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Something that puzzles me greatly 

Donald Trump ran not only to “Make America Great Again” but to “Make America SAFE Again”.

But he doesn’t take intelligence briefings on a daily basis and he doesn’t believe the CIA.

Also, threats of terrorism and terrorist acts have subsided over the last couple of months. It seems unusually calm after the turmoil of the last year with Paris attacks and Belgium.

If acts of terrorism are more likely to occur during transition periods, what’s in store for us next year?

And what would Trump do about it?  I mean, other than blame the victims.


Ok, well, that was a sunny, positive thought!  Have a nice day!

Another something:

I’m reading the new Michael Lewis book, The Undoing Project. Chapter three explains exactly how Trump won the presidency. It’s the chapter on the Tversky similarity index and decision making. There’s no math in the book as far as I can tell and the similarity index is easy to understand. The pharmaceutical industry relies on it and the tanimoto similarity index when doing data analysis on high throughout screening of compounds for activity against protein targets. Ok, gettin too geeky here.

Anyway, after this chapter I put the blame on the press. Yup. Can’t get around it. They took the ill gotten booty and published it. They made a BFD over the FBI probe of Hillary’s email and the Comey Letter.

Yes, Russia hacked. Yes, the Republicans highjacked the FBI. Yes, yes, yes, the Trump campaign was complicit in both. But it wouldn’t have gone anywhere if the media had not been determined to have an exciting photofinish by creating a false equivalency. Some of this has already been said but it’s HOW it was done and how Americans’ decision making process was manipulated that makes this seem like a really stupid move by the media or just malicious.

Someone once told me to never confuse malice with stupidity. If that’s my working hypothesis then my conclusion is that the vast majority of media “journalists” and “editors” need to be fired.  We can’t have this shit and operate as a free Democracy.

They’re responsible.



53 Responses

  1. It would not surprise me if Trump was receiving secret Russian Intel before every act of terrorism. Russia didn’t have to do the terrorism, they just needed to let Trump know about it. I recall his timing on the terrorist acts during the republican debates was uncanny.
    There are rumors of a secret Russian Server between Trump and Russia. That would be the perfect way to avoid the NSA and being hacked.
    And maybe Trump trusts his daily Russian Intel more than he does the CIA or FBI.

    • Kinda hard for Russia to know what ISIS is planning in Paris. And if Trump did find out from the Russians ahead of time and didn’t notify the French, then what does that say about Trump?
      I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

      • Russia’s intel is probably equivalent or better to the U.S. I base that on the premise that there are more Russians who know how to speak and write in English than English people who know how to speak and write in Russian.
        The other frustrating issue is, it’s really about Comey right now and why he is hiding out. Comey has yet to answer questions about why he did what he did in late October and the second email conference.
        Obama wants us to move forward, which is exactly how those in power manipulate the masses.

  2. His motto should be Make Russia Great Again.

  3. The quiet before the storm….oh, it’s coming – just hoping my loved ones are not in its path.

  4. Just came to me that if the Electoral College rejects Trump in favor of someone else, it’s going to be like an abortion.
    All we’re going to feel is relief. Nobody on either side is going to end up happy.

    • I don’t think they’ll have the guts to get rid of Trump. The GOP has signed on with Putin and his agenda.

      • We’ll see. We don’t know the end of the story yet.
        Hope for a eucatastrophe.

        • I would feel like a 10 ton barrel was lifted off my chest if the EC did the right thing and got rid of an obviously unqualified mentally unstable Putin stooge.

  5. Obama says there’s going to be action against the Russian hacking… unless he’s going to tell the American public how illegitimate our president elect is and tell the electors not to vote for him I see no real retaliation that would be satisfactory at this point. The media continues dropping the ball on this. They spent weeks legitimizing and normalizing him as our president elect when they should’ve been raising real questions about the hacking and the voter suppression. Now we are finally hearing about the hack only days before the electoral vote. I’m tired of them perpetuating a state of constant suspension of disbelief and shock.

    • Agree on every point…

    • Obama speaking at around 2 EST today. Not holding out hope for him. He’s on his way to Hawaii. Just read of (1) the NC GOP attempting to gut the legislative powers of the incoming Democratic governor (unprecedented) in advance; and (2) the Chinese capturing an unmanned Navy vessel in the South China Sea today. And So It Begins.

  6. SHOCK and AWE are next. While we’re paying attention to that crazy man over there, the repubs are going to spend the first 100 days repealing every progressive government action over the last 45?– well, have to go back to FDR. Maybe even Teddy — many years.

  7. Don’t be so sure it was the Russians. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:


    • The idiot that is saying that is our SOS who is a conspiracy theorist. What happened was DHS asked if they could check for hacking and Kemp declined. So since he wouldn’t go along DHS tested the equipment from the outside to verify for hacks etc.

