Category Archives: Politics

Wag The Dog To Win The Election?

British intelligence says there is no “increased threat” from Iran. Nevertheless, the Trump Administration has a carrier task-force backed up by heavy bombers headed for the Persian Gulf and is reportedly considering sending in more than 100-thousand troops. Trump has also ordered the evacuation of all non-essential personnel from the U.S. Embassy in nearby Iraq.

The Republicans haven’t wagged the dog this hard since the W. Bush Administration was finding yellow cake in Niger and aluminum centrifuge tubes all over Iraq.

How many times are we going to fall for this same ploy? How many times are we going to let the Republicans take the country to war to win an election? How many times have you speculated that we would have been better off leaving Saddam in place, which would have meant no ISIS? Was Saddam that much worse than Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has imprisoned journalists, judges, and pretty much anybody who opposes his regime while he continues his war against our allies the Kurds?

It’s easy to forget that Saddam had our implicit support when he went to war with Iran, and that he would still be holding the Iranians in check had the Untied States not demonized him before invading his sovereign nation in the name of regime change. Sure, Saddam was a nasty guy, but preventing the formation of ISIS and holding Iran in check while eliminating the need for a massive deployment of U.S. troops is no small matter.

What George W. Bush said about “democratizing” all the of Middle East popped into my head the other day. One wonders how many in the current administration continue to believe that’s a good idea? How many there are who think that leaving our troops permanently scattered across the Middle East and North Africa at the U.S. taxpayers expense is a viable option? Presidential adviser John Bolton, is a known supporter of regime change in Iran. In simple terms, Bolton thinks it would be a good idea to invade another sovereign nation to overthrow another sitting government.

We never used to even contemplate doing that kind of thing unless a nation-state or other entity presented a clear and present danger to us or threatened a country with whom we had a mutual defense agreement. It just wasn’t what America did. We were better than that. Apparently that ended with Vietnam, another country we invaded based upon an apparent lie. More than 58,000 Americans died in that one. Sadly, documents and tapes in the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library prove that Johnson had both the South and the North Vietnamese ready to sign a peace treaty, but that the deal died when Richard Nixon’s campaign convinced the South Vietnamese that it would be to their advantage to keep the war going until after Nixon was elected. It would be years later before a disgusted American public became so disenchanted with the unending war that they took to the streets and demanded that the military-industrial complex disengage.

When did the very idea of peace become unreachable while ongoing war feels like the norm? Something we simply cannot avoid? Do you suppose the profitability of war factors into any of this?

Which do you prefer? Educating our kids and giving the country a national healthcare program, or killing strangers on foreign soil? Why isn’t that even discussed? When did the very concept of peace become not just unfashionable, but un-American?

An “exit strategy” to pull our people out of the Middle-East and North Africa, has been all but forgotten, as has an actual long-term game plan for why we are still there. Also nearly forgotten is the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the need for national healthcare, the overwhelming need for campaign finance reform along with real immigration reform and the role the Russians played in rigging our last election.

War with Iran, might very well ensure our national lapse in memory continues long enough to get Donald Trump re-elected. Until then, the chaos this one man has created continues to provide Republicans with excellent cover to continue putting the self-interest of a relative few above the national interest of the many.

Our real enemies appear to be the Russians, who, our intelligence services tell us, continue plotting ways to rig our next election, and the Saudis, who have never stopped spreading a worldwide campaign of anti-American hatred. All the while, Donald Trump, in his infinite wisdom, is laying the groundwork for another war. The ultimate diversion heading into 2020.

Has Our “Constitutional Crisis” Arrived?

Turned on CNN International this morning to hear their guest, a law professor, stating that the United States is now in the midst of “a constitutional crisis.” This, following the Attorney General of the United States, William Barr, allegedly the nation’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, refusing to show up for questioning before the House Judiciary Committee which is trying to get to the bottom of what was redacted from the Muller Report and whether Mr. Barr has greater interest in being the Attorney General of the United States or a personal attorney for Donald J. Trump, doing all he can to give Mr. Trump cover from his obvious collusion with the Russians, followed by his equally obvious obstruction of justice, outlined in the Mueller Report. A report which, Mr. Barr now admits, he has not read and did not read, prior to telling the American people that it clears Donald Trump of any wrong doing. That is to say, no collusion and no obstruction of justice.

We now know, of course, following Barr’s appearance before a Senate committee on Wednesday, that Mr. Mueller complained in writing to Mr. Barr, that he had mischaracterized the contents of the report to the American people. When his complaint was ignored, Mueller, complained again. Barr, apparently did not care, as he went before the Senate Judiciary Committee and said he had a conversation with Muller and that Muller’s chief complaint was not that Barr had mischaracterized the report’s contents, but that the media was getting it all wrong.

It’s the White House playbook. When caught in a lie, blame the media. If that doesn’t work, blame Hillary Clinton. The folks back home will buy it every time. They don’t read, so all that really matters is what they hear, first from FOX or Rush, and then from one-another.

Ostensibly, William Barr, is refusing to show up for questioning because he doesn’t like the format House Democrats are going to use of bringing in an outside attorney to help with the questioning. Republicans say the Dems are out of line in trying to use this technique, even though it is the same form of questioning the Republicans insisted upon when questioning Christine Blasey Ford.

The Republicans are famous for their “do as I say and not as I do” moves. When you have a constituency that doesn’t read and reacts from emotion rather than intellect, it works every time.

Beyond that, and just to clear up any confusion, the Judiciary Committee is charged with overseeing the Federal Courts and Federal law enforcement agencies, like Mr. Barr and the FBI. So in a very real sense (as opposed to “alternative facts”), Barr, is answerable to the Committee. His refusal to show up for a committee hearing is not unlike telling one’s boss to “go stuff it.”

So here we are. If the law professor is correct, and I think she probably is, Donald J. Trump, and his water-carrying Attorney General, have brought us to the brink of becoming a full-blown banana republic. The United States of America, where tens of thousands have gone into into battle to die or be wounded to protect our way of life, our Democracy, and now a spoiled man-child from New York, a man who may have mental health issues, is being allowed to bring it all to the brink?

When you enter the military, you raise your right hand and take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…” Trump seems to have no concept of what that means. He is talking and acting like a monarch, because he is being allowed to talk and act like one. He apparently has no idea that the Congress is co-equal to the Executive.

It’s a problem which, at this point, only the Republicans with their majority in the Senate, can fix. However, to fix it, they will have to put country ahead of their party and the polls. So far they have refused, and in their intransigence and unending support for this President who would be king, they have shown themselves to be traitors to the cause of American Democracy.

They are turning their backs on each and every young American who has taken an oath to “support and defend” the Constitution. A document this current Republican Party has no interest in defending. If they did, they would be joining the growing chorus of those who refuse to stand by and watch our great nation being turned into something resembling a third-world country being run by a tyrant who is beyond the reach of the law and without accountability for his words and actions. A man who has delivered us into a constitutional crisis. He is Vladimir Putin’s fondest desire.

Whether Trump understands what he’s doing is no longer relevant. He is doing it. That, is all that really matters. Have you seen what’s happening in Venezuela right now? Don’t think it can’t happen here.

Mr. Barr’s Political Puff-Piece Press Conference

Well, that was interesting. We all knew Attorney General Barr, would continue in his role as White House cheerleader, but why was Rod Rosenstein there, standing up for everything Barr said as he turned the Mueller Report into a political puff-piece for Donald Trump?

There is so much disingenuity and flip-flopping going on that it’s difficult to keep track, but I seem to remember AG Barr saying he would not be sending the report over to the White House before releasing it to the Congress. However, that’s exactly what he did, giving the President’s lawyers a legal leg-up on everyone else.

“William Barr writes he has ‘no plans’ to give Trump or the White House a chance to review the report before its release.” – 3/29/19 Politico

The pundits and writers will now go through the report line by line, as both the Republicans and the Dems seek to use it to their political advantage. Initially though, it appears the bar for what constitutes a campaign’s illegal contact with a foreign power is set so high, that it was unreachable by Mueller’s team. As for obstruction, Mueller found there were ten possible counts, but passed the buck onto the congress to decide whether anything should or could be done about them.

For a time, the question of whether a president can be indicted appeared to be unsettled law. Then, at some point during the Mueller investigation, someone inside the DOJ announced that it was settled law and that the Department’s position was that a sitting president cannot be indicted. A position which was then endlessly parroted by the pundits. This, despite a 56 page memo the New York Times got its hands on indicating the issue was resolved during the investigation of Bill Clinton by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. The memo says in part, “It is proper, constitutional, and legal for a federal grand jury to indict a sitting president for serious criminal acts that are not part of, and are contrary to, the president’s official duties,” the Starr office memo concludes. “In this country, no one, even President Clinton, is above the law.”  -NYT’s

Apparently reversing their earlier decision, the Department of Justice now does not agree with Mr. Starr’s legal team. They now think the president is above the law, so the answer as to what legally can be done to the President – other than impeachment or removal from office by using the 25th Amendment – is apparently absolutely nothing. It follows, that in all likelihood, nothing will be done so long as Republicans continue to control the Senate.

It is somewhat surprising that the AG has agreed to turn over an unredacted version of the report to congressional leaders for their perusal. He may be doing this because DJT’s lawyers have decided the wisest course of action is to keep it out of court.

An analysis by key congressional leaders will be worth waiting for, as will Robert Mueller’s testimony before congressional committees. AG Barr, says he has no problem with Mueller testifying. At least, that’s what he is saying now. One wonders if he’ll get a phone call from the White House directing him to change his mind. Again.

As for all the rest of it – all the noise to come – I’ll be preserving what sanity I have left by watching baseball, as we appear to be stuck with Trump and his bizarre band of cronies until the next election despite evidence of obstruction of justice and obvious collusion with the Russians, even if it doesn’t meet one legal standard or another. Like so many Americans, I am now officially suffering from chronic Trump fatigue.

Assange, Trump, and setting the Barr

Everything AG William Barr is now saying he will do, like investigating the investigators because he thinks there was “spying” during the runup to the 2016 election, was called for by Donald Trump during his campaign at the same time he was praising Wikileaks for dumping info on HRC’s email. The insanity with Trump wanting this, is that the investigators he want’s investigated are some of the same people who inadvertently helped Trump win the election by going public with information on Hillary’s emails. Or more precisely, her email server. If memory serves.

We have no Attorney General. We have the Trump family running the country like it’s their private business, with the most powerful man in the world making irrational decisions and using the AG as his private attorney while he kicks up as much dust as he possibly can by creating a “crisis” on the border with Mexico. Trump needs a curtain to hide behind. Chaos fueled by hyperbole or outright dishonesty, is the curtain giving him continued cover from the real question of whether and to what degree his campaign was in collusion with or impacted by the Russians.

“Wikileaks! I love Wikileaks!” – Donald J. Trump

Poor Julian Assange. At least he is now finally out of the Ecuadorian Embassy. With all the propaganda being thrown about, one way and the other, it’s difficult not to be conflicted about the guy. In the end, it could all boil down to whether the United States can prove he actually assisted Chelsea Manning in obtaining classified information, or if Manning got the data on her own and simply passed it along to Assange, who then published it.

Legal experts speculate that if it’s the latter, Assange was acting as a publisher, just like the New York Times. Meaning, he should be protected by the First Amendment. Either way, you can be sure Donald Trump’s promotion of and love for Wikileaks, is sure to be highlighted in the weeks and months to come, as will Daniel Ellsberg and his release of the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg beat an espionage/conspiracy rap because he was discredited by the U.S. Government. Can’t the same be said of Julian Assange? Do ya think? Is it possible for the government to hate Assange enough to want to throw him in prison even while the president professes his love for leakers? And what will the Mueller Report have to say about Assange and the Russians?

Across the pond, the Brits have not only succeeded in arresting an unshaven Julian Assange by dragging him out of the Embassy, they have also bought themselves some breathing room by extending the Brexit deadline into October. The Brits can breath again, at least for a while, without having to worry about their chaotic government crashing out of the EU. Could be a terrible mess, don’t you know. With the extension, all they need worry about is whether to hold another referendum, and if they do, whether that’s contradictory to their democratic principles, since one referendum was already held which directed the government to leave the EU. However, another referendum may be their only viable option, because the House of Commons can’t agree on when to break for lunch, much less a compromise on Brexit.

With the United States and the U.K. both in the grip of governmental chaos and even the Israelis voting to support a “strong man” in the person of Benjamin Netanyahu, you can be sure that somewhere deep inside the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin is loving every minute of it as he dreams of the demise of democracy and the rise of what? Plutocracy? Fascism? Some form of Neo-Feudalism that benefits the few but denies the many while convincing the hordes of commoners that a good screwing is in their best interest? Anyway, why should any of that matter to Putin, so long as it strengthens his position on the world stage.

When Politics Becomes A Disease

“Aggression unopposed becomes a contagious disease.” -Jimmy Carter

Started the day by turning on the tv to find a congressional committee getting set to question William Barr. Oh, that’ll be productive. Not being able to stomach that exercise in futility (I’ll wait for Lester Holt to fill me in on all the questions Barr refused to answer), I go to CNN, where I am greeted by the announcement that Trump is thinking of giving refugee families arriving at the border two options. One, is to keep their kids. The other, is to give them up to the government, which now has a reputation for locking up refugee kids in cages. Neither of the pundits talks at all about why any parent would feel motivated to give up their kids.

Disgusted that they are avoiding this central question, I move on to the Internet, where I find an exchange dealing with all the absences in Donald Trump’s cabinet and speculation that temporary cabinet officers who haven’t been confirmed by the Senate won’t be able to take action to remove the president via the 25th Amendment.

Flipping over to another of the cable channels I’m met by a discussion of the “purge” at the Department of Homeland Security. Purge? Here in the U.S.? When did the media begin using terms that once were reserved for tyrants and dictators to describe the actions of a President of the United States? And yet, unrestrained, how far would Donald Trump be from the philosophy and actions of Joseph Stalin? If that idea’s outrageous, then it may be important to remember that Mr. Trump could very well turn out to be one of the most outrageous politicians in our country’s relatively short history and that we are still waiting for a fully sanitized and redacted version of the Mueller report to determine his involvement or non-involvement with the Russians.

I was feeling pretty good. Now, I feel terrible. Like I need therapy, maybe. Thank you very much, Donald J. Trump. The day they kick your sorry giant posterior out of the White House will be one of the finest day’s in the nation’s history.

The election can’t come soon enough. Sorry to be so overt about this. It is of course, my opinion, but it feels like the time for holding back the obvious truth about the peril this president presents is long past. Attorney General of the United States, William Barr, who is supposed to represent we the people, represents Donald J. Trump, and Trump, represents only himself. And we, dear friends, have been left waving in the wind, many of us feeling slightly ill from the constant motion and lack of stability.

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Message From The Los Angeles Press Club

The Board of the Los Angeles Press Club strongly condemns the
State Department’s decision to exclude most media outlets from covering a briefing on international press freedom. On Monday, the State Department held a briefing call to discuss international press freedom with
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The call, bizarrely, was specifically only for faith-based media. In response to inquiries from excluded
journalists, the State Department declined to provide either a transcript of the call or a list of media outlets allowed to participate and would not explain the criteria used in choosing those media outlets. The LA Press Club joins the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in urging
the State Department to immediately release the transcript of this
briefing call, and guarantee that future briefings — especially those on
issues of widespread public interest — are open to any and all interested journalists. A free and unfettered press is the pillar of our democracy.

(Received from LA Press Club, 3-21-19)

Just Another Day In Trump’s America

Not sure what’s up with Facebook, but I can’t get into it right now, so I’ll pour out my angst here. Maybe it’s the Russians? Speaking of which-

Donald J.Trump’s former campaign manager and known associate of certain Russian operatives, Paul Manafort (who signed onto Trump’s campaign for gratis), has just been handed a 16-count indictment by the State of New York relating to allegations of fraudulent business practices. The move by New York prosecutors came moments after he was sentenced to a total of 7-1/2 years in jail by the feds. The federal sentences are pardonable by President Trump, convictions that might result from the state charges, will not be.

Also today, President Trump announced that the federal government is grounding all Boeing 737 Max-8 and 737 Max-9 aircraft. The move by the U.S. was announced only after nearly every other developed country in the world had grounded the aircraft over safety concerns following two crashes. Canada, grounded the aircraft just a short while before the announcement by Trump. Aviation experts say it was unusual for the President to make this announcement rather that the Secretary of Transportation or the FAA. CNN reports that Trump is a long-time supporter of Boeing and that his former Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is now on the board at Boeing.

Finally, but not least interesting, is the ongoing conversation about the fairness of the application process at U.S. colleges and universities following the “shocking” announcement by the FBI that some families, including a couple of Hollywood celebs, were allegedly paying off the right people to get their kids into prestigious institutions of higher learning. Seriously? Was everyone asleep in years gone by as wealthy families funneled millions upon millions of dollars into their favorite colleges or universities prior to those same families kids being admitted whether they deserved it or not? Are you all kidding? Not everyone can be like Donald J. Trump, who was admitted to Wharton because of his self-admitted genius.

Just another day in Trump’s America.

Our Most Recent “Long National Nightmare”

Democrats are now in charge of the House. Things that were not happening with the Republicans in charge, are now happening.

The president’s former lawyer and so-called “fixer,” Michael Cohen, will be questioned about reported irregularities with the Trump organization, including his campaign and subsequent administration with regard to meetings with Russians in the Trump Tower, alleged “hush-money” payments to Mr. Trump’s women friends and more.

The House Oversight Committee, will once again begin carrying out its assigned duty of overseeing the executive branch of the federal government. Something for which the Republicans, exhibited absolute negligence over the past two years as they looked the other way, letting Donald J. Trump run roughshod over the nation with his Mafia boss style of governance. The Democrats, have a lot of catching up to do.

Even with all the lies and unacceptable activity, with Donald Trump publicly soliciting the help of the Russians to throw the 2016 election, with his publicly taking the side of Vladimir Putin over United States intelligence agencies, with his defaming a great American like John McCain and smearing a Gold Star Family, with him publicly proclaiming that there are good neo-Nazis among us as he continues to conduct a presidency by Twitter, even with all of that and more, there are still those out there who continue to support the Republican Party, the party of Trump. According to some pollsters, Trump’s support is running as high as 40%. How can that be possible?

To paraphrase progressive satirist, Bill Maher, anyone who still thinks there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, hasn’t been paying attention for the past twenty years. This is a real pet peeve of mine, especially for those who think it’s okay to continue supporting Republicans at the local level, even though they disapprove of Mr. Trump. It’s not. Can’t have it both ways. With the Republicans, if you’re in for a dime, you’re in for a dollar. Trump’s dirty, bullying, racist, sexist, boss hog politics have polluted the Republican party with self aggrandizing political filth, including, but not limited to, cozying up to the Russians while turning his back on our allies. Speaking out against our free press, with his unbelievable acts and statements piling atop one-another, eventually forming a mountain of deceit.

Those who have read Orwell, might liken our would-be dictator Donald Trump and his current batch of Republicans to a neo-feudal movement, using deceit to take their naive followers to a new world of haves and have-nots. Only rich and poor, with the poor realizing far too late that they made the wrong choice in worshiping greed and fear, surrendering their self-determination rather than having the courage to pursue the common good and promotion of our general welfare through Democracy. The former needing only followers, the latter requiring those with the courage to lead.

With Donald Trump in Vietnam for talks with North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un, one is reminded of Nixon being praised for his China initiative, even while the Watergate scandal was approaching its inevitable conclusion. Reminded of the sad and pathetic denials of Richard Nixon, despite a mountain of evidence towering over his presidency. It can, I think, be legitimately compared to the sad and irresponsible and possibly treasonous behavior of Republicans in congress who did nothing while Donald Trump ran wild with what may be the most dangerous American presidency in history, even while Michael Cohen prepared to offer public testimony, now that Democrats have regained control of the House.

If you still think there is no difference between the Democratic and Republican parties, you really haven’t been paying attention.

Many of us who have been paying attention, I fear, are nearing exhaustion, feeling a need to turn away from Facebook and Twitter and even the daily news, as we grow weary from attempting to refute the lies and half-truths of the right, weary from wondering if those we argue with are actually who they seem to be or might be a Russian bot or agent. We are seeking some relief from the intellectual overload of daily nonsense coming from the Administration of Donald J. Trump, while hoping more of America, at least some portion of those who continue to be in Trump’s tribal camp, will wake up to the facts, rather than right-wing fiction, to help us deliver the country from this most recent “long national nightmare.” So that we can once again, as President Gerald R. Ford said not so many years ago, “go forward now together.”

Dear Mr. Schultz: Please stop emulating Ralph Nader

On wonders if Howard Schultz is just naive, or whether he is colluding with other billionaires to be a spoiler for the Dems in 2020? Surely he can’t be so blind as to think the votes he would draw away from the Dems wouldn’t matter? Or can he?

What are we supposed to think about a billionaire who publicly proclaims progressive taxation to be a bad idea? Someone who thinks it is better to wring another 30-cents a day out of poor Liza Doolittle than to increase taxes on those who have more than they can possibly use or might ever really need? Even if that might mean going without a fourth gated estate, a second private jet or another yacht? Someone who tells us that so-called “Medicare for all” will bankrupt the nation, even while other developed countries like the U.K., Germany, Taiwan, France and Canada, are doing quite well with national health insurance?

For some, enough, it seems, will never be enough. Is it possible that the concept of being rich only gets “filthy,” when one stops caring about others and rationalizes away their immorality?

Simply put, it’s called “sharing the wealth.” Those of us raised in the Christian faith learned all about it in Bible class. You can be sure those of other faiths and even Secular Humanists, are familiar with it as well. The founders obviously held it close to their hearts, referring to it as our “general Welfare” in the preamble to the Constitution.

I have learned never to equate great wealth with intelligence. Some of these guys, and I’ve know a bunch of them, just fall over backwards into a pile of money. Like….ah….Donald Trump. Making Mr. Schultz an even bigger threat, is that he has Steve Schmidt working on his campaign. Schmidt, is very smart and very savvy, and he could greatly increase the number of voters Schultz draws away from the Dems. I know, I know, Steve Schmidt convinced McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008. So he screwed up (massively) on that one. However, if you’ve listened to any of what he’s had to say on the talk shows, then you already know that generally he’s a very bright guy.

In other news for the intellectually battered and weary, scientists at the University of Minnesota are working on a new “what it feels like” scale for the weather. This one is for pets and it will be based upon the time it takes a hairless cat to succumb to hypothermia when it’s 0 degrees with a 10mph wind blowing. Not really. It’s a joke. I’m just really tired of weathercasters telling me not just how cold it is outside, which is something I can relate to, but what it will “feel like” if I’m mindless enough to stay outside without proper clothing long enough to get into trouble. Meaningless hype. That said, some idiot wanting to make a name for himself is probably out there working on a “what it feels like” scale for pets, right now.

Perhaps they should instead be pondering how long it will take us all to freeze to death if the Russians or the Chinese or the Russians in collusion with the Chinese, shut down the power grid? Cold, is cold. Twenty below can kill you even if you feel like it’s 25 below while you are dying. Just tell me how cold it is and leave it at that. Cut out all the hype. And do a little research on the Russian hacking thing, how they can kill our power at will. That’ll really scare you. Almost as much as somebody telling the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, that he needs to go over to the White House and “educate” the President. Those two, Coats and Russian hacking, are both on the “for real” scale, as opposed to “how it will feel.”

Who Will Make It Stop?

With the current partial shutdown and Trump’s obvious affinity for the Russians, my thinking keeps returning to Steve Bannon’s vow to push forward with the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

At what point does “deconstruction” cross over into destruction?

Coupled with the chaos of Brexit, we should all be wondering not whether, but the degree to which both the U.S. and the British are being played by the Russians. Only our law enforcement and intelligence agencies can protect us, but Donald Trump continues bloviating against them as well as our traditional allies and NATO. Why? Surely, you can’t think he came up with all of this himself?

It is to Russia’s advantage to split up the EU, and to throw the U.S. Government into chaos while America pulls her troops out of Syria with Donald Trump spouting ridiculous revisionist history with regard to the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan, an act nearly as repulsive as his sycophantic display in Helsinki.

Is this really so difficult to understand? Are there any Republicans left who care more for the long-term good of the nation, the survival of our American democracy, than for their own short-term political advantage?

To what degree are they willing to continue selling us out? How much farther will this political charade be permitted to go before Mitch McConnell allows a bill to be introduced on the floor of the Senate that reclaims congressional oversight of the executive? Surely the fact that McConnell’s wife and brother-in-law are both employed by Trump, wouldn’t have any influence with regard to his responsibilities as Senate Majority Leader?

Russians, Russians, Everywhere…

The Brits are all agog about Theresa May surviving a no-confidence vote by her conservative party in the midst of the continuing fight over Brexit.  And they should be  It’s a big deal.  It means they won’t have to go through the pain of choosing a new Prime Minister.  However, with a vote of 200 for May and 117 against, she is still anything but popular within the ranks of her own party.   It’s also a sign that the British Government is as chaotic or perhaps even more chaotic than the U.S. Government under Donald J. Trump.

What I cannot understand, is the absolute absence of any discussion about the degree to which the Russians might have influenced the original Brexit vote.   A referendum which, a great many British now regret.   Hence, the chaos.

A report, commissioned by Democrats on the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee some months ago, points to concerns about possible Russian influence over Brexit, as British finance laws have loopholes allowing non-British companies to funnel money into British politics without being detected.   According to a piece in The Guardian,  “This opacity,…may have enabled Russian-related money to be directed with insufficient scrutiny to various UK political actors………Investigative journalists have also raised questions about the sources of sudden and possibly illicit wealth that may have been directed to support the Brexit ‘Leave’ campaign.”

Whether Russian money found its way into the hands of Brexit supporters or not, it’s fascinating that the United States has a similar problem following the Supreme Court’s decision in the “Citizens United” case, which also allows the flow of “dark money” into our political arena.   So, who really knows what the Russians may or  many not be up to?

All we do know is that the U.K. and the U.S. are in political chaos, with a President in the United States who appears to be a lap dog for Vladimir Putin and British politicians who have forgotten that the Russians may have had a hand, or may still have a hand in the whole Brexit mess, which is spilling over into the rest of Europe.

Sounds like the ingredients for a counter-intelligence board game or possibly something Russian intelligence dreamed up to throw the world’s democracies into chaos.  However, I wouldn’t dare suggest that.  I don’t want anybody calling me a conspiracy theory nut.

With all this going on one wonders how much time President Trump, who seems to be into Vladimir Putin to the point of bromantic adoration,  has invested in seeing to it that our political process is protected from Russian hacking as another election approaches?   He hasn’t said a word about it, has he?  Not lately, anyway.

Not to worry though.  President Puffery is going after that border wall thing with a vengeance.  That’s at least as important as the security of our electoral process or the stability of European democracies.

Trump’s First Real Challenge – Avoiding World War III

A conspiracy-minded person might wonder if  Vladimir Putin is going to let the situation in Ukraine continue building to a flash-point for WW III, before bringing in Trump for talks that will completely defuse the situation – with the purpose of rebuilding whatever image Trump has left in the U.S.   Sounds like something Russian intelligence would come up with, doesn’t it?

The other possibility is that the Russians have no further use for Trump,  that they are giving up on him as their political tool,  while they risk another world war by blocking off the Sea of Azov and possibly seizing more real estate by marching farther into the Ukraine.

Recent court filings, sentencing recommendations  in the Southern District of NY and from Robert Mueller, which point to Donald Trump being a felon  are big news, but the obvious hazards of the situation in Ukraine and the potential economic explosion from the arrest of one of China’s top business executives, the CFO of Huawei,  Meng Wanzhou, in Canada at the request of the United States,  are as big or bigger.   Huawei, is an electronics giant.  Wanzhou, is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei,  who is a former military technologist with the People’s Liberation Army.

Think of Bill Gates daughter being arrested while changing planes in Venezuela at the request of the People’s Republic of China.   Think the U.S. would be the least little bit upset?

We now have a Chinese dragon by the tail and are coming nose-to-nose with the Russian bear with intemperate and uninformed Donald Trump taking the point on handling what could be his first great geopolitical challenge while John Kelly, one of the few adults still standing,  makes an exit from the White House.  All the while, alleged Republican leaders continue their flirtatious relationship with treason by refusing to take greater control by reigning in this pretend president, putting the country and the world in ever-greater danger.

Instead of taking care of geopolitical business in the form of a clear and present danger from the Russians and this current president’s obvious inability to deal with it, the Republicans are behind closed doors in show-hearings for their base,  again asking  former FBI Director Comey about Hillary’s emails.    Their behavior represents extreme negligence.  At long last do they have no shame?

It may be time to look up from the football game and pay more attention to politics.

More Than 400 Journalists Denounce Donald J. Trump For Attacks On Free Press

Days ago, following the murder of Washington Post writer, Jamal Khashoggi, and President Trump joking that any candidate that could body-slam a reporter was his kind of guy, a handful of former ABC News staffers, led by former producer, Meredith Wheeler, decided something needed to be done.   Someone needed to take a stand.  So they wrote a letter about Mr. Trump’s unacceptable and inexcusable disregard for our free press.   About his encouraging others to treat the American press as an enemy, even while five of our colleagues were gunned down inside the offices of their newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.

You will find a copy of the letter below, along with the names of more than 400 journalists.   As of 11-27-18, there were 460 signatories.  As the letter got its genesis on a FB page for ABC retirees the list contains the names of  many former ABC  staffers.  However, journalists from other outlets, both print and broadcast are there as well, as the list continues to grow.  You can view the most recently updated copy by clicking here.     If you wish to add your name, leave it as a comment, along with your professional title(s) and media outlet(s) and I’ll pass it along.

Thanks to Meredith Wheeler and all those who have contributed their time to make this letter happen.

Oct 25, 2018

THE  LETTER:

On the heels of the recent brutal murder of a Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump chose to celebrate the assault of The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by an American congressman—an attack that occurred while the journalist was simply doing his job, posing questions to a politician.

Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte (R) bodyslammed
Jacobs, knocking him to the ground and beating him severely enough to send him to the hospital.   Although Gianforte pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault and was fined, the President of the United States praised this violent behavior at a Trump rally in Missoula, Montana, on October 18.

Trump’s condoning of political violence is part of a sustained pattern of attack on a free press—which includes labeling any reportage he doesn’t like as “fake news” and barring reporters and news organizations whom he wishes to punish from press briefings and events.

One of the pillars of a free and open democracy is a vibrant free press.

At his inauguration the President of the United States swears to protect the U.S. Constitution, including the First Amendment.

This President is utterly failing to do so and actively working not simply to undermine the press, but to incite violence against it as well.

In a lawsuit filed by PEN, the writer’s organization, against Donald Trump, they charge him with violating the First Amendment.  We, the undersigned, past and present members of the Fourth Estate, support this action.

We denounce Donald Trump’s behavior as unconstitutional, un-American and utterly unlawful and unseemly for the President of the United States and leader of the free world.

###

1. Dan Cordtz, Economics correspondent, ABC News
2. Sam Donaldson, ABC News White House correspondent, ret.
3. Anne Garrels, ABC News and NPR correspondent, ret.
4. Jim Hickey, ABCTV
Correspondent and ABC News Radio National
Correspondent, ret.
5. Mike Lee, ABC News Correspondent, ret.
6. Bob Brown, ABC News Correspondent, ret.
7. George Strait, Chief Science and Medical Correspondent, ABC News, ret.
8. Hilary Brown, retired foreign correspondent, ABC News, former Anchor, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
9. David Ensor, former Correspondent for NPR, ABC News and CNN
10. James Walker, ABC News Correspondent, ret.
11. Charles Glass, former Chief Mideast Correspondent, ABC News
12. Lynn Sherr, Correspondent ABC News, ret., author/ freelance
journalist
13. Peter Lance, ABC News Correspondent (ret.) Investigative author
HarperCollins? Contributor HuffPost
14. Al Dale, ABC News correspondent, 197896, ret.
15. Chris Kelley, correspondent, CBS NEWS, ret.
16. Ken Kashiwahara, ABC News correspondent, ret.
17. Judy Muller, ABC News Correspondent, ret.? Professor Emerita, USC Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication
18. Karen Burnes, Anchor/Correspondent/Producer, ABC and CBS
News
19. Bill Greenwood, former ABC News correspondent
20. Jim Slade, ABC News Science Correspondent, ret.
21. Ted David, ABC News Correspondent, Anchor, CNBC
19892009
22. Vicki Mabrey, former Correspondent CBS and ABC News
23. Ron Olsen, former Reporter, KABC-TV, ABC Radio Net and
KTLA-TV, founder/editor, workingreporter.com
24. Betsy Aaron, former Correspondent, ABC, NBC News, CNN
25. Chris Kelly, former Correspondent, CBS News, ret.
26. Ron Bisney, Correspondent, CNN, AP and RKO
27. Rick Kaplan, former President of CNN and MSNBC, Executive
Producer of The CBS Evening News, World News Tonight, Nightline and Primetime Live
28. Av Westin, former Senior VP and Executive Producer, ABC News, ret.
29. William Nagy, Vice President, ABC News, ret.
30. Bob Hoenig, former Senior Editor, ABC Radio
31. Paul Friedman, Executive Producer, NBC News, ABC News, ret.
32. David Buksbaum, former Senior Producer, ABC News, Vice
President CBS News, ret.
33. Andrea McCarren, former White House Correspondent and News One Correspondent, ABC News
34. Gil Gross, former Senior Correspondent and Anchor, ABC News
Radio
35. Helen Westwood, Washington Coordinating Producer, Primetime Live, London Bureau Chief, ABC TV News, ret.
36. Kathy O’Hearn, former Executive Producer, ABC/CNN/MSNBC
37. Derwin Johnson, former CNN and ABC Producer & Middle East
Bureau Chief, former Associate Professor, Columbia Univ. Graduate
School of Journalism
38. Thomasina Nista Chaffardet, Director of New Media, ABC News, ret.
39. Dianne Drummey Marino, NBC News & WNBC News, producer,
retired
40. Dawn Ennis, former ABC News Assignment Editor, GMA Writer and Field Producer, Producer, NBC News
41. Linda Pattillo, former ABC News Correspondent, Lecturer in
Journalism, Georgia State University
42. Ed Freedman, Producer, CBS News & ABC News, ret.
43. John Beattie, former Producer, ABC News, ret.
44. Carmen Dixon, former Producer, Primetime Live, World News
Tonight
45. Steve North, Correspondent, NBC Radio, and Writer, CBS News, ret.
46. Nick Young, Correspondent, CBS News, Radio, ret.
47. Robert Daley, New York Times correspondent and author, ret.
48. Kayce Freed Jennings, Former Producer, ABC News
49. Bob Furnad, Former Executive Vice President & Senior Executive Producer at CNN
50. Justin Friedland, Senior Producer, ABC News Special Events, WNT, Morning News, ret.
51. John Lower, Producer, ABC News, ret.
52. Todd Easton, Producer WNT, ABC News
53. Richard O’Regan, freelance journalist, former Producer ABC News, CBS News, CBC News, the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times Television
54. Bernice Vann Homstrom, ABC News, ret.
55. Mark Haimowitz, BO&E, ABC News, ret.
56. Willian Lynch, ABC News Film & Videotape Library
57. Richard L. Hess, former BO&E systems engineer
58. Mike Rebich, ABC News Cameraman
59. Warner W. Johnston, ABC Transmission Engineer
60. Joanne Mallie, Executive Producer, CBS News,ret.
61. Evalyn Lee, Producer, CBS News, ret.
62. William Bores, ABC Network Technical Director & NABETCWA
Local 16 Executive Board
63. Lisa Rosenberg, Producer, GMA Sunday, ret.
64. Jane Aylor, Director, Bureau Operations, ABC News DC., ret
65. Sharon Sforza Brender, Director of News Production, ABC News DC, ret.
66. Bernadine Rideau, ABC News PA/AD
67. Frank A. Dalecki, Jr., Producer/Writer, CBS News Radio, ret.
68. Lyn Henderson, Past President, Women in Film & Television, Florida Chapter
69. Meredith Wheeler, Writer and Producer, ABC News ret.
70. Phil Paine, Senior Engineer, London ENG Operations
71. Eddie Land, Former DA, WABC TV and ABC News
72. George Merlis, Former Executive Producer, Good Morning America, CBS Morning News.
73. Linda Maskin Fuller, ABC News
74. Dave Cohen, News Editor, ABC, ret.
75. Tara Sonenshine, former Editorial Producer, ABC NEWS Nightline, Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, currently at George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs
76. Eileen O’Connor, Attorney and former CNN White House and
Moscow Bureau Chief
77. Ellen Bradley Watson, Executive Secretary to David Burke, Exec VP, ABC News
78. Marianne Keeley Stack, ABC News Producer, ret.
79. Bill Harris, Editor, ABC News Editor, ret.
80. Laura Hughes, ABC News, Audio technician, ret.
81. Frank Radice, ABC News Producer, ret.
82. L. Aviva Diamond, former Correspondent, ABC News, former
Reporter, The Miami Herald
83. Dick Hubert, ProducerWriter, ABC NEWS SCOPE, ret.
84. Andy Lewis, Editor, ABCNews London, ret.
85. Cass Wagner, Camera: Local, Net, Sports, GMA, ABC TV
86. Wendy Vega, Sound mixer, WABCTV and KABCTV
87. Jody Serensits, ENG audio technician, ABC, ret.
88. Jorge Bouza, Sound mixer ABC/CBS, Miami Bureau
89. Dina Cholack, ABC News, former Producer/Assignment Editor
90. Mark Teboe, ENG Camera, Freelance ABC, NBC, CBS, Al Jazeera
International
91. Val WickensSmith, former ABSAT Manager, ABC News
92. Kelly Woods Traudt, former DA NewsOne
93. Lori Hoffman, Producer, Bloomberg News, ret.
94. Al Wasser, Writer/Editor, ABC & CBS News (ret.)
95. Barbara Silber, former AD, ABC Radio Network
96. Lynn Flaster, Writer, Producer, Reporter, NBC News, Connecticut Public Television, ret.
97. Jeff Kreiner, Senior Vice President, CBS News Marketing, Senior V.P. NBC East Coast
98. Jack Cloherty, former Producer, ABC News
99. Jacqueline Cutty, former Satellite Desk Coordinator, ABC News
100. Robert J. Murphy, Producer/Direction, ABC News
101. Andy Kay, freelance ENG Cameraman, ABC Sports/ESPN, CBS
Sports, NBC, NFL Network
102. Jeanne AmatoCollins, Assist. to correspondents and producers,
ABC News
103. Stu Schutzman, Senior producer, WNT ABC News, ret.
104. Joe Donnelly, Producer ABC News, ret
105. David Riley, WXYZTV Technical Director, Action News, ret.
106. Rusty Lutz, ABC News Radio Assignment Editor DC, ret.
107. Liza Levine, Assoc. Producer, ABC News, ret.
108. Jill Landes, Producer, CBS News, ret.
109. Lew Strauss, CNN and ABC News, ret.
110. Dean Hovell, former World News Tonight Sr. Operations Producer, DC
111. Jacqueline Calnan, Former ABC News Assignment Editor, ret.
112. Carolyn Dunlavy, former BO&E computer graphics technician DC
113. Su Ronneburger, WABC Radio engineer, NYC, 19792014
114. Nancy Wilkerson, former ADE KABCTV
115. Ann Benjamin, Director, WNET
116. Laura Wessner, ABC News Nightline Senior Press Representative, ret.
117. Jim Murphy, News Editor, LA Times? reporter, KCAL, News 12 CT
118. Mardi Camille Tatton, former PA/AD ABC News
119. Shelley Ross, former Executive Producer ABC News, CBS News
120. Carol Williams, former Executive Producer, ABC News and NBC News
121. Rob Vint, Director, ABC News
122. Charlie Reina, writer, CBS Radio News, ret.
123. Naomi S. Boak, former executive producer, Twin Cities Public
Television
124. Jeff Suarez, Technical Director, ABCTV, ret.
125. Kristin Whiting, Former Correspondent/Producer ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN National Geographic
126. Jerry Zweben, TV network staff Associate Director. ret.
127. Gil Longin, Writer/Editor, ABC Radio News, ret.
128. Kathleen O’Neill, former DA, Midwest Bureau, ABC News. Writer, ABCNews.com
129. Moe Thomas, ABC News Master Control, NAC Operations
130. Hal Feldman Digital News Director, NewsOne, Editor/Videographer WABCTV, WCAUTV
131. Michael Risner, Journalist and Production Management, WCJB TV, WPTV TV
132. Robert Forsyth, forrner Director Ops and Engineering, WJLATV
133. Susan Pomerantz Associate Director, ABC, ret.
134. Sarah EvansBurke, former Interview Producer, Al Jazeera English
135. Brian Pannier, Audio Op, ABC Television Network
136. Michael Karman, Technical Director, ABCTV, ret.
137. Stratis Zervos, ABC News, ENG Camera, Freelance
138. Adam Smook, Technical Director, ABCTV, ret.
139. Jim Greene, Satellite Engineer, NBC News, DC
140. Mark Walz, CNN Senior Photojournalist, DC
141. Kimberly Stanick Mullins, former DA NewsOne
142. Tony Caravello ,General Manager Network ENG, ret.
143. Robert Ruttenberg, CBS News, Editor, ret.
144. Cara Fogarty, former Producer NBC Radio, Mutual Broadcasting System and NPR
145. Douglas Obert, World News Tonight Editor
146. Merrill Perlman, Former Director of Copy Desks, New York Times,
ret.
147. Francia White, Former Associate Producer, CBS 60 Minutes, PBS, ret.
148. Mitch Davis, Producer, Special Events, ABC News, ret.
149. Deborah Moxham, Writer, WNBC News, ret.
150. Samuel Campbell, Former Writer and Editor, ABC News
151. Kimberly Myers, Former Producer, WNET, ret.
152. Elizabeth MacKay, former Director of Production, ABC News
153. Bill Nieves, CBS News, Producer, ret.
154. Molly Fowler, Former producer, ABC News
155. Meredith Greene Megaw, Former producer ABC News
156. Regina Elo, former Manager, Awards and Special Projects, ABC
News
157. Gary E Donatelli, Director, ABC Entertainment
158. Murr LeBey, Former Unit Manager and Producer, ABC News
159. Shirley Weiss, Associate Director, ABC ret.
160. Charlotte Perry Aguilar, former West Coast Producer, Nightline, World News Tonight
161. John Arrowsmith, former Senior Producer, ABC News, ret.
162. Tina Lurie, former Operations Manager, ABC News Washington Bureau
163. Gillian Overholser ABC News Associate Producer 1989/1992
164. Thomas Thornton, Editor/Engineer/Producer, ABC News
165. Nick Ludlow, former ABC News Cameraman and current MD of
Prime Television, London
166. Anthony Forma, ABC Freelance Cameraman
167. Alice Look, former Newswriter, Producer, Reporter WNBC.
168. Susan Mercandetti, Former Vice President, ABC News
169. Faridoun Hemani, Managing Director, Linx News, former ABC News Assignment Editor
170. Ken Jobe, former Assistant News Director, WABCTV
171. MaryBeth Neil, Producer, NBC News
172. Gail Zimmerman, former Producer/Director, ABC and CBS News
173. Beth Osisek, former Producer, ABC News
174. Peter T Michaelis, Producer ABCNews and CBS News, ret.
175. Leslie Walker, former Associate Producer, 20/20
