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Donald Trump On Tape Talking About Hush Money For Hooker(s)–Does Not Square With His Public Statements

July 20, 2018

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” 

So now more evidence to prove that shortly after Melania gave birth Trump was having an affair with Karen McDougal and also with Stormy Daniels.

Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording.

The F.B.I. seized the recording this year during a raid on Mr. Cohen’s office. The Justice Department is investigating Mr. Cohen’s involvement in paying women to tamp down embarrassing news stories about Mr. Trump ahead of the 2016 election. Prosecutors want to know whether that violated federal campaign finance laws, and any conversation with Mr. Trump about those payments would be of keen interest to them.

The recording’s existence further draws Mr. Trump into questions about tactics he and his associates used to keep aspects of his personal and business life a secret. And it highlights the potential legal and political danger that Mr. Cohen represents to Mr. Trump. Once the keeper of many of Mr. Trump’s secrets, Mr. Cohen is now seen as increasingly willing to consider cooperating with prosecutors.

 

“You Don’t Overturn The Status Quo By Kowtowing To A Hostile Foreign Government”

July 20, 2018

One of those powerfully written Op-Ed pieces about the danger of even thinking American diplomats should be interrogated by Russia.  Peter Felknor hit this one out of the park.

And I don’t care if Trump walks it back, which he invariably will (until he decides he didn’t, which doesn’t make me sleep better at night). The fact that this was even considered, and that White House spokesminion Sarah Huckabee Sanders admits that it is under consideration, means that we in America have reached a whole new level. It is highly possible that our president, either through sheer stupidity or actual malice, is working for the Russians. Since he won’t release his tax returns and won’t come clean to special counsel Robert Mueller, we have no way of knowing that he isn’t. But because of recent events, ladies and gentlemen, the burden of proof is now on the president. Make no mistake about it.

Madison School Meeting Vs. Right To Report

July 19, 2018

Usually these days when I pick up the newspaper it is a national story that makes me cringe.   But on Thursday the article which made me feel embarrassed did not take place in Washington, but rather in Madison.   It was not a congressional committee that the Wisconsin State Journal reported on, but rather a school committee hearing that made me wonder what is wrong with people.

A number of attempts were made to prevent a Madison resident from recording portions of the meeting on his cell phone. David Blaska, often appearing at local meetings to weigh in on matters, had offered his views in support of retaining police officers in our public schools.  But when trying to record other testimony presented to the committee he encountered members of the public standing up and seeking to block his efforts.

Those attempts to undermine the free flow of information were simply abhorrent.

What made it even more troublesome to me—-a former radio news reporter—-is that it would take minutes of this outlandish behavior, followed by a five-minute recess before the board could make the statement that should have been the immediate response once the mayhem started.

Committee Chairman Dean Loumos finally made it clear that attendees could record the meeting.

Well, yeah!

To think that anyone who comes before a public hearing should in some way be shielded or denied access for all to hear or see is ludicrous. Whenever a person lobbies in one way or another for a matter with a public organization, or to an elected official there is a right for the public to be aware of such interactions.  For instance, I have always argued that petitions sent to an elected official need to be made public so that all the names can be made available to determine who was seeking a legislative change.  The juvenile speakers last night have the same right to convey thoughts to a committee as adults, and the public has a right to know who they are and what was presented.

It is concerning to me that citizens would attempt to deny the right of another to record and make evidence of an effort to lobby a public committee over a policy proposal.  That to me is simply out of bounds.  I am also truly dismayed that it took the committee more than 30 seconds to end the chaos at the meeting.

What the boorish members of that audience failed to grasp is that the process of governing allows for openness and transparency.  That means what happens in a public meeting is allowed to be reported and blogged about by folks such as myself.  This is all part of the First Amendment that often gets attention on this blog.  But sadly, some at the meeting who attempted to undermine those principles seemed unaware of their importance.

For the record I know Blaska.  He is a conservative Republican. But I do not find him, as some charged at the meeting, to be a racist.   I also know that if one takes the time to talk with him—as I have been able to do—one finds an informed guy with a knack for making a point.

I did, however, find one part of the news story amusing.  The irony of what happened last night during a school committee meeting about why police officers might be needed in schools to calm troublemakers could not have been lost on readers.

I think the troubling ones in the audience at the meeting made the best case as to why the police need to remain in Madison schools.

Celebrities Keep O’Ding On Opioids And No One Cares

July 19, 2018

A perspective I have not read before.

After Rock Hudson disclosed he had AIDS later that summer, the nation finally woke up to an epidemic that had been ravaging gay communities in major urban areas. During the short remainder of Hudson’s life, the beloved movie star and friend of first lady Nancy Reagan took to the activist pulpit, praising the sudden surge of public interest in tackling the burgeoning epidemic.

“That death began research,” France recalls of Hudson’s passing in October 1985.

The next year, the notoriously parsimonious President Ronald Reagan allowed a significant increase in the National Institutes of Health’s budget — for research into AIDS, a disease about which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientists had first sounded the alarm five years earlier.

Flash forward three decades: Thanks in large part to a massive, sustained governmental investment, currently to the tune of more than $26 billion in annual federal dollars, the U.S. HIV epidemic is now increasingly being brought under control. At the same time, several city and state governments, such as those in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City and State, have waged expensive, multifaceted campaigns to help control their own local epidemics.

Consequently, HIV is effectively crossing paths with the contemporary opioid epidemic, as that particular scourge follows a devastating upward trajectory and the governmental response remains woefully inadequate.”

GOP Senate Did Something Positive Today–Withdrew Racist From Court Nomination Vote

July 19, 2018

Every now and then Republicans prove they can do the correct thing for the nation.

In what can only be called a very extraordinarily rare move today Republican Senate Majority Leader McConnell withdrew a circuit court judge nomination after Senator Scott indicated that he would not vote for the nominee, causing other Republican senators to follow suit.

Scott, the only black Republican senator took issue, as did so many others to to the nominee, Ryan Bounds, and his college writings which included racially charged comments and other controversial statements.

The writings, compiled in a briefing by the Alliance for Justice, tell a different story.

In October 1994, Bounds argued against lowering the burden of proof for students accused of sexual assault.

“There is really nothing inherently wrong with the University failing to punish an alleged rapist—regardless of his guilt—in the absence of adequate certainty, there is nothing the University can do to objectively ensure the rapist does not strike again,” he wrote. “Expelling students is probably not going to contribute a great deal toward a rape victim’s recovery; there is no moral imperative to risk egregious error in doing so.”

Another article in February 1995, took aim at “multiculturalists” who “band together not into tight cliques of mutual interests and complementary powers, but rather into social clubs of ostensibly common racial heritage.”

A third, in October 1994, titled “Lo! A Pestilence Stalks Us,” railed against the “sensitivity” of LGBTQ student reactions to the vandalism of a “gay pride” statue. He also criticized the reactions of Latino students who protested after the lone “high-ranking Chicano” administrator was “terminated.”

“Results: rivers of tears, epithets, hunger strikes, negative press for the university, and the formation of presidential committees to examine the ‘systemic insensitivity’ toward Chicanos at Stanford and the potential for a Stanford-East Palo Alto community outreach center,” he wrote. “Oh, and once again, sensitivity can claim responsibility for extortion, rampant dissatisfaction, and a nice week of hand-wringing.”

Which Nation Does Donald Trump Work For?

July 19, 2018

Two days ago on my Facebook site for this blog I offered a link to Foreign Affairs from former Ambassador Michael McFaul as he wrote what I regard as a must read about Russia. Today we hear that Trump would like to send him to Russia to be interrogated.

The White House’s refusal to categorically reject a Russian government request to interrogate Americans in relation to charges that the State Department has called ‘absurd’ is but the latest evidence that Trump is not working for this nation. He is tied to Putin, and his tax forms which has not been released, would show that to be the case.

“Most shocking, and just lamentable, I think is my real reaction, when the White House was given the opportunity to categorically reject this moral equivalency between a legitimate indictment with lots of data and evidence to support it from Mr. Mueller with a crazy, cockamamie scheme with no relationship to facts and reality whatsoever, the White House refused to do that,” McFaul told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday.

It has also been questioned in the past 48 hours from multiple people–this morning on national television–if Trump gave intel info to Putin and perhaps even the names of undercover agents.

The words and actions of Trump since Monday show a desire for authoritarian control and clearly a need to help a foe of the United States.

Milwaukee Brewer Josh Hader Resembles White Trash

July 18, 2018

Josh Hader just came onto my radar this week.  I do not follow baseball except to see how the Chicago Cubs are doing, and as of late they are doing nicely. I really do not care about the Milwaukee Brewers, but can fake awareness if pressed in a conversation at a gathering.

So when the racist homophobic musings of Hader came to my attention I had to ask who was this person who had made such awful comments.  Appropriately from sports reports he has an amazing fastball.  But then he also has a sad soul.

As a late teenager he sent out messages on social media which were racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and threatening.  Such a misunderstood young man, some might say.  Or Hader might just be what he seems in the light of day.

Simply nothing more than white trash.

“White power lol”

“KKK”

“N—–bot? The (expletive)! That just made my night! Smh”

“I hate gay people.”

The tweets were sent between 2011 and 2012, some coming less than two months before Hader’s 18th birthday – and less than four months before he was a 19th-round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles.

Hader is all apologetic now that the national limelight has alerted all to his nasty thinking.   But there is nothing in his comments now that can undo the racist angry white male hatred that was showcased in his tweets,

And let us be mindful that this is not just another episode of some jock who got caught up in his past.

What has been released shows the most vile and offensive comments by an athlete to ever be made known in a case of this type.  This is not your garden variety of hate speech.  His tweets run the full gamut of bigotry, from racism to homophobia to misogyny.   The outrage is more than justified.

I am not a Brewer fan and have no reason to even attempt to grant Hader any leeway.  I come from a background in broadcasting and politics where words matter–every one of them.  I also come with a background where making remarks of his kind is never allowed.

Ever.

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