Tuesday, July 31, 2018

TRUMP'S A COMPROMISED MAN ... PAUL MANAFORT'S TRIAL WILL MAKE THIS CLEAR

Bank and tax fraud are only the beginning ...


I'm guessing that those of you who read my blog regularly aren't surprised by any of this. For those of you catching up, I outlined Trump's "tangled web" of ties to Russia in July of 2016, and then wrote about "What a 'President Trump' World Might Look Like" in August of 2016.

The point being, Trump started selling us out a long time ago. He's a compromised man, and his supporters just want to ignore it.

- Mark

THE CORRUPTION OF STANDARDS CONTINUES

___________________________

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and text

From Senate Democrats ... 

- Mark

REPUBLICAN VALUES, should have an asterisk

No automatic alt text available.

- Mark

Monday, July 30, 2018

FORGET COLLUSION, CONSPIRING WITH A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT IS A CRIME

Image result for trump russia collusion cartoon

Fox News' Shepard Smith is on a roll. Now he's explaining that focusing on "collusion" is a strawman argument - and deceptive - because our focus should be on conspiring with a foreign government, which is a crime


In the FYI category, though used only once, the Logan Act (1799) might be helpful in a conspiracy case.

- Mark

TRUMP-PUTIN, MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN?

My latest article for The Bakersfield Californian came out his morning ... 
__________________________

        Related image
____________________________

You can access the entire article by clicking here.

- Mark

HOW RUSSIA INFLUENCED THE ELECTION


Getting low intellect people worked up about make believe enemies, with spurious evidence, is not very difficult, nor nothing new. Lyndon B. Johnson understood this, and explained it, a long time ago ...

Image result for If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.

Russia knew what it was doing in 2016. It was putting salt on an open wound.

If you're asking why this even has to be explained, you're not alone.

- Mark

Sunday, July 29, 2018

SEEING RED IN COLORADO

GOP billboard seen in Colorado, about sums it up ...



- Mark

Addendum: Let me add a word for those who think the hammer and sickle - a holdover from the Soviet Union days of the past - is inappropriate because Russia is no longer a communist state ...

Because Russia today is an authoritarian state run by a dictator and his oligarchic hooligans, in effect what we have is a biker gang running Russia. In many ways, while the Russian state is not communist or Marxist-Leninist (nor remotely run to benefit the workers) Russia is run very much like the Soviet authoritarian state of the past.

In simpler terms, Russia's run for the benefit of Vladimir Putin and the oligarchs, much like it was run for the benefit of one man and the politburo (the Soviet Union's highest authority making body). In fact, we could probably use the politburo's flag - like the flag replica below - but most people don't understand the history or meaning of the politburo.

 Coat of arms or logo


The hammer & sickle are important reminders of the Russian dictatorship. So, while the hammer & sickle may not convey the heyday of the "worker's state," they're quite appropriate for those who understand Russia's authoritarian DNA.

Addendum, II: For those of you who want to read more about how the GOP's trickle-down economic policies coincide with the Soviet Union's state-led policies you can read, "The Republican Tax Plan is Trickle-Down Economics, Soviet Style" by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

ABOUT NFL PLAYERS TAKING A KNEE ...

OK, let's talk about NFL players taking a knee to protest racism in America ... as soon as Donald Trump gets off his knees and starts acting like a president who isn't compromised by Vladimir Putin. 


- Mark

TRUMP VISION ... NOW YOU KNOW :-)

Image result for this is what life looks like through trump glasses

Trump Vision: This is what the world looks like to a Trump supporter ...


- Mark

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

MORE EVIDENCE OF MAGA ...

More evidence of MAGA, Morons Are Governing America ...

 Image may contain: 1 person

- Mark

TRUMP'S TARIFF POLICIES GET EVEN WEIRDER ... A Synopsis, From My Friend Seven

Image result for farmers for free trade ad

Rather than back away from his disastrous tariff policies, Donald Trump wants to offer public assistance to farmers hurt by his trade policies. So yeah, we've gone from the Trump administration not knowing WTF they're doing to putting fingers in the dike, pretending everything's going to turn out all right.

Sigh ...

My friend, and all around good guy, Seven, has a nice synopsis of how disorganized and poorly thought through Trump's trade policies are below. Sure, Seven's a little ticked off, but it really hits home when it's written this way. Enjoy ...

*****************
Image result for trump's tariffs and farmers comic
Follow this logic.
1) Trump passes record breaking welfare (tax cuts) for corporations and the wealthy. Gives a nugget to the upper middle class and tells us all to be thankful, because it will raise wages and ignite the economy.
2) Those tax cuts disappear into capital gains and never "trickle down" into wages or anything workers need. GDP increases (yet again) on the backs of workers.
3) Investment banks demand rolling back the same regulations that kept us out of trouble for most of the 20th century, until they were relaxed under Clinton and Bush. This is literally what created the housing crisis and Great Recession. We're doing it again.
4) Trump enacts a very clumsy trade war with the world (mostly our allies) that threatens tens of millions of American jobs with tariffs that don't have a significant benefit to our revenue generation.
5) Trump passes 12 Billion in welfare as a defensive hedge around the agricultural industry he nearly collapsed with his petulant trade war.
So he's defunded a wide variety of social infrastructure that people rely on for safety, education and health. He's gutted the revenue of our country so we can't pay for these things we've committed to pay for. Everything from homeless veterans to cancer research are scrambling for funding.
We're making tariff exemptions for friends of Trump from China. We're hosting Putin at the White House, after Helsinki. There's a ridiculous military parade that will cost an astronomical sum, and we're still locking children up in cages.
We've created a massive welfare program and special favors for businesses, removed welfare programs for the poor, screwed workers over again, and we're trying to end the homeless veterans program but we can spend millions on a parade.
Oh...and apparently we've already indicted people for being foreign agents, working in and around Trump. Y'know...cuz...fuck I can't even finish this, I'm so emotionally exhausted.

******************

I have nothing else to add.

- Mark

OK, I do have something to add. This comic ...

No automatic alt text available.

CHINA'S PLAN TO DOMINATE WORLD TRADE ... Or, What Happens When You have Vision

While Donald Trump is busy sucking up to Vladimir Putin, pushing his own financial agenda, and giving resource draining tax breaks to the mega rich of America, China has developed a plan for the future.


Making America Great has nothing to do with transferring wealth to the mega rich, or empowering the bigots and hate mongers of America. It's about meeting the challenges of the 21st century with 22nd century strategic thinking. Building national greatness is built on a chess game of strategic moves, not a series of embarassing Twitter tantrums.

MAGA, Morons Are Governing America.

- Mark

AFRAID OF HEIGHTS? OK, WOULD YOU DO THIS?



- Mark

Monday, July 23, 2018

TRUMP'S CHURCH OF KOOLAID DRINKERS FALL OVER THEMSELVES AND DRINK THE STUPIDITY


A majority of Donald Trump's supporters say they would still support Trump even if there is evidence that Russia meddled and illegally got him elected. What this tells us is that we're not dealing with a group of people who are part of a logical or coherent political party.

We're working with an opposition cult. They see a man in a cape. We see a grown man in a diaper.

Just like the crowd of "believers" below, Trump's supporters fall over themselves to believe in his fake powers because his bigotry, divisiveness, and rejection of evidence in the face of facts gives them political cover to become the ignorant and bigoted hate mongers they've always been. Trump is comfort food to their intellectual sloth and laziness.


And like the 'inspired' preacher's congregation above - who don't ask why the leader has the 'power' to push crowds down, but somehow doesn't have the power to cure cancer (or human stupidity) - Trump's followers actually believe he's making America stronger when, in fact, the global community sees him for the buffoon that he's become on the world stage.


Trump's latest Twitter fit only confirms the point(s).

Sigh ...

- Mark

ANOTHER EPISODE IN "TRUMP'S AMERICA"



- Mark

THIS IS WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST ...

This is what we're up against. The DNA strands for logic and shame appear to be missing in the vast majority of Trump's supporters.


- Mark

Saturday, July 21, 2018

TRUMP TRIES CHANGING TOPIC TO NFL, FROM HELSINKI FAILURE, GETS EPIC SMACK DOWN

- Mark

THE GOP SIDES WITH PUTIN, AND RUSSIA


With the GOP covering for Donald Trump - who has effectively outsourced American foreign policy to Russia - you wouldn't be out of line if you thought the Chairman of the Republican Party was this guy ...


- Mark

PRIVATE PRISONS ARE A FORM OF LOW LEVEL HUMAN TRAFFICKING, AND IMMORAL

Trafficking in human beings for private gain should be against the law in every country. Slavery does nothing to elevate the human condition. After slavery there are certain industries that shouldn't be allowed to profit off of the elimination of individual rights and freedoms. In my book, making money off of incarcerating people shouldn't be part of the profit motive because it creates what economists refer to as "perverse incentives."
________________________________
Image may contain: one or more people and text
__________________________

One of the better examples of how perverse incentives work in the real world was when the colonial French government in Vietnam offered the residents of Hanoi a bounty for every rat tail they turned in to the authorities. The goal was to deal with Hanoi's rat problem. Instead, it led to the farming of rats, who were then killed for their tails.

Perverse incentives create situations that inspire people to do things that undermine broader goals and the human condition.

Anyone who believes the private prison industry doesn't have an incentive to push fear mongering and racial animus over undocumented workers and Muslims traveling into the United States doesn't understand how perverse incentives work. Once you create a "suspect class" it becomes much easier to incarcerate a large groups of people, and children, because fear mongering and profits - rather than a workable immigration program and border security - are the real objectives.

Related image

When our border policies give an entire industry the incentive to promote the hunting down and incarceration of an entire group of people, on a mass scale, we end up with low level, for profit, human trafficking. It's that simple.

Today, private prisons and border control in the U.S. provide perverse incentives - like low level human trafficking - and have no place in America.

- Mark

ADDENDUM:

Image may contain: 1 person, text


Thursday, July 19, 2018

TAKING A KNEE IS UNPATRIOTIC, BUT SELLING OUT AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY TO THE RUSSIANS IS JUST FINE WITH THE GOP


Image may contain: 1 person, text
___________________


- Mark

THIS ABOUT SUMS IT UP ...



- Mark

ANOTHER COMMONALITY IN THE TRUMP-PUTIN BROMANCE ... A VISCERAL DISDAIN FOR THE PRESS

Image result for TRUMP PUTIN TYRANTS

Another reminder why Donald Trump turning the press into the enemy is a threat to our democracy. Below is a photo of all the journalists that have been killed, or disappeared, during Vladimir Putin's rule.

Related image

________________________

Image result for thomas jefferson quote free press tyrant

- Mark

TRUMP'S MARCHING ORDERS FROM PUTIN: CONTINUE BREAKING UP THE WEST, RESTORE THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE

Now we know. After an interview with Tucker Carlson, it's pretty clear what transpired during Donald Trump's two hour meeting with Vladimir Putin. It was made clear to Trump that Putin wants a free path to recreating a Russian empire, and he wants the west out of his way. 

Trump's marching orders from Putin include: (1) Continue breaking up the western alliance (2) by weakening NATO over geo-strategic pawn Montenegro, which (3) gives Putin another puzzle piece in the reconstruction of the former Soviet empire. Throw in (4) reckless and gratuitous talk about WW III for dramatic effect, and you get what we see playing out on the world stage: (5) America's foreign policy has been contracted out to Russia.


How much clearer does Trump's subservience to Putin have to be? There is nothing in America's recent, or long-term, foreign policy goals that suggest we need to break up the western alliance and give Eastern Europe back to Russia. Putin wants to recreate an empire, and Trump's going to make it easier for him by getting out of the way. 

There is almost no distinction between what Putin wants and what Trump appears ready to hand over to him. When it comes to foreign policy, it's as if the two are the same people, as Time's cover this week suggests.


The cover of Time magazine's July 30 edition, with a photo illustration combining the images of President Donald Trump and Ru

What a disaster. The fact that all of this is unfolding in real time as the Republican Party sits idly by and watches it happen makes it clear that the GOP is complicit, and should be held accountable when the chickens come home to roost. 

- Mark

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

WHAT VLADIMIR PUTIN IS DOING TO DONALD TRUMP (AND AMERICA) IS NO ACCIDENT



I've said it before and I'll say it again, Vladimir Putin is a chess player who's currently playing at the level of a Grandmaster. Vladimir Putin's real long game - which I wrote about here (seriously, read it) - hinges on American decline. Donald Trump is helping Putin achieve his goals.

The fact that Putin's playing Donald Trump for a fool is no accident.



The Russian president has been planning what he's currently doing for quite some time now, as Putin's rise in Russian politics makes clear ...



- Mark

AMERICA'S POST-HELSINKI REALITY

__________________________

____________________________________


- Mark

THIS SAYS IT ALL ... AND HEADLINE OF THE DAY

The stupid never ends ... 


- Mark

Tuesday, July 17, 2018