176. Julie Hartenstein, former ABC Producer, Associate Dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
177. Rhonda Roberts, Producer Washington Bureau, WNT and Special Events, ret.
178. James Mallon, Technical Operations Manager, BO&E, ABC News, Washington, DC, ret.
179. Evelyn Kanter, former Writer/Producer for CBS and ABC News and Reporter for WCBS Radio and WABCTV
180. Douglas Alden , former Producer, ABC News/ NBC Olympics/ ESPN, Writer for Fortune Magazine
181. Jan RyanFormer, Anchor WTVF, WLAC
182. Jeffrey Veatch, Writer/Editor, ABC News Radio, ret.
183. Carla Wohl, former ABC NewsOne reporter, now Associate Dean, External Relations USU
184. Emily Paine, former Editor, ABC News Productions
185. Jamie Deans, former Producer, ABC News 20/20
186. Jeffrey Veatch, Writer/Editor, ABC News Radio, ret.
187. Greg Neal, Associate Director, ABC
188. Judy Enteles Landis, former DA, Researcher, AP, Producer, ABC
News
189. Stew Stoltz, Producer, News Promos, ABC.
190. Steph Jacobs, ABC and CBS News, ret.
191. Stu Chamberlain, Writer/Editor, ABC News Radio, 1977/2010
192. Alice Irene Pifer, former Producer, ABC News, Producer, Tikson
Documentary Project
193. Paul Colten, ABC Video Editor/Sound Mixer, ret.
194. Beth Simons, ABC ENG Editor, ret.
195. Mike Stein, Editorial Producer, World News Tonight, ret.
196. Lee Goldman, Audio Ops, ABC TV, ret.
197. Willis “Skip” Brown, Producer, Cameraman, CBS, ABC, NBC News and PBS NewsHour, ret.
198. Elliott Reed, VP Operations, ABC Television Network
199. Lynne Adrine, former Senior Producer, ABC Weekend News
200. Kate Felsen, currently VP, Marketing and Digital Strategy,
Turnaround for Children, and formerly Senior Producer/Foreign Editor ABC News,World News Tonight
201. Philip Mishoe, Jr., Broadcast Engineer, ABC News, ret.
202. Stanley Penn, former reporter Wall Street Journal, Pulitzer Prize winner
203. Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, ABC News
204. Steve Hammel, Former VP of News WJLATV
and former Vice President & General Manager WRALTV
205. Paul Kasper, Photojournalist, WTSP
206. John L. Venable, ABC News Operator
207. LaVonne Ellis, ABC Radio News, ret.
208. Elizabeth Sovern, former Associate Producer, World News Tonight
209. Mitch Leisner, ENG Editor, ABC News, ret.
210. Hank Silverberg, former Reporter, WTOP Radio and WUSA9
211. Brian Robertson, former News Photo Journalist KGW, Portland
212. Ed Eaves, Editor/Producer ABC News & NBC News, ret.
213. Herb Perone, former producer and writer, ABC News
214. Robert Pankau, ABC radio reporter, Miami Tampa. Semi retired
215. Roger Scott, West Coast Deputy Bureau Chief, Producer and
Assignment Editor, ABC News, ret.
216. Ellen Rooney, former Film & Videotape Editor, ABC News
217. Dennis Shannon, Video Journalist and Technical Director, CBS
News, ret.
218. Polly Kummel, former Journalist, San Jose Mercury News and
Newsday
219. John E. D’Ulisse, ABC News Operations 1999/2003,
2010/2017
220. Wolfgang Achtner, formerly ABC News, former Reporter/Producer ABC News, former correspondent CNN, Professor of TV News Reporting, University of Siena & Unversity of Perugia
221. Ty West, former Producer, CBS, NBC and MSNBC
222. Mara Altschuler, former Producer, CBS News
223. William Davis, former Writer/Editor, ABC News
224. Bob Young, former Associate Director, ABC
225. Glenn Lewis, Editor/Sound Mixer, ABC News, ret.
226. Douglas Alden, former News Producer, ABC News, ESPN, Writer, Fortune Magazine
227. Dianne Drummey Marino, Producer, NBC News and WNBC
228. Ellen Samrock, former Manager of Research, ABC New, ret.
229. Kathe Traynham, former WNT Producer, DC
230. Susan Wittan, former Editor, World News Tonight, DC
231. Michael C Bohn Sr., former Editor, ABC News
232. Patricia (Beck) Ryan, former BO&E, ABC News, DC
233. James W. Smith, EVS Editor, ABC Good Morning America
234. Mike Cavender, Executive Director Emeritus, Radio Television Digital News Association
235. Ray Jacobs, Senior Creative Ad Director with long association with CBS and NBC News
236. Jan Phillips, former Principal of a San Francisco-based
motion graphics company
237. Tom Kenworthy, Reporter, Washington Post (19832000)
and USA Today (20002007), ret.
238. Ann Natyzak, Electronic Graphics, CBS News, MacNeil/Lehrer
Newshour, ret.
239. Kenneth Walker, NPR Africa Bureau Chief, ret.
240. Don Wall, Producer, ABC News, ret.
241. Lawrence Wells, Supervising Producer, NBC News, ret.
242. Tom Gauger, ABC Radio Reporter/Editor, DC? UPI Radio Anchor, ret.
243. Patrick O’Driscoll, Reporter, Reno GazetteJournal
, USA Today , The Denver Post , and Denver Bureau chief for USA Today (19972007)
244. Sara Fitzgerald, Assignment Editor and New Media Developer,
The Washington Post, ret.
245. Loren Ghiglione, former President of the American Society of
News Editors, Dean of Medill School of Journalism, and Editor and
Publisher of the Southbridge (Mass.) Evening News
246. Tom Torok, Projects Editor, The New York Times, ret.
247. Peter T Michaelis, Former Producer ABC News and CBS News
248. Dennis Shannon, Journalist and Technical Director, CBS News,
ret.
249. Elissa Free, former Executive Producer and Newsroom Manager, CNN Washington Bureau
250. Bettina Hutchings, Former National Field Producer, CNN
251. Megan Duke, former Associate Producer, CNN Washington Bureau
252. Georgia Routsis Savas, former CNN Unit Manager, Writer, Producer
253. Tim Hart, former CNN Senior Photojournalist
254. Linda Lashendock, former Production Manager, CNN Washington Bureau
255. Chuck Berray, former CNN Video Journalist, Editor
256. Steve Stahl, Former Director of Operations, CNN
257. Kolyan DasGupta, Former Chyron Operator, CNN, Former Master Control Operator, CNNSI
258. Kate King, former CNN Senior Producer, former CNN.com Copy Editor
259. Peter Dykstra, former Executive Producer, CNN
260. KC Wildmoon, former Supervising Editor, The CNN Wire
261. Daniel Noel, Midwest Regional Producer for CBS Newspath, ret
262. Diane Slaine, former Senior Producer, ABC News
263. Richard Calangelo, Executive Director, ABC BO&E, ret.
264. Eileen Russell, Producer Documentaries, ABC News
265. Julie Anne Overton, former Producer, CBS News, DC
266. James Overton, Writer/Produer ABC News, DC, ret.
267. Shelley Harris, former Unit Production Manager, ABC News
268. Vicki Contavespi, formerly at Forbes and freelance
269. John Swartley, Journalist, San Jose Mercury, ret.
270. Chuck Carroll, Reporter, Formerly San Jose Mercury News
271. Mack Lundstrom, Reporter (ret.)/lecturer, San Jose Mercury News, San Jose State University
272. Rick Nobles, Journalist, Editor and Designer at the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury and Dallas Morning News.
273. Mary Gottschalk, Riverside Press Enterprise, San Jose Mercury
News and Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, ret.
274. Lou Calvert, 46 years as a print Journalist in Ohio and California, ret.
275. Kat Harting, former New England Bureau Chief and producer,
ABCTV News
276. Bill Knowles, Prof Emeritus, University of Montana School of
Journalism, and former ABC News producer and bureau chief
277. George F. Harrison, Writer/Producer/ CBS Radio News, Editor,
WCBS TV News/Editor, UPI/Producer, WMAR TV News
278. James Schiffman, former Chief Copy Editor, CNN International
279. Gareth Fenley, former Associate Producer, Headline News and CNN
280. Susan Rook, former CNN anchor & host of TalkBack Live
281. Brian J Nelson, former CNN Anchor & Correspondent, CNN, CNNI, Headline News
282. Rick Perera, Former CNN Field Producer
283. John Busbee, former Master Control Operator CNN2/CNN Headline News
284. Jonathan Peterson, former CNN Interactive technical manager.
285. Laura McGeary, former CNN, CNNI guest booking producer
286. Robin Kemp, former CNN newswriter
287. Kim McCabe, former Senior Producer, CNN Primetime
288. Kimberly Abbott, former CNN editorial producer
289. Susan Lilly, former Supervising Producer, CNN Medical News Unit.
290. Daniel Knode, Former Operations Supervisor CNN
291. Denise LeClair Cobb, former anchor CNN and CNN Headline News
292. David Furtney, former Research Analyst, CNN Audience Research, former Programming and News Specialist, CNN Viewer
Communications Management
293. Danielle M. Amos former CNN Supervising Producer.
294. Mike McGill, former Associate Producer, CNN Washington, former Planning Editor, WUSATV, Washington, DC.
295. Harris Whitbeck, former Bureau Chief Mexico City
296. Bruce Kauffman, Editor CNN2 / Headline News
297. Lauren Cardillo, former producer, CNN WASHINGTON Bureau
298. Sol Levine, former executive producer, CNN Washington
299. Chris Riker, former CNNI producer
300. Rich Pasenow Former Video Editor/Videographer Headline
News/CNN Newsource/CNN Telemundo
301. Ginanne Brownell Mitic, former CNN feeds producer and librarian
302. C. Farrel Sparks, formerly Senior Operations Supervisor,
CNN2/Headline News
303. Jennifer Crowe, former CNN Master Control Operator
304. Renee Oricchio, former Supervising Producer, CNN Financial News
305. Ana Chassoul, Producer CNN NewsStand, CNN Spanish
306. Martin Asturias, former CNN videographer for latin America
307. Lasta Drachkovitch, former CNN chyron and graphics operator
308. Tom Purdy, produced the first hour of CNN
309. Maria White Tillman, former CNN Sr. News Editor
310. Michael Welter, Sr. Editor/Producer CNN
311. Jessie Williams former Sr. Director/technical dir. , CNN/CNNI
312. Patricia Ochs, former International New York Times, CNN.
313. Hannah Buchdahl, former writer/producer, CNN Atlanta and DC
314. Megan Rosenfeld, former Reporter and Editor, The Washington Post
315. Robert Kelly, Reporter, St. Louis PostDispatch, ret. Mass
Communications Instructor, Southern Illinois  University, Edwardsville
316. Stacy Simon, former Executive Editor, CNN Headline News
317. Melissa Mathews, former Producer and Copy Editor, CNN
International, CNN Headline News
318. Mike O’Toole, former Writer and Producer, CNN International
319. Marty Secord Young, former Editor, Photographer, Producer CNN
320. Paula Granger, former Editor, Sound recordist, VJ
321. Bill Lichtenstein, President, Lichtenstein Creative Media
322. Silvio Carrillo, former Producer, CNN DC
323.  Rebecca Rau, Associate Director, ABC News WNT, ret.
324. Tamara Linderman Lyons, former producer, CNN Washington
325. Barbara Rafaeli, Producer, ABC News, CNN, Bloomberg, ret.
326. Joy CiarciaLevy, former Producer, ABC News
327. Scott Richardson, Manager of News Information, ABC News, ’88-90
328. Don Morfoot, former Writer, Producer and Sr Producer, ABC and NBC News
329. Larry Marotta, formerly ABC Radio
330. Doreen Thomas, former Supervisor, ABC Network Video Tape
Library
331. Susan Aasen, Producer, ABC News, ret.
332. Jacquelin Sonderling, writer, KTLA, former producer KTLA, KCAL, CBS2, former investigative producer, NBCLA
333. George F. Harrison, former Writer/Producer/ CBS Radio News,
Editor, WCBS TV News/Editor, UPI/Producer, WMAR TV                           334.   Jack Lynch, former Editor of The New York Times, San Francisco Examiner and International Herald Tribune                                   335.  John Fenoglio, political reporter, KTLA

