#TrumpShutdown Ends, Roger Stone Arrested- One Great Day For America.

One Great Day for America.

Hello, world, from Millennial Democrats! We’d like to bear you all our most heartfelt good tidings on this great American day. It is our extreme pleasure to announce that Trump has caved, and signed a Democratic bill to reopen the government. The shutdown is over. And Roger Stone has been arrested.

Frankly, what more can you really ask out of a single day? Speaking on my own behalf, I can say for sure. I couldn’t be any happier if I had won the lottery. I have just been sick over where this country is headed. Eight hundred thousand federal workers, going for a month without pay. It’s been one indignity after another, since the day this began and long before.

Trump’s presidency is now two years and five days old, and every day of it has been an insult to common sense and decency. Remember the first travel ban? He hadn’t been in office for two weeks, and it was worldwide pandemonium in airports. Seven continents worth of airports, clogged and logjammed with people who were suddenly- and artificially- stranded. That was the first time Trump caused a disaster for America- disaster is his favorite word- but it sure wasn’t the last. He has used this word constantly all throughout his political career. But ever since the Democrats retook the House, he has been using actual disasters as a bargaining chip and a way to deflect attention. He is said to have been convinced Pelosi would cave, and he lamented deeply.

Why are they [sic: us Democrats] always so loyal?

You will never understand, Donald. Never.

Who knows what Trump was thinking. It’s unreal that he could have self-deluded to this extent. If he thought he was going to come in here and bluster and bully Nancy Pelosi into giving him a wall, that’s a joke. Our Speaker could probably beat that old clown in a fistfight, let alone the political arena. Remember the G7 Summit in 2017, when he had to ride a golf cart behind all the other world leaders, who were all in shape and walking? That was great for our world image, let me tell you. Old, winded, out-of-shape America. Just look at them. So much for the Art of the Deal.

Disasters they are, but the disasters are of his own creation. This is a gigantic humiliation for Trump. He capitulated completely, but not before nearly tanking the economy, causing thousands of federal workers to file for unemployment relief, and causing significant cracks in that base of his that used to forgive him anything. His poll numbers went into nuclear meltdown. He got not one dollar for a wall. He shut the government down for absolutely nothing, and he is now the laughingstock of every single person in the world. He’s on Twitter at this very moment, whining about how he wishes people would “listen to his words” about why this is not the most gigantically cowardly and buffoonish concession in the history of all mankind. You’ve got to be kidding. This is the penultimate cave. It’s the Mammoth of caves. It’s really more like a cavern.

Thirty-five days, the government stayed shut down over this. What a total and gigantic waste. Citizens were about to lose their food stamps, and that would have really killed people, especially the sick and the very old. Trump came very close to committing his administration’s second atrocity; we’ve known for a while that his administration’s ICE has literally lost nearly fifteen hundred little kids, so we can’t call it the first. This one would have been all his fault, though. No one else to blame; Trump starved old people to death to get Russiagate out of the news. Quite a legacy; perhaps that’s why he caved. If so, it would be the one worthy thing he has done during this whole affair, which of course is why the conservatives are reviling him, specifically as a “Wimp”.

Ann Coulter congratulated the departed George Herbert Walker Bush on no longer being the biggest wimp ever to hold the office. Undoubtedly, that is so. The whole thing was the ravings of an idiot in the first place, a foolish campaign promise, something for the slobs at his rallies to scream for alongside “Lock ‘er up!” Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) blames the far-right Freedom Caucus. “I hope he ignores them for the next three weeks,” King said. “It’s the charge of the Light Brigade. It’s the Valley of Death.”

These days it’s not Hillary Clinton who is facing prison time and getting locked up. It’s all of Trump’s friends, and that brings us to the second piece of the day’s big news. This morning, federal prosecutors kicked in the door of Roger Stone, self-described political dirty trickster, and hauled him off to jail. It cost him $250,000 to bail himself out, which he probably got from some Russian still hoping to hit an easy lick. We’d like to say that’s over with for Russia. Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders had to try and spoil the day by running for president again, so there will probably be plenty of fresh acrimonies for them to exploit, especially during the primaries. We’ll get to that soon. For tonight, we would like to say God bless America and express to him our deepest gratitude. Because very soon we will be saying goodbye to Donald Trump.

Roger Stone may have sworn his loyalty, but that won’t do Donald any good, because Roger is just a poser anyway. No serious person would tattoo Richard Nixon’s face on their back. He missed the boat on Watergate and has spent the rest of his life yearning for the halcyon days when domestic fascism was strong enough to create this kind of scandal without the help of Russian rubles. Sleep well, Roger Stone. You sold out your country to the Russians, the worst enemies of America. And while the others did it for greed, or because of misplaced convictions based on sexism, you did it strictly out of malice, because that is what you do. Enjoy going down in the history books next to Benedict Arnold and Vidkun Quisling.

How sweet it is. Remember that one documentary for Netflix he did, Get Me Roger Stone? “I revel in your hate!” he defiantly shot at Democrats. Hate isn’t the word, exactly; more like loathing and disgust. We might have thrown up our hands then, but now we’re smoothing back our hair with them. Go ahead and revel, then, Rog. Have a blast, right there in your prison cell, eating Ramen noodles with Paul Manafort. His We’ll all be reveling together, in that case. It’s been a great day for America. Today, we stayed the land of the free, and the home of the brave. We have not, as Mark Twain once said, exchanged our honor for a phrase. If a phrase is needed, then perhaps this Republican president of yesterday’s will suffice.

“Mr. President, tear down that wall.” -Ronald Reagan

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