The Trumpster has a problem with certain words, their meaning, their nuance., even their delivery. In many cases, the man uses words as targeted weapons. Fake News is one of the earliest phrases that has been repeated endlessly, the shot heard round the world. The intended target? Our free press, of course.
The Word of the Day? Dreamers.
The Donald dislikes the word Dreamers applied to immigrants who were temporarily protected (until recently) under the 2012 DACA program. When I first heard The Donald whine about the word, I thought he might be angered by his own ignorance. Whats all this Dreamers stuff, anyway?
But now its obvious the mans been clued in at least to the assignment of the word, an acronym for the initial DREAM legislation in 2001 (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act). Which unfortunately has supplied him with another weapon.
VOX pulled out the clip from the Trumpsters speech last night:
Tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties Democrats and Republicans to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.
Because Americans are dreamers, too.
This is snake oil, the toxic brew that deliberately drives wedges between people. This isnt a dog whistle; this is a God damn Trumpet blare. The essence is this:
Folks, we cant have undocumented immigrants using the word Dreamers because its stealing the word from Real Americans. In the same way immigrants steal jobs and healthcare and welfare benefits, snatching money right out of the pockets of decent, hardworking citizens. And now theyre stealing our words? No siree, we cant have that! Not here in River City.
Dara Lind at VOX believes this is akin to the Black Lives Matter/All Lives Matter controversy, a deliberate attempt to dilute the original BLM message. Which spills over to NFL players kneeling, then claiming the act is unpatriotic, dismissive of our soldiers. Again, diluting/distorting the intended message.
This sort of thing isnt an accident; its intentional. In his rebuttal last night Joe Kennedy spoke about the Administration pitting Americans against Americans:
They are turning American life into a zero-sum game. Where for one to win, another must lose. Where we can guarantee America's safety, if we slash our safety net. Where we can extend health care in Mississippi, if we gut it in Massachusetts. We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them on families tomorrow.
Where we can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice Dreamers. We are bombarded with one false choice after another. Coal miners or single moms, rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland.
As if the mechanic in Pittsburgh, a teacher in Tulsa, and a day care worker in Birmingham are bitter rivals, rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged towards those at the top.
Words matter. When Trump and his minions distort the language, we need to call them out. We know who the Dreamers are, what they represent. There is no threat to America, beyond the resident in the WH.
For those opting out of the Trumpsters State of the Union Address this evening, I have a suggestion for an interesting read written by Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare. Wittes is the Papa of the Baby Cannon meme, the Tick-Tock and Boom series on twitter during last years on-going Mueller updates. Hes pretty much put that away from what I can tell. Sadly, Sean Hannity took over a similar tick-tock formula, not nearly as entertaining.
In any case, Wittes has written a number of thoughtful pieces and the link below will link an essay from yesterday. The piece is particularly pertinent as the country awaits the next round of spectacular boasts and chest-beating from the Emperor Who Proudly Wears No Clothes.
Wittes manages to tie together the craziness of yesterdays news cycle and remind us of the Big Lie philosophy, how Big Lie politics have a wretched, destructive history. In todays context, the Trumpsters are attemptingand on some levels succeedingto cast the US Justice Department and our own law enforcement and intelligence agencies as Enemies of the State while giving Russia, Vladimir Putin and his merry band of criminal oligarchs a pass. The Trumpster has spent a year discrediting and demeaning the press, journalists, anything and anyone not willing to genuflect and kiss his ring.
Its what an Emperor expects, clothes or not.
The term Fake News is now a well-known catch-all phrase. Here and around the world. So Im sure The Donald figures what worked in one arena will surely work in another.
Wittes focuses on Rod Rosenstein who Wittes has criticized in the past, made clear is an imperfect vessel (arent we all) but is at the momentThe Man standing between us and the next upheaval. The next disruption could be a direct, unapologetic attack on our independent law and justice departments. American presidents neither control nor are they permitted to use American institutions for their personal gain or political vendettas. Thats the stuff of Banana Republics or the realm of autocrats and demagogues throughout history.
The poignant question rests in the title and in Wittes text::
What Still Stands Against the Big Lie?
For the purposes of a conclusion, Ill edit this to: Who or What Still Stands Against the Big Lie?