 

 

 

The New American Abby Normal

Remember that great bit in “Young Frankenstein,” when the doctor’s assistant, played by Marty Feldman, robs the brain depository and inadvertently comes back with a brain belonging to someone named “Abby Normal,”  which the good doctor then implants in the monster?  Welcome to Halloween 2018.  American style.

Following DJT, is not covering government.  It is a Trump-defined nonstop Abby Normal reality show on CNN, MSNBC and FOX, starring Donald Trump and his sycophants on one side and those who oppose him and his antics on the other.

We are all being held hostage by Trump’s brain.

Attempting to determine what should be taken seriously, like the apparent murder and dismemberment of a Washington Post journalist on one side with Donald spouting a line of absolute drivel as he tries to excuse the Saudis and his calling for a 5% spending cut at the federal level to help make up for tax cuts to the rich on the other (experts say it won’t happen),  is a daily assault on the senses of any thinking person.

Binge watching Halloween horror movies will be a welcome relief.  They’re currently running Halloween II with Jamie Lee Curtis.  After two years of Trump, the once terrifying theme music is now like a soothing balm.    Elevator music for the 21st Century.

Waiting For DJT’s Next New Low

It was encouraging today to see that another prominent Republican, former Congressman David Jolly, has joined Steve Schmidt, Susan Eisenhower, Mary Matalin, and so many others in leaving the Republican Party.

Was also pleased to see DJT’s trophy wife did not wear her “I don’t care” jacket when she and hubby paid their required visit to hurricane victims in Florida, pretending that they actually do care even though Mara Lago was spared.  That must be the difference in their minds between Florida residents and the Puerto Ricans. For one group they pretend to care. For the other, trophy wife wears a jacket showing open resentment and disrespect for people that have had their entire island wiped out.   Or was it her trip to Texas, to inspect the temporary quarters for immigrant kids torn away from their parents?  Is that when she wore the jacket?  With repeated acts of an outrageous nature taking place a certain amount of confusion is bound to set in.

In addition, there is the unavoidable white elephant in the room, reminding us that Republicans generally view white people (Floridians) as being different from people of color (Puerto Ricans).  But we don’t talk about that, do we?  Too embarrassing.   Like Katrina, where the Bush White House largely ignored all those suffering black Americans for nearly a week.   Amazing how fast they got that stadium back up and running when they needed it for football.

Also, weren’t you proud when POTUS handed out bottled water to Hurricane victims in FLA? Better than his mediocre Tom Brady imitation, throwing rolls of paper towels through the air to homeless Puerto Ricans, and you wonder….what if anything is going through this man’s mind other than absolute and overwhelming self-love and a total indifference for others?

Aren’t you tired of waiting for his next new low? November 6th is coming. For God’s sake and for the sake of us all go out and fill in the blanks for Democrats.   This current situation is immoral, unprincipled and unacceptable.   That’s what the Republican Party now stands for, immorality, unprincipled behavior and unacceptable governance.   Think about it before going to the polls.