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  • AG Jeff Sessions implies Asian-Americans in Hawaii not Real Americans
    • As one old enough to live through the Civil Rights era, albeit at a distance, it's hard to forget how marchers were treated in that state, the church bombing and the dead children, Sheriff Bull Conner, Governor Wallace, et al, and the hatred shown toward African Americans.

    • Ask anyone who has been to the 2 states which they would prefer to live in. The first time I went through Alabama was in the late 60's and I was amazed to drive on a US highway that was a gravel road. Alabama was for many years like a 3rd world country in the US. And it also had the distinction of being one of the most racist states in the country. Perhaps the fact that in Hawaii many different racial groups are able to live in harmony and prosper is why Sessions felt the need to dis the state. Trump just welcomed Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin to the White House and picked Sessions for his AG. Our country is being run by the ignorant and the classless.

  • As Leftist Turks Protest, Trump congratulates Erdogan on Authoritarian Turn
    • Although this doesn't directly relate to this article, I wanted to pass this along to Informed Comment readers. Yesterday I heard some remarks by the head of Homeland Security Kelley. One sentence stood out. He said that "We have to change the way that people in the Middle East think." The idea that we can and should do this is just so amazingly arrogant and ignorant that it practically took my breath away. And Kelley supposedly isn't as bad as many of Trump's advisors and cabinet heads.

  • Turkish Democracy in Trouble, but not Because of Presidential System
    • One of my favorite quotes is from DeGaulle who said that grave yards are filled with the bodies of "indispensable men." Erdogan has decided that he is one of those and his country can't survive without him. There is almost never a good outcome when a country is headed by someone with that view.

  • Washington's demonization of Foes jumps Shark with Sean Spicer on Hitler
    • You could have added Guatemala to the list of genocidal actions overlooked by the US. Also, the US Army School of the Americas did a good job of turning out officers from Latin American countries into coup leaders and dictators who oppressed their people. Finally, I read this a number of decades ago and I think it was in one of the volumes of S.E. Morrison's history of the US Navy during WWII. This account showed that the US did have poison gas to use in case the Nazis used it. My recollection is that during one of the invasions of Italy, maybe Anzio, Morrison mentioned that a US supply ship carrying poison gas was hit by fire and poison gas was released as a result.

  • Trump intervenes in the Great Mideast Civil War in Syria
    • The worst thing that can happen is if this strike doesn't produce serious negative feedback. Then Trump will think that this whole thing is easy and be encouraged to do it again and more, until it leads to disaster. The man truly has no clue but acts on impulse.

    • The disposal of the chemical weapons was done by the implementing organization for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(OPCW). This was done at the direction of the UN after a unanimous vote in the UN Security Council.

  • ISIL: Imbecilic Buffoon Trump leading America to Extinction
    • Before the election Trump's ghost writer on Art of the Deal warned that electing Trump would lead to the end of civilization. That remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it is definite that the chances are much higher with Trump in the White House. I like the title of Matt Taibbi's book, Insane Clown President. I think that pretty much describes it.

  • Iran is Back: With Int'l Sanctions lifted and Putin Friendly, Tehran is on a Roll
    • Ideological regimes eventually come to realize that they have to have at least a modicum of public support and be able to put food on the table and a bearable life for their citizens. North Korea being an exception. Thus, this is a natural evolution for Iran. However, the neo-cons and just plain cons are bereft of knowledge or insight and many seem hell bent on trying to overthrow the Iranian regime. Let's hope that the Trumpian scandals so discredit his regime that they are unable to get support for such idiocy.

    • An AP article published today in my local paper detailed the growing number of US troops deployed in the Middle
      East and Somalia and the fact that the Trump Administration is basically letting the Pentagon set a lot of military and even foreign policy. Now we have a top general declaring that Yemen is a vital US interest?? This is truly scary. Fasten your seatbelts; it could be a bumpy ride as we amp up intervention in more and more countries.

  • Was Michael Flynn Russia's “primary channel of communication with the Trump team”?
    • As for Clinton's loss, see link to huffingtonpost.com You might also check link to vox.com
      The Comey letter alone cost her 2% points. Add that 2% to her vote total and she would have won by a bigger margin than Obama did in 2012 vs. Romney. Don't let your biases get in the way of facts.

    • We know that Flynn was being paid by the Turkish government and failed to register as required by law. Was he also being paid by the Russians? Was his appearance at the RT event a way for him to be paid for his other work for them during the campaign? Did he report these payments on his taxes? This Russian connection could end up being bigger than Watergate.

  • Are Progressives Suffering from Trump Fatigue?
    • Here's some interesting political history, In 1973 President Nixon proposed a national health care plan that was simple. It had basically two parts. All employers, as in all, not just some, would be required to provide health care insurance for all their employees. Second, anyone who was not working would get health care provided for by the government. He left it to Congress to fill in the blanks. Senator Ted Kennedy did not support it, but held out for a government run single payer system as is common in Europe. The Nixon plan went nowhere. Fast forward 20 years later when the Clinton proposed health care plan couldn't even get a vote in the Congress. Senator Ted Kennedy admitted he made a terrible mistake by not accepting Nixon's plan. About 10 years ago there was a Harvard study that found that for every 1 million uninsured, about 950 of them will die needlessly every year. During the height of the recession, before the ACA, there were about 47 or 48 million uninsured. That translates to about 45,000 unnecessary deaths per year. Imagine how many people's lives could have been saved since 1973 if the Nixon plan had been approved. Probably close to a million. I was a legislative assistant to a councilman in a large city for about two and a half years. Two things I learned quickly. 1. Politics is the art of the possible. 2. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I had a lot of good ideas that went nowhere because of rule #1. Ideologues, whether left or right, expect, even demand purity of policy. That's not how it works, nor is it possible. Too many Bernie supporters don't realize this. While Clinton and Obama have been derided for their outlook, the fact is that major change, with a few exceptions, only comes incrementally, and slowly.

    • Even when you keep up with all the degradations and calumnies, you hardly have time to digest one when another comes along. Because he keeps pumping them out, one gets hit with a kind of sensory overload. Also, you tend to forget what has happened before because there has been so much. Chris Hayes had a list of 10 outrages from Trump during the campaign that he would update periodically. You really need a scorecard to keep track of everything. He combines that with continuous distractions and feints so that people will focus on something less important. Worried about Russian involvement in the election? Well, Devin Nunes does ridiculous things violating all sorts of protocols so that the attention is focused on him rather than the actual investigation. Trump and his minions do this constantly. I think eventually it will catch up with them and they are just digging their grave deeper.
      The bill of particulars against this administration just keeps getting longer. Eventually you figure, the chickens will come home to roost.

  • Mosul: "Some" US Responsibility for Civilian deaths; but Iraqi PM lashes out at Critics
    • It sounds like the Iraqi government, with its seeming insensitivity towards Sunnis is continuing to make the same mistakes that led to the previous uprisings and some support for ISIS. They just don't get it and the US president certainly doesn't. There have been hundreds of books and voluminous research done on counter insurgency. There is even a journal devoted to it. I wish these people would read some of it. Secondly, fighter bombers, even with smart bombs, are not the right tool for urban warfare. If there is a sniper on a roof, a mortar would be much better, or even a small drone. You don't need 500 pound bombs. Maybe you recall that Trump's approach is to bomb the sh*t out of them. That attitude must have affected our ground and air commanders. We are back to creating two terrorists for every one we kill.

  • The simple Number that will Defeat Trump's attempt to Roll back Obama Energy Policies
    • Here in California, because of solar power, there is an excess of power during the day. They have more than they can use. So, whereas in the past you were urged to use your appliances during night time hours, now we are being urged to use them during the middle of the day. And solar installations keep growing in number installed every year.

  • True, Trump hasn't Criticized Putin for Navalny Arrest; but Navalny is more like Trump
    • One of the first things Trump did after winning was create an imbroglio over Taiwan and China. He appointed an ambassador to Israel who favors Israeli settlements in the West Bank and is very pro-Netanyahu, he has increased US involvement in Syria, he has shown his disdain for NATO, has never once criticized Putin, had the Republican platform changed to remove language opposing Russian annexation of Crimea, and you think he just doesn't pay attention to Russian internal politics?

  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care
    • As a realist, then I know you must want to put things in perspective as you try to do here. While I agree with many of the criticisms of Clinton and Obama, their foreign policies need to be highlighted in contrast to that of Republicans. Under Clinton the only real intervention was in Bosnia, which was to aid Muslims, and cost not one American life to combat and had very few civilian casualties. While drone strikes have been heavily criticized, they basically stopped the last year of the Obama presidency. Additionally, the last report of civilian casualties due to drone strikes, as I recall, was around 700 by several NGO's such as Amnesty International. Compare that with over 100,000 Iraqis under Bush.

    • I think it was the night of the 2008 election and a panel at CNN was discussing the results. Some conservative said some nonsense about the Democrats using class warfare. David Gergen, hardly a radical and actually a moderate conservative, said something which you almost never hear on TV. A close paraphrase is that he said, That war is over and the rich won. People who criticise Obama from the left will almost certainly agree that we live in an oligarchy. Yet they seem to think that a progressive can assume office and completely turn around a system that has developed over 30 to 40 years. The ACA is basically a Republican plan. The reason the Republicans hated it is not because, as they said, that it wouldn't work, but because they knew it would since it already had in Massachusetts. The ACA wasn't just about providing health care, it was also about changing the paradigm established by Reagan that the government is the enemy and the free market is the solution. That belief is the cornerstone of the power of the elite and it's one reason the ACA is so important.

  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral
    • The use of terrorism by a political movement is a sign of weakness, not power. And lack of success inevitably leads to adherents falling away. Because Daesh/ISIS/ISIL is led by delusional radical ideologues, they have made fatal mistakes. Grabbing large swaths of territory without popular support was one of them. As you say, their best hope is foolish policies by their opponents. Unfortunately, many are ready to provide those foolish policies. In a way, it comes down to who is stupider and who is stupid more often.

  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens
    • Thanks for this additional info. One thing I think you implied, but could have added explicitly. Deripaska couldn't have achieved his dominance not only without nefarious means, but also it would have required the approval and probable collusion of the Putin government. I suspect Putin and cronies got big kickbacks for helping him and he also feels beholden to Putin and would act as Putin's agent whenever asked.

  • Top 4 Worst pieces of Climate News from WMO in Age of Trump
    • Something which I think is often overlooked is the possibility of widespread famine. Climate change is likely to disrupt deep ocean currents which will radically change weather patterns that have been the basis for much of world agriculture over centuries and longer. For example, if the monsoons are disrupted in India, that could have catastrophic effects on their agriculture. Similarly, most major Indian rivers are fed by Himalayan glacier melt and monsoon rains. What happens if the monsoons are disrupted and the glaciers disappear? What happens if the US Middle West become too hot for grain crops? One of the main reasons for mass famine in Africa is the desertification of areas south of the Sahara. Same with the Gobi Desert in China. In both areas, the desert is increasing up to a half mile per year because of climate change. Combine that with rising sea levels making many coastal areas uninhabitable and we could see mass die offs of hundreds of millions of people and mass extinction events among flora and fauna. The dire effects cannot be overstated since there will be likely additional unpleasant effects that cannot be foreseen.

  • It is Comey who should be Investigated
    • Maybe you didn't see this, but it came out that Clinton actually discussed this with Powell before she took office and he did not counsel her against it. In fact, he sent her an email giving her advice on how best to use her private PDA. See link to usatoday.com
      Also, the whole email issue came out only because of the Benghazi hearings. Even Republicans admitted that the whole purpose of the Benghazi hearings was to try and stop Clinton from winning the presidency since she seemed to have it locked up at that time.

    • I have some expertise in this area. I was the head of the City of San Diego's records management program, which was modeled on the Federal program, and I had a top secret clearance while I was in military intelligence. I agree with Professor Cole. No laws were broken and what Clinton did was only slightly different from what Colin Powell did in that she had her own server. We have since found out that many government officials have used unsecured communications for possibly classified materials. The charge that she had classified materials stored on that server is technically accurate, but not a chargeable offense as Comey concluded. All but 3 of the classified materials were classified AFTER she received them. Those that were classified were improperly marked and the violation would be by the person(s) who sent the improperly marked classification, not on the recipient. I dealt with top secret materials on a daily basis and would not have recognized that the improper marking was, in fact, a classification mark. You cannot convict someone of mishandling classified materials if they weren't classified when you were using them. In fact, I think that would fall under the Constitutional ban of an ex post facto law. I use the analogy of someone driving through an intersection which has no controlling sign, having a stop sign put up the next week and then being charged with running through a stop sign for the previous week before the sign was up. Finally, the shelf life of most intelligence is very short, sometimes weeks, rarely more than months. What is important is if the intelligence reveals sources and methods, which none of the materials on Clinton's server did, to my knowledge. I think Clinton made a political mistake by having her lawyers go through her server and remove non-record materials, which, by the way, is different from non-governmental materials. Many government records need not be kept or may be discarded after 2 years. Instead, she should have had officials from the National Archives do it. However, I find it unlikely that the attorneys who did it would have intentionally violated the law as it would have put them at great risk professionally and they must have been well versed in the law before they acted.

    • Several things. Comey was deputy counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee in 1996. I have seen it speculated that he grew to dislike the Clintons and felt that they were getting away with wrongdoing. That is mere speculation, of course. The other thing is that Rudy Giuliani seemed to know ahead of time that the FBI was going to announce the finding of Clinton emails on Weiner's computer. Many believe that Giuliani, who used to be US Attorney for New York, has extensive ties to FBI agents in New York and that a cabal of right wing agents in New York were forcing Comey's hand and keeping Giuliani informed. Here are some pertinent links. link to vox.com and link to huffingtonpost.com then link to m.huffpost.com

  • Hawaii Judge: Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0 still Violates the Constitution
    • link to gallup.com
      This shows his approval/disapproval over recent time. Currently about 10% points more oppose him than approve him. At no point does this chart show his approval rising above his disapproval.

    • Trump and his minions have been done in by their own stupidity. Trump said the second version was the "lite" version and he and his administration officials keep talking about the Muslim ban. If they had any sense they might have been able to get away with it, but now the well is completely poisoned.

  • Is Russia trying to take back over Libya from NATO, Radicals?
    • Russia seen as a problem solver? By whom? Only by Assad, it seems to me. Your anti-Clintonism has blinded you. This whole article seems like much ado about nothing. This is one disputed report about 22 commandos. Calm down. The aid to the Libyan rebels was a NATO operation and the non-sectarians would be looking more toward NATO for further help rather than Russia. Logistically, NATO is also a much better source for aid to the non-sectarian forces.

  • How Much of Globe's Humanitarian Crisis is Fault of US?
    • Some of this smacks of mindless anti-Americanism. The US was responsible for nation building in South Sudan? And let's not forget that South Sudan got its independence because of the genocidal like policies of the Sudanese government. We were hardly the only country to support its independence. Did we direct the Saudis to attack Yemen? We shouldn't be helping, but to say we're responsible is a leap of logic. And the Syrian calamity is mostly the fault of Assad. Other intervenors include Iran, Hezbollah, Russia, the Kurds, the Saudis and god knows who else in addition to the US and Turkey. Syria was a mess and going to be a mess even if we never intervened. I think the US needs to withdraw from the Middle East but the region has had problems for decades and will continue to do so for decades, regardless of our involvement.

  • Syria: As 400 more Troops go in, What's Trump's Mission?
    • Considering that I have been preaching for the US to stay out of Syria since the idea was first broached, obviously I think this is a terrible idea. As for what is Trump's plan? It's probably whatever Putin tells him to do.

  • Why Trump EO is Still a Racist Muslim Ban
    • While all of the points in this article are valid and the facts do not support the contentions behind this EO, because it is for a limited duration and exempts green card and visa holders, it just may pass muster with the courts.

  • From Bernie Sanders to Harel: Why is Acknowledging Israeli Apartheid a Shock?
    • I think one of the hallmarks of the time we are now living in is how readily people will latch onto delusionary thinking and live in a comfortable bubble rather than have to face a hard truth. The situation with Israel and the Palestinians is one of the most notable examples. As has been noted by others before, without a meaningful two state solution, Israel can be Jewish or it can be a democracy, but eventually it will have to choose because it will not be possible to be both.

  • Sorry, Trump, China's cut-back on Coal Dooms Industry
    • Good analogy with the video store employees. I have used an analogy of Trump being like someone in 1910 vowing to maintain employment in the horse drawn carriage industry. BTW, before automobiles, horse manure was becoming a major problem in large cities so that cars were actually better for public health at that time. What is amazing is that anybody buys Trump's snake oil.

  • Top 5 Ways Obama is Behind Leaks, Protests against Trump
    • Here's a disturbing story on the Russian--Trump connection from Rachel Maddow. link to msnbc.com It is stuff like this why people are so up in arms about this president.

  • Spurned Reporters should dump Trump Briefings, turn to Investigative Journalism
    • I can't remember who it was who has been pushing this, but one commentator on MSNBC, has said that the major news outlets should send just interns to the press conferences by the administration. I think that would be a good response. They can work with regular staff to prepare some decent questions while this frees up regular reporters to be doing more substantial work while giving the administration the lack of respect it deserves.

  • "Get out of my Country!" White Terrorist Shoots Asian-American Engineers in Wake of Trump Visa Ban
    • Thought I should also add that Clinton intervened in the Bosnian ethnic cleansing and probably saved thousands of Muslim lives there.

    • Mossadegh was overthrown while Eisenhower was president. Intervention in Lebanon in 1958 while Eisenhower was president. US working with both parties during the Iraq-Iran War while Reagan was president. That included selling arms to Iran, giving intelligence to Saddam Hussein, looking the other way when he gassed 10,000 to death, and shooting down an Iranian airliner. Also while Reagan was president the US battleship New Jersey shelled targets in Lebanon in support of the Israeli incursion. The Gulf War happened while the first Bush was president. The Iraq War begun by the second Bush. Clinton did send cruise missiles against al Qaeda and enforced the no-fly zone over Iraq begun by Bush, but other than that I don't see any Democrats in this list. The two major peace initiatives that had any success were the Camp David Accords peace agreement done under the aegis of Carter and the Oslo Accords while Clinton was president. Yours is a false equivalency.

    • A couple of days ago I saw two psychologists discussing Trump and the role of psychologists. Present guidelines say that they should not diagnose anyone they haven't actually interviewed. They pointed out that this was adopted after some psychologists publicly questioned the sanity of Barry Goldwater in 1964. One pointed out that since then the profession has developed a comprehensive guideline on what behaviors signify different mental conditions and that this wasn't available at the time the stricture against diagnosis of public figures without interviews was developed. And, in an important point, they both agreed that it would be immoral to not speak out if a top leader exhibited behaviors that clearly indicated mental instability. They said that Trump fits that bill and that psychologists should not remain quiet about it. In fact, they have a moral duty to speak out. If someone is a professional with decades of experience in a relevant area such as politics and/or history, then I think that he or she also has a duty to speak out against someone who the professional perceives as being an existential threat to our democracy. If I may interpret Professor Cole's position, I think he, as well as many others of similar pedigree, believe this to be true of Trump. Even George Will, a long time noted conservative and Republican, changed his designation on his voter registration from Republican to Independent after Trump won the nomination. Many professional Republicans hold this view of Trump, not just liberal Democrats.

