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Monday, February 27, 2017

FANTASTIC POLITICAL BEASTS NOW AND THEN


ATTNY. GENERAL JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD WHATEVER SESSIONS III



KATE MCKINNON AS AG JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS III

                                         


On a more serious note, there are seemingly few speculations about the following:
The country was attacked or attempts were made during the first year of every
President since Bill Clinton.

As President Trump signs off on easily overturned Executive Orders, it's probable
that many of his moves can be seen as setting up his political opposition.  IF an
airliner is attacked, as was attempted during Obama's first year, DT can deflect
and claim that his attempts to save the country were thwarted and obstructed by
the "lying" liberal press, and the judiciary with SCOTUS decisions pending.

On the other hand DT represents the same Republican Party that obstructed and blocked
President Obama's TSA appointment during his first year of 2009.  Yes, that Republican Party.
A "loyal" opposition that easily gets away with national security obstruction in plain sight.
When the “Christmas Bomber” airline attack failed Republican Senator Jim DeMint, who
blocked the TSA appointment, was the first to criticize the President and FBI's handling
of the attempt to bring down an airliner over an American city.  Rumors and manufactured
news by Republican bomb throwers claimed that team Obama arranged and planned the attack to fail.

6/6/17 - I wrote the above about Trump's EO's when he made them in February 2017.
I was unaware of anyone else doing the same.  It turns out that Jack Goldsmith of the influential
“lawfareblog” was one of the few who with the nerve to call attention to what was and is
actually going on.

https://lawfareblog.com/does-trump-want-lose-eo-battle-court-or-donald-mcgahn-simply-
ineffectual-or-worse. (EO = Presidential Executive Orders)

Per Jack Goldsmith:
"Last night I tweeted: “Increasingly apparent—from the way Trump 
rolled out EO to his attack on courts—that he wants EO struck down. 
Not just incompetence.”"

"Here is what I meant.   The clearly foreseeable consequence of the 
roll-out combined with Trump’s tweets is to weaken the case for 
the legality of the EO in court.  Why might Trump want to do that?  
Assuming that he is acting with knowledge and purpose 
(an assumption I question below), the only reason I can think of is 
that Trump is setting the scene to blame judges after an attack that 
has any conceivable connection to immigration.  If Trump loses in 
court he credibly will say to the American people that he tried and 
failed to create tighter immigration controls.  This will deflect blame 
for the attack.  And it will also help Trump to enhance his power after 
the attack.  After a bad terrorist attack at home, politicians are always 
under intense pressure to loosen legal constraints.  (This was even 
true for near-misses, such as the failed Underwear bomber, which 
caused the Obama administration to loosen constraints on its 
counterterrorism policies in many ways.)  Courts feel these pressures, 
and those pressures will be significantly heightened, and any 
countervailing tendency to guard against executive overreaction 
diminished, if courts are widely seen to be responsible for an actual 
terrorist attack.  More broadly, the usual security panic after a bad 
attack will be enhanced quite a lot—in courts and in Congress—if 
before the attack legal and judicial constraints are seen to block safety.   
If Trump assumes that there will be a bad terrorist attack on his watch, 
blaming judges now will deflect blame and enhance his power more 
than usual after the next attack."....Jack Goldsmith, lawfareblog. 

And now the conservative, Max Boot:
GRAVE DANGERS AND DEEP SADNESS OF AMERICA FIRST
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/23/the-grave-dangers-and-deep-sadness-of-america-first-don

"Donald Trump’s caustic, ill-tempered, and divisive inaugural address sounded as 
if it came from a different world from the one I inhabit — or, to be exact, from a 
different America than I have known for the 40 of my 47 years that I have been 
lucky enough to live in this wonderful country." 

"Trump's America is full of “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.” It is home to an education system “which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge.” It is rife with “crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.” And who is responsible for this “American carnage”? Trump heaped blame on other countries and on disloyal American elites"" Max Boot, Foreign Policy, 1/21/17 (whose family immigrated to the US from Russia.) 


“That’s some weird shit.” Bush’s reaction to the Trump Inaugural speech...


which, in part, depicted America as a dystopian Mad Max landscape filled with the above named
"rusted out factories scattered like tombstones" as if playing to endtime fundamentalists or an
RT audience whose petrostate unofficial government sponsor, Czar Vlad Putin, uses the RT
network as a platform to carefully depict everything imaginably negative regarding the U.S.
His job made easier by America’s open critical media with or without the present administration.
RT and Sputnik play at straight news reporting until events like the US presidential elections.
At which point they diverge into carefully manipulated propaganda from the right and left.

President Trump's inaugural speech assisted Putin in his years long strategy of reversing
media and internet news that puts closed authoritarian Russian Fight Club kleptocracies
in a bad light.  Russia's history and system of government before and after Stalin, always
said to be in transition, leave them no choice but to employ Big Brother censorship
to the point of murdering (vaporizing) journalists and opposition leaders right now, today,
not during Stalin’s rule, not 28 years ago during the time of the KGB and Stasi in East
Germany’s GDR (German Democratic Republic) when KGB Col. Putin competited with the
Nazis to see whose vision of hell was worse.

The recent movie Atomic Blonde had a good guy E German spy character named Merkel
and a balding KGB spy stand-in for Vlad “The Impaler” Putin whose character gets shot
and bleeds out from the neck.  (Who says Hollywood writers have no sense of humor?)
Nonetheless Putin's troll farms of today with frequent assistance from RT guests like
ex-CIA Putin fan, Hillary hater and 911 truther, Ray McGovern.

Russian opposition media exists but is so diminished as to necessitate books with titles like,
"Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia" a 2015
book by ex-Russian journalist Peter Pomerantsev that summarizes Russian media and
propaganda strategies perfectly.  I read the glowing reviews in the NY Times in 2015.
Apparently few others bothered.

The Russian local internet was polluted and turned upside down years ago.  At the same
time Putin turned his attention to the world beyond Russia's borders for similar results.
None of which is in any way new.  We do not now live in a post fact, post truth world
despite years of You Tube and social media manipulation by Religious Right, alt/ right,
Alex Jones, fake YT radio channels, 4-Chan, National Enquirer and especially, Russian
troll farms.  Which of the above aided Trump’s advance on Casablanca (DC)?  All the above.

The full employment economy in the U.S. that greeted Trump on January 20th, 2017
was in sharp contrast to the 800,000 job loses occurring the month before Barack Obama
took office in 2009.  For the latter disaster we can thank "excellent" chess moves of
Dick Cheney of the Cheney Bush administration and a Republican Party that left Democrats
to their traditional role of digging out from Republican deregulation which gave us a (1929)
2008 Great Recession.  It took until 2013 for major banks to pay off fines.  Deutsche Bank,
one of the few majors that would still lend to Trump Inc, fined for LIBOR manipulation
was also fined for laundering money for Russian oligarchs (blamed on an American employee
of course) and is still paying off fines assessed in the billions by the Obama DOJ in 2016.
In reprisal Deutsche falsely announced before the 2016 election that the US was in recession.
Duly reported on bogus financial sites who get their talking points from Russia.  Undoubtedly
web sites like “Zero Hedge” (right wing) and “Naked Capitalism” (left wing) were too smart
to bend over that far.  Glenn Greenwald?  *ucker Carlson calls him “a very brave man” for
standing up to the “Russian hating left wing conspiracists.”

2008 left America's first African-American President with options both bad and terrible.
Things were in such horrific shape that Dick Cheney famously predicted that President
Obama could only be a one-term President.  That the combination of two wars and
near economic collapse would overcome any administration so unfortunate as to follow
8 years of Cheney and Republican control.

Dick (DC) Cheney had eight years to deregulate, and, with the help of mortgage loan fraud
specialist Roland Arnall, the Cheney Bush SEC and cooperation from Cheney's long time
“friend" across three Republican Presidents Allan Greenspan - who together unleashed the
beasts of "free market" predatory economic mayhem upon the U.S. and the world.

The main predators were fraud based subprime real estate loan companies like Arnall's
Ameriquest.  Arnall was the number one 2004 Bush campaign contributor which is how
he stayed ahead of fines imposed by Democratic Atrorney General's.  Ameriquest
sponsored the Bush owned Texas Rangers baseball team until the publicity, scandals and
fines forced them to change the name of their field which was, of course, Ameriquest Field.

Cheney, as it turned out was very wrong.  Obama easily won his second term.  His
daughter Liz, however, was finally elected to Congress in 2016 to offset her fathers
powers of prediction.  Possibly as a challenge to a faltering Trump and or Pense in 2020
as the first female VP or Republican Presidential candidate.  Enough of that.  The world
can only handle so many horror reality shows at one time.

In 2008, elements of right wing America thought President Obama was going to take away
their *freedumbs* and guns.  This resulted in an exponential uptick in death threats and the
sale of guns and ammo.  Typical and expected from NRA “Purge Night” Skinheads.  How many believed such hyperbolic crap?  (Is this blog equally hyperbolic?  Not even close)  Political
power, oil and nihilistic party over country is what matters for the GOP as per moderate
heavyweight George Packer at the 2017 NYPL.  Republican moderates Thomas Mann and
Norm Ornstein have rightly singled out their own party with worse descriptions.

Going from Fantastic Beast Cheney Obscurants to Trump, Miller, Bannon and Jeff Sessions
wasn't such a stretch after all.



Sunday, February 26, 2017

THE UNPOSSIBLE FILES





This blog is a mix of politics, humor and far-out philosophical musings.  I start with 
some Loudon Wainwright III political humor to prepare myself for what's to come 
from President Trump, Religious Right, Putin, Netanyahu, Alex-ander "Zoolander" Jones.

"In Russia, farms of online trolls systematically harass democratic voices and spread false information on the Internet and on social media" - Eric Schmidt CEO, Alphabet (Google)

The above is far from confined to only Russia's local internet...

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/magazine/the-agency.html...Adrian Chen



http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/17/how-pro-trump-twitter-bots-spread-fake-
news.html?via=desktop&source=twitter...Gideon Resnick

The Paranoid Style As Weaponized Disinformation:
"In fact, the idea of the paranoid style as a force in politics would have little 
contemporary relevance or historical value if it were applied only to men with 
profoundly disturbed minds.  It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more 
or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant."...The Paranoid Style in American Politics”, historian Richard Hofstadter, 1964

http://www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart-media-trump-harvard-study.php 
From the above Columbia Journalism Review March 3, 2017: 
"What we find in our data is a network of mutually-reinforcing hyper-partisan sites that 
revive what Richard Hofstadter called “the paranoid style in American politics,” combining decontextualized truths, repeated falsehoods, and leaps of logic to create a fundamentally misleading view of the world." 

"“Fake news,” which implies made of whole cloth by politically disinterested parties 
out to make a buck of Facebook advertising dollars, rather than propaganda and disinformation, is not an adequate term. By repetition, variation, and circulation 
through many associated sites, the network of sites make their claims familiar to 
readers, and this fluency with the core narrative gives credence to the incredible" ...benkler-faris-roberts-and-zuckerman, Columbia Journalism Review
                                                                                                        
NY Times, 9/7/16 - OXFORD, England — "Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter lashed 
out at Russia on Wednesday, accusing the government of President Vladimir V. Putin of demonstrating a “clear ambition to erode” international order and warning Russia to stay 
out of the American elections.  Russia plainly ignored that admonition." 

https://www.buzzfeed.com/miriamelder/trumps-critics-are-letting-the-bigger-russia-story-slide?utm_term=.ivkEvpYmK#.hcPWrde61

