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Category Archives: My Opinion


The current administration is rife with feckless and incompetent members who at the behest of self-serving leader which has brought American prestige and power to a new low. TOTUS has regularly created problems, then solved them (poorly) in the idea that the administration is doing a better job than his predecessors. It is unfortunate that many of TOTUS’s followers have single visions on what he has accomplished when that vision is one they share with no regard to the effect on the country as a whole. This is with all due respect “WWII era thinking” when we were at war after being attacked. The “Make America Great Again” slogan is just that, a slogan. America will recover from this administration but will his followers do the same and take a wider (better)  view of where we are and our place in the world. Our long-time foes have ascended under this administration while our productivity has decreased under tariffs that do nothing to help our producers and caused prices to rise on imported goods (and for no good reason). All the actions of this administration’s actions are for the glory of TOTUS and so-called “deal making” abilities. If the lies and missteps of this administration were bricks, there would be enough to build the unnecessary “wall” on the Southern border. If we could solve problems as TOTUS attempts to do, we could simply roll back what was done or said but since that tactic does not work we will just have to vote new people in and take actions to punish the outgoing criminals.

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Totus has shown us how nasty and divisive our politics has become. Many of us have always thought our politicians lie to us at some point and sometimes always. There has always been a basic mistrust since many of the everyday political workings are done in closed chambers which promotes an air of mistrust. As voters, we have to up our political game by paying more attention to who we elect and learn to dismiss potentially suspect statements from candidates new and incumbent. The hardest thing we have to do is to spend some time researching each one regardless of the party they belong to. It must be remembered that the party line is not necessarily in OUR best interests or the country’s. It has long been observed that candidates will and do say what is required to get elected but take another route once in office. The onus is and always has been on the voter. This is why all of us need to take a broad look at all candidates no matter what party they belong to and evaluate their words and actions ( previous and current) before jumping on a liner that could become a sinking ship. The real changes are not due to different people being in office but due to voters being educated on the candidates regardless of party.

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Be facebook smart, only post what you want to be known. MA

Grete Suarez 23 hours ago
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie blasted Facebook’s (FB) continued influence after its widely publicized data scandal, amid a recent controversy over the site’s refusal to remove a Trump campaign ad that makes false assertions about Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden.
The advertisement claims the former vice president tried to pressure a Ukrainian prosecutor to drop a probe of his son, Hunter — an argument that’s been widely debunked. It forms the basis of a widening controversy that’s sparked an impeachment inquiry in Congress, and given Facebook’s critics new ammunition to blast the platform’s practices.
Recently, Facebook said that it would not attempt to fact-check political ads — a position the company reasserted as the Biden campaign moved to have the spot taken down.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, Wylie — who blew the lid on the data scandal that walloped Facebook last year — insisted that the site was “making a choice” to spread false information. He compared the company to a “stalker” on a date.
“So if one campaign is basing itself on a scaled spread of disinformation and fake news in its advertising campaign, and you say we’re just not going to do anything about it, you are making a choice, whether you like it or not, to help one side,” Wylie said to Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM.

Wylie just released a new book “Mindf*ck,” which reveals the inside story of “the data mining and psychological manipulation behind the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum, connecting Facebook, WikiLeaks, Russian intelligence, and international hackers.”
The Cambridge Analytica scandal led to 87 million Facebook users’ data being sold and used for voter targeting campaigns for Brexit and Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.
The scandal resulted in Facebook having to fork over a record $5 billion in fines, and forced the social media giant to rethink key aspects of its data management — even as it continues its march into other business lines.
“This is a company that is everything from your photo album, to a communications network, to where we now have our public discourse and host elections… and at the same time wants to become a financial system,” Wylie said — referencing the company’s embattled cryptocurrency project, Libra.
“I question the wisdom of allowing a company to concentrate so many aspects of our society into one product,” he added.
Facebook is a publicly traded company, which Wylie points out is only accountable to their shareholders and CEO/founder Mark Zuckerberg. He called for independent regulators who will speak for its users — something several politicians have called for in the wake of the Cambridge scandal.
He believes the Internet “is part and parcel of democracy now” — which begs the question of whether the rules need updating.
Wylie used an analogy of Facebook as a perfect blind date — only to find out that person has spent two years stalking the person they’re courting.
“You are more vulnerable, because there’s an imbalance in power, because one entity, or one person, knows a lot more about you than vice versa,” he explained.
“Facebook is like that stalker – and that’s powerful… people will pay money to access the knowledge of that stalker,” he added.
Grete Suarez is producer at Yahoo Finance for YFi PM and The Ticker. Follow her on Twitter: @GreteSuarez

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There is much in the news over the numerous shootings by  L.E.O.s (Law enforcement Officers) and others have and probably will be in the news and in political debates for years to come. The words “gun Control” offers no answers as means different things to different people. It denotes to some as the taking of guns from lawful owners or forcing restrictions on the ownership, the safeguard, and the use of these firearms. The issue should be restriction or denial of ownership of Firearms by people who are DEEMED unable to appreciate the ownership and practical use of firearms. Gun control to shooters is the ability to remain on the target between shots in order to have good placement of the projectile. This is why the military, law enforcement, and most civilian shooters go to shooting ranges on a regular basis. No matter what laws are enacted there will always be “bad actors” who legally own firearms and illegal owners who follow no rules. The approach needs to be a legal common-sense way to protect the legal owners while disqualifying potentially dangerous members of the firearm owning community. We have been caught up in skeletal explanations of what should be done and what someone running for office states they will do that we tear off into the sunset (as it were) yelling about something that may never happen. The last several years have seen several (too many) mass shootings and the aftermath which brings the “gun control” issue out front again only to have it languish into the background again until the next one (mass shooting) occurs. I believe the approach needs to come from the people by having a method of gathering the desires of all of the people and designing a statute that embraces the most reasonable and effective parts that saves lives.

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Just a few highlights of a “stable genius’s” thinking?

Stuart Carlson Comic Strip for October 11, 2019 Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for October 11, 2019 Tom Toles Comic Strip for October 14, 2019 Ken Catalino Comic Strip for October 11, 2019 Dana Summers Comic Strip for October 09, 2019 Bob Gorrell Comic Strip for October 14, 2019

Chris Britt Comic Strip for October 12, 2019

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Facts are facts and can possibly be altered but usually unrefutable. We as a nation have had 3 years of lies, self-serving and theft by an otherwise bottom feeder aided and abetted by a Neer do well Congress who unabashedly lie to our faces. As voters, we need to understand that what makes our country work is information, not misinformation and dog whistles. Our political system has been twisted by the politicians who pat us on the back with one hand and pick our pockets with the other. When we add in the constant stream of tweets from our Leader(?) assailing everything and everyone with no facts behind his allegations, we can surmise that our nation is in trouble. We are at this time looked upon as a rudderless ship crewed by misfits. We are slowly becoming pariahs among more reasonable allies while being embraced by the bad actors of the world. This is a definition of “birds of a Feather flock together”. Our only option is voting for less radical representatives who have the ability to link progressive ideas with moderate ones that will move us forward instead of backward or sideways. Believe it or not, we are in the grip of goblins and Orcs.

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The scammers continue to assail everyone to deflect from their own quasi-legal activites. Fortunately, we as voters have options and that is to remove this cancer from our government and investigate these miscreants. There may come a time when a semi trailer with bars may back up to the Whitehouse MA

By Noah Bierman and Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times 11 hrs ago
WASHINGTON — Eric Trump sounded shocked that Hunter Biden hadn’t drawn more criticism for his lucrative business deals in Ukraine and China while his father, Joe Biden, was vice president. “Can you imagine if I took 3 cents from the Ukraine or 4 cents from China?” President Donald Trump’s second-oldest son asked in a recent Fox Business appearance. Eric Trump and his older brother, Donald Trump Jr., run the Trump Organization, which conducts business — and takes in tens of millions of dollars annually — around the globe and is still owned by the president. The company is forging ahead with projects in Ireland, India, Indonesia and Uruguay, and is licensing the Trump name in such turbulent areas as Turkey and the Philippines.
Their sister Ivanka is a senior adviser to the president. She kept her international fashion business going for 18 months after she was given a loosely defined White House portfolio that includes interacting with heads of state and working with domestic and international corporate chiefs on economic programs.
On the same day Trump and his daughter dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in Florida in April 2017, China awarded her three preliminary trademark approvals for jewelry, handbags and spa services. In all, she has obtained more than a dozen Chinese trademarks since entering the White House, ensuring her access to the world’s second-largest economy if she goes back into business.
Time and again, Trump’s children have blurred the lines of family, nation and business — essentially the charge the president makes against the Bidens as he battles a House impeachment inquiry focused on whether he improperly pushed Ukraine to investigate his political rivals for what he claims were shady dealings.
Trump’s children “appear to people all over the world to be his bagmen,” said Richard Painter, who served as White House ethics czar under President George W. Bush. “This is the Trump business empire. It’s owned by Donald Trump, the president, and they are managing it for him and collecting business on his behalf.”
While Hunter Biden’s overseas deals may have embarrassed his father, now a Democratic presidential candidate, no evidence has emerged to suggest wrongdoing by the former vice president.
“There’s no substantiated or credible allegation that I know of that Hunter Biden’s work was personally financially benefiting Joe Biden,” said Robert Maguire, research director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit that is suing Trump and alleges he is illegally profiting from the presidency.
“With President Trump, we know his two adult sons are going around the country and the world to make money for a company that President Trump himself personally profits from, that he also personally promotes using the White House,” he added.
The White House declined to comment for this story and the Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment. But family members have angrily denied profiting from Trump’s time in the Oval Office.
During an August business trip to Indonesia, Trump Jr. dismissed reporters’ questions about potential conflicts of interest as “totally asinine.”
Eric Trump said Thursday at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York that his family would go “down as one of the few families that have actually made a tremendous sacrifice.”
“We’ve lost a lot of money based on the fact that we don’t do any deals, that we’re sitting silent” while his father is in office, he said.
Since the company is privately held, that’s impossible to prove. In the meantime, both brothers sometimes travel on Air Force One — Eric was aboard Thursday when the president flew to a rally in Minneapolis — and in June, both brothers dined at Buckingham Palace in London during Trump’s state visit. Both also spoke at Trump’s reelection kickoff rally in June in Orlando, Fla., and Trump Jr. is a leading surrogate at campaign events.
After he was elected, Trump pledged not to seek new foreign business deals while president.
He never divested from the Trump Organization, however, which had licensed his name for real estate developments around the globe.
Trump owns more than $130 million in assets across 30 countries under the trust controlled by his children, according to an analysis of his financial disclosures by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group in Washington that tracks money in politics.
The assets generated more than $100 million in income in 2017 and 2018 combined, according to the group, which calls those estimates conservative because the president has only disclosed ranges, not specific figures, in public.
While some Trump properties have “taken a nosedive” since he became president, according to Anna Massoglia, a researcher for the center, others — such as his hotel in Washington — have benefited from foreign interests that moved events to his properties after Trump took office.
Trump’s children have also looked to expand their overseas holdings, she said.
“In many cases, they’ve gone back and, to some extent, reactivated or given new life to long-dormant projects,” Massoglia said, citing projects in the Dominican Republic, Indonesia and Uruguay that are in various phases of development.
“Trump’s travels or his family’s travels across the world have appeared exploratory” toward “the possibility of new business and setting themselves up to expand following the presidency,” she added.
The Trump Organization, as part of a stated commitment to return foreign profits to the U.S. Treasury, said it sent $191,538 to the government last year. But the company has not explained how it calculated that figure.
Since Trump refuses to release his tax returns and the company keeps much of its financial data confidential, it’s unclear whether he is following the ethics rules he set for himself after the election. Even if he is, some of the largest gaps in the self-imposed guidelines involve foreign projects.
The projects can benefit from local zoning or infrastructure improvements, or even when U.S. military crews are billeted there. The House Oversight Committee is investigating why the Pentagon has spent nearly $200,000 at Trump Turnberry golf resort in Scotland since 2017 for overnight stays and other expenses during refueling stops in nearby Glasgow.
The Trumps also can market existing projects under the guidelines, and actively sell luxury condos to foreign buyers, among other investments.
Last month, Trump Jr. hosted about 100 people in New York who had purchased homes in Trump-branded luxury towers near New Delhi. Visitors flew over Manhattan in helicopters, dined at Trump’s hotel and listened to a “fireside chat” between Trump Jr. and an Indian business partner.
Trump Jr. repeatedly told Indian reporters of his desire to do more business in India and other countries once his father leaves office.
“I’d love to be in the market right now,” he told CNBC-TV18, a major channel for business news in India. “But there is a bigger picture and there’s an important picture for us, for our country, for what my father is doing, and for Americans. There will be time to be back in that later on, and I’m sure those relationships will remain.”
Trump Jr. told Mint, an Indian business publication, that India would be “a market that we would be very interested (in), post-politics” and that “it would be easier for me to get going in India because of the relationships we have built up in the last decade.”
Those relationships predated Trump’s presidency — the company laid the groundwork for the developments years before he won in 2016 — but they have been strengthened from the White House.
Last month, President Trump lavished praise on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held an unusual joint rally with him in Houston, gushing about the size of the crowds that packed the stadium.
“My personal chemistry (with Modi) is as good as it can get,” the president said two days later while discussing trade with the Indian leader on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York.
In 2017, the Trumps marketed another project in India — this one in Mumbai — with a picture of President Trump, calling it “an opportunity worth its weight in gold” to be associated with “celebrity & POTUS Donald Trump’s Trump Organisation,” using the abbreviation for president of the United States and the British spelling for organization.
After the Wall Street Journal raised questions about the materials, the Trump Organization said they were sent by an outside firm without its authorization.
When they took over the Trump organization, Trump Jr. and Eric Trump agreed to stay away from their father’s official duties, in part to signal foreign governments or corporate leaders that they could not curry favor with the White House by doing business with the president’s sons.
But that line seems murky at best.
In January, Eric Trump boasted of his father’s local political connections while reviewing construction of a Trump-branded property in Uruguay.
Speaking to an Argentine website, he cited his father’s “deep respect” for Argentine President Mauricio Macri — Trump did business with Macri’s father in the 1980s — and discussed where he would like to invest when Trump leaves office.
“Now we have other major international brands, which are being introduced in the market, and that is very good for the region,” he said. “Without a doubt, we have raised the standards. Our goal is to have the standards of New York.”
In August, Trump Jr. attended “pre-launch” events in Indonesia for two resorts being developed with a partner who founded one of the country’s political parties and remains highly active, with a daughter seeking a cabinet position there.
Indonesia, like many countries where the Trump sons do business, is negotiating with the Trump administration in Washington over trade policy. The government in Jakarta is seeking to avoid the tariffs the White House has imposed on other countries with a trade surplus.
Trump Jr. dismissed questions about a potential conflict of interest, telling reporters that his father “wouldn’t make decisions on a country based on a real estate deal.”
“I would like to shut down that nonsense right here,” he said.
———
©2019 Los Angeles Times

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Apparently, TOTUS is staying true to his long time M.O. of not paying for goods and services in other words “stiffing everyone”. This what scammers do. MA
Pay freeze at the UN? Trump administration owes the United Nations $1 billion

John Fritze and Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY 4 hrs ago

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump brushed aside warnings from the United Nations on Wednesday that the 74-year-old organization risks being unable to pay its staff and bills if member nations don’t cough up their annual dues soon.

Washington owes the U.N. $381 million in back payments and $674 million this year, according to the U.S. mission to the U.N. As the largest contributor to the 193-member organization, the U.S. has long sought to pressure the U.N. to rein in spending.
Trump, who has openly questioned the value of the U.N., has made skepticism of multinational organizations a central component of his foreign policy. Trump has demanded European countries contribute more to NATO and has pressed allies in Asia and the Middle East to rely less on U.S. military might and spend more on their own security.
Trump v. Thunberg: Is the UN moving on from Donald Trump?
Trump v. climate: Trump drops by UN climate summit, ditching initial plan to skip it
Trump v. world: Trump grapples with Ukraine scandal, other pitfalls at United Nations
Responding to reports of deep U.N. budget deficits, Trump returned to the theme.
“So make all Member Countries pay, not just the United States!” he wrote Wednesday.
U.N. officials say 129 countries have paid their 2019 dues, two-thirds of all members. Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said that nearly $2 billion has been paid to the organization this year and that the outstanding balance for other countries amounts to another $1.3 billion.
Dujarric described the financial situation as “the worst cash crisis facing the United Nations in nearly a decade” and said it “runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors.”
Created in 1945 on the heels of World War II, the United Nations charter tasked the organization with ending conflict and human rights abuses. Its real power lies in the 15-member Security Council, which can authorize sanctions and military action.
The U.S. has quarreled with the U.N. for decades over funding. A U.S. mission official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal decisions, said the U.S. paid $600 million to peacekeeping efforts this year and will pay “the vast majority of what we owe to the regular budget this fall, as we have in past years.”

But the longstanding tension has received renewed attention because of Trump, who once described the U.N. as “not a friend of democracy” and has consistently questioned multinational efforts such as NATO and the annual G-7 and G-20 summits.

Trump spent three days in New York last month for the annual U.N. General Assembly, pressing his case for sovereignty while also seeking support from allies to address a suspected Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia. Despite the international audience, Trump has used his U.N. addresses to speak more to domestic audiences.
“The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots,” Trump told his counterparts on Sept. 24. “The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations.”

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So it takes an action in a foreign land to get our “Neer do well” Congress to become upset with TOTUS. Our Congress is on vacation and TOTUS has committed another ill-conceived action. While there is much hand wringing and comment, Congress is still on vacation while our allies (the Kurds) suffer potential annihilation at the hands of the Turks. During all of this Syria or the EU has said or done nothing. The other end of this is who will keep control of the ISIS members being detained since the Kurds now have to fight a war. Will Turkey or Syria keep control of terrorists? Again Congress has abdicated their duties to the child and another of our allies will suffer for it. This latest act has lowered our status as a world power to the level of some 3rd world country with a lot of wealth and no one to administer it. The correction is the vote!

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Apparently, it is OK for the United States to blacklist 28 Chinese companies over alleged human rights violations but still commit similar abuses on our Southern border. Our own policies of denying entrance to immigrants seeking asylum and changing the rules at the same time is not much different than the actions of China against the Ethnic Yughuirs (pronounced Wee-gurs). Is this a case of the “pot calling the kettle black?” This administration could conceivably be listed as one of the worst in our history or at best the creator of the worst policies at home and abroad. All of this abetted by a neer do well Congress lead by the GOP and Mitch McConnell (who sits on legislation  “he” thinks the President will not support). All of the above illustrates where we are as a country even if we as a country (voters) are ignorant of the machinations of this administration and it’s allied Congressional supporters. The choice we voters have is to take any information coming from the current administration with some skepticism and an eye on their personal ambitions and how that affects their judgment and our lives.

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