The 8th Man – Putin’s Spider web

8th Man Final3
Why Was the Identity of the Eighth Man Kept a Secret?

This is a complicated story but I will do my best to give a brief summary. The eighth man at the June 9 meeting in 2016 is Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze a Russian whose past puts him squarely in the crosshairs of U.S. investigators of the Trump/Russia scandal. It now looks like Jared Kushner, Trump’s right hand and one of the people in the infamous meeting may have outed the eighth man in his ‘revised’ security clearance disclosure form.

First of all, Kaveladze was president of IBC, a corporation that was responsible for registering over 2000 dummy corporations with the intention of laundering money from Russian and Eastern European oligarchs. The IBC set these companies up in Delaware at an office that was not staffed. Unopened mail outside the office was seen by Politico investigative reporters. The office is rented to IBC and Russian Art Mall which is registered to Aras Agalarov and who also owns Crocus Group, a real estate development firm. Agalarov, through Crocus Group worked with Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013. Kaveladze is a senior vice president of Crocus Group.  In 2000 the GAO (Government Accountability Office) discovered through an investigation requested by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan that Kaveladze played a big part in the $1.4 billion money laundering scheme through Citibank in New York and Commercial Bank in San Francisco. Kaveladze was also involved in “a Russian crime syndicate apparently laundering around $10 billion using the Bank of New York”. http://www.newsweek.com/eighth-man-russia-meeting-laundered-russian-money-639144 Continue reading

Voter Suppression

Voting Booth rotated2

While everyone’s attention is focused (and rightly so) on the Don Jr mess with the Russian meeting on June 9, 2016, and GOP Healthcare, Trump Sr. and republicans around the country, are quietly working to win the 2018 and 2020 elections by controlling who gets to vote. Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity along with its leader Kris Kobach are pushing hard to control who gets to vote in future elections. The Commission sent letters requesting that “states provide voter-roll information including the names, addresses, birth dates, partial Social Security numbers, party affiliation, felon status and other data for every registered voter in the country.” http://billmoyers.com/story/trumps-voter-suppression-team-playing-long-game/  This plan was received with indignation and refusal by most states. Some states are providing information that is already public but others are refusing to comply at all. Even Kris Kobach as the Kansas secretary of state had to decline on providing some of the data that he himself required in the letter!

In a meeting of secretaries of state a resolution was passed stating that “states are responsible for protecting the integrity of their elections including the secrecy of the ballot, security of their election infrastructures and sensitive personal information included in the states’ voter rolls” and reaffirming the secretaries’ “commitment to strengthening election cyber security, improving processes, and increasing voter participation.” http://billmoyers.com/story/trumps-voter-suppression-team-playing-long-game/ 

At the same time, the DOJ is proceeding with their own plan, driven by attorney general Sessions and VP Pence. This could be a more treacherous plan to control voting in this country. Their letter was sent to 44 states and commanded the states to show proof of how they were abiding by the rules of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. The NVRA allows voter registration at public service agencies. Kobach, Sessions and Pence want people to have to show proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The problem with that is that many people do not have U.S. citizenship papers, nor even birth certificates. So the ultimate goal of Kobach and Sessions may be to get the NVRA repealed so that the federal government can order states to follow their voting restrictions.

In the meantime, the ACLU and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed separate lawsuits against the Trump administration saying that their Commission on Election Integrity is violating federal law. They also challenge the lack of transparency. Trump’s plan is viewed as a way to prove that millions of people voted illegally, and proving that Trump’s claim that he lost the popular vote was due to massive election fraud.

Please remember, the truth is that it will only take restricting the vote in a few states to change the winner.

Peaceful Resistance!

GOP Learns How to Fix Healthcare

Donkey comfort Elephant Final 2

Don’t repeal! Fix The Affordable Care Act!

McConnell knows that his healthcare bill is in real trouble. The republicans in the Senate are still desperately trying to get enough votes to ram through their deeply unpopular and dangerous healthcare plan. If two of the following senators vote no on the current Senate bill, then McConnell will have some hard decisions to make. One option that McConnell has mentioned is the frightening word, democrats. He has suggested that republicans may have to work with democrats to shore up Obamacare options. In the meantime, Trump, Pence and McConnell are planning to single out and put pressure individual Senators, just as they did with the House bill. Those twelve senators are:

Colins – Maine, Portman – Ohio, Cruz – Texas, Capito – West Virginia, Moran – Kansas, Heller – Nevada, Rubio – Florida, Johnson Wisconsin, Sasse – Nebraska, Paul – Kentucky, Lee – Utah, Murkowski – Alaska.

But, U.S. senators are not quite as beholding to our very sick president as the house members are. In other words, U.S. senators are not afraid of Trump, and they know how reviled he is in their states. Hopefully they fear their constituents more than our child president.