THE UNPOSSIBLE FILES:
IMO, this has been happening for a decade.  Russian troll network disinformation merging 
their message with elements of the U.S. and Israeli Religious Right, the Trump friendly National Enquirer, Murdoch media empire (worldwide tabloids, Fox “News”) and Alex 
Jones occurred long before prominent Republican/ libertarians like Ron Paul, Trump, 
Pat Buchanan, Rudy Giuliani, Ralph Peters, Rep. Steve King praised Putin for his so-
called moral and political leadership.  How many other elected Republican conservatives 
hid their support and influence due to negative impacts on their election chances?
IOW, IMO, influential Republicans are likely years ahead of Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s influence on the 2016 election.  I wish him luck. 

Putin is Christian.  At least he says he is.  The afore mentioned more than take his word 
while questioning their own leader's religion and citizenship.  None dare call it_____(guess)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-13/will-putin-and-trump-bond-over-oil
What else do all of them have in common?   Many are funded by oil and might want the 
price of same to go to "at least" $75 a bbl. to bailout the oil economies of Texas, Alaska, 
Oklahoma, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela etc.  Putin’s Russia wants Antarctica 
to melt for it's oil which means, at least for them and for red states, global warming doesn't exist.  They all know that it's caused by humans but economics causes them to "unknow" and deny inconvenient facts.  

Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas doesn't looks like a genius promoting tax cuts and supply-
side economics for his state.  He recently quit as Governor to take a job with the Trump 
administration.  It doesn't hurt that his state of Kansas is the Koch Brothers home base.  
The right wing put their faith in oil, in Putin, Koch, Exxon CEO and future Sec. of State, 
Rex Tillerson, in Donald Fucking Trump and, last but not least, in fear and doom ultra-nationalism.  potent combination.  A vindication of Czar Putin, Trump's financial, 
cyberpathic hacking and financial backer of last resort.  They won.  They lost the popular 
vote (again) but they won. 

"In a report dated May 21, Internet Research Agency commercial director 
Svetlana Boiko discussed the progress of the trolling project’s $75,000 trial 
period, which began April 10. The report says that during that period, the 
trolls left more than 2,500 comments on 30 different news websites, tweeted 
1,220 times from 12 accounts, wrote 85 Facebook posts, posted 175 times in an unspecified number of forums, and made five bizarre YouTube videos attacking 
the U.S. government."
"Bizarre" YT videos attacking U.S.?  Deliberately using "bizarre" "paranoid modes 
of expression" as a means of spreading not misinformation but disinformation by 
Psy-war troll farm networks whose deliberately demented content is offset by shear 
numbers of You Tube channels, deliberately psychotic You Tube supporting 
comments and further offset by officious British accented narrators.  Thousands 
of bogus "alternative" YT channels, fake comments, blogs, fake news, bogus forums
(Above Top Secret) and websites with "news government (always implying the U.S. government not the Russian prototype surveillance state) doesn't want you to know."  

That last is now referred to as U.S. Cold War paranoid McCarthyism by so-called
journalistic gatekeepers like Glenn Greenwald and Max Blumenthal.  The term Russophobia is seen in what's left of comment sections used with exaggerated 
formality, feigned insult and pointed accusing finger of fake political correctness 
thrown back at US liberals.  Only slightly exaggerated: "At the end of the day sir, 
have you no shame with your insulting Russophobic baseless accusations.  Where's 
your proof?  It is indeed a sad day."  IOW, trolling beyond satire and sarcasm.   

FROM THE ABOVE 2014 BUZZFEED LINK (prelude to much wider coverage):
"Russia’s campaign to shape international opinion around its invasion of
Ukraine has extended to recruiting and training a new cadre of online
trolls that have been deployed to spread the Kremlin’s message on the
comments section of top American websites."

