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Category Archives: Smoke & Mirrors

Was there a fire extinguisher nearby during this press conference? MA


Jenna Amatulli, HuffPost 12 hours ago

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at Wednesday’s briefing that she didn’t think it was “appropriate to lie from the podium or any other place.”
Sanders’ job is to defend President Donald Trump’s actions, and defend she does. But despite her saying that her job is to “communicate the president’s agenda” and “answer questions as honestly” as she can, Sanders has a history of not doing that with complete truth.
Here are just a few examples of Sanders giving us reasons to pause:
1. When she said at Wednesday’s press briefing that Trump didn’t lie about calls from the Mexican president and leaders of Boy Scouts of America.
Trump said Monday that the president of Mexico called him directly to offer praise for his immigration policies. President Enrique Peña Nieto said in a statement that he “has not had any recent telephone communication with President Donald Trump.” Sanders said in the briefing that this call Trump claimed to have had was actually a reference to a conversation the two presidents shared at the G20 summit. As for the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, Sanders said they “congratulated” and “praised” Trump after his controversial speech at the National Scout Jamboree last week (though the group says this never happened).
Sanders then admitted that no “actual phone calls” took place; rather, they were in-person conversations. When ABC News’ Cecilia Vega indicated that the president lied, Sanders said she “wouldn’t say it was a lie.”
2. When she said “the president is not a liar.”
In June, former FBI Director James Comey said in his Senate testimony that the Trump administration had spread ‘‘lies, plain and simple,’’ “defaming’’ him at the agency. Sanders then disputed this testimony amid an off-camera briefing at the White House by saying, “The president’s not a liar.’’
According to The New York Times, Trump “told public lies or falsehoods every day for his first 40 days.”
3. When she said that the White House heard from “countless members” of the FBI about their respective lack of confidence in James Comey.
The acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, told lawmakers in a congressional hearing May 11 that that was inaccurate and said that Comey “enjoyed broad support within the FBI, and still does to this day.”
4. When she said that Trump has never “promoted or encouraged violence” after a slew of tweets about the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
During his presidential campaign, in February 2016, Trump said to a crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?”
“Seriously. Just knock the hell … I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees,” he added.
5. When she said “multiple news outlets” reported that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps on Trump.
Sanders said “high-profile sources” like The New York Times and BBC had reported this, but the only claim appears to have come from “a November 2016 blog post based on anonymous sources that has not been corroborated by independent U.S. journalists.”
Sanders clearly needs to rethink her definition of honesty ― we’re not even 200 days into this administration.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost .

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The neer do wells have decided to repeal the ACA (Obamacare) since their replacement did not happen. The past 7 to 8 years afforded more than enough time to tweak the ACA but in their own incredibly stupid fashion the Dupublican Congress has used race baiting and fear to turn people against the closest we have come to universal heath care. The people who are covered under the ACA are happy and have voiced their opinion to their representatives and everywhere else they could. The worst part of this whole deal is that  many do not realize the ACA and Obamacare are the same, this lack of knowledge is steeped in the massive advertising against it by the most prominent members of the GOP. Now the GOP has been unable to replace and now want to repeal it to the detriment of millions. With this information why would the voters listen to anything the GOP or any other politician has to say about what they are doing for us? We have “leaders” in politics who have one (1) goal and that is to take care of themselves and what ever legacy they perceive as more important than doing the job they were elected to do. As an aside the Congress and staff would have been exempted from the proposed (and failed)  “new” health care bill. I would like to see more of us reading and viewing the real truth about our Congress and  vote for people who really want to serve. Party loyalty is a liability not an asset, vote for the truth , not a sound bite.

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Trump supporters and others have been led down the garden path to the Mad hatter’s tea party where the available quaff is “poisoned Kool-Aid”. All of this with the financial and media outpourings of the people who own conglomerates whose sole purpose is to keep the flow of money to themselves and away from the people. TOTUS has assisted with this because he in a smaller way is one of them. In my opinion the TOTUS wants to play with the “big Boys” but does not have the wealth so acting as surrogate will do whatever it takes to gain favor.MA

AP FACT CHECK: Trump and missions unaccomplished
JIM DRINKARD and CALVIN WOODWARD,Associated Press 21 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has a way of presenting missions as accomplished even when they’re not.
So it was when he told Iowans he’s put farmers back at their plows, secured a historic increase in military spending and empowered homebuilders to swing their hammers again. Those all remain aspirations, not achievements.
Trump is also known to propose something already in effect, as when he declared “the time has come” for a welfare moratorium for immigrants. President Bill Clinton signed such a moratorium into law in 1996.
A look at a variety of Trump’s statements from the public square over the past week:
TRUMP: “We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy and pays for itself. And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money. And that’s good right? … Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea.” — in Iowa on Wednesday.
THE FACTS: His idea? Others came forward with such proposals back when he was criticizing solar power as too expensive.
The notion of adding solar panels to the wall he wants to build along the Mexico border was explored in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in March. Vasilis Fthenakis, director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis at Columbia University, and Ken Zweibel, former director of the Solar Institute at George Washington University, concluded it was “not only technically and economically feasible, it might even be more practical than a traditional wall.”
They said a 2,000-mile solar wall could cost less than $1 billion, instead of tens of billions for a traditional border wall, and possibly become “wildly profitable.” The writers were studying a concept laid out by Homero Aridjis and James Ramey in the online World Post in December.
The idea also was proposed by one of the companies that submitted its design to the government as a border wall prototype. Las Vegas-based Gleason Partners proposed covering some sections of the wall with solar panels and said that selling electricity from it could eventually cover the cost of construction.
Trump repeatedly described solar power in the campaign as “very, very expensive” and “not working so good.”
TRUMP: “So, we’ve achieved a historic increase in defense spending.” — Iowa speech.
THE FACTS: He hasn’t. He is proposing a large increase but Congress is still debating — and is nowhere near deciding on — more money for defense for 2018.
All that’s been achieved is a $25 billion increase for this year and there’s nothing remotely historic about that. The Pentagon has received annual budget increases equal to or greater than $25 billion seven times in the past 15 years alone.
TRUMP: “The time has come for new immigration rules which say that those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years. And we’ll be putting in legislation to that effect very shortly.” — Iowa speech.
THE FACTS: A federal law passed in 1996 already has that effect. It bars most foreigners who enter the country on immigrant visas from being eligible for federal benefits like Social Security and food stamps for the first five years. States typically have the authority to determine eligibility for local programs. As for people in the country illegally, they are generally prohibited from those benefits altogether. Same with foreigners who are in the U.S. on nonimmigrant visas.
TRUMP: Addressing why he raised the possibility that his Oval Office conversation with fired FBI Director James Comey might have been recorded: “When he found out that I, you know, that there may be tapes out there, whether it’s governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed.” — Fox News interview aired Friday.
THE FACTS: There’s no evidence of any change in what Comey testified on June 8 before the Senate Intelligence committee. In that appearance — the only time Comey has publicly addressed the subject — his story was consistent. He said that on three occasions beginning in January he’d told the president that he was not then the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation on him as part of its work to probe Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election.
Since then, it has been reported that Trump is under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller over his May 9 firing of Comey and whether that or other actions by the president constitute obstruction of justice.
TRUMP: “You see what we’ve already done. Homebuilders are starting to build again. We’re not confiscating their land with ridiculous rules and regulations that don’t make sense.” — Iowa speech.
THE FACTS: Housing starts as tracked by the Census Bureau have actually fallen over the past three months. Trump seems a bit mixed up on deregulation. Some of the biggest constraints on homebuilders come from local governments, rather than federal rules.
TRUMP: On cutting regulations to help farmers: “Farmers are able to plow their field. If they have a puddle in the middle of their field, a little puddle the size of this, it’s considered a lake and you can’t touch it. And if you touch it, bad, bad things happen to you and your family. We got rid of that one, too, OK?” — Iowa speech
THE FACTS: He didn’t get rid of the regulations he’s talking about. He signed an executive order in February directing the Environmental Protection Agency to review a rule protecting clean water. The rule can stop some farmers from using pesticides and herbicides. It’s still in place, pending the review.
TRUMP: “Former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson is latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia.” — tweet Thursday.
THE FACTS: Johnson did not state that conclusion. He was homeland security secretary (not adviser) from December 2013 to January 2017. He was asked at a House Intelligence committee hearing Wednesday whether he knew of any evidence of collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign.
Johnson said he was not aware of any information beyond what’s been reported publicly and what the U.S. intelligence community has gathered. That is not a statement of belief that no collusion took place. Pressed on the matter, he said Comey probably had some information to go on when the FBI opened an investigation into possible collusion.
TRUMP: “Unemployment is at a 16-year low.” — Iowa speech.
THE FACTS: Unemployment is indeed that low, at 4.3 percent.
TRUMP: “We are 5 and 0, as you know, in these special elections. And I think the Democrats thought it would be a lot different than that. 5-0 is a big — that’s a big margin.” — Fox News interview aired Friday.
THE FACTS: Wrong score. Right score: 4-1. Republicans won open House seats in Kansas, Georgia, Montana and South Carolina. Democrats held onto a seat in California.
Trump’s miscount wasn’t a one-time gaffe. It was also a line that roused supporters in his Iowa speech. “So, we’re 5 and 0. We’re 5 and 0,” he said to applause Wednesday night. “Five and 0. Five and 0,” he said at another point.
TRUMP: “Since I was elected, illegal border crossings — and this is without the wall, before the wall — have decreased by more than 75 percent, a historic and unprecedented achievement.” — Iowa speech.
THE FACTS: That’s overblown, according to government figures about the Mexico border. The decrease in his first four full months in office is about 59 percent, still substantial but not more than 75 percent.
More than 56,600 foreigners have been caught crossing from Mexico illegally between February and May, down from 137,800 people in the same period during President Barack Obama’s last year in office.
The number of illegal crossings is not known because some people slip in undetected. Officials consider the number arrested to be representative of the broader trend of attempts to cross illegally.
In bragging that the numbers are down “without the wall,” Trump omits the fact that there already are roughly 650 miles of fencing along the nearly 2,000-mile long Mexican border.
TRUMP: “We’re working really hard on massive tax cuts. It would be, if I get it the way I want it, the largest tax cut in the history of the United States of America. Because right now, we are one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Really on a large-scale basis, we are the highest tax nation in the world. … And I think it’s going to happen.” — Iowa speech.
THE FACTS: The overall U.S. tax burden is actually one of the lowest among the 32 developed and large emerging-market economies tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Taxes made up 26.4 percent of the total U.S. economy in 2015, according to the OECD. That’s far below Denmark’s tax burden of 46.6 percent, Britain’s 32.5 percent or Germany’s 36.9 percent. Just four OECD countries had a lower tax bite than the U.S.: South Korea, Ireland, Chile and Mexico.
It’s not clear Trump will sign the largest tax cut in U.S. history. His administration has yet to settle on enough details of any planned overhaul to make that claim. To put the claim in context, President Ronald Reagan essentially cut taxes during his first term by slightly more than 2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. For Trump to surpass that, his tax cut would essentially have to be more than $400 billion a year.
TRUMP: “We have Gary Cohn, who’s the president of Goldman Sachs. That’s somebody. He’s the president of Goldman Sachs. He had to pay over $200 million in taxes to take the job, right? … This is the president of Goldman Sachs, smart. Having him represent us. He went from massive paydays to peanuts. … But these are people that are great, brilliant business minds. And that’s what we need.” — Iowa speech.
THE FACTS: Trump appears to be confusing taxes paid with stocks sold. Cohn and his family members held about $220 million in Goldman stock, which he had to divest in order to resolve possible conflicts of interest before becoming White House economic adviser. He would have had to pay taxes on any capital gains from the sale, but that sum would only be a fraction of the figure cited by Trump. Moreover, Cohn had to divest the stock in pieces, so the final tally from his sales is unclear, as the stock has declined from highs in March.
It’s also worth noting the president’s about-face praise for Wall Street. His campaign routinely criticized Goldman Sachs and its ties to Hillary Clinton, even using it as a villain in a political ad that included video of the bank’s chairman and CEO.
TRUMP: “You have a gang called MS-13. … They do things that nobody can believe. These are true animals. We are moving them out of the country by the thousands, by the thousands. … We’re getting them out, MS-13.” — Iowa speech.
THE FACTS: There is no publicly available evidence to support this claim about the violent gang. In recent weeks, federal authorities have arrested hundreds of suspected MS-13 gang members. Many of those arrested have been identified by the government as immigrants, but it is unclear if they have yet been deported. Any suspected gang members who are U.S. citizens cannot be kicked out of the country. The gang was formed decades ago in Los Angeles and has spread.
Overall arrests of immigrants in the country illegally have increased in recent months, but deportations have declined slightly, according to the most recently available government data.
SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER, on Republican health care legislation: “They want to bring the bill to the floor, rush it in the dark of night, for a simple reason — they are ashamed of their bill. They don’t want anybody to see it, least of all the public. … They can’t even whisper what it’s about they are so, so ashamed of it.” — Senate speech Tuesday.
THE FACTS: Both parties resort to secrecy in Congress at times, especially when hard-fought legislation is at stake. When Democrats grappled with a conservative uproar over President Barack Obama’s health care bill, they held private meetings to iron out details and reach agreements to clinch the legislation’s approval. That said, they also held scores of hearings and staged many days of debate in 2009 and 1010. The Senate’s Republican leadership has held no hearings on its legislation, the contents of which are unknown. It’s unusual for such a major bill to be written from scratch behind closed doors then rushed through Congress in a few days.
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: “I like that line that says, you know, the Internal Revenue Code is twice as long as the Bible, with none of the good news.” — speech Tuesday to manufacturers.
HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN: “You know, there’s this old line about the tax code. Our tax code is about five times as long as the Bible but with none of the good news.” — speech to the same group Tuesday.
THE FACTS: Ryan has the ratio about right: The tax code runs nearly 4 million words, according to a 2013 government report, while the Bible has 700,000 to about 800,000, depending on the version and variations in translation. Pence understated the difference. Both got laughs.
A number of Republicans over the years have compared the size of the texts to make the point that Americans are under an unholy burden from the IRS.
Associated Press writers Josh Boak, Alicia A. Caldwell, Jill Colvin and Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.
Find AP Fact Checks at
EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures

The Trump promise to drain the swamp apparently has lost its momentum. The Alt right, far right and other Trump supporters are using this hapless leader to further their agenda and that does not bode well for America. These short sighted extremists have emboldened the fringe elements of America and could have dire consequences going forward. The repeal of the ACA (Obamacare) has gotten the attention of many more Americans than our lack luster Congress realized yet they continue on as if these people do not exist. This ignoring of the facts goes beyond the medical coverage, there is activity in the area of prison reform, the Trump administration is seeking to maintain the privately run system which has proven to be expensive and poorly run. It seems that each item in Trumps agenda is contrary to what He stated he would do. The string of Executive orders is not governing, it is more of a show of action while the neer do well Congress is selling us down the river or more appropriately leading us back into the swamp. All of the civility and propriety of the past administrations has disappeared but has shown us all who and what our elected officials are really are about. We have among the “fringers”: Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Bill O’Reilly and the inside “fringers” Steve Bannon, Mike Pence to name a few. The TOTUS has assumed the post of President as a sideline to his ego which apparently requires regular feedings of adoration at any cost. Our (the voters) big task is to remember that our elected officials are not on our side and have proven that year after year and invoking our approval without our approval. The “American people” in many statements is used as a buzzword to infer that we (the Real American People) are in agreement with their actions or sometimes lack of action. Since there are no term limits to Congressional terms , it is up the voters (the American People) to terminate the services of any Legislator who is not doing their job. This assessment of duty should not be done in a vacuum since what these neer do wells do (or not) affects each and every one of us no matter what spin they (the Legislators) try to put on what they say. Simply put: No matter who sits in the White House – the 535 seat fillers should always be our focus since they are the Criminals in suits who make life changing decisions on our behalf whether we agree or not.