  8. I don’t mind better relations with Russia, I mind that James Comey literally reversed the Rebounding popularity of Hillary Clinton and gave the Republican party renewed hope, which then led to Sheldon Andelson’s last minute 25 million dollar attack ad against Hillary Clinton in the battle ground states.
    I thought FEC law prevented last minute infusion of money of that amount unless it was reported 30 days in advance.

  9. Well, obama certainly did not disappoint.

    • Not you or me.

    • Leadership is not in Obama’s DNA. He is tall and personable and photogenic. I expect that we might appreciate his overall caution more after the Reign of Tweet Terror grabs us. Obama does have the ability to think, concentrate, hold thoughts. Hardly on the same level as a Clinton, but no one in the office in my lifetime is as low on the cognitive thinking scale as Trump. [Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal: Trump has a 200-word vocabulary, the attention span of a gnat, and have never read a book in his adult life.]

      The Clintons have to analyze as they speak about how what they say will be interpreted and misinterpreted and distorted. Hillary as a woman has to be careful as to her tone of voice and facial expressions.

  10. He clearly just wanted to hop on a plane and be off on his wonderfully expensive vacation for which the taxpayers will pay. He could have at least challenged Putin to a pinky fight… nah, he might exhert himself.

    • It’s not a matter of exertion. I’m sure he works very hard. You have to if you’re not really cut out for the job. It’s very inefficient. Like a SOHC engine climbing Mount Everest. He’s smart but he’s not a natural politician. It makes him feel oogy. But he’s stability right now and we need him to be alert until the end of his term. So, I don’t begrudge him a tax payer sponsored vacation in Hawaii. All presidents deserve that.
      Except for Trump who I predict will spend very little time doing politics and a whole lot of time self-dealing.

      • I respectfully disagree on all points except for “not really cut out for the job” and Trump. Last year’s Christmas holiday reportedly hit about $5 million. I have no doubt Trump will trump that.

        • Let it go. It’s a grueling job and no matter where he goes, he requires an entourage. At least he’s not charging the Secret Service rent like Trump is.

          • RD: I don’t begrudge him vacation time but the annual trek to Hawaii eight years in a row pisses me off. Has any other president traveled so far for the holidays? I read somewhere that this family tradition became a tradition when he entered the WH. I also read that many recent presidents chose to stay in DC or go to Camp David for the holidays to allow their staff more time with their families. Yes, he certainly is entitled to vacation time, but it is after all at taxpayer expense at a unique time of year and it is apparently without consideration for the additional impact on personnel that have to accompany him. I know it is their job to be with him, but it seems selfish to me when the Obamas can have an extravagant Christmas vacation in or closer to DC with a lower price tag and a kind, appreciative gesture for their staff. Also, wherever the President and his family go, it adversely impacts the locals, for good reason, yes, but it has to be a pain in the ass to modify their activities so he can enjoy his.

  11. Yes, the media is the biggest villain, if only in the sense that they act as the mirror which reflects everything back to the public. They were the ones who simply would not stop writing and talking about emails, when there was truly nothing there. They mostly ignored the stories of Trump colluding with Russia,, the many conflicts of interest. They dropped the tax returns issue. They showed almost every Trump rally in full. They never discussed Hillary’s economic ideas, of which there are many.

    The problem of course is, this is the media. They are almost totally owned and run by far Right corporatists. They were not just somehow missing the stories, they were deliberately trying to damage Hillary. The journalists did it for sport; and their corporate owners did it for partisanship and profits. And so not surprisingly, they are now trying to normalize and elevate Trump.

    The Democrats have been afraid of the media for many years; they know that the media will always spin the story against them. They are the ones who are supposed to compromise, while Republicans do not have to. Hillary had to be perfect, which no one is. Trump could get away with almost anything. This isn’t going to change. Unless some Democratic billiionaires start their own networks, the media is another enemy. They are not on our side, as we thought back in the Murrow and Cronkite eras. They distort the images of reality for their own ends. People have to somehow work to make the country better without reference or even consideration for what the media might say. That is obviously hard to do in this era. But the fictional “mad prophet of the airwaves,” Howard Beale, was even more correct now, than he was in the ’70’s. At least turn off CNN and Fox, and MSNBC except maybe for the 5-8 pm shows. And don’t read surreptitious right-wimg sites like Politico and The Hill, and Real Clear Politics, among others. The media is just another arm of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that Hillary tried to warn the nation about, and Obama appeared to try to pretend did not exist.