At the moment the what = the Rule of Law, the who = Rod Rosenstein. Regardless of how things shake out, The Rule of Law will always be the guiding principle. However, the who could easily changefired, dismissed, forced from office, stumble from one public official to another. And if that happens, then the who = Us.
Though overshadowed by Hair on Fire articlesthe truly big story over the weekend was the article on the Dutch infiltration of Cozy Bear hackers in 2015-2016, which included real time evidence of the hacks how-and-where, as well as visual confirmation of the hackers and handlers involved.
Pretty much blows the Trumpsters denial of Russian interference into the 2016 elections into the Deep Blue Sea.
This morning, I read that several Dutch institutions were attacked, including large banks and their Department of Taxation. I originally read this on a tweet thread but then failed to find it mentioned anywhere else until digging around, finding a Politico & Reuters report.
You would think that after the Cozy Bear reveal that the coincidence of a cyberattack on the Dutch would be vaguely newsworthy. Though the identity of the hackers are as yet unknown, the servers from which the attack came were inside Russia.
Just another strange coinky-dink, Im sure.
In an earlier thread there was mention of a strange phenomenon to Trump reporting. Mainly, that anytime a Trumpster bad news story is revealed, a corresponding lets savage Hillary Clinton piece pops up.
I might go so far as saying a frigging pattern in coverage of all things Trumpy and Hillary Clinton savaging has emerged and has been increasingly obvious for some time. As in the last two years. Presumably, the redux NYTs story on Trumps desire to fire Mueller wasnt enough to thoroughly distract the public, so a Clinton story was clearly needed.
This morning our good woman Ruth Marcus at WAPO provided a flourish, claiming that the ten-year old story on Hillary Clinton made Ruth's head EXPLODE and by implication should do the same for everyone else. This is in addition to what the cable news shows were pumping yesterday, many of them leading with this 'explosive' story. On MSNBC, btw.
Marcus couches her indictment of Hillary Clinton with this:
"Look, I believe that not every bad act deserves the death penalty, and without more details, its hard to judge what the consequences should have been here."
But then, Miss Ruth proceeds with a guillotine treatment of the 2008 campaign's reaction to the man in question and HRC's reaction to the story now. The word dismayed is put through the ringer--so lame, so uninvolved, so clearly guilty of not really, really caring.
Off with Hillary's head!!
Not the head of the man in question for whom we will admit may not deserve the death penalty but the head of Clinton because she should have known better, been better and is required to be better in all things.
Meanwhile, the real story of the day, the week, the month is that the Trumpster, the imposter sitting in the WH, has been completely and utterly compromised by the story about Dutch intelligence hacking into the Russian spy network. The Dutch caught the Russians red-handed, specifically the Cozy Bear operation breaking into our cyber-infrastructure.
The Dutch knew, our allies knew, we knew and yet Trump and his enablers and Russian buddies continue to lie about Russian interference and its consequences in 2016. The Republicans continue to scream about the enemies inside the FBI and intelligence community when in fact they are the enemy. And the 400-pound teenage hacker squatting in his mother's basement? That would be Trump without his hairpiece.
But, but . . . Her emails! But, but . . . her response to a sexual harassment case ten years ago and/or her donor relationship with Harvey Weinstein and . . .
The story that will ultimately sink Trump and his treasonous sycophants has been deliberately short-changed and shunted aside. The question of why should always revert back to:
Though the Trumpster keeps telling us how the reputation of the United States has increased exponentially since his inauguration, anyone with an actual conscience or claim to a Christian belief system would be hard pressed by recent headlines. Im talking about our border patrol deliberately sabotaging water and food intended for immigrants at our border. Doing it for video broadcast, too, smirking, yukking it up because . . . they can and are being supported by a WH fanning racial and ethnic animus.
Now, we have another moment, another headline that additional No More Deaths volunteers are being rounded up to face Federal charges.
What would those charges be? I wonder. Helping your fellow man or woman or child? Preventing unnecessary death or suffering? Providing humanitarian outreach to undesirables?
No, the charges are more subtle than that but equally shameful. Charges range from allegedly harboring/sheltering undocumented immigrants near the US/Mexican border, a felony by all accounts but also creepily reminiscent of an earlier history, one that nearly brought the world to ruin. In addition were a number of misdemeanor charges, as in: operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area, abandonment of property (food and water) and entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit.
From where I come from those latter charges would be considered deliberate harassment by law enforcement.