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In the 1950’s Senator Joseph McCarthy went on a “witch hunt’ for communists, in the process he ruined many lives and in the end was proven to be a purveyor of unproven lies and innuendo (sound familiar?). We now have a similar situation which we can call by several names: Trumpism, Bannonism,Trumpedation or just Racism. I have posted below a short history of McCarthyism during the 50’s in the hope that it explains what could be coming down the road at us. Communism does exist and we all know it, it also has an existence here and around the world in one form or another. We must remember American style freedom has a worldwide existence too along with many variations according to the culture where it exists. In our current history we have a President who mirrors McCarthy through the influence of others (his Staff) or through a need for recognition as a celebrity  or a bully, its hard to be sure which. Given Mr. McCarthy’s meltdown and end, we are not sure how Mr. Bannon  (or Trump) may end.MA

McCarthyism, named after Joseph McCarthy, was a period of intense anti-communism, also known as the red scare, which occurred in the United States from 1948 to about 1956 (or later), when the government of the United States actively persecuted the Communist Party USA, its leadership, and others suspected of being communists. Loyalty tests were required for government and other employment and lists of subversive organizations were maintained.

The word “McCarthyism” is not a neutral term, but now carries connotations of false, even hysterical, accusation, and of government attacks on the political minority. From the viewpoint of the political and cultural elite, the suppression of radicalism and radical organizations in the United States was a struggle against a dangerous subversive element controlled by a foreign power that posed a real danger to the security of the country, thus justifying extreme, even extra-legal measures. From the radical viewpoint it can be seen as class warfare. From the viewpoint of the thousands of innocents who were caught up in the conflict it was a massive violation of civil and Constitutional rights.

