Category Archives: General Interest
With Attorney General, William Barr, going back to the beginning of how the Trump-Russia investigation began, I’ve spent time thinking about the beginning of the 2016 race, back in 2015. Last week, Howard Stern began doing interviews to promote his new book and discussing his relationship with Donald Trump over the years. Stern made a comment stating he believed Trump’s 2016 run for president began as a publicity stunt. I wrote a lot of blog posts along the way, so I’m rereading some of those old 2015 blog posts and also old news articles.
Howard Stern, who has interviewed Trump many times over the years, recently stated that he believes Trump doesn’t enjoy being President and that Trump entered the race as a publicity stunt for his Reality TV career and business. I happen to agree with Stern on this point. Even the Michael Cohen revelation that Trump was still pursuing a Trump-Moscow deal while campaigning for president lends weight, not that Trump was colluding with Russia to steal the election, but that Trump was planning for his personal business after the election. He expected Hillary to win. Another glaring red flag that Trump didn’t expect to win the election was he had made no real plans for staffing and the transition. The oddest aspect of Trump’s win in 2016 were the initial videos of Trump on election night. He did not look happy; he looked pensive and uneasy.
Here are two excerpts from recent Stern interviews:
“Radio shock jock Howard Stern believes President Donald Trump’s candidacy for president started out as a “publicity stunt” in order to get a raise from NBC for hosting “The Apprentice.”Stern, who has hosted Trump on his radio show for years, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview set to air in full on Friday that he has “no doubt” it was a publicity stunt. Stern told Cooper that he has “inside information” that Trump started out using rumors that he would run for president as a public relations tactic when he was promoting his 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal.””“Stern also backed up his statement that Trump did not actually want to be president by noting he was hanging around Mar-a-Lago with Trump and his team when the run was being plotted.
“I know people who orchestrated some of these things,” Stern said. “I was at Mar-a-Lago around when it was announced that Donald was going to run for president, and like everyone else, I thought, Ha-ha-ha. So, knowing Donald, I can tell you with some assurance that I don’t believe that he thought anyone would buy in. Lo and behold, people did. But I’m pretty sure that there was no intention of actually being president.””
Donald Trump began an exploratory committee March 18, 2015 and he announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015. Between those two dates, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton were reported to have had a phone conversation. Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy April 12, 2015. So, there were Bill Clinton and Donald Trump having a phone conversation in late May 2015, after Hillary Clinton had announced her candidacy in April. Another interesting date in this 2015 timeline is Jeb Bush announced his candidacy on June 15, 2015 – the day before Trump entered the race.
Let’s throw in another 2015 date:
“A March 2, 2015 New York Times article broke the story that the Benghazi panel had discovered that Clinton exclusively used her own private email server rather than a government-issued one throughout her time as Secretary of State, and that her aides took no action to preserve emails sent or received from her personal accounts as required by law. ”
So, in early 2015 the Clintons were dealing with the email “controversy”, is how Wikipedia frames it ( not a “scandal”), guess that’s about like Loretta Lynch insisting Comey refer to it as a “matter”, not a criminal investigation…
Hillary entered the 2016 race April 12, 2015, Trump and Bill Clinton had a phone call in late May 2015 and Trump entered the race the day after Jeb Bush entered on June 16, 2015. Jeb was perceived as the biggest threat to Hillary Clinton and he became Trump’s #1 target, from the beginning. Even Trump’s sideshow entry into the race was designed to steal Jeb’s thunder.
By August 2015, plenty of questions began to swirl about Trump’s campaign, especially about the vast amount of free media afforded to Trump over other GOP candidates in the crowded GOP field. So, what was going on with the media? FOX, CNN, MSNBC, the three major cable networks, turned into The Trump Show channels, 24/7 during the beginning months of the GOP primary in 2015. The Trump free media blitz in those beginning months extended to print media too. Here’s a Washington Post article from August 5, 2015:
“Former president Bill Clinton had a private telephone conversation in late spring with Donald Trump at the same time that the billionaire investor and reality-television star was nearing a decision to run for the White House, according to associates of both men.”
The WaPo piece has Clinton spokespeople and Trump spokespeople offering differing details about how the call originated and the subject of the call:
“Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.
Clinton’s personal office in New York confirmed that the call occurred in late May, but an aide to Clinton said the 2016 race was never specifically discussed and that it was only a casual chat.”
Both camps even offer differing accounts about how the call came about:
““Mr. Trump reached out to President Clinton a few times. President Clinton returned his call in late May,” a Clinton employee said. “While we don’t make it a practice to discuss the president’s private conversations, we can tell you that the presidential race was not discussed.”
One Trump adviser said Clinton called Trump, but the adviser did not provide specifics about how the call came about.”
Trump began his campaign by hurling ad hominem attacks at his opponents, to steal the stage and neutralize his opponents. He had no real policies, just hollow slogans. Trump showed up for the primary debates loaded with petty smears prepared, but did no policy prep to be prepared to actually debate any issues. Everything about his performance looked like a publicity stunt. However, it’s these other machinations of the corrupt media, which ran the 24/7 Trump Show giving Trump, estimated to be billions of dollars worth of free media that speaks to vast corruption with the American media colluding to run partisan political spin efforts. These coordinated spin efforts work in tandem with public opinion polling, to manufacture public opinion in America. When the media hypes (spins) stories, those stories in turn result in manufactured public opinion, which reflects the spin hype.
The rise of Donald Trump in 2015 was the result of not only a populist mood, discontent within the Republican base with Washington politics as usual, it had the massive boost of billions of dollars of free liberal and conservative media selling Trump.
Billions of dollars of free media promotion of Trump’s GOP insurgency speaks to massive media corruption.
Back in October 2015, I wrote a blog post: A triangulation theory?:
“Do you ever let your mind wander and think about “what ifs”? Well, as Donald Trump continues to keep the GOP race in disarray and feeds the worst bigots, xenophobes and racists at the base, well, I wonder, would the Clinton political machine be able to orchestrate a more perfect triangulation than to have far-left kook, Bernie Sanders on the left and Donald Trump on the right. Trump’s single-handedly throwing the election to Hillary with his “deport them all”, which threw the Hispanic vote in the toilet for the GOP, if he is the candidate, then it was the attacks on women, or how about his “closing mosques” comment yesterday? That would leave the Queen sitting snugly in the “middle” – calm, grandmotherly and looking “moderate”…”
Stern stating he was hanging around Mar-a-lago when Trump announced he was running and Stern knows people involved in orchestrating this, as Stern describes it “a publicity stunt” reminded me of a National Review piece from March 3, 2016:
“Last August, Moonves even foreshadowed the oncoming media-induced Trump when, in a CBS quarterly-earnings conference call, he declared, reportedly to applause: “The coming election cycle will clearly ‘Trump’ anything we’ve ever seen before.”
Perhaps this would be a good place to mention that Les Moonves is also a self-declared Clinton friend. In 2001, CBS quoted Moonves as acknowledging, “I’ve had numerous chats with President Clinton over the past few years. . . . He is a friend of mine.”
Trump supporters who believe their candidate is the anti-establishment destroyer of media are being conned, and the con is being perpetrated by the people they hate the most: the Clintonistas of network media.
Moonves is signaling very clearly that his intention is to saturate the market with Trump, which translates to Web traffic and eventually to votes. He’s not interested in what conservative candidates have to say policy-wise or politically. The casual Kardashian voter isn’t attuned to an endorsement by Jeff Sessions or a hashtag on Twitter. They are paying attention to outlets such as ET!, TMZ, Inside Edition, the CBS evening news, CNN, and MSNBC, where Trump’s quotes about shooting voters on Fifth Avenue are played ad nauseam.
Trump supporters who believe their candidate is the anti-establishment destroyer of media are being conned, and the con is being perpetrated by the people they hate the most — the Clintonistas of network media. Not only are these people generally hostile to conservatism. They also are not content to simply sit on the sidelines and objectively report what candidates say and do.”
Along the 2016 trail Trump built a loyal fan base and his poll numbers grew (along with his ego), but the mainstream media, all of those people Trump believed were his friends, pivoted in late 2015/early 2016 to unleash the Clinton-orchestrated massive smear campaign to bury Trump (their general election strategy). It would be interesting to know which Clinton-aligned mainstream media bigwigs were hanging around Mar-a-lago or involved in that 2015 “orchestration” Stern recently mentioned.
Trump’s constant attacks on the mainstream media, especially calling CNN and MSNBC “fake news” don’t seem to me like Trump the authoritarian trying to silence the media. From the beginning, it has sounded to me like Trump lashing out at his former friends in the media, who encouraged him to run, gave him fawning coverage in the beginning months of his campaign in 2015, then turned on him. Those former friends were, like Trump, old Clinton friends… How much Trump knew about Bill Clinton’s Pied Piper strategy (his classic triangulation strategy), I can’t say. However, I can say the media corruption of running partisan spin efforts continues unabated with the mainstream media and FOX head honchos running this endless scorched earth American media spin information war.
It would be interesting to know which media bigwigs Trump was consulting in 2015 about a presidential run and who these people are Stern says were involved in orchestrating, what he refers to as – a publicity stunt. However, like all the rest of the Clinton, Trump and media corruption in 2016, none of them will ever tell the truth. It would also be interesting to know the truth about the Bill Clinton-Donald Trump phone call in May 2015, but here again, that is as likely as Loretta Lynch ever telling the truth about what was discussed in her tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton in June 2016.
These media bigwigs, most of them overtly aligned with the big partisan political factions, control all of the information highways in America…
Aren’t we so lucky in America to have a “free” press…
I have about zero interest in makeup, so I almost skipped past this video. Glad I decided to watch it. If you are interested in the cultural changes brought about by the industrial revolution, this video will fascinate you. Most fascinating bit of odd trivia was learning that tuberculosis was rampant and the TB symptoms of pale skin, flushed cheekbones, brightened eyes were considered beautiful and became a fashion trend to imitate. Another of those, “nothing new under the sun” moments, considering the heroin chic trend in the 1990s.
I stitched this small patriotic teddy bear piece last week. Not sure yet, how I want to finish it, but I want to stitch a few more small patriotic pieces before the 4th of July for some small display on my coffee table.
Here’s the leaflet with this pattern – yep, another one from the 90s:
Now, on to politics…
Last Sunday, JK, shared two links to a blog, asking for my opinion. Jk and I bounced a lot of ideas back and forth in a comment section on a previous blog post of mine. He said this blog is written by a friend of his:
Both of these blog posts provide timelines and raise many questions about events from January to May when Mueller was appointed special counsel by Rod Rosenstein.
The time period that interests me the most is the few days from Trump telling advisers he definitely wanted to fire Comey until Mueller was appointed special counsel – May 5, 2017 t0 May 17, 2017.
In the first of these blog posts, this entry left me pondering and I am still pondering, the same things JK’s friend raised in the second blog post:
Rosenstein brings Robert Mueller to the White House to meet with Trump as potential FBI Director. However, by statute the FBI Director is eligible to serve only one term, for a maximum of ten years. At the end of Mueller’s earlier ten-year tenure as FBI Director it was extended for two years by a special Congressional Act and new legislation would be required if he was to be reappointed. Trump, Rosenstein, and Mueller converse in the Oval Office. It is not known whether the legal impediment to Mueller’s appointment is raised. McCabe has recently published a book in which he writes that Robert Mueller temporarily left his cell phone behind after meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office and that the phone “later had to be retrieved.””
In the second blog post, JKs friend includes this entry, expanding on this meeting:
“The day before Rosenstein announced he was appointing Special Counsel and that it would be Mueller, he brought Mueller to the White House to meet with Trump. Is it true that the President was told Mueller was a potential candidate as FBI Director? If so, was the President told that Congress would have to pass special legislation to allow the appointment? Was there any discussion of Russia or the Comey firing at the meeting? When did Rosenstein decide to appoint Special Counsel and decide it would be Mueller? Did Rosenstein and Mueller have any discussions, directly or indirectly, regarding that decision prior to the meeting with the President? Is it true that, as described in McCabe’s recent book, Mueller left his cell phone in the President’s office and had to return later to retrieve it? If so, did the device record anything while it was left in the office?
Did Rosenstein ever consider recusing himself from the investigation since he was a potential fact witness in any obstruction case involving the President?
Why did Rosenstein not consider Mueller’s long and close relationship with Comey as grounds for not appointing him as Special Counsel?”
I hadn’t heard about this quote when Andrew McCabe’s book came out in February of this year, so I googled and found it in a February Breitbart article:
“In this same meeting Rod talked about interviews with candidates for director. Then he flipped back to talking about possible candidates for the special counsel job. It was hard to track whether he was talking about candidates for one job or for the other. One minute, he said Mueller had been asked to interview for the position of FBI director; Mueller had gone in for an interview with Trump, and left his phone there, and then the phone had to be retrieved.”
Back in 2018, McCabe has stated that after Comey’s firing, Rosenstein offered to wear a wire to record President Trump. McCabe, who became acting FBI director after Comey’s firing, says he discussed Rosenstein’s offer with his general counsel. Rosenstein has stated he made the comment in jest. McCabe has been cast as the liar all-around, yet the odd thing is when I watched McCabe testifying in front of Congress, I thought he was way more truthful than Comey or Rosenstein, as far as demeanor, watching his eyes. Here’s a video of McCabe reasserting that Rosenstein offered to wear a wire, in an interview in February when his book came out, and he believes Rosenstein was completely serious and not joking.
I don’t read Breitbart and wasn’t confident the quote from McCabe’s book was accurate, so I bought McCabe’s book last week.
So, Rosenstein agreed with firing Comey, when talking to President Trump and Sessions and McGahn. Rosenstein even drafted the memo with reasoning for firing, but after Comey’s firing, Rosenstein went to McCabe and talked like he was distraught over Comey’s firing. He was a man who was looking for atonement from Comey’s colleagues and friends at the FBI, it seems to me. At the FBI, they were completely convinced Trump was involved in some nefarious connections to Russia. They believed the Steele dossier. I believe McCabe’s version of this “wearing a wire”, because the spin level created hysteria about Trump firing Comey, Trump-Russia, and the FBI had bought into the Steele dossier as being reliable intel.
Trump exacerbated the spin hysteria by talking to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister, in the Oval Office, the day after firing Comey, trashing Comey as a real nut-job. The day after that Trump did an interview with Lester Holt completely changing his story and this is the problem with anything Trump says – he lies constantly, he obfuscates, and he often says totally incongruent things in the same sentence.
Rosenstein appeared, to me, to be lying about the wire comment. I don’t believe anyone at the FBI headquarters was in a joking mood about Comey’s firing.
We know from the Strzok messages that have poured out that Strzok loathed President Trump. We know Comey treated Hillary Clinton with kid gloves and expected her to be his next boss. We know Comey believes Trump is a threat to American democracy and Comey believed Trump was conspiring with Russia. McCabe, despite the Mueller report, still believes Trump and his campaign had disturbing connections to Russia. Yet, all three seem to have taken the Steele dossier as a serious intel product, only because they trusted Steele.
From the Michael Cohen arrest, we now know Trump lied about not having any business in Russia, and that even while campaigning for president, he was still trying to work out a deal for a Trump-Moscow project.
Andrew McCarthy in his recent podcast with Rich Lowry talks about how the Mueller investigation began and he asserts the mixing of politics with law corrupted the process and that Rosenstein panicked.(around minute 25:00). I believe it was more than just politics. I believe the orchestrated Clinton/Dem spin operation amplified constantly by the mainstream media was designed to create a “crisis” atmosphere and drive the spin effort that Trump was an imminent threat (the #Resist SPIN War Campaign) that required the immediate appointment of a special counsel. (Fox News runs the Trump “Deep State” hysteria spin messaging effort).
Since McCabe and Rosenstein give two different versions on the “wearing a wire” comment, it sure would be a good idea to get Robert Mueller under oath, answering questions about what he and Rosenstein discussed before the Oval Office meeting with Trump on May 16, 2017, about his “left behind” cell phone, if anything was recorded while the phone was in the Oval Office, how long that cell phone was in the Oval Office, and who retrieved it. If anything was recorded, what was it?
I don’t for a minute believe Robert Mueller would ever have acted in bad faith, but:
“Before I step away, I want to thank the attorneys, the FBI agents, the analysts, and the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals, who spent nearly two years with the Special Counsel’s Office, were of the highest integrity.”
There’s still Peter Strzok being hired, who was anything, but fair and independent and there are lawyers he hired, with close ties to the Clintons. They never investigated the Steele dossier, which fed the Trump-Russia hysteria The Clinton campaign, replete with a vast network of Dem operatives, who specialize in sophisticated smear campaigns, deliberately fed the Steele dossier and the Shearer dossier, masquerading as intel coming from reliable sources, into official government channels.
And here again we come to a word that doesn’t get talked about much in this whole mess, even though it is central to what happened in 2016. That word is TRUST. I believe trust was central to what happened to me in 1998 (see Messages of mhere link at the top of my blog). That retired general would never have participated in that “operation” against me, unless he completely trusted the information he was given. He already hated my guts, so I believe that he easily believed the worst of me. I think Mueller trusted in Comey’s integrity and he trusted in the information he was provided. Mueller’s appointment came about in a very confined timeframe and in the midst of a massive spin outrage cycle, with the media ranting about a “crisis” and “Trump is a Russian agent”.
Mueller looked nervous and uncomfortable in his press conference. I suspect he trusted Comey, who has been reported to be Mueller’s golden boy. I believe Mueller trusted in the information he was given on Trump-Russia collusion. Comey made “intent” his key tenet in his charging decision in Hillary’s email investigation and he overlooked the FBI Notes completely. The months before Hillary became Sec. of State, after Obama’s election, the Clintons had their respective IT guys, Cooper, who set up Bill Clinton’s personal Foundation server in their home and Hillary’s campaign IT guy, Pagliano, use campaign computer equipment to upgrade the family Foundation server, in anticipation of adding the State Dept, message load to their Foundation server. That upgrade process took months, so Hillary really did find it easier to use one device – she wanted to have their Foundation business and her State Dept. business on one secret server in their home… Comey does not seem to believe Hillary is a corrupt person. He does seem to believe Trump is a very corrupt person.
Getting all of the 2016 facts sorted out and on the table is important for our governmental institutions, even if the process will cause a great deal more political upheaval.
2016 should never be repeated.
Hopefully, someone involved in the FBI or DOJ, as this mess unfolded, has the INTEGRITY to sit down with Durham and just tells the truth about what all happened, rather than trying to run competing media spin efforts.
In light of the latest media Trump outrage spin cycle about a WH staffer’s email on preparations for Trump’s visit to troops in Japan, I want to write a post on why I am not part of the John McCain hero worship club, even though I do respect his military service to our country. It only feels right to warn you, this post also is about spin, sorry, it is, .
My negative opinion of John McCain deals with McCain the Washington politician, who wore his war hero mantle to deflect any criticism. I don’t believe in any public servant being placed on a pedestal, beyond reproach. Every public servant must be accountable and subject to criticism. I don’t want to be in the Trump Defense Camp or the McCain Deification Camp
At present, my understanding is the WSJ wrote about a leaked email, which they have shared a copy publicly – minus the pertinent information, like who sent it, who received it, and who leaked it to them. The email detailed a WH staffer requesting the Pentagon remove the USS McCain, stationed in Japan from Trump’s line of vision, when he visited the troops in Japan. Trump claims he had no knowledge of the email, but he made an excuse for the staffer, along the lines that the staffer meant well. The Pentagon’s responses indicated the request was not agreed to or carried out, but they opened an investigation.
