and our allies, the provocation of China, the assault on our environment,  and the laughable outright lies uttered by spokespeople — there continues the quietly rowing scandal of the Trump team’s close ties with Russia.

We can presently recognize several reasons why Putin wanted Trump as US President, but since the Director of the CIA has been replaced with a Trump loyalist, the investigation has probably officially been stopped and silenced.   However, many in the intelligence community do not trust the Trump administration because of their many ties to Russia,  and these agencies are providing the United States media information via internal leaks which may help us save democracy.  

17 different intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia manipulated our election to place Trump in the White House.  But why?

Our first rule always applies: Follow The Money.

But let’s dig deeper…initially, there appear to be three reasons: Territory, Oil Money & Sanctions, and Influence over & Disruption of the United States.

So for now, lets start by taking a brief look at the backstory of the USSR and it’s empire.

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Trump Now Needs An Attack On US Soil

Donald Trump, a man who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 MILLION voters and yet has been installed in the White House, is a very unpopular person, both in the United States and world-wide.  There are huge protests at his radical executive orders,  massive resistance to his fringe far-right ideology, and challenges to his lies and policies in the public and in the courts.  This man is desperate to “win” rather than govern.  And he needs something to help him “win”.

Donald Trump needs a distraction, a way to unite people behind him, and a way to consolidate his power.  Donald Trump and the GOP NEED a terrorist attack on the United States.

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Increasingly, more people are echoing the fear that this administration will orchestrate ( or allow) some type of “terrorist attack”.  We all certainly hope one does not happen; innocent people should not pay the ultimate price in an authoritarian regime’s grab for power.   There are known steps usually taken by authoritarian and fascist regimes to maximize their control in  any “event.”  So before such an event happens, we need to communicate these to as many people as we can:

  • Be ready for the administration to call for arrest or internment of  certain people.
  • Be aware of manipulation. Don’t fall for their political theater and hyper-patriotic rhetoric.
  • Do your best to think critically and rationally. They’ll be counting on people to be frightened and angry.
  • We’re going to need to stand together in unity.  The administration will try to divide us and turn us against one another.  Don’t let them.  We’ll need to be skeptical, caring, and level headed… and #Resist the power grab that would follow such an attack.

What benefit would this administration get from an attack?

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The History Behind the 2016 Coup

Sometimes it’s challenging to decide where to start with a Backstory.  History’s threads weave through a lot of current events.  But the coup of November 2016 has a somewhat clear place to start.  Let’s look at a bit of history for the backstory.

In 1933, wealthy right-wing  corporatists conspired to execute a coup and oust FDR, disliking his New Deal policies of helping the poor, ending child labor – and his decision to stop using the US Military to support oppressive corporations like United Fruit in the third world.

Their goal was to emulate the corporate fascism of Hitler and Mussolini that was happening in Europe at that time, instead of what was shaping up to become a liberal democracy.

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General Smedley Butler

They approached Marine General Smedley Butler, the most highly respected Military officer in the US at the time,  for assistance — but they guessed wrong.  He remained loyal and gathered details, then, reported the treasonous conspirators.  The attempted coup, now often called The Wall Street Putsch,  failed.  There were some hearings, but, the House was reluctant to investigate such wealthy pillars of society.  In fact, being wealthy, the plotters were not held to account. (If you do a search for “FDR coup Gen Smedly Butler”online, you’ll find a large amount of information.) For the most factual read,  Here are transcripts of General Butler’s testimony and later interviews giving tons of detail.

Next time, a more subtle plot had to be devised.

Wealthy corporatists  came up with a devious plan, slowly building their control over government over several decades through electing conservative Republicans and “Blue Dog” Democrats. More

Fact-Checking BS Emails

It’s that time again!  The presidential election brings the crazies out of their basements and think-tanks to compete in the “BS Email & Social Media Follies”.

Lots of people have asked me how to go about fact-checking, so let’s discuss it here.

First, let’s take a look at fact-checking, and a few tips on how to spot a BS email or post.

How To Spot a BS Email or Post

  • A BS Email claims to be factual, rather than opinion.  And it is full of fake “facts”, quotes, and lots of hyperbole.  A false message often contains a tiny grain of truth.  This is done to give “cover” or deniability to the liar, and it also gives lazy readers a false sense that the entire message must be true.  Let’s not be lazy readers, my friends!  If something is just too “on the nose”, or fits a political narrative a bit too exactly, don’t forward or re-post it until you’ve checked it out.
  • If a quote seems out of character for the person to whom it was attributed, check it.
  • Always suspect emails with giant font, a lot of exclamation points and ALL CAPS!!!!!!!!!  (If you can imagine someone hysterically yelling the message, definitely check it.)
  • If the post or email quotes a known propagandist or propaganda organization, be suspicious.  (There are some individuals who have made a very good living twisting words, telling outright lies, and especially, selling hate and fear of “the other”.  They often refer to themselves as “real Americans” and other people as outsiders.  Always fact-check anything these people say.)

There are several types of people who contribute to a “successful” BS email or social media meme:

  1. The despicable people who knowingly create these emails and posts, and who don’t care that remembernews82_nthey’re terrifying our elderly and uneducated, since their goal is to gain votes through deceitful manipulation.
  2. The above mentioned elderly, who came from a time when creating a fake TV “news” station or building a website based on false “information” would be considered shameful. Yes, there was a time when a reporter strove for honesty and tried to be impartial. After all, the airwaves belong to the U.S. citizens, and a person using these airwaves had an ethical obligation to help educate and enlighten citizens, not outright manipulate them.   Sorry, that time is long gone. (You cannot blindly believe what you see on television or read in an email or see on a website.)
  3. The uneducated, who do believe what they read or see without fact-checking.
  4. All of the above people, who forward BS emails to vast numbers of people, continuing the cycle of dumbing-down the country.

A great example: Today an email came forwarded to me printed in GIANT BOLD COLORED FONT and of course, lots of exclamation points!!!!!!: the better to scare you with, my dear. More

Bernie says Hillary on worst day better than any GOP on best – The Supreme Court

BirdieSandersAnyone who’s read this blog for any amount of time knows that I’m an enthusiastic Bernie supporter.

Bernie — plus a HUUUGE  turn-out for Progressives in the Senate and House  — could mean a GREAT change for the citizens of this country:

 

  • Imagine an economy designed to actually serve the citizens instead of only the elite.
  • Imagine FDR’s Second Bill of Rights becoming reality.
  • Imagine getting money out of politics and having an actual democracy.
  • Imagine the end of “too big to fail”, breaking up the big banks, and ending monopolies — especially that of our of our media institutions, so that the citizenry could have a chance to hear diverse opinions and values.
  • Imagine single payer health care, freeing us all from the profiteering insurance, medical and pharmacy complexes.
  • Imagine restoring our infrastructure, with the federal government creating good jobs as the CCC and other government programs that lifted our citizenry out of poverty in the 1930s.
  • Imagine our country getting very serious about cleaning up our environment, tackling it like we did the race to land on the moon back in the 1960s.
  • Imagine our taxes actually being spent on making ALL our lives better, creating more EQUALITY and SERVICES for ALL — instead of subsidizing multinational corporations, polluting corporations, Big-AG, and “defense” contractors.
  • Imagine restoring the tax rate on the wealthy plutocrat/polluter class to what it was during Eisenhower, when the US economy created the biggest middle-class in history: with unions insuring good wages, good benefits, vacation and retirement for the workers who actually built this country.

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Democratic Socialism and Un-Democratic US Oligarchs

Let’s talk a little bit about Democratic Socialism, such as found in Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Who doesn’t want a society that is based upon equality?

Who doesn’t want a society where each member is well educated and healthy?

Why do you think Democratic Socialist societies are alway — always– listed in the top Happiest Countries on Earth?  Every Year.

It is because the taxes they collectively pay are used to provide each member of their society with high quality health care, high quality education, and social services. More

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