One of the tools used was the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950 which required Communists and Communist organizations to register with the federal government. The McCarran Act was gradually ruled unconstitutional in a series of Supreme Court decisions, beginning in 1964, and it was completely repealed in 1990. Another was the Smith Act of 1940, a federal criminal statute outlawing “advocacy of violent overthrow of the government.”

Under the Smith Act, the leadership of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party were prosecuted, as was the leader of the Communist Party, Eugene Dennis, and eleven members of the party’s National Committee. Since CPUSA had not explicitly advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, the prosecution was on somewhat shaky ground, and based its case against the party’s leaders on Communist works of literature they possessed. Instead of arguing this legal technicality, the CPUSA leadership denounced the law under which they were tried itself, a defense which failed. Others who were tried under the Smith Act in later years successfully based their defences on more technical grounds. The Smith Act was declared unconstitutional in its full form by the Supreme Court in 1957, and limited to much more specific offences.

Another major element of McCarthyism was the internal screening program on federal government employees, conducted by the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover. This comprehensive program vetted all federal government employees for Communist connections, and employed evidence provided by anonymous sources whom the subjects of investigation were not allowed to challenge or identify. From 1951, the program’s required level of proof for dismissing a federal employee was for “reasonable doubt” to exist over their loyalty; previously it had required “reasonable grounds” for believing them to be disloyal.

The hearings conducted by Senator Joseph McCarthy gave the red scare the name which is in common usage, but the red scare predated McCarthy’s meteoric rise to prominence in 1950 and continued after he was discredited by a Senate censure in 1954, following his disastrous investigation into the U.S. Army which started on April 22 of that year. McCarthy’s name became associated with the phenomenon mainly through his prominence in the media; his outspoken and unpredictable nature made him ideal as the figurehead of anti-communism, although he was probably not its most important practitioner.

McCarthy headed the Permanent Investigating Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Government Operations; other significant legislative committees were the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), officially called the United States House of Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities, and the Senate equivalent, the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. These committees independently investigated specific individuals and made allegations that many were communists. They had no official power of punishment, but those named as communists or communist sympathisers by the various committees often found themselves fired from their jobs and sometimes ostracised from society. These committees often received information on suspected communists and communist sympathisers from the FBI, which found them useful to attack suspects against which it did not have enough evidence to push for a criminal prosecution. These national committees were imitated by committees within state and even local government; these committees, sometimes known as ‘little HUACs’, were however generally less effective than the national committees.

Charlie Chaplin was one person accused of un-American activities, and the FBI was involved in arranging to have his re-entry visa cancelled when he left the States for a trip to Europe in 1952. In effect, his film career was over despite not being found guilty of any offence. Walt Disney worked closely with the FBI at this time also, chiefly by way of giving inside information from the film industry, but himself came under suspicion at one stage. Some people feel he used these alleged powers to denounce people who may have been a commercial threat to his operations.

The most publicly visible elements of McCarthyism were the trials of those accused of being communist agents within the government. The two most famous trials were those of Alger Hiss (whose trial actually began before McCarthy started brandishing his lists, and who was not in fact convicted directly of espionage, but of perjury) and of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Such trials typically relied on information from informers, such as Whittaker Chambers (whose testimony led to the downfall of Hiss) and the three men whose confessions and testimony were vital to the Rosenberg trial, Klaus Fuchs, Harry Gold and David Greengrass. It was revealed in the 1990s that the government had been relying on access to secret Soviet communications that showed that all of these, Hiss, the Rosenbergs, Klaus Fuchs, and many others, including Harry Dexter White, U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, were in fact paid agents of the Soviet Union. These communications are known collectively as the Venona papers.

The Rosenbergs were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage in 1951 and executed in 1953. Hiss was convicted in 1950 of perjury for denying on oath that he had passed documents to the Soviet Union while working for the State Department in the 1930s, and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. Both cases have aroused considerable controversy down the years and remain debated in the present day, and have to some extent been revitalised by the opening of much of the Soviet archives in the early 1990s. This provided new evidence on all these cases, but the Venona evidence is still disputed by partisans.

The red scare affected many people in Hollywood, resulting in arrests of various figures in the film industry. Many were also “blacklisted”, meaning that they were unable to work in the film industry (although some screenwriters were able to work under pseudonyms).

