By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (6/28/18)
Dear Fellow Readers,
We’re feeling challenged to write anything that isn’t about Justice Kennedy’s announcement that he will retire from the Supreme Court. Even though this has been anticipated for many months, it is still a shock given the timing.
With nary a blink a hypocritical eye, Senate Majority Leader McConnell offered his assurance that the Senate would promptly vote on a Trump nominee this fall. And the response from Democrats? Do you find this tweet from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) reassuring?
Earth-shaking&gut-wrenching. Departure of Justice Kennedy means a historic challenge is ahead. The President must appoint an open-minded&fair jurist in Justice Kennedy’s mold.
11:13 AM – 27 Jun 2018
Yep, gosh darn it all, Blumenthall calls on Trump to be fair. Irony, common sense and sentient thinking are dead. Only a few hours earlier Blumenthall had tweeted out that “a small SCOTUS can’t change the principles upon which this country was founded” after the ruling in support of Trump’s Muslim travel ban. SCOTUS can’t … but they did. But as Lucy tees up the ball, Charlie Brown prepares to take another run at it, ever believing that surly this he will be met with fairness.
Kiss one person-one vote reform against gerrymandering good-bye and likely a host of other democratic principles. Who knows, maybe kiss Roe-v-Wade goodbye. (Oh, definitely kiss Roe goodbye. Maybe check out the Handmaid’s Tale to get a taste of the future.)
Closer To Home Weasel Walker Plants His Smarmy Mug Squarely In The Trump-Russia Scandal
Walker “will remain in my memory forever.”
A GOP Kremlin-insider connected Alexander Torshin to Congressmen. Then he joined the NRA
Author Grant Stern promises “this is the missing link between the Kremlin and the National Rifle Association”.
A Republican insider co-organized his annual World Russia Forum with a high-ranking Russian Central Banker who deeply embedded himself into the National Rifle Association (NRA) after meeting Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and a high-ranking member of the American Conservative Union, whose leader later ascended to be the NRA’s President.
Dr. Edward Lozansky introduced Alexander Torshin to American politics and members of Congress after a November 2009 meeting in Moscow.
Lozansky was called “the main Russian lobbyist in the U.S.” in 2017 by “Gazprom-owned tabloid newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda”.
We’ll stay out of the deeper weeds except to note that Scott Walker gets tied to Russian politician, accused money-launderer (Spain), Donnie Jr. dinner date and NRA darling Alexander Torshin and his Russian Right to Bear Arms founder and ever-present side kick Maria Butina:
The pair went on to make a very high profile appearance together with Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) at his in Tennessee, which was extensively documented by Walker’s political organization “Our American Revival.”
Walker made quite the impression with Butina noting that (Walker) “”.
The upside to Walker and his PAC “Our American Revival” was an inflow of hefty Russian-linked contributions, including $250,000 in April 2015, from a company owned by the oligarch Len Blavatnik, who is a U.S. citizen and longtime Kremlin-linked business partner with .
In September 2016, after Walker’s presidential hopes were long gone, Len Blavatnik $100,000 to Our American Revival.
One of Walker’s presidential PACs also $1.1 million dollars from , most of which was refunded when he campaign.
It reads as if you weren’t a serious GOP candidate, let alone a consideration for Trump’s cabinet, if you didn’t have Russia bona fides … and rubles!
Checking in with the home office
Meanwhile, with Trump fresh off his … um … whatever negotiations with North Korea and Kim Jong-Un, it’s time for Donny to make a long-delayed visit to the home office: Moscow & Washington Strike Deal To Hold Putin-Trump Summit.
Dear Leader, dear me!
Before we rush ahead to the awards podium at Helsinki, let’s check in on the last Trump-Bolton success story…
While National Security Adviser John Bolton has yet to offer any public reaction, satellite images reveal rapid North Korea upgrades to a facility used to produce weapons-grade fissile material. Hey, Trump-Bolton, could, maybe, possibly, possibly North Korea still be a nuclear threat? But credit where due, they don’t stand still based on recent bumbling failure. Ever onward to new horizon…
“Moscow and Washington struck a deal on Wednesday to hold a summit soon between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump, a move likely to worry some U.S. allies and draw a fiery reaction from some of Trump’s critics at home.
“Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov, speaking after Putin met U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton in the Kremlin, said the summit would take place in a mutually convenient third country and that several more weeks were needed to prepare for it.
“”This meeting has been planned for a long time,” Ushakov told reporters. “It has enormous importance for Russia and America, but it (also) has huge importance for the whole international situation. I think it will be the main international event of the summer.””
Trump has a tender affinity for brutal autocrats, with Putin at the top of his list. But don’t forget Duterte, Erdogan, Jong-Un, Xi, and Mohammed Bin Salman. Some might toss Netanyahu into the same pile.
In Trump’s new world order – traditional staunch post-World War II U.S. allies like United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada or even NATO – no longer count. Now it’s Russia and China.
Fortunately, there are still few functioning democracies that have a true sense of threats from foreign interference. As reported in the Financial Times Australia Leads ‘Five Eyes’ Charge Against Foreign Interference.
The subhead gives some flavor to the report: China roiled by new laws targeting influence and espionage in politics.
The Financial Times is behind a pay-wall, but here’s the simple contrast:
“Australia’s parliament was expected to pass some of the world’s most comprehensive foreign interference laws on Wednesday, targeting a growing espionage threat and Chinese influence in domestic politics and society.
“The new rules, which have created a diplomatic rift with Beijing, represent one of the first big moves by a western power to protect itself against covert influence campaigns by foreign nations that aim to disrupt politics and diaspora communities.”
That’s right; Australia chooses to put their sovereignty first. Trump instead wants to save jobs in China by letting U.S. sanctions violator telecommunications company ZTE off the hook while trying not to draw attention to new Chinese trademarks for daughter Ivanka. )
Oh, and never mind that ZTE technology has been classified as a threat to national security: Top Intel Official Says Chinese ZTE Cellphones Pose Security Risk To U.S.
But the good news is Ivanka secured those valuable trademarks. Priorities, folks.
Milo Yiannopoulos wants “vigilante squads” to start shooting journalists: So Trump Tramples Fairness. Trump Tramples Sovereignty. How about Civility? The New Republic reports: Milo Yiannopoulos Wants “vigilante squads” To Start Shooting Journalists.
Any and every reader can make a list of Trump’s violations of civility. Sure a federal judge in California ordered a halt to immigrant family separations and demanded families be reunited, will that happen? And if so, how fast?
In the meantime you have GOP and Trump multi-billionaire mega donors, Breitbart owners, Cambridge Analytica investors, Robert and Rebekah Mercer’s pet Milo Yiannopoulos trying to kick-start his own resurgence after favoring pedophilia and his ties to neo-Nazis with this:
“I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”
As the leader of the nation Trump immediately sprung into action to take exception, right? Um, maybe not, but he did decry failures in civility:
The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!
4:41 AM – 25 Jun 2018
Since Trump blames Democrats as the disrupters of civility, we feel we can offer one more example: ‘Make America White Again’: Tenn. Congressional Candidate’s Billboard Ignites Uproar.
Yep, billboards for a candidate whose platform is “Make America White Again”. In his own words, TN Congressional candidate and restaurant owner has this to say through his website:
“The Make America White Again billboard advertisement will cut to the very core and marrow of what plagues us as a nation. As Anne Coulter so effectively elucidates in her book, Adios America, the overhaul of America’s immigration law in the 1960’s has placed us on an inevitable course of demise and destruction. Yes the cunning globalist/Marxist social engineers have succeeded in destroying that great bulwark against statist tyranny the white American super majority. Without its expedited restoration little hope remains for the nation as a whole.”
Oh dear, the tyranny and persecution leveled against white Americans!
There are some encouraging Trump-Russia signs: Mueller Acquires Trump Ally Erik Prince’s Computer And Phones.
Blackwater founder, Trump adviser and brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Erik Prince, is one of a number of persons at risk from false testimony to Congress.
Words that have no meaning in Trump’s America: Fairness. Sovereignty. Civility.
Maybe, if a federal judge’s order stands, we might be on a path to undo a single act of Trump cruelty – one of many, many such but an important one.
Meanwhile, we’ll sign off with a very strange offering: Trump Tower-Linked Russian Pop Star Releases ‘Pee Tape’ Music Video With (Fake) Trump, Ivanka, & Stormy Daniels.
The Daily Beast subhead gives a tantalizing preview: The video features ‘Trump’ partying with bikini-clad pageant contestants, Emin slipping ‘Ivanka Trump’ a briefcase, and ‘Stormy Daniels’ ripping vodka shots with ‘Hillary Clinton.’
Click on the link to see the opening picture and maybe you’re seeing a preview of the Trump Moscow Pee Tape. Watch the embedded video and maybe you’ve now seen it.
The Pee Tape, from Emin Agilarov in a video?
“The pee tape is real. And the accompanying song is surprisingly catchy.
“Emin Agalarov, the Russian pop star-slash-oligarch offspring who helped arrange Donald Trump Jr.’s with a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising damaging information about Hillary Clinton, is leaning in to his bit part in one of the most surreal political scandals of the Trump era with his newest music video.”
Why, on the eve of Bolton’s planned Putin-Trump Helsinki meeting? Emin’s father is Trump’s Moscow Miss Universe Pageant partner, Putin oligarch Aras Agilarov.
Given Trump’s sense of humor…?
We now feel like the real Pee Tape will be a let down.
Good news? Day 14 and counting in jail for Trump former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )