Obama Policies Boost Economy, Trump Claims Credit.

Trump is boasting unjustly

On Wednesday, U.S. government experts had something good to say, for a change.

Our economy has expanded at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter. We have performed beyond expectation slightly, three-tenths of a percent faster than their first estimate.

The economic recovery since the 2007-2009 recession is now in its eighth year and showing little signs of slowing down.

The recovery is primarily being powered by a tightening labour market. This has allowed for the maintenance of the strong performance that started during former President Barack Obama’s first term.

The growth rate we are seeing now is in line with the nation’s recovery and with President Obama’s targeted goal. However, unlike President Obama, Trump doesn’t understand that this will fluctuate. Economists generally see such a pace as unsustainable and expect growth to slow sometime in 2018. Trump sees it as proof that he’s making everything great, all the while plotting happily to destroy it.

The Senate Budget Committee advanced its bill Tuesday, sending it to the full chamber for a vote later this week.

Weighing in in favour of the bill was Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs.  Unsurprisingly, he thinks the new tax plan is a great idea. Make your voices heard any way you can think up, folks.

The administration’s remaining supporters gesture limply toward stock market returns. But the stock market is not the only measure of the economy, nor even a particularly reliable one.
If the market’s history teaches us anything, it is that markets go up and down. A market disaster may wait just over the horizon. Trump has promised to blame the judicial branch if we experience another terrorist attack. One wonders where he’ll find a scapegoat when stock markets fall, the real estate market slows, or inflation takes off? What sort of a goat could even do all that anyway?
Temporary deficit spending can sometimes help the economy. Economist Paul Krugman cites the 2008 financial crisis as an example when unemployment was very high.
The Federal Reserve—normally our first line of defence against recessions—had limited ability to act, because the interest rates it controls were already very close to zero. That was a time for serious pump-priming; unfortunately, we never got enough of it, thanks to scorched-earth Republican opposition.”
Our economy is very different in 2017. Unemployment is near historic lows. Quit rates, which show how confident workers are in their ability to find new jobs, are back to pre-crisis levels. Wage rates are rising at last, and the Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates. If we just keep walking straight, we’ll be fine.
Krugman had the following to say on the matter.
“Whether or not we’re back to full employment is for the economists to debate”, but “the economic engine no longer needs a fiscal jump-start. This is exactly the wrong time to be talking about the desirability of bigger budget deficits.”

Trump’s recklessness and slovenly manner of governing set fire to the foundations needed for sustained national economic growth. If the Trump administration continues to stoke fear, it may soon do exponential damage to the fundamental legal and cultural infrastructure that made America a great place to invest and do business.

Quinnipiac University released a new poll about this on Wednesday. Most Americans know to give credit to former President Obama for the current state of the U.S. economy than to Trump, although it should be fairly conceded Trump’s constant boasting has had some effect. Constantly assuming credit over his betters, he has convinced some people through sheer repetition that he can take credit for this somehow, and that’s where we come in.

Trump’s policies are going to lay waste the good work that President Obama spent eight years on.

Tax plans are confusing. They tend to be full of numbers and technical jargon. They give the gift of throbbing temples to most of us. But one thing, at least, is easy to grasp. It’s going to hurt the middle class terribly. This plan is legislative savagery at its worst.

Trump’s tax plan is much like his other policies. Ill-conceived, worse planned, and terrible for very nearly everyone. The CBO report speaks for itself. It’s really more of a tax plot.

As expected, the plan would help the wealthy at the direct expense of the middle class. It will actively hurt the poor. It is also known that foreign oligarch investors, including many from Russia, will be the beneficiaries.

The tax break improves for each income level, meaning that the people who need the most help get the least of it. The top 1 percent would get an 8.5 percent break.

“This nasty and backwards budget green lights cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to give a tax break to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. It shifts the burden from the wealthy and puts it squarely on the back of the middle class, and blows a hole in the deficit to boot,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“I think it will go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

In full agreement are the more than 400 millionaires and billionaires who are reportedly asking Congress not to cut their taxes.

The group, which includes doctors, lawyers and chief executives, plans to send a letter to Congress and ask that their taxes not be cut under the GOP tax overhaul, The Washington Post reported.

Those of us with sense enough to stand against these cuts must speak out. Loudly, and now. If not, then Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs will be gutted and burned. All so that the GOP can pay out a tax cut to the ones who need it the least. We will fight this to the end, and we will bear witness.

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FCC Democrats Call For Help- Making a Stand for Net Neutrality.

Focus On Internet Freedom

A Democratic member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has called on us for help. We will answer the call. Now is the time for the millennial generation to rise.

Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that Americans must resist the agency’s plans to end net neutrality rules adopted under the Obama administration, calling the FCC’s plan “lousy”.

She urged Americans to make their voices heard before a Dec. 14 vote. Here is a link providing the information you need to contact your local reps to make your voices heard. It’s called BattleForTheNet.com. 5Calls.org is another good place you can go to help coordinate your voice with ours. That’s how we come together and make a big noise; which is to say, that is how we caucus.

“They have proposed to end net neutrality , and they are trying to force a vote on their plan on Dec. 14,” Rosenworcel writes. “It’s a lousy idea. And it deserves a heated response from the millions of Americans who work and create online every day.”

It’s been getting a heated response from Russian citizens, anyway.

Hundreds of thousands of comments in favour of this policy have come from Russian trolls. The FCC stymied the investigation into them. 

The Federal Communications Commission order will throw out almost all of the regulations set in place by the Obama administration.

FCC chair Ajit Pai said in a statement Tuesday that “the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”

What all that slick talk means, is that they want the legal right to squeeze your ISP for information about you and about what you are doing.

The FCC’s two Democratic members blasted the proposal as being a greedy and invasive policy, but the GOP has a majority on the commission. Barring a last-minute change of heart by one of the three Republican commissioners, the order will likely be approved during the agency’s next open meeting on December 14.

Internet freedoms have been at risk since the day of the Internet’s creation. And authoritarian practices have slowly crept into American cyberspace from authoritarian states.

In opposition to our dearly-held liberal beliefs about Internet freedom and independence, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of what he calls “Internet Sovereignty”.

Vladimir Putin has taken this idea one step further by calling the Internet a “CIA project.

The free world once thought it would use economic and social ties to gradually liberalize authoritarian states. But the authoritarian states have abused this access and designed a web of economic interdependency through which to spread their corruption and repression at home and abroad. Instead of accepting our proffered hand up, they have used it to pull us down into the muck with them.

Even now, Russian hackers are trying to influence the fight over net neutrality, and according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the federal government is not cooperating with investigations into the fraud. While Trump is in office, the apparatus of law will not be on our side.

Things have reached a point where our intelligence services are telling Israel and other trusted allies not to share information with Trump’s White House. It is safe to assume that applies to us as well.

It is, therefore, the recommendation of Millennial Democrats that we should all be ready to protect ourselves. We can’t risk losing our networks and our teammates every time Facebook or Twitter deletes one of our accounts. We cannot let them have all the power.

If things take much more of a turn for the worse, history indicates those of us who are stalwart members of the resistance are in for a very bad time.

For anyone who might be thinking that sounds drastic, keep in mind that public and private libraries around the United States have pledged to destroy user data on their computers, as well as backing up system data abroad.

The American Library Association has realized the danger. It made a statement on November 18 of last year that it would “work with President-elect Trump” and his transition team. Now the association has apologized, saying, “We understand that content from these press releases, including the 11/18/16 release that was posted in error, was interpreted as capitulating to and normalizing the incoming administration.” They realize now that is impossible.

At the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, librarians have begun purging interlibrary loan records. Guilt by association with controversial books has a very dark history. The McCarthy years are back. But this time they’re claiming that Russia is a buddy.

This is going to cost a tremendous amount of time and money for them. It’s the most serious decision they could make.

Clearly, they are taking this threat very seriously. There is every reason for us to take heed of their example.

The bottom line is this- If you’re against Trump, and you don’t intend to shut up about it, then it’s best to do everything in your power to keep them from knocking you offline and silencing you.

That is their goal, and they will cheat all they can to achieve it. Hundreds of unjust Facebook sentences suffered by loyal Democratic activists testify to that as this is written. Anonymity is your friend.

There are a number of important ways how we can keep ourselves safe and independent, and we’re going to make some specific recommendations.

First and foremost, we will be developing a cursory familiarity with the two most basic ways to stay anonymous online. These are known as the virtual private network, or VPN, and the Onion(Tor) Browser.

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short, is a secure network connection through which you can safely connect your device to public networks, or create a secure channel for remote access control between computers.

TorProject.org gives the definition of the Tor Browser project as being “free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.”

The best solution is to use VPN and Tor in conjunction.

Just log on through your VPN, and then do your stuff through Tor. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing. As for chat, we have a first class(and free) encrypted chat program available to us in the app known as  Telegram.

We also recommend that you gain at least a cursory familiarity with open-source Linux distributions such as Ubuntu. It’s free, its programs are free, and 99% of malware programs are written to target Microsoft system files.

For protection against malware we recommend(other than switching to Linux altogether) Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017, which has consistently outperformed its competitors year after year.

Remember NOT to use Kaspersky’s antivirus, or anything Russian, under any circumstances.

The New York Times reported that Israel hacked Kaspersky and caught Russia using it to search for NSA exploits and other U.S. government classified programs. That’s how they got a copy of the Stuxnet virus.

The FBI has been warning us that we’re in huge danger of having our next elections hacked again, but too many Americans are still far from focused. We have our work cut out for us raising awareness.

Any dirt the Russians get their hands on will be accessible to Trump, which is bad news for his adversaries. The 200 protestors arrested on Trump’s Inauguration Day this year are facing sixty years in prison apiece for minor acts of vandalism last year. The message sent by that reads loud and clear. Things have busted loose all over God’s creation. You don’t want them poring over your records.

The cause of freedom and the threat of tyranny are locked in an ongoing, existential struggle. To the ones who would set up shop as tyrants, the Internet and the free flow of information it engenders is viewed as both a threat and an opportunity. There will always be many internal and external forces, seeking to challenge our security in the information realm.

Going forward, the goal is no less lofty than ensuring we will not be silenced.

The German poet Heinrich Heine, a man deeply reviled by the Nazis, warned us shortly before the Holocaust, “Where books are burned, in the end people are also burned.” We should keep in mind going forward, that if they wanted to do a book burning these days, they wouldn’t even need fire. They could just delete them.

To delete our work is to delete our thoughts and our voices as well.

We will not sit by and be quietly deleted.

Why America Would Still Be Respected If Hillary Clinton Had Won.

#StillWithHer

Would America be more respected today, if Hillary Clinton had been elected President?

That’s a question that the whole world is asking.

It’s hard to believe anyone can doubt it. We’ve been subjected to every indignity conceivable over the course of this last year. Remember when Trump was too old and fat to walk with the other leaders at the Paris Summit earlier this year, and had to ride along behind the rest in a golf cart?

It really seems inconceivable that anyone capable of pulling on pants in the morning could be so unaware as Donald Trump. The man is a complete disgrace. He has eroded American prestige within a single year. Russia, which is only a regional power, has assumed the mantle of leadership in the minds of many. We haven’t been providing it.

Respect. They say you have to give it to get it. Donald Trump doesn’t respect anybody but himself.

We had a chance last year. We had one of the most competent politicians this country has ever seen, ready to take the reins from one of the most beloved politicians the country has ever seen.

It took Barack Obama eight years to get us pointed in the right direction again after the eight years of unending nightmare that was George Bush’s tenure in office, but he did it! Health care was resolved, we were out of Iraq, and the economy had substantially recovered.  All we had to do was walk forward together.

That did not happen, for a number of different reasons, and the scale of the missed opportunity is the worst.

Perhaps we should consider what might have been, the what-ifs of a Hillary win, what has been lost and what opportunities were squandered this year. But when we do, we must realize it will be painful.

Since Trump was elected, millions of Americans have been living with constant worry about losing their health care. President Hillary Clinton was the person who first laid the plans for an American public health system.

She had a lifetime of working with Congress and was a Senator herself for eight years. Her technical skill and consummate mastery of her topic gave her an ideal skill set to fine-tune Obamacare with and place it on firm footing for the future. There was no one else on Earth so uniquely qualified.

It is wisely said that Barack Obama’s greatest gift to Donald Trump was the economy. By nearly every conceivable metric, we are significantly better off now than we were in 2008. We’re still feeling the effects of his wise policies, although Trump tries taking credit for them all he can. He’s selling himself a dream, though. The Center for American Progress put together a list called 100 Days, 100 Ways, that Trump Has Hurt Americans. That was back in April.

Perhaps the biggest difference comes from what they intended to do with American resources. Speaking of Trump’s new tax plan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he thought the bill would go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

In direct contrast, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 economic platform focused on raising middle-class incomes to increase growth. It was lauded by economic experts around the world for its depth and its realism.

Clinton’s plan was well-thought out and detailed. She was the only 2008 candidate to advocate a balanced budget. The tax credit, health insurance, and retirement plans would have funnelled cash to consumers.

Her retirement plan would have addressed the looming Social Security crisis. Her proposal to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax has been a problem long overdue. In short, this platform would have benefited the U.S. economy.

All of these things are huge, of course. Every one of them should have been enough to lay Trump down for good. At the end of the day, the implications of her defeat are very serious.

The 2016 election proved to us that in many ways, our electoral process amounts to a popularity contest.

It wasn’t anything rational that led to such a self-destructive decision on the part of the American people last year. It was anger. People stopped listening to each other. The lines of communication broke down. In this highly polarized, explosive environment, the collective reason of America failed her, to the eternal detriment of at least the reputation of the country.

Would the United States have been more respected today, if Hillary Clinton was our President? As surely as the sun will rise in the East and set in the West.

Our national conduct would befit that of a superpower, instead of a bumbling infant. Our economy would have stayed strong. We would not be internationally reviled for pulling out of the Paris Accord. In short, we would have been making strides toward the future, doing good for as many people as we can, for as long as we can.

Hillary Clinton is one of the most competent living Americans, and the fact of her exclusion from the halls of power in Washington is to the detriment of every man, woman, and child who calls this country home.

There will come a time when we get to try again. America is an empire of magnificent strength. It was built to survive a great deal worse than Donald Trump. In the meantime, however, in our hearts, we know that she was robbed. That single fact alone has done more to disrespect this country than anything that has happened since Bush vs Gore.

To Hillary Clinton herself, Millennial Democrats would simply like to say, We miss you, Madam President. The Clintons will always be the First Family, to many of us. We were kids when you guys ran the country, and you took good care of us.

Hillary Clinton would have brought the country honour, at all the same junctures that Trump has debased it. She will be sorely missed.

Putin Divvies Up Syria, Trump Spills Israeli Intel- The Puppet Strikes Again.

#demontroll
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a trilateral summit with the presidents of Iran and Turkey in Russia’s Black Sea resort city, Sochi. Putin gave a warm welcome to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and declared that the three countries deserve all the credit for helping to maintain “stability” in Syria.
Turkey, which is still a NATO member and U.S. ally, announced that it may soon open talks with Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria, in a joint effort with Russia and Iran to return stability to the region. America was not invited.
Trump seems to have agreed to back off in exchange for Russian help last year. As a result, the future of Syria is being largely determined without significant input from Washington, the world’s single superpower.

In related news, highly-classified Israeli intelligence was offhandedly revealed by Donald Trump to Russian officials earlier this year. Earlier this week we found out what it was.

The US President’s decision to spill the information during a meeting with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was described as having brought Israeli spies’ “worst fears” to life.

During Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, Trump revealed the details of a covert Israeli operation that exposed ISIS plans to create bombs out of laptops and smuggle them aboard commercial airliners.

Israelis were horrified.

Earlier this month, the “dead” ISIS leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi was spotted in the hotly contested Syrian town of Boukamel.

The Iraqi Media News Agency quoted an anonymous source in Iraqi News as saying: ‘In a yellow taxi, Baghdadi fled Iraq and headed to Syria.’

The question of whether al-Baghdadi is dead or alive has been a continuing source of mystery and confusion. Russia claimed in June that he had “likely been killed” in an airstrike just outside of Raqqa. But they offered no proof, and there are many questions about the relations peculiar to the relationships of the parties involved.

Russia had a good working relationship with Iraq under Saddam. Although it always repeatedly denied giving military or security assistance to the Hussein regime, the Russian government under Putin expressed intense disagreement with the U. S.-led war on Iraq.

In April of 2003, after the fall of Baghdad, documents were found in a Baghdad office of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi secret police under Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime. Those documents showed that a Moscow- based organization had been training Iraqi intelligence agents as recently as September of 2002.

In other words, Russia was training some of Saddam’s best generals and their secret police. We know it went on for several decades. They spent billions of dollars on it.

The leadership of the Islamic State of the Levant consists primarily of former Baathist leaders, Saddam’s generals all coalesced again without him, like a hydra that grew back tens of thousands strong.

Of the six individuals who have been at the helm of the terror group, at least three of them served in Saddam Hussein’s army. Another is dead, and the very top guy, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was supposedly killed by Russian airstrikes back in June.

Imagine our surprise, seeing him strolling around in Syria healthy as a horse, and releasing more hate-filled videos calling for more terrorism. Claims of his death appeared to have been just more Russian disinformation.

If al-Baghdadi is alive, then Russia was most likely lying last summer, which was predictable. Russia lies about everything, routinely and by way of self-defence, like the ink-cloud of a giant squid. 

But what might Russia hope to gain by claiming the death of al-Baghdadi? What might they hope to gain?

A large amount of Turkish effort has been placed into acquiring this oil. Gaining energy autonomy to avoid having to depend on Russia for fuel has long been a goal of Turkish foreign policy.
But in spite of these attempts to diversify their energy sources and become more self-reliant, Turkey still depends largely on Russia for its energy needs, as do many other countries in Europe. They still have to depend on the goodwill of Vladimir Putin for things to run smooth.
Fortune 500 rated Vladimir Putin as the fourth richest person in the world last year, but some believe he is far wealthier than that. Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder believes Putin’s fortune to be in excess of $200 billion. Either way, if he wants things to stay that way, he’s got to stay in control of Russia.
Oil is obviously very important to us, but to Russia it is everything. Oil is essentially all that Russia has. It controls a huge mass of the world’s strategic oil reserve, and it comprises Putin’s fortune, which is sizeable by any standard, regardless of his Fortune ranking.
This dependence on oil as a source of wealth and income is also the case for Turkey and its leader Tayyip Erdogan.
Under President Bill Clinton, the United States and the EU engaged with and attempted to include Turkey as part of their efforts to strengthen the liberal international order, and it worked. They’ve been an ally for decades. Their fortunes in the Middle East were always fundamentally tied to ours. The Turks and the Russians have been rivals since the days of the Ottoman Empire.
And here is where we reach the ominous part of the story, the focal point of the developing narrative.
In spite of all these decades worth of progress strengthening American interests in the region, a perplexing area of cooperation between Russia, Turkey, and Trump seems to have arisen on Syria, with anti-EU undertones, and without American involvement.
Little by little, an outline begins to take shape. The way things looks from here, it’s a huge quid pro quo, in which Assad, Erdogan, Putin, and Trump came to an arrangement to simply leave alone Russia’s narrative about having killed al-Baghdadi.
For al-Baghdadi’s part, keeping the illusion alive would have given him months to regroup, lay low, and try to come up with something. In the meantime, there are those oil routes heading for Turkey, that the eyes of the world are not on. To all outward appearances, this is a strategic ceasefire if ever there was one.
 Assad gets to stay in power, and start seeing order restored to his country. Erdogan, who just survived a coup attempt last year, gets the sanctions applied by Russia for the fighter plane shot down in Turkish airspace in 2015 lifted and regains his ability to use Russia and the EU as a counterweight. Just last week, Erdogan and Putin met for four hours. Everybody’s happy- but all of them will soon be presented the bill.
Currently, Putin and his cronies are all smiles. They’re chopping up the spoils. And America was not invited. Trump seems to have agreed to back off in exchange for Russian help last year. As a result, the future of Syria is being largely determined without the world’s only superpower.
None of this could have happened without Putin, who will get the best that everyone has to offer. From Syria, a warm-water port in the Mediterranean Sea. This has been a dream of Russia’s for generations. From Turkey, restored good relations, and a subservient oil client. From Trump, an America weakened and thrown into chaos.
And from them all, Russia’s hold on the Crimea tacitly acknowledged, at the expense of ignored and pilfered Ukraine. Their criminal long game has become all too clear, and Trump is doing nothing. Please help us raise awareness.

