July 9 – 31, 2017


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Scaramucci


Scaramucci on Leaks: ‘I’m Going to Fire Everybody’
(New York Times – 7/25/17)

Anthony Scaramucci Called Me to Unload About White House Leakers, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon
(The New Yorker – 7/27/17)

Scaramucci: ‘If Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that’
(Washington Post – 7/27/17)

“The fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell you two fish that don’t stink, and that’s me and the president.”

– Anthony Scaramucci, White House Press Secretary

Is it a felony to leak a financial disclosure form, as Anthony Scaramucci said?
(Politifact – 7/27/17)

Reince Priebus Is Ousted Amid Stormy Days for White House
(New York Times – 7/28/17)

Anthony Scaramucci’s wife files for divorce
(Page Six – 7/28/17)


“There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this president. OK, that is not their job. Their job is to inject this president into America.”

– Anthony Scaramucci, White House Press Secretary
(CNN – 7/27/17)

Anthony Scaramucci removed as White House communications director
(Washington Post – 7/31/17)


Trump and Putin


Trump suggested a cybersecurity pact with Russia. Lawmakers say they were ‘dumbfounded.’
(Washington Post – 7/9/17)

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“This is like the guy who robbed your house proposing a working group on burglary.”

– Ash Carter, Former US Secretary of Defense
(Telegraph UK – 7/9/17)

 

Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Conversation
(New York Times – 7/18/17)

Trump Spins Putin Dinner Conversation
(FactCheck.org – 7/19/17)


Trump and Russia


All The Dots, Connected
(The American Interest – 7/25/17)

A Timeline: Russia and President Trump
(Moyers & Company – 7/17/17)

Bill Browder’s Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee
(The Atlantic – 7/25/17)

Russian mob money helped build Trump business empire
(MSNBC – 7/17/17)

Paul Manafort Reportedly Owed Millions to Russian Oligarch Before Joining trump Campaign
(Vanity Fair – 7/20/17)

Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow
(Washington Post – 7/19/17)

Mueller has broader authority in his Russia investigation than Trump may realize
(Business Insider – 7/21/17)

This Is How the Russian Kleptocracy Operates
(Esquire – 7/27/17)

Russia Seizes 2 U.S. Properties and Orders Embassy to Cut Staff
(New York Times – 7/28/17)

Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer
(Washington Post – 7/31/17)

Maybe What Russia Wants From Trump Is Permission to Launder Its Dirty Money
(Slate – 7/20/17)


Congressional Testimonies


Manafort testifies to Senate Intelligence Committee, turns over notes from Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer
(Washington Post – 7/25/17)

How Jared Kushner Helped the Russians Get Inside Access to the Trump Campaign
(New Yorker – 7/25/16)

‘I Did Not Collude,’ Kushner Says After Meeting Senate Investigators
(New York Times – 7/24/17)


Mueller Investigation


Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
(Bloomberg – 7/20/17)

Trump Trains His Sights on Mueller’s Investigation
The president’s lawyers are looking at multiple ways to undermine or curtail the Russia inquiry, including his issuing pardons
(The Atlantic – 7/20/17)

As Team Trump Lawyers Up, Who’s Paying The Attorney Fees?
(National Public Radio – 7/19/17)

Deutsche Bank is Turning Over Information on Trump
(Vanity Fair – 7/20/17)

Does Trump Have a Case Against Mueller?
(Politico – 7/21/17)


Trump Pardoning … Himself?!


Trump pushes his ‘complete power’ to pardon
(Politic – 7/22/17)

President Trump is considering pardoning himself. I asked 15 experts if that’s legal.
(Vox – 7/21/17)

Jared Kushner sealed real estate deal with oligarch’s firm cited in money-laundering case
(The Guardian – 7/24/17)


“He isn’t smart enough to do the job and isn’t man enough to own up to the fact.”