    • Yes, they did it. But it was HOW they did it that spells out exactly why Hillary lost. Get Michael Lewis’s book at you will have the same “Oh Shit!” Moment that I did on the bus this morning.
      I’ll try to break it down this weekend. It’s a psychological manipulation that played on people’s’ ability to make decisions. They knew what they were doing but they didn’t count on the Comey letter. So, they were both stupid and complicit.
      The product was excellent. She was cruising to victory after the debates because once they were on stage together, the trick didn’t work, the fog lifted and the choice was clear.
      So yeah, the media did her in by making the race too close and Comey finished her off.

  12. William: Not sure of your time zone but re MSNBC, Maddow at 9PM (EST) has been very informative lately, O’Donnell at 10 PM and Joy Reid on weekend mornings are also good at addressing the Trump circus as it marches on. My main criticism of these three is that they are all avid Obama lovers, he can do no wrong. Hillary, not so much, but they all see the danger in the Reign of Trump Magnus.

    Looking forward to RD’s graphic on reliable news sources, we need that info more than ever given what is at stake.

    • It’s a little harder to post in the morning because I get up at 5 to get to work by 7. To do an in depth post takes time. I would have to get up at 4. But I have a backlog of posts in my head.
      You know what would be nice? It would be nice to write columns for the Times, WaPo, The Atlantic, the New Yorker. I really need an editor.

      • If I were you, I’d contact Krugman and send some sample posts. Who knows? Dowd should be sent to a shrink for years of CDS treatment–her topic was always a try to “kill off” the Clintons; now Trump said she couldn’t call him–she treated him “too rough.” What other content does she have. ?

      • Yikes RD your schedule would kill me now. I did it when I was in my forties so I can sympathize. Must be tough keeping up with that mind of yours! Anything you write is worth waiting for.

        • {{rolling eyes}}
          Jeez. I’m a nobody in the southwest. Southwest, PA, that is. I have no illusions that I’m brilliant in any way.
          It’s just that some of the opinion writers and journalists at the best sites out there seem pretty mediocre to me but they benefit from an editor.
          I hate to edit.

          • What do you mean by editing? Copy edit, simple proofing? I don’t see that you need a structural edit or that your thoughts need organizing. I have an editing background.

          • You’re just being nice. I honestly have a hard time reading my stuff later. I see a lot of thoughts that weren’t written with the clarity I had in mind. My fingers have a mind of their own when it comes to prepositions. I mix metaphors, get tripped up by homonyms and my verbs and nouns don’t always match. It’s cringeworthy.
            And it’s been annoying as all hell to have my hair on fire for eight years only to have the left avoid me because I paid attention and don’t get swept away by trends.
            There are blogs that actually provide a living for their writers. But they get many more unique hits and are on everyone’s blog roll. That’s not going to happen here.

          • No need to roll your eyes at me, RD, I couldn’t do what you do, and it is the content of your posts and the perspective that you provide that I enjoy reading. You can’t write as fast as you think or you don’t have the time or the inclination to get an A from the English teacher, but the need for better editing is both understandable and forgivable and certainly not a deterrent to coming here. You may not consider yourself to be “brilliant” but you have a fine mind and you are not afraid to use it! Plus, it may be the geek in you, but you are very observant and analytically inclined. You pick up things other people don’t see.

          • I haven’t noticed that you need an editor, but everyone does in a way. I have to print what I write and put it away for at least two days in order to see it with new eyes. We don’t read every letter, more like a gestalt of letters. Reviewing on a screen is hard.

            If you want to tackle prepositions, highlight all of them in an essay of yours and evaluate each one. Keep doing that until what you want becomes automatic.

            As for subject-verb agreement the main problem is those pesky prepositional phrases that intervene between the subject noun and verb. The object (noun) of a preposition is not supposed to agree with the verb. The subject agrees with the verb. Note each propositional phrase and then mark the subject and verb of the sentence.

            Mixed metaphors can be very creative! Try to visualize the yoking you have made. Homonyms stand out upon a second reading when the content isn’t as familiar. For the best writing, get it down fast, then edit, edit, edit.

            But you don’t have to edit at all because it’s your blog. I’m pretty picky and grammatical problems in the New York Times really bug me–I wonder if they still have copy editors, but I have no memory of anything you have written that jumps out at me. If you have time, you might want to rework posts into an essay format and publish, even self publish to gain a wider audience. I think Maureen Dowd might have run out of content now that the Clintons are offstage and Orange Tweeter isn’t taking her calls because she’s been “too rough.”