McCarthy’s anticommunist crusade faltered in 1954 as his hearings were televised, for the first time, allowing the public and press to view firsthand his bullying tactics. The press also started to run stories about how McCarthy ruined many people’s lives with accusations that were not supported by any evidence in some cases. Famously, he was asked by the chief attorney of the Army, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” McCarthy suffered a backlash in public opinion and was investigated and then censured by the Senate for not cooperating with the investigating committee, and for publicly calling them the “involuntary agent” and the “attorneys-in-fact” of the Communist Party. After the censure, McCarthy lost his other committee chairmanship, and reporters stopped filing stories about his claims of continuing communist conspiracies. He faded from the spotlight overnight. McCarthy died in office of hepatitis, probably caused by alcoholism, in 1957.

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The two prominent political pundits, explainers and almost human talking heads have uttered (and probably will continue to) statements that are geared more to incite voters more than inform. Without them we would never know how people in the spotlight can influence opinion through faux news and information. Apparently Mr. O’Reilly is in the camp of the alt-right.  MA

Newt Gingrich and Bill O’Reilly are both well known pundits(?) who take to the airwaves at any opportunity to use their celebrity to tout crap! Recently Gingrich offered explanations that Mr. Trump has decided to stop using the “drain the swamp” statement since the Donald was “over it”. Mr. Gingrich is called a Trump ally but it may be more like a self appointed explainer.

This from Mr. O’Reilly:
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said efforts to abolish the Electoral College system are “all about race.”

O’Reilly said on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday night there is a “hidden reason” for liberals seeking to change the system.

“If the Electoral College were abolished, presidential candidates could simply campaign in the nation’s largest cities, New York, L.A., Chicago, Houston,” he said. “And rack up enough votes to pretty much win any election.”

O’Reilly claimed Democrats wanted to campaign only in cities where “the minority vote usually goes heavily to the Democrats,” effectively “neutralizing the largely white rural areas in the Midwest and the South.”

“Very few commentators will tell you that the heart of liberalism in America is based on race,” O’Reilly said. “It permeates almost every issue – that white men have set up a system of oppression and that system must be destroyed.”

O’Reilly said that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and to some extent nominee Hillary Clinton, peddled the idea that “so-called white privilege bad, diversity good.”

“The left sees white privilege in America as an oppressive force that must be done away with,” he said.

Summing up his argument, O’Reilly said, “The left wants power taken away from the white establishment, and they want a profound change in the way America is run.”

Calls to abolish the Electoral College have been mounting since Clinton lost the election to President-elect Donald Trump, despite winning nearly 3 million more votes than him. She ended up with a total of 227 Electoral College votes to his 304 – five electors who were supposed to vote for Clinton defected and voted for someone else on Monday, while two refused to cast their ballots for Trump.

Mitch the Turtle is again refusing to do his job, aside from his failure to denounce his President elect’s antics, he has in the past allowed his constituents (coal miners) to die without lifting a finger and not telling the truth about the future of coal and coal related diseases . This is just another mealy mouthed politician milking the system.MA

By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press
4 hrs ago

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting bipartisan calls for a special committee to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election, which American intelligence says was aimed in part at helping Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The likely meddling by Russia “is a serious issue, but it doesn’t require a select committee,” said McConnell, R-Ky. The Senate intelligence committee is able to investigate the matter, he added.
CIA Director John Brennan has said the intelligence community is in agreement that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, although there’s no evidence Moscow succeeded in helping Trump win.
“There’s no question that the Russians were messing around in our election,” McConnell told Kentucky Educational Television on Monday night. “It is a matter of genuine concern and it needs to be investigated.”
Still, McConnell said the issue should be investigated in “regular order” by the Senate intelligence panel, which is “fully capable of handling this.”
McConnell’s comments put him at odds with Arizona Sen. John McCain and other Republicans who have joined with incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer in calling for a special committee to investigate efforts by Russia, China and Iran to interfere in U.S. elections.
A select committee is a high-profile panel created by congressional leaders that taps lawmakers from a variety of committees to focus on a single issue, such as Watergate or the Iran-contra arms deal.
McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Russian interference in the election threatens to “destroy democracy,” adding that a select committee is needed to find out exactly what Russia did and what effect it had on the election.
“We need to get to the bottom of this,” McCain said. “We need to find out exactly what was done and what the implications of the attacks were, especially if they had an effect on our election.”
He said: “There’s no doubt they were interfering and no doubt that it was cyberattacks. The question now is how much and what damage and what should the United States of America do? And so far, we have been totally paralyzed.”
Trump has called reports of Russian hacking “ridiculous,” and his transition team dismissed the CIA assessment, saying it was the work of the same people who claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the U.S. invaded.
Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement that the investigation must be bipartisan.
“We don’t want this investigation to be political like the Benghazi investigation,” he said. “We don’t want it to just be finger pointing at one person or another.” Schumer added: “We want to find out what the Russians are doing to our political system and what other foreign governments might do to our political system. And then figure out a way to stop it.”
McCain, Schumer and other senators say a select committee is needed to “reconcile contradictory information” and give the issue needed focus.
In the interview with KET’s Bill Goodman, McConnell spoke of his surprise at the election’s outcome.
“I thought we’d come up short” in the Senate, McConnell said. “And I didn’t think President Trump had a chance of winning.”
Trump won in part because he was able to connect with rural voters in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that had previously voted for Democrats, McConnell said.
“Trump was able to convey — oddly enough a message from a billionaire who lives in Manhattan — a genuine concern for people who felt kind of left off, who felt offended by all the political correctness they see around them,” he said.

