Russia Monitor

Russia Monitor: Trump’s Sewer Flooding DC Swamp

“Now I am an island of one again.” — Trump statement on Syria. ***** “…..The Kurds and Turkey have been fighting for many years. Turkey considers the PKK the worst terrorists of all. Others may want to come in and fight for one side or the other. Let them! We are monitoring the situation closely. Endless Wars! — Trump tweet (10/13/19) ***** “Keep telling yourself it can’t happen here. Keep telling yourself the sun’s shinning, garbage trucks show up as scheduled, the school crossing guard gets your kids safely across the street, and that sitcom you like didn’t get canceled….

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Russia Monitor: White House Turkey Drops Kurds, Constitution & National Interests

  “Russia is waging an information warfare campaign against the U.S. that didn’t start and didn’t end with the 2016 election. Their goal is broader: to sow societal discord and erode public confidence in the machinery of government. By flooding social media with false reports, conspiracy theories, and trolls, and by exploiting existing divisions, Russia is trying to breed distrust of our democratic institutions and our fellow Americans.” — Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) (10/8/19) ***** “In no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters. Likewise our relationship with Turkey, a NATO and Trading partner,…


Russia Monitor: In A Weekend Of Bizarre News, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson Rides To Trump Rescue … NOT!

“Trump has been acting like a bank robber who beat one rap because of a technicality, and so decides to rob every bank in sight.” —  Author and Intercept correspondent James Risen, Donald Trump’s Call With Ukrainian Leader, One Day After Robert Mueller’s Congressional Testimony, Shows the President Is a Brazen Criminal (9/26/19) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (10/7/19) Dear Fellow Readers, The Big Picture. I will keep this high level then get to the news. I typically like jumping in with the important new news. News as important as, “Whistleblower’s attorney says team now representing ‘multiple’ officials”. I can…


Russia Monitor: Trump Is Up To His Plump ‘Moot’ In Alligators

  “The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Trump pressed the president of Ukraine eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani to investigate Joe Biden’s son,” Raddatz said. “What do you know about those conversations?” “So, you just gave me a report about a I.C. whistleblower complaint, none of which I’ve seen,” Pompeo replied. — Trump Sec. of State Mike Pompeo with ABC’s Martha Raddatz (9/22/19) ***** “I was on the phone call.” — Trump Sec. of State Mike Pompeo confirms to Wall Street Journal he was in on the Trump-Zelensky call (10/2/19) ***** “This country has to find out…


Russia Monitor: The Ugly Contents Of Trump’s Pandora’s Box Of Corruption

    “In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.” — Whistleblower’s opening sentence from the Complaint ***** “@RepAdamSchiff has reached an agreement with the #Whistleblower for that courageous patriot to testify in Congress.” — Law professor Laurence Tribe tweet (9/29/19) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/30/9) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump Impeachment – don’t blink, you’ll miss a critical headline. I am going to let…


Russia Monitor: In His Own Words

“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution…Mr. Trump must be held accountable — no one is above the law.” (The president’s conduct revealed his) “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.” — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announcing formal impeachment inquiry (9/24/19) ***** “So: In order to get dirt on a political opponent, the president removed a U.S. ambassador, used (paid?) a private citizen to threaten a foreign government, personally called a foreign leader, and delayed disbursing appropriated funds for that nation….


Russia Monitor: Trump’s Corruption Is Breaking Our Democracy.

  ““Climate change. Gun safety. Health care. On the face of it, these three are totally different issues. But despite our being the strongest and wealthiest country in the history of the world, our democracy is paralyzed. Why? Because giant corporations have bought off our government. “[Trump is] “corruption in the flesh”, but emphasized the problem is much bigger than just him). We need to take a deep breath and recognize that a country that elects Donald Trump is already in serious trouble.”” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) unveiling a 6,000 word anti-corruption plan in New York City’s Washington Square….


