Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Those watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu cannot be faulted for thinking they might be living a cyncial version of the old 1940s “Road” pictures with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. (Who gave her that name?!) A movie called “The Road to Gilead.” Emily Peck has other ideas, but there are portents that cannot be denied.

Women In The U.S. Don’t Live In A Dystopian Hellscape. Yet.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” resonates, but there’s reason for hope.

Peck is pretty optimistic positing that the road to Gilead is fraught with lots of potholes and obstructions, but we do well not to focus too narrowly on the falling rock on one side of the highway thereby missing the sheer cliff on the other side.

I am not watching “The Handmaid’s Tale,” much as I would like to. I simply refuse to pay another dollar beyond my already expensive FiOS service, so Hulu and Netflix are out for me.  I have, however, read the book. The coincidence of the airing of the mini-series with the Democratic “Unity Tour” should set off some bells and whistles.

This is the axiom Peck offers that Bernie supporters continue to reject.

“Progress does not happen in a straight line. Setbacks are inevitable. What’s critical is what comes next.”

They rejected it during the 2016 primaries renouncing any and all incremental policies proposed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and stubbornly continued their opposition during the general election.  They persist in their unwillingness to allow the Democratic Party to evolve naturally and have set out to take it over and overturn the common sense principles that have been its warp and woof since the groundbreaking days of FDR.  Rather than empowering women, the party is rolling back its liberating positions on women under the influence of a man who refuses to join the party.  No, this is not a relitigation or extension of the 2016 primaries.  It is a fight for the future.

The parallels between the dystopia Atwood projected and perceived potential effects of the new administration are not limited to Trump’s positions and those of his cronies. The BernieBros continue to have a hand in suppressing female issues, concerns, and voices within the only party likely to continue to highlight them.

Women have a stake in resisting efforts on either side to curtail our rights and freedoms. Resisters must do it for ourselves.  But we must be careful not to lose the party.  That is where the strength is.  The reason the BernieBots are fighting to usurp that power is because they know that a third party will have no muscle except to do what they have done in 2000 and 2016 – split the progressive vote.

We must remember that there was a reason why, at the end of her senior thesis, Hillary Clinton spurned Saul Alinsky’s methods (i.e. change from without the system rather than within) as well as the job he offered her and opted for the discipline of law school instead.  We have to be in it to win it.

Leaving the party  is no solution.  Think hard before you do that because it is not only the Trump crowd that would happily see us in shades of red, blue, green, and stripes according to their designations of how we serve.  We cannot determine our fate from the outside.  The Bernie crowd knows this, and that is why they fight to take over the party.  Let’s not just abandon it to them.

Crossposted at The Department of Homegirl Security.

Read Full Post »

Ten days into the new administration, a Russian military push in the Arctic was the subject of concern and a post here. At the time, both Russian appropriation of Arctic waters for drilling and Russian control of Arctic sea routes as those waters thaw (guess why) were the issues. Days later, on Thursday February 2 came this post: Throwback Thursday: I TOLD You to #WatchThisSpace!!!  The issue there was disclosure of oil company funds going to foreign governments.

Here we are 13 weeks later, and oh what a tangled web we see described by Dr. Vanessa Neumann in The Daily Beast today.  Dr. Neumann, Daily Beast points out, is “a Venezuelan-American and president of the trade integrity and political risk consultancy Asymmetrica.”

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Double Deal

Russia Gave to Citgo, Then Citgo Gave to Trump

Many big oil companies funded Trump’s inauguration. Only one is deeply in debt to the Kremlin.

Dr. Vanessa Neumann

Dr. Vanessa Neumann

04.27.17

The oil company’s half-million donation to Donald Trump’s Inaugural Committee wasn’t illegal. But it certainly wasn’t moral. And the cash may have come from the Kremlin, at least indirectly.

Recently released Federal Election Commission filings show that Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (known as PDVSA) gave Trump more money than Shell or Walmart. The donation is unusual for PDVSA: Citgo had not donated to previous presidential inaugural committees.

Citgo’s donation to the Trump Inaugural Committee and the horrifying images emerging from Venezuela’s weeks of brutally repressed protests (26 killed, 437 injured, and 1,289 arrested—according to Venezuela’s attorney general; Venezuelan prisoner rights NGO Foro Penal says 1,536 have been “detained” as of April 25) are connected: Russian money and influence is behind both of them. Some of those detained are tortured in Venezuela’s equivalent of CIA headquarters, known as “The Tomb,” for its subterranean torture chambers. The Inaugural Committee donation came days after Citgo (a Delaware-incorporated company with operational headquarters in Houston) mortgaged 49.9 percent of its holdings to Rosneft, an oil company controlled by the Kremlin. That enabled Citgo’s parent company PDVSA to make its bond payments. Rosneft is sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. So is its CEO, Igor Sechin, “Russia’s Darth Vader.” One of the most feared men in Russia, Sechin is close to Vladimir Putin and is one of Putin’s key instruments of geopolitical power. Net net: If Venezuela defaults on its bond payments, Rosneft (i.e., Putin & Co.) could own several refineries, nine pipelines, and distribution terminals all across the Eastern U.S., from Texas to Maine, without any government oversight. If the Russians end up owning Citgo, they will be using American consumers to fund their autocracy and Assad’s brutality in Syria.

Read more >>>>

Yes, you read that correctly.  No, your eyes do not deceive you.  Holy moly!  Sechin’s name comes up as does, in a very disturbing way, Rosneft.  Where did we see those names before?  Oh, right!  The Christopher Steele memos!  Those documents were highlighted in a second, then seemingly unrelated, post here also on February 2:  Throwback Thursday Part II: The Russians, the Memos, the Sanctions – The Art of the Steal.

Dr. Neumann has pulled the whole cat’s cradle into a coherent web that reaches, now, from the Arctic to the Caribbean to the Middle East and remains about Russia, oil, money, Syria, and elections, and threatens a new refugee crisis.

As we approach the 100th day, remember this from 13 weeks ago?  We still do not know who bought those shares. It’s a good guess that Carter Page knows.

The deal on the sale of a 19.5 percent stake in Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft will bring Moscow some $11.1 billion in revenues, the company announced Saturday.

Hillary Clinton and her team tried to warn us. But, you know, emails, wikileaks, ‘flawed,’ ‘ill,’ and ‘shrill.’ Not the perfect (female) candidate – which is the enemy of not just the good, but of the best yet.

10-19-16-z-15

Keep watching this space!  Here’s a pretty picture for #ThrowbackThursday.

 

Read Full Post »

I have a Vizio flat screen TV.  It certainly is not huge. But when the news outlets put Trump’s picture on the screen, his head is really big – and toxic.  I cannot look at his face so often (and LARGE) without feeling contaminated.  So here!

 

Much better.  Right?

Read Full Post »

The Trump administration is considering extending our current troop deployment into Syria. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, will be visiting the the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security on Friday to present the the Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for leadership in creating a more peaceful and secure world.

Hillary Rodham Clinton to Address Women’s Role in Global Politics, Peace at Georgetown University

Washington, DC—Secretary Clinton will speak at Georgetown on Friday, March 31 on the important role that women can play in international politics and peace building efforts.

Her remarks are part of an annual Hillary Rodham Clinton awards ceremony hosted by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS). This year, Secretary Clinton will bestow the awards on four Colombians who helped to ensure the successful outcome of Colombian peace efforts.

The event is open to members of the Georgetown community and the media. It will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Gaston Hall.

Secretary Clinton has been a strong advocate for the role of women in peace processes as an important means to end hostilities and achieve sustainable peace. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton launched the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security during a speech at Georgetown University. She is the honorary founding chair of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

The Hillary Rodham Clinton awards are bestowed annually by GIWPS for exceptional leadership in recognizing the important role of women in creating a more peaceful and secure world. The 2017 awards celebrate the historic peace agreement that ended over 50 years of conflict in Colombia. Secretary Clinton will present awards to:

  • Mr. Humberto De la Calle, lead negotiator for the Colombian government and former Vice-President of Colombia;
  • Maria Paulina Riveros, one of highest ranking members of the Colombian negotiating team, co-chair of the Gender Sub-Commission, and deputy attorney general of Colombia;
  • Elena Ambrosi, thematic director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace and a key member of the Colombian government’s negotiating team in Havana;
  • Jineth Bedoya, a journalist and advocate for victims of sexual violence.

Read more >>>>

During the 2016 campaign, both Trump trolls and BernieBros circulated the #fakenews allegation that Hillary Clinton is a war hawk and her presidency would lead us into battle. March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day, and nothing flies in the face of that charge better than Hillary’s long history as a peacemaker in Northern Ireland. As First Lady, as NY Senator, and as Secretary of State, whether dealing with conflicts in Ireland, the Middle East, Eastern Europe. Southeast Asia, or Latin America, Hillary Clinton has always tried to foster peace negotiations, and she has succeeded more often than not.

Russian trolls spread that war hawk malarkey in 2016, and the BernieBros  and Trump voters bought it. If you are watching Homeland on Showtime this season, you see an illustration of how the trolling rooms work. Trolls should not be confused with bots. Bots are automated. Trolls are like the ‘sock puppets’ on Homeland with identities and bios. Many have multiple identities.

One thing is for certain: If the BernieBros and Trump guys end up deployed to Syria, it will not be Hillary Clinton sending them. That’s where gullibility gets you. Taken for a ride.

 

Read Full Post »

Hillary for America’s Communications Director, Jennifer Palmieri, penned this op-ed for the Washington Post.

Democrats can still fight back now. Here’s how.

March 24

Jennifer Palmieri was communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

At the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last summer, Jake Sullivan and I took to our golf carts one afternoon to make the rounds of the television networks’ tents in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center. It is standard for presidential campaign staffers to brief networks on what to expect during that night’s session. But on this day, we were on a mission to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Sullivan was Clinton’s policy adviser. He had been Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, a deputy to then-Secretary Clinton at the State Department and a lead negotiator of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. He is a widely respected national security expert and, as he does every day, he spoke carefully, without hyperbole. All we had to go on then was what had been reported by the press. We weren’t sure if Russia was doing this to undermine Americans’ faith in our political process or if it was trying to make Trump the next president. But we wanted to raise the alarm.

We did not succeed.

Read more >>>>

Read Full Post »

ser·en·dip·i·ty

[ˌserənˈdipədē]

the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way:

“a fortunate stroke of serendipity” ·

[more]synonyms: (happy) chance · (happy) accident · fluke · luck · good luck · good fortune · fortuity · providence · happy coincidence
Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press

 

The FBI has a way of stumbling upon things. 11 days before Election Day, FBI Director James Comey released a letter to eight Republican committee chairs stating that, while investigating an unrelated case, the FBI had discovered emails that might be connected to the bureau’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails and that he was extending, therefore, that investigation. Hillary’s campaign hit back with a one two punch.

Fast-forward to this week.

US officials: Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians

Comey was clear in stating that this evidence did not surface via the investigation of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian operatives, but, rather, arose from  a different investigation, apparently involving surveillance of foreign operatives.

In other words,  the FBI came upon this information much the way they discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton on Anthony Weiner’s laptop – emails, it turned out, that the bureau had already seen. They were investigating Weiner, and some of Hillary’s emails appeared.

For the record, the fact that these “foreign” communications turned up in a bureau investigation and Comey announced it does not absolve Comey of releasing that October 28 letter and probably influencing the vote.

In this case, they were surveilling foreign operatives, and  – whoops! Trump campaign staff were talking to them!

Everything is a big, fat mess. As Leonard Cohen said, “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Comey violated bureau policy when he released that letter 11 days before the election. The emails in question would have been a huge nothing-burger had the letter not been released so close to Election Day. As it turned out, the letter was likely a factor in turning the election against Hillary Clinton and electing the guy whose campaign, transition team, and administration are riddled with Russian ties.

How ironic and how fitting! Karma can really suck when it’s bad. Unfortunately, this bad karma for the Trump regime is unlikely to change anything. Confirmation hearings continue for appointees and a SCOTUS justice nominated by what could possibly be proven an illegitimate administration.

This is the kind of malarkey being spouted by a Democrat!

“It’s only natural for us to want to go back and relive the elections,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.). “But that’s not going to happen. It’s about moving forward in the future. I think my Republican colleagues said it best when they said it happened to Democrats this time, it may very well happen to Republicans in the future, and that’s why it’s important to seek the truth.”

Read more at HuffPo >>>>

What? We should just keep on truckin’ like all of this is normal because  …  what? Because it may happen to Republicans at some unspecified point in the future? Sorry, but that should not be allowed to wash. This should never happen in any U.S. election. Period. That is the whole reason people are upset about it.

If this administration is found to have committed high crimes and misdemeanors and /or treason, the office of POTUS should not simply pass to the Veep of the same administration. I know we have no provision in the Constitution for this possibility, but that does not mean that we should just ignore a festering wound to our democracy. The situation is unprecedented. Whether collusion is eventually proven or not, steps should be taken to ensure the security of future elections.

Retweeted
 The intelligence community concluded the Russians will interfere again. This is why full investigation is important to country. Please stop.

Read Full Post »

When I posted Tillerson’s Folly,  my thinking was that, in barring the press from his first official trip, Rex Tillerson was alienating a potentially valuable set of allies. Brassy Rebel pointed out, in her comment there, that his attitude vis-à-vis the press might indicate a broader administration policy of downgrading diplomacy. Indeed, Trump’s cabinet picks in general seem to indicate antagonism toward the very departments these folks head.

Hillary Clinton spent her first weeks at the State Department roaming the halls when she had a chance and popping into offices to ask what the folks there did.  Foreign Policy‘s article by Robert Jervis, presents a secretary of state cut off from others in the building and even from the Oval Office.

Remember when everyone said Hillary got off on the wrong foot with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with her reset button?

She did go on to work very successfully with him on New START, didn’t she?

Did you wonder when Tillerson was going to meet with Lavrov? Well, according to Jervis, he already has and that did not go swimmingly.

A minor indicator was his ignorance of the protocol to be followed when he met his Russian counterpart and neglected to make the standard introductory remarks. This shows that Tillerson was disconnected from his building’s expertise, that he ignored what he was told, or that his subordinates went out of their way to embarrass him.

The reason we did not know about it, of course, is the absence of press and paucity of press briefings under Tillerson. Here is the schedule for March so far. There was no briefing today. In contrast, here is the schedule for January – the last three weeks of John Kerry’s tenure.  Here is the schedule for March 2012, five years ago this month and the last year Hillary was secretary of state.  There is definitely something going on there. Mark Toner is still the spokesperson, but he is speaking far less these days than under Hillary and John Kerry.  It is also a little odd that Tillerson has not appointed his own spokesperson.

Jervis’s analysis is well worth a read. He takes a broad look at Tillerson’s State Department and his conclusions bode ill for the department and for diplomacy.  It reminds me of George W. Bush appointing Christie Whitman to head the EPA and then knee-capping her at every turn. She finally left in frustration after only  two-and-a-half years.  Fine thanks for giving him Barney!

 

Argument

Rex Tillerson Might Be the Weakest Secretary of State Ever

 

The administration that promised to drain the swamp is draining Foggy Bottom.  This, from The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove also offers some interesting insights. They are blaming the smaller plane on budget cuts. Just wondering what effect those cuts will have on embassy and consulate security.  This passage is particularly ironic.

Tillerson found himself being lectured on press freedoms during a visit to Bonn, Germany, last month by none other than Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the foreign policy czar of journalist-snuffing strong man Vladimir Putin.

“Why did you shush them out?” Lavrov demanded after Tillerson’s handlers ejected reporters from a bilateral meeting as the Secretary of State began to speak; Lavrov, who frequently travels with a full complement of journalists on his official plane, had already taken a press question. (Due to lack of witnesses from the Fourth Estate, Tillerson’s reply, if any, went unrecorded.)

Read more >>>>

You might want to rethink canceling your subscription to The Guardian.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: