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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

WATCH: Former CIA Deputy Director Philip Mudd Slams Disgusting Trump Speech


Former CIA Deputy Director Philip Mudd on Tuesday slammed Donald Trump’s “disgusting” speech to CIA officials over the weekend, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, he almost wanted to cry after the president’s self-aggrandizing presentation.

On CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Blitzer asked Mudd to comment on Trump’s speech Saturday, wherein the president focused almost exclusively on his “running war with the media,” and what he perceives as unfair coverage of his inauguration crowd size.
Trump’s speech even drew a rebuke from former CIA Director John Brennan, who said he was “deeply saddened and angered” by Trump’s display.

Tuesday, Mudd echoed Brennan’s sentiment, telling Blitzer, “You almost want to cry, Wolf.”

“I mean there’s a sense of outrage, but there’s also such a sense of sadness,” Mudd added. “Those aren’t stars, Wolf, those are people.”

How Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate


Corporate lobbyists are everywhere in Washington. Of the 100 organizations that spend the most on lobbying, 95 represent business. The largest companies now have upwards of 100 lobbyists representing them. How did American businesses become so invested in politics? And what does all their money buy?

Drawing on extensive data and original interviews with corporate lobbyists, The Business of America is Lobbying provides a fascinating and detailed picture of what corporations do in Washington, why they do it, and why it matters. Prior to the 1970s, very few corporations had Washington offices. But a wave of new government regulations and declining economic conditions mobilized business leaders. Companies developed new political capacities, and managers soon began to see public policy as an opportunity, not just a threat. Ever since, corporate lobbying has become increasingly more pervasive, more proactive, and more particularistic. Lee Drutman argues that lobbyists drove this development, helping managers to see why politics mattered, and how proactive and aggressive engagement could help companies' bottom lines.

All this lobbying doesn't guarantee influence. Politics is a messy and unpredictable bazaar, and it is more competitive than ever. But the growth of lobbying has driven several important changes that make business more powerful. The status quo is harder to dislodge; policy is more complex; and, as Congress increasingly becomes a farm league for K Street, more and more of Washington's policy expertise now resides in the private sector. These and other changes increasingly raise the costs of effective lobbying to a level only businesses can typically afford.

Lively and engaging, rigorous and nuanced, The Business of America is Lobbying will change how we think about lobbying-and how we might reform it.

House Intel Committee will investigate Trump camps Russia ties

Even as six U.S. intelligence agencies are reportedly investigating links between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has announced that it will also investigate Russian collusion, among other things.

BREAKING: House Intel Committee will investigate Trump camp’s Russia ties

Concern is mounting that newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump could interfere with, or escape accountability from, investigations into the Russian cyberattacks that influenced his electoral victory.

But in an encouraging sign, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) issued a joint statement promising a full investigation, no matter where the facts lead. Crucially, that investigation will include, among other things, allegations of collusion:

For many years, one of the House Intelligence Committee’s highest priorities has been to oversee the Intelligence Community’s activities to counter Russian aggression, including the cyber-attacks directed against the United States in the last year.

As part of this oversight responsibility, the Committee has been undertaking a bipartisan inquiry of these activities and the underlying intelligence used to draft the Intelligence Community Assessment, “Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”.

While the Committee has already begun to receive important documents, we trust that the incoming leadership of the Intelligence Community will fully and promptly support our requests for information related to the inquiry. It will not be adequate to review these documents, expected to be in the thousands of pages, at the agencies. They should be delivered to the House Intelligence Committee to provide members adequate time to examine their content.

The statement goes on to note that the scope of the Committee’s inquiry includes: Russian cyber activity and other “active measures” against the United States and other countries; counterintelligence, including any possible links between Russia and “individuals associated with political campaigns” during the election; the response, and the impact thereof, from the U.S. to Russia’s actions; and any potential leaks of “classified information related to the Intelligence Community’s assessments of these matters.”

The statement concludes by stating: “This issue is not about party, but about country. The Committee will continue to follow the facts wherever they may lead.”

Democrats on the committee are limited by their minority status, but the inclusion of the collusion allegations (even with the use of the overly-ambiguous “campaigns”) indicates that if nothing else, the committee could bring to light some of the evidence being gathered by that six-agency task force. Despite its partisan makeup, the House Intel Committee did manage to produce a report on Benghazi which debunked popular myths about those attacks.

We Know The Charlatans Trump Is Relying On For His Dangerous Voter Fraud Lies MediaMatters


In a series of tweets by The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, we learned President Donald Trump was relying on “anecdotes about alleged fraud from sprawling network of friends & associates” to enable his latest temper tantrum about nonexistent voter fraud making him the popular vote loser.

Since the election, Trump has repeatedly claimed that millions of illegal votes swung the popular vote in favor of former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. After Trump reportedly raised the issue in a meeting with congressional leaders earlier this week, claiming three to five million illegal ballots were cast, he announced on Twitter this morning that he would seek a “major investigation” of supposed voter fraud.

We know exactly where Trump’s blatant lie came from, and we know exactly who is in the network of hucksters that supplied it to him.

For the past twelve years, Media Matters has been tracking the nexus between right-wing media and a collection of pseudo-academics and dark money-funded conservative lawyers and activists whose mission has been to roll back decades-old civil rights law, in particular those laws that did so much to help America’s communities of color.

For these far-right activists, voting rights have always been at the top of their target list, and lies about the prevalence of what is in fact virtually non-existent voter fraud has been their ammunition of choice.


Remember when we used to be able to laugh at Kim Jong-un as the funniest nut-job world leader?

DT Says He Will Ask for ‘Major Investigation’ Into Unsubstantiated Allegations of Voter Fraud

MSNBC responds to Trump Lie With Real Time Fact Check Of Claim Millions Voted Illegally

After White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had doubled down on President Trump's claim that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election, MSNBC's Katy Tur provided a real time fact check that debunked the White House's false claim.

After White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had doubled down on President Trump’s claim that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election, MSNBC’s Katy Tur provided a real time fact check that debunked the White House’s false claim.

Video of Spicer doubling down on Trump’s voter fraud claims:

(go to article for video)

Spicer said, “I think there’s been studies that came from Pew in 2008 that showed fourteen percent of people who voted were not citizens. There are other studies that have been presented to him. It’s a belief he maintains…The President does believe that, I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him.”

[blockquote style="border:1px solid #000000;padding:10px;"]Katy Tur of MSNBC real time fact checked Spicer:

Here's @KatyTurNBC with an instant fact-check after Spicer said Trump believes millions voted illegally “based on studies and evidence” pic.twitter.com/Eb10dxtmqd

— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 24, 2017

Tur said, “We want to do a little bit of fact checking on that statement because the White House now is referring to the same research that the campaign referred to, and the transition had referred to. One was a Washington Post commissioned study which The Washington Post itself debunked, and the other one was a Pew study from 2012, which is actually from 2008, which said that approximately 24 million. One in every eight people are on voter registrations in the United States that no longer valid, and they are significantly inaccurate. Listing people who had died in the past, obviously, on the voters. It doesn’t mention anything about undocumented immigrants, so their basis of evidence isn’t quite correct at all.”


DT gets away with outrageous lies & contradictions because mainstream media & the public let him

This article is from May 16, but Trump's font of lies still continues. This article is a good one to be passed around on the web. Given M$M's participation in the bedlam raised over the GOP's Big Lie that Clinton lied when she said none of her emails were marked classified, their nonchalance of the torrent of lies Trump ejaculates endlessly deserves some attention....

Why Trump Can Lie and No One Seems to Care

Donald Trump is a serial liar. Okay, to be a bit less Trumpian about it, he has trouble with the truth. If you look at Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning site that examines candidates’ pronouncements for accuracy, 76 percent of Trump’s statements are rated either “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire,” which is to say off-the-charts false. By comparison, Hillary Clinton’s total is 29 percent.

But if Trump doesn’t cotton much to the truth, he doesn’t seem to cotton much to his own ideas, either. He waffles, flip-flops and obfuscates, sometimes changing positions from one press appearance to the next, as Peter Alexander reported on NBC Nightly News this past Monday — a rare television news critique of Trump.

I say “rare” because most of the time, as Glenn Kessler noted in The Washington Post this week, MSM — the mainstream media — just sit back and let Trump unleash his whoppers without any pushback, even as they criticize his manners and attitude.

In an ordinary political season, perhaps Trump would be under fire for his habitual untruths, like the one that Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved with Lee Harvey Oswald. This time around, though, neither the media nor the public — least of all his supporters — seem to care. Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that these days, as far as our political discourse goes, truth, logic, reason and consistency don’t seem to count for very much.

The question is why.


Lots of people are wondering if Trump can pardon himself

[font size="+1"]President Donald Trump is already in danger of impeachment due to his violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, but more serious trouble could be in store given the multiple investigations into collusion between Trump's associates and the Russians. In this unprecedented climate, many are wondering if Trump will have the power to pardon himself.[/font]


Given the net that is closing in on Russia’s involvement in electing now-President Donald Trump, and possible collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government, it is natural that people might be curious if the presidential pardon power could be used to self-pardon.


