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Once Again The Kochs Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are

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      Politics remains the location of beds containing odd partners. I am hoping to see the Bill fail and the Kochs do, too.


      Bizarre. Right now the Bill is so full of compromises that the entire piece of Legislation is simply crap. It does virtually nothing to repair the areas of the Affordable Care Act need addressing, and much of the Ridiculous Right do not want what they perceive to be the creation of yet another Government Entitlement program - despite the absolute fact that every uninsured American is a greater strain on the economy than if every single citizen were.

      Charles and David Koch have unveiled a new pool of money for advertisements, field programs and mailings that would exclude those who vote for the health care bill they oppose on Thursday. The effort, which they described as worth millions of dollars, is an explicit warning to on-the-fence Republicans from one of the most influential players in electoral politics not to cross them. - CNN


      It is more than that, though. The Koch Brothers and their collection of Oligarchs handed out between 200 and 300 million bucks last year to Republicans that matched their ideology. To the GOP it is not evil money, for it is theirs alone. Campaign Finance reform is for the little (Read non-GOP) people.


      Just out of curiosity, has Trump finished paying 100 million to his campaign? He was still 60 some odd million short last time I checked. Oh, and while we have all been busy watching the Russian Administration Playhouse on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Federal Election Commission is still crossing its "Tees" and dotting its "I's".


      There were some salary issues, some missing receipts for the Trump properties and the Trump Family Circus appears to have managed to come out of the election with more cash then they went into it with.


      If the Russians do not get Trump, the IRS and the FEC is a viable threat. In fact Ladbrookes current odds are essentially a coin toss. 10/11 to both serve his full term and to be impeached or resign before serving his full term, and 1/2 to not be elected for a second term even if he survives the first.


      Which leads me to offer another piece of advice to those who are of a betting mind:



      http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/22/politics/kochs-reser...

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          I like how Homeland's latest episode picked up on this use of social media to push political stories. They even had a character who looked like Bannon. I expect Bannon is up to his elbows in this.

          http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-governmen...

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          The Trump-Russia Story Has Only Just Begun (To Explode)

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              For those of you who didn't have a chance to listen or watch the hearing today, here is a very good summary of what transpired. It was quite apparent that the GOP inquisitors didn't much wish to talk about the Trump Team Russian connections and tried to deflect the investigation into who leaked the information. Other points listed below give you the vibe of the hearing.

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-russia-c...

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              Putin's Plan To Destroy America.

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                  Vladimir Putin has been planning the demise of the USA since GW Bush, when president, urged the expansion of NATO into Ukraine and Georgia in 2008.

                  This was the final straw to Putin, who had seen Bush's father expand NATO into Poland and the Baltic states in the 1990s, over Russia's objections.

                  But what must have infuriated Putin the most was when he signed the biggest oil and gas deal in history with Rex Tillerson of Exxon Mobile. Tillerson is now the Secretary of State for Donald Trump. But Putin saw the deal, which would have meant trillions of $$$ for Russia, and millions in "commissions" for Putin, aborted when President Obama imposed sanctions on Putin for his invasions of Crimea and the Ukraine, which prohibited Exxon from completing the deal!

                  America is being invaded by Russia today, but it isn't with missiles or troops landing on our shores. It is a cyber-war, and Russia's military are using computer hackers to glean information, which they can use to damage American politicians they fear or dislike (usually Democrats), as well as thousands of well-placed trolls in locations all over the world, who they have posting the lies and character assassinations of these politicians or the Democratic Party that will serve Putin's purpose.

                  In addition, as Rachel Maddow reported last night, they have also launched a "bot" war on the social media to the point where, starting in February of 2016, over 25% of traffic on Twitter and other social platforms get a canned response, which was favorable to Donald Trump, and defaming of Hillary Clinton. The FBI is also investigating the role of right wing websites like Breitbart and others for spreading "fake news" based on the Russian bots.

                  And so without firing a shot, Putin accomplished his goal of damaging America, and used the Internet to promote Trump for the WH.

                  Trump was a candidate who not only had enormous financial ties and obligations to Russia since 1987, but one who also was bailed out by the Russian oligarchs in 2006, and one who Putin knew would be divisive and incompetent as a president, and thereby render America dysfunctional.

                  Today in America, our news is filled with the tweeted rants of the deranged Donald Trump, whether it's his lies about former President Obama or his lies about how his many appointees did not have ties to Russia.

                  And yet, the FBI is investigating Trump's appointee to the NSC, General Michael Flynn, who had to be fired for lying about meeting with Russian operatives, and accepting money from Russia for appearing on Russian TV. It was also subsequently learned that Flynn was a registered agent for the country of Turkey, and the Trump transition team, headed by VP Pence knew about it, and yet they still promoted him to head the NSC!!

                  And of course, there was the Paul Manafort appointment as Trump's campaign manager during the 2016 campaign, despite his close ties to Putin as his apparatchik in Ukraine for which Manafort was paid something over $12 million.

                  Then there was the Roger Stone connection between Trump and Putin, where Stone operated as the "back channel" for Putin's downloads of DNC stolen data to Wikileaks!

                  And Trump also appointed as Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, a billionaire with ties to the Bank of Cyprus, which is infested with Putin's oligarchs, who regularly launder money through there.

                  Everything we know about the Putin/Trump connections are disturbing, and that's why the FBI is in a full fledged investigation of it, before and since the election.

                  What is clear is that Putin had his way tilting the American election to Donald Trump, who the Russians owned, and who Putin knew was an incompetent fraud, who would at the very least, be a disastrous president for the USA.

                  So Putin must be laughing behind his Kremlin walls with his oligarch pals, as they contemplate the fool they placed in the WH, and the dissension they have sown in the western alliance, as America loses influence and credibility, because Trump is decimating the US State department, equivocating on the NATO alliance, and causing western and eastern Europe to lose confidence that America has their back in any future confrontation with Russia!

                  My own theory is that Trump will lift the Russian sanctions as soon as he thinks he can get away with it, and resurrect the Tillerson/Putin oil & gas deal, and that Trump and Putin will then profit handsomely from it for decades to come with payments to their various sham corporations!

                  It isn't hard to connect all the dots above, and what it shows is an alarming Russian take-over of the American government by getting Trump into the WH, and other Republicans elected to Congress.

                  America is being undermined and attacked by Vladimir Putin, and instead of having a President and a Congress, who will defend us, we have Donald Trump, and the Republican Party, who seem hell bent to sell America out!!!

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                  Just How Dumb Can People Be?

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                      Amazing, simply amazing. I wonder how many people sitting in the audience applauding Trump were able to get health insurance thanks to ACA? Here again we have Trump bashing ACA and those fools in the audience clapping like there is no tomorrow but what happens when they find out that they no longer are covered? Oh yeah, let's blame Obama. Well you Trumpkins that isn't going to work anymore. It is Trump who will screw you over and throw you under the bus. So, enjoy your healthcare while you have it.

                      Maybe this would be a good time for Bernie to make a visit to KY like he did W. Virginia and try to make these Trumpkins understand just how screwed they will be if Trump has his way.

                      http://www.politicususa.com/2017/03/20/trump-attac...

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                      President Trump Sues Teen Girl For Slandering His Good Name With Her Cat Website.

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                          In the big scheme of things, considering all the other nonsense Trump is doing, this means little..except maybe to the kid that is being sued. But seriously? He's going after a kid that made a harmless game using his face?

                          This isn't slander, it's not a threat, it's a game. If he can sue and win over something like this, nothing will be safe. SNL better watch out.

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                          Trump Owes Obama An Apology For His False Wiretapping Claim

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                              Where is the Trump ApologyTo Obama for his Bogus Wiretapping Claim??????

                              Donald Trump owes President Obama and the American people an apology for his disgraceful and inflammable accusation that President Obama wire tapped him. Instead he has doubled down on that lie in spite of the fact that the FBI's Director, James Comey, has said that President Obama did not order any wiretapping of Trump's New York Office.

                              Where is that apology? Why has it not been forthcoming? Who will he blame for his incendiary accusation?

                              Even some from his own party have called out for Trump to issue an apology.

                              From GOP Congressman:

                              Republican Representative Tom Cole from Oklahoma said Friday that President Trump owes former President Obama an apology for accusing him of ordering an illegal wiretap of his Trump Tower phone lines. He cited lack of public evidence as his reasoning.

                              “I see no indication that that’s true,” Cole told reporters of Trump’s claim. “And so it’s not a charge I would have ever made. And frankly, unless you can produce some pretty compelling proof, then I think the president, you know, President Obama is owed an apology in that regard.”

                              http://rare.us/rare-news/a-gop-congressman-thinks-...

                              . . . and from FOX News Insider:

                              House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement calling for President Donald Trump to apologize after FBI Director James Comey testified at a House hearing on Monday.

                              Pelosi pointed out that Comey confirmed the existence of an FBI investigation into ties between Russia and Trump officials, and he revealed that there is "no evidence" to support Trump’s claim to have been wiretapped by former President Obama.

                              "The possibility of Trump officials conspiring with a foreign adversary to influence a U.S. election represents a grave threat to our national security and our democracy, and the American people deserve answers," the statement reads.

                              http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/03/20/nancy-pelosi...

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                              FBI Wiretapped Russian Gambling Ring Headquartered At Trump Tower

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                                  Next time a "business" man decides to run for office as a maverick "shake it up" choice, can we PLEASE require a major vetting process BEFORE he/she is elected?

                                  Perhaps now, it is time for Donald Trump to stop holding rallies like he's on a campaign trail. The reality is that he is well on his way to prison.

                                  As protection of our country, every one of Trumps appointees should be recalled and an interim government set up to run our nation.

                                  http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/fbi-wiretap...

                                  A Russian mob headquartered in Trump Tower three floors below Trump's suites with ties to Trump's beauty pageant?

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                                  Profiling Trump Revisited

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                                      When I wrote this piece almost three months before the election, many felt it was too harsh, that if Donald Trump should actually win the presidency his excesses as a candidate would be tempered by the responsibilities of the job.

                                      Now, fifty-plus days into the Trump presidency, with so many of his campaign promises broken, with a cabinet and staff composed of all the people he attacked on the campaign trail, with his core supporters potentially the biggest losers in his disastrous budget proposal and health care replacement bill, it's worth another look at what we knew then and what we know now about Donald J. Trump...

                                      Profiling Trump

                                      Off-Ramps, Excuses, Incitement


                                      By Ray Cunneff

                                      8-16-2016

                                      It’s often said that Donald Trump likes to win. There can be no doubt about that. But conversely, he hates to lose. Moreover, by all accounts, he refuses to accept failure even when he loses. He can never be wrong, can never apologize, and must always win at any cost.

                                      And he always gives himself an escape route. (More on that later.)

                                      Similarly, his sense of grandiosity and self-importance is both readily apparent and legendary, the Trump brand emblazoned on a variety of products, many of which have failed, from Trump Airline, to Trump Casinos, to Trump Vodka, to Trump University, to Trump Magazine and others.

                                      As a developer, he builds monuments to himself, his name in gigantic gold letters on the side of buildings, many of which so heavily leveraged that he no longer owns. He begins projects with a barrage of lawsuits and ends them with more lawsuits. He is the most litigious billionaire in American history.

                                      His “Art of the Deal” ethos has built a carefully crafted cult of personality around the Trump brand. He uses the perception of enormous wealth to lure others to him with the promise of shared riches. His principal negotiating tools are strong arm tactics, unilateral demands and the dual threats of “walking away” and reprisals.

                                      His business plan is always “last money in, first money out”. Following that basic maxim, his business partners often are left to suffer the losses, his contractors go unpaid, his employees lose their benefits, often their jobs, and cities and taxpayers are left with the bill and other collateral damage.

                                      When one of Trump’s business enterprises fails, he always offers excuses and someone other than himself to blame. His scapegoats vary according to the circumstances from shoddy contractors, to worker’s demands, to disloyal employees, to corrupt officials, to a system somehow rigged against him.

                                      And those traits are further reinforced by a myopic view of the world as seen from the penthouse, the limousine and the private jet, the arrogance of great wealth and all the erratic, impulsive symptoms of sleep-deprivation. (He brags that he only gets about fours sleep each night.)

                                      As part of his self-protective, but fragile, psychological cocoon, Trump always looks for “off-ramps”, escape routes, rationalizations and threats of negative consequences should he fail to get his way.

                                      As a candidate for President of the United States, he brings this same mindset to his political dealings, along with the myriad of personality disorders behind it.

                                      He threatened that “2nd Amendment people” might take the law into their own hands should Hillary Clinton be elected president and appoint liberal Supreme Courts judges who would take away their gun rights.

                                      He gave himself an off-ramp after agreeing to three presidential debates when he objected that the schedule had been manipulated by the Clinton campaign to conflict with NFL football games even though the debate schedule had been set by a bipartisan committee last September.

                                      He gave himself an excuse when he said that the only way he could lose was if the other side “cheated”. In a move unprecedented in a presidential election, the Trump campaign launched a webpage to recruit “election observers” that proclaimed "Help Me Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election!

                                      (Although laws vary from state to state, campaigning by political parties is typically banned at polling sites under voter intimidation laws.)

                                      And now Trump and his supporters have taken the “rigged” election theme to outright incitement of violence by claiming that, if Trump were to lose, it could only have happened through voter fraud and the election would therefore be illegitimate. One well-known Trump surrogate has suggested that a Trump loss could lead to a “revolution”.

                                      Donald Trump’s psychological profile suggests a man unable to accept failure or (worse) the perception of failure, often going to extraordinary lengths, both legal and financial, to protect his name and his brand from negative publicity. He frequently lashes out at anyone who criticizes or opposes him, especially the press.

                                      Donald Trump has frequently been described as a “narcissistic sociopath”, terms often used indiscriminately with little understanding of their meaning. However, Trump exhibits all the characteristics of that complex and most dangerous diagnosis.

                                      The profile:

                                      A grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerates accomplishments and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements. He must “win” at any cost.

                                      A driven quest for power. If a narcissistic sociopath cares about anything other than himself, it is power and control over people.

                                      A sense of entitlement, unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his expectations.

                                      No apologies, no guilt, no remorse. He believes that he is a gift to the world who makes it richer and more colorful. Therefore, his calculated, even cruel actions are always justified. He can never be wrong.

                                      Utterly self-serving. The needs and wants of others are insignificant and undeserving of consideration.

                                      A lack of empathy, an inability to understand or care about the feelings, circumstances or needs of others.

                                      Invincibility. The narcissistic sociopath believes he is indomitable, often expressed in haughty, overbearing behavior.

                                      Behaviors that seek love and admiration. He sees love and admiration as power tools to manipulate and dominate.

                                      Acts as the producer, director, and only actor of his own show. The narcissistic sociopath casts people in roles that increase his power and sense of importance.

                                      Donald Trump’s psychological profile paints a portrait of a man who is ego-driven, self-serving, charming, demanding, impulsive, volatile, reckless, impatient, incapable of real love or empathy, and emotionally fragile.

                                      Overall, a very hazardous and combustible psyche for a President of the United States.



                                      FOOTNOTES:

                                      Even the most casual examination of Trump's record reveals an unscrupulous predator who uses his legal and financial resources and strong arm tactics to advance himself at the expense of others.

                                      The operative word:

                                      ra·pa·cious

                                      rəˈpāSHəs
                                      adjective
                                      1. aggressively greedy or grasping.
                                        "rapacious landlords"

                                      Trump makes a profit. His partners, investors, contractors, employees and municipalities take the losses.

                                      Trump calls that "winning".


                                      Lawsuits are an important part of the Trump business model and are now an important part of the Trump campaign. He's on record on wanting to change the laws so that journalists can be sued for libel. (So much for the constitutional "free press" guarantees.)

                                      Look at almost any Trump business enterprise. They all begin with a flurry of lawsuits and usually end that way. Most never go to trial, he just makes the accused - cities, counties, individuals - spend money they can't afford to defend themselves from the Trump legal onslaught.


                                      When Tony Schwartz, Donald Trump’s ghostwriter for his 1987 memoir, “The Art of the Deal,” decided to tell the public about his concerns that Trump isn’t fit to serve as President, his main worry was that Trump, who is famously litigious, would threaten to take legal action against him. Schwartz’s premonition has proved correct.

