Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017


Articles and Editorials:

There has been a blizzard of news this week as the new Administration appears to be trying to accomplish as many big goals as quickly as possible.

The major pieces of Trump news this week were:

  • FSB intelligence officers arrested for treason in Russia
  • Draft executive order proposes return of overseas “enhanced interrogation” sites
  • Executive orders on environment, Dakota Access pipeline
  • Executive orders on TPP, abortion, federal hiring
  • Executive orders on Mexico wall, immigration
  • Executive order banning refugees
  • State Department senior staff resigns
  • Kellyanne Conway : “no tax returns,” or not
  • Voter fraud investigation
  • Trump battles media, facts
  • False Story: White House phone lines shut down
  • Stephen Bannon gets key role on National Security Council
  • Useful Guides
  • More marches coming
  • What’s expected this week

Four Arrested for Treason in Russia

During a recent FSB (formerly KGB) meeting, Russian officers entered the room, put a bag over the head of senior Russian intelligence officer Sergei Mikhailov and removed him. He was charged with treason, and imprisoned, along with another FSB officer, a top manager of Russia’s largest cyber-security firm, and a fourth unidentified individual. The arrests appear related to Russian intelligence information leaked to the United States during the 2016 Presidential campaign (Full Story – USA Today) (Full Video – Rachel Maddow/MSNBC).

Reinstatement of “Black Sites”

On Wednesday, a draft executive order made the rounds in Washington, calling for a reinstatement of “black sites” – secret locations outside of the United States where American intelligence officers had previously used “enhanced interrogation” tactics, like water boarding, during the Bush Administration (Full Article – Washington Post). Trump’s Defense Secretary James Mattis and Trump’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that they were “blindsided” by the draft, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the draft was “not a White House document” (Full Article – Politico).

Nonetheless, when asked in an interview with ABC News the same day if he believes that waterboarding works, Trump said “absolutely,” claiming that his opinion was based on conversations “as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence” (Full Transcript – ABC News).

This perspective contradicts statements made under oath to Congress by Pompeo, as well as a recent study involving interviews with members of “FBI, active duty military or reserves, state or local police, military criminal investigation, Department of Homeland Security, and the Defense Intelligence Agency” (Full Article – Psychology Today).

“I’ll not only take my share of blame, I’ll take extra”

Glenn Beck
Conservative Talk Show Host/Conspiracy Theorist
(Full Article – The Atlantic)

Executive Orders On Environment

Scientists and environmentalists became deeply concerned when federal agencies like the EPA and USDA were issued memos not to post new content to social media or agency web sites, and that all communications with the press must be approved by the Administration (Full Story – The New Yorker). While scientists and environmentalists likely have much to worry about from the Trump Administration, it is difficult to determine just how unusual this particular incident is: senior officials within the agencies say that this is similar to past transitions from one Presidency to the next, including when Obama took office, (Full Article – New York Times, Full Article – Scientific American) while others disagree and believe that it goes much farther (Full Article – Mother Jones).

Trump also put a temporary freeze on EPA grants and contracts, and signed an executive order speeding up approvals for the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines to move forward (Full Story – NPR). Native American and other activists had believed that they had scored a victory in December 2016 when their protests had appeared to halt the projects (Full Article – USA Today), which threaten to contaminate drinking water and violate sacred land.

Executive Orders on TPP, Abortion and Federal Hiring Freeze

On Monday, Donald Trump signed several executive orders.

One called for ending US involvement in talks to develop the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), a trade agreement that many progressives had felt would be worse for workers and the environment than NAFTA.  Trump has been viewed by many as “anti-trade,” but the words that have come out of his mouth are that he merely wants better deals. What “better” means to him may make the now obsolete TPP look far more pro-labor and pro-environment.

Another executive order reinstated the “Mexico City Policy,” a measure that cuts federal funding for organizations providing abortion services, referrals or advocacy.

And another executive order on Monday put a freeze on new hiring for federal agencies (Full Article – CNN).

Mexico President Responds to Wall Order, Cancels Meeting With Trump

On Wednesday, Donald Trump signed an executive order following through on his campaign promise to “build a wall” on the US-Mexican border, add detention centers near the border, and increase the requirements for release from detention. Contrary to Trump’s campaign promise/chant that “we will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it,” the wall will now be paid for with our American tax dollars, with assurance from President Trump and Congressional Republicans that Mexico will pay us for it later.

Trump also signed an executive order proposing increased cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration, penalties for US cities that don’t cooperate (“sanctuary cities”), increased deportations, penalties for countries who refuse to take back the immigrants that we deport, and publication of crimes committed in the US by illegal immigrants (Full Article – CNN).

In response, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled a meeting with President Trump scheduled for this Tuesday (Full Article – USA Today). Peña Nieto has repeatedly and angrily asserted that Mexico will not pay for the wall.

Trump then floated the possibility of a 20% tax on all imports from Mexico to help pay for the wall. Ironically, starting a trade war with Mexico would have its biggest and most immediate negative impact on farmers – struggling families in economically afflicted rural communities who helped elect Trump. Mexico is the third largest purchaser of US agricultural exports, accounting for nearly $18 billion per year (More info – USDA).

After Executive Order Banning Refugees, First Evidence of “Checks and Balances”

On Friday, Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring “extreme vetting” of refugees (Full Article – Chicago Tribune). The order includes a 90-day ban on entry into the US from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, and a 120-day suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Program. According to the State Department, the ban also applies to US citizens who have dual citizenship (Full Article – Wall Street Journal).

The result of the executive order was immediate: on Saturday, people entering the United States from those countries began being turned away at airports nationwide (Full Article – The Independent).  In New York, Los Angeles, and other major cities, protests erupted over the ban (Full Article – NPR). By Saturday evening, after a legal filing by the ACLU, a federal judge had issued a temporary stay on Trump’s executive order (Full Article – CNN).

“I think this whole notion that somehow we can just say no more Muslims, just ban a whole religion, goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”

Dick Cheney
Former US Vice President/Dark Lord
(Full Article – Talking Points Memo)

State Department Departures

Former Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, whose appointment to Secretary of State was confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, may have a difficult job if he is confirmed for the job by the full Senate. As he toured the State Department on Wednesday, he learned that the entire senior management team at the State Department had resigned. Like the “gag orders” to the EPA, some resignations are common practice during a Presidential transition (Full Article – Washington Post). However, the loss of long cultivated international relationships and institutional memory that would result from what appears to be an unusually large mass departure of State Department leadership and staff may be troublesome for America’s future international relations (Full Article – Politico).

No Tax Returns – Ever?

Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd last Sunday that Donald Trump will not release his tax returns after all (Full Article – Huffington Post). Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, who repeatedly released damning Clinton e-mails throughout the 2016 Presidential campaign, responded by calling on hackers to get Trump’s tax returns for him (Full Article – CBS News).

Perhaps in response to Assange, perhaps in response to a continued nationwide petition (sign it here), or perhaps just correcting an error, Conway later returned to the stock message that Trump would release his tax returns after his “routine audit” is complete (Full Article – Politico). The IRS has made clear that Trump is welcome to release his tax returns whenever he wishes, regardless of the audit.

Voter Fraud Investigation

At a bipartisan meeting of Congressional leaders Monday, Trump reasserted his past unsubstantiated claim that he only lost the popular vote because 3-5 million people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton (Full Article – Washington Post). The next day, reporters pushed Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer for evidence of this alleged widespread voter fraud, and when his evidence proved insufficient, one reporter asked if there would be an investigation (Full Article – CBS News).

On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order for a federal investigation into voter fraud in the 2016 election (Full Article – New York Times). The investigation, paid for with US tax dollars, will focus on states like California and New York, which Hillary Clinton won. Some have concerns that this will be used as a pretext for voter suppression measures.

“We can stop him. We can resist. But first we have to finally acknowledge that he’s every bit as dangerous as we feared. And that the give him a chance brigade has already been proven not just wrong but woefully naive.”

Bryan Behar
Writer/Producer/Progresive Blogger
(Full Article – Huffington Post)

Spicer’s Password Tweets

On Wednesday and again on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted what appeared to be passwords (Full Article – US UnCut).

Media (Or Facts) As Villain

Donald Trump’s relationship with the media (and the facts) is proving just as adversarial as it was during the campaign. In addition to petty public spats like the one over his Inaugural crowd size, there have been a few less visible developments.

At the Inauguration Day protests in Washington DC, six journalists were  among the 200 people arrested. The reporters face felony charges, despite a lack of specifics in the police reports, all of which contain nearly identical vague wording (Full Article – The Guardian). The charges send a chilling message to other reporters about how this Administration views the First Amendment and journalism.

Another development has to do with a media resource that few Americans are aware of called Voice of America (VOA). Traditionally used as essentially a nonpartisan “public diplomacy” arm of the US abroad, it was retooled in 2013 to allow for broadcasting within the United States. This week, two Trump political operatives took over leadership of VOA (Full Video – Rachel Maddow). While VOA staff assert that they will not allow the network to be used as a domestic propaganda vehicle (Full Article – Washington Post), the new leadership may have other ideas.

There have been a couple notable responses to the “up is down, blue is red” messaging coming from the White House –a disorienting tactic referred to as “gaslighting” (Full Article – CNN). One is that former CBS News Anchor Dan Rather has come out of retirement (Full Article – Learn Progress). The other is that sales of George Orwell’s classic “1984” increased dramatically this week (Full Article – CNN): by Friday, the book had shot to Amazon’s #1 bestseller and became temporarily out of stock (Amazon). Duckspeak anyone? Keep it to 140 characters or fewer.

The White House (And Trump Hotel) Phone Lines Are NOT Shut Down

On Monday, the left-leaning web site Addicting Info published a false story that the Trump Administration had shut down that main White House phone line (Full Article – Daily KOS ran with the story, but added the factual information that Bernie Sanders’ digital team had set up a web site to enable people to call various Trump Hotels, the logic being that because Trump has refused to completely divest from his business interests, the hotels could be viewed as satellite offices of the White House. Here’s the link.

An “Alt Right” Perspective is Added to National Security Council

On Saturday, the President issued a memo granting a seat on the principals committee of the National Security Council (NSC) to his Chief Strategist, “alt right” figurehead Stephen Bannon (Full Article – Washington Post). The NSC advises the President on foreign policy and national security. Before working on Trump’s Presidential campaign, Bannon was Executive Chair of Breitbart News, a news web site that white nationalists and white supremacists viewed as a main hub for disseminating information and ideas.

Useful Guides:

More Marches Planned!

Another Women’s March is planned for Saturday, April 15, 2017 (Full Article – Huffington Post). There are also online rumblings about a future “Science March on Washington” (Full Article – The Guardian). You know that it’s bad when scientists want to march against you.

Coming Up This Week:

Trump will announce a nominee for the Supreme Court.

Cartoons, Images & Videos

Some astounding video footage of protests at Thursday’s Republican Retreat in Philadelphia (Full Article – CBS News)

Encyclopedia Britannica video on Despotism. It’s worth watching not just in light of current events, but also trying to view it through the eyes of a Trump supporter in 2016. Many on the right have felt “oppressed” by those on the left, and we need to start getting a better understanding of that.

Street art shown in Huffington Post:


Posted by Boing Boing:


Recent tweet by Neil deGrasse Tyson (science guy):


Street art shown in Huffington Post:



Image by Laura Keeling:


Thursday’s tweet from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer:


Posted by The Other 98%:



Events & Actions

Next big day: Monday, February 20:
Momentum is building for a nationwide “Not My President’s Day” Rally!

Resources & Organizations

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Articles and Editorials:

The major pieces of Trump news this week were:

  • Putin’s alleged tactics with Trump are nothing new for the former KGB officer
  • Congressional Budget Office estimates impact of “Repeal and Replace”
  • Worldwide uncertainty about the incoming Administration
  • Trump’s Inauguration
  • Trump Administration argues with press over Inauguration crowd size
  • 2.9 million women respond to Trump’s Inauguration with the largest one-day protest in U.S. history

Prostitutes and Hidden Hotel Cameras Not a New Tactic for Putin

Important video in which MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow walks through the uncanny similarities between how Putin rose to power in Russia and what US intelligence officials believe is credible evidence of alleged Russian “kompromat” on Trump. This Russia expert believes Trump is already being blackmailed by Putin (Full Article – Minnesota Public Radio). The FBI was first informed of Russia’s alleged compromising material in June or July, 2016, by a source whom they deem credible (Full Article – Mother Jones). If true, the allegations dwarf any national security danger posed by Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.

Even without Putin’s likely help in getting Trump elected, a Huffington Post writer lays out the case for a domestic disinformation strategy among Trump associates that helped deliver the needed votes for Trump (Full Article – Huffington Post).

Impact of “Repeal and Replace

The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its report on the likely impact of Republicans’ most recent proposal for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). The verdict: 27 million people without health insurance and skyrocketing premiums for everyone else (Full article – Business Insider).

Uncertainty About Trump is Causing Anxiety for People Across the US and World

Donald Trump’s reactive behavior, which often seems petty, vindictive, and demonstrating a childlike emotional maturity, is causing uncertainty and worry around the country and in other nations (Full Article – New York Times). Some further wonder at the lack of alarm among Trump’s supporters (Full Article – New York Times).

Aside from physical and policy concerns, there is worry about preserving fact and history in order to prevent its distortion or elimination. A couple weeks ago, climate scientists took the unusual step of backing up their data in Canada out of fear that it would be purged by the Trump Administration (Full Article – BBC). A man posted this on Facebook:


And a woman posted this in response to a blog entry by John Paplovitz:



Trump’s Inauguration

On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. During the Inauguration – an event at which he had hoped to have a showing of tanks and missile launchers  (Full Article – Business Insider) – Trump swore the following Oath of Office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” (Footage – YouTube). Numerous U.S. Congresspeople chose to boycott the Inauguration (Full Article – CNN), because they believe that he has no intention of living up to that oath.

After being sworn in, President Trump delivered his Inaugural address, which included a harsh criticism of the Obama Administration’s economic stewardship of the country, and a strongly delivered vow that  “this American carnage stops right here and stops right now” (Annotated Full Transcript – New York Times).


Trump Administration Uses “Alternative Facts” to Attack Media for Accurately Reporting Inauguration Crowd Size

On Friday, a Time Magazine journalist inaccurately and irresponsibly reported that a bust of Martin Luther King had been removed from the Oval Office. The report was repeated by other news outlets including Huffington Post. On Saturday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference to scold the media for that report, and to then go on to scold the media for not reporting that Donald Trump’s Inauguration was the largest Inauguration crowd ever (Full footage – CNBC). Spicer’s claim of crowd size was provably false (Full Article – Fortune Magazine).

Photo published by Fortune Magazine comparing crowd size at 2009 Obama Inauguration and 2017 Trump Inauguration:


On Sunday (today) MSNBC’s Chuck Todd confronted Kellyanne Conway about Trump’s decision to communicate easily provable and seemingly petty lies to the public for Spicer’s first official interaction with the press. Conway asserted that the Trump Administration merely uses “alternative facts” (Full footage – MSNBC).

All of this sets a worrisome tone for the beginning of the Trump Administration’s relationship with the press, and shows that media must be up to the challenges that they will be presented with in reporting the truth (Full Article – Brookings Institution).

Women’s Marches Set Historic Record in United States and Beyond

On Saturday, 2.9 million women (and men) took part in Women’s Marches in more than 600 cities nationwide. It was the largest one-day protest in U.S. history. Not one person was arrested. Solidarity marches took place in countries around the world (Photos – New York Times) (Photos – Mother Jones).

Some Trump supporters believe that these protesters should just “get over it” like they did when Obama was elected. That assertion may include a bit of revisionist history.


Cartoons, Images & Videos

Saturday Night Live from 1/21: a message from “Vladimir Putin.”

Cartoon by Michael de Adder, Halifax Chronicle Herald:





Artwork attributed to Tim O’Brien posted on Boing Boing’s Facebook page:


Artwork posted by Andrea Levin:



Photo of Women’s March on Washington posted by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders:


Women’s March in St. Paul (photo by rob rünt):


Women’s March in St. Paul –official crowd size estimate: 90,000-100,000 (photo by rob rünt):



Posted by The Other 98%:


Events & Actions

Resources & Organizations

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017


 The major Trump news this week was:

  • There will be protests in cities nationwide on Friday and Saturday – to find one near you, click here
  • The public release of a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer about incriminating material that Russia has allegedly collected on Mr. Trump
  • FBI Director James Comey reveals a possible double standard in his pre-election handling of incriminating evidence against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
  • Trump’s first press conference in over five months, announcing plans to eliminate his conflicts of interest
  • The confirmation hearings for Trump’s Cabinet picks, many of whom are controversial
  • Washington DC prepares for protests

Articles and Editorials

Russia’s “Kompromat” on Trump

On Tuesday, CNN reported that the CIA’s briefing to Donald Trump and President Obama on Russian hacking included a two-page summary of a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer about incriminating financial and personal material that Russia had gathered on Donald Trump over the past five years– material which, if it does exist, Russia could presumably use to blackmail Donald Trump as President (Full Article – CNN). Online news source Buzzfeed later published what they asserted to be the entire contents of the dossier (Full Article and Alleged Dossier), which they admitted that they could not verify as factual.

The former British intelligence officer was initially hired by one of Trump’s Republican primary opponents, and was later paid to continue his work by an anonymous Democrat (Full Article – BBC). The former British spy has since gone into hiding, which MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow speculated Friday was out of fear of experiencing the same kind of high-profile London assassination as other individuals who have angered the Kremlin like Georgi Markov and Alexander Litvinenko.

Comey’s Double Standard?

Shortly before the election, FBI Director James Comey took the unprecedented step of notifying Congress shortly before the election that he had reopened an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. Although he informed Congress immediately before the election that he had again closed the investigation, many Democrats consider his earlier announcement to be a factor in Trump winning the election.

On Friday, January 13, members of Congress were given a classified briefing by Comey and other intelligence officials regarding Russia’s influence on the Presidential election. Although the members of Congress could not elaborate afterward due to the classified nature of what they had been told, many Democrats left the meeting enraged, stating that Comey had lost credibility (Full Article – Huffington Post).

Trump’s Press Conference

On Wednesday, January 11, Donald Trump held his first press conference since July, 2016 (Full Transcript and Video – New York Times). After weeks of vehement denial, Trump admitted during the conference that Russia probably did interfere with the US election which has resulted in his impending Presidency. However, when questioned about the dossier, he angrily denied any truth it, pointing out that the Kremlin had just offered reassurance that they do not have such information (Full Article – Washington Post). It should be noted that such documents and videotapes would be of far more use to Russia after Mr. Trump has been officially sworn into office on Friday, January 20.

At the press conference, Mr. Trump also announced his plans for ensuring that he will put the interests of the American people above those of his businesses. His plan consists largely of turning his businesses over to his sons while he is President, along with an assurance that he and his sons will not discuss the businesses for the duration of his Presidency. Many ethicists believe that this plan does not address conflict of interest issues (Full Article – Tha Atlantic). A true resolution to his conflicts of interests would involve Trump selling his businesses and putting the cash in a blind trust, to be invested in a way that he has no knowledge of during his Presidency.

Confirmation of Trump’s Cabinet Picks

With vetting of most Cabinet members still unfinished, the Senate packed numerous Cabinet confirmation hearings into a very short time period – unusual particularly given how controversial many of Trump’s Cabinet selections are (Schedule and Links to Coverage – Politico). Also unprecedented was the decision by three African American Congressmen to present testimony against their colleague, Senator Jeff Sessions, who has a questionable record on civil rights, but whom Trump has chosen as Attorney General (Full Article – Politico).

Many of Trump’s selections expressed differences of opinion with him on significant issues – building the wall, the Muslim registry, etc. (Full Article – NPR). While this may be reassuring to some, it should also be noted that Trump’s Cabinet picks could simply have made these statements to ensure that they could get through the hearings, fully aware that they can always “change their opinion based on new information” later.

DC Prepares for Conflict

What do you get when put Donald Trump’s most passionate supporters and most passionate protesters together in the same city – in adjacent hotel rooms, eating at the same restaurants, overhearing each other’s conversations, and finally turning out in force in the streets to express themselves? We’re about to find out. Tens of thousands of supporters and protesters are expected to arrive in Washington DC for Trump’s Friday Inauguration Ceremony (Full Article – Politico), with another 1,200 busloads of protesters expected to come to the city for a Women’s March on Washington scheduled for Saturday. (Many cities around the country will also be having local protests on Friday and Women’s Marches on Saturday).

Cartoons, Images & Videos

Cartoon originally published by Norwegian news outlet VG, and falsely rumored to have been banned from Twitter and Facebook:


Video of Donald Trump playing the accordion posted by Inga Love Belfast:


Events & Actions

Resources & Organizations

Sunday, Jan 8, 2017

Welcome to the first installment of “The Week in Trump.”

This Sunday blog is for people who wish to avoid gawking at the Trump train wreck for the other six days of the week, but who also believe that it is healthy and important to stay informed on matters that can significantly affect them. Here you will find a summary of the week’s most essential news and ideas (with links to the best reporting on the stories), artwork, videos and my personal thoughts. Once you’ve been thoroughly bludgeoned into despair, I will then restore hope, with info on the latest actions and upcoming events that you can participate in, as well as helpful resources and relevant organizations that you can support to make a positive difference.

I have long been obsessed with justice and the free flow of complete, accurate information. Now that both appear to be in peril, I consider it my civic duty to help others get the information that they need in a quickly and easily digestible form. It is my promise to you that I will provide the most accurate, factual information that I can. That does not mean that I will be objective. It means that I will be factual. If you think that this can be a useful weekly resource for you, please bookmark it or subscribe. Remember: we get to decide what the light at the end of the tunnel will be.

     – rob rünt



Articles & Editorials

Take It From A German: Americans Are Too Timid In Confronting Hate
(Full Article – The Daily Beast)

On Monday, in one of the first acts of the new Congress, Republicans attempted to dismantle the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent oversight group with a track record of sending Congresspersons to prison when they violate the law. (Full Article – MSNBC)  After media attention and a swift and strong negative public outcry, Congress quickly undid the measure before noon the next day. (Full Article – MSNBC)  Shortly before Republicans backtracked, President-Elect Trump tweeted that the “timing” of the move was distracting, leading some news outlets to attribute Congress’ reversal of course to his strong leadership. (Full Article – CNN)

In recent weeks, President-Elect Trump has chosen not to avail himself of most Presidential daily intelligence briefings – something that most Presidents want to get as much of as they can in order to get up to speed on important matters about which they will need to make decisions. He has also been dismissive of US intelligence agencies’ assertion of Kremlin  interference in the U.S. election, leading to concern among legislators and members of the intelligence community that our next President will not make his decisions based on the best information.  (Full Article – The Guardian)


This unexpectedly led to a development that is likely to be a pattern with the Trump Administration, either out of poor organization, poor internal communication, or a deliberate strategy of floating an idea publicly without having to commit to it (or some combination of the above): someone from Trump’s inner circle told the Wall Street Journal that Mr. Trump planned to overhaul and cut staff in the nation’s intelligence agencies – a story which was then repeated by other news outlets (Full Article – The Hill), but which Trump later denied when asked directly.

Trump remained dismissive of the Russian hacking story even after a full report (declassified version here) from US intelligence officials. (Full Article – CNN)  However, he is interested in finding out who in the intelligence community made public the information about the Kremlin’s interference in the election.


In other news, Russians appear to have just hacked into accounts of Arizona state lawmakers. (Full Article – AZ Central)

An analysis of “Putin’s real end game.” I agree with much of the assessment of Russia’s involvement and what we’re up against, but disagree with much of the proposed response to it. Your thoughts? (Full Article – Politico)

Joseph Goebbels’ 105-year-old secretary: ‘No one believes me now, but I knew nothing’ (Full Article – The Guardian)

“Having studied authoritarian states for over a decade, I would never exaggerate the severity of the threat we now face. But an American kleptocracy is exactly where president-elect Trump and his backers are taking us. That’s why I have a favor to ask you, my fellow Americans….

… I want you to write about who you are, what you have experienced, and what you have endured.

Write down what you value; what standards you hold for yourself and for others.

Write about your dreams for the future and your hopes for your children. Write about the struggle of your ancestors and how the hardship they overcame shaped the person you are today.

Write your biography, write down your memories. Because if you do not do it now, you may forget.

Write a list of things you would never do. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will do them.

Write a list of things you would never believe. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will either believe them or be forced to say you believe them.”

– from the blog of Sarah Kendzior

A general overview of the election results, what they mean, and where to go from here. In my better moments can live up to the “where to go from here” part, but snark is a definite weakness for me. (Full Article – Charles Eisenstein Blog)

 Cartoons, Images & Videos

Cartoon by Will McPhail, New Yorker:

Posted by Americans Against Trump:


Cartoon by Paul Noth:



Posted to Instagram by Alec Baldwin:



 Personal Thoughts & Experiences

On Monday, I had lunch with a friend – a very thoughtful Jewish man and one of my favorite people in the entire world. The conversation eventually turned to politics. Having had relatives who were caught up by the Holocaust, he has visited the concentration camps in Germany as well as the Holocaust Museum in Germany and in Washington DC. He said that the most chilling thing for him in those places was not the photos or the artifacts. It was a video screen at the Holocaust Museum in DC. It showed no graphics or photos, just text, slowly scrolling through the small, incremental changes – small lines drawn and then crossed and then redrawn and crossed again – that took place in what came to be known as Nazi Germany. Each change was undesirable, but ultimately tolerated. The cumulative effect was the extermination of six million human beings.

 Events & Actions

Resources & Organizations