Russia Monitor: Impeach Or Not To Impeach, Dithering House Dems Stumble Forth

    By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/18/19) Dear Fellow Reader, Did you know the House Dems have started the impeachment process against Trump? Did you know former Trump campaign manager and New Hampshire republican Senate candidate Corey Lewandowski appeared before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday? Did you ‘get’ the Dem talking points about what they accomplished yesterday? Before sharing damning condemnation of the Dem approach let me acknowledge a few positives. One thing that worked particularly well for Dems was their use of majority counsel Barry Berke as a questioner, getting 30 minutes to question Lewandowski. It was…


Russia Monitor: It’s Moscow Mitch & Sharpiegate And So Much More

“McConnell is more comfortable having Russia engage in our elections than he is in having the federal government work with the states to protect them.” — Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) commenting on lack of GOP Senate election protection action. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/16/19) Dear Fellow Readers, One more note about Senate Leader “Moscow Mitch” McConnell before moving on, Moscow Mitch prioritizes Russian aluminum over coal miner pensions. Similarly I’ll tie up one more loose end with a report on Trump’s now former national security adviser John Bolton – though I’ll also comment on the more important part…


Russia Monitor: Is There A Blanket Big Enough?

“We’ve got a problem: It’s in 2026,” Trump told his supporters. “And I said, well wait a minute, under the normal rules I’ll be out in 2024. So we may have to go for an extra term, OK?“ — Trump at 9/9/19 Fayetteville, NC rally.  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/13/19) Dear Fellow Readers, “Only kidding”, Trump says about the quote above. Except he keeps saying it, having tweeted, posted to Instagram and repeated the ‘joke’ repeatedly over the last few days. I recently had an acquaintance tell me I was being petty over some example of Trump corruption…


Russia Monitor: Taking A Sharpie To 2020

  Is Our 2020 Election Secure? Will Our 2020 Election Even Take Place? “We’re not going to let the Russians come back. We’re not going to let the Chinese, we’re not going to let the Iranians.” — Chris Krebs, “top cybersecurity official” at Department of Homeland Security (DHS).   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/9/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Yes, those are both alarming and alarmist questions. I have been highlighting the rash of ransomware attacks on local governments for the past few columns but now there is this from the Washington Post: The Cybersecurity 202: Ransomware attack against the…


Russia Monitor: Putin & China’s Single Biggest ASSet

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/5/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump wants us to believe he never backs down, and that is a quality to be respected. Of course the reality is far different… Simple example, hurricane Dorian was never going to strike Alabama yet Trump said it would and repeatedly stood by his forecast; remember, this is during a declared emergency when people are making potentially life-or-death decisions based on what they are told. Trump is so sensitive to how he is viewed that even after Dorian headed north from the Bahamas and was no longer likely to…


Russia Monitor: News, No News & ‘What’s He Hiding?”

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/2/1) Dear Fellow Readers, Congressional efforts to gain access to Donald Trump’s elusive tax documents from Deutsche Bank continued as headline news – two reports are particularly significant. In the last edition of the Russia Monitor I shared a report from MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell claiming a “single source close to Deutsche Bank” told him that President Donald Trump’s loans were co-signed by “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.” O’Donnell then noted, “if true”, as I did as well. O’Donnell’s news was news when he offered his report. There is now more news;…


Russia Monitor: Trump’s Bottomless Whine Cellar

“No bedbugs at Doral. The Radical Left Democrats, upon hearing that the perfectly located (for the next G-7) Doral National MIAMI was under consideration for the next G-7, spread that false and nasty rumor. Not nice!” — Trump tweet (8/27/19) ***** “A source close to Deutsche Bank says Trump’s tax returns show he pays very little income tax and, more importantly, that his loans have Russian co-signers. If true, that explains every kind word Trump has ever said about Russia and Putin.” — Lawrence O’Donnell tweet, MSNBC Last Word (8/27/19) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/29/19) Dear Fellow Readers,…


Russia Monitor: Trump vs Trump Heats Up & Goes Skittering Down The Drain

“I’m running because he’s unfit, somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative. The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum, he’s a child.” — Former Illinois congressman and Tea Party favorite, Joe Walsh announces his primary challenge of Trump. ***** “If the Dow drops 1,000 points in two days the President should be impeached immediately!” — ‘Purported’ Trump tweet from November 2012. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/26/19) The important numbers are: 3, 1, 23, 2.59/1000, ‘limitless’ and 138. Trump is like an erupting volcano crowding out the sun. Trump has always been angry…


Russia Monitor: More & More Bat Shit Crazy? Yes, No, Yes, No, YES!!!

    By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/22/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Sometimes there is a perfect headline. There is one key Trump-Russia flavor to Trump’s recent frenzy of batshit statements, but it’s hard to pass this up: The President Is Currently Serving Up Several Flavors of Batshit on Twitter The ‘twitter’ part is irrelevant, what Esquire columnist Jack Holmes describes as “lunacy” is the important part. Holmes highlights (and links to the Trump tweets) Trump’s notice that he will “reschedule” his trip to Denmark since Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen didn’t immediately embrace Trump’s offer to purchase Greenland. Whatever you…


Russia Monitor: Trumputin, Moscow Mitch & Our Nation Of Dwindling Options

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/19/19) Dear Fellow Readers, I was sent quite a few links to articles and videos over the last few days and I find myself trying to make sense out of the hours worth of reading and video. With a heavy heart I feel like the United States is on a path to mediocrity, as if we have no vision for our future, as if we lack the will for rising above our lesser selves; no longer the country people look to for inspiration or even a safe haven. Let me organize some of…


Russia Monitor: The One Thing You Can Say In A World With ‘Trump Straws’ … Things Suck

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/15/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump just confirmed his open secret – everything he does is based on a simple filter of how it makes him look. Trump will embellish, lie or rationalize anything he says or does and his base will respond with adoration and their own rationalization. ““He’s a very highly respected conservative pundit,” Trump told reporters in New Jersey, referring to right wing commentator and comedian Terrence K. Williams, who pushed out a wild conspiracy theory about Bill Clinton and being involved with Jefferey Epstein’s death. “He’s a big Trump fan….


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Russia Monitor: Trump Has Set It Loose. It’s Time To Put Racism Back In The Bottle Again

  “When racism was tamped down in this country before its resurgence lately it was because of public shaming and opinion. To get things back on track we must begin publicly shaming Republicans for their acceptance of this vile hatred through inaction.” — Dennis Brault – friend and occasional Commoner Call contributor in email discussion (8/10/19). By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/12/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump is our racist, conspiracy theorist and accused rapist in charge. Credit where due, he’s making it increasingly difficult for supporters and media to deny this – I say to both: Embrace your reality….


Russia Monitor: A Majority Of House Dems Have Taken A Stand

  House Dems – Majority Support Impeachment! By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/5/19) Dear Fellow Readers, And here we are, a majority of House Dems support impeachment of Trump. I give the nod to Esquire columnist Charles Pierce because his column is loaded with links to stories of recent declarations of support: Nancy Pelosi Cannot Resist an Impeachment Inquiry Much Longer. Plus he has style; consider his opening paragraph: “Here is something that happened while we were all watching John Delaney turn into a mannequin Tom Dewey on national television.” While summing up Dem presidential candidate John Delaney, he provides a link…


Russia Monitor: ‘Moscow Mitch’ Joins Trump Lawyer Comrade Barr To Pave The Path For Continued Russian Attacks On Elections

Московский Митч “There is a lot at stake, and people are scared, but we can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in just because we’re too scared to do anything else.” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren Democratic debate (7/30/19) ***** “I do know it,” he said. “I wrote the damn bill!” — Sen. Bernie Sanders in response to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) remark re: M4A bill; Democratic debate (7/30/19) ***** “Russia’s efforts to interfere in our elections remain relentless.” — Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) signing her support for Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections Act – first GOP sponsor. By Dan Peak The Commoner…


Russia Monitor: House Dems Walking Forward Slowly, Quietly

“Some things are above politics, and one of them is our constitutional responsibilities to do what is right. And the responsibility of the Congress of the United States of America, when a president breaks the law, is to bring impeachment charges against that president.” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren following Mueller testimony. ***** “Vladimir Putin has worked harder to run the U.S. government than all of the Democrats in Congress put together.” — Satire by Andy Borowitz for The New Yorker; headline from (7/25/19). By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/29/19) Dear Fellow Readers, In spite of mixed reactions to former…


Russia Montior: Not A Good Day For Dems, A Better Day For Trump.

By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/25/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Yesterday former special counsel Robert Mueller was on Capitol Hill. My mother gets the credit for best question asking, “After all that, are they going to impeach him?” To which I answered, “probably not”. I did not get to see the entire hearings because today was for doctor’s appointments. We spent a good part of the day at the Miami VA Hospital; my mother is very proud that she is a veteran going back to her days as a student and nurse in a Navy hospital. The TV in the…


Russia Monitor: The Pressure Is On House Dems & Robert Mueller To Make It All Clear

“I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates. We did well that night.” — Trump Nov 10, 2015 “why he understands Putin”. ***** “I’ve never met him. I have no relationship with Putin. I don’t think I’ve ever met him. I never met him . . . . I mean if he’s in the same room or something. But I don’t think so.” — Trump July 31, 2016 interview with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/22/19) Dear Fellow Readers, It turns out, in spite of all…


Russia Monitor: The Very Definition Of Who We Are — And Will Be — Hangs In The Balance.