According to Google Trends, searches for the term “pardon” spiked to 100 on a scale of 1-100 on January 18, just before Trump’s inauguration, but also just after President Obama’s last round of presidential pardons. However, the term “Trump pardon” spiked to 80 on Inauguration Day.

The answers are yes, a fish can drown, and yes, a president probably can pardon himself — with one major caveat. Here is what the U.S. Constitution says about the pardon power (emphasis mine):

" SECTION 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

There is nothing in the Constitution to prevent Trump from pardoning himself, although he cannot shield himself from impeachment. The expansiveness of Trump’s ability to self-pardon is vast, if then-President Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon is any indication. Ford’s pardon was not specific to a particular accusation, but covered the entirety of Nixon’s presidency:

“ Now, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.


White House press corps fails at calling out Press Secretary Sean Spicers lies

[font size="+1"]After his performance over the weekend, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's first full briefing on the job was an important test for the White House press corps — a test that they largely failed.[/font]


Lost amid the absurdity of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s lies at Saturday’s briefing and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s Orwellian attempts to re-brand those lies as “alternative facts” was the fact that both Spicer and Conway explicitly threatened the press’ access if they continued to call them out.

At Spicer’s first full briefing Monday afternoon, the media had the chance to answer those threats and to prove that they would not be intimidated by the Trump administration. But they failed that test miserably.

It took twenty minutes before anyone bothered to even bring up the utterly false claims. When ABC News’ Jon Karl asked Spicer if he intended to tell the truth from the podium, Spicer answered in the affirmative, promised to correct “mistakes” when he makes them, and noted that “there are many mistakes that the media make all the time.”

Then, Karl zeroed in on Spicer’s specific claims, and was met with another stream of lies:

click to see video: http://shareblue.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2_001.mp4?_=1


Ethics watchdog files lawsuit against Trump over foreign business dealings

On Friday, Shareblue reported on the countdown to impeachment due to Donald Trump’s violation of the Constitution on Day One of his presidency. And as of this morning, the countdown reached zero, as ethics lawyers have filed a lawsuit against Trump over his financial entanglements with foreign business interests.


As the inauguration ceremonies were underway on Friday, I detailed the compelling case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump as of the moment he took the oath of office. Because of his vast foreign dealings, holdings, and entanglements, and his refusal to adequately divest or separate himself from his businesses and assets before assuming the office of the presidency, he has set the stage for his own downfall, due to the constitutional violations created by these widespread conflicts of interest.

And as of 9:00 a.m. Monday morning, theory has become reality: A stellar team of some of the country’s leading constitutional law scholars and practitioners have come together to represent Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) in a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York. CREW initiated the suit, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. Donald J. Trump, to halt the president’s serious violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution created by the illegal payments he receives from foreign governments.

Laurence H. Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, and a member of the legal team behind the lawsuit, remarked:

“I am enormously proud to be filing this lawsuit to stop President Trump from putting his continuing pursuit of personal wealth, and his willingness to serve the foreign interests that feed that wealth, ahead of the interests and needs of American citizens and watchdog organizations like CREW. It is already clear that nothing short of judicial force will end Trump’s flagrant disregard of the core barrier the Constitution’s Framers erected against presidential decisions driven by personal greed or by loyalty purchased from the President by the patronage of foreign powers.

The factual and legal basis for this action is not frivolous. The risk to the nation from the president’s foreign dealings may not have been sufficient to dissuade his supporters from electing him, but the Constitution provides a firewall to ensure that no American, not even the president, is above the law. As presented in the complaint from this new legal action:

“Never before have the people of the United States elected a President with business interests as vast, complicated, and secret as those of Donald J. Trump. Now that he has been sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States, those business interests are creating countless conflicts of interest, as well as unprecedented influence by foreign governments, and have resulted and will further result in numerous violations of Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, the ‘Foreign Emoluments Clause.’

These violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause pose a grave threat to the United States and its citizens. As the Framers were aware, private financial interests can subtly sway even the most virtuous leaders, and entanglements between American officials and foreign powers could pose a creeping, insidious threat to the Republic. The Foreign Emoluments Clause was forged of the Framers’ hard-won wisdom. It is no relic of a bygone era, but rather an expression of insight into the nature of the human condition and the preconditions of self- governance. And applied to Donald J. Trump’s diverse dealings, the text and purpose of the Foreign Emoluments Clause speak as one: this cannot be allowed.

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