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"The quietness of it does me good" -- Jane Austen, May 2, 1813, to Cassandra

Working woman reading a newspaper


It's been a long while since I posted anything here. My latest idea for this blog -- to make it at all useful was to put onto it URLs to essays online others might overlook which seem to me of real interest -- educational.

I have two such essays tonight. A friend pointed one out to me: it's the clause in the British Magna Carta, which protects English commons, common lands, the rights of the power-less to use and to enjoy the land and its products. This was rescinded after hundreds of years by a Tory gov't in 1971; it was once the underlying basis for public parks and natural resources in the US, which the Trump regime is quietly and determinedly selling off. If he could, he'd sell off the Internet to his donors too.


The other explains clearly what is at stake when Mueller indicts Paul Manafort, Richard Gates and a more minor functionary, George Papadopoulus cooperates with Mueller in order to get a lighter sentence.


In the same spirit, I also recommend a book of poetry: Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse edited by Grace Bauer and Julie Kane.

The introduction:

"If you have gone so far as to open this book after reading its title, we suspect you may, like us, have that moment from the final presidential debate etched in your memory. Candidate Hillary Clinton was discussing Social Security when the opposing candidate (whosename we shall not utter here) interrupted her yet again, tooking straight into the camera as he snarled, "Such a nasty woman!"  While those old adages about people living in glass houses or pots calling kettles black may haveentered your mind --like us, like many women and men  -- have felt an immediate sense of outrage, because you knew in your bones that in the candidate's mind, the epithet applied not just to his opponent on the stage, but to any woman who had the audacity to stand up to him, contradict him, call him out in any way. Any woman who was not subservient, who refused to act like a pussy waiting to be grabbed, a model wife, or a Playboy bunny ready to serve,. You may have taken it personally, or maybe your thought of your friends, mothers, daughters, wives, partners, sisters. Even if not a Hillary fan, you may have felt like a line had been crossed. So you were not surprised when the phrase quickly became a meme, as a Twitter hash tag, a T-shirt women wore with defiant pride, commonly recognized shorthand for a critique of the sexism the insult embodied. The phrase stuck in our heads (as well as our craws).  ..."

Here is just one:


after Dorianne Laux’s “Men”

It’s tough being a woman, feeling you’re an object to be bought,

an elusive quarry, something to be chased and caught,
when you know you’re more than that. So pull me a draught,
Charlie, give me something dark and frothy. Wars have been fought
for less—I came in wondering what a girl’s got
to do to get herself noticed? I mean, I’m so hot,
I could melt neon. You want my number? Well, jot
it down, big boy. I won’t call you. I have a karaoke slot
at nine p.m.; I’m thinking a Madonna medley will do. Lots
of water under this dam. I want to be a player, not a mascot.
I want something bathed in dark chocolate, with a nougat
center. I want a lobster in my steaming pot,
champagne on ice, and two chairs by a wrought
iron table on a terrace in France. Whoever sought
the fountain of youth can forget it. The lies the movies taught?
They’re a crock, a foolish dream, a vicious plot.
Life isn’t fair, you’ve got to play your cards, no matter what.
I could have been Dean of Women, a cover girl. An exot-
ic dancer at a go-go bar. Or married to a guy with a yacht.
But I’m not. So pour me another shot of Jack, O Great Zot.

-- Barbara Crooker, from Rattle #51, Spring 2016

By Alice Neel, said to be of Isabel Bishop

I wish this marvelous anthology had been otherwise entitled -- though admit the title signals this is a retort to Trump and all those who voted for him and those who did not vote for Hillary. I know from experience too many women do not yet identify with one another, or refuse to recognize how they are vilified by how they are represented, talked about and treated. I feel that when those of us who do identify and are willing to see how we are treated take over these vile terms for ourselves, we do not succeed in reversing or de-clawing their meaning. Nonetheless these 323 pages contain direct, powerful protest and satirical poetry by women.

Miss Drake

Hilarious Trump Tune


A friend sent me this parodic song. It might (the way satire can) lift your spirits by its pithy exposures:

I wish the refrain were better:  it's a let-down because "it confounds the science" is not a powerful enough general word; the word does not contain enough in it. There are things that he continues to "confound" that are much more important and the word needs to cover these: like peace (he is angry because no one but him in power wants to start a nuclear war), like life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness (he wants huge guns for all, to imprison everyone who disagrees with him, kick out, impoverish or drive to suicide each non-white person, he would take health care from all but the rich, will never provide transportation of any kind, from trains, to roads, destroy women as people). So it continues to confound "hope for a decent life."

Miss Drake

For a while it seemed that ordinary people could no longer transfer YouTubes from the site to share them on other places on the Internet or simply save them. Either I didn't know that my Explorer Browser would transfer them or Google changed the setting back (google I'm told bought the YouTube site). Tonight I have the first Sylvia blog I've done in a while. I like to think my outraged bitter complaint in a letter to PBS on its coverage of Trump's stigmatizing of black football players helped prompt Woodruff to have Riley Temple on her show: I shall now write a letter thanking her even if my letter had nothing to do with it. Amy Goodman didn't need me to interview Moore on his Broadway show, The Terms of My Surrender, all about why none of us need to surrender, especially to any war.

We are as usual watching the full horror of this president this week, carrying on stigmatizing black football players, allowing 100 % of Puerto Ricans to die rather than lift a colonialist law forbidding all but US shipping to bring goods into Puerto Rico. I know that the media has therefore not been paying attention to how his administration has been busy poisoning our environment, starving ACA of funds, trying to start a war (well the media did pay attention to this because the man is willing to drop nuclear bombs on millions of people), but I want to help focus on the reason the NFL players refused to go through the usual rituals at the beginning of football games. I can't do better than transfer this video of Riley Temple from PBS news reports tonight:

Judy Woodruff introduced the video with this statement:

Sometimes overlooked in this week’s debate over whether athletes should take a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games is the original focus of Colin Kaepernick’s protest, the deaths of unarmed black men in confrontations with law enforcement.  Riley Temple is a lawyer and author.  And, tonight, he shares his Humble Opinion on how those confrontations with police are a direct legacy of slavery and the racism that fueled it.

I also want to share Amy Goodman's interview with Michael Moore on why we do not have to surrender to this president:

Instead of sharing the words prefacing the video I'll end on Moore's comments on moving from the football players where this man is trying to get these black fired and replaced with whites and is telling lies about what he's not doing to help Puerto Ricans; first Moore quoting Trump:

"It’s an island. You know it’s an island, don’t you?" And he went on to say, too, "There’s a big ocean. There’s a big ocean there between us." It’s like—I’m convinced he has no idea where Puerto Rico is. All he knows is that the people there are not white. And that’s why it’s not a priority.

Last, Moore's worry over what will happen if this man takes us to war:

You know, 'til he's gone, we have to at least discombobulate him, to the point where he’s so obsessed about all the things that are going to keep him from focusing on the really bad things that he’s going to do. He will take us to war. We will be in a war with this man. And when we—you know, when that happens, I need everybody watching this show, listening to us on the radio—I need everybody to commit that we have to stand up immediately.

Liberals—"liberals"—and Democrats often are afraid of being accused of being wimps or weak, weak-willed, not strong, not pro-America. And so—and so they’re so eager to just hop on, so nobody questions their patriotism. This is what has to be avoided this next time here with Trump, because I’m afraid that they will—they’re the same people, so they’re going to be—I could write the New York Times editorial right now endorsing Trump’s war. The first 11 paragraphs will criticize him for being an awful president, in perfect Times speak, and then the last paragraph will tell us why this is a—this, though, is a just war."

The best news you could have watched tonight on TV or the Internet was offered by two women journalists.

Miss Drake
Dear all,

The New Yorker has release an illustration they said they would have published upon her winning the election. Have a look:

I don't believe it.  This is picture someone has drawn and colored since. It is about the deep sadness we all feel who realize how much improvement she might have made in our social existences through her power to make social agencies and laws and customs work well for the average person. Instead we have gone back 70 years in the areas of sex,  racism, immigration attitudes; Trump and his rump are trying to destroy what health care the Obama administration provided (a Republican plan, which is why it is so easy to destroy, as it's dependent on paying money at encounters by patients), polluting the environment, increasing insofar as they can mass incarceration of black people, stopping voting ... the list goes on. She would have put effective educated people at the head of the Environmental agency, housing, education, worked to control climate breakup.  What might have been. The light goes out as the moon goes down. A moon traditionally stands for a woman.

Had this been a depiction of Clinton after winning it would have been joyous with bright color and we would have seen images of her diligently at work for us all.

Miss Drake
This essay by Ta Nehisi-Coates is so important that I have to break my dismayed silence since August:


Coates is the successor to James Baldwin -- he is better in some ways because goes further and to the central issue immediately. He is younger and not in touch with the kind of 19th century rhetoric found in W.E. Dubois (The Souls of Black Folks) that Baldwin wrote a version of.  Coates makes me see what I hadn't before: he's correct on Kristoff, correct on Sanders. I hadn't grasped how their statements of the Trumpite racists that "these are not bigots, these are some my friends" is racist -- though I understood literally they were racists and bigots I didn't go on to try to parse precisely how they then could assert such denials. That plangent tone "please" from Kristoff tells of his identification.

Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times columnist, in February of this year

My hometown, Yamhill, Ore., a farming community, is Trump country, and I have many friends who voted for Trump. I think they’re profoundly wrong, but please don’t dismiss them as hateful bigots

I agree with Coates here on Sanders too.

Within a week of Sanders lambasting Democrats for not speaking to “the people” where he “came from,” he was making an example of a woman who dreamed of representing the people where she came from. Confronted with a young woman who hoped to become the second Latina senator in American history, Sanders responded with a parody of the Clinton campaign: “It is not good enough for someone to say, ‘I’m a woman! Vote for me!’ No, that’s not good enough … One of the struggles that you’re going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics ...

Also how Obama was profoundly wrong -- which he knows now - - that he could be treated fairly ever. The only counter argument and it is a big one is Obama won twice. That's why the Republicans are so set on suppressing the vote.

And how pernicious is this man's influence. Human beings seem to respond to these numinous figures. So another aspect of why Trump won is precisely that he's an open predator as a man, sexual and financial, especially sexual. He won not only because he played on his whiteness so openly and attacked all non-whites; he won because he played on his gender, his sexual past; far from hurting him, that tape of him boasting may have helped him in the same way his racial bigotry did and does.  He's our first white MALE president. And I read and come across comments about articles or people talking of whether whatever it is is manly, are the French men? is a header on one LRB article (a London publication).  It is just sickening and so dangerous for women this. We are seeing open avowals of racism, and sexism and the attempt to institute these once again as central norms by Trump; he wants violent police to enforce these. I am firmly convinced that many men who didn't vote for Trump but wouldn't vote for Hilary Clinton, stayed home, did so because they couldn't get themselves to vote for her as a woman whatever their excuse.

Someone said to me when I was interviewing for a job and was being offered a course to teach, I needed to think about what it is to be an American, and teach this theme. He said this seriously. My view is nationalism is a delusion, one that can function as dangerously as racism and sexism. I don't identify as an American but as a human being. I have ever thought "the American dream" unreal vague musings -- but admit I knew as a girl that my parents had this idea that when I "set out," I would somehow "begin where they left off economically, so that when I married and Jim and I lived in digs that they would have been horrified by (furniture old, part of the rental, on a poor block mostly Pakistani, I had a job as a secretary, he as a clerk, no money at all), I was glad that I was 3000 miles away as their feelings would have influenced me. I myself was euphoric; I had never been so happy before (or since) than during the 8 or so months I lived in Leeds that way with my husband just after we married. We went to the pub nightly, drank and danced, on weekends went for long walks on the moors, daytime read and talked together. We had no goals beyond making enough to get to the next day. And we never did much for a long time though a year later I was in graduate school and we lived in NYC. I mean to say this myth of Americanism would have prevented me from having the happiness I've known had I taken it seriously. I never let such absurd hierarchical delusions control my conduct. Now Americanism is being openly attached to whiteness and the worst aspects of patriarchy once again. Oh I never answered that man and the syllabus I presented had nothing in it about Americanism in any central one. One week the class would read 18th century texts about the US colonies .... or by people living there (here).


However belated -- I have been away twice (for 10 days to Scotland), -- I want also to respond to a "Letter from Charlottesville" from a prominent respected Jewish, the president of Beth Israel in Charlottesville. Although it's now weeks ago it is the immediate relevant background to Coates's essay beyond race and sex/gender:  ethnicity:


My first response is this is terrifying. The local police will not provide any protection? This is the backdrop to Trump's indifference. He does not control local police. Indeed what could they have done had these three people with assault weapons attacked the place and people in it?: set fire to it. I appreciate that there are individuals who are good and brave people, but the community as a whole is represented by its elected officials who choose to do nothing.  why?  were they that afraid? This is not a case of the FBI which has attacked, destroyed,  imprisoned people from leftist-liberal groups throughout the 20th and now 21st century but does not move an iota against armed Nazi and fascist and racist militants. Corporations do have private armies. Look at what's in front of their buildings sometimes. And in foreign countries it's understood.

I find so useless is this kind of insistence on looking on the "Good side"  through these individual stories. If human beings didn't do this, oppressors couldn't get away with what they do.

A home-y example: Whole Foods has become an inferior supermarket to what it was. A whole new staff -- everyone there  before was fired?  it reminds me of when Giant destroyed the union. as easily. The way corporations and monopolies get away with this is the average person will not admit openly they are abused. On airplanes if you say ot the person in economy this is abusive, they don't like it. They will bring up some positive aspect -- but price is not one of them as it's high. Similarly I said to someone on line at Whole Foods today (I have been buying their cereal and a few other products I could get substitutes for in a decent supermarket) there are fewer checkers. We were waiting on a lengthening line -- only 3 when 2 weeks ago it would have been several.  Her impulse: lunchtime  is so busy.  Will not admit the problem is fewer checkers.

Why do these assholes smile and shrug when they are pulled off a line and subjected to search and seisure without a warrant? Are they protecting themselves from the intruders?  or is it a perverse pride. I've read philosophical essays pointing out how this strong tendency in people is deeply destructive. We just don't want to admit how bad the world is structured.  In Islamic groups women will say how this husband, that brother the other male is so good; it's just a few rotten apples. No it's not -- it's a system set up to crush women and give people to do this and they do and will So I find the second half of the essay deeply telling -- has anyone but the Progressive Populist (a newspaper from the mid-west which comes out every couple of weeks) asked why that crazy young man who murdered 9 elderly people reading Bibles in a church as not treated as a mad man. They don't want to admit the society is sick.

I was thinking also of a friend's irritation at the lack of threatened violence in return or standing there ready to defend yourself with countering violence. First every time African-Americans have tried that, they have been destroyed. The Black Panther movement was an attempt to own guns too, to defend themselves against violence by their bodies and strength -- guns are not allowed black people in our society. If they strike back, they are so pulverized, and they know it. They dare not stand their ground. My feeling is that the Jews who are so often resented or pitied or regarded as caving -- had had hundreds of years of the Austro-Hungarian empires and they knew how harsh the Russian gov't was. We need to read (just a text that comes to mind) Tolstoy's War and Peace his descriptions of prisons in Czarist Russia and what people were incarcerated for. Look at the ferocity of Assad, of the Saudis.

Jews in the US have not been lynched and now weekly murdered in the streets for the slightest offenses  so the thought did cross the man's mind: what should we do? they did stand out there.  But there has been no equivalent to the Panthers -- because it's not been felt to be so desperately needed. Those with legal power have huge power and only in a civil war context do the rebels have anything comparable.  That's why they are so put down.

And yet here it is fierce anti-semitism. Where does it come from? These people don't care that the state of Israel is attempting in effect to exteminate the Palestinian people, treating them like vermin to be gotten out of the way, performing the worst kind of settler colonialism.

Miss Drake

Women journalists and news anchors seem to me to write and host the best pieces on Trump; a few weeks ago now Rebecca Solnit wrote one of the best accounts of Trump's real career as a failed semi-criminal businessman; well in The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum has written a counterpart to Solnit: Nussbaum's essay demonstrates how Trump's invented identity on TV; the reality show, The Apprentice, made this presidency possible:


Then turn to Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn to hear what's happening that matters behind the circus show of Russia (mercenary colonialism returns):


Even the studiously neutral and carefulJudy Woodruff has her moments: tonight she reminded of what the triad nucleat set up is; on the website several pieces o the US arsenaland do watch who's at the trigger when the president calls a nuclear strike:


Not to omit Emma Lazarus who will become another foremother poet in a blog to come:  a statue not of a killer-hero, but a mother with a torch of welcome and light: Like so many 19th century women writers, she was once almost a household word; like many American writers until the Post World War Two era, when the FBI and all sorts of organizations went after socialists, progressives, anything leftist, she was socialist -- Wm Dean Howells was a socialist, no one more centrally mid-western American, he was editor of the Atlantic for years and years. Nowadays she is only known by the one poem by a vast majority of people might not be able to tell you the name of the author. Carved onto the Statue of Liberty. The New Colossus:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her b eacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

All four of my grandparent were immigrants; they came through Ellis Island from Poland. My father didn't speak any English until he was about 7; by 8 he was utterly fluent in English, reading and writing but for the rest of his life could slowly make his way through a little written Polish. My husband, Jim, was an immigrant, born in Hampshire, England.

Miss Drake

Today our health care system is threatened with a total disaster. Trump is putting pressure on all republicans to repeal the Afforable [Health]Care act. Simply repealing will throw 34 million people off and substitute decent insurance for junk insurance (a pretense of covering what is needed). At the same time voter suppression is working: thousands of people are apparently trying to get their names off the voter rolls lest their private information (about who they voted for among other things) is given to Trump and his agents.

In my district, Don Beyer has introduced legislation, which, were it to pass, would restore the US democracy, specifically proportionate representation for all levels of voting. He is a good man. I come across Trump supporters of course. Most of the time they do not identify themselves. As Naked Capitalism showed and also a story in the Washingto n Post in fact the poor whites did not give Trump his win, it was wealthy whites, older people (what fools those on limited incomes), white people and what's wanted is a white nationalist state for the wealthy to thrive in.  This is understood; it was understood by Romney in his famous taped speech. Trump is performing ethnic cleansing one by one: by deportation, by imprisonment, by suppressing the vote, by allowing cops and other people who need only say they are scared of black people (brown, Muslim) to kill them with impunity. The progressive populist's latest issue puts before us the crazy reality that Dylann Roof who slaughtered 9 elderly black people in a church is not regarded as insane. How is this? why is he not regarded as insane?  Such people do not want anyone voting who is not white.  The story is online: Hal Crowther, a Whiter Shade of Pale

While the relationship of Trump and all his business enterprises and associates (now heads of agencies) might seem a distraction from this (and the attempt at voter suppression, from Trump's not filling jobs across social service agencies, and from his own nomination of 27 of the most reactionary judges we've seen in decades) --

Trump may not be filling hundreds of high and middle level appointments in agencies supposed to do things for the public good (because he wants these parts of the gov't to rot), but as for judges he's appointed 27 judges at mid level positions -- 3X Obama's total, more than double Bush, Reagan's and Clinton combined. They are all horrendous: one man called Kennedy a prostitute for allowing sodomy to no longer be a crime.

NONETHELESS, -- THAT TRUMP ASSERTED HE THOUGHT WE WILL HAVE A VERY GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH RUSSIA -- is also intensely important. It explains how in the early 1990s when no bank would lend Trump or his businesses any money, they stayed afloat. Again why he will not release his tax returns. Why he is now seeking to fire the new investigative attorney, is incensed at Sessions. The Republicans may not impeach him, but the more people who know about why Trump asserted he will have a very good relationship with Russia (and he with Putin) the more likely he can be toppled from power finally.

Thus I bring back into this blog the Dutch documentary which gives the world-wide network background for these people's operations: I bring back the Dutch documentary about Trump's idea we "will have a very good relationship with Russia" (oh his companies have had one with key powerful people there it seems for quite a while) plus the new details that have come out.  It is misguided finally to regard Trump as simply incompetent: he is competent enough for what he needs and ruthless and amoral enough to destroy whatever stands in his way

Here is DemocracyNow.org, the only news organization to report the latest details:

From Transcript one:

But if you want to get at the roots of the collusion, you have to look at where Trump’s links with Russia actually begin. And they don’t begin with Putin. They certainly don’t begin with the 2016 campaign. They begin with long-standing financial linkages that Trump has, going back to the ’90s, even earlier, to Russian oligarchs who have been pouring money into his real estate and into his casino business for quite some time.

AMY GOODMAN: Lay out exactly. And if you can talk about how perhaps this relates to who was in the room with Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump’s oldest son, and Kushner, his son-in-law, as well as Paul Manafort, his campaign manager at the time, when they had this meeting that they’ll all have to be speaking before a Senate committee about next week?

SEVA GUNITSKY: Sure. And I want to say, this is not just small change from Russia, despite what Donald Trump says. This has been hundreds of millions of dollars. Donald Trump’s son, Don Jr., said—almost a decade ago, he said that "Russians make up a disproportionate number of our investors. We have money pouring in from Russia." That’s a direct quote. So, he has been a sort of perfect vehicle for Russian investments.

And if you look at the people who were in the room in that now-infamous meeting last June, then it’s clear that there are many linkages to Russian money. We have people like the business partner of Aras Agalarov, a Russian oligarch that Trump has been doing business with for years. We have people like Natalia Veselnitskaya, who is a lawyer for a company called Prevezon, which was accused of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars through New York City real estate. So, it’s not a surprise that these names keep coming up, because this is definitely something that has linked Trump to Russia for a long, long time.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And could you talk about, Seva, the 2012 Magnitsky Act and what role it plays here?

SEVA GUNITSKY: Sure. So, the 2012 Magnitsky Act was a result of a Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who was investigating a company in Russia that was linked to some illegal activities by Russian oligarchs. And when he found out what happened, he was put in jail, and he was murdered in jail. So, in 2012, the Obama administration, as a response, put in an act, the Magnitsky Act, that essentially prevented wealthy Russians from doing business in the U.S. And the Russian oligarchs despise this act. They really would like to see it canceled.

And the lawyer who met with Don Jr., Natalia Veselnitskaya, she had been lobbying against the Magnitsky Act for years ....

From Transcript two: Moglivech is a key figure in the Dutch documentary:

You write about a trip that Trump made back in 1987 to Moscow during the Gorbachev years. Why did he make that trip?

CRAIG UNGER: Well, this was his first trip to Russia. And they were—there was sort of a wooing going on in which he was hoping to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. It’s been a dream that’s been resurrected again and again and has never happened. But during that time, he first—for the first time, you see his presidential ambitions surface, immediately when he comes back. And he goes up to New Hampshire afterwards. He’s met a lot of powerful people in Russia. He goes up to New Hampshire as if he’s dipping his toes in the presidential waters for the presidential primary coming up in '88. And he puts out a full-page ad in The New York Times and Washington Post in which he puts forth the same kind of foreign policy stuff he's been saying during the presidential race and since he’s become president, attacking Western Europe, attacking NATO, and, frankly, putting forth a policy that appears to be in Russia’s interest more than ours.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, you point out in the article, as well, that since Trump has been president—so, just in the last six months—about 70 percent of the sales in his buildings have gone to shell companies, where we don’t know—we don’t know the identity.

CRAIG UNGER: Well, exactly. And that’s one question where you have to wonder how much—is this just a free-for-all where he’s laundering massive amounts of Russian money? And it’s the kind of thing that, frankly, as a reporter, that’s where you see your limits. It’s very hard to penetrate shell companies, and you need a subpoena. And I’m hoping that’s a direction special counsel Mueller will go after.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, that’s very interesting, because—especially in light of this New York Times interview done yesterday in the Oval Office, when Trump basically talked about his red line. He’s furious that Jeff Sessions, you know, recused himself, and which led to Robert Mueller being appointed. But his red line is going from Russia to his own finances. But you and our previous guest are linking the two.

CRAIG UNGER: Absolutely. He is effectively saying he wants to obstruct justice. It’s as simple as that. There’s no other interpretation.

AMY GOODMAN: So talk about some other of the people that you write about—for example, Semion Mogilevich and Felix Sater.

CRAIG UNGER: Right. Well, Mogilevich has been probably the most powerful mobster in Russia for more than 30 years. He has his—according to FBI files, he has his fingers in everything from prostitution to drug running to elaborate stock fraud scandals and so forth. But what he is renowned for is money laundering. And he was so successful at it, he was known as the "brainy don," because he has a degree in economics, and he’s come up with some elaborate schemes that seem rather byzantine and complicated, but they’re very, very lucrative ...

I urge anyone who comes to this blog to take the time to watch this material and and/or read all three transcripts. Now if you have time, read this the way this reactionary republican from rural Ohio presents what he is about to do as benign reason and good for all in my comments section.

What I find so important and must be included in this blog how Johnson spins what's happened to present a totally false view. He presents himself as a good man up against power-mad people who are ruining the economy. If you read nothing else, and assumed that the US gov't must be run by good people, have been told businessmen are good people, and read nothing else (say watch Fox News which is a perpetual celebration of Trump as president, as presidential), you might regard the stories of the NYTimes or Post or other mainstream publications as lies, as fake news. And the problem here is compounded because yesterday say neither the Post or the NYTimes told about what has been revealed in detail about how Trump and his agents are all gangsters; the way he stayed afloat after the early 1990s when no bank would fund him was to find funding in the gangster worlds of Russia and elsewhere so I can see that a person in Ohio turning on Amy Goodman would think she's nuts, not just extremist but a crazed liar.

Miss Drake
One day late:


But here I am now.

I am so glad that at long last the phrase "net neutrality" has been dropped as things become so serious. No one before explained that what is in store for us is turning the Internet into a form of cable TV.  Yes.  Let all the space be bought up by companies, and then they switch off everything they own, and then put back only "packages": what they are willing to choose for you to see, hear, and watch, each for a higher sum of money.  No more going where you want, no more writing yourself and reaching potentially millions or at least hundreds, or for most of us our friends, associates, people interested in what we are.

You do know without the free and open internet Obama would never have won. The Republicans in the US would not have this difficult problem of taking health care from millions because forsooth it depends on the very wealthy giving a little bit more taxes each --- cannot have this redistribution of income and opportunity even to keep someone alive and out of bankruptcy.

Make no mistake; this is what the loss of net neutrality means.  The places you are allowed to reach, or maybe post a bit will be heavily censured and big gun of copyright put before you: so you will be stifled of anything you might say or post that you don't have permission to.

And you do know that broadband access does not reach many rural areas as yet; some states (Republican controlled but some democratic ones too) and these new rules would spell the end of any attempt to bring the internet to people outside large cities -- the way Trump wants to defund Amtrak and all trains

This is what's in store except if the huge corporations who think they have a lot of lose win out -- for to no one else does the Trump kleptocracy listen.



We have now seen the supreme court let part of the Muslim ban stand and further corrode the separation of church and state and how peaceful protest in the streets gets you beat up (even if crippled in a wheelchair) and put in jail for months, maybe on a felony so you will never vote again.

Silent violence, that's the way. No one would listen to those of us who talked of the peril to this medium if Trump should be elected.

I repeat if this chairman gets his way the Internet will become another cable TV where we will only be able to access limited channels for huge sums and we will not be able to post ourselves, but the companies will cut off blogs like Naked Capitalism, Truthdig and (above all) DemocracyNow.org.

So many nights and days no one, no one tells the stories that are occurring that Amy Goodman and her group do, no one gets the good people who tell the truth clearly, her links abroad are astonishing. People like this new horror salivate at the thought of cutting her off.

And above all we will no longer be able to blog, post and do what we want.  Uses of copyright, people running ISPs will begin to censure heavily. Back to the 1950s. Think of the enclosure movement. For centuries land held in common and then starting in the later 16th century the wealthy saw a way to make huge sums from sheep, cattle, drain the land for themselves and kicked thousands and thousands off and they ended in these hideous factories

and of cousre it will be so much easier to roll back consumer protections, feeble as they already are:


Miss Drake

Deeply shaming and dangerous

After a video of Trump was posted onto Twitter of him as a TV wrestler body-slamming CNN:

Charles Blow on "the hijacked presidency:" July 2,2107, The New York Times:

"Every now and then we are going to have to do this: Step back from the daily onslaughts of insanity emanating from Donald Trump’s parasitic presidency and remind ourselves of the obscenity of it all, registering its magnitude in its full, devastating truth.

There is something insidious and corrosive about trying to evaluate the severity of every offense, trying to give each an individual grade on the scale of absurdity. Trump himself is the offense. Everything that springs from him, every person who supports him, every staffer who shields him, every legislator who defends him, is an offense. Every partisan who uses him — against all he or she has ever claimed to champion — to advance a political agenda and, in so doing, places party over country, is an offense.

We must remind ourselves that Trump’s very presence in the White House defiles it and the institution of the presidency. Rather than rising to the honor of the office, Trump has lowered the office with his whiny, fragile, vindictive pettiness.

This latest episode is simply part of a body of work demonstrating the man’s utter contempt for decency. We all know what it will add up to: nothing.

Republicans have bound themselves up with Trump. His fate is their fate. They have surrendered any moral authority to which they once laid claim — rightly or not. If Trump goes down, they all do.

It’s all quite odd, this moral impotence, this cowering before the belligerent, would-be king. A madman and his legislative minions are holding America hostage.

There are no new words to express it; there is no new and novel way to catalog it. It is what it is and has been from day one: The most extraordinary and profound electoral mistake America has made in our lifetimes and possibly ever.


We must remember that we now have a president exerting power to which he may only have access because a foreign power hostile to our interests wanted him installed. We must remember that he has not only praised that foreign power, he has proven mysteriously averse to condemning it or even acknowledging its meddling.

We must remember that there are multiple investigations ongoing about the degree of that interference in our election — including a criminal investigation — and that those investigations are not constrained to collusion and are far from fake news. These investigations are deadly serious, are about protecting the integrity of our elections and the sovereignty of our country and are about a genuine quest for truth and desire for justice.

Every action by this administration is an effort to push forward the appearance of normality, to squelch scrutiny, to diminish the authority and credibility of the ongoing investigations.

Last week, after a growing list of states publicly refused to hand over sensitive voter information to Trump’s ironic and quixotic election integrity commission, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted the pushback as a “political stunt.”

But in fact the commission itself is the political stunt. The committee is searching for an illegal voting problem that doesn’t exist. Trump simply lied when he said that he would have won the popular vote were it not for millions of illegal votes. And then he established this bogus commission — using taxpayer money — to search for a truth that doesn’t exist, to try to prove right a lie that he should never have told.

Donald Trump is depending on people’s fatigue. He is banking on your becoming overwhelmed by his never-ending antics. He is counting on his capacity to wear down the resistance by sheer force.

We must be adamant that that will never come to pass. Trump is an abomination, and a cancer on the country, and none of us can rest until he is no longer holding the reins of power."


Hundreds of position in US agencies are going unfilled so that business of gov't cannot go forward. Those that are filled are being coerced into allowing our environment to be polluted again; others are given free rein to kill abroad whoever. The small rot speading is seen in the governor of New Jersey closing all public beaches to New Jersey state residents (how dare they humiliate and try him for closing a bridge some years ago out of spite), and then taking one over for just his family.  Shameless is the word here.  The significance of this matching petty act: Remember about Republicans now: if they can do it, they will, no matter how egregiously false, corrupt, ugly, cruel.

Miss Drake



The win of Republican Handel over Jon Ossoff tonight is significant because she won it by the state machinery repressing and erasing at least 50,000 votes. What is happening is Republicans are simply erasing thousands of votes of black and minority people (in the 6th congressional district of Georgia this means a considerable Korean population) by claiming these people voted in another state -- with no proof, no indictment, no court cases. They are throwing out voter ballots, voter forms signed so the people coming to the polls find they are not registered and cannot vote -- and have no recourse and no explanation. The old 'south" and Jim Crow is back.

Read about it: Greg Palast

The Republican rallies, all white, are shameless violent to any democrat who shows up; to reporters. Even more worrying, is Kris Kobach, the man Trump put at the head of an electoral commission to investigate non-existent fraud is going to use this method nation-wide. The vote in the US is not longer legitimate. Had they not suppressed the vote, Osoff would have won in the first round. The district itself is gerrymandered; at this point it has a large black population and a growing Korean one -- thousands and thousands were ruthlessly disenfranchised during this campaign. there has also been outrageous gerrymandering for a couple of decades by the Republicans. No, they don't play fair nor do they pretend to.  With Sessions at the head of Justice none of this will be protested or come to court. The ACLU has to try.

The Republican thinks they can take over the machinery of gov't and wipe out all progressive gains in the last 100 years this way. In 20 Republican states legislation has been introduced and passed to criminalize all sorts of aspects of public assembly and protest. Tonight Paul Ryan gloated the Republicans will pass their tax bill (to cut a trillion from US citizens' tax dollars and send it to war and the rich) and their gutted health plan (called -- ironically in my view -- the American Health Care plan). He thinks it's all clear sailing now.

Drip by drip; today disabled people protested and in wheelchairs were dragged away, arrested, accused of faking, dragged on the gound by the hair


A friend of mine urged me to read Rebecca Solnit's essay on Donald Trump. While I don't think DT is lonely, and (alas, see above) do not think this regime will crumble, and am not keen on folk myths as explanations (the fisherman and his wife), Solnit's description of Trump's failed business career, his sleazy and cutthroat semi-legal tactics, his rise through TV, is spot on.

But there is a sense that nothing that Solnit says here matters. The links to Hannah Arendt give us long philosophical views of decency, humanity



But they have no effect when it comes to the power that has been put in place.

What we are now seeing the slow gradual erosion of democracy and liberty. I mentioned last night that 20 republican states have begun legislation to criminalize demonstrations -- there will be no recourse to a justice department under Sessions. Harsher yet longer sentence is what he wants. But today on DemocracyNow she had several segments on the terrrozing and deportationt of Pakistanis from Brooklyn; a segman on hateful behavior spreading everywhere against Muslims, non-white people and no recourse.  Trump not appointing anyone for administrative positions destroys gov't by default; no protection, no action on behalf of the public.
It's clear where we are headed -- in fact those you describe are not the majority at all; the majority wanted Clinton; the majority want health care, gun control.

So the reason phone calls to senators and so on don't work is that those getting into power don't in the least care if they represent a majority; they have only to win no matter how from the point of view of democratic ideals illegitimately. It is legal what they are doing.

The FCC make no effort to control news any more. It is like the French ancien regime: those in charge were a minority but they have the power. In this s ense none of what Solnit had to say matters

How to change the situation goes further than getting more people to vote democratic in order to offset voter suppression?  You really need the equivalent of ALEC and you're not going to get it as ALEC is ruthless fascism. The only way fascism has been turned around is terrible war -- and weaponry is horrifying nowdays. We all have but one life.

Miss Drake

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