– Kevin Williamson, National Review – 7/30/17


Healthcare Reform


Frustrated in defeat, Trump threatens healthcare of voters — and lawmakers
(Los Angeles Times – 7/29/17)

Dems pivot to offering ObamaCare improvements
(The Hill – 7/29/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Interview with Donald Trump – Partial Transcript
(New York Times – 7/19/17)

Jeb Bush calls out Republicans silent on Trump’s Russia probe
(The Hill – 7/21/17)

My Party Is in Denial About Donald Trump
(Senator Jeff Flake, Politico – 7/31/17)

Jared Kushner Discloses Dozens More Assets in Revised Financial Filing
(Wall Street Journal – 7/21/17)

Trump tells police not to worry about injuring suspects during arrests
(Washington Post – 7/28/17)

House Approves Spending Package, Border Wall and All
(New York Times – 7/27/17)

House Republicans call for a second special counsel — to investigate Clinton, Comey and Lynch
(CNBC – 7/27/17)

New poll offers deeper insight into what ails rural America
(Daily KOS –7/9/17)


Keeping Track of the Basics:


Editorials


Liberals can win again if they stop being so annoying and fix their ‘hamburger problem’
(Business Insider – 7/17/17)

Trump’s breathtaking surrender to Russia
(Washington Post – 7/20/17)
Note: Senator John McCain (R-AZ) recommends that every American read this piece written by a former Senior Policy Advisor for George W. Bush

The Democrats’ New Agenda Is Everything That’s Wrong With the Party
(In These Times – 7/27/17)

No, Trump can’t pardon himself. The Constitution tells us so.
(Washington Post – 7/21/17)

Trump’s Mistake at the Boy Scout Jamboree
(The Atlantic – 7/24/17)

Trump Is Woody Allen Without the Humor
(Peggy Noonan – Wall Street Journal – 7/27/17)

The Triumph of the Idiocracy: How Narcissism, Stupidity and the Internet Got Us Donald Trump, an Accidental President
(Alternet – 7/31/17)


Alternative Facts from an Alternative Universe

Self-selecting our news sources, a reluctance to hear opposing ideas, and the choice by many of us to surround ourselves only with like-minded individuals has resulted in many Americans becoming oblivious to the beliefs of those with whom they disagree. This bubble helped create the world of “alternative facts” in which Donald Trump could become President.

To counter this, each week I will present a little of what Trump’s supporters are thinking. Their reality may be very different from yours. Please listen/read to the end, and consider what respectful questions you could ask to better understand and have a conversation, rather than seeking to prove them wrong as quickly as possible and shut them down. We can’t change minds if we can’t talk to each other.


Posted on Facebook by An0maly, reposted here because it’s important to understand Trump supporters’ different perspectives so that we don’t have to go through this again.


Cartoons, Images & Videos


A video tweeted by Donald Trump about the G20 Summit – remarkably similar to the kind of video that one might expect the leader of North Korea to broadcast:

Posted on Facebook by “Union Thugs:”

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Cartoon by Nate Beeler, Columbia Dispatch:

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Cartoon by Steve Sack, Star Tribune:

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This Week’s Blog Entry


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The Mueller Investigation:
Why Trump’s Finances and Beauty Pageants are 100% Relevant to Russia


Events & Actions


Resources & Organizations


“People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes.”

President Donald Trump speaking about French President Emmanuel Macron
(New York Times interview – 7/19/17)

The Mueller Investigation: Why Trump’s Finances and Beauty Pageants are 100% Relevant to Russia

The Mueller Investigation: Why Trump’s Finances and Beauty Pageants are 100% Relevant to Russia

The Mueller Investigation:
Why Trump’s Finances and Beauty Pageants are 100% Relevant to Russia


News outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times have reported that Trump’s legal advisors are looking for ways to disqualify Robert Mueller, the Special Prosecutor investigating possible Trump Campaign collusion with Russia. One way in which Team Trump hopes to do this is by claiming that Mueller is overstepping the scope of his investigation by looking into things like Trump’s personal finances. While such areas of inquiry might on the surface seem unrelated to electoral meddling by Russia, Trump’s taxes, financial dealings and other areas are in fact very legitimate and essential aspects to explore.

When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as Special Prosecutor, he defined the scope of Mueller’s investigation as “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated” with Trump’s campaign, “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” and “any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a)” such as obstruction of justice, destroying evidence, and intimidating witnesses.

In looking at whether or not the Trump Campaign colluded with Russia – or if Trump or his Administration are currently colluding with Russia – Mueller needs to look at why Trump and Putin would possibly want to cooperate.

There are a number of possible explanations for such cooperation. One is “kompromat” – potentially compromising evidence of something embarrassing or illegal – that Putin might be using to blackmail Trump, as alleged in the dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele (Buzzfeed – 1/10/17). Another explanation is major financial debts which Putin may in some way be helping Trump get rid of, or which Trump owes to Russia. And another explanation is the possibility of a financial crime yet to be committed against the United States, in which Putin or other Russians and Trump are currently coordinating.

