russian-connectionWe know beyond any reasonable doubt that agents of the Russian government actively interfered in the 2016 Presidential election by (1) creating a team of internet trolls to bias google searches, (2) hacking into American servers and stealing private information, and (3) by carefully selected stolen information at critical points in the campaign … all with the intention of ensuring that Donald Trump would win the election. We know all this because every single intelligence agency in the federal government examined the data and agreed that these things are true.

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trump-tweetsEarly Saturday morning the President of the United States of America launched another of his infamous twitter storms, and this one was especially bizarre.

In the middle of defending Jeff Sessions against the dark forces of the Democrats, he threw in a series of tweets accusing former President Barack Obama of wire tapping Trump tower before the election. Here’s the first tweet in the series:


Donald J. Trump


Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

3:35 AM – 4 Mar 2017


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trumpspeechPresident Donald Trump gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress. It was about an hour long.  I did not watch the performance, which according to the Washington Post, “won high marks for his muscular but measured tone.” Others say he was as Presidential looking and sounding as they have ever seen him.

I offer a point-by-point replay of the speech, which is based on the transcript, along with my own commentary. I make no claim to objectivity here. You will find my own assessment of the speech as a whole at the end of the post.

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jeff-sessionsDuring Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing for the position of Attorney General of the United States, making him the top law enforcement agent in the country, he was asked if he had knowledge about possible contacts between the Trump campaign and representatives of Russia. He was part of Trump’s campaign staff at that time. Sessions said he did not know of any such contacts. Apparently he forgot that he had had two private meetings with Russian representatives, and at the peak of the Russian cyber campaign to tilt the Presidential race toward Trump.

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executiveorderHow does the rest of the world see the US turn against immigrants, especially Muslims? Three (among many) indicators are: (1) cancellations of planned trips to the US, along with an overall decline in the number of tourists planning to come to the US; (2) decisions by scientists to cancel plans to attend conferences in the US, forcing at least one large conference to cancel due to lack of presenters; (3) 150,000 Brits demanding that Trump’s planned state visit be cancelled.

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partyofnoFrom an article in the New York Times:

Immediately after the November election, Democrats were divided over how to handle Mr. Trump, with one camp favoring all-out confrontation and another backing a seemingly less risky approach of coaxing him to the center with offers of compromise.

Now, spurred by explosive protests and a torrent of angry phone calls and emails from constituents — and outraged themselves by Mr. Trump’s swift moves to enact a hard-line agenda — Democrats have all but cast aside any notion of conciliation with the White House. Instead, they are mimicking the Republican approach of the last eight years — the “party of no” — and wagering that brash obstruction will pay similar dividends.

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Being retired allows me the luxury of time. Some of that time I devote to reading the news, especially the political news, from a variety of news sources. This has allowed me to form some impressions of where various news sources fall in terms of reliability and ideological bias. If you are interested, here’s my (not entirely unbiased) take on left-right-center news organizations. BTW, I don’t do television; these are all online media.

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wethepeopleA great many Americans are alarmed that the Trump administration appears to be undercutting the key institutions that define and preserve American democracy, and is doing so in small increments, each of which appears minor, but which taken together trend toward a strong-man state similar to what we see in Russia, in which one man rules behind the curtain of democratic-looking institutions. (I’ll bet you thought the “Wizard of Oz” was just a children’s story, with no political message.) How do we know which of his actions, if any, are detrimental to a healthy democracy? And how would we know when we were approaching a red line, beyond which it is no longer possible to save our democracy.

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