Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Future of Democratic Party lies in moving to the moral center


By Jesse Jackson                August 13, 2018
A new generation of Democrats, such as New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is challenging the party's establishment, writes Jesse Jackson, and the party's goal should be to embrace the "moral center." | AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The media is now reporting on the debate among Democrats and activists about what the party should stand for, and how it will win elections.

Establishment Democrats are said fear that the populist reform energy represented by Bernie Sanders and rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who upset Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, in a New York City primary) will turn off the moderate, upscale, white suburban Republicans who they believe are appalled by Trump and the key to taking back the Congress.

A Wall-Street-funded group known as the Third Way — which might better be known as the Wrong Way since it has been wrong about every major issue facing the country over the last years, championing disastrous corporate trade deals, deregulation of Wall Street and the Iraq War among other calamities — even convened a small gathering, “cohosted” by a billionaire real estate developer to map out how to counter what the media describes as the left.

The very terms of this debate are misleading. Ideas that have broad public support, such as tuition-free college, are labeled “left.” Ideas that offend philosophical conservatives, such as subsidies to big oil companies, are tagged as on the right, championed by Republicans.

We’d be wiser to focus on common sense and basic principles. When Dr. Martin Luther King spoke forcefully against what he called the “triple evils” of “racism, economic exploitation and militarism,” he was criticized for weakening the cause of civil rights, for getting out of his lane by talking about economic inequality and against the Vietnam War.

He responded, “I’m against segregation at lunch counters, and I’m not going to segregate my moral concerns.” Cowardice, he taught us, asks the question “Is it safe?” Expediency asks, “Is it politic?” Vanity asks, “Is it popular?” Conscience asks, “Is it right?”

We are a nation faced with great perils. Inequality has reached new extremes and, even with the economy near full employment, working people still struggle simply to stay afloat. Big money corrupts our politics and distorts our government. We are mired in wars without end — 17 years in Afghanistan and counting — and without victory or sense. We have a president who believes he profits politically by spreading racial division, appealing to our fears rather than our hopes.

This is the time for citizens and for true leaders to move not left or right, to the expedient or the cautious, but to the moral center. Affordable health care for all isn’t left or right, it is the moral center. Jobs that pay a living wage, affordable housing, public education, college without debt, clean water and air, action to address catastrophic climate change that literally may endanger the world — these are not ideas of the right or left. They are the moral center.

Holding to the moral center has its own power. Opposition to slavery started as a minority position, but its moral force was undeniable. Integration seemed impossible in the segregated South, but its moral force could not be denied. In this time of troubles, I believe that Americans in large numbers are looking for leaders who will embrace the moral center, not the expedient, the safe or the fashionable. They are looking for champions who will represent them, not those with deep pockets.

That may be the final irony. The most successful political strategy may well be not to trim to prevailing opinion or compromise with entrenched interest but to stand up forcefully for what is right.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Aretha Franklin's death reportedly 'imminent': She's 'been ill for a long time'

GIBSON JOHNS, AOL.COM          Aug 13th 2018 
Aretha Franklin's death is reportedly "imminent," sources say following reports that the legendary singer is "gravely ill."

People reported on Monday that Franklin, 76, "has been ill for a long time," but "she did not want people to know and she didn't make it public."

The report echoes the claims made to TMZ by a source close to the singer, who said that Franklin "could go at any time," noting that she was down to 85 pounds.

Roger Friedman of Showbizz 411 was the first to report on Monday that the soul singer was nearing the end, noting that her "family is asking for prayers and privacy" as she suffers from cancer in a Detroit hospital. Friedman noted that Franklin was reportedly first diagnosed with cancer back in 2010. She gave her final public performance in August of 2017 at Philadelphia's Mann Center months before performing at an event for Elton John's AIDS Foundation in November, at which Franklin garnered concern with her noticeably gaunt appearance.

"Aretha is surrounded by family and people close to her," Friedman reported. "She will be so missed as a mother, sister, friend, cousin. But her legacy is larger than life. It’s not just that Rolling Stone called her the number 1 singer of all time, or that she is the Queen of Soul. Long live the Queen."

Per People, Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy -- and "good friend" of Franklin -- claimed to have spoken directly to the singer and noted that she was "resting and surrounded by close friends and family."
Evrod Cassimy
@EvrodCassimy
 BREAKING NEWS: I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.
Evrod Cassimy
@EvrodCassimy
 Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin. She is resting and surrounded by close friends and family. More details ahead on Local 4 News at 12pm. #ArethaFranklin #aretha

Confirmation that Franklin is "gravely ill" came months after the singer cancelled a slew of shows in the spring following doctor's orders that she rest for "at least the next two months." Rumors that Franklin had been diagnosed with cancer had persisted for years, but she had never publicly confirmed that she was suffering.


Aretha Franklin had previously announced that her next album, "A Brand New Album," is scheduled to be released in November.

Lady  of Soul  you have our prayers  , we pray for the family to have strength to be with their love one in her crossing over  and hope it is peaceful /

Shadow   &   Witchy

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Fall of an American Icon

 


Great example of, "Some people are not what they appear to be", and, "Living a lie".

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Donald Trump Jr. is already under the bus --- and Trump senior just keeps driving

Sumner        Daily Kos Staff
Over the weekend Donald Trump fired off a tweet that admits he’s been lying to the public for months and shaves his “no collusion” argument down to a fingernail. But while Trump is unlikely to face the consequences of this admission, except as one of many contributions to proof that he has obstructed the investigation, this brief statement aims a big legal bus squarely at Donald Trump Jr.
Donald J. Trump
           ✔

@realDonaldTrumpMark 
 Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!
The story of the meeting between Trump’s senior campaign staff and Russian operatives, a meeting both organized and attended by Trump Jr., was first made public by the New York Times on June 8, 2017. On that date, the Times asked Trump Jr. for his comments on the meeting, and he replied with a statement that during the meeting Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.” The Washington Post reported on July 31, 2017, that Donald Trump actually dictated this statement while flying back from Germany on Air Force One.