Here is how some of Mueller’s possible avenues of investigation can help show whether there is anything of substance to any of those explanations.

Tax Returns

Donald Trump has been evasive about his tax returns ever since he was first asked about them. During his campaign, unlike previous Presidential candidates, he said that he would only disclose his tax returns if elected, citing the feeble and long debunked excuse that he was under a “routine audit” by the IRS. Once elected, Trump continued to refuse to make his tax returns public, claiming falsely that only the media care about them (The Hill – 1/11/17), when in fact even a majority of Republicans want him to release them (The Hill – 4/13/17).

Trump’s tax returns are relevant to the Russia investigation because they can show debts that he owes and business relationships that he has. Knowing to whom Trump owes money, and how much, can help Mueller connect the dots, if there are any, between those debts and Russia. Understanding Trump’s business relationships can also be a starting point toward uncovering closer connections with Putin than the President has admitted.

Bank Loans

As a real estate mogul, Donald Trump has taken out loans from financial institutions around the world in order to purchase real estate, build on or improve properties, and other legal real estate activities. If Trump has had difficulty repaying some of those loans, someone offering to help take care of them could be appealing to the President. If that person is Vladimir Putin or an associate of Putin’s, that is highly relevant information for Mueller’s investigation. The first step toward exploring this angle is to look at Trump’s bank debts.

The relevance of bank loans in the Russia scandal becomes even more acute if some of the banks are actually Russian banks, especially Russian state banks. As Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6 (British intelligence agency) said in April, “What lingers for Trump may be what deals — on what terms — he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.” (The Sun UK – 4/13/17)

Real Estate Deals

Exploring Trump’s real estate deals can provide not only a starting point to learning more about Trump’s debts, but also about illegal activity that he may have been involved in during his civilian life or which he may currently be involved in – knowledge of which, if known by Putin or associates of Putin, could be used to blackmail the President.

In particular, learning more about Trump’s real estate deals can yield clues about money laundering. Money laundering is the act of putting illegally obtained money through a process that can give that money the appearance of legitimacy. Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort is currently under investigation for money laundering for some New York condos that he purchased with all cash (The Atlantic – 3/29/17).

Trump himself has had numerous questionable real estate transactions, including the 2006 purchase of a Palm Beach mansion, which stayed vacant until he sold it a year later to a wealthy Russian oligarch named Dmitry Rybolovlev – for nearly twice the amount that he had purchased it for (MSNBC – 3/27/17). Rybolovlev reportedly never even visited the home.

Wilbur Ross

Rybolovlev was introduced to the President by an old friend named Wilbur Ross (MSNBC – 3/27/17). Ross was appointed by Trump and confirmed as the US Secretary of Commerce in February. Prior to that, Ross was one of two Vice Chairmen of the Bank of Cyprus. Cyprus is an island off the coast of Turkey whose banks are often used by wealthy Russian oligarchs to launder money. The other Vice Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus is Viktor Vekselberg, the second wealthiest man in Russia and a close personal friend of Vladimir Putin.

In 2014, Ross and Vekselberg appointed Josef Ackerman to be President of the Bank of Cyprus (The Irish Times – 11/1/14). From 2002-2012, Ackerman had been CEO of Deutsche Bank, one of the largest banks in the world. Deutsche Bank had also been engaged in laundering approximately $10 billion for wealthy Russians in a stock fraud scheme (Vanity Fair – 7/20/17) – a crime discovered in 2013, and for which the United States fined the bank $630 million. Trump owed Deutsche Bank millions of dollars at the time that Wilbur Ross connected him with Dmitry Rybolovlev for the seemingly overpriced purchase of the Palm Beach mansion.

Untangling this mess, figuring out who knows what about it, looking at how Russia and Deutsche Bank and the Bank of Cyprus factor in, as well as understanding the role of Wilbur Ross, may help Mueller better decipher how Donald Trump may be compromised by Russia and why he may be unduly interested in cooperating with them.

Beauty Pageants

In 2013, Donald Trump brought his Miss Universe beauty pageant to Russia (New York Times – 7/11/17). The recently disclosed June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer was arranged by Rob Goldstone, a marketing executive who has worked for the Miss Universe pageants. Aras Agalarov, the person whom Goldstone cited as the connection to the Russian lawyer, had paid almost $20 million to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Russia.

