Friday, August 4, 2017

Globe Hatchet Job

I will give you one guess as to whom they are applying it on this historical day:

"Gen. John Kelly learned how to deal with civilians, but nothing like Trump" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  August 03, 2017

It's All the President's Generals, and since when has the war-promoting pre$$ given a damn?

WASHINGTON — John Kelly, the former four-star Marine general whom President Trump chose this week to impose order on a chaotic White House, represents one of the paradoxes of Trump’s administration. A president with a highly disordered approach to governing and management has an open affection for powerful current and former military leaders and has placed them in key positions throughout his administration.

I'm not going to get caught up in this snare.

The two other two most prominent of them are Defense Secretary James Mattis, also a former Marine general; and Army General H.R. McMaster, who heads the National Security Council.

There’s a some precedent for having a general or two in the presidential inner circle: David Petraeus, a former Army general, was President Barack Obama’s CIA director. Colin Powell, a general in the 1990 Gulf War, was secretary of state under President George W. Bush. And of course there’s Alexander Haig, another Army general who became chief of staff for President Richard Nixon and was secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan. 

Haig infamously said he's in charge when Reagan was shot.

In Trump’s case, the presence of high-ranking military officials in the administration has been a comfort to some of the president’s more reluctant allies in Congress, including Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, a former Navy pilot and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

McCain is an ally? 

The distortions never stop, do they?

But many wonder how the melding of Trump and the generals will play out long term.

Those wondering must be Globe readers.

Good judgment — from a general’s perspective — doesn’t always synch with Trump’s favored mode of decision-making, or his decisions.

Elements within Trump’s political base have focused their ire on McMaster, whom they view as disloyal to Trump.

Does Trump know?

There’s a website, promoted by Trump supporters, called “McMaster leaks” that urges viewers to “post your leaks about H.R. McMaster.” Instances where McMaster has criticized Trump are highlighted, including a link to an article where McMaster was said to disagree with Trump’s decision to allow top Russian officials into the Oval Office.

Like the war in Afghanistan?

Other “leaks” posted on the website include a story about McMaster hiring aides close to some of Obama’s national security officials and a screed against the general for firing a staffer who’d argued that elements of the so-called deep state, a reference to the intelligence community, were trying to take down the Trump presidency.

That would be Rich Higgins.

The website also featured a cartoon with anti-Semitic overtones depicting McMaster, along with Petraeus (who is retired and does not work for the Trump administration), as a puppet of wealthy Jewish interests.

Must have hit a nerve there. 

My view here is that they may be deep state operatives, but the fact that Petraeus was run out speaks in his favor. That doesn't make him an angel or any less of a war butcher; it just means he came to loggerheads with the powerful force that really runs this country.

But coming in for public scorn may be less of a problem for a career military officer than adjusting to the freewheeling environment of civilian debate.

Kelly’s ability to charm civilians goes well beyond the US borders. Francis J. “Bing” West, a former Defense Department official and author who traveled with Kelly during one of his two stints in Iraq, recalled that Kelly was able to forge a strong relationship with Muslim leaders in Anbar province.

This was in 2009, West said, a period when the US military was reducing its footprint in the region. West said he sat in a meeting with top sheiks as they learned that the United States would leave just one general in the area.

“The question was, ‘Who?’ ” recalled West.

The sheiks offered a clear preference: “The answer was John Kelly. And I burst out laughing.”

He had to explain his shock to gathered leaders.

“You’re selecting a Catholic from Boston to be with the direct descendents going all the way back to Muhammad. And that’s the person you want to be staying out in Anbar?”

Still, the skills that work well in war time are quite different from those that go into governing a large and messy democracy.

“I’m not sure that the ability to charm Iraqi warlords transfers to working in D.C.,” said Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor emeritus at Boston University and former Army officer.....

It worked for Petraeus. Remember the Bush surge of 2007 that we were told stabilized the country?