Warren Buffett was interviewed on PBS and said the republican plans for healthcare should be called “Relief for the Rich Act”. He said that just by himself he would get $700,000 in tax breaks. Buffett also questioned the republican plan to eliminate the ACA surcharge on people earning a higher income, a boon to the senators trying to ram through the lethal weapon that is their healthcare bill. A real billionaire’s opinion of Congress. http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/339799-warren-buffett-obamacare-repeal-bill-should-be-called-relief-for-the-rich?utm_source=General&utm_campaign=ff223a1514-AUTOMATION_New_Member_Onboarding_1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_01143049a7-ff223a1514-55742975.

Senator Cornyn of Texas asked democrats to offer their own plan if they didn’t like the GOP healthcare plan. Senator Chuck Schumer replied that the democrats already did – the Affordable Care Act. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/323934-top-gop-senator-to-democrats-offer-your-own-bill-to-fix-obamacare 

So, lets get busy and call our senators and representatives and insist that Congress finally works together and do their jobs to protect the American People.

Peaceful Resistance!

 

 

 

Trump Budget – Slashing the Safety Net

Turnip in Color 5 Final

What does Trump’s budget do to the social programs needed to protect people. Trump is bleeding us dry.

In order to pay for his $600 Billion dollar tax cuts for the rich, his useless border wall, the school voucher programs designed to destroy public schools, and unnecessary increases in the defense budget, Trump’s budget made cuts into just about every federal agency which actually helps and protects American citizens. He also completely eliminated many programs. The EPA is gutted, Arts and Cultural Agencies virtually eliminated, the Transportation Agency is hit hard and the State Department is grossly undermanned and its budget cut by a third.

After looking through this budget by Trump’s regime, it is clear to me that poor people, old people or the infirmed  mean Nothing to Trump’s administration. A deliberate attempt is being made to kill off and dumb down our people by deliberately ignoring their needs. Plus his budget makes a direct attack on culture in our country by  removing any source of joy that people still can enjoy. My daughter plays bass professionally. It is so wonderful to sit in a beautiful hall and listen to that gorgeous music. Small orchestras will not make it without Federal money. Even the biggest orchestras in our country are having a difficult time and that is a travesty. Visiting museums are a great day out for the family, usually for free. The kids really enjoy the Natural History museums that we have in many big cities around the country. Children delight in climbing on dinosaur replicas, digging in the dirt for fossils, seeing the giant shark that once roamed our oceans. I have seen the shark in the National History Museum in D.C. It is quite amazing. The attacks on our Public School Systems frighten me terribly. It is easy to see where they are going with the charter school/voucher business of DeVoss. She has made millions from failing charter schools in Michigan.

Trumps budget kills protection from invaders, as in protection from the Zika virus. Why isn’t Trump’s administration protecting us from the cyberwar which we are currently fighting against Russia, China, North Korea, and which we are losing? I don’t see anything in the defense budget about building cyber bombs. Why is he intent on hurting our college kids by taking away federal work study programs? Does he want them paying for school debt making them indentured servants for their entire lives? I would guess the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

His budget eliminates the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which helps low-income seniors find work. It seems to me that it is counterproductive to remove programs which help people to take care of themselves. Isn’t that what the republicans keep complaining about? That’s all they keep saying. They should listen to the old adage: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

Here is a list of the different Departments and Agencies receiving cuts. The numbers in this article are a little different from other sources, but not significantly.

The following information and more detail can be found at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-budget-benefits-cuts/?utm_term=.fe05d108a67b

 

Continue reading

Fourth of July – Quotes from our Founders

Constitution Royalty Free sized

Happy Fourth of July. On this, the day that we celebrate the creation of the great democratic experiment of our country, I thought it appropriate that we read what our founders said during that tumultuous time. The majority of these quotes are just as applicable to our country today as they were at the beginning of our country.

I include Abraham Lincoln in this list because he is instrumental in the preservation of our country. And besides, I am a fan.

I am sure that you have other favorites, but I found these quotes to be inspiring and some are just funny. I hope you enjoy them also. Sources for the quotes are listed below.

George Washington

George Washington

The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.

The power under the Constitution will always be in the people.

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company

I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.

Our Constitution gives to bigotry no sanction.

The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled.

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

John Adams

John Adams Free NY library

There is nothing I dread so much as the division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our constitution.

If ever a time should come when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.

Always stand on principle….even if you stand alone.

To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do.

**As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] … it is declared … that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries…. The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation.**

There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.

As the happiness of the people is the sole end of government, so the consent of the people is the only foundation of it.