From the TPM article:
In an affidavit filed Tuesday by a officer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the officer claimed, referring to four of the defendants: I asked if they had left the stash of water and food at Charlie Bell Well, to which they openly admitted they did.
Well, there you go. A hanging offense and the defendants admitted to the crime.
Which circles around to my first question:
Are We Proud Yet???
On numerous occasions Ive read of Russias expertise in playing the long-game. The explanation often involves the countrys history, geography, tumultuous political experiences and charactera steely, unflinching resolve. This long-game strategy is dramatically underscored by a timelinea miniature tin-type considering Russias long national historyconstructed by Shaun Mullen, former newspaper journalist and editor, author and five-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. The timeline itself starts in the 1980s and in chilling fashion illustrates the ladder, rung-by-rung, leading us to Trump, the network of dubious characters supporting him and the devastating wreckage were witnessing at the moment.
The timeline is a work in progress, as is the Trump/Russia investigation. I read the timeline shortly after reading the New Yorkers recent profile on Glenn Greenwald. As most of you know, Greenwald has poo-poohed any and all relevance between Russia and 2016 election. Greenwald has repeatedly said (quite similar to the Trumpster) that the Russian probe is merely a device to steer attention away from the Democratic Partys stunning loss, a distraction by blaming and accusing The Donald of nefarious acts. From the New Yorker piece:
"Greenwalds been yelling about this, quite heatedly, since before the election. In the Democratic Echo Chamber, Inconvenient Truths Are Recast As Putin Plots, reads the headline of an Intercept piece published in October 2016. The Increasingly Unhinged Russia Rhetoric Comes From a Long-Standing U.S. Playbook, reads another, from February 2017. As Muellers investigation widened, no fallen domino not the guilty plea of former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn, not the indictment of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort chastened Greenwald. When it was recently reported that Steve Bannon had lobbed a treason charge in the direction of Donald Trump Jr. precipitating his break with the president Greenwald rolled his eyes . . .
Pretty standard Greenwald dismissal.
But a timeline of events, contacts, machinations, many carried out in broad daylight, others behind the scenes refutes Greenwalds premise that the on-going investigation is fairytale, made-up, fake news. Mullen drew from public sources, as did Politico with its recent 270 Individuals Tied to the Russian Probe graphic piece. Mullens source list is provided at the endnewspapers, news mags, websites, etc. Its a list most readers will recognize.
The most shocking reveal for those who have not read the background on The Trumpsters rise to fame and fortune is the long, sordid history of mob-related real estate dealings, bankrolling and money-laundering schemes that are central to the Trump empire, a virtual House of Cards. In addition to that is the targeted viciousness, the cold-blooded violence and defiant power-grabbing of Putin and his cronies. How do I love, thee? Let me count the bodies.
Which begs the obvious questions: Why didnt the media reveal this history of criminality to the public before the 2016 election? For instance, The New York Times ran columns about Trumps questionable business practices and scandals over the decades. Yet the paper failed to tap its own archives and inform the public. How could a major political party willfully run a candidate who was compromised by his own messy, personal past and financially tied to Putins mafia state? How could 30-40% of the American electorate support such a creature?
Greenwald would have us believe the vile corruption of our body-politic, the bloated surveillance state is the accountable agent. I tend to think we were asleep at the wheel, allowing CNN Jeff Zuckers statement/corporate attitudes to slide by too easily:
Donald Trump may be bad for the country but hes great TV.
Theres a point at which unfettered capitalism devours itself. Personally, I think weve reached that dismal point.
A January 29th deadline is looming for Putins richy-rich friends and has, according to Bloomberg, set a flurry of lobbyists and proxies into the offices of DC powerbrokers. The Report which will be issued through the US Treasury Department threatens to expose Russian elites for less than noble financial behavior and actions since each name listed will include a corruption index.
The Report/List stems from the Countering Americas Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, passed last summer with overwhelming Congressional support. It expanded previous sanctions leveled by the Obama Administration, including secondary companies and Kremlin-connected insiders and business leaders, Putins inner circle or best friends in crime.
According to one Erich Ferrari, founder of Ferrari and Associate in DC and who has helped individuals removed from the designation list, The Report will result in public shaming. Oh, Boo Frigging Hoo. Mr Ferrari went on to say:
Its a step below a sanction because it doesnt actually block any assets, but has the same optics as sanctions -- youre on a list of people who are engaged in doing bad things.
One would think the remedy for all this angst of lost financial and personal cred would be:
Dont do bad things.
Maybe we could ask The Trumpster for his opinion. Then again, maybe not.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle raised alarms after the Administration failed to meet the October 2017 deadlinedesignation of potential targets for additional sanctionsand came into compliance only after Senator Corker, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, urged the WH to follow through. I suspect that urging was more like lighting a bonfire or threatening to bring back the adult daycare meme.
One could conclude that in all things Russian, The Donald tends to . . . drag his feet.
Nevertheless, the upcoming January report will be in addition to the 49 individuals designated December 20th by the Treasurys Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the Magnitsky Act. The initial list targeted gross violators of human rights in Russia as well as those responsible for fraud, extrajudicial killings, torture and other despicable acts.
What a splendid group of people!
Despite the cries of Nothingburgers or Witch Hunt shrieks or suggestions that Hillary Clinton is two steps from Federal prison, etc., the wheels of our institutions are slowly, inexorably grinding forward. No amount of projection or temper-tweeting or Alex Jones conspiracy theories will halt that. Politcos recent release of 270 individuals tied to the Trump/Russia investigation is a sign that the MSM is finally getting a clue. This is no small thing.
Interesting to note is the increasing, even frenzied outcry within certain Republican circles about the Russia probe. If you didnt know better, youd think they were sitting on the hot seat along with Putins whiny oligarchs.
A true mystery of the Universe. Or maybe something called Karma.
See US Treasury Press release here:
and Politico's graphic:
Found this last night after a 'The Eagles Won!!!!!' text storm from family and friends. It's a good, basic rundown of the people involved with the ongoing investigation and should shutdown the nothingburger response from any Trumpster. One might even say this is . . . YUGE.
Three Days after the Hawaii false alarm of an impending missile strike, Japan sends out a false alarm of their own.
According to Glenn Greenwald this is absolutely the case because:
. . . Democrats [have] so quickly decided to back a white, straight male politician steeped in privilege, while devoting themselves to opposing a candidate who would make history by becoming the first trans woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate, in the process inspiring trans youth around the world and helping to erode the stigma that has made them so vulnerable to discrimination and violence?
Theyve decided to do this presumably because they find Cardins centrist ideology and politics more appealing than Mannings more radical politics, and believe that this trumps what could be the historic value of Mannings candidacy. Theyve apparently decided to prioritize their own centrist ideology over the important gender, sexual orientation and trans equality progress that Mannings victory would ensure.
Greenwald also states that Cardins career has been unremarkable with few accomplishments. But far worse: hes a . . . vile centrist!
Ben Cardins unremarkable career can be found in his official Senate bio here:
I find his advocacy for the Chesapeake Bay Project particularly irritating. I mean who needs clean water or National parks?
"He led the fight for the Patients' Bill of Rights and, because of his efforts, the law ensures that individuals in private health insurance plans have the right to choose their primary care provider, women have direct access to an ob/gyn, and patients with medical emergencies are guaranteed coverage for necessary ER visits."
But just take a gander where Cardin ranks according to Govtrack:
The tracking graph is based on voting history and where in the leadership pack an individual falls. Curiously, Cardin is at the top of the leadership graph. Really! The grotesque nerve of the man wheedling his way to Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee, he Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works or the Committee on Finance, yada, yada.
Then, unlike some Senators I could mention, he was a primary sponsor of 18 bills that were actually enacted, as in:
S.1221 Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act of 2017
S.284 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Acountability Act
S.599 Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care
A glance at the graph indicates that Cardins overall voting history puts him in the same category as Leahy, Wyden and Booker. Should we primary these senators as well? How about Kaine, Coons or Duckworth because these members are to the right of Cardin?
His voting record has afforded him a 100% by the Human Rights Campaign, 100% by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and 92% by the League of Conservation Voters.
He must be stopped!!
This is why I rarely pull up Greenwalds columns anymore.
Btw, when I mused about who exactly was backing/advocating Ms Mannings primary bid?
I think I found my answer.
Profile InformationName: Peg
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About peggysue2Retired writer/editor, avid reader, political junkie, Mom to grown kids and endlessly kid-like puppies and Nan to our sweet Cassandra.
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