Russia and the Clinton Campaign

On Aug. 17, the lobbied firm run by former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and his brother, filed amended, belated disclosures with the Justice Department about its work on behalf of a foreign government-backed think tank.   The Podesta Group lobbying firm did work for the pro-Russian European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, which was backed by the government of Russia.  (Anyone lobbying or doing public relations on behalf of foreign governments is required to register as a foreign agent in compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act).

In its work on behalf of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and Trump campaign official Paul Manafort worked together, according to the most recent disclosures.  Manafort is currently being questioned and had his home raided by the FBI to obtain evidence of Russian tampering.   And this is as it should be if the special prosecutor thinks the evidence leads there.

I wonder if John Podesta will be investigated similarly?  After all, Podesta was on the Board of Directors of an energy company who received tens of millions of dollars in funding from an agency affiliated with the Russian government, during the same time while he was an advisor to the State Dept. for then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.  Let’s hold our breath as CNN reports the details of the investigation.

Media Quicktakes

There are lots of items recently in the news…about the news media.  Thinking Man’s take on some of the crazier ones…

ESPN, Reuters and the Media

Earlier this week, the geniuses who make up the management at sports giant ESPN decided to reassign a reporter who was part of the team that was going to cover the Univ. of Virginia football game.  Why?  Because his name was Robert Lee, the same first and last name as the Confederate general.

The Asian-American reporter was reassigned for no other reason other than he had the same name as someone else.

Apparently in an effort to show that incompetence in the media is not limited any particular company or network, Reuters reported on the incident on its social media accounts, saying that the reporter was reassigned because he was named after the Confederate general.  Then when they found out that was wrong, they said it was because he looked like the historical Robert E. Lee.   Finally, after a couple of tries at guessing, someone must have actually checked the facts—bizarre and crazy as they were—and found the real reason.

 

Meet the Press

On last week’s edition of the NBC’s Sunday news show Meet The Press, one of the guests was from ANTIFA, and advocated on that show, using violence against political opponents that he disagreed with, in this case the rally organizers in Charlottesville.

So this guest said that the violence there was wrong, but that his violence would be not only be ok but is needed to stop the other violence.   Huh?

And NBC gave this person a free voice, airing his call to violence against other US citizens.  Imagine if the guest had been from the other end of the political spectrum.

Violence against your political opponents is wrong, Period.  And NBC is disgustingly shameful for airing a call to violence from anyone.

 

PBS, NPR and the Media

In a recent on-air fundraising appeal, Public Broadcast stations took the normal break between its shows to appeal for funds.  Part of the appeal from the on-air personality went, “We are trying to build bridges, not build walls.”

Forget what you think about the issue of immigration and the President.  Here is a station that survives only because the government (meaning, we the taxpayers) pay to keep it afloat every year.   As such, it should not be political and using taxpayer funds for political purposes.   Period.

And they wonder why there are attempts to cut their funding every year.  Look in the mirror.

On Free Speech

The tragic events in Charlottesville last weekend have shown us the reality that there still exist people who hold to repugnant views and are driven to express them in outrageous and sometimes violent ways.

The whole thing was like some alternate universe.  From the…let’s say ‘confusing’, at the least, series of responses from President Trump who couldn’t give a clear cut response to what was an obvious problem, to the rally organizers who derided President Trump for his Jewish son-in-law and Slavic wife, to…. well, just fill in the blank.  One can’t help but wonder if others were looking around, too, wondering if they were in some dream from which we would wake up (nightmares are  dreams, right?)

Unfortunately, the events in Charlottesville itself were not the only troubling ones.  The whole incident has brought up an important issue, one that has been fundamental to the country and society, that being the issue of free speech. Continue reading “On Free Speech”

Tragedy in Virgina

Mid-Week Quick Takes

Items in the news this week:

Sanctuary Cities

Mayor of Chicago and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says that his city will sue the federal government for cutting off federal tax dollars because it is a sanctuary city and refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement.

As is typical of those who run sanctuary cities, Emanuel thinks that he and his city are entitled to money from taxpayers, no matter what those taxpayers think and no matter what the law.  Because he knows better and you should give him money….well, just because he says you should.

Obamacare News

Anthem, the second largest insurer in the country has announced it’s pulling out of another Obamacare exchange.  Anthem announced this week that it will be pulling out of Nevada, in addition to a number of other markets where it has already stopped offering insurance.

There is no doubt left to anyone that Obamacare is dying.  As predicted when it passed, sky-rocketing costs, along with huge increases in premiums and other key failings have doomed it to either a massive infusion of money-in the trillions of dollars-to save it or a slow death that will have cost hundreds of billions of dollars with no effect on healthcare costs.

While that dies, the Republicans offer no alternative after seven years of saying that will give us something better.

More Hypocrisy from Liberals in Hollywood

Actress Lena Dunham shared that she had complained to American Airlines after she had heard two employees, in a private conversation in the terminal, say things that offended her and she felt were transgender-phobic (is that even a word?)

So, she feels that people cannot express their personal opinion and their jobs should be in danger if they do.  Interesting.  What would be more interesting would be her opinion on a person expressing his personal opinion while at work and in uniform if, say, that person were an NFL quarterback named Colin Kaepernick?

Talking Turkey

Most Americans probably know little about Turkey, yet it is one of the most important members of NATO.  It was a key ally throughout the Cold War, bordering the Soviet Union.  Turkey was important enough that as a condition for removing missiles from Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union got the US to restrict what planes and weapons it based in Turkey.

And Turkey may be even more important now.  Turkey is the only Muslim-majority member of NATO and it borders Syria, Iraq and Iran. Continue reading “Talking Turkey”

A Crazy Two Weeks in the Trump Administration

Opinions on Donald Trump incite passion on both sides of the spectrum.  Never before have I seen a figure so polarizing and so much at the root of blind emotion.  If you hate him, he can do nothing right and things that are ‘normal’ take on sinister overtones when it involves Trump.  Conversely, Trump said during the campaign that he could shoot someone in broad daylight and not lose certain voters.  Little could we imagine that he was right.

If you dislike Trump (and ‘dislike’ is too mild a word for many), the comments below will do nothing to change your opinion.   If you like Trump (and ‘like’ may also be too mild a word for his fans), then I would ask for a few moments that you think of Trump, the man and the policies, as two different things.  For a few moments, let’s realize that they are two different things.  What a man says he wants to do, and who a man is, are not always the same. Continue reading “A Crazy Two Weeks in the Trump Administration”