While these connections are important for Mueller to investigate, the Miss Universe pageant is also relevant because the Christopher Steele dossier (Buzzfeed – 1/10/17) alleges that Trump participated in a potentially embarrassing private event in 2013 in a room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow – an event which Vladimir Putin may possess video footage of. Such footage could be used to blackmail President Trump. In order to determine whether Trump is compromised as the Steele dossier alleges, Mueller needs to develop a timeline of Trump’s activities during any 2013 visits to Russia.

Donald Trump has proven to be a brilliant artist when it comes to smearing those he dislikes and branding them in a negative way. We should be conscious that news outlets are currently reporting possible plans by Trump’s associates to discredit and remove Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. Mueller’s reputation as an ethical and dedicated law enforcement professional is impeccable. And the areas now believed to be coming under the scrutiny of his investigation are all absolutely relevant and necessary to get a full picture of any potential collusion between Donald Trump/his campaign/his Administration and Russia. We should also remain acutely aware that Vladimir Putin does not have the best interests of the United States at heart.

– rob rünt

June 18 – 24, 2017

 


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia


Cuomo, Trump lawyer clash over Russia probe
(CNN – 6/19/17)

White House Tries to Get G.O.P. to Water Down Russia Sanctions Bill
(New York Times – 6/21/17)

Intel chiefs tell investigators Trump suggested they refute collusion with Russians
(CNN – 6/22/17)

Trump’s new morning ritual involves a ‘venting session’ to his legal team about Russia
(Business Insider – 6/23/17)

Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault
(Washington Post – 6/23/17)

Schiff: Obama should have acted on Russian interference, but Trump shouldn’t complain
(LA Times – 6/25/17)


Senate Healthcare Bill


Senate Health Care Bill Includes Deep Cuts to Medicaid
(New York Times – 6/22/17)

‘We’re Amending Obamacare. We’re Not Killing It’
(The Atlantic – 6/22/17)

You Snooze You Lose: How Mitch McConnell weaponized our short attention span
(Slate – 6/21/17)

Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill
(New York Times – 6/23/17)

How the Senate’s Health-Care Bill Would Cause Financial Ruin for People With Preexisting Conditions
(The Atlantic – 6/23/17)

Republicans exempt their own insurance from their latest health care proposal
(Vox – 5/2/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Leaking and Hacking


‘The mother lode of all leaks’: A massive data breach exposed ‘information that can be used to steal an election’
(Business Insider – 6/20/17)

Obama White House Knew of Russian Election Hacking, but Delayed Telling
(New York Times – 6/21/17)

Jeh Johnson says FBI delayed notification of DNC cyberattack
(CBS News – 6/21/17)

Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution
(Office of the Director of National Intelligence – 1/6/17)


Robert Mueller


Meet the all-star legal team who may take down Trump
(Vox – 6/15/17)

Mueller team lawyer brings witness-flipping expertise to Trump probes
(Reuters – 6/19/17)


Kushner


Kushner Is Said to Be Reconsidering His Legal Team
(New York Times – 6/18/17)

Democrats Ask Why Jared Kushner Still Has a Security Clearance
(NBC News – 6/21/17)

Abbas said enraged by Kushner meet, refuses to halt pay even to worst terrorists
(The Times of Israel – 6/23/17)


Impeachment


Sitting presidents can’t be prosecuted. Probably.
(Washington Post – 6/8/17)

A Constitutional Puzzle: Can the President Be Indicted?
(New York Times – 5/29/17)


Keeping Track of the Basics:


Editorials


Tired of ‘Winning’? You Should Be
(New York Times – 6/20/17)

The GOP’s hard, messy options for destroying Trumpism
(Michael Gerson, Republican, former top aide to President George W. Bush
Washington Post – 6/19/17)

Five ways Trump’s Washington is more secretive
(BBC – 6/22/17)

Trump Supporters Celebrate Imminent Loss of Their Health Insurance (satire)
(The New Yorker – 6/22/17)

Mitch McConnell, the man who broke America
(Washington Post – 6/22/17)


Alternative Facts from an Alternative Universe

Self-selecting our news sources, a reluctance to hear opposing ideas, and the choice by many of us to surround ourselves only with like-minded individuals has resulted in many Americans becoming oblivious to the beliefs of those with whom they disagree. This bubble helped create the world of “alternative facts” in which Donald Trump could become President.

To counter this, each week I will present a little of what Trump’s supporters are thinking. Their reality may be very different from yours. Please listen/read to the end, and consider what respectful questions you could ask to better understand and have a conversation, rather than seeking to prove them wrong as quickly as possible and shut them down. We can’t change minds if we can’t talk to each other.


The great American fallout: how small towns came to resent cities
(The Guardian – 6/19/17)

Gregg Jarrett: Will Mueller & Comey use a false case of obstruction to trigger impeachment?
(Fox News – 6/23/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


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Events & Actions


Resources & Organizations


May 28 – June 3, 2017

 


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia


Trump Administration Moves to Return Russian Compounds in Maryland and New York
(Washington Post – 5/31/17)

Congress Investigating Another Possible Sessions-Kislyak Meeting
(CNN – 5/31/17)

Putin Ridicules Claims of Meddling in US Vote
(Washington Post – 6/2/17)

Mueller’s Investigation Goes Wide:
The Special Counsel Takes Over a Criminal Probe into Paul Manafort’s Ukrainian Business Dealings, Broadening His Original Scope
(The Atlantic – 6/2/17)

Explanations for Kushner’s Meeting with Head of Kremlin-Linked Bank Don’t Match Up
(Washington Post – 6/1/17)

Nigel Farage is ‘Person of Interest’ in FBI Investigation into Trump and Russia
(The Guardian UK – 6/2/17)


Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord


The Latest: Scientist Warns US Climate Move Short-Sighted
(Washington Post – 6/1/17)

Massive Crack in Antarctica Ice Shelf Grows 11 Miles in Only 6 Days
(USA Today – 6/1/17)

Paris Agreement on Climate Change: US Withdraws as Trump Calls it ‘Unfair’
(Fox News – 6/1/17)

Trump’s Speech on Paris Climate Agreement Withdrawal, Annotated
(National Public Radio – 6/1/17)

Fact-Checking Donald Trump’s Statement Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement
(Politifact – 6/1/17)

World Leaders Condemn Trump’s Decision to Quit Paris Climate Deal
(CNN – 6/3/17)

The World’s Front Pages Mourn Trump’s Paris Decision
(New York Magazine – 6/2/17)

Winners and Losers in Trump’s Paris Decision
(The Hill – 6/2/17)

Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord
(New York Times – 6/1/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Ethics


White House Details Ethics Waivers for Ex-Lobbyists and Corporate Lawyers
(New York Times – 5/31/17)


National Security


An Unexpected Problem: Trump Handing Out his Cellphone Number
(MSNBC – 5/31/17)

Security Experts to Donald Trump: Stop Handing Out Your Cellphone Number
(Time Magazine – 6/1/17)


Covfefe


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Less Tweeting, Lawyers Beg. ‘Covfefe,’ the President Says.
(New York Times – 5/31/17)


Kathy Griffin


It Was Just Revealed How 11-Year-Old Barron Trump First Learned of Kathy Griffin’s Photo — Horrific
(Independent Journal Review – 6/1/17)

Claiming ‘Bullying’ by Trump Over Gruesome Joke, Griffin Says She’s Standing up for Free Speech
(Yahoo News – 6/2/17)

‘He Broke Me’: A Defiant, Tearful Kathy Griffin Slams Attacks by Trump and His Family
(Washington Post – 6/2/17)


Hate Crimes


Portland Train Suspect: ‘I Hope Everyone I Stabbed Died’
(CNN – 5/31/17)


Random Tdibits


Watch A Mentally Not There Trump Wander Off From Meeting And Be Brought Back By Staff
(Politics USA – 5/26/17)

This White House Statement on Trump’s ‘Positive Energy’ Reads Like a Parody
(Washington Post – 5/30/17)


 Keeping Track of the Basics:

Trump’s Cabinet Picks and Their Status in the Approval Process
(Full Article – The Atlantic)

Entire Trump Administration: Who’s Who
(Full Info – Real Clear Politics)

Ongoing Tracking of Trump-Russia Connections
(Compiled and updated by the office of US Representative Eric Swalwell, House Intelligence Committee)

Ongoing Tracking of Trump-Russia Connections
(Washington Post)

How Much Have Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Stays Cost Us So Far?
(Is Trump at Mar-a-Lago?)


