Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Betty MacDonald, unique Christmas gift and an act of war


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Hello 'Pussy' this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle: 
Do you have any idea why they feel so ashamed?
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Should I remain in bed, leave my country or fight against the dragon?

( see also the story by Wolfgang Hampel
' Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say ' )
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The Egg and I Film Illustration























Betty Bard MacDonald's photo. 

The Betty MacDonald Networks Foto.

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Betty MacDonald's sister Alison Bard Burnett


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Betty MacDonald's mother Sydney with grandchild Alison Beck
Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle author Betty MacDonald on Vashon Island
<p>Time Out of Mind (1947) - avec Betty et Don MacDonald et Phyllis Calvert</p>

Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood

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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,


we are going to publish new info on Betty MacDonald's filmed interview from the 50's.

We hope to be able to  include a part of this interview in our new Betty MacDonald documentary.

More info soon.

What about your Christmas gifts?

Do you need any?

Are you interested in a wonderful Betty MacDonald Christmas gift?

We can offer you a very rare first edition of Nancy and Plum with Betty MacDonald's signature and a delighful dedication.

The book including book cover is in a very good condition.

A golden Betty MacDonald treasure! 

If you are interested, send us a mail, please.


Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter December will be published on Christmas Eve.

You can see a whole collection of Betty MacDonald's homemade Christmas cards.


In which year did Betty MacDonald create this Christmas card?

If you know the answer you might be our Betty MacDonald fan club parcel winner.

Good luck! 

We are so glad that our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back.
You can celebrate Christmas with Mr. Tigerli. 

New  Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many new interviews.

Alison Bard Burnett and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's fascinating project Vita Magica.
Very exciting Betty MacDonald fan club news! 
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel is going to present life and work of Betty MacDonald in Vita Magica January 2017. 
More info will come soon! 

Vita Magica December was very successful.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel invited a very famous author.

The visitors enjoyed Vita Magica very much.  

A great event! 







Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel interviewed Betty MacDonald's daughter Joan MacDonald Keil and her husband Jerry Keil.

This interview will be published for the first time ever.


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New Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many interviews never published before.


We adore Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli 


Thank you so much for sharing this witty memories with us.


Wolfgang Hampel's literary event Vita Magica is very fascinating because he is going to include Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

It's simply great to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others.

 
Vita Magica was very witty and enjoyable.


We know the visitors had a great time there.

Congratulations dear Letizia Maninco, Wolfgang Hampel and Friedrich von Hoheneichen!



Linde Lund and many fans from all over the world  adore this funny sketch by Wolfgang Hampel very much although our German isn't the best.

I won't ever forget the way Wolfgang Hampel is shouting ' Brexit '.

Don't miss it, please.

It's simply great!

You can hear that Wolfgang Hampel got an outstandig voice.

He presented one of Linde Lund's favourite songs ' Try to remember ' like a professional singer.

Thanks a million!

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  and our 'Italian Betty MacDonald' - Betty MacDonald fan club honor member author and artist Letizia Mancino belong to the most popular Betty MacDonald fan club teams in our history.

Their many devoted fans are waiting for a new Mr. Tigerli adventure.

Letizia Mancino's  magical Betty MacDonald Gallery  is a special gift for Betty MacDonald fan club fans from all over the world.


Don't miss Brad Craft's 'More friends', please. 

Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island is one of my favourites.


I agree with Betty in this very witty Betty MacDonald story  Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say by Wolfgang Hampel.

I can't imagine to live in a country with him as so-called elected President although there are very good reasons to remain there to fight against these brainless politics.



It is, as McCain has called it, an “act of war,” a brazen attempt to undermine one of the fundamentals of American Democracy…free and fair elections.

Other nations need to know that a steep price will be paid for acts of cyberwar. From President elect Trump, it is vital that he acknowledges this issue with a much greater degree of seriousness. It is not productive to re-hash election results, downplay Russian involvement, or disparage intelligence agencies he will soon rely upon.


Don't miss these very interesting articles below, please.




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Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?



We don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows? - Dana Rohrabacher


Lately, it appears Trump has gone back into the field to drag in a whole new bunch of State contenders. 

My favorite is Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, a person you have probably never heard of even though he’s been in Congress since the 1980s and is currently head of the prestigious Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
Rohrabacher is also a surfer and former folk singer who once claimed global warming might be connected to “dinosaur flatulence.” 

Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?



Don't miss the very interesting articles below, please.

I think the future dinosaur flatulence will be the behaviour of 'Pussy' and his very strange government.

Poor World!    Poor America! 


The most difficult case in Mrs.Piggle-Wiggle's career


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Hello 'Pussy', this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

You took calls from foreign leaders on unsecured phone lines, without consultung the State Department. We have to change your silly behaviour with a new Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure. I know you are the most difficult case in my career - but we have to try everything.......................





Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel sent his brilliant thoughts. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang! 
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Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?

I'll be the most powerful leader in the world.


Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say

Copyright 2016 by Wolfgang Hampel

All rights reserved 


Betty MacDonald was sitting on her egg-shaped cloud and listened to a rather strange guy.

He said to his friends: So sorry to keep you waiting. Very complicated business! Very complicated!

Betty said: Obviously much too complicated for you old toupee!

Besides him ( by the way the  First Lady's place ) his 10 year old son was bored to death and listened to this 'exciting' victory speech. 

The old man could be his great-grandfather.

The boy was very tired and thought: I don't know what this old guy is talking about. Come on and finish it, please. I'd like to go to bed.

Dear 'great-grandfather' continued  and praised the Democratic candidate.

He congratulated her and her family for a very strong campaign although he wanted to put her in jail.

He always called her the most corrupt person ever and repeated it over and over again in the fashion of a Tibetan prayer wheel.

She is so corrupt. She is so corrupt.  Do you know how corrupt she is? 

Betty MacDonald couldn't believe it when he said: She has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.

Afterwards old toupee praised his parents, wife, children, siblings and friends. 

