Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney emerges as a key player in Trump’s attempts to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine.

By |2019-10-16T11:24:00-08:00October 16th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , |42 Comments

So now this can no longer be considered a rogue enterprise since the White House is now identified as being deeply involved. 

Courtesy of WaPo

In late May, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney organized a meeting that stripped control of the country’s relationship with Ukraine from those who had the most expertise at the National Security Council and the State Department.

Instead, Mulvaney put an unlikely trio in charge of managing the U.S.-Ukraine account amid worrisome signs of a new priority, congressional officials said Tuesday: pressuring the fledgling government in Kiev to deliver material that would be politically valuable to President Trump.

The work of those “three amigos,” as they came to call themselves — diplomats Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker, plus Energy Secretary Rick Perry — has come to light in recent days through newly disclosed text messages and the testimony of government witnesses appearing before an impeachment inquiry in Congress.

But Mulvaney’s connections to the administration’s troubled interactions with Ukraine are also beginning to surface. Mulvaney’s role in enlisting Sondland and the others to take over relations with Ukraine was revealed Tuesday in testimony by George Kent, the State Department’s Ukraine expert, according to Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), who participated in the closed-door hearing before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees.

And that is not all as revealed by the New York Times:

Mr. Mulvaney has insisted that his role in the fallout from the Ukraine matter was limited to following presidential directives and setting up the call with Mr. Zelensky, at the urging of Mr. Sondland and Rick Perry, the secretary of energy. Mr. Mulvaney, who did not listen in on the discussion, had a top deputy on the call, who flagged no concerns.

But Mr. Mulvaney was involved in the effort to freeze $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine ahead of the July call. Mr. Trump directed him days ahead of the call to place a hold on the aid.

Mr. Mulvaney has told associates that the administration paused the aid to try to push Ukraine to more robustly fight corruption, not in connection with pressuring Ukraine to uncover dirt on of Mr. Trump’s political rivals. Since releasing the transcript last month, the White House has tried to cast its pressure campaign as itself an anticorruption effort, though to little effect.

Okay so now we have Rick Perry and Mick Mulvaney, both members of the Trump Administration, identified as being a part of this effort to pressure Ukraine into manufacturing lies to help Donald Trump to defeat Joe Biden, if he were to win the nomination, in 2020.

I don’t see either Rick Perry or Mick Mulvaney voluntarily going to jail to protect Trump.

So in a word he is fucked. 

About the Author:

This blog is dedicated to finding the truth, exposing the lies, and holding our politicians and leaders accountable when they fall far short of the promises that they have made to both my fellow Alaskans and the American people.

42 Comments

  1. White Rabbit October 16, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    They’ll all flip, including that nutcase Rudy G.

    Trump’s viciousness and madness were off the charts today. I’m praying he has that stroke tonight. Covering that for you, Gryph.

  2. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Internet laughs off press secretary’s claims of presidential calm: ‘How often has Trump struck you as ‘measured’

    President Donald Trump isn’t exactly known for being calm or measured, but that’s what his White House is claiming he was during a meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders.

    Hmm… what to believe? That a self proclaimed tough guy with a big mouth and penchant for insults had a meltdown and hurled insults…

    …or that a professional, experienced US Rep. who has shown a measured response in tough situations, walked out for no reason.

    Tough call.🤔

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/internet-laughs-off-press-secretarys-claims-of-presidential-calm-how-often-has-trump-struck-you-as-measured/

    • Anon October 17, 2019 at 2:05 am

      I was aghast that in the Rose garden Trump had signs mounted on his podium advertising no obstruction, no collusion and cost of the Mueller investigation. Fact: it is an expensive process to investigate, arrest, have trials and convict Trump’s “loyal” complicit partners in crime. Obstruction prolongs the process increasing the expenses also.

      • Anonymous October 17, 2019 at 5:25 am

        How much did they waste investigating and reinvestigating and reinvestigating BENGHAZI?

  3. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Trump Is Now Bombing America’s Own Base In Syria As Turkey Takes Over

    Under Donald Trump’s reckless leadership, the United States is now bombing its own base in Syria as Turkish forces prepare to take it over.

    The stunning move comes in the wake of the president’s abrupt and widely condemned decision to pull U.S. troops out of the region and give the green light for Turkey to slaughter the Kurds.

    On his program on Wednesday night, an exasperated Chris Hayes explained the situation: “We bombed our own headquarters in the fight against ISIS because they were about to be taken over by Turkish backed forces.”

    Video:

    Chris Hayes explains how things in Syria are hitting rock bottom after Trump handed the region over to Turkey, Russia and ISIS. #ctl #p2 pic.twitter.com/FQq2asdalo

    — PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) October 17, 2019

    Hayes said:

    This is how bad things have gotten in the wake of Donald Trump’s decision to abruptly – with no warning – pull U.S. Troops out of northern Syria and give Turkish strongman Recep Erdoğanone the green light to invade. Today, the U.S. was forced to bomb its own base. Here’s how The Wall Street Journal described it: Our military, quote, carried out air strikes to destroy the Syrian headquarters of the American campaign to destroy ISIS after rapidly pulling Americans from the base.’ We bombed our own headquarters in the fight against ISIS because they were about to be taken over by Turkish backed forces.

    For a wannabe strongman, Trump is a weak commander-in-chief

    For a man who swaggers around as though he’s the toughest leader that has ever graced the planet, Donald Trump is proving himself to be the weakest commander-in-chief this country has ever seen.

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/10/16/trump-bombing-america-base-syria-turkey-takes-over.html

    • Anonymous October 17, 2019 at 5:27 am

      Moral must be very low in the military right now, putting their lives on the line and the idiot in the WH unravels everything.

  4. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    Rachel Maddow Drops Another Article Of Impeachment On Trump’s Sinking Presidency

    …..First, Trump’s crime to extort a foreign power into giving him dirt on a domestic political opponent. Second is the cover-up of that crime.

    “You could see them impeaching, you know, tomorrow, on the crime itself, and the effort to cover it up,” Maddow said. “But now it is clear that something else is evolving out of these initial claims.”

    That “something else,” according to Maddow, relates to concerns coming from inside Trump’s national security apparatus that the president poses an active counter-intelligence threat to the United States.

    Video:

    Maddow says the Ukraine scheme cooked up by Donald Trump stretches beyond the two main articles of impeachment already being discussed. #ctl #p2 #maddow pic.twitter.com/vTsqyn0sfb

    — PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) October 17, 2019

    Maddow said:

    “In addition to that reporting, that Hill and Bolton believed the scheme involving Ukraine was criminal, according to this new report in The New York Times, Fiona Hill also believed there was a national security risk here and she brought these concerns about the counterintelligence risk of this scheme to intelligence officials inside the White House. So, this looks like a crime. It gets referred by multiple Trump-appointed officials to the Justice Department for criminal investigation. Bill Barr shuts that down. Inside the national security council, they believe it is a crime. They talk to White House lawyers about it. That doesn’t appear to go anywhere. But now we have learned that inside the national security council, they also believe this was a national security risk and a counterintelligence danger. And that was reported to intelligence officials inside the White House. And that appears to be the new plot that is opening up now. I mean, if the House wants to impeach Trump for trying to wheedle a foreign government into giving him help against his Democratic opponents in the next election, they’ve got that already, right? That is done and dusted. To the extent that there was a cover-up, an effort to cover up that crime in the White House, a lot of that evidence is already fairly clear as well. You could imagine they could very easily draw up an article of impeachment about the crime of trying to use a foreign government to help in his election. That’s one article. Another article can be the cover-up. The hiding of the notes from the president’s call to Ukraine. Hiding them in this super secret server so few people could access those notes. The effort to keep the whistle-blower’s complaint about the call from being passed on to Congress or investigated at the Justice Department. All of that stuff is fairly clear as well. You could see them impeaching, you know, tomorrow, on the crime, itself, and the effort to cover it up. But now it is clear that something else is evolving out of these initial claims.”

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/10/16/maddow-drops-another-article-impeachment-trump-sinking-presidency.html

  5. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Joe Biden Describes Trump As An Out-Of-Control Toddler After White House Meltdown

    ….Biden said:

    “Donald Trump, I believe is – and it’s not comfortable to say this about a president – but he is a complete failure, a complete failure as commander-in-chief. And he’s the most reckless and incompetent commander-in-chief we have ever had and he’s failed repeatedly. He doesn’t understand, part of it is he’s just incompetent. No, I really mean that. He’s just incompetent. But he repeatedly fails to foresee the consequences of impulses, and they’re impulses that he has not based on any theory. And when the utterly predictable occurs, he seems not to care. He blames somebody else. It’s always somebody else’s fault. The buck never stops at his desk in his view. Talks with North Korea collapsing because they were based on nothing more than a delusional promise by a bloody dictator which he was prepared to accept. Erratic trade war with China caused huge pain, including here in Iowa. 160 workers in the Quad City laid off indefinitely at Deere, not to mention the pain it’s caused for manufacturing. Virtually no gain at all in the strategy. Iran growing more and more provocative, restarting its nuclear program because Donald Trump chose to renege on a diplomatic agreement with the world powers, including our allies, on an agreement that was working.”

    The timing of Biden’s speech couldn’t have been better

    The timing of Joe Biden’s speech about Donald Trump’s shortcomings as commander-in-chief couldn’t have come at a better time.

    Earlier in the day, Democrats were forced to end a meeting on the situation in Syria because Trump couldn’t keep himself from throwing a tantrum. In the White House meltdown, the president called Nancy Pelosi a “third-rate politician” and launched into a bizarre “diatribe” about communists and ISIS.

