Monday, June 26, 2017



The NY Times is doing something they haven't done in the past. They are listing the very public and deliberate lies of a sitting U.S.President.

President Trump’s political rise was built on a lie (about Barack Obama's birthplace). His lack of truthfulness has also become central to the Russia investigation, with James Comey, the former director of the F.B.I., testifying under oath about Trump's “lies, plain and simple.”
There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths. Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. No other president — of either party — has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant ...
 ... We are using the word “lie” deliberately. Not every falsehood is deliberate on Trump's part. But it would be the height of naïveté to imagine he is merely making honest mistakes. He is lying.

As you can imagine, the list is long. It also goes far beyond the occasional fib or misrepresentation (intentional or not) of facts that happens to every president, politician and, yes, even the rest of us. Put another way, the NY Times is listing lies that are so deliberate and natural that they have become like the air Donald Trump breathes.



If the list below is difficult to read, you can click here for the NY Times article, and an explanation of their methods for classifying Trump's lies.

JAN. 21 “I wasn't a fan of Iraq. I didn't want to go into Iraq.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)JAN. 21 “A reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine.” (Trump was on the cover 11 times and Nixon appeared 55 times.)JAN. 23 “Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” (There's no evidence of illegal voting.)JAN. 25 “Now, the audience was the biggest ever. But this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive.” (Official aerial photos show Obama's 2009 inauguration was much more heavily attended.)JAN. 25 “Take a look at the Pew reports (which show voter fraud.)” (The report never mentioned voter fraud.)JAN. 25 “You had millions of people that now aren't insured anymore.” (The real number is less than 1 million, according to the Urban Institute.)JAN. 25 “So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can't have that.” (There were no gun homicide victims in Chicago that day.)JAN. 26 “We've taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn't vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don't know anything about them and you have no papers? How do you vet them? You can't.” (Vetting lasts up to two years.)JAN. 26 “I cut off hundreds of millions of dollars off one particular plane, hundreds of millions of dollars in a short period of time. It wasn't like I spent, like, weeks, hours, less than hours, and many, many hundreds of millions of dollars. And the plane's going to be better.” (Most of the cuts were already planned.)JAN. 28 “The coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost has been so false and angry that the Times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers.” (It never apologized.)JAN. 29 “The Cuban-Americans, I got 84 percent of that vote.” (There is no support for this.)JAN. 30 “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage.” (At least 746 people were detained and processed, and the Delta outage happened two days later.)FEB. 3 “Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” (There is no evidence of paid protesters.)FEB. 4 “After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!” (It never apologized.)FEB. 5 “We had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully.” (About 60,000 people were affected.)FEB. 6 “I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35.” (Much of the price drop was projected before Trump took office.)FEB. 6 “It's gotten to a point where it is not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it.” (Terrorism has been reported on, often in detail.)FEB. 6 “The failing @nytimes was forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win. Now they are worse!” (It didn't apologize.)FEB. 6 “And the previous administration allowed it to happen because we shouldn't have been in Iraq, but we shouldn't have gotten out the way we got out. It created a vacuum, ISIS was formed.” (The group’s origins date to 2004.)FEB. 7 “And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years.” (It was higher in the 1980s and '90s.)FEB. 7 “I saved more than $600 million. I got involved in negotiation on a fighter jet, the F-35.” (The Defense Department projected this price drop before Trump took office.)FEB. 9 “Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!” (It was part of Cuomo's first question.)FEB. 9 Sen. Richard Blumenthal “now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” (The Gorsuch comments were later corroborated.)FEB. 10 “I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?” (Trump knew about Flynn's actions for weeks.)FEB. 12 “Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!” (The media did cover it.)FEB. 16 “We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.” (George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all won bigger margins in the Electoral College.)FEB. 16 “That’s the other thing that was wrong with the travel ban. You had Delta with a massive problem with their computer system at the airports.” (Delta's problems happened two days later.)FEB. 16 “Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various plans and initiatives.” (The jobs are a result of its investment plans announced in October 2016.)FEB. 16 “When WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they’re not giving classified information.” (Not always. They have released classified information in the past.)FEB. 16 “We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision.” (The rollout was chaotic.)FEB. 16 “They’re giving stuff — what was said at an office about Hillary cheating on the debates. Which, by the way, nobody mentions. Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debates.” (It was widely covered.)FEB. 18 “And there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing.” (Refugees receive multiple background checks, taking up to two years.)FEB. 18 “You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?” (Trump implied there was a terror attack in Sweden, but there was no such attack.)FEB. 24 “By the way, you folks are in here — this place is packed, there are lines that go back six blocks.” (There was no evidence of long lines.)FEB. 24 “ICE came and endorsed me.”(Only its union did.)FEB. 24 “Obamacare covers very few people — and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them — it was taken away from them.” (Obamacare increased coverage by a net of about 20 million.)FEB. 27 “Since Obamacare went into effect, nearly half of the insurers are stopped and have stopped from participating in the Obamacare exchanges.” (Many fewer pulled out.)FEB. 27 “On one plane, on a small order of one plane, I saved $725 million. And I would say I devoted about, if I added it up, all those calls, probably about an hour. So I think that might be my highest and best use.” (Much of the price cut was already projected.)FEB. 28 “And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.” (NATO countries agreed to meet defense spending requirements in 2014.)FEB. 28 “The E.P.A.’s regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands.” (There's no evidence that the Waters of the United States rule caused severe job losses.)FEB. 28 “We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials.” (They can't lobby their former agency but can still become lobbyists.)MARCH 3 “It is so pathetic that the Dems have still not approved my full Cabinet.” (Paperwork for the last two candidates was still not submitted to the Senate.)MARCH 4 “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” (There's no evidence of a wiretap.)MARCH 4 “How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”(There's no evidence of a wiretap.)MARCH 7 “122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!” (113 of them were released by President George W. Bush.)MARCH 13 “I saved a lot of money on those jets, didn't I? Did I do a good job? More than $725 million on them.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)MARCH 13 “First of all, it covers very few people.” (About 20 million people gained insurance under Obamacare.)MARCH 15 “On the airplanes, I saved $725 million. Probably took me a half an hour if you added up all of the times.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)MARCH 17 “I was in Tennessee — I was just telling the folks — and half of the state has no insurance company, and the other half is going to lose the insurance company.” (There's at least one insurer in every Tennessee county.)MARCH 20 “With just one negotiation on one set of airplanes, I saved the taxpayers of our country over $700 million.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)MARCH 21 “To save taxpayer dollars, I’ve already begun negotiating better contracts for the federal government — saving over $700 million on just one set of airplanes of which there are many sets.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)MARCH 22 “I make the statement, everyone goes crazy. The next day they have a massive riot, and death, and problems.” (Riots in Sweden broke out two days later and there were no deaths.)MARCH 22 “NATO, obsolete, because it doesn’t cover terrorism. They fixed that.” (It has fought terrorism since the 1980s.)MARCH 22 “Well, now, if you take a look at the votes, when I say that, I mean mostly they register wrong — in other words, for the votes, they register incorrectly and/or illegally. And they then vote. You have tremendous numbers of people.” (There's no evidence of widespread voter fraud.)MARCH 29 “Remember when the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong. Now worse!” (It didn't apologize.)MARCH 31 “We have a lot of plants going up now in Michigan that were never going to be there if I — if I didn’t win this election, those plants would never even think about going back. They were gone.” (These investments were already planned.)APRIL 2 “And I was totally opposed to the war in the Middle East which I think finally has been proven, people tried very hard to say I wasn’t but you’ve seen that it is now improving.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)APRIL 2 “Now, my last tweet — you know, the one that you are talking about, perhaps — was the one about being, in quotes, wiretapped, meaning surveilled. Guess what, it is turning out to be true.” (There is still no evidence.)APRIL 5 “You have many states coming up where they’re going to have no insurance company. O.K.? It’s already happened in Tennessee. It’s happening in Kentucky. Tennessee only has half coverage. Half the state is gone. They left.” (Every marketplace region in Tennessee had at least one insurer.)APRIL 6 “If you look at the kind of cost-cutting we’ve been able to achieve with the military and at the same time ordering vast amounts of equipment — saved hundreds of millions of dollars on airplanes, and really billions, because if you take that out over a period of years it’s many billions of dollars — I think we’ve had a tremendous success.” (Much of the price cuts were already projected.)APRIL 11 “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late. I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve.” (He knew Steve Bannon since 2011.)APRIL 12 “You can't do it faster, because they're obstructing. They're obstructionists. So I have people — hundreds of people that we're trying to get through. I mean you have — you see the backlog. We can't get them through.” (At this point, he had not nominated anyone for hundreds of positions.)APRIL 12 “The New York Times said the word wiretapped in the headline of the first edition. Then they took it out of there fast when they realized.” (There were separate headlines for print and web, but neither were altered.)APRIL 12 “The secretary general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism.” (NATO has been engaged in counterterrorism efforts since the 1980s.)APRIL 12 “Mosul was supposed to last for a week and now they’ve been fighting it for many months and so many more people died.” (The campaign was expected to take months.)APRIL 16 “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!” (There's no evidence of paid protesters.)APRIL 18 “The fake media goes, ‘Donald Trump changed his stance on China.’ I haven’t changed my stance.” (He did.)APRIL 21 “On 90 planes I saved $725 million. It's actually a little bit more than that, but it's $725 million.” (Much of the price cuts were already projected.)APRIL 21 “When WikiLeaks came out … never heard of WikiLeaks, never heard of it.” (He criticized it as early as 2010.)APRIL 27 “I want to help our miners while the Democrats are blocking their healthcare.” (The bill to extend health benefits for certain coal miners was introduced by a Democrat and was co-sponsored by mostly Democrats.)APRIL 28 “The trade deficit with Mexico is close to $70 billion, even with Canada it’s $17 billion trade deficit with Canada.” (The U.S. had an $8.1 billion trade surplus, not deficit, with Canada in 2016.)APRIL 28 “She's running against someone who's going to raise your taxes to the sky, destroy your health care, and he's for open borders — lots of crime.” (Those are not Jon Ossoff's positions.)APRIL 28 “The F-35 fighter jet program — it was way over budget. I’ve saved $725 million plus, just by getting involved in the negotiation.” (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)APRIL 29 “They're incompetent, dishonest people who after an election had to apologize because they covered it, us, me, but all of us, they covered it so badly that they felt they were forced to apologize because their predictions were so bad.” (The Times did not apologize.)APRIL 29 “As you know, I've been a big critic of China, and I've been talking about currency manipulation for a long time. But I have to tell you that during the election, number one, they stopped.” (China stopped years ago.)APRIL 29 “I've already saved more than $725 million on a simple order of F-35 planes. I got involved in the negotiation.” (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)APRIL 29 “We're also getting NATO countries to finally step up and contribute their fair share. They've begun to increase their contributions by billions of dollars, but we are not going to be satisfied until everyone pays what they owe.” (The deal was struck in 2014.)APRIL 29 “When they talk about currency manipulation, and I did say I would call China, if they were, a currency manipulator, early in my tenure. And then I get there. Number one, they — as soon as I got elected, they stopped.” (China stopped in 2014.)APRIL 29 “I was negotiating to reduce the price of the big fighter jet contract, the F-35, which was totally out of control. I will save billions and billions and billions of dollars.” (Most of the cuts were planned before Trump.)APRIL 29 “I think our side's been proven very strongly. And everybody's talking about it.” (There's still no evidence Trump's phones were tapped.)MAY 1 “Well, we are protecting pre-existing conditions. And it'll be every good — bit as good on pre-existing conditions as Obamacare.” (The bill weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions.)MAY 1 “The F-35 fighter jet — I saved — I got involved in the negotiation. It's 2,500 jets. I negotiated for 90 planes, lot 10. I got $725 million off the price.” (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)MAY 1 “First of all, since I started running, they haven't increased their — you know, they have not manipulated their currency. I think that was out of respect to me and the campaign.” (China stopped years ago.)MAY 2 “I love buying those planes at a reduced price. I have been really — I have cut billions — I have to tell you this, and they can check, right, Martha? I have cut billions and billions of dollars off plane contracts sitting here.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)MAY 4 “Number two, they’re actually not a currency [manipulator]. You know, since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped.” (China stopped years ago.)MAY 4 “We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world.” (We're not.)MAY 4 “Nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters.” (Polls show most Americans do care.)MAY 8 “You know we’ve gotten billions of dollars more in NATO than we’re getting. All because of me.” (The deal was struck in 2014.)MAY 8 “But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high — highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.” (Colbert's “Late Show” debut had nearly two million more viewers.)MAY 8 “Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows — there is ‘no evidence’ of collusion w/ Russia and Trump.” (Clapper only said he wasn't aware of an investigation.)MAY 12 “Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election.” (The F.B.I. was investigating before the election.)MAY 12 “When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?” (Clapper said he wouldn't have been told of an investigation into collusion.)MAY 13 “I'm cutting the price of airplanes with Lockheed.” (The cost cuts were planned before he became president.)MAY 26 “Just arrived in Italy for the G7. Trip has been very successful. We made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs.” (He's referencing an arms deal that's not enacted and other apparent deals that weren't announced on the trip.)JUNE 1 “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.” (The agreement doesn’t allow or disallow building coal plants.)JUNE 1 “I’ve just returned from a trip overseas where we concluded nearly $350 billion of military and economic development for the United States, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.” (Trump’s figures are inflated and premature.)JUNE 4 “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” (The mayor was specifically talking about the enlarged police presence on the streets.)JUNE 5 “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.” (Trump signed this version of the travel ban, not the Justice Department.)JUNE 21 “They all say it's 'nonbinding.' Like hell it's nonbinding.” (The Paris climate agreement is nonbinding — and Trump said so in his speech announcing the withdrawal.)JUNE 21 “Right now, we are one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” (We're not.)

- Mark


The Bakersfield Californian's Jose Gaspar published a profile of my friend, and local political legend, Dr. Ray Gonzales. Up until last spring, when health issues began to take their toll, Dr. Gonzales taught courses in our Department of Political Science, and served as a Trustee on the Bakersfield City School District. The Californian's profile is attached below.

Dr. Ray Gonzales (Top Right), with his State Assembly Chicano Caucus colleagues, 1973.

A more recent photo. Dr. Ray Gonzales, with Dolores Huerta, and my son, Sebastian, last month. 


JOSE GASPAR: Local pioneer Ray Gonzales has broken barriers in Kern County and beyond

  • BY JOSE GASPAR For The Californian
There are historical living figures in Kern County that sadly, many don't know about or have forgotten. Ray Gonzales is one of them.
Gonzales recently had to step down as a member of the Bakersfield City School District board of trustees, a role he took on two years ago at the tender age of 76. That number is not a typo. So when I heard the news he was calling it quits, I knew it wasn't good news as this man has never shied away from hard work or controversy.
Born and bred in east Bakersfield in a humble house on Citrus Drive, his childhood story could be that of any other raised by immigrant parents from Mexico. Perhaps it was this humble beginning in life that motivated Gonzales to fight for social justice by studying for the priesthood at a seminary in Michigan.
"I always said I was going to be a father one way or the other," said Gonzales.
The ex-Marine left the seminary but the drive for equality for his fellow man did not diminish. In fact it only grew when he acquired his most potent weapon: a college education. And a Ph.D. at that.
Armed with brains, great communications skills and a drive to shake up the political establishment, Gonzales accomplished the unthinkable in 1972. He was elected to the state Assembly as the representative from the-then 28th District, becoming the first Latino from the San Joaquin Valley to win a seat.
He did it by first winning the Democratic primary and then beating the Republican establishment incumbent, Kent Stacey. Remember, this was 1972, when Hispanics comprised just a small percentage of the vote. Gonzales was able to garner a coalition of white, black and Hispanic activists who yearned for change.
In his book, "The Chicano Movement: perspectives from the 21st century," Bakersfield College professor Oliver Rosales wrote, "Gonzales' political approach was complex, ahead of its time, and symbolized the efforts of the liberal left in Kern County in the early 1970s."
It was a historic accomplishment because four other Hispanics were also elected to the state Assembly that year, and the five of them formed the Chicano Caucus, paving the way for others to follow. Republicans however, quickly retaliated in the next election in 1974. Gonzales lost to some guy named Bill Thomas.
Prior to his stint in the Assembly, Gonzales did something that literally changed the face of local television news. In 1967 he lead a community coalition, Kern Council for Civic Unity, and challenged the sale of KERO Channel 23. The station was among a group of others nationwide owned by Time-Life being sold to McGraw Hill.
KCCU objected to the sale before the Federal Communications Commission, claiming the stations had no minority representation on its newscasts. Anchors and reporters were all white men. Women, blacks and Hispanics were nowhere to be seen.
"The minorities they hired were either secretaries or janitorial people," said Gonzales.
After months of wrangling, McGraw Hill agreed to hire minorities and produce community coverage. To be fair, at the time neither KBAK nor KGET had any minorities on their staffs. Other media took notice of the challenge and change would sooner or later begin happening.
A direct beneficiary of this challenge was a young ex-soldier fresh out of broadcast school in Los Angeles. Working at a radio station in Lancaster at the time for $2 an hour, Louie Vega heard about a reporter opening at KERO, and gave it a shot. He was hired in 1971 and left in 1977. Kern County had its first brown face on local television news.
"I was the first to break that barrier, others soon followed," said Vega. But with people like Vega on the air, there was talk that some advertisers were threatening to take their business elsewhere, said Vega.
The experience served Vega well. He went on to law school, became an attorney and in 1990 he was appointed as a court commissioner by the then-Bakersfield Municipal Court judges. Today, Vega serves as a Kern County judge, having been appointed to the bench in 2008 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. For all this, he thanks Ray Gonzales.
"He's a great man, great intellect and dedicated," said the judge. "He's made this community a better community."
Not only this community, but he also served his country well as part of the Diplomatic Corps for 10 years serving in numerous countries including Guatemala. It was here in the 1980s when he and his family were on a hit list issued by right-wing death squads. Later he served three years in Brussels where he rubbed elbows with royalty.
The only thing that has stopped this educator and civil rights pioneer is his health. Battling diabetes, his kidneys are failing and he's on hemodialysis. He will most likely be leaving town and moving to the coast to live with his daughter. I asked him how a kid from humble beginnings wound up doing so much.
"I always tell young people that if I, a mexicanito (little Mexican) out of east Bakersfield, can accomplish what I did, then they can do it, too."

For the record, beginning in 2014 Dr. Gonzales began writing and sharing some of his thoughts with readers on my blog. His most popular posts on my blog were "Reagan Supported Health Coverage for All" (which detailed the story behind health legislation Dr. Gonzales sponsored, and Gov. Reagan signed) and "Donald Trump Embodies the Dark Side of American Exceptionalism." My personal favorite was "Ambassador Stevens' Actions in Benghazi, Not Only Careless but Reckless."

In all cases, kudos to Jose Gaspar and the Californian for bringing attention to Dr. Gonzales' incredible life history.

- Mark

Friday, June 23, 2017


Donald Trump is president because of Russian interference. Every national intelligence agency in America is in agreement on the issue of Russia's interference in our presidential election. Incredibly, Trump's supporters don't care.

This is the condition of democracy in America in 2017.

To help explain how this happened, and what the Obama administration tried (and failed) to do about the interference, the Washington Post has this article on Russia's efforts to undermine America's presidential election in 2017. In the article we learn that Russia's twin election goal was to undermine Hillary Clinton's electoral chances, while simultaneously undermining America's confidence in its political system. Russia's dream outcome was to get Donald Trump elected president.

Russia got their trifecta - they helped batter Hillary, create doubt about our electoral system, and getting Trump elected - which should infuriate every American. You can start reading about the hijacking of America's election in 2017 below ...

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.
Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.
But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.
At that point, the outlines of the Russian assault on the U.S. election were increasingly apparent. Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year. In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. And on July 22, nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks ...

