Category Archives: Military

Season 3 of The Apprentice – White House, episode one: ‘The Wall Brawl’

Season 3 of the alt-reality TV series The Apprentice – White House premiered Tuesday with Donald Trump trying to cash in on the trendy revival of old TV series this season by adding elements of his World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fake wrestling days. Trump invited Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over to the White House for some pre-match bluster and braggadocio in an overly contrived episode one: “The Wall Brawl.”

Dana Milbank has the play-by-play. “Let’s get ready to rumble!” Emergency! It’s time for Trump to fabricate another crisis!

Robert Mueller is circling, recessionary clouds are building, and Democrats are rising to power. For President Trump, this can mean only one thing: It’s time to fabricate a new crisis.

And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Trump summoned Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to the Oval Office on Tuesday for what was supposed to be a negotiating session about border security. Instead, he used them as props in an impromptu, 17-minute reality-TV show.

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“Look, we have to have the wall,” Trump bellowed at the Democratic Senate and House leaders — seated awkwardly on couches — while the TV cameras rolled. “This is a national emergency. Drugs are pouring into our country. People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in, and in many cases it’s contagious.”

Emergency! Drugs and contagion!  And then, a threat: “If we don’t get what we want one way or the other. . . . I will shut down the government, absolutely.” The president added: “I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. . . . I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

The Trump Shutdown. Own it.

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TIME Person of The Year: The Guardians (Journalists)

TIME magazine has named its person of the year, and it is collectively journalists who have been murdered or imprisoned in pursuit of the truth. The Guardians And The War on Truth:

Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Capital Gazette newspaper staff, which lost five members in a newsroom shooting this year; jailed Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, imprisoned in Myanmar for their coverage of the Rohingya crisis; and Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, who was arrested after criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

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As TIME reports:

Every detail of Jamal Khashoggi’s killing made it a sensation: the time stamp on the surveillance video that captured the Saudi journalist entering his country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2; the taxiway images of the private jets bearing his assassins; the bone saw; the reports of his final words, “I can’t breathe,” recorded on audio as the life was choked from him.

But the crime would not have remained atop the world news for two months if not for the epic themes that Khashoggi himself was ever alert to, and spent his life placing before the public. His death laid bare the true nature of a smiling prince, the utter absence of morality in the Saudi-U.S. alliance and—in the cascade of news feeds and alerts, posts and shares and links—the centrality of the question Khashoggi was killed over: Whom do you trust to tell the story?

Khashoggi put his faith in bearing witness. He put it in the field reporting he had done since youth, in the newspaper editorship he was forced out of and in the columns he wrote from lonely exile. “Must we choose,” he asked in the Washington Post in May, “between movie theaters and our rights as citizens to speak out, whether in support of or critical of our government’s actions?” Khashoggi had fled his homeland last year even though he actually supported much of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s agenda in Saudi Arabia. What irked the kingdom and marked the journalist for death was Khashoggi’s insistence on coming to that conclusion on his own, tempering it with troubling facts and trusting the public to think for itself.

Such independence is no small thing. It marks the distinction between tyranny and democracy. And in a world where budding authoritarians have advanced by blurring the difference, there was a clarity in the spectacle of a tyrant’s fury visited upon a man armed only with a pen. Because the strongmen of the world only look strong. All despots live in fear of their people. To see genuine strength, look to the spaces where individuals dare to describe what’s going on in front of them.

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Trump lets the Saudis get away with the murder of a U.S. resident and one of the Arab world’s most prominent journalists

After weeks of charges and denials between autocratic regimes Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the assassination of permanent U.S. resident and Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, last week the CIA concluded Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination:

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government’s claims that he was not involved in the killing, according to people familiar with the matter.

The CIA’s assessment, in which officials have said they have high confidence, is the most definitive to date linking Mohammed to the operation[.]

In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence.

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Eight Reasons McSally Lost

I have been a Republican my entire adult life, I was an active duty military officer and am a combat veteran and I, like many were fooled into believing that the GOP cared about veterans, fiscal stewardship of our military and, yes, I was even fooled into thinking they cared about women and minorities. Fox News and Right-Wing Talk Radio is quite the strong narcotic. But on the night Trump was nominated by the GOP, I had enough, I left the Republican Party the next day, and I never looked back, and I never will. I am a Democrat now, and while this political party is not perfect, it is not the toxic brew of hate bigotry and misogyny that the GOP has morphed into – with zero pushback from virtually all of its members.

When Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema announced she was going to run for Jeff Flake’s Senate seat, I was all in. I immediately volunteered in any way I could. I texted thousands of Arizonans, wrote articles, and helped tell her story to Arizona veterans. As a Tucson native, combat veteran and the spouse of an active duty military member – I wanted the voice of vets like me to be heard. I wanted to help Sinema win this seat and make sure that Martha McSally and her Trumpist rhetoric lost not only her Congressional seat in Tucson, but this coveted Arizona Senate seat as well. Continue reading

The Party of Trump is unworthy of winning

“The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning. ” – Adlai E. Stevenson

The white identity, white grievance, white nationalist Party of Trump fka the Republican Party is built upon four pillars: ignorance, fear, hatred of others, and an unrelenting stream of pathological lies. President Trump has made 6,420 false or misleading claims over 649 days.

The Party of Trump is unworthy of winning.

It is a political party which has forfeited any claim to legitimacy in the American tradition and within acceptable norms. It has become the crypto-fascist authoritarian wet dream of Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller and their useful idiot, Donald Trump.

As conservative commentator Max Boot warns, “[T]he Republican Party must be destroyed before it can be rebuilt.” Vote against all Republicans. Every single one.

I’m sick and tired of a president who pretends that a caravan of impoverished refugees is an “invasion” by “unknown Middle Easterners” and “bad thugs” — and whose [propagandists] on Fox News aka Trump TV pretend the refugees are bringing leprosy and smallpox to the United States. (Smallpox was eliminated about 40 years ago.)

Mike Allen of Axios adds, “In one of the most blatant and misleading attempts ever to scare American voters days before an election, President Trump is warning in speeches, tweets, interviews and ads that scary, deadly migrants are about to storm our southern border. Almost none of what he warns is demonstrably true, at least in terms of scale and scope of threat.” Reality check: Trump is pushing fake news on the migrant caravan. New York Times fact check of the day, Trump’s Falsehood-Laden Speech on Immigration.

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