A peaceful transition of power is not in the country's best interests

Presidential
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I cannot imagine finding a person more the diametric opposite of “presidential” than Donald Trump.

His most recent attack on civil rights legend, John Lewis, is more clear evidence of the thin-skinned, undignified, mean and petty person that is Donald Trump. A pathological narcissist. Potentially a Russian agent – our very own Manchurian candidate.

Trump is singularly unfit for any public office.

A lot has been said about the peaceful transition of power lately, and how that makes the United States stand out against the rest of the world. The thought is that we should somehow stomach the fact that a reckless imbecile like Trump could actually become president, and because the transition is going to be peaceful, that somehow makes it better.

Well I call bullshit.

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Are the Russians really to blame for the US election hacking?

11.06.13: Steve Bell on William Hague's statement about GCHQ

It could easily be the Russians. It’s that they haven’t provided any real proof at all.

It’s like the recent headlines, “US intercepts capture senior Russian officials celebrating Trump win.” Yeah? So what precisely does that prove? Not a damned thing. There were (sadly) lots of American senior officials celebrating, too. Does that make them Russian spies?

Most of the other evidence is flawed or inconclusive. One of the main hard facts that they said proved Russian involvement were the list of IP addresses they attributed to Russian spies. But a closer look at those IP’s shows that around 42% of the 800+ addresses disclosed are Tor exit nodes and ANYONE could have used those.   Are all Tor users Russian hackers?   Hardly.

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The Real Problem Is Trump

 

While the entire country is consumed by the hysteria about Russian hackers — with the thought that what they did to us is unique and reprehensible and absolutely terrible beyond words — I find it hypocritical that no one is talking about the US government’s own hackers. Hackers that are busy all across the globe doing the bidding of the CIA, NSA and US Cyber Command, et al.

It’s a sure bet that the US government employs way more and better hackers than any other government in the world – including Russia.

For every Russian hack that’s been exposed, my guess is that US government hackers have done the equivalent to them, plus 10 more. Good ol’ American ingenuity at work.

As a nation-state we’ve been lucky, because outside the Stuxnet worm fiasco and Snowden’s leaks, the US hackers have operated mostly under the radar. But it’s a certainty that we’ve been busy. Very busy.

How about the Mossack Fonseca scandal where it was disclosed that Putin and his friends were using the Panamanian law firm to hide and launder their money? Given the fairly intense animosity between Obama and Putin, and the immense and diverse US hacking capabilities, it’s easy to imagine the US being behind the Panama leak – done just as a means to screw Putin.

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Trumpet setting a bad precedent with Carrier deal?

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Trump National Doral Miami resort in Doral, Fla. An overwhelming majority of Republican voters believe Donald Trump would be the GOP’s strongest candidate in a general election, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll that highlights a sharp contrast between the party’s voters and its top operatives regarding the billionaire businessman’s ultimate political strength. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

Yes. Bribing companies to stay here does indeed set a bad precedent.

But Trumpet didn’t invent the approach, though. Actually, Jay Inslee and Patty Murray spearheaded that magnificent effort right here in good ol’ Warshington state, with Boeing.

You recall the big fight a few years ago, that centered around the Boeing Machinists pensions.   GovJay and Perky Patty guilted the workers into voting to scrap their pensions – they focused a truly tremendous media and political push against the Machinists Union Local to take Boeing’s offer.   The way they played it, NO ONE has pensions anymore and the IAM members were a bunch of greedy, overpaid, [11 letter word, Richard Nixon’s favorite expletive deleted, ending in ‘er’], who were holding Warshington state’s sacred jobs hostage all for their own greedy, evil purposes.

No one has pensions any more (except of course, Perky Pat and GovJay)!

The Local Union voted the contract offer down rather handily, by about a 2-1 margin.

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Trump is not fit to hold any public office at all, much less be President of the United States.

What did Trump do?

Well for a starter, he’s hiring racists and bigots for the top spots in his administration. Why is that a big deal? Because it presages some very fundamental changes in our society undoing many of the cornerstones our republic: freedom of religion, freedom from discrimination because of sex, race or ethnic origin.

But Trump’s affronts to the American republic didn’t stop with hiring racists and bigots.

He’s hiring a climate change denier to head the EPA, which he’s apparently thinking of dismantling. I’ve heard Scott Walker’s name is in consideration for the head of the Labor Department – so he can do for the nation what he did for Wisconsin. A former Goldman Sachs employee (Steven Mnunchin) is being floated to run the Treasury Department. I suppose Sarah Palin will become the head of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. On and on. If you go down his list of current and prospective nominees, they’re almost all completely antithetical to the areas they would be regulating. Many are also current or former lobbyists. This is the way Trump’s going to drain the swamp?

But wait, there’s much, much more:

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Goddamned Russians!

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I read a lot of news.   In the US, I read the Washington Post, the NY Times, the LA Times, Politico, ProPublica, the Atlantic and the Intercept, among others. From abroad, I read the Guardian, France 24, Der Spiegel, the Jerusalem Post, the Japan Times, and more.

None of those news outlets has reported any actual attribution of the DNC hacks that can be substantiated by more than simple rhetoric. The farthest any of them go is something like, “…while unconfirmed, the administration blames the Russians…”

But an article in the Esquire purports to expose the truth:  it’s those nasty Russians at it again, messing with our presidential election!  http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a49791/russian-dnc-emails-hacked/

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This is how democracy dies

war-is-business_designA liberal’s long journey away from Barack Obama and the Democratic party

  By Michael Pellegrini

About seven and a half years ago following the 2008 elections, I wrote a blog post titled America: Disgraced then reborn.     I absolutely gushed about how happy I was at the election of Barack Obama. I was dead certain he would right all the wrongs caused by eight years of George Bush, and particularly, that he would make good on his pledge to end all our wars.

To me, implicit in that promise was ending the phony war on terror. A “war” that was nothing but a happy contrivance of the Bush administration.

Looking back to September 2001, George Bush was nine months into what was shaping up to be an uninspired, lackluster, one-term presidency. Then 9/11 happened.

Speaking unscripted in a press conference on September 16, 2001, President Bush said, “This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I’m going to be patient…”

Bush’s advisers craftily seized the opportunity and came up with an absolutely brilliant idea: everyone knows a country will rally behind their leaders in wartime. So rather than simply finding the 9/11 perpetrators and bringing them to justice, instead, they made Bush’s war official and decided to declare a generalized “war on terror.”   This also facilitated other plans they had.

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America's war against Islam

 

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From a Muslim perspective, this whole “war on terror” has to look a whole lot like a “war on Muslims.”

We’ve invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Innocent civilian deaths in the Iraq war – and that’s just innocent civilian deaths by themselves – run overall between an estimated 110,000 to over 600,000 lives. Can there be many people over there who haven’t lost a friend or relative to the Iraq war?

Life under Saddam Hussein was actually pretty pleasant for a majority of Iraqis. He was a secular Muslim. The Shia Muslim minority was terribly oppressed. But the Sunni majority had the good life.

We come in and topple Saddam, fire all the Ba’ath party members from the army and civil service positions, kill as many as 600,000 innocent people, install an unpopular puppet government, torture people, lock up people for years and years in Guantanamo without filing any charges or giving them any due process, steal their oil, plunder their economy. Is that the way you make friends and influence people?

To the Iraqis we must come across as a bunch of Nazis.

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Are you ready for the oligarchy?

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The thing that disturbs me the most about this methanol/LNG mess is not the methanol or LNG per se.   Rather it’s that these issues bring home the hard, cold fact that while we were sleeping, there’s been a coup.   Our city’s been taken over by hostile forces. Tacoma and the United States are both well on their way to becoming oligarchies.

When people talk about the country becoming an oligarchy on the national level, it’s hard to grasp.   We still have our homes and jobs, the same programs are on TV. We’re going on a vacation to Yellowstone next year. Cousin Steve just got married and the wedding was fantastic!   On and on. In almost every ordinary way, things are the same now as they were 5-10 years ago.

As applied to the United States, the term oligarchy is an abstract; it’s intangible. Because of the overt normalcy, it’s really hard to come to terms with. “Yeah, America is an oligarchy, you say? Hey did you catch last night’s Mariners game?”

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