You can finish reading "Obama's Secret Struggle to Punish Russia for Putin's Election Assault" by clicking here.

- Mark

Thursday, June 22, 2017


The Republican Party is working feverishly to put together a "tax cut for the rich" bill that they're ridiculously calling a health care bill. The GOP has lied to themselves, and others, so many times about why their bill is better than Obamacare (it's not) they don't even want to debate the bill in Congress before a vote is taken.

To avoid a discussion on the bill they are grandstanding. They're trying to suggest that hiding in the dark, while crafting legislation, is "normal" behavior for the U.S. Congress. Normal Americans see it for the drama soaked red herring it really is.

Republicans are even going as far as saying something's wrong with the rest of us for not understanding all the good they're trying to do.

What's worse, is their base believes them, which helps pit one part of America (Republicans and conservatives) against others (Democrats, liberals and those who want healthcare). Without understanding what's at stake, an "us" versus" them mentality has taken hold in our health care debate (and in America).

Worse, the GOP wants to blame Democrats and others for not understanding why their tax cuts for the rich bill is really a (very bad) health care bill; as if we're to blame for not believing the lie.

I'm bringing this up because - via "Health, Spirit, Body" - we get the "5 Undeniable Signs That You Are Arguing With a Sociopath," which essentially outlines the behavior embraced by our modern Republican Party's leadership.

Specifically, the GOP is engaging in:

1. Pathological Lying: It's not a health care bill, it's a tax cut.
2. Drama Fatigue: Since there is no shame in lying (at least for them), the GOP's outrageous claims/demands exhaust you until they become "normal," so you begin to ignore them.
3. Gaslighting: Lies and denials (of the lies) until confusion reigns.
4. Polarizing Behavior: Create divisions in society; it's divide and conquer those who might otherwise be allies.
5. Provocation: Force a reaction, from you, then blame you for reacting.

There's more on what makes a sociopath, which you can access by clicking here or here.

For a discussion on the Republicans, the healthcare bill, and sociopaths, click here.

For a discussion on Trump and the behavior, click here.

- Mark

Kudos to Cheryl for the "5 Undeniable Signs ..." article.

Friday, June 16, 2017


It was a big day for President Trump. He found out that he is now personally under investigation for obstruction of justice. But rather than talk about this, as Seth Meyers points out below, President Trump wanted to talk about a Senate Republican healthcare bill the GOP is secretly working on; which means it doesn't have any input from the Democrats and, not coincidentally, no input from the public.

Seth Meyers provides some much needed perspective ...

- Mark

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Yesterday President Trump tried to claim that the United States built the Golden Gate Bridge in four years, and the Hoover Dam in five. He was trying to make the point that pesky permits, local community standards, and government regulations today are stalling projects in a way that we didn't have to deal with 80-100 years ago.

This is an interesting story line, except for one thing. It's not true.

As the Washington Post points out, from concept to proposal (1921), the Golden Gate Bridge took at least 16 years to be completed.

Local communities, ferry operators (who feared the competition), the War Department, and the need to create a special tax district (to pay for the project) all contributed to delays, which prevented the actual project from starting until 1933.

So, yeah, President Trump doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to the Golden Gate Bridge. Worse, to make a non-existent point - there were few to no regulations, or obstacles on the project - Trump lied about the facts surrounding a major policy issue, again.

When it comes to the Hoover Dam, if you count the 1902 Reclamation Act - which put the Hoover Dam on our infrastructure radar - the project (originally called the Boulder Dam) took 34 years.

Stalled by a lack of funds, changing designs, construction restrictions, and the need to build supportive infrastructure projects (including a small town, Boulder City, NV), among other developments, building the Hoover Dam took far more than the five years that President Trump claimed it took.

So, yeah, President Trump doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to the Hoover Dam. Worse, to make a non-existent point - there were few to no regulations, or obstacles on the project - Trump lied about the facts surrounding a major policy issue, again.

Here's the point that we need to keep in mind. President Trump is a professional liar.

Worse, he thinks everyone in America is just as gullible or as intellectually stunted as his supporters.

- Mark