He asked the same question like a parrot all the time:

Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?
I know you are here!

Betty MacDonald answered: No Pussy they are not! They left the country.

They immigrated to Canada because they are very much afraid of the future in the U.S.A. with you as their leader like the majority of all so-called more or less normal citizens. 

By the way keep your finger far away from the pussies and the Red Button, please.


I'm going to fly with my egg-shaped cloud to Canada within a minute too.

Away - away - there is nothing more to say! 


Real vs. Ersatz









I can understand the reason why Betty MacDonald, Barbara Streisand, other artists and several of my friends want to leave the United States of America.


I totally agree with these comments:

This is incredible! I'll You get what you pay/vote for and Trump is the epitome of this ideology. America I won't feel bad for you because you don't need my sympathy for what's coming but I am genuinely scared for you. 'Forgive them lord for they know not who they do' or maybe they do but just don't care about their future generations who will suffer for this long after the culprits have passed away. 

Is the USA like North Korea where you can't trust other politicians?

That's it. 

Put Ivanka in! Put Ivanka in! Put my whole family and friends in! '

What about Putin? 

Or the leaders from China and North Korea?

Wouldn't it be a great idea to put them in too?

What about very intelligent and qualified Sarah Palin? 


André Maurice Dayans Foto.



I found this in Wikipedia about her:

In 2006, Palin obtained a passport[88] and in 2007 traveled for the first time outside of North America on a trip to Kuwait. There she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing at the Kuwait–Iraq border and met with members of the Alaska National Guard at several bases.[89] On her return journey she visited injured soldiers in Germany.[90]

That's the reason why very intelligent and brilliant Sarah Palin knows the World very well. 

Sarah and ' Pussygate '  will rule America and the World - what a couple. 


I am neither Christian enough nor charitable enough to like anybody just because he is alive and breathing. I want people to interest or amuse me. I want them fascinating and witty or so dul as to be different. I want them either intellectually stimulating or wonderfully corny; perfectly charming or hundred percent stinker. I like my chosen companions to be distinguishable from the undulating masses and I don't care how. - Betty MacDonald




Daniel Mount wrote a great article about Betty MacDonald and her garden.

We hope you'll enjoy it very much.

I adore Mount Rainier and Betty MacDonald's outstanding descriptions

Can you remember in which book you can find it?

If so let us know, please and you might be the next Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner. 

I hope we'll be able to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others - very soon.

It' s such a pleasure to read them. 

Let's go to magical Betty MacDonald's  Vashon Island.



Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team share their recent Betty MacDonald fan club research results.

Congratulations! They found the most interesting and important info for Wolfgang Hampel's oustanding  Betty MacDonald biography.

I enjoy Bradley Craft's story very much.  


Don't miss our Betty MacDonald fan club contests, please. 

 
You can win a never published before Alison Bard Burnett interview by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel. 

Good luck!  

This CD is a golden treasure because Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shares unique stories about Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nancy and Plum. 

Do you have any books by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen with funny or interesting dedications? 


If so would you be so kind to share them?


Our next Betty MacDonald fan club project is a collection of these unique dedications.


If you share your dedication from your Betty MacDonald - and Mary Bard Jensen collection you might be the winner of our new Betty MacDonald fan club items.


Thank you so much in advance for your support.



 


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Thank you so much for sending us your favourite Betty MacDonald quote.


More info are coming soon.




Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I'm one of their many devoted fans. 


Many Betty MacDonald  - and Wolfgang Hampel fans are very interested in a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories.


We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.

Tell us the names of this mysterious couple please and you can win a very new Betty MacDonald documentary. 


 


Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerl is beloved all over the World.

We are so happy that our 'Casanova'  is back.



Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to share very interesting info on ' Betty MacDonald and the movie The Egg and I '. 

Another rare episode (from March 21 1952) of the short-lived comedy soap opera, "The Egg and I," based on best selling book by Betty MacDonald which also became a popular film.

The series premiered on September 3, 1951, the same day as "Search for Tomorrow," and ended on August 1, 1952. 

Although it did well in the ratings, it had difficulty attracting a steady sponsor. This episode features Betty Lynn (later known for her work on "The Andy Griffith Show") as Betty MacDonald, John Craven as Bob MacDonald, Doris Rich as Ma Kettle, and Frank Twedell as Pa Kettle.


Betty MacDonald fan club exhibition will be fascinating with the international book editions and letters by Betty MacDonald.

 
I can't wait to see the new Betty MacDonald documentary.

Enjoy a great breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick, please.

Don't miss this, please. You'll enjoy it very much.  

Excerpts from SVT and TV4 broadcasts from Lucia 2015.

Participating are students from music classes in Gothenburg and Växjö.


Have a very nice Thursday,

Astrid  

http://bettymacdonaldfanclub.blogspot.de/…/betty-macdonald-…

Dear Aashish Adam Ananda Brian Christa Dana Dawid Ewa Friedrich Geli Gigi Heiderose Heidrun Heinz Holger Horst Ingrid Inna Jana Jitka Jitka Laurie Melitta Miroslav NA NG Pascale Peter Peters Bookcorner Pram Sabine Sandra Thomas Ursula and all our other friends we wish you a very nice Thursday.


Please don't miss new info on Betty MacDonald, a wonderful Christmas gift and other very interesting news and articles. 

All the best and many greetings from Greta, Linde and Lund family.

http://bettymacdonaldfanclub.blogspot.com/


www.wolfvitamagica.blogspot.com/



Don't miss this very special book, please.


Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas
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Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  



Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson


Betty MacDonald fan club and Heide Rose 


Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles 





December 21, 2016: Russian interference in U.S. election process







BOSTON — The good news - even before officially taking office, President-elect Donald Trump has already succeeded in creating a rare burst of bi-partisanship in Washington. The bad news - he wasn’t trying to.
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Within the last week, Republican Sen. John McCain, and Democrat and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have discovered common cause: anger over Russian attempts to interfere in, and influence the 2016 presidential election. The CIA and the FBI, along with over a dozen other intelligence agencies, have concluded that it was indeed Russian operatives who hacked into the email systems of both Democratic and Republican national offices.