"Plans attached to emails leaked by a mysterious Russian hacker collective 
show IT managers reporting on a new ideological front against the West in the comments sections of Fox News, Huffington Post, The Blaze, Politico, and WorldNetDaily."  (Fake newspeak: "shocking, appalling and cause for concern")

"The bizarre hive of social media activity appears to be part of a 
two-pronged Kremlin campaign to claim control over the internet, launching a million-dollar army of trolls to mold American public opinion as it cracks down on internet freedom at home."
Not to mention an army of Russian hackers and trolls influencing the 2016
elections with help from the RNC, Wikileaks, and DNC incompetence
in failing to heed repeated FBI phone calls in Sept 2015 that high ranking
DNC computers and emails had been breached.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/us/politics/russia-hack-election-dnc.html?
_r=0

https://newrepublic.com/article/138019/right-giving-democracy
Explaining evangelical support for Trump via Jeet Heer of The New Republic:
"More recently, a virtual Vladimir Putin cult has arisen among religious conservatives longing for a return to cultural purity."
Putin’s macho bearing, his hostility to LGBT rights, and his fusion of nationalism with support for the Russian Orthodoxy all make him an attractive figure to right-wing Christians disenchanted with Obama’s socially liberal America. 
Franklin Graham, heir to the most influential American
evangelist, says Putin should be celebrated for taking
“a stand" to protect his nation’s children from the
damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda,” even as
“America’s own morality has fallen so far on this issue.”
Rush Limbaugh cheers Putin for opposing “a full-frontal assault on what has always been considered normalcy.” Religious Right stalwart Bryan Fischer, host of the radio program Focal Point, has hailed Putin as a “lion of Christianity.” Sam Rohrer, president of the America
Pastors Network, calls the Russian president “the moral 
leader of the world.”.....Jeet Heer Oct 24, 2016
Disinformation soft news and comments on YT videos and on HuffPo
old comment sections are the least of new Cold War blizzard of lies tactics.
They are way down in terms of importance.  Sowing fear and doubt by increments: hacking the internet, large corporations, banks, candidate emails.   Soon to come: possible political blackmail of the Trump White House via Wikileaks, right wing governments on Russia's border, a "big emergency"
possibly involving domestic terror in the US to reverse Trump's sinking poll numbers or an emergency of the kind that will spike the price of oil upward.

The 2016 NYC explosions on 23rd Street three blocks from where I live
where no one was killed and all injured were released from the hospital
the next morning were a prelude to something worse.  The Nov. 8th
election of Donald Trump.

The fact that the explosions occurred across the street from the home
of TPM editor and virulent Trump foe, Josh Marshall and his family
has to be an unfortunate coincidence.  He and his family were elsewhere
at the time.  Marshall was writing editorial after editorial critical of
Putin's relationship with Trump and Russian backing of New York City's
Trump Soho hotel.

Now the Republican base grinds clenched teeth as a Trump regime takes shape.  Even as the WSJ suggested in response to the Trump rape tapes that, if elected, Trump would resign after taking the oath whether on his own or by prompting
by the RNC with VP Pense then taking the oath and Chief Justice Roberts
having to get the oath right a second time as he was forced to do whether deliberately or through incompetence in 2009.

As liberal Keith Olbermann and conservative David Frum have
recently tweeted, the 25th Amendment Article 4 will be getting
a lot of scrutiny even as Trump concedes $25 million in restitution
regarding Trump U to NYS AG, Schneiderman.  The only reason
it wasn't bigger was because statutes of limitations had run out.
If Trump had been defeated he wouldn't have paid the 25 million.

My personal and worldwide Nightmare continues for four or eight
more years with Trump's Republican Party much more of a
danger than he is with legislative powers much greater than the last
time they lost the popular vote and assumed a mandate to govern.
They will do so with or without the Soprano level R/ E gangster unless
he and Chris Christie has something really terrible on them or Fox News.

It's become a tradition for Republican's to use the #1 spot as a foil to
distract while the big boys, in this case Pense, Ryan and Tillerson
run the show.  While the compliant mainstream and the subservient
to insanity right wing Breitbart and Drudge play "what will Donald J,
FLOTUS Mel and First Daughter Ivy Tweet and wear today?"