  • Buyers' Remorse: Americans think Trump is bad at almost Everything
    • The United States was considerably different in 1787 than it is now. You need to view history in context. The Constitution was revolutionary at the time of its passage, but times change. The original Constitution also required the election of senators by state legislatures and after about 100 years it had become obvious that was not a good idea. The election of 1876 also made clear the problems of the electoral college. When the constitution was amended to have the direct election of senators, they also should have done away with the electoral college. The longer it remains, however, the more difficult it is to change. Jefferson thought the Constitution would require major revision every 20 years or so to adjust to changing times. The founders recognized it was an imperfect document and would require frequent change in the future. I think the problem was that future generations were too timid.

    • My favorite is how often conservatives blamed the Community Reinvestment Act. Not only was that passed 30 years before the crash, making it the slowest acting legislation in history, it didn't cover refinancing, loans by other than banks and had little teeth. I calculated that it only applied to no more than 10% of all loans made. And, of course, it had no relationship to credit default swaps.Yet they continued with that meme long after it was shown to be ridiculous.

    • The most amazing thing to me in this poll is that 40% of the people actually think he is honest. He lies practically every time he opens his mouth. How could anyone think he's honest? And 44% think he cares about average Americans. I doubt he has done a single altruistic thing in his life and is a billionaire who has appointed Wall St. executives and other billionaires to key positions. Boy, what planet have these people been living on? The con game still works on 40+% of the American people.

  • Should Bannon Resign? He and Milo Fake-Newsed Hillary as Pedophile
    • According to what I have read, Bannon's initial appointment does not require Senate confirmation. However, if he becomes a member of the NSC board, the membership which is spelled out in law, he should be required to get Senate confirmation. Since the Republicans control the Senate, the question then becomes if they bow to Trump or insist on their institutional right.

  • Trump invents Sweden Terror Attack, Lies about Immigrant Crime
    • link to vox.com and then you can also check link to vox.com and, finally, link to vox.com

    • My own opinion is that the die hard Trump supporters number maybe one third of the electorate. He has another 8 to 10-% that can swing his way depending on the situation. He got 46% of the vote and that was inflated by about 2.5% points because of the Comey letter.For example, he got almost all Republican votes, many holding their nose because they couldn't stand the idea of Clinton winning and appointing a liberal to the Supreme Court. There are a lot of independents who lean right and with things like the email propaganda and the Comey letter, voted for Trump because they ignored the warning signs and figured he was the lesser of two evils. Trump's favorability rating is now 38%. Bush got down to the mid to upper 20's by the time he left office, so i think Trump could get down as low as the low 30's within this year, depending on developments. On the effect of the Comey letter, see link to vox.com

    • Fox News supported Clinton to the hilt? Those are alternative facts.

    • I you call the Electoral College democratic. Losing by 2.8 million votes and winning the office doesn't seem very democratic to me. Is there any other office in the US where you can get more votes and lose? I don't know of any.

    • Thanks so much for this information, which I will gladly share. BTW, on Huffington Post today is a story about this which also includes the favorability rating of Trump in other countries. 92% of Swedes had an unfavorable opinion of him even before this. Trump's best rating was 40% unfavorable, 22% favorable (I think that was Hungary) with his unapproval way up there in most countries (96% unfavorable in Canada). Showing once again how most other publics are smarter than the American public. As H.L. Mencken once said, no one ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

    • Well, you can share articles like this on Facebook if you have any right wing Facebook friends. You can also bookmark this story and then copy and paste the URL in replies to right wingers who comment elsewhere. It is not a panacea, but constant refutation of lies cannot hurt.

  • Tomorrow, they will say, “Donald Trump rants and raves at the press.”
    • Trump's press conference was the most incredible thing I have ever seen from a US president. I give you the words of John Dean who was asked to give his views of Trump vis a vis Watergate, etc. Dean has first hand knowledge of what an unstable and corrupt president looks like. A close paraphrase is that he said, "I went to my first presidential news conference in 1957. I have never seen such a classless president." Trump is clearly the most dangerous man to ever occupy the White House and it amazes me that some still can't see that and make false equivalencies.

  • Trump plots to keep Palestinians Stateless forever
    • Just some added details that people might find interesting. A good book on the situation from the birth of the Zionist movement to the 1967 War is The Arab-Israeli Dilemma by Khouri. It has a lot of useful statistics, summary of UN actions, etc. At the end of WWI, the number of Jews in the area was about 8% of the total population. There were more Arab Christians than Jews. The first terrorist attacks in the area were conducted by Jews by Irgun and the Stern Gang. Irgun, headed by future Israeli PM Menachem Begin, was responsible for the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, which killed 91 people. It was one of the largest terrorist attacks anywhere up to that time. The Arabs mostly rioted. As per Robert Fisk, the first use of a car bomb was likely done by Israeli intelligence (Mossad or Shin Bet) as he found Hebrew letters on parts of the bomb that exploded.

    • The 2002 Arab League resolution has been almost totally ignored in the US, too. Outside of people like the readers here, hardly anyone in the US even knows it exists. Everybody else still believes that old shibboleth that failure to recognize Israel is a major sticking point. This resolution should be mentioned in just about every article about the Israel-Palestine problem, but it almost never is.

  • All of Putin's / Trump's Men
    • I was thinking about this today and talking with a friend about it. Trump is not stupid, but his major personality defects drive him to do really stupid things. Like obsessing over the size of his inauguration crowd and alleging millions of illegal votes because he can't accept the idea that Clinton got more votes, etc. Hitler analogies can be dangerous, but here's one that I think works. Prior to WWII and in the early days, Hitler took many risks and did things that his top generals were against and/or considered foolish and dangerous. But, he was successful. The result was that he had complete confidence in himself and thought the generals were stodgy and foolish. So, when the war began to turn against him, he acted on his instincts and ordered the army to do many stupid things, like eschewing orderly withdrawals and fighting to the end when losing. Because of his megalomania and stubbornness, he hastened the defeat of the German Army, thank goodness. Trump is similar in that he ran a very unorthodox campaign and all the political professionals thought he was a joke. They gave him no chance to win the nomination. Then they gave him no chance to win the election. So, now he figures he knows much better than the professionals and can get away with whatever he wants, as he mostly did during his campaign. As with Hitler, his sense of invincibility and stubbornness will hasten his downfall.

    • In 2008, Trump Jr. said that they get millions from Russian business interests. Chris Matthews on his show today had a nice collection of statements over the years from Trump and his son about Russia and Putin.

    • Just like to add to what super390 has said by pointing out that Putin was a KGB agent for 17 years. The KGB during that time, and in all of its history, has been marked by its ruthlessness and lack of scruples. I think it would be very difficult to be in the KGB for that long and be either a nice or a reasonable person. Read also about how Russia dealt with the Chechens, the Afghans and many others. I have read that the Poles, who have been divided between the Germans and the Russians multiple times, have a saying that with the Germans they lose their freedom, and with the Russians they lose their soul. While individual Russians are generally known for their generosity, they have a bad habit historically of putting up with awful leaders. And Putin is pretty awful, despite what Trump may say.

    • I liken the competence of this administration to that of Grouch Marx as Rufus T. Firefly, President of Freedonia in the movie Duck Soup, one of the all time funniest and most absurd movies of all time.

    • Since I have predicted/written about most all of this before, the news doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is how quickly it has come out. This shows that if you are about to assume an important office and have any skeletons in your closet, you should not trash the intelligence community, as Trump did. The chickens are coming home to roost. This may sabotage the lifting of sanctions, which I have forecast. There is news out today about the Russians deploying cruise missiles in violation of the START treaty. There was also some saber rattling back in December. I think the plan was to create a phony missile scare and then reach a "grand bargain" where the US lifted sanctions in return for not having a missile race. I don't think Trump can get away with this now.

  • Questions about Judgment: Trump appointed Flynn in the First Place
    • Flynn may be gone, but this administration is still filled with inexperienced and incompetent advisers and staff. This is certainly the worst cabinet in my memory. The train wreck continues.

  • After Miller's Mega-Lies, time to rev back up the Reality Based Community
    • I thought you were being too harsh on Miller until I saw the video you included. He is so obviously an authoritarian personality he might as well be wearing a sign. His statements on alleged voter fraud are especially egregious. The sad thing is that millions of Americans actually fall for this stuff. If nothing else, the fact that fake news got shared more on social media in the last week of the campaign than real news should be disturbing to all concerned Americans. The big lie works with a major segment of our population.

  • Could NSA Flynn face Criminal Charges over Russia Ties?
    • Since there has never been a successful prosecution of the Logan Act, it is highly unlikely that anything will come of this. However, this is just another nail in the coffin of Trump and his minions. When elected he was the most unpopular person to ever assume the office and it has only gotten worse. We are seeing spontaneous demonstrations, angry crowds at town halls (even in Chaffetz's Republican district in Utah, for example), and other wide spread anti-Trump demonstrations. I have never seen anything like this in my 71 years and can't think of anything comparable in US history. Only thing close might be the unhappiness toward Hoover after 3 years of Depression, but that was at the end of his disastrous term, not the beginning. What could be the crusher would be if it is established that Flynn, acting for the Trump campaign, was in consultation with the Russians during the campaign and discussed hackks and strategy. I think it is likely that it occurred, but uncovering it will be very difficult. One heartening thing is that the recent Washington Post expose on flynn claimed it had information from 9 different sources. That makes it obvious to me that the intelligence community is very unhappy with this administration and ready to leak to sabotage it. I think the question is two fold. Eventually there will certainly be enough to justify an impeachment (emoluments clause, for example). Will it be enough for the Republicans to act against Trump? I think the answer is only if their re-elections are in danger. If the Republicans lose badly in 2018, then we could see real danger to the administration. Otherwise, Trump could tough it out and survive his first term as I doubt the Republicans have the political courage to do anything to check him. Direct action is having some effect, however, as the repeal of Obamacare seems to have receded in importance among Congressional Republicans as they meet widespread public resistance.