    As the impeachment inquiry rages on and Trump faces backlash over his reckless decision to let Turkey slaughter the Kurds in Syria, he is becoming dangerous and out of control.“

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/10/16/biden-describes-trump-out-of-control-toddler-white-house-meltdown.html

    • Anon October 17, 2019 at 1:57 am

      Biden nailed Trump’s consistent patterns of behavior.

  6. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was stone-cold serious on Wednesday as she told the country to pray for Donald Trump’s health after she and other Democrats witnessed what they called a “very serious meltdown” during a White House meeting that was supposed to be about the crisis in Syria.

    Pelosi said Trump was triggered during the meeting when she expressed her concern over the president constantly making decisions that benefit Russia and Vladimir Putin.

    “I have concerns about all roads leading to Putin,” the House Speaker said. “That seemed to have angered the president.”

    Video:

    PELOSI on Trump: “I think now we have to pray for his health. Because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president.” pic.twitter.com/ckhNSeDmrG

    — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 16, 2019

    Pelosi said:

    I pray for the president all the time and I tell him that. I pray for his safety and that of his family. Now we have to pray for his health because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president. I expressed my appreciation for what our troops have done in Syria and, by all accounts from the generals, they have just really done the job very well that he’s now pulling out. The explanation for that is what we asked for all members of the House to hear and that was supposed to be tomorrow but then they somehow postponed it today. My concern that I expressed to the president is that Russia has for a long time always wanted to have a foothold in the Middle East and now he has enabled that to happen and I have concerns about all roads leading to Putin, whether it’s a foothold in the Middle East, whether it’s placing in doubt any military assistance to Ukraine, which is to the benefit of Putin, whether it’s placing in doubt our commitment to NATO, Article 5, which again all roads lead to Putin. The list goes on and on. That seemed to have angered the president.

    Trump is increasingly unwell

    Most of the country recognized when Donald Trump was just a candidate for president that he was unfit to be commander-in-chief. His conduct over the past three years has only confirmed that.

    But in recent weeks, his behavior has taken an increasingly dangerous downward spiral. He isn’t just unpredictable and erratic, but he is out of control.

    There was a time when Trump’s conduct was just laughable. But his rapidly declining mental health in recent weeks is no laughing matter.

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/10/16/pelosi-tells-nation-pray-for-trump-health-after-meltdown.html

    • Anonymous October 16, 2019 at 8:32 pm

      You can’t tell me trump has normal blood pressure and Bernie is the one that had the heart attack.

      • Anon October 17, 2019 at 1:54 am

        People who have no compassion, no empathy and are afflicted with self delusion that the consequences of their words and actions are all the fault of someone else evading consequences have an advantage medically.

  7. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Lies busted!

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) debunked the big Republican lie that impeachment is being done in secret without Republican involvement.

    Schiff wrote in an update to his House colleagues on the impeachment investigation:

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/10/16/schiff-gop-big-impeachment-lie.html

  8. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    Maddow outlines how Giuliani and his arrested pals seem to be leading back to a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch

    ….Maddow said that according to U.S. prosecutors, Firtash is linked to Russian organized crime, and is currently fighting extradition to the U.S. on very serious corruption charges that are now stalled. She noted that it was interesting that Firtash was easily extradited to Austria to face corruption charges there, but somehow the United States can’t make it work so he can be charged.

    “Who knows if William Barr’s Justice Department will ever figure out to get him here to face charges,” Maddow said. “In the Southern District of New York, a counterintelligence investigation is reportedly underway into whether or not this was a foreign influence operation designed to influence or harm or leverage the U.S. government. That counterintelligence investigation appears to, in part, be about the president’s personal lawyer who was sort of running point on this scheme.”

    She said that it appears the investigation touches some of the people also involved in the foreign influence on U.S. elections.

    Kenneth McCallion, the attorney who represented the former Ukranian Prime Minister then told Maddow that it seems that Giuliani’s associates wanted to get more Trump-friendly people on the boards of Ukranian oil and gas companies and were working with Republicans in Texas like former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) to do it.

    All of this adds up to the news that Giuliani is now also part of a counterintelligence investigation, along with criminal campaign finance charges.

    Watch the intro from Maddow and her interview with McCallion below:

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/maddow-outlines-how-giuliani-and-his-arrested-pals-seem-to-be-leading-back-to-a-corrupt-ukrainian-oligarch/

  9. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Trump accused of working to ‘obstruct his own impeachment’ by congressional attorneys: report

    ….“A president with the power to obstruct his own impeachment through capacious grants of absolute immunity would be a president who is above the law,” wrote House lawyers. “If the president could deprive the committee of information required for its impeachment inquiry into his own misconduct, the president could potentially thwart his accountability for that conduct.”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/trump-accused-of-working-to-obstruct-his-own-impeachment-by-congressional-attorneys-report/

  10. Anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    impeachment and conviction isn’t enough, he needs to go to prison for treason

    LOCK HIM UP with all of his cohorts and throw away the key

    Put them in GITMO with the rest of the terrorists!!