Flynn’s Lawyers Shut Down Info Pipeline for Trump- Deal in the Works?

Flynn cuts off Trump

Michael Flynn’s attorneys have informed Donald Trump’s attorneys that they intend to stop sharing information concerning Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into improper Russian influence during the 2016 presidential election.

This notification is a likely signal that Flynn is negotiating a deal to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, according to a Thanksgiving Day report by The New York Times.

Michael Flynn, who is a three-star general in the United States Army, is now best known for having held the office of National Security Adviser under the newly formed administration of Donald Trump. His 24-day tenure in office was the shortest in the office’s history. 

After information surfaced that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak Flynn was forced to resign, but that was not to be the last we would hear of him.

April 27, 2017 was a big day for Russia. It was the 10 year anniversary of the first day of their undeclared, “non-linear”, transnational world war. A decade before, in 2007, the Kremlin had proven its ability to warp and disable entire sections of cyberspace when they knocked the highly wired Estonia offline for several days over an old war soldier like the one of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, where Heather Heyer was murdered by the alt-right this summer.

For the last decade, the rest of the European world has been dealing with this as it grew. Attempts to warn us have mostly fallen on deaf ears. Our opportunity to catch it early has already long passed us by. That’s what led to Trump getting in in the first place. But our eyes have opened. They’ve got our attention now.

On this day, the Pentagon’s Inspector General announced an investigation into whether Flynn had accepted money from foreign governments without the required approval, and requested that he preserve and make available all documents relating to that situation.

Initially, Flynn tried refusing to hand them over, citing the Fifth Amendment, saying that he didn’t want to incriminate himself. Apparently, that didn’t fly too far, because shortly thereafter it was announced that “a compromise had been reached.”

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that anyone who’s talking like that already knows he’s guilty.

On December 10, 2015, Flynn attended a gala dinner in Moscow, in honour of the Russian news outlet RT (formerly “Russia Today”). After he retired from U.S. government service he made semi-regular appearances on RT as an analyst.

That dinner has since become infamous. Everyone who was there that night is in big trouble now, including Jill Stein of the Green Party. Paul Manafort, of course, is under indictment and sitting locked at home on house arrest.

Journalist Michael Crowley of Politico reported that “at a moment of semi-hostility between the U.S. and Russia, the presence of such an important figure at Putin’s table startled” U.S. officials. As part of the festivities, Flynn gave a talk on world affairs for which he was paid at least $45,000. 

On Saturday, July 9, 2017, the first hard evidence of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians became a matter of public record. The New York Times reported Sunday that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, was offered “damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign”.

Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort confirmed that they met with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016— a mere two days after Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination. It’s clear they acted fast. Donald Trump has proven himself to be a very dangerous man, and behind him stands Putin, the most dangerous man on Earth.

On February 1, 2017, the ranking Democratic members on six House committees sent a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. The contents were a request for a Department of Defense investigation into Flynn’s connection to RT.

Our legislators had serious concerns about Flynn accepting so much money from RT, which was characterized earlier this year by the intelligence community of America as “The Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet”.

As a retired military intelligence officer, Flynn was required to obtain prior permission from the Defense Department and the State Department before receiving any money from foreign governments.

Flynn did not receive permission before the RT speech, and he did not report the payment when he applied for renewal of his security clearance two months later. Soon after Glenn Fine, the acting Defense Department Inspector General, confirmed that Flynn was under investigation

Earlier this month, reports indicated that Mueller believed he had enough evidence to bring charges in the investigation of Flynn. At that time, unidentified sources said Mueller was pressuring Flynn after issuing an indictment against Manafort.

During the interim, what does this mean to us? Of course, it is impossible to say for sure, but the probability that he has cut a deal with Mueller is the likeliest option by a sizeable margin. There’s no other reason that makes sense at all, actually, other than a random decision on the part of the general’s lawyers. Considering how rapid a pace the Russiagate investigation has been yielding results as of late, this does not seem very likely.

Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump’s legal team, said that the Flynn team’s decision to no longer share information “is not entirely unexpected”, but it can’t be weighing easily on Trump’s mind. Flynn is the big cheese. They’ve been after him from the minute Rod Rosenstein gave Mueller the job.

Michael Flynn has always been the guy who seemed most likely to hold the final keys to the puzzle. The fact of his team not sharing information with Trump anymore almost certainly means he’s getting ready to snitch. That would mean the end of Trump for sure, which is cause to be thankful if ever there was, and on that note, Happy Thanksgiving from Millennial Democrats!

Merkel Besieged by Far Right and Left- Stand With the Chancellor!

A terrible blow against world stability was struck on Sunday when coalition talks broke down between Angela Merkel’s conservatives, the center-right, pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Green Party.

This has caused a great unrest in Europe, particularly in Germany. One man, who asked to be called Achim, said, “I constantly worry what Germany might unleash on the world, particularly with Britain leaving the EU, which just gives Germany more power in Europe. And I fear what might happen in this current climate of uncertainty if Merkel is unseated.”

The situation is so unstable that the parliament itself is in danger of being dissolved. There may have to be a new election held. The president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, admonished the political parties on Monday that they had a duty to compromise and form governing alliances, rather than just call for a new election. But his role in Germany’s system is largely ceremonial. There is only so much he can do.

Nigel Farage and his #Brexit are infamous, and the hashtag #Dexit(for Deutschland Exit) has begun to rear its head. The division of their country would lead to a great division in the E.U. Putin wants to break us off bit by bit.

There’s already chaos here in America. Remember the #CalExit?

The day after the election, a small and previously ignored fringe movement called Yes California was trending on Facebook and Twitter, using the aforementioned hashtag, #CalExit. They’d been around since 2014, gathering signatures to get a vote for Californian secession in the voting referendum. It didn’t go very far back then, but in November of last year, a lot of people stopped at least long enough to give it a think.

For a week or two, in the chaos and despair surrounding the election of Trump, a lot of people were looking for answers and solace anywhere they could find them. In this terrible state of mind, California becoming its own country almost seemed like a good idea.

Trump was Russia’s dog, and we were not willing to live under Putin’s thumb. So it felt to many like we had to come up with something. And so, Yes California gained some adherents and raised some enthusiasm.

But then, in December, a very unlikely visitor showed up in Russia, as a fresh emigre.

It was Lous Marinelli, the self-proclaimed leader of the #CalExit movement.

Speaking to a room full of reporters in Moscow, flanked by photos of Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez, Marinelli went on to bitterly rail against American hegemony. From Washington’s foreign policy to the difficulties of the U.S. immigration system, Louis Marinelli decided, he could “no longer live under a U.S. flag”, and that henceforth he would make his home in the southern Ural Mountains.

On that day, near the end of 2016, Marinelli unveiled his primary project. With its logo emblazoned on a banner unfurled behind him, Marinelli welcomed visitors to the “Embassy of the Independent Republic of California.”

The whole episode just goes to show that the far right is not alone among radicals in terms of problematic Russian entanglements.  The far left has its fair share as well.

Currently, Germany stands on the brink of a collapsing government and new elections because bipartisan support for Angela Merkel is lacking. The right-wing Free Democratic Party(FDP) under Christian Lindner is the chief culprit, of course, but her opponent in September’s elections also has categorically ruled out any renewal of what they once called the Grand Coalition.

That opponent was Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democrats (SPD), who has been referred to as the Bernie Sanders of Germany.

Germany’s Die Linke party, which literally means “The Left”, has outdone itself in support of Russia. One of its leading figures declared that Crimea legally belongs to Russia, a sore point throughout all of NATO.

The day after Donald Trump referred to NATO as obsolete, German opposition leader Sahra Wagenknecht on Tuesday added her voice to calls to dissolve it. In terms of policy, one would not consider those two figures similar. What links them is their ideological extremity, and their ties to Russia.

The radical left group European United Left/Nordic Green Left in the European Parliament supports the Kremlin with words and votes (in 78% of the cases), in the Council of Europe.

If Putin can pull off ruining Germany it will render the EU as helpless as America now is, and give Russia a free hand everywhere. This is why they are never short of rubles to spend on troublemaking.

Keeping the European Union and the United States in a perpetual state of crisis is a tremendous boon to the Russians. Crisis and chaos are prerequisite conditions for radicalism, and whether it’s right or left doesn’t matter a bit. They’re trying to use each other.

This is another reason why they are doing to Al Franken over here. Of course, Russia has been helping that along all it can.

During George W. Bush’s tenure in office, and for the same reason, Karl Rove and Company paid for Ralph Nader commercials in Florida. Their goal is the same now as it was back then- to destabilize and de-unify progressive liberals- all of us on the left- who they know to be political adversaries.

The GOP grew gangrenous at least fifty years ago, and by now, it really stinks. They will do or say anything to get into power. What we saw with the infiltration of Bernie Sanders groups last summer fits their M.O. perfectly.

Millennial Democrats would like to thank the patriots among the Sanders wing of the party, who loved their country enough to share this information across partisan lines. And once again, we would like to stretch out our hands to those who want to find a way off the crazy train. As we have repeated many times before, #WeWillEmbraceYou. Give us a chance.

Tad Devine, senior adviser to the Bernie Sanders campaign (and also Paul Manafort’s right-hand man whilst both were under the employ of deposed Ukrainian dictator Victor Yanukovych) once said, “Crisis is our brand”.

From the perspective of leftists, this is the only motive that makes sense, as the new Russia is just as much the ideological rival of the left as the Soviet Union was the right.

The left’s affiliation with the Kremlin can be explained better via the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle. Marx long taught that Communists should make any such alliances as are helpful toward the ultimate goal of dissolving the State.

Russia’s state-controlled economy, which promises to keep “big capital” in check, has proved attractive as a model for many far-left anti-capitalists, but there are a few unpleasantries they keep wanting to sweep under the rug. More than half the country’s criminal groups have ties to its government. It is naked, unregulated, brutal capitalism at its worst, without any of the kindnesses our social democracy displays.

The trouble is that all this crisis and empowered radicalism gives both sides many opportunities to incite mayhems. We all saw what happened in Charlottesville. There were violent clashes in Berkeley, CA not long after that. If these tendencies are not held in check by a strong and involved middle class, they will polarize our entire political atmosphere. That would be to the mutual detriment of all Americans, which is precisely what Putin is after.

Linda Curika, a spokesperson for NATO Strategic Communications in Latvia, said Russian support for extremists of either persuasion is all part of the Kremlin’s larger strategy “to weaken political support for the European Union and NATO.” Putin wants to make Russia great again. At our expense.

Director of the Political Capital Institute Peter Kreko has been recently involved in research regarding this matter. He concluded two facts about the intentions of Putin. First, that he is becoming the frontman of a worldwide anti-human rights movement, and second, that he is investing in, stirring up, and inciting radicals on both ends of the spectrum to “sabotage democracy in Europe”.

Kreko describes Russian tactics focused on destabilizing the EU and advancing Moscow’s ideology. This includes supporting parties and candidates on the margins(such as Bernie Sanders, or Ralph Nader’s Green Party) and friendly media outlets. Vladimir Putin spoke highly of Bernie Sanders all the way through the primary.

In America, we are experiencing many problems with who are still insisting, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that keeps piling up, that “the Russia thing” is simply a distraction from the main issue, that in their view being how the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders. These people are doing the entire human race a grand disservice. 

By turning a blind eye to the machinations of the most nakedly aggressive power to arise in the world since Hitler’s Third Reich, they are in fact helping to make possible the same specific chaotic social conditions that in the past allowed far-right populist movements like Germany’s National Socialism to thrive in the first place.

They don’t understand that they are being duped by people who long ago grew cynical and bored regarding the socialist dreams and theories Bernie Sanders is espousing. After all, they invented most of it, and more a hundred years ago.

By now it has become clear to all but the deliberately blind and woefully ignorant that what happened in November here in America was not an isolated event, nor one that should have been unexpected. Rather, it is part of a consistent and growing phase of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States. It is this generation’s turn to manage the old and fundamental struggle of authoritarianism vs. benevolence.

 If Angela Merkel falls now, her fate will be perceived across the world as a big setback for the liberal and internationalist ideas that she has championed. Hillary Clinton was ruined in this same way and for this same reason. This will be a giant setback to everyone on the left. We must come together and stand with the Chancellor now.

The Washington Post’s Tory Newmyer summed it up well in an article earlier today. It is clear that a large part of the German chancellor’s current difficulties come from the rise of the far-right and the far-left in Germany.

It’s a shame that simply by pointing some of these things out, a lot of people are going to get mad. It is not our intent to hurt feelings or point fingers. We fully realize that most of Bernie Sanders’ supporters in 2016 stood with him out of genuine conviction. We know they are good people. It is not as though we enjoy being the bearers of bad news. We find it regretful that these things have to be discussed at all.

But the simple fact remains. Moderates have been savaged by a whole galaxy of various dirty tricks. We are up against some really rough customers here. They attack from unexpected angles. We are asking for the help of the progressive wing of the party. Please share with us what you know.

The problem does not belong just to the far right alone, although it’s true that they’re usually the ones paying for it. It has infected the left as well, and not only the green wing. The recent betrayal of Donna Brazile comes to mind. It affects us all, and we will come to the table with anyone who is earnest about finding a way to solve the biggest problem of our times.

Sooner or later, we’ve all got to calm down, shake hands, and start to figure out what we’re going to do. We might as well start now, while we still have time. Soon it will be too late.

#HoldTheCenter- Far Left Attacks Franken, Distracts Us From Russiagate.

ABC News reported on Sunday that within the past month, special counsel Robert Mueller requested that the Justice Department turn over a wide array of documents as part of its ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

His team is said to be particularly interested in materials that relate to Trump’s notorious firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe earlier this year, a source who was told about the request informed ABC News.

This is a major step. The Justice Department is getting pretty close to the Oval Office. This will be Mueller’s first records request to the very agency that is overseeing the probe.

Also, Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who helped set up the infamous meeting between members of the Trump campaign Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Mueller’s office, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Since the indictment of Paul Manafort and the others, the news from Mueller’s office has been coming hot and heavy.

Its onrush has caused great panic and consternation among the Republicans. Most of those with consciences, like Jeff Flake from Arizona, are retiring next year. Flake was caught on a hot mic recently, speaking frankly about the Republican Party and its future. “If we become the party of Trump and Moore, we’re toast”. Well said.

It’s a promising sign that they’re throwing all their bones to us Democrats right away. Donna Brazile, Uranium One, Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All, etc. They have been really been desperate lately. Ordinarily, they would hold these things in reserve in a vain hope that we’ll avert our gaze long enough to pull something nasty. They’ve had some awful successes that way.

Lack of public expectation was how Scott Walker was able to ravage public schools. He broke the backs of the public worker unions in Wisconsin, using vaguely worded provisions on the infamous backdoor bill known as Act 10. People just were not ready for someone to be that vicious, that fast. It’s the way things are these days, though. Koch Industries has changed the game. We cannot let that happen again.

There’s no end to the challenges we’re up against, and the way it breaks down is very simple. If we keep our focus on the big things, like Russiagate and their evil tax plan, we’re going to take the #BlueWave we’ve been building and knock them flat with it. If we let their distractions take our eyes from the prize, though, it’ll be a different story, a really nasty one.

Right now, the world needs our power combined more than ever before. The stakes could not be higher, and most people know it. It is therefore both inexplicable and unfortunate that the so-called progressive wing of the left decided recently to release a report ripping Democrats up on every level, in a manner that once again reinstates the well-known complaints of Bernie Sanders and his followers from back in 2016.

We do not agree with the Free Press Online report in a number of key regards. We consider their interpretations of these key events to be monstrously distorted. In any case, their report, which they called an Autopsy, came complete with a dead donkey, legs up, on its cover. Not even a Republican could have done as nasty or insulting a job.

Why are Sanders followers so eager to hurt Democrats? They attack us with far more passion and frequency than they do the Republicans, even though we are people who agree with them in terms of the policies they say they hold so dear. It’s reminiscent of Ralph Nader. Perhaps the worst thing is that they’ve been completely silent on Russia. Bernie wouldn’t even vote to sanction Russia.

Excesses of radical leftist rage are what the alt-right is hoping to induce, every time they hack some emails and strategically release them. The Russians are said to have been speechless with joy when Debbie Wassermann-Schultz resigned her position as DNC chairman. To finance, encourage, and incite the radical portions of both sides of the political spectrum is the M.O. of Russian destabilization tactics all through the world.

A radicalized environment is a volatile, polarized environment. You can’t get anything done in it, and that is what the Russians need. They have very little money to work with. Materially they are far weaker. But, if they can tie us all up with inaction, using traitorous Trojan Horses to infect our body politic, they can hope to realign that. All Putin wants, is to make Russia great again. At our expense.

The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their biggest obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized, it’s still going on, and the latest victim of it is Al Franken.

It’s a sad thing, to watch people jump on a bandwagon.

Two prominent progressive groups, Credo Action and Indivisible, called for Franken’s resignation Monday in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. This is so idiotic, so destructive to the Resistance, that it’s frankly hard to believe it’s unintentional.

If Democrats were to actually resign their offices every time they were slandered by Republicans, we’d have packed our bags and went home a hundred years ago.

Needless to say, these homegrown attacks are coming from organizations who show every sign of extreme bitterness about the primary defeat of Bernie Sanders in 2016, the election that seemingly never ends.

This type of cheap scandal stinks of Ken Starr and Monica Lewinsky. It’s unreal that it’s coming from our own backyard. For such attacks to be coming from people who share our values would once have been unthinkable.

Everyone remembered the Bush and Reagan years. The opposition had the country completely locked down. Bill Clinton was able to take it back by the slimmest of margins. In order to break that stranglehold, the utmost cooperation among the left was necessary. It still is.

When one section of the left starts making up imaginary purity tests to administer to the other, it is all too clear that many have forgotten the importance of the coalition concept. That is why we lost in 2016.

It’s put up or shut up time. The midterm elections are now less than a year away. It has become necessary to take a side. The only options are to stand with the Democrats or stand with Trump, and only one of those has any sanity or decency in it. Taking half measures will mean leaving the status quo intact.

The most important thing for any democracy is that its lines of communication remain healthy and open. When those break down, all that remains is tyranny. We have seen its face. It is eating dinner at the White House. We understand the necessity of cooperation and coalition, and we are willing to open a respectful dialogue with anyone who realizes that we’ve got to find a way out of this mess. We have got to find a way to move forward together. #WeWillEmbraceYou. All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

 

 

 

The GOP’s Middle Income Tax Increase.

Trump Robs The Middle Class

The new tax bill that the House of Representatives passed Thursday can be safely described as unpleasant.

Tax plans are confusing. They tend to be full of numbers and technical jargon. They give the gift of throbbing temples to most of us. But one thing, at least, is easy to grasp. It’s going to hurt the middle class terribly. This plan is legislative savagery at its worst.

As American citizens, we have a duty to stand up and oppose this criminal concept with all the force we can muster. If we do not, the same GOP Congress that attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of total nonsense is all but certain to approve it. This new scheme is pitiless even for Trump. Its implications are brutal. It was hard to believe the budget plan the Senate just signed off on could be approved of by any human being with a heart.

Trump’s tax plan is much like his other policies. Ill-conceived, worse planned, and terrible for very nearly everyone. The CBO report speaks for itself. It’s really more of a tax plot.

The Trumps will save more than $1 billion overall under the GOP tax proposal with most of that amount coming from a repeal of the estate tax, according to an analysis NBC News commissioned of Trump’s one known 2005 tax return and his estimated net worth

As expected, the plan would help the wealthy at the direct expense of the middle class. It will actively hurt the poor. It is also known that foreign oligarch investors, including many from Russia, will be the beneficiaries.

The tax break improves for each income level, meaning that the people who need the most help get the least of it. The top 1 percent would get an 8.5 percent break.

Many Americans will indeed receive a tiny, immediate tax cut, but in the long term they will end up paying significantly higher numbers overall. Better than a third of American taxpayers are living on levels of income that fall below their standard deduction and personal exemptions. According to New York University law professor Lily Batchelder, that group will derive no benefit whatsoever.

This favoritism to the wealthy will increase both their holdings and the nation’s debt tremendously. The richest Americans are the biggest source of tax revenues. Trump has no answers as to where we might find a suitable substitute for them.

The plan will do great damage to parents of school-age children.  The head of household filing status will be eliminated. They will lose the personal exemption middle-class families used to receive for each child. That means almost 10 million parents will see their taxes increase.

The Republican Senate passed a budget bill on Thursday that would cut federal funding by $5 trillion over the next decade. The people to suffer the most from these cuts would be senior citizens, the poor and the disabled. By the time it’s all been said and done, the only ones who won’t be suffering are Donald Trump and his hideous cronies. Good thing the religious right’s got indulgences for sale.
A 10 year proposal that would gut Medicare to the tune of $473 billion in cuts is on the table. That would devastate the finances of more than 55 million Americans.
One might expect such a large tax cut to produce a large surplus in the federal reserve, but such an expectation would meet with disappointment. The Tax Policy Center said that the Framework of Trump’s 2016 plan will actually increase the national debt by $7 trillion over the next 10 years.

A large debt increase of this type tends to stunt economic growth in the long run. When a country’s debt-to-GDP-ratio is more than 100 percent, investors get concerned. They demand higher yields on the nation’s debt,  increasing interest rates. Those higher rates slow growth. It’s the old question of risk vs. reward.

Trump’s plan will also reduce the U.S. gross domestic product after 2024. The interest payments on the debt will end up consuming a large portion of the federal budget.

That money will be unavailable for the public use. It will not be there for the building of infrastructure or other job-creation uses. It will also not be there in case of an emergency, like the California wildfires or Hurricane Harvey.

The administration’s plan is relying on archaic and outmoded ideas of supply-side economics. Under the guidance of this principle, large-scale tax cuts are granted to big corporations. In an ideal world, these corporations would wisely invest this added capital into projects that create more jobs.

In the real world, however, the one in which Millennial Democrats is slogging through this article, this never worked out as it was supposed to. During Ronald Reagan’s administration, underperformance in this area led to the crisis we know as inflation. This was held up and exemplified, and given the name of Reaganomics. And that was still at a time when the highest tax rate was 70 percent.

These days tax rates are half what they were in the 1980’s. The results of pursuing a trickle-down economic strategy now would be far worse.

That is why those of us with sense enough to stand against these cuts must speak out. Loudly, and now. If not, then Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs will be gutted and burned. All so that the GOP can pay out a tax cut to the ones who need it least.
“This nasty and backwards budget green lights cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to give a tax break to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. It shifts the burden from the wealthy and puts it squarely on the back of the middle class, and blows a hole in the deficit to boot,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“I think it will go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

Koch Industries has been working toward getting a bill like this past Congress for forty years.  The Senate has stamped their will with a seal of approval, bypassing Democratic votes and therefore bypassing democracy. “America First” is taking on a whole new twist.

Democrats Stand Up for Senator Franken- MD DissectFake.

The Republicans are at it again. These people can’t even spell “accountability”.

Minnesota Senator Al Franken was accused of sexual harassment today by conservative talk show host Leann Tweeden, in a particularly transparent and unfair attempt to display false equivalence.

This news comes hot on the heels of Franken delivering up to the alleged child molester and Alabama Senatorial candidate Roy Moore one of the most classic Senatorial flayings of all time.

This is just another case of the rampant “what- aboutism” that the GOP has been trying to distract us with since time immemorial.

The GOP has a clear agenda in this matter. The Roy Moore scandals are a disaster for them, and they know they can’t escape it. The only thing they can do now is to try and get us dirty too.

Al Franken is one of the most effective Senators we have. He has proven clever and reliable at countering that agenda. So now, the dirty trick thugs are being sent out to try and destroy him.

The story broke on Breitbart this morning, but somehow political goblin Roger Stone already knew that Al Franken would be accused of sexual assault hours before the story actually broke.

“Let’s just say Sen. Franken’s time in the barrel is about to come,” Stone told The Daily Caller over text early Thursday morning, hours before Leeann Tweeden came out with her claims.

Stone did not care to elaborate to TheDC exactly how he knew Tweeden was going to come out with her claims. But he did. And that means it was plotted out.

An independent observer will remember that “time in the barrel” is the exact same term he used, right before Wikileaks dumped the Podesta emails that the supporters of Bernie Sanders rioted in the streets over. That’s another time Stone was found boasting off some dirt he criminally acquired. This is his M.O.

Rob Dew of Infowars was quick to hop on the bandwagon right behind Stone.

“I predict @SenFranken will be accused of groping & sexual harassment. He is also very short and an idiot, yet people still like him ,” tweeted Dew.

Note that use of the #metoo hashtag. Conservatives would like nothing better than for women to get the message that their only advocates, the Democrats, only talk a good one and are really no different than the Republicans. Most likely, this is being employed as a way to discredit that burgeoning movement.

Senator Franken, however, must have shocked the cynics good. The statement of apology he released this morning blew the doors off the GOP attempt to ruin him.

“While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.
“And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. They deserve to be heard and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”
Compare this with the statements of Roy Moore, when his first victim came forward with her story.When asked about his first accuser, Leigh Corfman, Moore said, “It never happened.”

“I don’t know Miss Corfman from anybody. I never talked to or never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false,” Moore told Hannity.

“I never knew this woman. I never met this woman and these charges are politically motivated,” he added. Seven more victims have since come forward, and the number is rising.

Within those two statements, are the difference between the Republicans and us.

There’s no excuse for victim-shaming. That’s not what Senator Franken would want, and that’s far from what we’re after. That said, the timing on this is a gigantic red flag. The benefit to the conservatives Ms. Tweeden has cast her lifetime’s lot with is obvious and huge. It is therefore worth taking a thorough look at the circumstances surrounding this incident.

This is a really unfortunate time for such a rumor to get started. Tensions are already so high. That might lead one to wonder about all the other times this year, that such a revelation was made. Every single time something awful has happened, this entire year, someone has grabbed hold of it, politicized it, and used it as fake news.
Who was responsible for it then? There were an angle and a clear connection. Sooner or later, it always led back to the alt-right propaganda machine. Why should this time be any different?

Leeann Tweeden was a commentator on Sean Hannity’s Fox News opinion show on multiple occasions. Fox’s Red Eye program was graced by her presence as well.

That connection to Hannity would make her statement suspect under any circumstances. Combined with the timing of the release of her “bombshell allegation”, it is positively unbelievable.

The night before she decided to unburden her heart, after all these years, happened to be the day Sean Hannity himself was forced to finally concede that he has been backing up a probable child molester for about the last two weeks.

Currently, Leeann Tweeden is employed as a news anchor for 790 KABC’s morning show, McIntyre in the Morning.  She is a frequent social and political commentator on various conservative television shows. Tweeden was formerly Co-Host of UFC Tonight on Fox Sports.

