Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Majority of Americans believe that Russia interfered in election. Gee, no kidding.

Courtesy of CNBC: 

A majority of Americans believes that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has found. 

That finding shows substantial public acceptance of the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion about the hacking of Democratic Party computers. President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office Friday, has only grudgingly accepted that finding while accusing intelligence officials of leaking unflattering information about him. 

The survey showed that 51 percent think Russia interfered with last fall's campaign, while 36 percent said it did not. Some 13 percent weren't sure.

Gosh I wonder if it would help those who are unsure if they saw this?

 That is a commemorative coin minted by a Russian company who clearly think that Donald Trump's presidency is worthy of celebrating.

Here is how the director, Vladimir Vasyukhin, explains his excitement: 

“There are more hopes associated with Trump with regards to the lifting of sanctions; maybe the environment (between the U.S. and Russia) will change,” Vasyukhin told the network, explaining his motivation.

Gee look, even the guy running the coin making shop knows what Trump's policies will be toward Russia. 

Are there really 36 percent of Americans too stupid to see what happened?

US Press Corps writes open letter to Donald Trump.

Courtesy of the Columbia Journalism Review:


In these final days before your inauguration, we thought it might be helpful to clarify how we see the relationship between your administration and the American press corps. 

It will come as no surprise to you that we see the relationship as strained. Reports over the last few days that your press secretary is considering pulling news media offices out of the White House are the latest in a pattern of behavior that has persisted throughout the campaign: You’ve banned news organizations from covering you. You’ve taken to Twitter to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same. You’ve advocated for looser libel laws and threatened numerous lawsuits of your own, none of which has materialized. You’ve avoided the press when you could and flouted the norms of pool reporting and regular press conferences. You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he has a disability. 

All of this, of course, is your choice and, in a way, your right. While the Constitution protects the freedom of the press, it doesn’t dictate how the president must honor that; regular press conferences aren’t enshrined in the document. 

But while you have every right to decide your ground rules for engaging with the press, we have some, too. It is, after all, our airtime and column inches that you are seeking to influence. We, not you, decide how best to serve our readers, listeners, and viewers. So think of what follows as a backgrounder on what to expect from us over the next four years. 

There is more but that is the main gist. 

I think it's great that the press lays this out right at the beginning, even though I have every confidence that Trump will try to split and work different news agencies against each other.

In the end I think that Trump will be facing the most hostile and aggressive group of reporters to ever cover an American presidency.

And that will be very good news for the American people and bad news indeed for the Liar-in-Chief.

Before leaving office President Obama commutes Chelsea Manning's sentence. Update!

Chelsea Manning formerly Bradley Manning.
Courtesy of the New York Times:  

President Obama on Tuesday commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst convicted of a 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted his administration and brought global prominence to WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures. 

The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning, who twice tried to kill herself last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the men’s military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She has been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

There has been quite a lot of pressure for President Obama to do this and clearly he wants to make some things right before he hands power over to the giant tangerine toddler.

Manning has been punished far more extensively than many that came before him, and quite a lot of what he leaked to the public helped to open the eyes of the American people to the atrocities being carried out in their name in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He has suffered enough and it is time to end that suffering.

Besides anything that gets Paul Ryan this upset can hardly be called a bad thing:

Speaker Paul D. Ryan called it “outrageous.” “President Obama now leaves in place a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes,” he said in a statement.

Interesting, so I guess when the Russians hack our election to help hand power to their puppet that does NOT compromise our national security.

So now we wait to see if a certain Julian Assange is a man of his word.
Already starting to hedge his bets.
Personally I would imagine that if Assange WERE to surrender to the American authorities that he would wait to do so until the man who he helped undermine our democracy had taken power.

Hell, I imagine that in a Trump America that Julian Assange would be a contender for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Update: As expected Assange weaseled out

I think Mickey Rourke is speaking for many of us.

Courtesy of Death and Taxes: 

“The biggest scumbag on the planet, [a] maggot with an “F” in front of it, Donald Trump, fuck him, fuck the horse he rode in on,” Rourke told paparazzi while playing catch (?) on the sidewalk. He then pivoted to discuss Trump’s wife, Melania, who doesn’t poop or fart. “I think that his wife is one of the biggest gold diggers around. I know. I used to go out with a gold digger. And I mean, how could you sleep next to that flabby, fat piece of shit and get your rocks off?” 

Albeit provocative and perhaps not the most politically correct, it’s an interesting point to say the least, one which political pundits haven’t focused much attention. “I mean, motherfucker’s gotta have, like, millions sticking out of his asshole,” Rourke continued. “I mean, you gotta go to bed with that every night? You gotta be a gold digger. Instead of gold digging, I’d call it something else.”

I have not always been the biggest Mickey Rourke fan (Though you really should check him out in "The Wrestler.") but you have to admit he has a point.

Anti-Rourke tweet coming from Trump's Twitter account in 3..2..1

Of eight shows pitched to television executives Sarah Palin's judge show was seen as least appealing.