Editorials


Al Franken: Time for Hillary Clinton, Democrats to ‘Move on’
(Washington Post – 6/2/17)

Europe’s Leaders Confront the Worst Case Scenario: Trump
(Talking Points Memo – 5/29/17)

Trump’s Incompetence Won’t Save Our Democracy
(New York Times – 6/2/17)

How G.O.P. Leaders Came to View Climate Change as Fake Science
(New York Times – 6/3/17)

White Male Terrorists Are an Issue We Should Discuss
(Teen Vogue – 5/9/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


Video by Comedy Central – “Donny Goes to School:”

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This Week’s Blog Entries:

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The Wall Has Been Built


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Are You “Over-Sharing?” Leaking in the Age of Trump

 


Events & Actions


Resources & Organizations


 

May 21 – 27, 2017

 


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia


Ex-C.I.A. Chief Reveals Mounting Concern Over Trump Campaign and Russia
(New York Times – 5/23/17)

CIA Director Alerted FBI to Pattern of Contacts Between Russian Officials and Trump Campaign Associates
(Washington Post – 5/23/17)

Calculating or Naive? Trump Caught in Cloud of Russia Probe Revelations
(CNN – 5/23/17)

GOP Strategist Admits he Colluded with Russian Hackers to Hurt Hillary Clinton, Democrats
(Salon – 5/25/17)

Trump Asked DNI, NSA to Deny Evidence of Russia Collusion
(CNN – 5/23/17)

White House, Department of Justice Miss Deadline to Provide Comey Memos, Records
(USA Today – 5/24/17)


Jared Kushner


Russian Ambassador Told Moscow that Kushner Wanted Secret Communications Channel with Kremlin
(Washington Post – 5/26/17)


Mike Flynn


Jeff Sessions


Trump’s Casino was a Money Laundering Concern Shortly After it Opened
(CNN – 5/22/17)

Explosive Dutch Documentary Says Trump has Deep Ties to Russia’s Mafia Underworld
(Raw Story – 5/12/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Trump Budget


 Trump’s Budget by the Numbers: What Gets Cut and Why
(CNN – 5/23/17)

Trump Budget Seeks Huge Cuts to Science and Medical Research, Disease Prevention
(Washington Post – 5/23/17)

Trump’s Budget Cuts Children’s Health Insurance Program
(CNN – 5/24/17)


Trump Leaks Information Again, Jeopardizing US Military and More


Trump Revealed Submarine Locations to Philippines President
(The Hill – 5/24/17)

Trump’s Loose Lips Drive Allies to Reassess U.S. Access to Intel
(Miami Herald – 5/25/17)


Conflicts of Interest


Despite Promise, Trump’s Business Offers Little Information About Foreign Profits
(Washington Post – 5/24/17)


Trump’s Trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy


Read the Embarrassing Scribbled Note Donald Trump Left at the Holocaust Memorial in Israel
(Daily KOS – 5/23/17)

With Gift and in Conversation, Vatican Presses Trump on Climate Change
(New York Times – 5/24/17)

Out of Step: G7 Leaders Take a Stroll, Trump Takes a Golf Cart
(The Times UK – 5/26/17)


International Relations


Following Trump’s Trip, Merkel Says Europe Can’t Rely on ‘Others.’ She Means the U.S.
(Washington Post – 5/28/17)


Ethics


White House Moves to Block Ethics Inquiry Into Ex-Lobbyists on Payroll
(New York Times – 5/22/17)

On Same Weekend as Record-Breaking Arms Deal, Saudis Announced $100 Million Donation to Ivanka Fund
(Daily KOS – 5/21/17)


 Keeping Track of the Basics:

Trump’s Cabinet Picks and Their Status in the Approval Process
(Full Article – The Atlantic)

Entire Trump Administration: Who’s Who
(Full Info – Real Clear Politics)

Ongoing Tracking of Trump-Russia Connections
(Compiled and updated by the office of US Representative Eric Swalwell, House Intelligence Committee)

Ongoing Tracking of Trump-Russia Connections
(Washington Post)

How Much Have Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Stays Cost Us So Far?
(Is Trump at Mar-a-Lago?)