Frankly, I am sick to death of these holier-than-thou McCain spin cycles – even his funeral was deliberately turned into a media Trump outrage spin cycle
JK, a frequent commenter on my blog since 2013, and I have been chatting back and forth in recent days in the comment section on my April blog post, A rambling blog post. We’ve tossed a lot of links and ideas back and forth on the endless Trump-Russia Collusion mess and while I don’t want to repeat all our comments, in another post I’ll paste some pieces of those comments, but first I want to explain how JK found my blog in 2013 and how McCain news was part of how this came about.
I started this blog in December 2012, writing mostly about American politics and foreign policy matters, especially the Obama administration policies and spin narratives I disagreed with or actions I found corrupt. In September 2013, the hot topic was whether the US should jump into the Syrian civil war and aid the Syrian rebel forces fighting to topple the Assad regime.
Often things in the news catch my attention, because the spin rams not only new, made-up phrases (often meaning the exact opposite of what the words mean) into the American lexicon, but also new faces. In 2013, Elizabeth O’Bagy a young woman, whom I had never heard of, even though I follow American politics closely, became a household name. She was on cable news, she was being quoted by top US officials, she was being pushed forward by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) as their trusted Syrian expert and she was part of a group, which escorted John McCain on a surprise “fact-finding” trip to Syria in the Spring of 2013.
Taking a step back to McCain’s surprise trip to Syria in the Spring of 2013, from news reports, McCain relied on a Syrian resistance group, Syrian Emergency Task Force, to arrange and guide him on that trip. A young woman, Elizabeth O’Bagy, was on that trip and also Evan McMullin. After that trip, photos emerged, I think British press was where I first saw them, of McCain in Syria posing with people these reports claimed were ISIS fighters. McCain vehemently denied that claim. He was there with this Syrian Emergency Task Force though and that’s what bothers me. Who were these people he went on this trip with, who vetted them???
By the fall of 2013, and the relentless “arm the Syrian moderate” media spin drumbeat, I was disturbed by how American foreign policy was driven by orchestrated spin campaigns and I was disturbed that so many powerful Washington politicians cluelessly are led by the spin and “experts” touted by some think tanks.
As I saw John McCain and John Kerry citing O’Bagy as the Syrian expert and the WSJ ran an op-ed she wrote, while O’Bagy was making the cable TV rounds, I wondered, who on earth is this young woman and how did she become the de facto Syria expert, whom McCain and Kerry are trusting? What about our own intelligence agencies and military intelligence VETTED intel? Why are they relying on this young woman, instead of our government intel products??? This all sounds so ironic in light of the cries about Trump not listening to our intel agencies, lol, but there you have it – at the highest levels of the Obama administration and in the Senate Armed Services Committee, they were relying on Elizabeth O’Bagy.
McCain and Kerry were trusting some woman pushed by the ISW and the ISW obviously hadn’t even done basic vetting on her… but there she was being touted as the trusted Syrian expert at the highest levels of our government. Don’t take this as excusing Trump’s decision-making process where he doesn’t listen to vetted US intelligence, because Trump says he relies on his gut. From what I can tell though, he is easily manipulated and listens to whatever FOX pundits are selling…
What in the hell is wrong with all of these people in Washington???
I did a few minutes of googling and realized that Dr. O’Bagy worked for the ISW as their Syria expert, but… she was also the political director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force. I did not believe it was wise for the US State Department to be relying on a person who was the political director of a Syrian resistance advocacy group. My blog is a backwoods spot on the internet, so I decided to write my concerns and questions about O’Bagy on a popular blog’s comment section. Other reporters started looking into Dr. O’Bagy too. Well, she wasn’t a Dr. is the first fact that hit me. NO ONE VETTED HER – not the ISW, who was promoting her as a Syrian expert, not John Kerry, not John McCain, NO ONE.
JK and some other people came to my blog after I posted my comment about O’Bagy on another popular blog.
Some right-wing news sites online ran a lot of other information about O’Bagy and to this day, I still haven’t reconciled who on earth her connections inside Syria or the region were. One report mentioned she used an alias and was the captain of a women’s soccer team in Egypt, another report claimed she signed an affidavit vouching for an accused American terrorist and so it went.
What I do know is that the ISW fired O’Bagy for lying on her resumé and less than a month later, John McCain hired her to work on his staff as a legislative assistant. I wondered if she would get a security clearance and how on earth she would pass a background check after lying about her doctorate degree. Even more than that, I wondered about John McCain’s judgment and integrity, where he would leap in to hire someone who had just been fired for lying on her resumé.
A lot of sensitive information passes through the office of the Senate Armed Services Chairman. I also wondered about those photos of McCain that circulated from his fact-finding Syria trip and wondered if he had been set up by this SETF group in those photos, even though he declared they were faked. It was all very bizarre.
This strikes me a lot like House Dems having the Awan brothers hired handling their IT stuff in Congress and Hillary having Huma Abedin, with her Muslim Brotherhood connected family as her closest aide and according to FBI Notes, the one Clinton aide said Abedin managed the SCIF in the Clintons home… She was Hillary’s close aide in the State Dept. She was working for the State Dept and a Clinton-Foundation connected company at the same time during part of Hillary’s State Dept tenure and then she had tens of thousands of State Dept and Hillary emails saved on her laptop… She even coordinated the Clinton server upgrade when Hillary became Sec. of State, but she told the FBI she learned about the server in 2015, when the news broke about the server…
Back to McCain, sorry for venting about Hillary corruption again. I never bought into the “Syrian Moderate” spin, because the Syrian rebels were Sunni resistance groups, many filled with jihadists and even more concerning, was even the more “moderate” resistance groups displayed a willingness to align with jihadist groups, as needed. The effort that emerged to arm the “Syrian Moderate” forces was a debacle. Media ran fawning stories selling the “Syrian Moderate” myth and the Obama administration and plenty of Republicans, especially John McCain, were all in on this arming “Syrian Moderates” idea, which the media spin pushed constantly, with stories like this Time story,The Frontman vs. al Qaeda: Meet Jamal Maarouf, the West’s best fighting chance against Syria’s Islamist armies.
Obama refused to commit US troops, but what emerged was an Obama policy to arm “vetted” Syrian moderate rebel groups. The US military “vetted”, trained and armed Maarouf and his group with TOW anti-tank missiles and immediately upon returning to the battle in Syria, Maarouf made a deal with ISIS and declared a truce...
In a McCain ringled public sideshow Senate hearing, McCain thundered on, berating the US military over failing to arm “vetted” Syrian Moderate rebels at a fast enough rate. McCain staged this sideshow hearing to berate the US military??? He worked to create a media spin cycle making the US military look inept. The truth was these Syrian rebel groups weren’t trustworthy and even the so-called “moderate” ones were willing to work with jihadists, when it suited their purposes. At least the US military was trying to do due diligence to their mission of “vetting” supposed Syrian moderate rebel groups. I have less confidence in the CIA’s vetting of Syrian rebel groups. I also have zero patience with people who cite an annointed “expert” knows this person as “vetting”. However, a McCain sideshow hearing berating a US general and a full-throated media spin cycle trashing the American military’s ineptitude followed, with plenty of Washington pols jumping in to attack the US military.
All of this was driven by a media-fueled SPIN effort.
Let’s move to the Trump/McCain feud and bizarre SPIN outrage cycles. Trump has made many outrageous comments about McCain. McCain in life, and even in death, seems to manage to become the center of media Trump outrage spin cycles.
In 2016, there was McCain on a trip being approached and fed info on the Steele dossier. McCain’s friend flew to England, to meet personally with Steele and get a copy of the dossier. The friend hand-carried that dossier to McCain and McCain personally delivered it to James Comey, in a private meeting. No one to this day has verified that Steele dossier and I am not even sure what efforts the FBI, our intel agencies or the Mueller team went to to verify and corroborate the Steele dossier. It looks to me like top Obama officials, (just like with the O’Bagy situation) relied on the Steele dossier based on Christopher Steele and John McCain being recruited as a dossier courier by some Brit:
“The Republican senator was attending an annual security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia shortly after the presidential election in November 2016 when retired a British diplomat approached him.
According to McCain, he didn’t recall ever having a previous conversation with Sir Andrew Wood, but may have met him before in passing. Chris Brose, a staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and David Kramer, a former assistant secretary of state with Russian expertise, joined McCain and Wood in a room off the main conference hall.
After discussing Russian election interference for a few minutes, Wood explained why he’d approached McCain in the first place.
“He told me he knew a former MI6 officer by the name of Christopher Steele, who had been commissioned to investigate connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents as well as potentially compromising information about the President-elect that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin allegedly possessed,” McCain wrote.”
My gut instinct was that McCain was either compromised and a willing conduit, for what strikes me, as malignant foreign actors creating mischief or he was easily duped from years of being part of the inside Washington, ” it’s all a matter of who knows who” mentality, where being connected to somebody important is the ticket to entry. Something stinks with McCain’s trip to Syria, then those photos splashed across international media alleging he was posed with ISIS fighters and then McCain being roped into the Steele dossier debacle. McCain bought into O’Bagy’s reliability, so did John Kerry, same with Christopher Steele, without any careful vetting. Even basic vetting would have shown she did not possess a doctorate from Georgetown.
This latest McCain controversy centers on an email someone leaked to the media. I wonder who leaked it most of all and why??? Any White House discussion with the Pentagon about POTUS travel plans abroad would strike me as a sensitive, probably classified communication.
Sitting back and watching McCain being at the center of so many media Trump Outrage spin storms, I am disturbed that perhaps there might be some malignant hostile foreign fingers in this effort. Then again, I’ve wondered for years how deeply our media, across the political spectrum, is infiltrated with hostile foreign influence operators looking to fuel controversy, make America look like a banana republic and fuel partisan divides. With so many Americans, who are connected to Washington, willing to leap to be lobbyists for foreign entities, even hostile foreign ones, there are assuredly plenty of American politicos willing to put big bucks over American interests. We’re not likely to ever get the answer to this hostile foreign influence question,because so much foreign money pours in to American politicians, lobbyists, think tanks, etc.
Even in death McCain still manages to become the center of very divisive media spin cycles, that are directed at fueling divides between Trump and the US military. Finding out who leaked that email and why seems like it should be at the center of the Pentagon investigation. These McCain vs Trump media spin attacks might be driven by more than just domestic partisans.
Yes, Trump’s conduct often deserves heaps of condemnation, but the bigger picture is these spin efforts might be meant to destroy Trump’s credibility as CINC and undercut the US military image abroad. There are massive media spin efforts to fuel these McCain vs. Trump’s outrage spin cycles and they not only attack Trump, they now include efforts to make the US military look bad . I suspect there’s a hostile effort (whether American leftists who hate the US military or hostile foreign actors, don’t know), but troop images that can be used to fuel more Trump Outrage spin too got played up in the media Trump Outrage spin too. The media effort this trip was a photo of described as sailors wearing MAGA-inpired patches. On Trump’s Christmas trip to visit troops in Iraq, the media hyped Trump signing MAGA soldiers’ hats.
This McCain vs. Trump outrage spin cycle falls right on the heels of Trump being manipulated by FOX News coverage hyping war criminals cases and urging Trump to pardon war criminals. How on earth that morphed into urging Trump to pardon war criminals on Memorial Day, boggles my mind and should be investigated by our national security people – it’s bizarre as hell and all driven by media and media Trump outrage spin cycles.
Even American cable news media networks are at war discrediting each other, with Fox attacking mainstream media coverage of Trump and mainstream media attacking FOX coverage of Trump – this constant pitting them against each other – leaves Americans totally divided and living in completely separate news bubbles. Trump lives in the FOX News bubble, but he watches and appears to long to be cheered by CNN and MSNBC, where his old friends reside. He frequently seethes about their betrayal of him…
How on earth ordinary citizens are supposed to sift through this 24/7 barrage of media-driven scorched earth spin disinformation and pile-on incitement effort, I don’t know. It’s getting harder and harder to keep track of details and facts in news stories with so much spin crap being flung in every direction.
All I know is I don’t want the US military being used as a political football by Trump, by Democrats, by the media and most especially by hostile foreign entities.
Last night news broke that Christopher Steele, the author of the series of reports that make up the Steele dossier, at the center of the Trump-Russian Collusion investigation, won’t cooperate with the DOJ investigation into the origins of the investigation.
I posted a comment pertaining to that and here’s part of it:
“The respective partisan spin choruses jump into action and relegate everyone to one camp or the other, but I lean towards believing that while there was definitely anti-Trump bias among most of the key players in the Trump-Russia mess, there was also these massive Dem/mainstream media spin attacks launched to try to propel specific political or government actions, at key points in this mess.
I believe these Dem-orchestrated spin attacks impaired judgment and decision-making at the highest levels of the FBI and our intel agencies. I don’t think there was some massive conspiracy within the FBI – I think they were deliberately being fed false information by Dem operative lawyers and taking the mainstream media news seriously.
In war, they always talk about the “fog of war”, well, I believe that this hysteria created by the this scorched earth SPIN info war played a significant role in clouding judgment – I’ll call it the fog of SPIN war factor, for lack of a better way to say this. I suspect a good deal of what happened wasn’t malevolent actions in the FBI, but a combination of factors, where the media hysteria, the bogus Steele dossier being sold as reliable intel (by some foreign intel peeps too) added to Trump’s often bizarre statements fawning over strong men thugs in the world, led to real concerns that Trump was conspiring with Russia. Add in that Trump really was trying to make a deal for a Trump-Moscow project, the concerns were justifiable.
Where things broke down was in acting before calmly, and carefully vetting intel, but here again, this relentless Dem SPIN effort in the media, the Clinton lawyer operatives seeding false information, presented as real intel into the State Dept., the FBI and intel agencies. I believe the real “crimes” weren’t Comey and the FBI – BUT with the Clinton operatives who deliberately and maliciously fed this false information into official government channels – to deceive them. That Shearer dossier needs to be investigated and these Dem lawyers who were feeding this garbage into official channels.
What happened to me was deliberately false information was fed to a retired general, who hates my guts – but I have no way to ever prove it happened. I was writing about their malicious, orchestrated SPIN on those Excite message boards in ’98 too.
Anyway, I honestly think Rosenstein was manipulated by Clinton-aligned lawyers too to appoint a special counsel- being bombarded with this false information and pressured to act. They deliberately created this crisis spin environment using the media.
McCabe was an expert on working Russia mafia cases and terrorism. I went back a reread the Horowitz summary and McCabe’s wife receiving a lot of campaign money was investigated. McCabe had actually gone through proper FBI channels reporting that to the ethics people. Horowitz’ team recommended policy changes, but McCabe followed the rules. I still think Comey knew about the media leaks to try to stem the flow of unauthorized leaks coming out of the New York field office. Comey told Horowitz he didn’t know anything about that. Anyway, I want to read some of McCabe’s book, especially the part where that quote was pulled about Mueller’s “left behind” cell phone. I like to know what other information came before and after that cherry-picked quote. We all “cherry-pick” quotes, and sometimes those cherries are ripe with important facts, but too often they’re sour, taken out of context or misleading pieces of information.”
I boldfaced the key point. The Dem lawyers, who were feeding the Steele dossier and later the Shearer dossier into the Obama State Department, the intel agencies and the FBI. They were deliberately trying to perpetrate fraud. This is how the Clinton operatives operate – from ’98 to today. They intertwine U.S. government assets with their private operatives, to advance for their partisan and personal goals (and vendettas). The email scandal boiled down to Hillary merged her State Department email onto the personal foundation server in their home, that Bill Clinton had set up. This melding of official intelligence with Hillary’s operatives is par for the course. She did the same thing as Secretary of State. Clinton operatives pushed the Steele dossier, their op dirt, into official government channels and simultaneously seeded that dossier throughout the mainstream media, for another media spin effort to create a “crisis” environment, in order to propel the FBI and intel officials to jump into “Russian scare mode”.
I’ve written about our domestic SPIN information war so often, that I am sick of it and I know anyone reading my blog must be sick of it too. However, I feel strongly that this SPIN war that is mass media generated repetitive messaging campaigns to manipulate the American people with false information is destroying our political institutions.
This idea of instigating mass media messaging campaigns to fuel mass panic or set the stage to ram through political action is not only corrupt, it’s creating a national security problem. In this Trump-Russia Collusion Clinton/Dem/Media spin effort, Trump wasn’t the only one damaged by fueling wild Trump-Russia spin efforts in the media, by deliberately seeding false stories, America was hurt too. That false “spin narrative” left an America embroiled in ginned up hysteria about “what if we have a Russian agent in the White House”.
I don’t think most of the people in the FBI at the top, even Comey, were involved in some mass conspiracy. I think they were trying to do their jobs, some may have had bias against Trump (which I understand completely, since I find Trump’s conduct appalling and disturbing often too).
Just heard that Mueller is going to speak now – so, I’ll cut this post short. The real crimes were committed by Team Clinton and Dem operatives who concocted this whole FRAUD.
When our kids were growing up we spent a lot of time utilizing the Army post library wherever we lived. When we lived stateside, we often frequented the local public library too.
After the kids left home and I was busy with a full-time job, I drifted away from going to the library. Of course I still bought books and I have hundreds of books on my kindle, many of them free e-books, that I haven’t read yet. I have piles of books, paperbacks and hardcovers, many that I haven’t read too. For quite a while making time to read more has been another one of my goals, so I had been thinking about trying audiobooks, as a way to get through more books.
I suppose like many people, I have become wary of devices and subscribing to digital services, that I doubt I’ll use enough to warrant the cost. I have an Amazon Prime membership that I truly don’t utilize nearly as much as I could, but I’ve looked at Audible many times… and hesitated.
Somehow, my sister, telling my son about an app called Hoopla, that offers free e-books and audiobooks, available through many public libraries, motivated me to go to my public library recently.
I can’t remember the last time I had been to my local library. So, I got a new library card, since my old library card has been replaced with a newer card system. My local library has a nice selection of audiobooks, so I signed out my first audiobook. In a comment, I mentioned my first audiobook to try was a Brad Thor novel, Code of Conduct. I enjoy thriller/spy novels (along with many other genres… not just historical romance novels).
As I was stitching away and listening to this Thor novel, very quickly the dead bodies were piling up, as the main character, Scot Harvath, dealt with some unfriendly rebels in the Congo. When I mentioned the dead bodies and vivid descriptions of “head shots” and weaponry mumbo-jumbo to one of my sons (the one who is a gun-enthusiast), he asked me, “Did they deserve killing?” And I said, “Well they were violent rebels trying to kill him.” My son smiled and said, “Then it’s all good.” Men are weird.
By the second CD of this Thor novel, I decided to check out the Hoopla thing, I signed up on my home PC, but there’s a Hoopla app for other devices too. All I needed to sign up was my library card. It was very simple to sign up and use.
I quickly found a story more suited to working on needlework, A Fall of Marigolds, by Susan Meissner. I also downloaded the Hoopla app to my tablet, so I can read e-books or listen to audiobooks on that too.
My library also offers RB digital, another free digital service of e-books and audiobooks . If technologically-challenged me could manage the sign-up, downloading the app and using these free digital media services, anyone can.
I’m on the 4th CD (out of 10 CDs total) in the Thor audiobook, which I’ve relegated to listening to as I scroll through Twitter and somehow the blood and guts action in this story goes much better with reading Twitter politics than it does with needlework, lol.
I’ve also started a second audiobook on Hoopla, Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis, a novel by Patti Callahan and the title adequately describes the plot.
The world of books has certainly changed dramatically from my childhood of being thrilled with hand-me-down books to present day life awash in so many options to access books through my public library and that’s not even touching the many free e-books available online via just a bit of online searching. The ease of using these free digital services at home with my library card amazed me. By all means, check out your local public library and you might be amazed too.