Let’s be clear: It is, as McCain has called it, an “act of war,” a brazen attempt to undermine one of the fundamentals of American Democracy…free and fair elections.

Other nations need to know that a steep price will be paid for acts of cyberwar. From President elect Trump, it is vital that he acknowledges this issue with a much greater degree of seriousness. It is not productive to re-hash election results, downplay Russian involvement, or disparage intelligence agencies he will soon rely upon.

Many of Washington’s most prominent Republican and Democratic senators are uniting over the issue of Russian hacking, acknowledging without doubt or hesitation the real and sobering threat to our nation. On January 20th, Trump will take a solemn oath to defend against such threats, foreign and domestic. As a true leader, he should have already adopted that pledge.



 

Canadians invite liberal US states to break away from Donald Trump's America

Hardcore blue patches of California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada are being asked to look north











Click to follow
The Independent US



Canadians are inviting the four West Coast US states that voted for Hillary Clinton to secede to their country. Mocked-up maps of what Canada would look like, if its borders extended from the Arctic down to Mexico, have been widely shared online in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election victory.A British Columbia reporter has become the latest Canadian to kindly extend an invitation to California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada.
“I’m sure we can work something out if you want to join Canada,” tweeted Chad Harris, a reporter from Kamloops.
“To the west coast of the United States, if you want to you can all become Canadaian Provinces, since you voted closer to the experiences we have as Canadian.”
Campaigners are already fighting for California’s independence and a “Calexit” referendum, initially inspired by Catalonia independence attempts, to be held in 2019.



More than 60 per cent of voters opted for Hillary Clinton in The Golden State – the election’s bluest patch.  The Yes California Independence Campaign says: On issues ranging from peace and security to natural resources and the environment, it has become increasingly true that California would be better off as an independent country.”

Douglas Cole from Beaverton, Oregon, wrote an ironic open letter on the subject to Canada, asking: “Just please take us. Pretty please?”
The Independent has contacted the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada for comment.












Trump said in 2014 that Russian hacking was a 'big problem'

Story highlights

  • "No, I think he's 100% right, it's a big problem, and we have that problem also with Russian," Trump said in 2014.
  • Trump continues to cast doubt that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
(CNN)President-elect Donald Trump continues to question whether Russia was behind the hacks during the 2016 presidential campaign. Just two years ago, however, Trump said he was very aware of Russia's hacking, calling it out -- along with China -- as a "big problem."

In an interview with Fox News Sunday earlier this month, Trump questioned the CIA's assessment that Russia played a role in the election, calling it "ridiculous" and saying, "It's just another excuse. I don't believe it."Airways
On Fox News in 2014, however, Trump was quick to agree with a similar assessment by FBI director James Comey about hacking by China, and also raised the threat from Russia.
"I think that's great, I think what he said is fantastic," Trump said, referring to comments Comey had made on "60 Minutes."
"I've been talking about China for a long time," Trump added. "You know, they put on the front like, we're your friend and everything, and in the meantime the cash comes out of your back pocket. It's disgraceful what's going on with China generally. No, I think he's 100% right, it's a big problem, and we have that problem also with Russia. You saw that over the weekend. Russia's doing the same thing."
A report that month, as Trump noted, said hackers with ties to the Russian government had targeted NATO and the Ukrainian government.
"The problem with the Internet and frankly computerization is that there's always some genius that can figure it out," continued Trump. "I mean let's face it. You know, the old ways, when Gen. MacArthur would hand a valise or an envelope with somebody with a written word and that was the attack. This is a different world today. You say things on the Internet, you say things over a computer and people are going to find out what you're saying it's very dangerous and very bad in many ways."
A Trump transition team spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump has repeatedly called into question whether Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help him win.
Trump again tweeted about the hacking last week, writing, "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"
"Personally, it could be Russia. It -- I don't really think it is. But who knows? I don't know either. They don't know and I don't know."
Trump again tweeted about the hacking last week, writing, "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"



Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle - by Nicholas Kristof

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"Frankly, it’s mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from C.I.A. officials to a local union leader in Indiana. Let’s be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It’s not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the C.I.A. is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog — a Russian poodle.  Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.  "So it’s critical that the Senate, the news media and the public subject Tillerson to intense scrutiny.  We must be vigilant and recognize what is afoot!" WOOF!

Read the rest of the story HERE:

