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Koinos

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Member since: Fri Apr 17, 2015, 08:43 AM
Number of posts: 2,789

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Martin O'Malley: "Letters from Boston: Change is Inevitable"

After receiving this statement by O'Malley in my email, I felt the need to pass it on:

There were many Americans who voted for Donald Trump hoping, thinking, choosing to believe that he didn’t mean all of the more “extreme things” he was saying.

Certainly you heard it from some of your own friends in the run-up to the election: “He’s just saying that to get his Party’s nomination” or, “he’s an entertainer, the other branches of government wouldn’t let him ever do those things” or, my favorite (I actually heard this from a group of seemingly well-informed women on a commuter train) “it’s not like he could actually push ‘the button’ unless the military agreed….right?”

Right?

The first 30 days of the Trump Administration have clearly evidenced an intent to establish an authoritarian regime in the United States of America.

It is a presidency that defies any historical precedent. But it is something about which many of the Founding Fathers warned; including Alexander Hamilton.

It was Hamilton who warned in Federalist #68 that the day would come when the people would elect a despot. A despot who would enjoy, for a while, a far greater degree of popular support than he deserved.

The time has come, and that day is now.

Hamilton’s advice: “withstand.” Not the contemporary catchiness of “resist” or “rise up,” but the point is the same.

The last 30 days of watching Donald Trump’s performance in our Presidential Office has been — for many, not all — like watching someone desecrate the altar of our own house of worship.

His mastermind strategist — and now top advisor on national security — that white-supremacist-with-an-Irish-surname, Stephen Bannon, told a conservative gathering outside Washington: “the deconstruction of the ‘administrative state’ has begun.”

Note well: by ‘administrative state’ he means your federal government and the Constitution which We, the People, established to protect our freedoms and our children’s safer, better future (not that Bannon’s people were actually here when Hamilton et al. established it but hey — we’re all Americans now…)

Setting aside the raft of circumstantial evidence pointing to criminal campaign collusion with the Russian government, let’s just review three of the topline bottles of democracy poison that Mr. Trump has pulled so far from his “made in Croatia” liquor cabinet.

#1. The immigrant round-up has begun, and the stocks of the for-profit prison industry are soaring.

America already maintains the largest network of for-profit immigrant internment camps in the free world. And now, they are about to get bigger. “A military operation” is what our new commander-in-chief — whose sons, father, grandfathers, and himself never served in the military — calls it.
Photo by U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar

According to news reports (real news, not fake news) a church in Los Angeles is encouraging its members to construct secret apartments in their homes to hide immigrant families so they won’t be dragged away in the night, broken up, or deported back to the hands of drug gangs.

Fair play to a church who lives the gospel in times of political crisis. Perhaps the Pope in Rome can send testicular implants to the American Bishops of my own Catholic faith and then they’ll encourage all of us to do the same. It’d be a great way to teach the kids about Anne Frank, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Bishop Romero.

#2. The Muslim travel ban. Now some of us might be thinking, “all those places sound foreign and scary, so if it keeps one terrorist out, go for it.”

But here is the problem: as Americans, we pride ourselves on the freedom to come and go as we please wherever we please, at home or abroad.

You can say it’s just Muslims today, but history has taught us that if we don’t speak up, it will be other groups tomorrow — until they get to us.

Despots and authoritarian regimes close borders, limit travel, and build walls. See East Berlin, Russia, and Communist China.

Free people build bridges and understanding.

The ideals of the America Revolution are universal; and they travel as our people travel — including our Muslim American people. For the sake of our nation’s security, we better hope those ideals travel back and forth to Muslim countries.

When Mr. Trump asked the Department of Homeland Security for a memo to justify his ban on select Muslim countries, they told him there was no security rationale.

Good for them. Perhaps honest and patriotic civil servants will save our Republic.

# 3. The Free Press. Golly, it’s hard to pick between the undermining of judicial authority and the crackdown on our free press.

Every time I start to write about the crackdown on the free press, I think of what a tabloid entertainment disaster our press has made of our national politics. I think of how they lifted up Trump because he was good for ratings. I think about what a charade they made of our presidential primary debates. How gleefully they continue to kick aside any notion of equal time or fairness.

But Mr. Trump in month one has decided that the New York Times and CNN are fake news that must be denied access to White House press briefings.

It’s not his White House. It is ours. We make the rules in our House not him. And the rules in our House are called the Constitution — with all of its amendments — including the first one.