 Power always thinks… that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson NY library - free

The States can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore . . . never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market.

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.

We in America do not have government by the majority—we have government by the majority who participate…. All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislator to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them.

I am… for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.

Nothing is more incumbent on the old than to know when they should get out of the way and relinquish to younger successors the honors they can no longer earn, and the duties they can no longer perform.

**I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.**

If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?

I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude

It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape

No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin - NY library free

 

**Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech; which is the right of every man as far as by it he does not hurt or control the right of another; and this is the only check it ought to suffer and the only bounds it ought to know…. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech, a thing terrible to traitors.**

The rapid progress of the sciences makes me sorry, at times, that I was born so soon. Imagine the power that man will have over matter, a few hundred years from now. We may learn how to remove gravity from large masses, and float them over great distances. Agriculture will double its produce with less labor. All diseases will surely be cured… even old age. If only the moral sciences could be improved as well. Perhaps men would cease to be wolves to one another… and human beings could learn to be human.

If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.

The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.

We need a revolution every 200 years, because all governments become stale and corrupt after 200 years.

Where liberty dwells there is my country.

In free governments the rulers are the servants and the people are their superiors and sovereigns.

They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Common sense is something that everyone needs, few have, and none think they lack.

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln NY library free

**I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country… corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.**

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.

Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.

The most reliable way to predict the future is to create it.

It is a sin to be silent when it is your duty to protest.

**Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.**

Peaceful Resistance!

 

Pictures from: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/

Quotes from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/better-perfect/201702/inspirational-quotes-the-45-us-presidents

http://rangefire.us/2014/09/17/famous-quotes-from-the-founding-fathers-on-constitution-day/

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/constitution

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgewash146824.html

 

 

GOP Healthcare – Weapon of Mass Destruction

2 Houses WMD with rocket 2

27,000 or more people will DIE because of a lack of insurance.

Actual CBO report: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/26/politics/cbo-report-health-care-bill-senate-republicans/index.html

The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) report on the Senate Healthcare bill shows that at least 22 million people will be thrown off of healthcare. However, some reports show that by 2026, there will be 51 million uninsured people with the house bill and 49 million with the Senate bill. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/26/the-three-numbers-you-need-to-understand-the-cbo-report-on-senate-republicans-health-care-bill/?utm_term=.178d39998832. But one of the numbers largely going unreported is the detail that 15 million people will lose their insurance in 2018.

“The Center for American Progress compiled the CBO’s estimates of annual coverage losses from the House bill, applied Sommers’ rate (… one death a year would be prevented for every 830 adults gaining coverage), and showed that over the next decade, the repeal would lead to about 217,000 more deaths than would occur under current law — that is, the Affordable Care Act.”  http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-repeal-deaths-20170623-htmlstory.html  

How many people needlessly dying does it take to constitute mass destruction? Continue reading

Trumpcare – Two Sides of the Same Coin

Trump Two sides of the same coinFinal2It’s all bad for us.

Hi all. For those of you who have followed me, I have been out of circulation recently because, you know, life happens.

Well, the Senate finally revealed their ultra-secret health care plan, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act. And it is as we all expected. There is very little difference between the Senate bill and the House bill. They both take health care from the poor and infirmed just to give their money to the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the form of tax cuts. What is their reasoning for this? They give a bunch of politico-speak which the Trump faithful believe. I know people who are willing to believe because of their racist beliefs about Obama. In fact, when people were polled, one third of the people were in favor of the Affordable Care Act but not in Obamacare. That one third did not know that the ACA and Obamacare were the same. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/upshot/one-third-dont-know-obamacare-and-affordable-care-act-are-the-same.html

The truth is the ACA fought to provide health insurance to millions of the poor, not a priority of the wealthy and GOP politicians. Now that they have control of our government, they are working hard to repeal the ACA and implement their own plan of cutting back Medicaid and eliminate millions of Americans from any federal assistance. The republican Congress is too spineless to make their cuts directly leaving it to the states. Both the Senate and House plans will put states back in charge of providing for the poor, which of course the states won’t do. And it will come at a time when federal assistance to states is reduced. The states will use the excuse that they cannot afford to pay for the poor. And they will price millions out of healthcare again.