There are graphs associated with this post unfortunately they did not transfer  but you can search out Matt O’Brien @Wonkblog for the details. MA
Wonkblog analysis

By Matt O’Brien
December 16 at 7:50 AM

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
There are going to be so many tax cuts for the rich, you’re going to get tired of tax cuts for the rich. You’re going to say, “Mr. President, please don’t cut taxes for the rich so much, this is getting terrible.”
And it will start when Republicans repeal Obamacare.
This is the Rosetta Stone for understanding why conservatives have acted like subsidized health care was the end of the republic itself. It wasn’t just that it had the word “Obama” in its name, which, in our polarized age, was enough to ensure that 45 percent of the country would despise it. No, it was that Obamacare was one of the biggest redistributive policies of the last 50 years. The Republican Party, after all, exists for what seems like the sole purpose of reversing redistribution.
A quick recap: Obamacare is a kind of three-legged stool. First, it tells insurance companies that they can’t discriminate against sick people anymore; second, it tells people that they have to buy insurance or pay a penalty, so that everyone doesn’t just wait until they’re sick to get covered; and third, it helps people who can’t afford the plans they have to buy be able to. Which is to say that you need to come up with a whole lot of money to make this work — money that Obamacare gets by taxing the rich. Indeed, at its most basic level, it raises taxes on the top 1 percent to pay for health insurance for the bottom 40 percent.
So undoing Obamacare would undo a lot of taxes at the top, and a lot of subsidies at the bottom. You can see that in the chart below from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. They crunched the numbers to figure out how much getting rid of Obamacare’s taxes and tax credits would help or hurt people at different rungs of the income ladder, and the results were about what you’d expect. The bottom 40 percent are a good deal worse off, the middle 55 percent are mostly unaffected, and the top 1 percent would do pretty, pretty well. In fact, they’d get an average tax cut of around $32,820.  It’s a reverse Robin Hood. It’s taking tax subsidies from the poor to give as tax cuts to the rich. The starkest way to think about that is that the bottom 60 percent would get negative 61.1 percent of the total benefits of getting rid of Obamacare, while the top 1 percent would get 117.5 percent. That’s right: the wealthiest would gain more than the country as a whole would, because the working class wouldn’t be gaining anything at all. They’d be losing tax credits, and the health insurance those bought them.
It’s even more lopsided than it sounds. The 44.8 percent of the total benefits that the 99 to 99.9 percent would get makes them seem like plebes compared to the 72.7 percent that the top 0.1 percent would.
What we can’t say, though, is how much the “repeal” part of “repeal and replace” would make up for the “repeal” part. That’s because Republicans still haven’t figured that out almost seven years later. The problem is that it’s hard to come up with a conservative alternative to Obamacare when Obamacare is the conservative alternative. It’s the market-based way to try to insure the uninsured. Think about it like this: if you want to make insurance companies cover people with preexisting conditions, then you need a mandate, and if you have a mandate, then you need subsidies to make it affordable. Obamacare, in other words, is the If-You-Give-A-Mouse-With-Preexisting-Conditions-An-Insurance-Plan system of health care reform.
Now, maybe Republicans really will put together their own plan . . . but maybe they won’t. It’s hard to see where they’d get the money for one when they’re so committed to getting rid of all the taxes that pay for Obamacare now.
Getting tired of tax cuts for the rich yet?