Thomas Jefferson said it best: “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
Photo: NBC7 in Coronado Beach, CA

So, God love our very fallible free press, this is their moment for redemption. And without them, the judiciary doesn’t have a chance. If the press doesn’t protect the power of judicial review, printing Batman signs on those black robes won’t save them either.

So, national press corps one and all — even cable — rise up!

This guy is a menace to the Republic. Take him down just like you built him up.

The only silver lining at the start of this authoritarian regime is that it holds every promise of not lasting very long.

Finally, to those of you in the various intelligence services of our nation — CIA, FBI, NSA — thank you for your service to our country. The only reason I did not mention his despicable treatment of you directly is that I know you can take care of yourselves.

Better days are coming, America.

Hold strong.

Resist.

Rise Up.

And “withstand.”

- Martin O’Malley


https://medium.com/@MartinOMalley/letters-from-boston-change-is-inevitable-691fd03e588c#.815yoqv98

FBI’s Comey has a history as a political and corporate fixer (from Marketwatch)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fbis-comey-has-a-sinister-history-as-a-political-and-corporate-fixer-2016-11-02

Comey is no Eliot Ness, and he’s not your father’s G-Man. He is a long-standing Washington hack who has pocketed millions from federal contractors, a powerful hedge fund and a shady bank with a record of international money laundering. Yes, really. He has a career of trading “access” for money, and he is a donor to Republican political campaigns.


Comey was first appointed to the Justice Department by the Bush-Cheney administration. After they had launched the second Iraq war and committed billions to it, he was hired as consigliere and chief fixer by defense giant Lockheed Martin LMT, -2.62% . (Oh, and Lockheed has now deleted the web page announcing the appointment. How cute. Alas for them, the page has been archived.)


For most of those years, Lockheed — and Comey — successfully hid how much he earned. But in 2009, due to some oversight, they had to disclose it in a public filing. His pay for that year alone? Try $6.1 million. No, really. (Check out the table on Page 48 of the stockholder proxy statement, right here.) Further details showed that, by then, this fixer had also accumulated at least $11 million in free stock — in addition to the outsized salaries and bonuses he’d earned along the way.


Three times Comey has publicly intervened in the election in a manner most likely to help Donald Trump. It’s not even ambiguous.

Happy to say we voted early in Maryland today!

It was raining, but very, very crowded. Maryland does it right!

It felt so good to vote for Hillary and Tim!

Maryland early voting takes place from October 27 through November 3 (including Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30) from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

It feels good to put two more nails in the Trump and Republican coffins.

Daily Kos: "October Surprises: Trump's Child Sex Trafficking is Finally Becoming a Major Story"

Must read article about Trump's sex and drug parties. It is based on the account in the Daily Beast, but has added commentary:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/10/25/1586568/-Daily-Beast-Inside-Donald-Trump-s-One-Stop-Parties-Attendees-Recall-Cocaine-and-Very-Young-Models

Help for flood victims in Louisiana -- email from Martin O'Malley:

Martin O'Malley - O'Say Can You See PAC

Friend,

11 years ago, our neighbors in Louisiana were struck by Hurricane Katrina, a calamity that devastated New Orleans and Louisiana. This past week, torrential rainfall has caused historic flooding so great that people are calling it the worst American disaster since Hurricane Sandy.

11 years ago, the people of Baltimore opened up their hearts to those in need. We sent two buses of the Baltimore Fire Department crew, computers, a full kitchen, and more – because Americans are stronger together.

Today, as I did 11 years ago, I’m asking you to join me in sending aid and relief to our neighbors in Louisiana to help them recover and rebuild what has been lost in this tragedy. Here are three great organizations that have been at the nexus of providing real relief over the past week: Project 70805, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and Volunteer Louisiana.

At last count, the flood has killed 13 people and damaged at least 60,000 homes across 20 parishes. An estimated $30 million will be needed to fund recovery efforts.

This is a critical moment to make a difference. Consider donating to Project 70805, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, or Volunteer Louisiana. You can also learn more about what you can do to help.

Thank you for your kindness and friendship,

Martin

The New Yorker: "Trump and Putin: A Love Story"

"Trump and Putin: A Love Story: The attraction is mutual, but history shows who’s really using whom."

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-and-putin-a-love-story

This is an excellent account of Putin's rise to power, his desire to restore the influence and power of the Soviet Union, his opposition to the policies of the Clintons and President Obama, and the advantage he sees in Trump's being elected president.