“This is Mr. Trump’s Republican Party” — Lisa Lerer writing for the New York Times (7/15/19) ***** “The days for euphemisms… for lies, racism, illegality, and immorality have long since passed.” — Journalist Dan Rather tweet (7/15/19)  ***** “Trump is a racist president.” –– Lawyer George Conway, spouse of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, headline from Washington Post Opinion column. ***** “No racist. No racist. You’re the racist.” — CNN analyst, former FBI Special Agent Asha Rangappa tweeting in response to Rep Liz Cheney’s (R-WY) comments. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (5/18/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump is running his reelection…


Russia Monitor: America In The Barrel

  “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” — Trump tweet aimed at Progressive Democrat Freshman Congresswomen (7/14/19) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/15/19) Dear Fellow Readers, What happened to Republicans? You can say Trump happened to Republicans, but Trump is the culmination of a steep downhill descent marked by nonsensical Republican expressions starting from “the shining city upon a hill”, through, “ten thousand points of life”, the empty manipulation of “compassionate conservative” ending, at least at this point, Trump’s 2015 pronouncement that Mexican immigrants were “rapists”…


Russia Monitor: Collaborators, Hustlers & Fabricators Spin The Nation Far, Far Beyond The Law

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/11/19) Dear Fellow Readers, It is easy to get overwhelmed in the daily rain of Trump shit-show news. To demonstrate, the bill for the D.C. government to ‘host’ Trump’s 4th of July celebration of self is $1.7 million. The money needed to pay for this comes from a now bankrupted fund “used to protect the nation’s capital from terrorist threats and provide security at events such as rallies and state funerals”. In fact the fund is running a projected “$6 million deficit” while the mayor “also noted that the account was never reimbursed…


Russia Monitor: The Polls All Agree –Things Are Getting Weird

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/8/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Let’s be optimistic and call the news and polls a mixed bag. You likely heard that Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) has announced he is now (I-MI) after leaving the GOP. Here he is announcing in a Washington Post Opinion piece:  “I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.”…


Russia Monitor: The Best Way To Observe Trump’s Perversion Of July 4th

  “There is one policy that emerges from the chaos — the kind we would expect from an egotistical con man who has one principle: Me!” — Noam Chomsky from a Truthout interview with C.J. Polychroniou.   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/4/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Happy Fourth of July! Celebrate as you see fit and for your reasons for celebrating. Personally that includes giving no attention to an authoritarian hijacking of a national holiday to advantage the ego of a man with a serious personality disorder. Fourth of July is our holiday. Trump’s twisted Fourth of July is…


Russia Monitor: The Tragedy & Comedy Of Trump’s Latest Bizarre Road Show

“?“It’s a great honor to be with President Putin”. — Trump says to the media during a joint press conference with Putin following one-on-one meeting at Osaka G20. ***** “I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments — that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American.” — Former special counsel Robert Mueller (5/29/19) at the Justice Department, his first public remarks since taking over the nearly two-year investigation. ***** Trump is “an illegitimate president”. — Former President Jimmy Carter. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/1/19)…


Russia Monitor: Could Oregon Be A Trend Setter? We Better Hope Not

“Refusing to leave would make him the crazy guy the Marines escort out of the building.” — Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg about concern over Trump not leaving the White House when it is time.   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/27/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump is a nasty piece of work and a liar. But news first; there is persistent concern fueled by Trump that he will refuse to leave office when it is time: “The good news is that at the end of 6 years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House…


Russia Monitor: Seeing Clearly Through All Trump’s Obstruction Obfuscation

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/24/19) Dear Fellow Readers, On Saturday June 22 we did a group reading of Volume II of the Mueller Report. A group of readers took turns and found the experience rewarding. Each of us commented on the depth of understanding gained over and above news reporting or even reading the Report solo compared to a group reading experience. The power of the experience leads me to share one of the examples of Mueller’s case for obstruction against Trump. Volume II is described in the Report as: “Our obstruction-of-justice inquiry focused on a series…


Russia Monitor — Memo To Dems: We Desperately Need Leaders, Now!

  “He was looking for acknowledgement and attention. In the Woody Allen movie “Celebrity,” Trump plays himself. In the movie he is a soulless celebrity. There’s no mystery here about who and what Donald Trump is.” — Michael Wolff, author Siege: Trump Under Fire , on Donald Trump as he was viewed in the NYC social scene during the 80-90’s. ***** “These are photos between husband and wife,” Mr. Cohen added, joking that “the evangelicals (Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife) are kinkier than Tom Arnold.” — Convicted long-time Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen on how he ‘accomplished’ the…


Russia Monitor — Trump’s Many Impeachable Moments: Former US Atty Asserts She Could Successfully Convict Trump For Obstruction.

  “If anyone other than a sitting president had committed this conduct, I am confident that he would be charged with crimes.” — Former US attorney Barbara McQuade appearing before House Judiciary Committee (9/10/19)  ***** “I’m the guy that gets away with it.” — Trump quote, ‘Siege: Trump Under Fire’ by Michael Wolff’, cited in The Financial Times By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/17/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Is Trump above the law? He believes so – yelling “No Collusion” while laying out the welcome map for foreign interference to benefit his campaign. Trump now announces a latest “if it’s what you…


Russia Monitor: Mueller Report Show Unequivocally That Trump Committed Obstruction, At Least

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/13/19) Reading Directly From The Mueller Report Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Report makes the case that Trump did commit obstruction of justice and could be impeached for as many as 10 counts. Mueller did NOT exonerate Trump, in fact he laid out a detailed prosecutorial road map for impeachment – this was the subject of the last “Reading Directly” edition. There is no substitute for fully appreciating how Trump could be impeached beyond reading the Mueller Report. For this edition I will highlight two simple examples that frame the facts of what Mueller…


Russia Monitor: A More-Than-You-Can-Eat Daily Dose Of Trumpian Kompromat

  This would all be entertaining if we were watching a movie, say the equivalent of ‘Idiocracy’. But we’re not; we are living this shit show. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/10/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Kompromat is a Russian KGB slang expression for compromising material. Wikipedia notes Kompromat as “part of the political culture of Russia”. Different from opposition research, with Kompromat “such information is used to exert influence over people”. What Does Kompromat Look Like? The Mueller report, on Volume 2, Page 3, provides an excellent example of what Kompromat looks like: The Campaign’s response to reports about…


Reading Directly From The Mueller Report

By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/10/19) What follows is a good example of the value of reading the Mueller Report. The demonstration makes use of Mueller’s Introduction to Volume II where he summarizes “out obstruction-of-justice investigation of the President”. Everyone has heard or read the following sentence from this introduction: Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. The value of reading the report is demonstrated here through learning that Attorney General William Barr lied multiple times in advance of the release of the redacted report. In four…


Russia Monitor: Political Consequences Are Not Enough. Impeachment Is Necessary

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/6/19) Dear Fellow Readers, I will begin by acknowledging my frustration with former special counsel Robert Mueller. If impeachment is a process, the hand-off of Mueller’s report to Congress has many problems. The gap between what is reported and the actions that can be taken directly from the report is huge. Trump is investigated and found to be guilty and the result of Mueller’s report is ‘exoneration’. Horrible. This gap was avoidable and must be ‘fixed’. It is worth a review of the challenges and possible remedies. Impeachment is not one ‘thing’, it’s…


Russia Monitor: From Hidden Warship To Missing Republicans, Trump World Spins On

“An advance team is hundreds of people. The fact that some 23- or 24-year-old person on the advance team went to that site and said, ‘Oh my goodness, there’s the John McCain. We all know how the president feels about the former senator. Maybe that’s not the best backdrop. Could somebody look into moving it?’ That’s not an unreasonable thing to ask.” “Seriously?” (NBC Host) Chuck Todd asked. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/3/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Acting White House Chief of Staff and Chief Sycophant Mick Mulvaney provides the perfect opening and question for how Dems will respond to…


Russia Monitor: Dept. Of Justice Yin Yang

“Trump getting impeached would ‘Make America Great Again’. — Actor Robert DeNiro ***** “…as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” — Former special counsel Robert Mueller (5/29/19) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (5/30/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump Refuses to Act In Response To Concerted Russian Attack On Our Political System As former special counsel Robert Mueller is closing down his office he demonstrated the value of people hearing his findings in his own voice. It is not much of a…