The Dupublican party now in control of both houses of Government has stated that they can now proceed with the changes to make government better for America (not necessarily for the people as they want you to believe). As voters we need to be extremely vigilant in listening to what the Administration says it is and will do for us. You have remember we are in a time where politicians lie with regularity to further their own ends. The access to many types of media has led many to believe what is put out electronically as fact. You must remember that no matter what is done to us in or names, the elected  official will not suffer like many of us will. They are protected by us in that we fail to understand what they have enacted to protect themselves and feather their own nests. We all want change but we must be careful what we ask for. I would really like to believe things will get better with the Trump administration but unfortunately the selections and statements (tweets) he has made so far are not encouraging. It is now up to the statesmen in the Congress to control this chaos wrought by the self servers in the Dupublican party. This will clearly be a case of “lying down with dogs and waking up with fleas”. It is unfortunate that too many people are so desperate to blame the president (no matter who it is) that they lose sight of the real power in Government. Now on the promise of “draining the swamp” Mr. trump will be taking the helm of the country with the theme of making America great again. The greatness has never left America, what has gone is our apparent inability or desire to pay attention to our Congress. The partisan politics has allowed the rise of Donald Trump whose sole objective in life is materialistic and self serving. Along with this Presidency come the rise (possible insurgency) of radical groups in America. Compare the potential uprisings to what is occurring and has occurred in the Middle East (third world?) . With a leader who ignores anything that DOES NOT BENEFIT HIM where are we going?  It is unfortunate that we have fallen to a low that allows for the rise of Donald trump, the Greatness (?) of America was determined when Trump won the Presidency with the backing of avowed racist organizations not the Americans who are in desperate need.  Destiny, the future will show us where it lies.

Trump and Indiana-Still!! MA

The Washington Post
Danielle Paquette

4 hrs ago

Chuck Jones uses a flip phone, so he didn’t see the tweet. His friend of 36 years called him Wednesday night and said: The president-elect is smearing you on Twitter.
Jones, a union leader in Indianapolis, represents the Carrier workers whose jobs Donald Trump has pledged to save. He said the sudden attention from the country’s next leader didn’t feel real.
“My first thought was, ‘Well, that’s not very nice,’ ” he told The Washington Post on Wednesday night. “Then, ‘Well, I might not sleep much tonight.’ ”
Jones, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1999, told The Post on Tuesday that he believed Trump had lied to the Carrier workers last week when he visited the Indianapolis plant. On a makeshift stage in a conference room, Trump had applauded United Technologies, Carrier’s parent company, for cutting a deal with him and agreeing to keep 1,100 jobs that were slated to move to Mexico in America’s heartland.
Jones said Trump got that figure wrong.
Carrier, he said, had agreed to preserve 800 production jobs in Indiana. (Carrier confirmed that number.) The union leader said Trump appeared to be taking credit for rescuing 350 engineering positions that were never scheduled to leave. Five hundred and fifty of his members, he said, were still losing their jobs. And the company was still collecting millions of dollars in tax breaks.
In return for downsizing its move south of the border, United Technologies would receive $7 million in tax credits from Indiana, to be paid in $700,000 installments each year for 10. Carrier, on top of that, has agreed to invest $16 million in its Indiana operation. United Technologies, meanwhile, still plans to shuttle 700 factory jobs from Huntington, Ind., to Monterrey, Mexico.
Jones, who said the union wasn’t involved in the negotiations, said he’s working to lift his members’ spirits. He said he didn’t have time to worry about Trump.
“He needs to worry about getting his Cabinet filled,” he said, “and leave me the hell alone.”
Representatives for Trump did not respond to The Post’s requests for comment.
Over the past two decades, the United States has lost about 4.5 million manufacturing jobs, a consequence economists ascribe to trade and automation. Jones said he has fought to keep work on U.S. soil, bargaining repeatedly with Carrier and Rexnord, another Indianapolis plant that plans to relocate jobs to Mexico.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence tweeted his support for Jones earlier this year:
Half an hour after Trump tweeted about Jones on Wednesday, the union leader’s phone began to ring and kept ringing, he said. One voice asked: What kind of car do you drive? Another said: We’re coming for you.
He wasn’t sure how these people found his number.
“Nothing that says they’re gonna kill me, but, you know, you better keep your eye on your kids,” Jones said later on MSNBC. “We know what car you drive. Things along those lines.”
“I’ve been doing this job for 30 years, and I’ve heard everything from people who want to burn my house down or shoot me,” he added. “So I take it with a grain of salt and I don’t put a lot of faith in that, and I’m not concerned about it and I’m not getting anybody involved. I can deal with people that make stupid statements and move on.”
Brett Voorhies, president of the Indiana State AFL-CIO, called Jones after Trump’s tweet caught his eye. Jones, he said, had just left his office in Indianapolis, where he manages the needs of about 3,000 union members.
“This guy makes pennies for what he does,” Voorhies said. “What he has to put up with is just crazy. Now he’s just got the president-elect smearing him on Twitter.”

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