Trump Jr. dutifully repeated the statement his father had provided—though they both knew it wasn’t true at the time. And if that was the end of it, Trump Jr. would be in the same position as Trump: knowingly and publicly disseminating a false story intended to halt or divert the investigation into connections between the campaign and the Russian government.

But for Trump Jr., that was not the end. He has repeated the statement in multiple forums. In particular, there was this statement:

Donald Trump Jr.: The meeting was instead primarily focused on Russian adoptions, which is exactly what I said over a year later in my statement of July 8, 2017.

That’s just one part of testimony that Trump Jr. made before the US Senate on September 7, 2017. And lying in that setting is a good deal more serious.

In his Sunday tweet, what Donald Trump is calling “fake news” is multiple stories that he was sulking around whatever golf course he happened to be inhabiting at the moment, worrying that special counsel Robert Mueller has targeted his son, Donald Trump Jr. But in attempting to call that story “fake news,” Trump admitted that the story he had been peddling for months—the assertion that the meeting arranged by Trump Jr. between Russian operatives at senior members of Trump’s campaign staff was about “adoption” rather than seeking Russian help in attacking Hillary Clinton—was an out-and-out lie.

In his Senate testimony, Donald Trump Jr. gave detailed responses on how the meeting was established, who he talked to in setting it up, and the structure of that meeting. From the beginning, it’s been clear that the purpose of the meeting was to attempt to get help from the Russian government against Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr.’s primary defense in this testimony is the phrase “not that I recall” which was frequently deployed.  

But Trump Jr. is definite on some things:

Question: Did you inform your father about the meeting or the underlying offer prior to the meeting?

Trump jr: I did not.

Trump Jr. also denied there being a pre-meeting meeting with others in the campaign before the get together. However, on June 27, 2018, CNN reported that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was willing to testify that Trump did know about the meeting. Not only that, but there was another section of Trump Jr.’s testimony.

Question: Prior to the meeting on June 9, 2016, who did you tell about the meeting or Mr. Goldstone’s underlying offer to pass along information from Russia?

Trump Jr.: I believe only Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, I made them aware of it.

Question: Was there anyone else?

Trump Jr.: No, not to my recollection.

But the testimony that Cohen is supposedly prepared to give would include an “organizing meeting” that was attended by a larger Trump team. In multiple appearances, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani provided a handy list of those present: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen and one other person. Giuliani reappeared on television later the same day to deny the meeting had ever occurred, despite having provided this rather detailed list.

The list of names shows that there are at least two reasons why Trump should suddenly be grumbling about Trump Jr.’s upcoming time in handcuffs. Not only is Michael Cohen willing to testify that he lied to the Senate and mislead investigators, Rick Gates was also at that meeting. Gates agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation months ago, and so has likely already provided information on this meeting—including any information that may have been relayed about Donald Trump’s knowledge of the upcoming event.

Trump is worrying about what will happen with Donald Trump Jr., because he has a very, very good reason to be worried. Trump Jr. has recorded testimony that is likely to be at odds with that provided by multiple witnesses. And that’s just on the events before and during the meeting. It doesn’t even touch on the “nothing came of it” lies about actions following the meeting.

It seems increasingly likely that the first test of whether Donald Trump can pardon someone whose testimony might be directly relevant to his own potential impeachment, could come in the case of his own son.
**************************************
Witchy sez :
Very heartwarming to see that the smart son in law Kushner is being carefully protected from this mess so far. Of course, he’s so very useful, while Jr. probably was born knowing he was supposed to be a tool for his father. And what a tool he has turned out to be!

Don Jr. will soon find out that his own father can’t help but sell him out to save his own butt.  He’s got to be crapping his pants knowing that his father will do it.  Then President Spanky will pardon him and act like he was a super hero for doing it.  How hard is this story to tell?

Attack on LeBron shows Trump wants to use fear, divisiveness to win elections

By Jesse Jackson                     August 7, 2018
The run-up to the 2018 congressional elections has begun. With 40 Republican representatives deciding not to run again, the party’s majority in the House is at risk. President Donald Trump has announced he plans to stump for Republicans across the country, seeking to make the election a referendum on him. Characteristically, a centerpiece of his approach is to use race as a weapon to divide and distract us.

Once more, he’s gone after NFL players — largely African Americans — for their dignified, nonviolent protests against black lives lost to police violence. The president has portrayed them as unpatriotic and ungrateful. He’ll escalate those insults this fall.

Once more, he’s slurred immigrants as violent, using the MS-13 gang to rouse fears. He says he will close down the government this fall if he doesn’t get full funding for his wall, raising the heat on an issue used to divide us.

Days after LeBron James opened his I Promise school in Akron, Ohio, where his foundation is providing everything from school lunches to guaranteed tuitions for those who go to college, Trump questioned James’ intelligence and that of his CNN interviewer, Don Lemon (also an African American): “LeBron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.” Trump’s also libeled Rep. Maxine Waters as a “very low IQ individual.”

This isn’t accidental or coincidental; it is intentional and instrumental. Trump has a long, ugly history of preying on racial fears for his own political benefit. He rose to national attention by trafficking the lie about Obama’s birth, arguing that he was an illegitimate president, born in Kenya. He launched his presidential campaign with a blast at Mexican immigrants as murderers and “rapists.” He reveled in assailing the gold star Muslim parents of a U.S. Army officer who died serving his country in the Iraq War.

During the Republican presidential primary campaign, Trump for a time declined to disavow the support of David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, saying that he hadn’t done “research” on the group. (He later disavowed Duke and the Klan as a result of public outcry.)

As president, Trump scorned immigrants from what he called “s—hole countries” — Haiti, El Salvador and countries in Africa — while saying the U.S. needed more immigrants from countries like Norway.

Trump claims he is the “least racist person that you have ever met.” His record suggests otherwise. The Justice Department sued the Trump organization — including Trump’s father, Fred, the company chair and founder, and Trump himself, who was then serving as president — for systematic discrimination in refusing to rent to African-Americans. After a protracted legal battle, the Trumps agreed to a consent decree that required them to take concrete steps to end discrimination, including providing the New York Urban League with weekly listings of vacancies, allowing them to supply qualified applicants.

Later Trump gained notoriety for taking out full-page ads championing the death penalty for the Central Park Five, five young American Americans accused of raping and murdering a jogger in Manhattan’s Central Park. They were convicted in a wave of hysteria only to be released after years in prison when DNA evidence proved they were innocent of the crime. There is no indication that Trump ever apologized.

But the question really isn’t whether Trump is a racist or not. What is undeniable is that he purposefully plays on racial fears for his own political purposes, seeking to rouse “his base” and divide and distract working people.

Trump clearly enjoys scorning convention and violating norms. During the campaign, he boasted that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still keep the support of his voters.

But we ought not adjust or accommodate to a president using his White House pulpit to spread fear, fan hatred and divide us.

LeBron James understands how destructive this behavior can be, noting about Trump:
“He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country. He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the president of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement …. ”

Later, James reflected:
“When I was growing up, there (were) like three jobs that you looked for inspiration. … It was the president of the United States, it was whoever was best in sports and it was the greatest musician at the time. You never thought you could be them, but you can grab inspiration from them. …

“And this time, right now, with the president of the United States, it’s at a bad time. While we cannot change what comes out of that man’s mouth, we can continue to alert the people that watch us, that listen to us, (that) this is not the way.”

Trump will make this election a test of what kind of country we are and what kind of country we want to live in. He believes that by spreading division and fears he will gain politically. We have to demonstrate that we are a better people than that. The provocations, the outrages, the slanders will continue. The only question is how we will respond to them.


As teams gear up for the NFL season, President Trump is reviving his destructive and diversionary attacks aimed at turning fans against players. The league office stepped in it by unilaterally declaring that players who do not want to stand during the national anthem should stay in the locker room. The NFL players association had little choice but to force negotiations over that insult. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is a decent guy. But he stuck his foot in it, too, recently announcing that the Cowboys had to stand for the anthem and couldn’t stay in the locker room – or else. The league wisely told him to zip it while the policy was under negotiation. So it goes. So much of this is a false narrative. Fake news. Trump dishonestly insists that the players are disrespecting the flag. In fact, the players kneeling during the anthem were expressing a silent protest not against the flag, but against police brutality and the reality of structural racial inequality. Kneeling before the flag in silent, nonviolent protest is not disrespectful to the Stars and Stripes. Just the opposite. It is a sign of deference and respect, a call to honor what the flag is truly supposed to represent. Burning the flag is constitutionally protected but is a desecration. Burning a cross is a desecration. It is violent. Kneeling before the cross, or during the anthem, on the other hand, isn’t a desecration; it is a call for help. Colin Kaepernick was and is concerned about blacks being beaten and killed by police. He kneeled during the anthem to highlight how the values of the flag were being ignored on the streets. He wasn’t disrespecting the flag; he was protesting those who trample its values. He was being a patriot.   Now Trump wants to light the dynamite again. His politics prey and thrive on division. He hopes to divide us one against the other while his administration rolls back protections of consumers, workers and the environment, allows corporate lobbyists to rig the rules, and lards more and more tax cuts and subsidies on entrenched interests and the wealthy. So, he purposefully peddles the false narrative that the players are disrespecting the flag. Jones, who is a Trump supporter, isn’t a bad man. Beyond the playing field, beyond contracts, he has been a decent guy. He paid for the funeral of Cowboy great Bob Hayes. But Jones has allowed himself to be turned into Trump’s pawn in this diversion. The reality is that we would not have the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas were it not for those protesting for their rights. The victory of the Civil Rights Movement opened the way to a New South. The nonviolent protests and resistance pulled down the old barriers and walls in the South, clearing the way for the Cowboys and the Spurs and the Rockets of the New South, where blacks and whites could play on the same team and wear the same colors, where fans root for the colors of their team, not the color of the players’ skin. Successful protests – at the cost of far too many lives – finally ended slavery and apartheid in this society. We should be honoring the protesters, not distorting their message. Kaepernick was right to protest what is going on in our streets. He has paid a heavy penalty for expressing his views in a nonviolent and dignified fashion. One of the best quarterbacks in the league, he has effectively been banned, a blatant conspiracy that ought to constitute a clear violation of anti-trust laws. Kaepernick stands among giants. Curt Flood in baseball and Muhammad Ali during the prime years of his boxing life were also banned, but in the process, they changed sports and the country for the better. There have always been politicians who profit by appealing to our fears. There have always been politicians who seek to divide us for political gain. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go to fulfill the flag’s values of liberty and justice for all. The players expressing their views in nonviolent and dignified fashion aren’t disgracing the flag, they are expressing its values. Let us turn against those who would divide us and join together to make America better.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Trump Admits Russian Trump Tower Meeting Was About Getting Dirt on Hillary

Donald Trump, 31 July 2018
 
Does this mean he lied about it before??? Presidents don't lie....do they???

U.S. President Donald Trump is renewing his attacks on two of his favorite targets: the special counsel Russia probe and the news media.
Trump, who is on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, began Sunday with a series of searing tweets.
He defended calling the media “The Enemy of the People,” and said journalists “purposely cause great division & distrust” and can “cause War!”


         
 
TRUMP TWEET:       
Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!

 
TRUMP TWEET:
Why aren’t Mueller and the 17 Angry Democrats looking at the meetings concerning the Fake Dossier and all of the lying that went on in the FBI and DOJ? This is the most one sided Witch Hunt in the history of our country. Fortunately, the facts are all coming out, and fast!
 
Trump then particularly went after recent reporting about Robert Mueller’s probe into possible links between his campaign and Russian officials, particularly stories on how he may be concerned about his eldest son’s legal exposure.
And Trump once again defended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in which his son met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer saying it was “totally legal” and that he didn’t know about it.
Trump Jr. published emails setting up the meeting a year later, ahead of a New York Times report revealing them. The Trump administration has denied wrong doing, describing the meeting as a "waste of time" and saying it was about Russian adoption policy related to American sanctions - a claim Trump just contradicted.
He actually, inadvertently flipped on his own son. He has also claimed, up to this point, that he had no idea  what the meeting was about, except what he was told....Russian adoption policy etc. So he also exposed his own lie.
'The vomit thickens'. Hmmmm … That's not what Witchy says …   Nope, I remember, "As the Stomach Turns".

Thursday, August 2, 2018

NBC News  
LEIGH ANN CALDWELL AND JONATHAN ALLEN
That has rattled Republicans who have relied on Koch money to supplement their own campaign message and to be a reliable attack dog against their Democratic opponents.

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said he's "very concerned" at the Koch's new posture this election cycle and beyond.

"We need all the help we can get right now because the left is very clear because the presidential candidate they're going to put up in 2020 is going to be very liberal," Perdue said.

But the Koch organization has grown frustrated with the GOP, which is transforming into a more protectionist, nationalist party under the leadership of President Trump — a shift that organization officials see as counter to their own agenda.

The Koch network and the president have split on the issues of tariffs and immigration and the group is attempting to pressure lawmakers to stay committed to traditional Republican ideals.

"There are honest disagreements within the GOP on some topics, tariffs and trade obviously being one of them. And the Koch's strong free market ideology doesn't fit well with the current set of policies being pushed by the White House," said Chris Wilson, director of research, analytics and digital strategy for the Ted Cruz presidential campaign.

The disagreement on trade, an issue central to both the president and the Koch network, has deepened a fissure in the party that already existed.

In a rare interview session with reporters Sunday, Charles Koch, the head of the organization, said he "regrets" having supported some Republicans in the past who "say they're going to be for these principles that we espoused and then they aren't." And he pledged to be more "selective" in supporting candidates going forward.

Trump took offense to the network's message, tweeting that they are "highly overrated" and that he has "beaten them at every turn."
Donald J. Trump

      ✔
@realDonaldTrump
 The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade. I never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas. They love my Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judicial picks & more. I made.....
Donald J. Trump 

    ✔
@realDonaldTrump
 ....them richer. Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn. They want to protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed, I’m for America First & the American Worker - a puppet for no one. Two nice guys with bad ideas. Make America Great Again!
Donald J. Trump

  ✔
@realDonaldTrump
 Charles Koch of Koch Brothers, who claims to be giving away millions of dollars to politicians even though I know very few who have seen this (?), now makes the ridiculous statement that what President Trump is doing is unfair to “foreign workers.” He is correct, AMERICA FIRST!

But as one Koch donor put it, each side is trying is protecting its ideals.

"I think Trump is saying, whose agenda are you supporting? And I think it's very much the same way for (the Kochs) in that they don't want anybody defecting on any issue," a donor who wished to remain anonymous said.

The rift has begun to impact this year's elections and the way the Koch organization has approached the North Dakota Senate race has caused deep frustration among Republicans.

In May, a Koch-associated group placed a small-dollar mailer ad "thanking" Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for voting to rollback banking regulations. And over the weekend, at their semiannual donor confab in Colorado Springs, the organization announced that it wouldn't support North Dakota Republican candidate Kevin Cramer because he has been "inconsistent" on key issues of government spending and corporate welfare.

Republican senators are reluctant to speak critically publicly, understanding Trump's high approval ratings among the base and worrying about exacerbating the divide.

"When you see ads for Heidi Heitkamp, that caused a little bit of a pause," said one Republican senator who said senators have been asking a lot of questions of each other about what the Koch network's plan is. "I think concerns have to do with fundraising more than anything else."

The organization told reporters that it is engaging in just four Senate races of candidates who fit their mold of backing free trade and a small government as of now, including in Florida, Missouri, Wisconsin and Tennessee. There was no mention of House races to reporters during the three-day seminar.

But two participants told NBC News that in closed-door sessions over the weekend, the organization laid out plans to get involved in ten House races and two additional Senate races — West Virginia and Ohio — bringing the total of Senate races to six.

But not on that list are some key states. North Dakota is considered to be atop the list of Republicans' best opportunities to win a Democratic seat, followed by Indiana, which the Koch network said they have no plans of getting involved at this stage of the race.

Also absent from the list is Nevada where incumbent GOP Sen. Dean Heller is trying to stave off his Democratic opponent and Arizona, where a three-way race for the primary is underway. But one participant said the Koch officials called the race "a mess" and have no intention of getting involved.

"Members of congress do need to know that we're raising the bar. What we would have accepted in the past — repeated votes to increase government spending, failure to lead at important moments such as when trade with the rest of the world is at stake," Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips said in a phone interview, "I think the rest of the country and the network is going to demand more."

Some Republicans argue that the Koch's more limited political engagement will have little impact.

"This disagreement is unlikely to hurt Republicans in the mid-terms as there are enough opportunities for the Koch network to back like-minded candidates while other groups and Super PACS can put their money into the races where the Koch's don't," Wilson said.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who has attended Koch seminar weekends in the past and has also become a staunch ally of the president's, said that the Koch's money is less relevant.

"In truth we're not going to solve the American people's problems with more money. We're going to solve it by being unified and working on the people's agenda between now and November," he said.

Not all lawmakers are concerned. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who attended the most recent Koch weekend, said that he thought the message was a positive one.

"I'm probably an outlier, but I thought it was a fairly positive message," Scott said. "It certainly is a tad bit of a paradigm shift that rightfully so is focusing on the issues more than anything else. They're prioritizing around the issues that they think will make America better."
Let's hear from  Witchy :
Hey Republicans that is what happens when you back someone with no ethics or morals and is slightly nuts.  
tRUMP, the only joke is you... you have accomplished nothing but scare off our allies and cuddle Putin and  Kim  Jong   un as they walked all over you.
 You  must be in hock to both Putin and  Kim , what a dismal failure you  turned out to be.
It's so funny to watch tRUMP cowtow to  Putin  and Kim but constantly disrespect anyone and everyone that doesn't buy the snake oil he is selling. Well anyway it's getting close to his end of days when the fake messiah calls him back to tRUMP  tower in NY. Are you cult45'ers going to be ok?  tRUMP  has done NOTHING for this Country but create a lot of chaos.  He is riding on the shoulders of the economy that Obama started and every EO or bill he has signed has negative connotations for America.  Trump is a slug ........Nuff sez 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

As Trump distorts NFL players' messages, let's instead join together

BY JESSE JACKSON          July 30, 2018
As teams gear up for the NFL season, President Trump is reviving his destructive and diversionary attacks aimed at turning fans against players.

The league office stepped in it by unilaterally declaring that players who do not want to stand during the national anthem should stay in the locker room. The NFL players association had little choice but to force negotiations over that insult.

Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is a decent guy. But he stuck his foot in it, too, recently announcing that the Cowboys had to stand for the anthem and couldn’t stay in the locker room – or else. The league wisely told him to zip it while the policy was under negotiation. So it goes.

So much of this is a false narrative. Fake news.

Trump dishonestly insists that the players are disrespecting the flag. In fact, the players kneeling during the anthem were expressing a silent protest not against the flag, but against police brutality and the reality of structural racial inequality.

Kneeling before the flag in silent, nonviolent protest is not disrespectful to the Stars and Stripes. Just the opposite. It is a sign of deference and respect, a call to honor what the flag is truly supposed to represent.

Burning the flag is constitutionally protected but is a desecration. Burning a cross is a desecration. It is violent. Kneeling before the cross, or during the anthem, on the other hand, isn’t a desecration; it is a call for help.

Colin Kaepernick was and is concerned about blacks being beaten and killed by police. He kneeled during the anthem to highlight how the values of the flag were being ignored on the streets. He wasn’t disrespecting the flag; he was protesting those who trample its values. He was being a patriot.

Now Trump wants to light the dynamite again. His politics prey and thrive on division. He hopes to divide us one against the other while his administration rolls back protections of consumers, workers and the environment, allows corporate lobbyists to rig the rules, and lards more and more tax cuts and subsidies on entrenched interests and the wealthy.

So, he purposefully peddles the false narrative that the players are disrespecting the flag.

Jones, who is a Trump supporter, isn’t a bad man. Beyond the playing field, beyond contracts, he has been a decent guy. He paid for the funeral of Cowboy great Bob Hayes. But Jones has allowed himself to be turned into Trump’s pawn in this diversion. The reality is that we would not have the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas were it not for those protesting for their rights.

The victory of the Civil Rights Movement opened the way to a New South. The nonviolent protests and resistance pulled down the old barriers and walls in the South, clearing the way for the Cowboys and the Spurs and the Rockets of the New South, where blacks and whites could play on the same team and wear the same colors, where fans root for the colors of their team, not the color of the players’ skin.

Successful protests – at the cost of far too many lives – finally ended slavery and apartheid in this society. We should be honoring the protesters, not distorting their message.

Kaepernick was right to protest what is going on in our streets. He has paid a heavy penalty for expressing his views in a nonviolent and dignified fashion. One of the best quarterbacks in the league, he has effectively been banned, a blatant conspiracy that ought to constitute a clear violation of anti-trust laws.

Kaepernick stands among giants. Curt Flood in baseball and Muhammad Ali during the prime years of his boxing life were also banned, but in the process, they changed sports and the country for the better.

There have always been politicians who profit by appealing to our fears. There have always been politicians who seek to divide us for political gain.

We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go to fulfill the flag’s values of liberty and justice for all. The players expressing their views in nonviolent and dignified fashion aren’t disgracing the flag, they are expressing its values.

Let us turn against those who would divide us and join together to make America better.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fox News confronts Rudy Giuliani over Michael Cohen 'liar' flip-flop


HuffPost US          NICK BAUMANN                July  29th 2018 
Rudy Giuliani can’t get his story straight on Michael Cohen — and even Fox News is calling him out on it.

On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace confronted Giuliani, who serves as one of President Donald Trump’s attorneys, on his flip-flopping about Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer. 

In May, Giuliani called Cohen an “honest, honorable lawyer,” Wallace noted. “But now you say, quote, your words, ... ‘a pathological liar’ who’s been lying for years. So what happened?”

Giuliani said his shift stemmed from the revelation that Cohen had been “surreptitiously recording his clients” — referring to the tape of Cohen and Trump discussing a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who’s alleged she had a long-running affair with Trump before he became president. The tape was released last week and initially aired on CNN.

“Obviously if I knew that, I never would’ve said he was a reputable lawyer,” Giuliani said. “I would’ve said he was a scoundrel.”

“I knew nothing bad about Michael Cohen until all of this started to happen in the past couple weeks,” Giuliani insisted.

Giuliani must not have been following previous news accounts about Cohen, who served as Trump’s personal lawyer for more than a decade and was targeted by an FBI raid in April.

Cohen had reportedly compared himself to Tom Hagen, the fictional consigliere of the Corleone crime family in “The Godfather.” His business ventures are the subject of considerable interest from federal investigators, The New York Times reported in May, while Giuliani was still defending him.


And Giuliani months ago corrected a Cohen falsehood. Cohen claimed in February that he had paid Stormy Daniels, a porn actress who also has said she had a brief affair with Trump, $130,000 out of his own pocket, and Trump in April claimed he didn’t know about the payment. Giuliani later admitted that Trump had repaid Cohen.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Michael Cohen says Trump knew about Trump Tower meeting with Russians in advance: CNN


Lock him up ...I got the last laugh...lock him up
HuffPost US         NICK VISSER            July 26th 2018 10:03
Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney, said Donald Trump knew in advance about a meeting during the 2016 campaign in which Russians were expected to offer negative information about his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, according to a report by CNN.

Citing sources with knowledge of Cohen’s claims, CNN said the attorney is willing to share that information with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The meeting occurred at Trump Tower in June 2016 with Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort. They met with a lawyer linked to the Kremlin and a Russian businessman who initially had offered to disclose dirt on Clinton.

Trump has repeatedly denied having any knowledge about the meeting and told The New York Times in July 2017 that he “didn’t know anything” about it.

It’s the latest fracture between Cohen and his longtime client. Earlier this week, Cohen’s legal team released a secretly recorded conversation made in September 2016 in which the attorney and Trump discuss a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. She has alleged that she had a months-long affair with Trump in 2006. 
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

*************** **************************************
Lets hear from Witchy :
tRUMP  is not to be believed.  Not to be trusted.  Not allowed to bring down the country further.  He is a scourge who must be relieved of his position.  Here is to hoping that the GOP finally puts their adult pants on and does the right thing, and support the country and dump the orange charlatan, carnival barker, snake oil sales guy.  
All this time I thought Mueller would sink  tRUMP....was I wrong, tRUMP 's attorney will sink him....'I LOVE IT'...Only the Trump zombies believed  Cheeto the rest of America knows that  tRUMP LIES 100% of the time.
I look forward to Sarah Sanders' informative answers to this at the briefing tomorrow--- oh who am I kidding. She's going to avoid that podium like a coward.  
I think the only way trump supporters will abandon him at this point is if he turns into a black man.
Dear Mr. Pu**y Grabbing tRUMP,
"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history." 
Well I  guess this means Cohen won't be taking that bullet for  tRUMP....HeHe
I guess this means Cohen won't be taking that bullet for trump

To be continue "As The Stomach Turns"

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Trump's a lousy general in the trade war he started with China

BY JESSE JACKSON                 July 23, 2018
President Trump has triggered what could be “the largest trade war in economic history,” the Chinese Commerce Ministry warns. Trump is threatening tariffs on $500 billion in Chinese goods, virtually all of our imports from China. He’s also hit Mexico, Canada and our European allies with punitive tariffs.

This week, the president of the European Community will meet with Trump in what is described as a “last ditch” attempt to avoid tariffs on car imports.  Inevitably, these countries have retaliated with tariffs on U.S. goods. Trump says “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” but this could get messy.

Needless to say, the free trade lobby is up in arms in protest. Light too often gets lost in the heat. As the rhetoric and posturing gets more extreme, a little common sense is needed.

First, the U.S. has been running unsustainably large trade deficits for years — as high as 6 percent of GDP in 2006-2007, down to 2.4 percent OF GDP last year. Much of these deficits come from internal transfers within American multinationals, with companies moving jobs abroad to take advantage of cheap labor or poor environmental standards and then shipping the products back here.

This has devastated communities where the plants closed and given CEOs a club to threaten workers with, contributing to wages losing ground and to obscene levels of inequality. Addressing U.S. trade deficits and their effects is long overdue.

Second, Trump is a lousy general for the war that he’s started. Our trade deficit with China is the largest bilateral deficit in history, nearly $376 billion last year. A sensible general would have engaged our allies to join in challenging China’s mercantilist trade policies that trample global trade rules, from manipulating their currency, to stealing or extorting technological secrets, to suppressing worker rights and environmental protections.  Instead, Trump has decided to open fire on everyone — ally and adversary — at the same time.

Third, Trump seems to get why we are in this hole.  He says prior U.S. negotiators were stupid, cut bad deals and that other countries are stealing us blind. In fact, U.S. negotiators — virtually all drawn from global corporations and banks or their law firms — rigged the rules to serve their interests.

These agreements work great for the CEOs, the multinational banks and corporations.  That they shafted American workers was intentional, not an oversight.

Tariffs are a crude club, one that invites retaliation. Trump’s use of them reveals that he sees the U.S. as weak, not strong.

A sensible strategy would have totally different priorities. It would start by guaranteeing greater security to U.S. working people in a global economy:  Medicare for all, free college and advanced training, a living wage, a full-employment economy.

That economic bill of rights should be bolstered by a cutting-edge industrial policy designed to ensure the U.S. leads in the emerging markets of the future. That would include public investment to rebuild our decrepit infrastructure, from transportation to water systems to public education and training.

It would include investing in advanced research and technology. It would lead in driving the green industrial revolution in alternative energy and energy efficiency. Trump’s tariffs won’t succeed in getting the Chinese to abandon their industrial policy, but we surely could compete if we organized our own.

These internal reforms should be accompanied by efforts to rewrite the rules of the global economy that have directly contributed to the widening gulf between rich and poor.  The U.S., the author of most of those rules, should lead the effort, with negotiators who represent the vast majority, not the executive suite.

According to reports, Trump’s negotiators in the NAFTA talks with Mexico and Canada have pushed sensible reforms —  an end to the investor-state dispute settlement system that gives corporations a privately rigged legal system, a $17 minimum wage across countries in the automobile sector, better rules and enforcement for union organizing.

For these reforms to survive, Trump will have to overcome the conservatives in his own party, which seems very unlikely.

Trump is a bombastic showman, with a conman’s sense of what sells. The trade wars help distract from the scandals that dog him at home, and let him drive the headlines while posturing as the champion of working people.

He’s addressing a problem that is real, but he displays neither the understanding of what needs to be done nor the instinct for the strategy needed to achieve it. And the very people he claims to be helping are likely to pay the highest cost for his follies.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Putin listens closely as Trump speaks... Why ? Read on

Russia's President Vladimir Putin listens while US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at Finland's Presidential Palace July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. - The US and Russian leaders opened an historic summit in Helsinki, with Donald Trump promising an "extraordinary relationship" and Vladimir Putin saying it was high time to thrash out disputes around the world. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
And there's really only one idiot in America stupid enough to fall for it.
 One of the few semi-concrete proposals to come out of the Trump-Putin Summit and Annual Performance Review was an ostensibly new willingness by the Putin regime to “help” the U.S. government further investigate the allegations against a dozen Russian military officers now under indictment for concrete acts of election tampering in the United States. Trump, again daring onlookers to suss out whether he was operating from staggering ignorance or active complicity, willingly agreed.

To make things clear, the Russian proposal is part of an ongoing effort by the Putin government to expose and murder U.S. sources. And they're not making much of an attempt to hide it.

The Russian government's primary response so far to the myriad indictments of Russian nationals to so far come out of the Mueller probe has been consistent; they have used the court proceedings to try to force the U.S. government to divulge just how much they know about Russian activities and—more critically—how they know it. This is the legal risk, for the Mueller team, in bringing charges against Russians implicated in the espionage efforts; our court system allows, and in fact largely insists on, the sharing of such information.

Mueller's indictment of Russian figures who that nation will never, ever allow to be extradited to stand trial is therefore seen by some critics as an error, if not pointless. His actions also, however, may largely be placeholders, incrementally fleshing out both the shocking scope and some of the key specifics of the Russian espionage and propaganda efforts aimed at altering the outcome of the U.S. elections. None of the most recently indicted Russians will likely ever stand trial—but those that they worked with in the United States might, and the indictments filed so far make it abundantly clear that there were almost certainly such U.S. co-conspirators.

The outrageous Putin "offer" to help Mueller's team sift through the evidence they've gathered against the Russian government’s own agents so that Russian intelligence officers can offer their own two cents on what the U.S. has learned is so obviously an effort to pry loose top-secret information on what the U.S. knows, what they don't know, and which specific Russian or American sources learned it that it's amazing even Donald Trump, a known idiot, so eagerly fell for it.

And when the other shoe dropped, it became even more transparent what Russia was after.

Glossed over by Trump in his own remarks, Putin's actual "offer" was, apparently, that they would provide this very generous support helping the FBI interpret their findings against Russian military hackers in exchange for another wee favor from Trump: giving Russian investigators access to those in the United States and Europe who exposed the massive Putin-linked campaign of embezzlement, money laundering and murder that led to the Magnitsky Act, a set of U.S. sanctions that targets the oligarchs surrounding Putin and severely curtails their ability to funnel their cash overseas.

Chief among those that Putin's government is demanding access to: the man responsible for the Magnitsky Act sanctions, Bill Browder.

Putin offered to allow American investigators to interview the 12 Russian intelligence agents just indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in exchange for allowing Russians to have access to me and those close to me. This is no idle threat. For the last ten years, I’ve been trying to avoid getting killed by Putin’s regime, and there already exists a trail of dead bodies connected to its desire to see me dead. Amazingly, Trump stood next to him, appearing to nod approvingly. He even later said that he considered it “an incredible offer.”
Browder is, as he says, an apparent top enemy of the Putin regime. His lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was the one who exposed the corruption scheme that reached well into the circle of Putin loyalists; for this, he was murdered in a Russian jail cell. The Russian government has been furious about the resulting Magnitsky Act, penned in specific response to this murder, since the moment it passed. Lifting the sanctions was a subject of the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting between top Trump campaign officials and a team sent by the Russian government for the openly stated purpose of assisting the Trump campaign; it is likely to be one of the top reasons the Putin government preferred Trump, long accused of turning a blind eye to Russian money laundering in his own real estate holdings, to the hated Hillary Clinton.

The Putin government wants "access" to Browder and others who learned of the Russian corruption scandal for multiple reasons, none of them good. First, to ask them pointed questions about how they learned the things they learned about the Russian government and the specific sanctioned oligarchs—for example, to determine whether there are any leakers within the country that the Russian government hasn't yet identified.

Second, because many if not most of those individuals are now considered "security threats" by Russia; Browder has been the target of relentless Russia-promoted conspiracy theories of escalating degrees of lunacy since the sanctions were passed, all in a (again, transparent) effort to discredit the oligarchy's critics and, therefore, the tough international sanctions against them.

But third, because the Putin government has at this point a history of murdering its critics—and suspected leakers—outright. The Magnitsky Act came about precisely because of this. We should not be so gullible as to think that Putin's government, so soon after the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy using a nerve agent developed and used exclusively by the Russian government, is demanding to know the precise whereabouts of a list of top Putin enemies for mere bookkeeping reasons.

It is possible, barely, that Donald Trump is genuinely so stupid that he does not see a Russian proposal that they be allowed to both see the evidence gathered against their own spy operations and be granted access to meet with and grill those that uncovered rank corruption in the Putin government as an obvious effort to uncover the identity of the Russian sources who may have leaked such things—but none of the rest of us could possibly be.

Though Trump leapt eagerly at the proposal, an order to actually implement it, assisting the Putin government in identifying (and, afterward, murdering) sources responsible for telling the FBI and other law enforcement agencies what they know about the Putin government's actions and allies would be treason. It would be point-blank treason, and there seems little debate to be had over that.

If Trump does indeed order it, one imagines that it would be met both with widespread resignations and widespread fury. But if his staff cannot talk him down from committing that act of open treason, mere fury as he works his way through member of his party until he finds ones willing to assist him in such an act would be insufficient. His staff should themselves declare him unfit for office, and Congress should boot him before he can do such damage, rather than merely whining pitifully about it afterward.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump won't protect our elections, so states must step up

BY JESSE JACKSON                 July 17, 2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin came late to the Helsinki Summit with Donald Trump on Monday and spoke first at the news conference afterward. He handed Trump a soccer ball from the World Cup, but he clearly walked away with the trophy for the World Cup of politics, largely because Trump, in a bizarre and unprecedented performance, kept scoring own goals on Putin’s behalf.

I have always supported dialogue and negotiations over conflict and isolation. I believe that good relations with the Russians, a nuclear power, are as Trump would say, “a good thing.” But Trump made it embarrassingly clear that he is more concerned about defending his own besmirched election campaign than he is about protecting American democracy.

The president apparently doesn’t understand that it isn’t all about him. Russian interference in our elections — which Trump’s own intelligence appointees warn is ongoing — isn’t just about the “collusion” that the president rushed to deny. It is about subverting our democracy. Trump can howl at the moon denying collusion, but it is simply grotesque that he could not bring himself to warn Putin publicly that continued interference with our elections is unacceptable and would be met with an immediate response.

Trump is outraged at the Mueller investigation of possible collusion of his campaign with the Russians, but he seems unmoved by the clear evidence of the subversion of our elections. He didn’t give Putin a red light or even a yellow warning one about future interference; he essentially gave him a free pass.

The reality is that a core of our democracy — free elections — is under assault. Given the administration’s failures, foreign interference is likely to spread. The home-grown systematic efforts by right-wing politicians and activists to suppress the vote, to make it harder to register and harder to vote, to purge voters from the lists, to gerrymander election districts to distort the outcome and to open the gates to a flood of unaccountable, secret corporate and private money continue to get more sophisticated.

Already experts suggest that Democrats will have to win the national vote by 6 to 8 percent in order to take the majority of the House, largely due to Republican partisan redistricting.

Trump is so focused on his own election campaign, so defensive about the legitimacy of his own victory that he has utterly failed to protect our democracy from subversion from abroad or at home.

It will be up to the states to make the reforms that are long overdue: automatic voter registration, longer early voting days, voting day holidays, an end to voter purges, nonpartisan redistricting, matching public funds for small donations, mandatory disclosure of all funding sources, returning the right to vote to felons that have served their time and more. The states should be taking measures to protect voting systems from outside interference, including moving back to paper ballots to eliminate the threat of cyber intrusions.

What is clear from Trump’s performance in Helsinki is that he won’t lead this effort. He is so fixated on defending himself that he is failing to defend our democracy and our elections.

The president should be applauded for meeting with Putin, hopefully reduced tensions and new impetus for reducing nuclear arsenals will follow. But his failure to defend our democracy both against Russian interference and against domestic subversion is a dangerous dereliction of duty.

Republicans in Congress won’t act because they seem to believe that their majorities may depend on suppressing the vote.

So, it is up to the states, and to an aroused citizenry, to insist that our election be open, free and fair. The shocking display that Trump put on in Helsinki makes that all the more imperative.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Top Senate Democrats double down on calls for Trump not to meet with Putin after Mueller indicted 12 Russian intel officers

Business Insider          ELLEN CRANLEY         July 14th 2018 
Top Senate Democrats are doubling down on calls for President Donald Trump not to meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
Their urging comes one day after the special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers on hacking charges.
In a letter sent Saturday, the senators said there "must be other Americans in the room" at the meeting and that Russia's election interference must be the "top issue" of the two leaders' discussion.
Top Senate Democrats sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him not to meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a planned summit in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.

The senators wrote there "must be other Americans in the room" at the meeting, where they also stated "Russia's attack on our election" should be a "top issue."

"[Russian President Vladimir Putin] is a trained KGB intelligence veteran who will come to this meeting well-prepared," the letter said.

Sens. Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Mark Warner, Robert Menendez, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Sherrod Brown, and Jack Reed signed the letter. The signers sit on the Senate Armed Services, Appropriations, Banking, Foreign Relations, Judiciary and Intelligence committees.

Saturday's letter comes just afterthe  special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers suspected of playing a role in the DNC before the election. The indictment was a monumental development in the ongoing Russia investigation because it marks the first time Mueller has directly pointed a finger at the Russian government for its efforts to meddle in the election.

"We hope that you will use the opportunity of a meeting with Mr. Putin to advance a well-coordinated US message, supported by senior leaders in your own administration, to hold Russia accountable for its unacceptable behavior," the letter said.

Lawmakers also urged Trump to act on the advice of other federal agencies, saying "you must rely on the expertise and the experts of the State Department Defense Department, CIA and other US government agencies — not wing it on your own."

This letter is the latest development in calls from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for Trump to cancel the meeting.

Schumer, the top-ranking Senate Democrat, released a statement after the indictments were made public Friday, in which he said Trump's continuing friendliness with Putin "on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy."

Schumer's statement also took aim at Trump's refusal to acknowledge the special counsel's investigation, saying "these indictments are further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win."

Trump has repeatedly referred to the investigation as a "witch hunt" and sought to again discredit the proven Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election in a Saturday morning tweet.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, a frequent Russia critic, also said in a Friday statement Trump should cancel the meeting if he "is not prepared to hold Putin accountable" for Russia's "ongoing aggression towards the United States and democracies around the world."

Despite the outcry from Congress, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday the meeting would go on as planned .