    • Thanks, yes; I was referring to PST, where I would watch Hayes at 5, then Maddow and O’Donnell during the campaign. At this point, I don’t have the heart to watch any of them, though I have indeed heard that Maddow and Reid have been good. But during the campaign, those three shows were the only times i turned on the cable news, except for Hillary rallies, and post-debate reviews. And then the election night, of course. Nothing since. Maybe at some point I’ll want to watch some of those shows, but not for several months. However, I agree that those are the only ones worth watching; the rest is (from what I have read) just awful, and has been.

  13. I was expecting that there weren’t enough Deplorables who would fall for Trump and his raison d’être Birtherism. I waited for someone of integrity high in the Republican Party to expose Trump for Birtherism and declare his campaign laughable. A catastrophic loss against Clinton would have been good for the Republican Party. A chance to reflect and restructure. I suppose it can’t because the Dark Money of Koch & DeVos & Schaife, et. al. has remade the party in its desired Libertarian image–tax cuts for the wealthiest and no regulations. Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy was predicated on getting the Dixiecrat South, other than A-As, to flip. Racism could find a home in the other party. Reagan gave his first post-nomination speech in Philadelphia, MS, infamous for the killing of Civil Rights workers during Mississippi Summer.

    It seems inconceivable that Trump can function at the required level of President for a day, much less for a year. A failed Presidency would return Congress to Democrats in 2018. Impeachment would be disruptive enough to cause some party soul searching, although maybe not much. Trump is an outsider.

    • CB, Trump is a useful idiot for Putin and a useful tool for his party. It has been a man made perfect storm. They all can and will do a lot of self serving damage long before 2018. What if the damage is irreversible given our adversaries? Look how fast the Repubs are grabbing power in NC. As to soul searching, I am convinced that the Republican Party has no soul or heart. The Democratic Party has no spine or the devious cunning necessary to beat them.

      Has any one seen the new movie Miss Sloan with Jessica Chastain? From the trailer, it appears she takes on the NRA and wins. Maybe life can imitate art…

  14. Trump’s win is America’s tragedy… http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38344175 This is a good one, and sobering (shudder).

  15. As per Friday:
    Hillary: 65,844,594 votes

    2,864,978 more votes…

    135,022 short to make it to 3 million more votes…

    She definitely as a mandate and a saying…

    • Do you really find his tweets that interesting anymore? I think the shock and anger factor has worn off. Now, he’s just another pathetic right wing troll on twitter who is in love with himself. I ain’t got time for that.

  16. Electors under siege

    Members of the Electoral College votes have been inundated by harassing phone calls and hate mail. Many report receiving death threats.


  17. From William: “At least turn off CNN and Fox, and MSNBC except maybe for the 5-8 pm shows. And don’t read surreptitious right-wimg sites like Politico and The Hill, and Real Clear Politics, among others. The media is just another arm of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that Hillary tried to warn the nation about, and Obama appeared to try to pretend did not exist.”

    I don’t give the screaming cables a cent. They should pay me to watch the string of ads and scripted hysterics. I am watching Maddow segments online. Comes on 9 PM EST but that entails a subscription. Segments are viewable sometime later with an initial ad. I think was overloaded by ads by the time I stopped watching TV at 13 (too boring). I’m immune.


    Are Politico and The Hill right wing? Real Clear Politics doesn’t hide its conservative bias. I used to think highly of Frontline, but the Presidential Choice 2016 program was a subtle hit piece on Hillary, or am I just paranoid at this point?


  18. I am reduced to hoping that the CIA will somehow save us.

  19. “Tanimoto Similarity Index” sounds like the title of a manga or anime. 😛

  20. Some have move on…
    but it’s good to learn the specifics of the recount petion outcome and learn what we are against up…

    As lead counsel in Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s quest to have votes recounted in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, we have been in court for the past two weeks trying to verify the integrity of the election and make sure that no one hacked our democracy. Some have cast Stein as a spoiler, or alleged that the recounts were futile because they didn’t change who won the election.

    But the recount would be futile only if we, as Americans, ignored the lessons of the past weeks and preserved the status quo that is our broken voting system.

    To start, we must recognize that what we saw in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were recounts in name only. Though more than 161,000 people across the nation donated to the effort — and millions more demanded it with their voices — every imaginable financial, legal and political obstacle was thrown in the way of the recounts.

    In Michigan, a state court shut down the recount after only three days. In Wisconsin, instead of hand-counting all paper ballots — the “gold standard” of election auditing — many ballots were fed into the same electronic machines used on Election Day, producing the same potentially faulty results.

    In Pennsylvania, the state’s labyrinthine election system erected insurmountable barriers to even beginning a recount, requiring 27,474 voters in 9,158 districts to bring notarized petitions to county election boards, in time for shifting, divergent and secret deadlines. One court demanded that the 100-plus voters who petitioned for a recount post a $1 million bond to move forward with their case.

    See more details on:

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