Courtesy of TV News Check: 

Of eight first-run syndicated shows being pitched at NATPE in Miami Beach this week, a judge show featuring one-time GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is least appealing to viewers surveyed by Katz Television. 

Only 21% of the respondents said that they would watch or might watch Palin Rules, which was developed by Larry Little, the producer who launched Judge Judy, and distributed by Barry Wallach and Lee Villas. 

For the survey, Katz tested “awareness and interest” among 404 adults, 18 or older and geographically dispersed, via, Katz’s standing panel of TV viewers.

I guess that explains why we learned last week that the show was dead in the water because it did not "resonate" with the audience.

Seems like that may have been an understatement.

Not surprising, but it does mark yet another failure for the Wasilla Wendigo. 

So instead she launches a website, and hires somebody to ghostwrite it for her.

I am not sure what the end game is for something like that, but I have every confidence that Sarah Palin will fail to reach it.

Human Rights Watch lists Donald Trump as a threat to human rights.

Courtesy of The Independent:  

“Donald Trump’s election as US president after a campaign fomenting hatred and intolerance, and the rising influence of political parties in Europe that reject universal rights, have put the postwar human rights system at risk,” wrote Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth. 

“Trump and various politicians in Europe seek power through appeals to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and nativism. They all claim that the public accepts violations of human rights as supposedly necessary to secure jobs, avoid cultural change, or prevent terrorist attacks.

He added: “In fact, disregard for human rights offers the likeliest route to tyranny.”

That's right folks, our last President won the Nobel Peace Prize and this one is identified as a threat to human rights.

I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry.

In other news it now appears that there are 35 Democratic lawmakers skipping Trump's inauguration.

Those are the REAL American heroes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

President Obama surprises his press secretary with a tribute during his final briefing.

I watched this live this morning and was once again taken by President Obama's sheer humanity.

He is not only a great president, but he is also clearly a great boss, and a great friend.

Woman who accused Donald Trump of sexually harassing her is now suing him for defamation of character.

Courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter:

Just days before he's set to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump has been hit with a defamation lawsuit from a former Apprentice contestant who says he engaged in sexually inappropriate contact with her. 

Shortly before Election Day, Trump faced a barrage of sexual assault accusations from many women following the release of a bombshell video showing him boasting to Access Hollywood's Billy Bush about grabbing women's genitals. Summer Zervos, who appeared on season five of The Apprentice, was one of the accusers. At that time, Trump responded at a rally in Pennsylvania, "All of these liars will be sued after the election is over."

So today Zervos sat with her attorney Gloria Allred to announce that she is proceeding with a lawsuit against Trump.

The complaint zeroes in on Trump's initial statement upon Zervos' allegation that he "never met [Ms. Zervos] at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately," along with tweets how his accuser "made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED." She also points to comments of "100% fabricated and made-up charges,' "totally false," and so forth, including, "Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign." 

"In doing so, he used his national and international bully pulpit to make false factual statements to denigrate and verbally attack Ms. Zervos and the other women who publicly reported his sexual assaults in October 2016," states the complaint. "Mr. Trump knew that his false, disparaging statements would be heard and read by people around the world, and that these women, including Summer Zervos, would be subjected to threats of violence, economic harm, and reputational damage. In his effort to win the Presidency and counter the damage to his election prospects caused by his own recorded words with Billy Bush, Mr. Trump knowingly, intentionally and maliciously threw each and every one of these women under the bus, with conscious disregard of the impact that repeatedly calling them liars would have upon their lives and reputations."

Hasn't released his tax returns, bragged about grabbing pussies in a video, intelligence agencies have proof that his campaign was helped by interference from Russia, and now he is being sued for potentially lying about sexually harassing a young woman. 

HOW in the HELL did this guy win the presidency?

Vladimir Putin rides to his Donald Trump's defense. Nope, nothing telling about this.

Courtesy of the AP: 

In a biting attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the outgoing U.S. administration of trying to undermine President-elect Donald Trump by spreading fake allegations and said those who are doing it are "worse than prostitutes."

Asked about an unsubstantiated dossier outlining unverified claims that Trump engaged in sexual activities with prostitutes at a Moscow hotel, Putin dismissed it as "fake" and "nonsense" and said it was part of efforts by Obama's administration to "undermine the legitimacy of the president-elect" despite his "convincing" victory.

"People who order such fakes against the U.S. president-elect, fabricate them and use them in political struggle are worse than prostitutes," Putin said. "They have no moral restrictions whatsoever, and it highlights a significant degree of degradation of political elites in the West, including in the United States."

Putin also mocked the scandalous dossier and pointed out that the visit to Moscow happened in 2013 before Trump was a politician.

"Do they think that our special services are hunting for every U.S. billionaire?"

Yeah actually. In fact we know you are.

Okay this is almost unbelievably tone deaf.

For Putin to launch such a passionate defense of the guy the American intelligence community is suggesting he helped to win the presidency, does nothing to help Trump, and gives critics even more reasons to suspect that Putin is his puppet master.

Outgoing CIA Director blasts Donald Trump for blaming intelligence agencies for "pee-gate" and accusing them of being Nazis.

Those tweets went out on Sunday night.

On Monday CIA Director John Brennan was interviewed by the Washington Post:

“Was I a leaker of this? No,” Mr. Brennan said Monday in an interview at CIA headquarters, days before he ends a career that has spanned more than three decades and that took him from entry-level recruit to head of the nation’s most storied spy service. 

“First of all, this is not intelligence community information,” Mr. Brennan said. He noted that the dossier had been circulating “many months” and that he first heard about it from inquiring reporters last fall. To date, he hasn’t read the document and gave it no particular credence, he said. 

“I would have no interest in trying to give that dossier any additional airtime,” Mr. Brennan said. 

Later in the interview Brennan added this:

“I think it’s the right and indeed the responsibility of the president of the United States to challenge the conclusions of the intelligence community,” Mr. Brennan said. “We don’t expect our information and our assessments to be swallowed whole. 

“It’s when there are allegations made about leaking or about dishonesty or a lack of integrity, that’s where I think the line is crossed,” he continued, taking particular umbrage at Mr. Trump’s comments last week that leaking intelligence on political figures was something that Nazi Germany “would have done and did do.” 

“Tell the families of those 117 CIA officers who are forever memorialized on our wall of honor that their loved ones who gave their lives were akin to Nazis,” Mr. Brennan said. “Tell the CIA officers who are serving in harm’s way right now and their families who are worried about them that they are akin to Nazi Germany. I found that to be very repugnant, and I will forever stand up for the integrity and patriotism of my officers who have done much over the years to sacrifice for their fellow citizens.” 
That last bit was in response to this tweet from Trump:
Never, and I mean NEVER, has an incoming president been at war with his own intelligence community.

It does not only threaten to leave Trump dangerously ill informed but it also has the potential of putting Americans at risk in this country.

The intelligence agencies are who we rely on to identify and locate potential terrorists.

What happens when the President, or his staff, refuse to read or understand the information they are being given?

Oh wait, we know what happens.

Congratulations Trump voters, you have now put the entire country at risk due to your ignorance.

There are almost 400 protest marches planned for the day after Trump's inauguration, with almost 200,000 participants.

Courtesy of HuffPo: 

Some 194,000 people have indicated on Facebook they plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington, scheduled for Saturday, the day after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. And 1,200 tour buses have applied for permits to park at RFK stadium that day ― six times the number that have applied for spots on the day of Trump’s swearing in. 

But march spokespeople say it would be a mistake to overlook the 370 smaller “sister marches” that have been planned in every state and on six continents that weekend ― and that are expected at last count to draw nearly 700,000 people. 

“This is a global movement,” national sister march spokeswoman Yordanos Eyoel told The Huffington Post. 

“This is something that was catalyzed by the organizers of the March on Washington, but it is a call to action to people across this country and around the world who believe in the same mission and principles,” she said.

There is a website that keeps track of where the marches are, when they start, and the number of participants.

In Alaska for instance there are marches planned in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Homer, Palmer, Bethel, Kodiak, Juneau, Ketchikan, Haines, Valdez, Kodiak, etc.

There are also marches planned in Canada, Belgium, Australia, Austria, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, German, etc..

Well you have to admit one thin, Donald Trump has certainly brought people from all over the world together.

Mostly women it seems, and definitely against him.

Springsteen cover band pulls out of inauguration, citing concern over disrespecting The Boss.

Courtesy of Rolling Stone: 

If the B-Street Band pledge allegiance to anyone, it's Springsteen, who has repeatedly voiced his anger and disgust at the president-elect. (Forte half-jokingly said of the B-Street Band last week, "I don't even know if they have any politics.") Out of respect for their musical inspiration, they've decided to pull out of this week's event.

"We felt that we had to make it known that we didn't want to seem disrespectful, in any way, shape or form, to Bruce and his music and his band," Forte says. "I don't want to upset them. We owe everything to him and our gratitude and respect to the band is imperative above all else. It became clear to us that this wasn't working and we just had to do what we thought was the right thing to do and that was to pull out." 

The group had played the gala twice before to little controversy for President Obama and signed a contract for this year's gig in 2013, long before the presidential nominees were decided. But this year was different. 

"As time went by, the complexity of the situation became real immense and intense," Forte tells Rolling Stone. "The band was caught in a hurricane. We didn't see this coming, of course."

Well hey all is not yet lost, they still have Lee Greenwood, Toby Keith, a Rockette or two, Jon Voight, 3 Doors Down, and that America's Got Talent runner up.

Sounds kind of like the lineup for a county fair in the middle of fucking nowhere.

Of course it really doesn't make any difference, nobody is going to be watching anyhow.

Scotland gets it.

You know I can't say I have ever been frightened by an episode of The Twilight Zone.

That is until it broke through the fourth wall and became real.

Now it scares the piss out of me.