About Putin's ambitions for spreading Russian influence:

It is safe to say that, on a strictly intellectual level, Donald Trump understands little of this. In recent weeks, he has made it plain that he is ignorant of the basics of contemporary Russian and geostrategic reality. He has declared NATO “obsolete” and has suggested that he might do away with Article 5, which promises that an attack on one member state is an attack on all. He makes the threat not because he is interested in reassessing anything as complex as global-security strategy but, rather, because not every member state is forking over its dues.


On Trump's and his associates' economic ties with Russia:

Some analysts have said that Trump’s affection for Putin is based mainly on his own, and his circle’s, economic interests. Paul Manafort, his campaign manager, profited immensely as an adviser to Viktor Yanukovich, the pro-Russian (and now deposed) leader of Ukraine. (Manafort has also worked as a lobbyist for other dictators, including Mobutu Sese Seko, of Zaire, and Ferdinand Marcos, of the Philippines.) Carter Page, one of Trump’s foreign-policy advisers, has longstanding ties to Gazprom, a pillar of Russia’s energy industry. Donald Trump, Jr., has made it plain that the family has pursued opportunities in Russia for decades. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” he said, in a speech in 2008 to a real-estate conference, according to the Washington Post. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” The public would have a more detailed sense of this if Trump were ever to release his tax returns.


Putin sees Trump as a useful idiot:

Vladimir Putin is a cunning and cynical reader of his adversaries. He notices that Trump does not know the difference between the Quds Force and the Kurds, or what the “nuclear triad” is; that his analysis of Brexit was based in part on what might be good for his golf courses in Britain; that his knowledge of world affairs is roughly that of someone who subscribes to a daily newspaper but doesn’t always have time to get to it. Overwhelmed with his own problems at home, Putin sees the ready benefit in having the United States led by an unlettered narcissist who believes that geostrategic questions are as easy to resolve as a real-estate closing. Putin knows a chump when he sees one.


A long article, but well worth the read. Another reason why it is dangerous to elect a moron as president.

Donald's craziness is diverting attention from his ties to Russia.

DailyKos: "Donald Trump may be acting crazy, but it's keeping the news away from the one story he wants to bury"

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/8/3/1555927/-Donald-Trump-may-be-acting-crazy-but-it-s-keeping-the-news-away-from-the-one-story-he-wants-to-bury#read-more

Why would Trump be so concerned to change one plank in the Republican platform?

He might not. But Paul Manafort would. Trump’s campaign manager worked long and hard for pro-Russian forces inside the Ukraine that were trying to destroy the pro-western government....

In doing this work, Manafort has been working directly against the interests of the United States. And directly for the interests of Vladimir Putin.

And he may still be on the payroll.


This is an excellent summary of ties between Trump's campaign and Russia. The article is long, but well worth the read. In my opinion, this story has got to be kept in the public view during this campaign. Manafort's efforts directly conflict with past and current US policy toward Russia; and a sizeable majority of both Republicans and Democrats are opposed to Trump's boosting of Putin, advocating parting ways with NATO, and handing Crimea to Russia.

New York Times Editorial: "Mr. Trump and Spineless Republicans"

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/opinion/mr-trump-and-spineless-republicans.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

"How Paul Manafort Wielded Power in Ukraine Before Advising Donald Trump"

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/01/us/paul-manafort-ukraine-donald-trump.html?ref=politics&_r=2

This link (with excerpts and additional information) was originally posted by StrictlyRockers in "Latest Breaking News," but it was subsequently locked for having been posted in the wrong forum. The New York Times article details an ongoing involvement of Paul Manafort in the turmoil in the Ukraine. The story of Manafort's association with Putin and Yanukovych resembles a James Bond thriller. It boggles my mind that Republicans attempted to derail Hillary's campaign with bogus Benghazi investigations, while they ignore Manafort's association with Putin and Yanukovych and the Ukranian conflict. I find it hard to believe that any candidate for the presidency of the United States could survive a revelation of this magnitude. It appears that Manafort has tried to put lipstick on an authoritarian pig more than once.

Many thanks to StrictlyRockers for fetching this article. The locked thread (with excerpts from the article, as well as additional information) can be found here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141539138.

Harry Reid: How Can Intel Community Give Trump Classified Briefings Now?

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/harry-reid-trump-classified-briefings-putin

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was left flabbergasted by the prospect of giving Donald Trump classified briefings on the campaign trail after the nominee's comments about Russian hackers.

“How would the CIA and the other intelligence agencies brief this guy? How could they do that? I would suggest to the intelligence agencies, if you’re forced to brief this guy, don’t tell him anything, just fake it, because this man is dangerous,” Reid said in a Wednesday interview with The Huffington Post. “Fake it, pretend you’re doing a briefing, but you can’t give the guy any information.”
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