Editorials


Satire: Trump Boasts that his Impeachment will Get Higher TV Ratings Than All Other Impeachments
(Andy Borowitz – New Yorker – 5/1217)

What Will Trump’s Fake-News Habit Mean in a Crisis?
(The Atlantic – 5/15/17)

Right-Wing Extremists are a Bigger Threat to America Than ISIS
(Newsweek – 2/4/16)

Mike Pence Wants us to Believe he’s Innocent. Don’t Buy it.
(Washington Post – 5/19/17)

 Donald Trump’s $10 Trillion Magic Asterisk
(Washington Post – 5/24/17)

The Enormity of Trump’s Scam is Coming into View
(Washington Post – 5/24/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


Melania Slaps Away President Trump’s Hand on Tel Aviv Tarmac at Start of Israel Trip
(New York Daily News – 5/22/17)

 

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Offers Advice to Donald Trump:

 

Posted on Facebook by “Oh Great, More Politics:”

Posted on Facebook by “Super Deluxe:”

Trump Pushes Prime Minister of Montenegro Aside – Posted by Tucson News Now:

Posted on Twitter by Christopher Cooper (NOT Photoshopped):

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Source: Unknown (but again … NOT Photoshopped):

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Source: Unknown (Photoshopped):

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Posted by Jens Böttiger:

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Cartoon by Steve Sack in Star Tribune:

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Cover of current issue of Mad Magazine:

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Events & Actions


Resources & Organizations


 

May 7 – 13, 2017

May 7 – 13, 2017

Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia


Donald Trump’s Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia
(Time – originally published 8/2/16, but extremely relevant to what is happening now)

Eric Trump Reportedly Bragged About Access to $100 Million in Russian Money
“We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
(Vanity Fair – 5/8/17)

White House Spokesperson: ‘Time to Move on’ from Russia Probes
(The Hill – 5/9/17)

McConnell Rejects Calls for Special Prosecutor
(Politico – 5/10/17)

With Awkward Timing, Trump Meets Top Russian Official
(New York Times – 5/10/17)

Presence of Russian Photographer in Oval Office Raises Alarms
(Washington Post – 5/10/17)


Sally Yates


Sally Yates Tells Senators She Warned Trump About Michael Flynn
(New York Times – 5/8/17)

Full Transcript: Sally Yates and James Clapper Testify on Russian Election Interference
(Washington Post – 5/8/17)

10 Important Questions Raised by Sally Yates’s Testimony on the ‘Compromised’ Michael Flynn
(Washington Post – 5/9/17)


Michael Flynn


Obama Warned Trump Against Hiring Mike Flynn, Say Officials
(NBC News – 5/8/17)

Senate Intel Panel Subpoenas Flynn for Docs in Russia Probe
(The Hill – 5/10/17)


James Comey


Comey’s Testimony on Huma Abedin Forwarding Emails Was Inaccurate
(Pro-Publica – 5/8/17)

FBI Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump
(New York Times – 5/9/17)

Days Before Firing, Comey Asked for More Resources for Russia Inquiry
(New York Times – 5/10/17)

Deputy AG Rosenstein was on the Verge of Resigning, Upset Over WH Pinning Comey Firing on Him
(ABC News – 5/11/17)

Trump Interview With Lester Holt: President Asked Comey If He Was Under Investigation
(NBC News – 5/11/17) (Partial Transcript: Real Clear Politics)

In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred.
(New York Times – 5/11/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Conflicts of Interest


Donald Trump’s Conflicts of Interests: A Crib Sheet
(The Atlantic – 4/24/17)

Kushner Family Stands to Gain From Visa Rules in Trump’s First Major Law
(New York Times – 5/8/17)

The Kushners Add to Trump’s Growing Conflicts of Interest: the Sister of Trump’s Top Adviser Just Pitched Her White House Connections to Chinese Investors
(Bloomberg – 5/8/17)

Trump In-Laws Promote Thorny Visa-for-Sale Program in China
(Washington Post – 5/8/17)


 Keeping Track of the Basics:


Editorials


Sean Spicer ‘Spent Several Minutes Hidden in the Bushes’
(MSNBC – 5/10/17)

Trump’s Know-Nothing Tour de Force
(Bloomberg – 5/11/17)

Innocent People Don’t Usually Act the Way Trump is Acting
(MSNBC – 5/10/17)

Clapper’s Remarks Constitute the Third Strike for Trump
(Washington Post – 5/12/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


Posted on Facebook by Now This – US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Firing of FBI Director James Comey:

Posted on Facebook by US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT):

MSNBC Interview with US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA):

Source: Unknown:

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Source: Unknown:

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Posted on Facebook by The Other 98%:

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Source: Unknown:

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This Week’s Blog Entry:

CoverImage-01

It’s Time for an Intervention in Washington DC (Part 3 of 3)


Events & Actions


Resources & Organizations


 

 

 

May 1 – 6, 2017

May 1 – 6, 2017

(Banana photo by Darkone)


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia


Senate Committee Asks Carter Page to Reveal Russian Contacts
(NBC News – 5/5/17)

Comey Reveals Few Details About State of Russia Inquiry
(CNN – Updated 5/4/17)


Mental illness


Donald Trump Just Gave Two Incredibly Bizarre (and Fact-Free) Interviews
(CNN – 5/1/17)

“It’s something that I think is frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”

President Donald Trump on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict


Healthcare


Republican Healthcare Pitch Built on a Foundation of Falsehoods
(MSNBC – 5/5/17)

Senate Won’t Vote on House-Passed Healthcare Bill
(Washington Examiner – 5/5/17)

What is in the Republican Health-care Bill? Questions and Answers on Preexisting Conditions, Medicaid and More
(Washington Post – 5/4/17)

50 Health Issues That Count as a Pre-existing Condition
(Time Magazine – 5/4/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Separation of Church and State


Trump Signs Order Aimed at Allowing Churches to Engage in More Political Activity
(Washington Post – 5/4/17)


Immigration


Sen. Bob Casey Unleashes Tweetstorm at White House
(Pittsburgh Post Gazette – 5/3/17)


Relations with Dictators


Trump’s ‘Very Friendly’ Talk With Duterte Stuns Aides and Critics Alike
(New York Times – 4/30/17)

President Trump Says he Would be ‘Honored’ to Meet with North Korean Dictator
(Washington Post – 5/1/17)

“We’ve never lived in a Third World banana republic. I don’t mean that gratuitously. I mean the reality is he is governing as if he is the President of a Third World country: power is held by family and incompetent loyalists whose main calling card is the fact that Donald Trump can trust them, not whether they have any expertise.”

Jerry Taylor, President
Niskanen Center (Libertarian think tank)
(The New Yorker – 5/8/17)


US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross


Wilbur Ross Says Syria Missile Strike Was ‘After-Dinner Entertainment’ at Mar-a-Lago
(Variety – 5/1/17)


 Keeping Track of the Basics:


Editorials


Trump has a Dangerous Disability
George F. Will, Conservative Columnist
(Washington Post – 5/4/17)

“His fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind. Americans have placed vast military power at the discretion of this mind.”

George F. Will, Conservative Columnist
(Washington Post – 5/4/17)


When is it Okay to Say the President Might be Nuts?
Jennifer Rubin
(Washington Post – 5/2/17)

How Trump Could Get Fired
(The New Yorker – 5/8/17)

“He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t do drugs. His drug is himself.”

Sam Nunberg
2016 Trump Campaign Adviser
(The New Yorker – 5/8/17)


Elizabeth Warren: Obama was Wrong. The System is More Rigged Than You Know.

(Vox – 4/26/17)


Alternative Facts from an Alternative Universe

Self-selecting our news sources, a reluctance to hear opposing ideas, and the choice by many of us to surround ourselves only with like-minded individuals has resulted in many Americans becoming oblivious to the beliefs of those with whom they disagree. This bubble helped create the world of “alternative facts” in which Donald Trump could become President.

To counter this, each week I will present a little of what Trump’s supporters are thinking. Their reality may be very different from yours. Please listen/read to the end, and consider what respectful questions you could ask to better understand and have a conversation, rather than seeking to prove them wrong as quickly as possible and shut them down. We can’t change minds if we can’t talk to each other.

Meet the Evangelicals Who Still Love Trump
(Think Progress – 5/5/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


Fake Trump interview with Stephen Colbert:

Late Night host Seth Meyers rants about Trumpcare:

Posted on Facebook by Partnership for Responsible Growth:

Source –unknown:

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Posted on Facebook by Alan Spindle:

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Source –unknown:

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Events & Actions


Resources & Organizations