However, hard times have befallen the radio industry. Cumulus Media, which owns her radio company, is billions of dollars in debt. It’s in the news right now, filing bankruptcy. It is strictly speculative, but it seems to me that cutting a deal with a few billionaires to save your company by doing a favor would be attractive to the owners of the company.
It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that these factors make Cumulus an untrustworthy source for news.

It’s very close to keeling over entirely, and they syndicate Rush Limbaugh over 33 channels. That combination reeks of desperation.

The national news arm of Cumulus is called Westwood One. It hosts Michael Savage, who is even further out there than Rush.
Since 2009, Savage has been barred from entering the United Kingdom, for “seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred.
Before Savage was working for Westwood One, he was working at the Oregon based Talk Radio Network. It was well known as an extremist organization. Its involvement in this affair should be enough at a glance to discredit it based on dubious motive.
In the meantime, Ms. Tweeden graciously accepted the gracious apology Senator Franken offered. It seems that between the two the matter has been addressed and settled. It’s a shame that the opposition isn’t decent enough to simply leave it at that.
The bottom line is this- No way should Al Franken resign. He’s one of the best we’ve got. The thought of getting rid of him makes them chortle with ghoulish glee. That’s why Roger Stone was gloating about it hours before it broke. We refuse to let the GOP convince us to turn on our own.
Our job is to expose lies and bear witness. So please, when you see a story that looks like it could be suspect, let us know. Send it in so we can get to the bottom of it, and send it packing once and for all. Those who seek to educate will always stand as defenders of the truth. That is the purpose of the Millennial Democrats DissectFake project.

 

MD DissectFake- Mexican Mob and NorCal Wildfires Rumor Debunked

A strange rumor caught the attention of one of our contributors recently.

An idea has been making the rounds that the apocalyptic wildfires in Northern California were started by the Mexican Mafia, in an iron-fisted attempt to eliminate competition from the marijuana industry.

He thought little of it at first. But it just kept coming up, and now it’s turning into an accepted part of the narrative in the area.

Rumors are common, of course. But in this day and age, when even the most innocuous aspects of American culture, e.g. Pokemon Go and the #DontShootUs hashtag have been poisoned and used against us by the Russians, nothing can be taken for granted.

So when you hear a widespread rumor, especially regarding anything that might be employed to raise racial tensions and turn neighbor against neighbor, it’s a good idea to look at where it came from.

The problem started when right-wing blog Got News claimed an exclusive bombshell in the ongoing wildfire story. They did not cite any of their alleged law enforcement sources. No quotes of any kind appear in the story. It fails to present any evidence beyond the fact that the fires damaged marijuana crops.

Breitbart News got ahold of it shortly thereafter.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. GotNews is run by a guy named Charles C. Johnson, the white nationalist infamously known as “Trump’s Troll”. He reportedly acted as an adviser to the Trump administration’s transition team. Johnson has recently been implicated in the Russia investigation, according to a recent piece by Ben Schreckinger in Politico.

Johnson also arranged and attended a meeting between Assange and Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who has consistently argued for closer ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.

In other words, Charles C. Johnson is probably on Putin’s payroll. And he’s definitely on his side.

Although the likes of the slovenly Charles C. Johnson seem like random wingnuts, these stories are not random at all. They are part of a carefully coordinated and worldwide disinformation campaign, financed by Russia and inspired by fascist ideology.

The utmost attention must be brought to the way that this is done. Believe it or not, propaganda specialists are telling the truth 9 of 10 times. That’s the whole point. If all of it was nonsense, it would be written off right away. So most of it isn’t. Lying blatantly isn’t what they do. What they do do, is actually very clever. They will take that one lie, break it up into chunks, and then feed it back to people in a way they often don’t notice.

The method employed in this article was an associative trick. They take two things that could plausibly be related and simply discuss them, side by side. The lie comes in so smooth, you barely notice it. Watch carefully the Breitbart article’s opening paragraphs for a good working example. It’s down there in italics and it includes the link.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tom Homan confirmed on Thursday that a man arrested in connection with setting a fire in Sonoma County Wine Country is an illegal alien from Mexico who has been twice returned to his “home country.”

Three claims are being made here. First, that a man has been arrested by ICE. Second, that the man is an illegal alien from Mexico. Third, that his arrest was made IN CONNECTION with setting fires. The first two are true; the third is patently false. It is a complete and total lie.

Many Americans, however, will swear on the lives of their families that the opposite is true. This is because they have been brainwashed so totally by conservative media that they truly believe what Breitbart writes is the gospel truth. Studies on the subject indicate this type of person will defend a story like this to the end.

In direct contravention of this statement, Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano directly addressed the false claim at a press conference held at the time.

The Breitbart article was flat out called “false and misleading.”

There is no indication he is related to these fires at all,” Sheriff Giordano said. “Cal Fire is doing an investigation to see how these fires started. We don’t even know if it’s arson.”

The simple fact is, it’s wildfire season.

Long fire seasons are normal for California. Rain is usually absent for half the year. Thirteen of the 20 most devastating fires in California history, as measured by the number of buildings destroyed, have started on Oct. 1 or later, according to Cal Fire records.

The wildfires this year were the worst in state history, an unparalleled tragedy. The callousness needed to use an event like this for political purposes can only belong to Putin.

This is the face of fascism.  Manufactured incidents, news used as a tool to mislead and obfuscate. Propaganda, dishonesty, and confusion become the new and accepted norm. This is the face of their new authoritarian ideology. That ideology will be gradually dripped into the heads of the people by the likes of Sebastian Gorka, who was recently hired by Fox News.

This concept is not abstract, or something that only happens elsewhere. Companies like the Sinclair Broadcasting Company, which is said to be in talks with conservative TV show host Bill O’Reilly, will soon be threading pro- Trump messaging into every aspect of television. Their virulent brand of right-wing commentary and so-called “classic propaganda” may soon reach three-quarters of US households.

Going forward, the Mexican Mafia wildfire slander serves as an excellent case study for the examining and reverse-engineering of Republican propaganda. There will be more of this to come than we can imagine; Russian ads alone reached over 120 million on Facebook this year.

By thinking critically and staying alert, however, we can spot the fake news virus as it spreads. We can dismantle them, dissect them, and lay bare their innards to the light.  In this manner, we will come to see how they work.

Our job is to expose lies and bear witness. So please, when you see a story that looks like it could be suspect, let us know. Send it in so we can get to the bottom of it, and send it packing once and for all. Those who seek to educate will always stand as defenders of the truth. And that is the purpose of the Millennial Democrats DissectFake project.

Beneath, we are gratefully borrowing a crucial production of the International Federation of Library Associations(IFLA), which describes itself as the global voice of the library and information profession.

IFLA has made this infographic with eight simple steps (based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News)  to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you. Download, print, translate, and share – at home, at your library, in your local community, and on social media networks. The more we crowdsource our wisdom, the wiser the world becomes.

How to Spot Fake News