  • Trump's Wrong on non-Coverage; But, Top 6 things actually Wrong with Terrorism Reporting
    • Just an addition on the effects of air pollution. As more and more research is done, scientists are finding out that small particulate matter (soot, especially from diesel engines) has been largely overlooked in the past and is very harmful. In addition to COPD, asthma, and other respiratory problems, a recent study found that 21% of Alzheimer's cases could be due to this type of pollution. And, of course, to all this you could add how under reported has been the danger of climate change. And now we have a President who seems determined to adopt policies that will exacerbate most of the major causes of death on your list.

  • In Shocker, Federal Judge in Seattle Halts Trump Muslim Ban
    • We are learning now that the effect of this order is more widespread than originally believed. For example, the State Department says that the ban resulted in 70,000 invalidated visas. Included in this total are parents or children where one part of the family has citizenship and the other not and the order resulted in families being kept apart. I think this makes the State's case much easier in showing harm to its citizens. The dumbbells who conceived and wrote this EO did little to consider the consequences of their actions. Since most Trump supporters support this ban, when writing about it I have emphasized the administration's incompetence which is obvious and harder to defend. The Trump Administration is like government by the Marx Brothers. In the movie Duck Soup where Groucho is the leader of the mythical Fredonia, at least Groucho is good for some laughs. Trump is as incompetent but doesn't even provide comic relief.

  • Trumpworld Fake News: Iran attacks US Navy, Iraqis Massacre Bowling Green
    • Karl Rove once told a reporter that "we create our own reality." And, as Conway has said, they fill it with "alternative facts." And their uninformed base falls for it.

  • Here we go Again: Trump Admin Threatens Iran
    • This "missile incident" reminds me of the run up to the Iraq War. During that time all sorts of fake claims were made about Iraq of course. Among them was a claim about Iraq possessing a dangerous missile that was in violation of a restriction imposed after the Gulf War. We later found out that this "dangerous" missile had a range of about 100 miles and didn't violate anything. War mongers just keep using the same lies over and over again since they can get away with it. As many predicted, Obama's failure to prosecute war criminals has opened the door for future folly and criminality.

  • Trump Can't Make America Great Again without Immigrants
    • While I agree that immigration strengthens our country, not weakens it, we really should welcome declining populations. The planet currently has over 7 billion and is on track to reach 10 billion. How many humans can the planet sustain? At 7 billion we see vast amounts of environmental degradation and loss of species habitat. Human kind as a whole should be seeking to reduce populations on the whole. Taking in refugees into a developed country should aid in that as large families are less needed in developed countries and those going from a third world country to a developed country will likely produce fewer children than if they had stayed in their rural areas.

  • Trump's Alt-Reality: White Terrorism against Mosque justifies Muslim Ban
    • To emphasize how important framing is, George Lakoff has been preaching this for some time. This is based on solid social science research. Especially with conservatives, many voters respond to issues emotionally, not logically and rationally. Thus, you need to reach them on an emotional level. Sound bites work. the following is a bit long and overwritten, but still important: link to huffingtonpost.com In the case of Trump, I think the best approach is to emphasize the Russian connection and that Putin was a communist and KGB officer, leader. I think most conservatives are very uneasy with this. I have taken to calling him Comrade Trump, the Moscow Candidate. I saw a sign at the Women's March that said Trump is Putin's Apprentice. I think this is the best way to undermine him among those who voted for him.

    • I saw a post on Facebook last night from a history professor which reminded me of an important book I had forgotten about. The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, which I recommend highly, shows how capitalists and dictators use crises, often manufactured, to get radical things done against the will of the people. What we are seeing from the Trump Administration is a perfect example of the Shock Doctrine at work.

  • German Ambassador 1933: "Hostility to Jews Aimed Mainly at 'Immigrants'"
    • It was said approvingly that Mussolini made the trains run on time. Thus, I think that Trump should not be lauded even when he manages to achieve a positive result. Even a blind squirrel finds an occasional acorn. Also, that approach works to normalize him. As a tactical political move for the safety of the country, he must be opposed consistently when wrong, and ignored when right.

  • The Sadism of Racist Exclusion: Courts Temporarily Block Trump
    • According to what I heard on the news earlier this morning, Customs wasn't even forewarned and had no advance word that this was coming and were caught unprepared, too. And, they have initially continued with detentions even after a Federal judge put a stay on that. This is may be without precedence in US history, to initiate such a far reaching order without any preparations or thought to the consequences. The Palmer Raids and Japanese internment were done with more forethought and preparation.

    • Trump really needs to borrow Mr. Khan's Constitution, since he obviously has never read the document before. For those who haven't checked lately, the Bill of Rights only uses the term person or people, never citizen when enumerating civil rights. In the body of the main Constitution, almost the only time the word citizen is used is when specifying the qualifications for office. Then it appears again in the 14th and 15th Amendments in extending citizenship. I think that instead of calling it the Trump Administration we should call it the Trump Abomination.

  • Trump Visa Denials target same countries Bush vowed to Overthrow
    • International law would not have required the United States to act. The Genocide Convention states that any signatory may go to the UN and request that body to take action to suppress genocider. Then it would be up to the UN to decide what action to take and by whom. The genocide began April 7, 1994 and, "On April 9, UN observers witnessed the massacre of children at a Polish church in Gikondo. The same day, 1,000 heavily armed and trained European troops arrived to escort European civilian personnel out of the country. The troops did not stay to assist UNAMIR. Media coverage picked up on the 9th, as the Washington Post reported the execution of Rwandan employees of relief agencies in front of their expatriate colleagues." This is from Wikipedia. So, the UN knew very early on what was going on. Elsewhere in this article, "On 23 June, around 2,500 soldiers entered southwestern Rwanda as part of the French-led United Nations Operation Turquoise.[132] This was intended as a humanitarian mission, but the soldiers were not able to save significant numbers of lives.[133] The genocidal authorities were overtly welcoming of the French, displaying the French flag on their own vehicles, but slaughtering Tutsi who came out of hiding seeking protection.[133]" So, it was over two and one half months before any UN force, which was more of a farce, tried to do anything, and by then 99% of the killing was over. One of the leaders of the genocide gort a 20 year sentence. As I said originally, the genocide was over before the UN could act. The ethnic cleansing in Bosnia was stopped because of NATO action, not UN action. I think the victims and their families care little about the procedural niceties. Only ideologues thousands of miles away who are unaffected seem to.

    • According to articles in the Huffington Post, this ban even applies to people who hold dual citizenship and American green cards. Not being an attorney, but having a wife who was an immigrant, I don't see how this is legal. And yet it is happening. One wonders how many times he will break the law with impunity before Congress reacts. I think that if anything, Trump is worse than many of us had feared before the election.

    • Would intervention in Rwanda to stop the massacre of 800,000 innocents have been illegal under international law? Yes, because that massacre was carried out by the sitting, legitimate government. And it was over before any international body could meet and rule on it. And yet a couple of battalions of Marines airlifted in probably could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. There are times when international law is not moral. Stepping in to stop or mitigate ethnic cleansing, genocide or wholesale massacre of civilians (which Gaddafi threatened) would be a morally justified violation of international law. Someone once wrote that sometimes the law is an ass. Read Plato's The Republic.

  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil
    • Let's not overlook the fact that Trump is all in with Netanyahu and backs him completely and wants to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. There's a good chance that the US standing in the Arab world will be even lower under Trump than under Bush. And where are those people who said Clinton was worse? Will you believe me now?

    • Having had a top secret code word clearance myself, I think the short answer is no. His business dealings make him suspect and too vulnerable. Throw in his questionable personal behavior as well and we have a loser.

  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one)
    • I was proud and excited to be among the marchers today. It was heartening to see so many people from so many different stratas walking together, united in favor of civil rights, dignity, and progress. One caveat to this article. With two appointees to SCOTUS, Roe vs. Wade could be overturned. Les we forget, Citizens United was about just one section of the McCain Feingold Act which regulated campaign financing. Yet, the Court basically threw out the whole law, which wasn't even being contested, and overturned 100 years of precedence in just about eliminating the possibility for any limitations on campaign financing. Today's conservatives don't care much about the rule of law when it conflicts with their beliefs and it would be very possible, if not likely, that they could overturn Roe vs. Wade.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German
    • Just a reminder--Clinton won 2.86 million more votes than Trump, or 2.1%. Several studies have shown that the fallacious Comey letter of October 28 cost Clinton over 2% of the vote. One estimate is an average of 2.4% For one example, in early voting in Florida, Clinton beat Trump 52% to 48%, but in election day voting it was 56% to 44% for Trump. If it wasn't for the Comey letter, which was unprecedented in US history, Clinton would have won the 3 closely contested states, plus Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona and gotten around 350 electoral votes and a bigger win in the popular vote than Obama got in 2012. In a way, ;this was a coup by extreme rightists in the FBI. For voting data analysis, see this article: link to vox.com

    • I thought it was ironic that on the day when Trump's inaugural speech was painting this picture of the US about to fall into the abyss, the Labor Department announced that new unemployment claims the last week and the last month were the lowest in 43 years. And, of course, manufacturing jobs have been slowly increasing since 2010 and wages are starting to finally creep up as we get closer to full employment. Meanwhile, a number of states have increased minimum wages and the Affordable Care Act, about to be dismantled, has greatly helped lower income Americans by taxing the rich and then subsidizing 80% of those getting Obamacare on the exchanges while providing Medicaid to millions who wouldn't have been able to get it before. Trump is all about false narratives.

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