The ACA raised taxes on the wealthiest people and the health care industry in order to provide federal support for healthcare. The GOP calls that income redistribution. But they fail to mention all those nice tax cuts and loopholes for the rich that were not always part of our taxation system, as they like to claim. Those cuts and loopholes were put in during the Bush Jr, the Bush Sr. and the Regan administrations. That was when the real income redistribution occurred. The wealthy have already won the income redistribution war. When I was growing up, multi-millionaires were a big deal. Now we have multi-billionaires. More information on taxes: http://www.salon.com/2016/03/24/robert_reich_the_gop_is_plotting_partner/ Continue reading

Trump-The Ugliest American

Ugliest TrumpFinal 4

Fear and Loathing

For those of you who are old fogies like me you will probably remember the movie The Ugly American with Marlon Brando as the ugly American. The movie was based upon the 1958 book by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick. Lederer was an author and a captain in the U.S. Navy. He was also the assistant to the commander in chief of the U.S. forces in the Pacific and Asian theaters during World War II. Burdick was an American political scientist and author. He was also in the Navy during WW II. The two authors met during plans for the Viet Nam War. They found that they had similar, unhappy feelings about the way that the U.S. diplomats were dealing with S.E. Asia. They felt that Americans could make a difference in SE Asia if they would learn the languages and customs of the people with whom they worked. The book became a sensation, selling millions of books. President Kennedy was so impressed by the book that he began plans for the Peace Corps. He also sent the book to every Representative and Senator in Congress. The term “The Ugly American” became a phrase used to refer to American visitors to foreign lands who were “loud and ostentatious”; rude people who refused to accept the customs of the lands they were visiting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ugly_American

Donald Trump is the quintessential Ugly American. I have never seen nor read about a president who is so insensitive to the effect that his words and actions have on other people. Calling a woman ugly! Coming from him, what a joke that is. Saying “I am not a racist” and then going on a rant about an intelligent and caring London mayor after effectively handling an atrocity which was committed in his city, or calling for a Muslim Ban. RACISM!!

Continue reading

Hail President Bannon

Bannon Resurfaces – BAAD
Bannon Final

I cannot tell you how upset I am today. I keep hoping that some of the more moderate Trump handlers will be able to rein him in, but they failed again. It’s only 4 months and look at the disasters he has caused. He is deliberately going after everything that President Obama achieved, trying to undo Obama’s accomplishments. But what Trump does not realize or care about is that he is hurting the planet, his country, his own supporters, and himself. 

The whole world is alternately laughing at Trump, as in his last trip, or bemoaning his actions. First we laugh, and then we cry. First it was ‘covfefe’ and we quizzically laughed. As Chuck Todd said, “It’s a typo, who cares?” Why lie about that?

Today we cry, again. Backing out of our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement confuses and scares the Western world. The only people smiling are Trump, Trump’s uneducated supporters, Trump’s boss – President Bannon, and of course Putin. Trump’s childish, racist, and dictator wannabe behavior is endangering the world. He is so insecure that he honors dictators because they throw out the red carpet and honor him. In the west though, the leaders of state don’t give him special privileges and he despises them for not bowing down to him. He pushes them aside so that he can be center stage.

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Memorial Day. Please Remember!

Cleared for release by Joint Staff Public Affairs

Don’t Let Those with Hate in Their Hearts Drive Us Apart.

Arlington National Cemetery has more than 400,000 people interred on its grounds, and that is only the second largest number of people buried in a U.S. national cemetery. They are people from the US and 11 other countries, who fought and died in wars since 1860. The cemetery also holds monuments to the Challenger astronauts, who died in that tragic explosion, and other important people to the history of the United States. It holds the real patriots who gave their full measure to protect us all from dictators and despots. http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/21/us/arlington-national-cemetery-fast-facts/

So many people were tragically taken during senseless wars and other heartbreaking events.  How can we not remember? Memorial Day helps us remember. Originally called Decoration Day, which was a practice begun during the Civil War by women, south and north, who decorated the graves of the fallen. Over 600,000 Americans died during the Civil War.

Now we have hate crimes committed by people claiming to be patriots, Christians, Muslims, Zionists, Buddhists, and white men, all who are lacking in intelligence, and grace. I reject those who say they kill in their god’s name. Not in my God’s name and not in the name of any founder of man’s religions. 911 was a heinous crime committed by Saudi Arabia supported terrorists. ISIS is a group dedicated only to the bastardization of the Muslim religion. Oklahoma City was a crime committed by American white men who knew only hate. Sandy Hook Elementary, Fort Hood, Charlie Hebdo, Paris, London, Orlando, Nice, Brussels are just a small sample. The list is endless and it goes all the way back to the mid 1860’s. For example, after the Civil War “3,000 Freedmen and their Republican Party allies are killed by the Ku Klux Klan and well-organized campaigns of violence by other local whites in a campaign of terrorist violence…”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents

Please, don’t let ignorance and hate by our governmental leaders and hate groups around the world divide us and push us toward a world in which murder and terrorism is a norm. They do not represent us. AND they do not represent the ideals for which our brave men and women have fought and died.

Peace is a long time away. But it does not mean we should give up and let the cruel and evil control our world.

Peaceful Resistance!