                                      On Monday, July 18th, the day that this magazine published my interview with Schwartz, and hours after Schwartz appeared on “Good Morning America” to voice his concerns about Trump’s “impulsive and self-centered” character, Jason D. Greenblatt, the general counsel and vice-president of the Trump Organization, issued a threatening cease-and-desist letter to Schwartz."

                                      Jane Mayer - The New Yorker

                                      Trump can never share the glory, just the royalties. Tony Schwartz regrets ever having written it. He's somewhat protected by never having had to sign a non-disclosure agreement in 1987, the kind that has become standard practice for Trump employees in the years since and has effectively muzzled former employees. Nonetheless, Trumpattorneys have launched a cease-and-desist legal assault on Schwartz, demanding an apology, a re-cant and his share of the royalties from "The Art of the Deal".

                                      It's the "Art of the Steal". I dared another pro-Trump blogger to list Trump's successes. He can't because, although Trump has profited by his predatory business tactics, it's almost impossible to find real Trump successes. He makes profit on the losses of others. There's a long list of Trump business disasters, but he always manages to make a profit. "Last money in, first money out".

                                      This is one of the reasons that fellow-billionaire Mark Cuban has turned against Trump. He recognizes a predator with no interest beyond self-interest. Most super-wealthy people recognize some level of social responsibility but Trump has none.


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                                          I have been teaching in the public-school system for nine years, eight have been teaching children with disabilities from grades four thru 12 and it has been one of the most enjoyable time I have ever experienced. A public education is affordable to all United States citizens even illegal immigrants in this country to ensure that our children benefit from a quality education that will allow them to compete in the workforce.

                                          This opportunity is also afforded to children with disabilities based upon the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1975, followed by amendments in 1990, 1997, and 2004 respectively. “This federal legislation is designed to ensure that children with disabilities be granted a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). IDEA does the following:

                                          • Ensures that all children with an identified disability receive special education and related services to address their individual needs.
                                          • Ensures that children with disabilities be prepared for employment and independent living.
                                          • Ensures that the rights of children with disabilities and their families are protected under the law.
                                          • Assesses and ensures the efforts of institutions providing services to persons with disabilities.
                                          • Provides assistance to states, localities, federal agencies, and educational service agencies in providing for the education of children with disabilities.”

                                          This is very important because all our children have the right to be treated fair and appropriate in an education setting just like their fellow students who do not have a disability. When these children are given the chance to learn with the proper services and teachers that nurture them educationally, mentally, and emotionally they will thrive as I have seen with the kids that I taught during my eight-year tenure.

                                          I have witness kids that have gone from an eight-student self-contained unit at the elementary level and thrive educationally to progressing in a high school setting and achieve levels that wouldn’t have been available without this law. I have also watched this kids graduate and go onto be successful adults and community members. As a college coach, I hired a young man that as our team manager and within two years he became our videographer that put together film that would be used for practices and game planning.

                                          This is now being challenged with the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States. He currently sits on the 10th Circuit Court and had the opportunity to rule on 10 cases that involved students with disabilities. Eight of those cases he ruled against the students citing that students with disabilities should receive, “merely more than de minimis.” This is an important phrase because it highlights that these children’s education should at best a level where they are not learning anything that would allow them to transition from elementary to high school and later graduate as an independent person.

                                          “What’s the origin of this phrase, ‘More than de minimis’? Who thought this up?” asked Justice Samuel Alito. The law generally defines “de minimis” as being so small as to be legally insignificant.

                                          No child should every be placed in a situation that they are simply being housed in the public-school system nor should it be used as a means of providing daycare. The public-school system just like charter, parochial, and private schools are established to ensure that our children receives a proper education based upon federal and state standards. Confirming Gorsuch to the court will undermined his basic right provided by our federal government.

                                          It is also important to understand that there is charter, parochial, and private schools that do not provide the services needed to properly education children with disabilities. If children are not provided an education institution that will treat them with the same respect that children without disabilities, how do we expect them to become a productive member of the community and workforce? I would ask that each of you conduct personal research of Gorsuch especially if a member of your family has a disability.

                                          https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/supreme-cou...

                                          http://www.washington.edu/doit/what-individuals-di...

                                          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/neil-gorsuch-s...

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