  11. Anonymous October 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    The most disgusting part of all this is the republicans are still against impeachment and they had the audacity to impeach Clinton for lying about an consensual affair.

    Trump is selling our democracy down the river and all we heard from the GOP is silence, is the whole party on board with putin? I am beginning to think so.

  12. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    G, I thought you’d want to see and comment on this.

    Megyn Kelly demands NBC release Matt Lauer accusers from their NDAs, slams anti-Trump liberals, debuts new tousled ‘do and claims she left TV to raise her kids (but makes no mention of that blackface scandal)

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7582245/Megyn-Kelly-demands-NBC-release-Matt-Lauer-accusers-NDAs-debuts-new-Fox-News.html

    • anon October 17, 2019 at 7:39 am

      aka Matt Letcher

      Joe Miller’s cousin

  13. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Soooo sad 😢

    Children of war flee as a rabble army of Syrian rebels backed by Turkey sweeps in, writes LARISA BROWN from the border between the two countries

    A ragtag ‘army’ of Syrian rebels backed by Turkey advanced on key border towns yesterday as they continued their push to crush the Kurdish forces who helped defeat Islamic State.

    Brandishing their AK-47 and M16 rifles in the air, the self-styled Syrian National Army (SNA) – a mishmash of troops from various Syrian opposition groups – paraded victoriously through the streets of Ras al-Ayn.

    Fierce battles, now in their eighth day, forced hundreds of thousands of Kurdish civilians to flee the town and others on the front line. Women and children were put aboard lorries in Kobane to take them to safety away from the fighting.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7581685/Children-war-flee-rabble-army-Syrian-rebels-backed-Turkey-sweeps-in.html

    US military had to bomb our own base in Syria because of Trump’s mistakes — and one Republican is furious

    President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw in Syria in less than 24 hours put American troops at risk as they were being fired on by Turkey. However, according to the Wall Street Journal , the military was also forced to bomb our own military base.

    Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who has been critical of Trump’s decisions in the past months, pointed out the factoid in a tweet Wednesday evening, asking, “Is this the America you grew up believing in?”

    “Wow. We bombed our own base on purpose, because of the impulsive decision by @realDonaldTrump didn’t leave time to evacuate the right way. Is this the America you grew up believing in?”

    pic.twitter.com/r7l2l80wLZ

    — Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) October 17, 2019

    “On Wednesday, the U.S. military said two F-15E jet fighters carried out an airstrike to destroy an ammunition-storage facility, latrines, tents and other parts of the Syria headquarters of the American campaign to destroy Islamic State after pulling its forces from the base,” reported The Journal.

    According to Col. Myles Caggins, spokesperson for the coalition, the airstrikes were to “reduce the facility’s military usefulness.”

    As Kinzinger noted, because Trump’s decision was made so quickly, the U.S. couldn’t pull out of the facilities the proper way.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/us-military-had-to-bomb-our-own-base-in-syria-because-of-trumps-mistakes-and-one-republican-is-furious/

  14. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Max Boot calls BS on Republicans for trying to claim Syria is Nancy Pelosi’s fault because of impeachment

    President Donald Trump is conducting foreign policy like a 1980s television character, according to conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot.

    In a panel discussion about the letter Trump sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Boot mocked Republicans for suddenly trying to claim that Trump’s withdrawal from Syria was Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s fault because of impeachment. It is unclear if Republicans are confessing the president is too distracted by impeachment to be making foreign policy decisions or if they are blaming Pelosi for military decisions.

    “I mean there’s a lot of really lame Republican talking points out there, Don,” Boot said to CNN host Don Lemon. “But to suggest, as Rep. Liz Cheney and others have done that somehow Trump’s inexplicable decision to give the Turks the green light to invade Syria — that was somehow the fault of Nancy Pelosi because of the impeachment process? What?”

    When talking about the letter that Trump authored to Erdoğan, Lemon said he didn’t want to make fun of the president, which Boot interjected and disagreed with.

    “You should make fun of it. It’s sub-literate!” Boot said.

    “I remember this was in first grade when it was Fun With Dick and Jane. I said that to Chris [Cuomo]. ‘See Dick run. Run, Dick, run.’ I mean it’s that simplistic,” Lemon said.

    “With any other president, it would be shocking,” Boot said. “It’s basically sub-literate. We’ve had the Monroe Doctrine. We’ve had the Reagan doctrine. This is kind of the Mr. T doctrine ‘I pity the fool!’ You can’t make this stuff up, right?”

    “Be a good guy. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool,” Lemon recalled.

    Watch below:

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/max-boot-calls-bs-on-republicans-for-trying-to-claim-syria-is-nancy-pelosis-fault-because-of-impeachment/

  15. Anonymous October 16, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Where is our troll to tell us Syria and the Ukraine fiascos are all in our head 🙂

  16. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Marianne Williamson: After Tuesday’s debate, there’s no way I’m dropping out 😡🤬🤯

    By Marianne Williamson
    Oct. 16, 2019 at 3:24 p.m. PDT
    Marianne Williamson is a Democratic candidate for president.

    A few of us weren’t on the debate stage last night.

    Supported by its friends and sponsors in the corporate media, the Democratic National Committee has sought to narrow the field of presidential candidates at the very moment when it should be opening up. Placing a political straitjacket on our primary system, controlling the process via money and ridiculous rules, the party is risking disaster.

    The establishment’s paternalistic insistence that, in essence, “it’s time to shut this thing down” — making sure only its preordained category of people, discussing its preordained category of topics, is placed before the American people for consideration as contenders for the nomination to run against President Trump — has created a false, inauthentic piece of high school theater posing as the Democratic debates.

    Last night’s debate was a lot of things, but it was not exciting. It contained no magic. If anything, it reduced some very nice people to behavior their mothers probably raised them not to engage in. Which woman who claims feminist ideals can be the nastiest to another woman? Which young person can show the greatest arrogance toward those with decades of experience under their belts? Which intelligent person can best reduce a complicated topic to pabulum for the masses?

    Oh, this is brilliant, guys. Apparently, the strategy is to engage the American people by showing them the worst of who we are.
    This would all be funny if it weren’t so dangerous. For reasons not easy to detect, the Democrats are held to a higher standard by the American people — who, despite a bad rap and a few spectacular failures, are usually good at smelling a rat. Try as they might to throw people off the scent, the DNC and its media pals are creating the stench of inauthenticity at exactly the moment when some blazing truths should be shining through. I heard a former senator say on one of the after-debate news programs Tuesday night, that “nobody had a really bad night tonight.” Oh, ma’am, you are so, so wrong. Everyone had a bad night.

    The problem with being inside your own bubble is that it makes you blind to what’s going on outside it. The Democratic Party stands for far more egalitarian policies than do the Republicans, but it has a weirdly more elitist relationship to its own constituency. Party bosses think they know better, claiming the right through money and establishment power to wage what amounts to an insidious assault on one of the most important aspects of our democratic process: selecting the presidential nominee.

    The Russians are messing with our elections? Absolutely. But so are we. The old days of political backroom deals, where a few insiders determined who the candidate would be, are back. They didn’t really go away at all; they’re simply repackaged now, standing right in front of us, rebranding themselves as an “open process.” Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: faux democracy.

    “Isn’t it time for you to drop out now, Marianne?” After that debate Tuesday night, are you kidding? Let me get this right. You think a sanitized wish list of Democratic proposals, focused just enough on appealing to people’s self-interest but not going anywhere near a serious discussion of what ails us, is going to defeat the Republicans? You think your 2016 redux, containing no hint of self-reflection on what created the disaster last time, is going to fight off the specter of neo-fascism?

    Well, I don’t. I think the process of democracy demands, and the American people deserve, something far more real. We will not defeat outrageous lies with tepid, corporatized, compromised truths. We will not defeat a political cult leader with the same old tried but clearly no longer true. Offering people the stale alternative of political leftovers, prepackaged as bromides with all the vitality and richness of spoiled food, is an inadequate response to the challenge that confronts us.

    Our task is to protect and defend our democracy from the greatest threat it has ever known, and we will need to begin by practicing it ourselves. If our political gatekeepers keep locking the gate, then the people ourselves will unlock it.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/16/marianne-williamson-after-last-nights-debate-theres-no-way-im-dropping-out/

    • anonymous October 16, 2019 at 8:45 pm

      Marianne Williamson: America doesn’t just have a gun crisis. It has a culture crisis.

      By Marianne Williamson
      September 2, 2019 at 1:09 p.m. PDT
      Marianne Williamson is a Democratic candidate for president.

      Another day, another mass shooting. We grieve for Odessa, Tex., and we grieve for America.
      The aftermath of every mass shooting follows a now-routine pattern: Feverish coverage will be followed by politicians and pundits engaging in a predictable conversation about gun-safety legislation. All of which we know by now. Of course, we need universal background checks; we need to close all loopholes; we need to outlaw bump stocks; and we need to outlaw assault weapons and the bullets needed to shoot them. But politicians trotting out various forms of I-will-do-this-or-that neither gets to the heart of the matter nor breaks the logjam that has made this horrific and uniquely American problem so intractable.

      It is not just our gun policy but our politics that fails to free us of this insanity. Until we override the nefarious influence of money on our politics, it will not be possible to break the National Rifle Association’s chokehold on our society. It is not the will nor safety of the people but the profits of gun manufacturers that is given primacy in our gun policies. Legislation that establishes public funding for federal campaigns should be the battle cry of our generation.

      But even then, Americans will have to look deeper for the causal layers of our epidemic of violence. We will have to look beyond politics. We will have to look at ourselves.

      As individuals, Americans are not a violent people, but it is undeniable that we’re a violent culture. Regular mass shootings are not societally normal. And until we face this, the situation will not fundamentally improve.

      Most politicians stick to a discussion of symptoms only. Politics should be the conduit for our most expanded conversation about societal issues, not the most superficial one. Conventional politics does not lend itself to a discussion of the deeper issues that plague us. Yet go deeper we must.

      America does not just have a gun crisis; it has a cultural crisis. America will not stop experiencing the effects of gun violence until we’re ready to face the many ways that our culture is riddled with violence.

      Our environmental policies are violent toward the Earth. Our criminal justice system is violent toward people of color. Our economic system is violent toward the poor. Our entertainment media is violent toward women. Our video games are violent in their effect on the minds of children. Our military is violent in ways and places where it doesn’t have to be. Our media is violent in its knee-jerk shaming and blaming for the sake of a better click rate. Our hearts are violent as we abandon each other constantly, breeding desperation and insanity. And our government is indirectly and directly violent in the countless ways it uses its power to help those who do not need help and to withhold support from those who do.

      The darker truth that Americans must face now is this: Our society is not just steeped in violence; we are hooked on violence. And in area after area, there are those who make billions of dollars on deepening the hook. Until we see that, we will just have more violence. Our minds must awaken so we can see all this. Our hearts must awaken so we can change all this. And our politics must change so we can discuss all this.

      Though gun-safety legislation should be fervently pursued, a political establishment so steeped in the ways of brute force is hardly equipped to be the purveyor of a solution to the problem of violence in this country. With a nearly $740 billion military budget but only $40 billion proposed for the State Department budget, our outsize commitment to brute force and ever-withering commitment to soul force is obvious. With the Air Force seeking 100 stealth B-21 Raiders, each with a price tag of $550 million and each equipped to carry both nuclear and conventional weapons, while 12.5 million children in the United States live in food-insecure homes — the idea of politicians who allow this to happen being the ones who are going to save us from the epidemic of violence in America is almost laughable.

      We will not break free of dysfunctional realities until we are willing to embrace more functional ones. I propose a U.S. Department of Peace to coordinate and harness the powers of conflict resolution; restorative justice; violence prevention; trauma-informed education; mindfulness in the schools; child and family wrap-around services; social and emotional learning; and a world-class peace academy to train and to deploy thousands of peace-builders, plus national conferences and a presidential task force for peace creation. We will make every effort to promote a culture of peace both at home and abroad. We will address the root causes, not just the symptoms of violence in America. And in time, we will transform our culture from one of conflict to one of peace.

      Nothing is going to fundamentally change until enough of us are willing to take a stand for fundamental change. And no change could be more fundamental than for the United States to transform from a culture of violence to a culture of peace. From the frequency of attack to the frequency of forgiveness. From a land of fear to a land of love.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/09/02/marianne-williamson-us-needs-department-peace/

  17. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    ‘Smart rats jump a sinking orange ship’: Columnist predicts more Republicans will flee Trump

    New York Times contributing columnist Wajahat Ali predicted that more Republicans would likely flee President Donald Trump in the coming weeks.

    Already, Trump’s own officials, appointees, and staff are lining up to testify to the House committees, despite Trump saying they will not cooperate with any investigations.

    “I believe smart rats jump a sinking orange ship, and if you don’t believe me, you haven’t paid attention to the last week,” Ali told CNN’s Don Lemon. In the past week, several of Trump’s appointees have lined up to give a deposition or testify. Even outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry revealed in a Wall Street Journal interview, that Rudy Giuliani was to be the point person on all things related to Ukraine.

    “Look, there are people still public servants who are defying the Trump administration obstruction and actually voluntarily coming to give testimony, right? You had Ambassador Mckinley and Fiona Hill, and you have Ambassador [Marie] Yovanovich, who came out and talked. You have [EU Ambassador Gordon] Sondland coming out tomorrow to hopefully save himself, but I think that will be — good luck, Sondland because that man seems like he’s in deep trouble and thoroughly incompetent.”

    He noted that Wednesday’s vote to disavow the president’s Syria decision was 354-60.

    “Are you kidding me? That is a stunning rebuke of Donald Trump,” Ali noted. “Even Lindsey Graham, who functions like Donald Trump’s boot hill for the past year has been very vocal, very publicly, called into the Fox & Friends and talked about what a decision it was to withdraw the troops that led to the massacre of Kurds and, by the way, gave a second lease of life to ISIS and it’s only helped our enemies. It’s helped Syria, Iran, ISIS, and wait for it, Russia.”

    He went on to note that “Russia” was the buzzword that Pelosi allegedly said in the meeting Wednesday that set Trump off on a rage.

    Watch the discussion below:

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/smart-rats-jump-a-sinking-orange-ships-columnist-predicts-more-republicans-will-flee-trump/

  18. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    CNN panel mocks the White House for promoting a photo of Trump looking ‘subservient’ to Pelosi

    The White House posted a series of photos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Wednesday after their meeting, showing Pelosi being the only person in the room literally standing up to President Donald Trump. It was an image that baffled the mind of at least one CNN panelist as to why the Trump people would be promoting Pelosi.

    According to reports from those who were in the room, the president flew off the handle after Pelosi quipped that it seems all roads lead back to Russia for this president. It was at that point that Trump called Pelosi a “third-grade politician,” though presumably, he meant “third-rate,” and the meeting broke apart.

    “I got to say, I mean, just as a political decision, you got to wonder what was going through the minds of the White House or President Trump, you know, to post that particular picture because not only does it show Nancy Pelosi looking like she’s taking command of this room full of mostly men —” said New York Times reporter Michael Shear before being cut off by CNN host Don Lemon.

    “Is it the same that wrote that letter, then thought releasing it would be somehow exculpatory?” asked Lemon, noting later than it wasn’t exactly the smartest decision to release such an absurd letter to the public.

    “Well, right. I mean, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised,” agreed Shear. “To me, the fact that the Pelosi people put that kind of owned that photo by putting it on her Twitter feed at that point says it all. I mean, this is not a photo that, you know, conveys the strength that you would think a president would want to convey and in fact, it’s the opposite. He looks almost subservient to Nancy Pelosi and strains the logic to think that would be something you would put out, but as you know, there is a lot about President Trump that’s strange to logic and his Twitter feed is only one of them.”

    Watch the analysis below:

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/cnn-panel-mocks-the-white-house-for-promoting-a-photo-of-trump-looking-subservient-to-pelosi/

  19. anonymous October 16, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    ‘Nobody is dumping those terrorists on Turkey’: Erdoğan won’t take custody of ISIS fighters

    Turkey won’t take custody of Islamic State fighters in northeastern Syria, an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said amid the assault on the Syrian Kurdish militias who have detained the militants.

    “Let me make one thing clear: Nobody is dumping those terrorists on Turkey,” Fahrettin Altun, a spokesman for Erdoğan, told local media.

    The United States and European powers have condemned Turkey’s offensive over the last week, in part due to fears that the attack will lead to the release of ISIS fighters in the short term and ultimately a resurgence of the terrorist group. But Turkish officials maintain that the burden of guarding the prisoners lies with other countries, although Erdoğan says that he will target ISIS fighters within the area that Turkish forces invade.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/nobody-is-dumping-those-terrorists-on-turkey-erdogan-wont-take-custody-of-isis-fighters

  20. Be Stupid As A Stick October 16, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    What in Christ’s name does Melania do? 33 months into it, and what has she DONE???

    • Anon October 17, 2019 at 3:43 am

      I have searched for information of Melania’s activities. There is not much information that she has done much beyond announcing an illiterately titled Be Best Campaign, some school and hospital visits, planning some dinners and Christmas decor at the White House, accompanying Trump on some trips and the infamous visit to the border wearing the jacket imprinted with I don’t care, do you? I also saw video of her speaking at an event. She has said she supports children however it is not known what actions she has taken to enact her announced initiatives. Recently there was a post here that she redecorated a red room in the White House I recall.

    • Anonymous October 17, 2019 at 5:30 am

      She is building a tennis court at the WH and spending our money for her shopping sprees.

  21. OK October 17, 2019 at 8:18 am

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gordon-sondland-trump-ukraine-testimony_n_5da86d9ae4b0b24e75de3580

    “Sondland, a self-described “lifelong Republican” who donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee and was nominated as EU ambassador in 2018, told House impeachment investigators in an opening statement on Thursday that Trump indicated he was “skeptical” that Ukraine was serious about reform.”

    • Anon October 17, 2019 at 8:28 am

      https://www.thedailybeast.com/sondland-throws-trump-under-the-bus?ref=home

      ““I did not understand, until much later, that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the President’s 2020 reelection campaign,” he will say, according to the written version of his opening statement.”

  22. anon October 17, 2019 at 8:30 am

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/did-rudy-giuliani-pal-igor-fruman-steal-another-mans-identity-to-make-a-dollar100000-campaign-donation?ref=home

    “Did Rudy Pal Igor Fruman Steal Another Man’s Identity to Make a $100K Campaign Donation?”

  23. Anonymous October 17, 2019 at 8:39 am

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/10/17/eu-ambassador-trump-ukraine-schene.html

    ” based on the President’s direction, we were faced with a choice: We could abandon the goal of a White House meeting for President Zelensky, which we all believed was crucial to strengthening U.S.-Ukrainian ties and furthering long-held U.S. foreign policy goals in the region; or we could do as President Trump directed and talk to Mr. Giuliani to address the President’s concern.”

    “In other words, Trump was running the Ukraine operation. Rudy Giuliani was working at the direction of the president as Giuliani claimed.”

  24. anonymous October 17, 2019 at 9:02 am
  25. WSJ October 17, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/mulvaney-says-holdup-of-ukraine-aid-was-related-to-trumps-demand-for-2016-election-probe-11571338443

    “Mr. Mulvaney’s claim about the DNC server—which Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to investigate in their July call—relates to an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that proposes it was Ukraine, not Russia, that hacked Democratic networks during the 2016 election. There is no evidence to support the claim that any Democratic server wound up in Ukraine.

    The U.S.-based cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike concluded the hack was carried out by Russian intelligence officers, a finding corroborated by U.S. intelligence agencies and Mr. Mueller. But Mr. Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusion of Russian involvement in the Democratic hacks, and said in an April 2017 interview that CrowdStrike’s findings may not be credible because the company is “Ukrainian-based,” which is false.

    The efforts by Mr. Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to push Ukraine to investigate matters related to the 2016 election and the Bidens has been the subject of almost daily testimony in front of House lawmakers by present and former Trump administration officials.

    House Democrats charge that Mr. Trump’s request for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens was an attempt to use the power of the White House to undercut a political rival. Mr. Trump has called the probe a witch hunt and denied wrongdoing.”

  26. Anonymous October 17, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    And it true Trump fashion, Mulvaney says it doesn’t matter.

    https://news.yahoo.com/mick-mulvaney-acknowledges-ukraine-aid-175437594.html

    “President Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff acknowledged Thursday that financial aid to Ukraine at the center of a House impeachment inquiry was withheld because of the president’s desire for the country to engage in U.S. politics.

    Mick Mulvaney’s assertion was the first time a White House official has conceded Trump set up a quid quo pro scenario in which money approved by Congress for Ukraine was used as leverage, though he defended the arrangement as standard practice. ”

    Of course he did. Mulvaney is standing by the already debunked lie about Biden’s son, the firing of the Ukranian do-nothing prosecutor. Oh, wait, it’s the already debunked lie about other countries not paying their share. NO, it’s the already debunked lie about the DNC server hack. That’s the one they’ve settled on.

    “Mulvaney said there is nothing wrong with threatening to withhold foreign aid to pressure a country to change a policy – in this case, he said, to fight corruption.

    “We do that all that time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney said, noting that the White House also threatened to withhold money to Central America over immigration policies. ”

    Uh oh. Did he just admit they extorted countries to match Trump’s inhumane immigration policy?

    “But Mulvaney’s remarks appeared to undercut Trump’s repeated assertion that he did not withhold the money in exchange for Ukraine’s help in looking into political foes.”

    “Sen. Lisa Murkowski appeared shocked when reporters told her of Mulvaney’s statements on the aid being held up for political investigations.

    “That’s news to me; I had not heard that. Yes, absolutely it’s a concern,” the Alaska Republican said. “You don’t hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative.”

    Asked whether it rose to the level of an impeachable offense, Murkowski said she needs to look at exactly what Mulvaney said.”

    OH, she was SO close. Well, hopefully Murkowski will eventually come around.

    OOOOoooo. And White House confirmed it. I wonder what Murkowski thinks now?

    https://news.yahoo.com/white-house-confirms-trump-withheld-ukraine-military-aid-in-part-because-of-dnc-server-rumors-180854146.html

    “Asked why the administration had withheld $400 million in military aid allocated by Congress to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression, Mulvaney first cited the president’s desire to make sure Kiev’s government was not corrupt. Then, confirming a quid pro quo laid out in the partial summary released by the White House of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mulvaney cited a conspiracy theory involving the DNC server that housed emails leaked during the 2016 campaign.

    Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and some in the administration have been looking for evidence that the DNC hack was carried out by Ukrainian agents seeking to help the Clinton campaign, rather than Russians trying to help Trump — which was the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies.”

    Now, Murkowski doesn’t strike me as a conspiracy theorist. Or someone that questions our U.S. Intelligence agencies.

    “When ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl pointed out that withholding aid to Ukraine until an investigation into the DNC server was launched was the very definition of a quid pro quo, Mulvaney responded, “We do that all the time with foreign policy.””

    Again, Murkowski is fine with that?

    And the kicker?

    ““I have news for everybody: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy. That is going to happen. Elections have consequences,” Mulvaney said.”

    Get over it. Elections have consequences.

    No shit, Sherlock.

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