RelatedTrump called New Hampshire a ‘drug-infested den’

Made the front page and the national lead:

Transcripts show how contentious Trump’s calls were with Mexican, Australian leaders by Peter Baker New York Times

They "confirm previous news reports, and the transcripts, assembled from the notes of aides listening to the calls, were obtained by The Washington Post, which posted them online on Thursday morning."


Deep State War on Trump: is it Treason or Theater? Real or Reality TV? 

Good video commentary there.

CIA Likely Leaked Trump Phone Conversations with Foreign Leaders

Maybe Sessions knows who leaked them.

"Seth Rich, who worked for the Democratic National Committee, was fatally shot in July 2016. His murder is unsolved. The retracted Fox article, citing law enforcement sources, said Rich had shared thousands of DNC e-mails with WikiLeaks — a theory that would undercut the assertions that Russia had interfered in the election on behalf of Donald Trump. Wheeler, who is black, states in the suit that he has faced discrimination at Fox News because of his race. Wheeler, who is paid a set amount for each appearance he makes on the network, says that he has received less air time, money, and notoriety than his white colleagues....."

A paragraph of truth couched in an article regarding a racism suit against Fox.

"Seth Rich Investigator Accusations Debunked By Own Interviews As Seymour Hersh Leak Kills Russia Story".  I assume Hersh is backing away from this - 'gossip' isn't necessarily untrue, but just speaks to the informal sourcing, and he notably still hasn't claimed the tape is fake - due to his comments on Brennan making the whole Russia story up by lying about Trump, utterly true, of course, but these are not the kind of people you want to be on record about. The mainstream media has completely ignored this game-changing revelation, and in fact, by focusing on the bizarre Wheeler lawsuit, is still pushing the story that the Trump White House was behind the initial Wheeler allegations. -- xymphora

Also see:

Pulitzer-Prize Winning Reporter: FBI Report Shows It Was Seth Rich – Not Russians – Who Gave DNC Emails to Wikileaks

Seymour Hersh Cracks ‘RussiaGate’ as CIA-Planted Lie — Revenge Against Trump 

Hersh... the Limited Hangout Artiste is baaaaaack! 

Wanna explain, Sy?

Kind of gets DJT Jr. off the hook, too. 

"Kushner met privately last week at the Capitol with members of the Senate and House intelligence committees....."

There is that shit-eating grin again! He's confident nothing will come of the Jewish Mafia connections.

Scaramucci says he’s not dating Fox News host

He had dinner with Kimberly Guilfoyle? 

Looks bad because "Scaramucci’s wife was about to have a baby. (We’ve since learned that Deirdre Ball, who was married to the Mooch for three years, has filed for divorce)."

The divorce remains on track.

Former Fox News Executive Said to Be Considered for White House Job

Going to put a Shine on it.

Mueller using grand jury in federal court as part of Russia probe" by Matt Apuzzo New York Times

My printed paper carried a WaPo pos that said the development is a sign that investigators continue to aggressively gather evidence in the case.

One note: this is the first investigation of presidential misconduct that has begun before there is any actual evidence. They are fishing around for it and not finding anything usable.

James Comey has book deal, publication set for next spring


Senate confirms Christopher Wray, Trump’s choice for FBI The vote was 92-5 for Wray, a former high-ranking official in President George W. Bush’s Justice Department who oversaw investigations into corporate fraud. 

So he was on watch while the greatest corporate looting scheme was unfolding, 'eh?


More books:

Republican Senator Jeff Flake takes the GOP to task over Trump

A longer reedited excerpt from my print that was scrubbed.

Letter for you: Dear Republicans

How do the voters feel:

"In many ways, their passion is like what we see in Patriots fans. Here in New England, the Patriots are beloved: a team that seems to always find a way to win, with a combination of grit, strategy, and talent; a brilliant coach; the most superhuman quarterback in the history of the sport; and a set of values that puts the team first. My friend Ryan, a fan with season tickets nine rows back from the field, loves their work ethic and their commitment to Do Your Job. Ryan and his friends tailgate together, wear the shirts and caps, know every player’s stats, and are outrageously loyal. These fans have the Patriots’ backs no matter what. In fact, the hell with Spygate, Deflategate, Roger Goodell, and all of the clueless football experts who imply that the Patriots ever even considered cheating. And that includes the media, led by evil ESPN. In fact, the more others bad-mouth the Patriots, the more the fans love their winning team. Outside of New England, football fans are incredulous. Most feel that we have the worst, most immoral team in the history of any sport and that, on any given day, the Patriots will break rules and ruthlessly cheat their way to victory. Professor David DeSteno of Northeastern University, a social psychologist who has written extensively about the power of teams, explains that people who identify strongly with a particular group tend to look for anything that supports their team and will ignore the bad news......" 

Globe is hoping Trump voters “have they changed their minds.” 

What I ignore is propaganda posing as news, and I'm so sick of the sports analogies regarding politics despite their importance as a qualification.

Pleasing his voters, too:

Trump supports bill that would cut legal immigration by half The plan would enact the most far-reaching changes to the system of legal immigration in decades.

"One day after 15 states sued him, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt backtracked on delaying Obama-era rules intended to reduce emissions of smog-causing air pollutants....."

That might not.

Where was the brain trust?

"We are in a time of rapid change — technological, economic, and political. The vested interests of the old order are resisting change, and Trump is resister in chief....."

What a lying Sack of $hit is he.

Meanwhile, the Globe is already looking 3 1/2 years hence to the 2020 campaign, even going so far as to push their favored candidate (may be a hard sell given his negligent governing of the state for eight long years as well as taking a position with Bain after leaving).


"President Trump will soon sign a law limiting his ability to lift sanctions against Russia, even though he has concerns about the measure, Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday. The announcement during a visit to Tbilisi, Georgia, comes as no surprise, because the Trump administration had signaled it would not stand in the law’s way. But it nonetheless carries significance: It is the first time that Congress, with both houses controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, has imposed its will on the administration on a major policy matter, and the legislation has helped bring relations between Russia and the United States to one of its lowest points since the Cold War. At least in terms of diplomatic policy, the bet Russia might have made when, according to US intelligence agencies, it interfered in last year’s presidential election, has backfired in spectacular fashion. The legislation was revised, however, to address concerns by US oil and natural gas companies that do business with Russia’s energy sector. Though he was asked by a reporter about the election interference, Pence did not explicitly address it, reiterating instead the administration’s concerns about Russia’s “destabilizing activities,” including “efforts to support rogue regimes.”

Another NYT POS.

Pence, in Montenegro, Assures Balkans of U.S. Support

Another NYT POS.

"In blaming Congress for the poor relations, Trump omits assigning responsibility to President Vladimir Putin of Russia for his role in Crimea, for violating a landmark arms control treaty with the deployment of a new cruise missile, and for interference in elections in the United States and Europe. Senator John McCain, Republican from Arizona and a strong supporter of the sanctions bill, disagreed with the president. McCain’s tweet: “Our relationship w/ Russia is at dangerous low. You can thank Putin for attacking our democracy, invading neighbors & threatening our allies.”

"The New York Times Pushes Propaganda War Against Russia by Publius Tacitus


There is no longer any doubt that the New York Times is nothing more than a willing cog in the establishment war machine and is happy to serve as a propaganda platform. While there are times that newspapers and electronic media outlets are unwitting dupes for propaganda, the article penned by 

Russia’s Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression

This screed starts with this piece of artful dishonesty:

Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer, one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War.

Since when is it an act of "aggression" for a country--Russia in this case--to conduct military exercises in its own territory? Gordon and Schmitt also conveniently omit the facts that the United States has been engaged in a variety of military exercises on the border of Russia for the last year. Yet, rather than acknowledge that truth, Gordon and Schmitt push the lie that this is an unprovoked action by a militaristic Russia hell bent on conquering the world.

How else is one to interpret the following quotes:

The military exercise . . . .is part of a larger effort by Mr. Putin to shore up Russia’s military prowess, and comes against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive Russia. Beyond Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election in support of the Trump campaign, which has seized attention in the United States, its military has in recent years deployed forces to Syria, seized Crimea and intervened in eastern Ukraine, rattled the Baltic States with snap exercises and buzzed NATO planes and ships. . . .

“There is only one reason you would create a Guards Tank Army, and that is as an offensive striking force,” General Hodges said. “This is not something for homeland security. That does not mean that they are automatically going to do it, but in terms of intimidation it is a means of putting pressure on allies.”

If you read only this article you would be excused for assuming that Russia is on the prowl for no good reason. Fortunately, our media is not totally subservient to the war machine. NPR reported last week that the United States is actually carrying out the largest military operations on Russia's border in 27 years:

The U.S. and NATO are staging their largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, and they're doing it in countries of 3 former members of the Warsaw Pact: Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Yes, I did. This is all part of what's been called the European Deterrence Initiative, and it's a reinforcement of U.S. forces that had been depleted in Eastern Europe before Russia annexed Crimea three years ago. And as part of this sort of hardening of the U.S. presence here, there was an armored combat brigade team of about 4,000 Army troops from Fort Carson, Colo., that arrived here in Eastern Europe early this year. And they're here in Romania, and they're taking part in military exercises along with about 20,000 other troops.

On Saturday, I was in the Carpathian Mountains, and I watched a pretty impressive live fire, land and air assault there on an imagined enemy. And then yesterday, along the banks of the Danube River here, there was another assault staged to retake the other side of the river from another imagined enemy.

GREENE: You keep saying imagined enemy. Who is the imagined enemy?

WELNA: Well, no doubt it's Russia. And, you know, while this wasn't really a D-Day invasion along the Danube - there was no fire return from the other side - there was a lot of sound and fury. And here's a bit of what it sounded like.

The US military exercise is dubbed Saber Guardian:

Exercise Saber Guardian 17 is a U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Europe-led annual exercise taking place in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria in the summer of 2017. This exercise involves more than 25,000 service members from over 20 ally and partner nations. The largest of the Black Sea Region exercises, Saber Guardian 17 is a premier training event for U.S. Army Europe and participating nations that will build readiness and improve interoperability under a unified command, executing a full range of military missions to support the security and stability of the Black Sea Region. It is deterrence in action.

Some of the more notable aspects of SG17 include: the massing of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division (3/4ID) from several locations across the Operation Atlantic Resolve  area of operation to the exercise joint operations area (JOA) in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria; and the movement of 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR) from Vilseck, Germany, to numerous locations throughout the JOA.

But that's not all. The United States also has been busy in the Baltics in early June 2017:

The U.S.'s European Command, which is based in Germany, said Thursday it had deployed an unspecified number of F-16 Fighting Falcons from Aviano Air Base in Italy to the Krzesiny Air Base in Poland in support of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) and Saber Strike, two massive annual drills intended to boost the U.S.'s military presence in Europe and to support regional allies. European Command's statement came a day after it said a number of B-1B Lancers had been sent from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota to join three B-52H Stratofortresses at the Royal Air Force base in Fairford, U.K. Meanwhile, 800 U.S. airmen in Europe were poised to train with NATO allies this month as the Western military alliance escalates its rivalry with Russia.

And there was US activity in Poland in January:

U.S. troops arrived in the small town of Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, as part of the largest armed military brigade deployed in Europe since the end of the Cold War.
The U.S. troops, along with 53 track vehicles, including the M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, reached Poland after a three-day journey through Germany. The show of force falls under Operation Atlantic Resolve, designed to show the United States' commitment to its European allies in the face of what NATO sees as Russian aggression.

This is not a comprehensive list. If you take time to do further research you will discover that the United States military in tandem with other countries has carried out several military exercises from the Black Sea in the south, all along the western border of Russia and in the Baltic Sea in the north.

If you are Russia and you are witnessing repeated deployments of U.S. infantry, armor, air and naval units on the frontier that produced that last military invasion of Russia (which left at least 20 million dead) would you sit back and do nothing?

What would the United States do if Russia managed to convince Mexico to sign a mutual defense treaty and then proceeded to conduct tank and military air exercises along our southern border? Would we do nothing?

Gordon and Schmitt are an embarrassment to the profession of journalism. Rather than actually report facts and place them in their proper context, they chose instead to push lies as truth and try to help shape public opinion into believing that Russia poses an imminent threat to the west.

One other point worth remembering--Russia spends $60 billion annually on defense spending while the United States is slated for $650 billion. How much is the US spending on just EUCOM exercises targeted at Russia? Sadly, there is bipartisan stupidity and ignorance when it comes to the issue of properly assessing Russia and the threat it does (or does not) pose to the United States. My cynical conclusion is that as long as Russia is portrayed as the great Red menace bent on world domination we can justify spending $650 billion dollars to thwart an invasion that is not coming.


Related: How Mainstream U.S. ‘News’ Media Pump their Government’s Lies to Deceive the Public

Time to go on vacation:

"The president is getting ready to join the annual August exodus from the city he calls ‘‘the swamp.’’ Trump is due Friday to begin his first extended vacation from Washington since the inauguration: 17 days at his private golf club in central New Jersey. Trump gets out of town quite often. So far, he has spent 13 of 28 weekends in office away from the White House, mostly at his properties in Palm Beach, Fla., or in Bedminster, N.J., according to an Associated Press count. The figures include a weekend during official travel overseas, and Father’s Day weekend at Camp David in Maryland. Contrast Trump’s frequent getaways with his criticism, before and during last year’s presidential campaign, of former President Barack Obama’s vacations and frequent golf outings. Trump said last year that he wouldn’t have time for golf if he became president, but he plays golf whenever he’s at his clubs. The White House hasn’t been entertaining questions about the president’s August plans. The vacation could be driven in part by necessity. Everyone who works in the White House West Wing, including the Oval Office occupant, must clear out by the end of the week so that the government can replace a balky, 27-year-old heating and cooling system...."

Wow, the place REALLY IS a DUMP, and why would they answer their questions?

And since when did they care so much about presidents playing golf?

Forget scenic traditions — Trump vacations in the land of spray tans

The hatchet blows from them are incessant!

Globe loves the new French ambassador, though:

"Jamie McCourt to be nominated as ambassador to France" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff  August 03, 2017

President Trump Thursday said he will nominate Jamie McCourt, a onetime Boston real estate executive and former co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to be US ambassador to France and Monaco.

If confirmed, McCourt would assume one of the government’s most prominent diplomatic posts, at a time when relations between the two nations are entering uncharted waters under new leaders. Trump had originally nominated her in June to be chief envoy to Belgium, but withdrew that nod and resubmitted McCourt’s name to the more prestigious job.

A businesswoman and lawyer, she was married to Frank McCourt, and together the couple used their vast holdings in Boston’s nascent Seaport District to buy the Dodgers, before their marriage ended in an acrimonious divorce.

The White House cited her business background in its announcement, saying McCourt “possesses a unique global perspective, having lived and worked both domestically and abroad in various industries – sports, law, finance, education, and real estate.”

The Paris posting is viewed as a key post, particularly as Trump imposes changes on US-Europe dynamics. France is long hailed as “America’s oldest ally,” dating to the Revolutionary War, and France’s President Emmanuel Macron is rising on the international scene as a proglobalist counter to Trump’s America first positions.

They sure do love Macron.

The France posting “has always been one of the iconic ambassadorships,” dating to Benjamin Franklin’s tenure there, said David Wade, who was chief of staff to Secretary of State John F. Kerry during the Obama administration.

France shares with the United States membership on the United Nations Security Council, the G-7, and the G-20.

“It’s probably taken on outsized importance given the role that Macron and France have played recently on the world stage and, frankly, the larger role that France has played over the last several roles, from climate change to Iran and Syria,” Wade said.

The website of McCourt’s company lists her as a “proud supporter of Israel and the worldwide Jewish community.”

An aide to Jamie McCourt did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

A major donor to Trump’s presidential campaign, McCourt speaks French, has a law degree, diplomas from Georgetown University and the Sorbonne, and a master’s from MIT’s management school.

She and then-husband Frank McCourt were among the earliest promoters in Boston to have the barren Seaport District, where they had acquired 24 acres of parking lots and empty land, turned into a bustling new commercial neighborhood. The couple also sought to purchase the Boston Red Sox in 2001 before the team ultimately was sold to the ownership group led by John Henry, who is also the owner of The Boston Globe. 

She knows John Henry?

Several years later the McCourts used their Seaport property as collateral to purchase the Dodgers for $430 million.

But their marriage soured, she was fired from her job as Dodgers president by her then-husband, and their messy, public divorce included allegations that Jamie McCourt had an affair with her driver. McCourt reportedly received $130 million from their settlement in 2011, the same year her former husband filed for bankruptcy protection as Major League Baseball threatened to seize the team over troubled finances.

The Baltimore native remained on the West Coast after the divorce, becoming a business powerhouse in her own right. Her company, Jamie Enterprises, invested in startups, including car-sharing service Zipcar and Kite Pharma, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company.

“She has tremendous curiosity — which is what makes her such a great partner for entrepreneurs who are trying to do things that are new and interesting,” said Jonathan Seelig, a cofounder of Akamai Technologies who was also an early investor in Zipcar. “Jamie stays hyperrational in high-pressure situations.”

She has also become an advocate for women’s causes, saying her own experience changed her view of how women should approach their own financial standing.

“Not only does [money] represent security, it represents power and it represents control,” McCourt said at an MIT conference last year. “And until we as women truly understand that, and talk about it, many women will remain vulnerable, they’ll be dependent, and they’re going to ultimately fall short of their potential.”

That background as an advocate, said Jamille Bigio, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, could help create “more opportunities for the US and France and to seek women’s empowerment.”

As we bomb them into orphaned widowhood and oblivion in some places.

Federal campaign finance records show McCourt donated about $450,000 to Trump Victory last year, as well as other donations to GOP organizations that worked on his behalf. Presidents frequently dole out choice diplomatic assignments to major fund-raisers and contributors.

McCourt would represent the United States in a key European capital at a time when much of the continent is dismayed with the new American leadership, with Paris one of the world’s top staging grounds for diplomacy on a range of issues. The assignment also affords access to a home several doors down from Elysees Palace, and an embassy overlooking the Place de la Concorde.

Karen Firestone, chief executive of Aureus Asset Management, said she has known McCourt for about 30 years, since their sons played youth hockey together.

“She’s there frequently and has a lot of contacts in Paris, and if they were looking for a candidate to fill that slot, Jamie would be a logical choice,” Firestone said Thursday.

Meanwhile her former husband has returned to the sports world after selling the Dodgers for more than $2 billion. Last year he became the owner of Olympique de Marseille, one of the largest soccer clubs in France.


What a glowing profile with absolutely no criticism or editorializing on Trump.

At least the French are talking to China.


"Smallpox and gonorrhea may have all but disappeared, but other menaces have snuck in to take to their place: climate change, radon, HIV/AIDS, a dirty bomb planted in an underground garage. It’s all a crapshoot anyway, so better to chill, take a walk by the river, talk to friendly strangers, listen to the birds, watch a toddler falling down and getting up again, laughing....."

It's Gong Show advice, you know, turn on the tele, turn off your brain, it's all funsies.

That may not be a bad idea, except it was written by Anne Bernays is a novelist, essayist, and teacher, who was born in 1930. I couldn't help but wonder if she is the daughter of Edward Bernays, the founder of modern propaganda.

As for the poisoning of people over time, that continues to this day.


Trump’s increasing isolation: ‘He doesn’t resemble the party’

Newsweek’s stunning portrait of ‘Lazy Boy’ Trump

I'm not surprised by it. Time and Newsweek -- despite being irrelevant these days -- are long know organs of US intelligence and the CIA.

Obamas head to Martha’s Vineyard for first time post-presidency

As if he were still president, the treasonous sob must be in denial, and the Globe so wishes he still were.