At www.nytimes.com


Trump Is Not the Problem


Donald Trump may be the ultimate con man, having convinced about 25% of the American public who voted for him that he was a populist interested in helping the working class. His recent cabinet appointments of banksters and corporate elites prove otherwise. Although the prospect of this man as president for the next 4 years is frightening to even contemplate, it’s not really Trump that’s the problem. He is just a symptom of the deeper problem we have in America: the fact that our country is morally and ethically bankrupt.
For at least the last half century, we have lived in a culture not of self-awareness, but of self absorption — a culture in which concern for the greater good has been replaced by a “what’s in it for me?” attitude. Racism, misogyny, and xenophobia are ingrained in our culture. We have just covered it over with political correctness so we can deny how extensive an issue it really is. But just like an alcoholic, we can’t begin to recover unless we admit we have a problem.
Just try to hint that the US is not the greatest country in the world and you’ll be labeled a traitor, despite the fact that we are number 1 in some of the worst statistics possible. We are first in rates of obesity, divorce, incarceration, gun deaths per capita, infant mortality, rape, murder, and student loan debt, to name just a few. Meanwhile, we are last in paid sick days, paid maternity leave, income equality, and programs that reflect a society that cares for its people.
Far too often, the poor, working-class white population votes against their best interests. It’s easier for them to believe that an immigrant or a person of color is stealing their livelihood than to accept that a wealthy white billionaire doesn’t have their best interests in mind, and that there is no such thing as The American Dream.
The reality is that the system is set up to ensure there will always be a huge gap between the rich and the poor because the elites want it that way and most people don’t care enough to do anything about it. We are a country that does not like to take personal responsibility for anything, particularly if it requires effort. We would rather have someone else take care of everything so we can go back to watching Monday Night Football.
The average American barely gives a passing thought to the suffering we are causing to innocent civilians around the world in the 7 countries on which we are currently dropping bombs. Unless it’s in their own backyard, they just don’t care. Imagine just a single one of those bombs suddenly dropping on your home while you are in the middle of dinner, killing your children, husband, wife. What is unimaginable for us is daily life for some.
For centuries, Western culture has been dominated by white men obsessed with empire-building. They feel it is their God-given right to invade less developed countries, steal their resources at will, and then expect the conquered to be grateful to us for “liberating” them from their backward ways. We commit mass murder around the world and don’t think twice about it. The hubris is astounding, and like Rome, it will ultimately be the instrument of our downfall.
Fears of Trump becoming the next Hitler are unnecessary because we’re already there. Hitler may have gathered the Jews into extermination camps to systematically murder them, but we have been systematically murdering Muslims in their own countries for at least the past 26 years. An estimated 4 million Muslims have been killed due to our wars. The genocide is the same, just under a different façade.
The very founding of our country is a prime example. White Europeans arrived here in the 17th century and began to commit genocide against the indigenous Americans practically from day one. Those atrocities continue to this day in the form of government-approved militarized mercenaries violently attacking peacefully protesting Native Americans with rubber bullets, pepper spray, sound cannons and concussion grenades.
We seem to have forgotten that we were once the immigrants here. Every US citizen, unless they are from one of the many indigenous tribes that were here far before the first pilgrims, has an immigrant ancestor. Yet it’s amazing how many people say it’s the immigrants who are hurting our country. Like your own great-grandparents once did, most immigrants work hard to establish their lives here. A long-term study has shown that immigrants do far more good for the economy than harm; however, the oligarchy wants to distract you from knowing who the real welfare queens are: the banks and our corporate-owned government.
Congress doesn’t want you to know that they are the reason why you have unaffordable health care. They are the reason our youth are drowning in student debt, and could never dream of making nearly as much money as their parents did — all while they find money to bail out the banks. Congress never has a problem funding more than 50% of the annual budget for the benefit of the military industrial complex, and never have to worry about losing their 100% government-paid health insurance.
As Noam Chomsky and Martin Luther King said, America is socialist for the rich and capitalist for the poor. We allow our government to bail out the banks while working people lose their homes. The wealthy like to maintain a comfortable gap between themselves and everyone else. If everyone is wealthy, nobody is. How could they continue to feel superior? The far-right white supremacists (often oddly called alt-right) have massive fears of immigrants and minorities, believing they are the ones responsible for the disappearance of what they always believed to be their racially guaranteed upward mobility.
Our educational system is a joke; the oligarchy does not want an educated population. If Americans were actually taught to think for themselves, they might begin to question government policies. For example, I’ll bet you didn’t know that our income taxes do not fund federal spending. So any government official claiming there is not enough tax money to fund universal health care, higher education, etc. is either ignorant or flat-out lying.
But even if it’s not your “hard-earned dollars” that would pay for these vital programs, what type of person thinks that any human being does not have the right to decent health care? Universal health care is not even a question in every other Western country, all of which have some form of it. People in these countries almost universally state that health care is an inalienable human right.
It’s no wonder the Kardashians and reality TV shows like The X Factor and American Idol are so popular, not to mention Trump’s own show, The Apprentice. We glorify unbridled wealth, cutthroat competition, and cruelty. The meaner and more demeaning, the better. We shore up our huge insecurities by belittling others, whether they are TV contestants, women, or minorities.
None of this will change until we make significant changes to our ethical code. We need to learn from the Native Americans and adopt a different way of looking at our existence on this planet. Much can be learned from what’s happened at Standing Rock. The indigenous peoples of this country understand that everyone is their relative. What harms one of us harms all of us. They have respect for the earth upon which we all must live and which provides us with food and water. They have astoundingly met brutal violence with only love and compassion.
Privatization must end. The earth’s natural resources should be owned by all of humanity collectively. Nobody should have the ability to make a profit on a natural resource. Along with a minimum wage, there also needs to be a maximum wage. No more allowing a small handful of people to hoard money in amounts so large they could never possibly spend it all, when meanwhile their fellow citizens are struggling to feed their children.
We seem to have lost our sense of compassion for other human beings. Yet we wonder how Donald Trump won the presidency? We need to take a serious look in the mirror and see the ways in which Trump is simply a reflection of the darkest parts of ourselves and examine where it comes from, rather than running from it. At that point, we can make conscious changes and become a better people.
A striking example of this is the stirring ceremony that occurred at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in early December, in which US military veterans asked forgiveness from the Native Americans for the numerous crimes the military had committed against them. Recognizing and admitting our part in these atrocities allows for a beginning in healing the world instead of harming it.
We must always try to remember that we are all members of the same human race living on the same fragile planet. When we make significant changes to our outlook on others and on the world around us, we will finally stop getting leaders like Trump.


SundayReview | Op-Ed Columnist

Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle




 
Russian hackers infiltrated the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington last year. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times
In 1972, President Richard Nixon’s White House dispatched burglars to bug Democratic Party offices. That Watergate burglary and related “dirty tricks,” such as releasing mice at a Democratic press conference and paying a woman to strip naked and shout her love for a Democratic candidate, nauseated Americans — and impelled some of us kids at the time to pursue journalism.
Now in 2016 we have a political scandal that in some respects is even more staggering. Russian agents apparently broke into the Democrats’ digital offices and tried to change the election outcome. President Obama on Friday suggested that this was probably directed by Russia’s president, saying, “Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin.”
In Watergate, the break-in didn’t affect the outcome of the election. In 2016, we don’t know for sure. There were other factors, but it’s possible that Russia’s theft and release of the emails provided the margin for Donald Trump’s victory.
The C.I.A. says it has “high confidence” that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion.
Both Nixon and Trump responded badly to the revelations, Nixon by ordering a cover-up and Trump by denouncing the C.I.A. and, incredibly, defending Russia from the charges that it tried to subvert our election. I never thought I would see a dispute between America’s intelligence community and a murderous foreign dictator in which an American leader sided with the dictator.

Let’s be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It’s not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the C.I.A. is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog — a Russian poodle.
In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair was widely (and unfairly) mocked as President George W. Bush’s poodle, following him loyally into the Iraq war. The fear is that this time Putin may have interfered to acquire an ally who likewise will roll over for him.
Frankly, it’s mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from C.I.A. officials to a local union leader in Indiana.
Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it’s notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia’s “Order of Friendship.”
Whatever our personal politics, how can we possibly want to respond to Russia’s interference in our election by putting American foreign policy in the hands of a Putin friend?
Tillerson’s closeness to Putin is especially troubling because of Trump’s other Russia links. The incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn, accepted Russian money to attend a dinner in Moscow and sat near Putin. A ledger shows $12.7 million in secret payments by a pro-Russia party in Ukraine to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the Trump family itself has business connections with Russia.
It’s true that there will be counterbalances, including Gen. James Mattis, the former Marine commander who has no illusions about Moscow and is expected to be confirmed as defense secretary. But over all it looks as if the Trump administration will be remarkably pro-Putin — astonishing considering Putin’s Russia has killed journalists, committed war crimes in Ukraine and Syria and threatened the peaceful order in Europe.

So it’s critical that the Senate, the news media and the public subject Tillerson to intense scrutiny. There are other issues to explore as well, including his role in enabling corruption in Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world. The same is true of his role in complicity with the government of Angola, where oil corruption turned the president’s daughter into a billionaire even as children died of poverty and disease at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world.

Maybe all this from Russia to Angola was just Tillerson trying to maximize his company’s revenue, and he will act differently as secretary of state. Maybe. But I’m skeptical that his ideology would change in fundamental ways.
This is not only about Tillerson just as the 1972 break-in was not only about the Watergate building complex. This is about the integrity of American democracy and whether a foreign dictator should be rewarded for attacking the United States. It is about whether we are led by a president or a poodle.

Ross Douthat and Maureen Dowd are off today.
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How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to Americans






 
James Dowson, a far-right political activist, ran a constellation of websites out of the United Kingdom. Credit Rex Features, via Associated Press
The Patriot News Agency website popped up in July, soon after it became clear that Donald J. Trump would win the Republican presidential nomination, bearing a logo of a red, white and blue eagle and the motto “Built by patriots, for patriots.”
Tucked away on a corner of the site, next to links for Twitter and YouTube, is a link to another social media platform that most Americans have never heard of: VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It is a clue that Patriot News, like many sites that appeared out of nowhere and pumped out pro-Trump hoaxes tying his opponent Hillary Clinton to Satanism, pedophilia and other conspiracies, is actually run by foreigners based overseas.
But while most of those others seem be the work of young, apolitical opportunists cashing in on a conservative appetite for viral nonsense, operators of Patriot News had an explicitly partisan motivation: getting Mr. Trump elected.
Patriot News — whose postings were viewed and shared tens of thousands of times in the United States — is among a constellation of websites run out of the United Kingdom that are linked to James Dowson, a far-right political activist who advocated Britain’s exit from the European Union and is a fan of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. A vocal proponent of Christian nationalist, anti-immigrant movements in Europe, Mr. Dowson, 52, has spoken at a conference of far-right leaders in Russia and makes no secret of his hope that Mr. Trump will usher in an era of rapprochement with Mr. Putin.




His dabbling in the American presidential election adds an ideological element that has been largely missing from the still-emerging landscape of websites and Facebook pages that bombarded American voters with misinformation and propaganda. Far from the much-reported Macedonian teenagers running fake news factories solely for profit, Mr. Dowson made it his mission, according to messages posted on one of his sites, to “spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning.”











An image from one of Mr. Dowson’s websites. He said his mission was to “spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites.”
Together, people like us helped change the course of history,” one message said, adding in another: “Every single one of you who forwarded even just one of our posts on social media contributed to the stunning victory for Trump, America and God.”
In a recent email interview from Belgrade, where he has met with Serbian nationalists, Mr. Dowson explained how his decision to establish an American social media presence was similar to the move into European markets by Breitbart News, the conservative provocateur media operation run by Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist.

“Simple truth is that after 40 years of the right having no voice because the media was owned by the enemy, we were FORCED to become incredibly good at alternative media in a way the left simply can’t grasp or handle,” Mr. Dowson said. “Bottom line is: BREXIT, TRUMP and much more to follow.”
While it is easy to overstate the influence of fringe elements whose overall numbers remain very small, the explosion of fake news and propaganda sites and their possible impact on the presidential election have ignited alarm across the American political spectrum. A recent study found that most people who read fabricated stories on Facebook — such as a widely circulated hoax about Pope Francis endorsing Mr. Trump — were inclined to believe them.
Then there is the added element of Russian meddling. The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Moscow put its thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump through the release of hacked Democratic emails, which provided fodder for many of the most pernicious false attacks on Mrs. Clinton on social media.
Some of those attacks found a home on Russian websites such as the one for Katehon, a right-wing Christian think tank aligned with Mr. Putin. Katehon recirculated anti-Clinton conspiracies under headlines like “Bloody Hillary: 5 Mysterious Murders Linked to Clinton.”
Another Russian site that urged support for Mr. Trump, called “Just Trump It,” is linked to the International Russian Conservative Forum, an annual gathering of far-right leaders in St. Petersburg that has featured Mr. Dowson, among others, as a speaker. The site, which seems mostly aimed at selling Trump T-shirts, was registered to an individual at a Russian company that trademarked a logo used to certify that merchandise was not made with migrant labor.
Some analysts see danger signs in the nexus of Russian interests and far-right agitators in Europe and the United States. Social media can amplify even the most obscure voices, giving them a stage from which to broadcast a distorted message to credulous audiences.
“These messages seep into the mainstream,” said Alina Polyakova, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan international affairs institute in Washington. “They may have been extreme or fringe at one point in time, but they have been incredibly influential in shaping people’s views about key geopolitical events in a very specific direction.”
Russia is particularly adept at playing this game, Ms. Polyakova said. “Moscow specifically encourages and facilitates” the spreading of propaganda through proxies, she said, as well as through events like the Russian conservative forum, which showcases views and narratives favored by the Putin government.

At the inaugural forum in March 2015, Mr. Dowson praised Mr. Putin as a strong defender of traditional values, while belittling President Obama and the United States itself as “feminized men.” In the email interview, Mr. Dowson said he was not supported by Russia in any way, and he accused critics of trying 


“I look on this rebirth of McCarthy-type anti-Russian hysteria by the LEFT as a hilarious reaction born out of the left’s inability to realize THEY elected Trump, not me, not the Russians, not even the right,” he said via email.
A colorful if somewhat enigmatic figure in Britain — The Times of London recently described him as “the invisible man of Britain’s far right” — Mr. Dowson, at first blush, would not be an obvious mouthpiece for Russia.
Formerly a church minister in Northern Ireland and the father of nine, he became involved in anti-abortion campaigns, joined the British National Party in the mid-2000s and, later, founded Britain First, a stridently anti-immigrant group opposed to what it called a creeping Islamic threat to traditional British values. He publicly split with the group in 2014 after some of its leaders started invading mosques and threatening Muslims, which he criticized as un-Christian and counterproductive.
While involved with Britain First, Mr. Dowson made deft use of social media and websites to promote its work and convey the impression of a mass following. A British watchdog group called Hope Not Hate, which has tracked Mr. Dowson’s online activities, concluded that he has “a rather canny knack for building up protest groups and movements on the basis that it was your Christian duty to follow his work.”
Mr. Dowson claims to have reached millions of Americans across all of his online platforms in the run-up to the November presidential election, a number that could not be verified, in part, because he would not confirm all of his sites. Online visits to Patriot News did not come close to that, although when combined with several other sites that appear to be connected to Mr. Dowson, the total number edges above a million; most viewers were in Britain.



Whatever the precise numbers, there is little question that postings on the sites and Facebook pages linked to him were viewed and shared hundreds of thousands of times. Many of the postings appear to be lifted from other conspiracy websites, repackaged and launched back into the social media maelstrom. Another site that trafficked heavily in pro-Trump news was run by Knights Templar International, a militant religious group that Mr. Dowson is involved in, which has recently supported anti-immigrant militias patrolling border areas in Bulgaria and Hungary.
For Mr. Dowson, such activities are in keeping with his philosophy that traditional Christian values are under siege because of feckless leadership by America and European powers. The success of Mr. Trump, he said, is the logical result of voters’ rejection of the weakness of global elites.

Mr. Dowson has long been optimistic about the effectiveness of social media. During the 2015 conservative forum in Russia, he spoke presciently about the looming online battle for the attention of American voters.

“We have the ability to take a video from today and put it in half of every single household in the United States of America, where these people can for the first time learn the truth, because their own media tell lies, they tell lies about Russia,” Mr. Dowson said then.
“We have to use popular culture to reach into the living rooms of the youth of America, of Britain, France, Germany, and bring them in,” he said. “Then we can get them the message.”











Trump has been lying about the Russian hack. He just accidentally admitted it himself.






















THE MORNING PLUM:

In recent days, Donald Trump has been spinning a new narrative about CIA charges of Russian interference in our election: The administration did not leak the news of this finding until after Trump won, which shows this is just an after-the-fact effort to undercut the significance of his victory over Hillary Clinton. As Trump tweeted Thursday: “If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”
This is not some small offhand remark. It represents an effort by Trump — one that is going to continue — to construct an alternative narrative to replace the increasingly substantiated one in which Russia may have in fact tried to interfere in our election to help him, which would obviously carry enormous significance on many levels.
But Friday, Trump send out a new tweet that accidentally reveals that he knows this entire narrative is a lie:
Trump is referring here to news that broke in late October: That a hacked email showed that interim DNC chair Donna Brazile may have leaked a Democratic primary debate question to Clinton’s campaign in advance. Brazile publicly blamed this leak on Russian hackers who were out to divide Democrats by feeding the perception among Bernie Sanders supporters that the DNC was putting its thumb on the scales for her. This built on a formal statement that the intelligence community put out earlier in October declaring itself “confident” that Russia was trying to interfere in the elections by hacking into DNC emails.
And so, by referring to this episode, what Trump is inadvertently revealing here is that, yes, the complaint about Russian hacking to hurt Clinton did in fact precede the election, and this was widely and publicly known. Of course, there is ample other evidence that Trump is fully aware of this. The intel community had publicly declared it weeks before the election. Trump had reportedly been privately briefed on it by U.S. officials. Trump was confronted with evidence of the hack at a debate with Clinton that was watched by tens of millions of people. At the debate, he cast doubt on the notion that Russia had hacked the materials to hurt Clinton. And yet, as Mark Murray points out, Trump himself widely referenced the material dug up in the hacks at rallies, where he used that material to — wait for it — try to damage Clinton.
Obama says U.S. will take action against Russia for hacks
President Obama said in an interview with NPR on Dec. 15, that, "we need to take action and we will, at the time and place of our own choosing," against Russia for its involvement in cyberattacks during this year's election. (Reuters)
Trump’s latest efforts are extraordinarily ham-handed. In this new tweet, he thinks he’s muddying the waters by suggesting that the hackers tried to help Clinton (as if to say this shows they couldn’t have wanted to assist Trump), as part of a broader ongoing effort to build an alternative narrative to the emerging one about possible Russian interference to help him. But he’s just succeeded in revealing how preposterous that alternative narrative really is.
Once again, we do not know for sure that Russia interfered. But, should more evidence emerge, Trump’s position on this is very likely to grow unsustainable. Confronted with evidence that a foreign power may have tried to swing our election — something that’s being widely condemned by Republicans — Trump continues to refuse to take it seriously (even as his own advisers gamely try to pretend he does). Instead, Trump appears to harbor boundless confidence that he can spin any substitute story line he wants, and that, no matter how deeply absurd it is, his supporters will eagerly buy into the alternate reality he’s concocted for them.
How long can Trump maintain this posture? It’s possible that the intelligence community will leak more evidence of Russian interference in coming days. What’s more, there will soon be confirmation hearings for two retired generals Trump has picked for his Cabinet — James Mattis as defense secretary, and John Kelly as head of the department of homeland security. They will be asked about the intelligence community’s confidence that Russia did try to swing our election, and what should be done about it. One presumes they will treat the topic with the gravity it deserves. Meanwhile, Trump — and let me remind you, he will soon be doing this as president of the United States — will be dithering around with tweets designed to spin his own reality about what happened that everyone knows is straight out of la-la land, including (presumably) him.
That can’t go on for too much longer. Can it?
****************************************************************
* GOP MAY TRY TO REPLACE OBAMACARE IN PIECES: CNN reports that GOP aides have settled on a process that involves repealing big chunks of the ACA through a simple majority “reconciliation” process, followed by replace:
Republican aides are saying there may not be one overarching “replace” bill. One senior Republican aide said the party will look for legislative opportunities to get “pieces” of Obamacare reform through — a process that could drag out for years.
Republicans will tell you that they have “leverage” to force Senate Democrats to support these “pieces” of “replace.” But Dems don’t have to play along with this.
* GOP REPLACE PLAN WILL LIKELY COVER FEWER PEOPLE: The New York Times reports that the American Medical Association is calling for the GOP replace plan to cover as many people as currently are covered on Obamacare. But:
House Republicans, preparing for a rapid legislative strike on the law next month, emphasize a different measure of success. “Our goal here is to make sure that everybody can buy coverage or find coverage if they choose to,” a House leadership aide told journalists on the condition of anonymity.
It’s likely, then, that the replace plan will cover far fewer people, and this is how it will be spun.
* VERY LITTLE SUPPORT FOR REPEAL: A new CBS News poll finds that only 25 percent of Americans support repealing Obamacare entirely, while 63 percent say it needs minor changes, and another 9 percent say leave it as it is. Support for repeal is down 10 points since January.
Of course, this doesn’t really count, because the public hasn’t yet seen the “terrific” replacement Republicans and Trump will put forth, and Americans are gonna love it big league.
* DEMS PLAN BIG FIGHT AGAINST TRUMP NOMINEES: The Associated Press reports that Senate Democrats plan to use the hearings into Trump’s nominees to position themselves for the 2018 elections by persuading working-class whites he’s not on their side:
To highlight what they say is the hypocrisy of Trump’s campaign promise to be a champion for the economically struggling little guy, they’ll focus on the nominees’ wealth, ties to Wall Street and willingness to privatize Medicare, among other issues. In some cases, they’ll seek to drag out the process by demanding more information and ensuring a full airing of potential conflicts of interest.
All those Goldman Sachs and oil and gas executives give Dems a lot to work with, but let’s face it, the 2018 map is awful for them.
* CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIR RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT FBI: Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta has written a new op-ed in The Post that asks why the FBI didn’t try harder to notify the DNC that it had been hacked:
I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT “help desk.” … at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.
This is a real escalation — it represents an effort to get the press to shine a brighter light on the FBI’s broader conduct throughout this whole election (see: Comey, James).
* YES, TRUMP IS A THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY: Two Harvard professors of government publish a must-read today that relies on a political scientist’s metric for determining whether a politician is “anti-democratic,” and delivers the bad news:

His indicators include a failure to reject violence unambiguously, a readiness to curtail rivals’ civil liberties, and the denial of the legitimacy of elected governments. Mr. Trump tests positive. … In the event of a war, a major terrorist attack or large-scale riots or protests — all of which are entirely possible — a president with authoritarian tendencies and institutions that have come unmoored could pose a serious threat to American democracy. … The warning signs are real.
And as I keep shouting at you, congressional Republicans really must be seen as a crucial part of this story.









The Post Recommends
Trump’s pro-Russian posture is neither unprecedented nor likely to last very long.


Trump
"If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"

Donald Trump on Thursday, December 15th, 2016 in a tweet

Pants on Fire! Trump tweet about White House, Russian hacking probe






President-elect Donald Trump continues to question whether the Russian government tried to interfere in the U.S. election. Trump has said it could have been China who hacked emails of Democratic operatives and the Democratic National Committee. Or someone "sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds."

And if it is the Russians, why did the White House wait so long to act? Trump asked on Twitter.
"If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?" Trump tweeted early Dec. 15.

Only that’s not true. The administration announced its findings a month before Election Day, and the White House’s announcement prompted a memorable exchange at the final presidential debate.
Who’s the puppet?
On Oct. 7 — a few months after WikiLeaks released a trove of DNC emails, but the same day WikiLeaks released emails of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta — President Barack Obama’s administration said it was confident Russia was behind the cyberattacks.
"The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations," read an Oct. 7 joint statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The U.S. Intelligence Community consists of 17 agencies and organizations within the executive branch, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence speaks on the group’s behalf.
Their statement said releases of alleged hacked emails on DCLeaks.com and Wikileaks and by the online persona Guccifer 2.0 were "consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts."
"These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process," the statement said. "Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."
Clinton used the statement as ammo when she referred to Trump as Putin’s preferred "puppet" in the Oct. 19 presidential debate. ("No puppet, you’re the puppet," Trump replied.) When Clinton brought up the intelligence community’s statement, Trump said, "She has no idea whether it is Russia, China or anybody else."
Post-election doubts
After the election, Trump has been just as dismissive about Russian involvement.
Regarding Russia’s involvement in the DNC email hack, Trump told Time magazine (which named him Person of the Year), "I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered."
On Dec. 12, Trump also questioned the timing of concerns about election-related hacks, tweeting, "Unless you catch ‘hackers’ in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?"
Republican and Democratic leaders have raised concerns about Russia’s role in the election and have called for a congressional investigation.
According to a New York Times investigation, Obama warned Putin about the cyberhacking and potential U.S. retaliation in person at the G-20 summit in China.
The administration, however, chose to issue the joint written statement from Homeland Security and the national intelligence director rather than a more public rebuke from Obama. "It was far less dramatic than the president’s appearance in the press room two years before to directly accuse the North Koreans of attacking Sony," the New York Times noted.
Obama was aware of Russian hackers previously targeting the State Department, White House and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the New York Times reported, but he chose not to publicly call out Russians or issue sanctions out of "fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia’s cooperation in negotiations over Syria."
Our ruling
Trump tweeted, "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"
About a month before the Nov. 8  election, the Obama administration accused Russia of interfering in the U.S. elections, directing the release of emails "from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations."
This didn’t happen under the radar. Trump was confronted with it at the final presidential debate.
For a ridiculously wrong statement, we rate it Pants on Fire!




"If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"
















John Podesta: Something is deeply broken at the FBI












John Podesta was chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
 
The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets. The former acting director of the CIA has called the Russian cyberattack “the political equivalent of 9/11.” Just as after the real 9/11, we need a robust, independent investigation into what went wrong inside the government and how to better protect our country in the future.
As the former chair of the Clinton campaign and a direct target of Russian hacking, I understand just how serious this is. So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT “help desk.” As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: “We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.”
What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.

Seven reactions to CIA assessment of Russia’s role in presidential election 

President-elect Donald Trump as well as Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Dec. 11 reacted to the CIA’s assessment that Russia intervened to help Trump win the election. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)
This trip was part of what FBI Director James B. Comey described as a “painstaking” investigation of Clinton’s emails, “requiring thousands of hours of effort” from dozens of agents who conducted at least 80 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of documents. Of course, as Comey himself concluded, in the end, there was no case; it was not even a close call.
Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.
Comey justified his handling of the email case by citing “intense public interest.” He felt so strongly that he broke long-established precedent and disregarded strong guidance from the Justice Department with his infamous letter just 11 days before the election. Yet he refused to join the rest of the intelligence community in a statement about the Russian cyberattack because he reportedly didn’t want to appear “political.” And both before and after the election, the FBI has refused to say whether it is investigating Trump’s ties to Russia.
There are now reports that Vladimir Putin personally directed the covert campaign to elect Trump. So are teams of FBI agents busy looking into the reported meeting in Moscow this summer between Carter Page, a Trump foreign policy adviser, and the Putin aide in charge of Russian intelligence on the U.S. election? What about evidence that Roger Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks and knew in advance that my hacked emails were about to be leaked? Are thousands of FBI person-hours being devoted to uncovering Trump’s tangled web of debts and business deals with foreign entities in Russia and elsewhere?
Meanwhile, House Republicans who had an insatiable appetite for investigating Clinton have been resistant to probing deeply into Russia’s efforts to swing the election to Trump. The media, by gleefully publishing the gossipy fruits of Russian hacks, became what the Times itself calls “a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence.”
But the FBI’s role is particularly troubling because of its power and responsibility — and because this is part of a trend. The Justice Department’s Inspector General issued a damning report this summer about the FBI’s failure to prioritize cyberthreats more broadly.
The election is over and the damage is done, but the threat from Russia and other potential aggressors remains urgent and demands a serious and sustained response.
First, the Obama administration should quickly declassify as much as possible concerning what is known about the Russian hack, as requested by seven Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Second, the administration should brief members of the electoral college on the extent and manner of Russia’s interference in our election before they vote on Dec. 19, as requested by a bipartisan group of electors.

Third, Congress should authorize a far-reaching, bipartisan independent investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission. The public deserves to know exactly what happened, why and what can be done to prevent future attacks. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) have introduced legislation to authorize such an investigation.

Finally, Congress should more vigorously exercise its oversight to determine why the FBI responded overzealously in the Clinton case and insufficiently in the Russian case. The FBI should also clarify whether there is an ongoing investigation into Trump, his associates and their ties to Russia. If ever there were a case of “intense public interest,” this is it. What’s broken in the FBI must be fixed and quickly.
Read more here:
Eric Chenoweth: Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story
The Post’s View: ‘Lessons learned’ about Russia
Paul Musgrave: If you’re even asking if Russia hacked the election, Russia got what it wanted





White House: Trump 'obviously' knew Russia hacks were benefiting him






White House: Trump knew Russia hacked Clinton

White House: Trump knew Russia hacked Clinton 01:21

Story highlights

  • Russia's interference in the US election is coming into clearer focus
  • Earnest defended the White House against accusations they were slow to act
Washington (CNN)President-elect Donald Trump was "obviously aware" that Russia meddled in the US election to benefit his own campaign, the White House said Wednesday.

Citing Trump's own suggestion over the summer that Moscow locate missing emails from Hillary Clinton's private server, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the beneficiary of Russia's cyberintrusions was clear.
"There was ample evidence that was known long before the election, and in most cases long before October, about the Trump campaign in Russia, everything from the Republican nominee himself calling on Russia to hack his opponent," Earnest said. "It might be an indication that he was obviously aware and concluded, based on whatever facts or sources he had available to him, that Russia was involved and their involvement was having a negative impact on his opponent's campaign."
Earnest was speaking as the extent of Russia's interference in the US election is coming into clearer focus. The CIA has told a group of top US senators that Russia's hacking was aimed at helping Trump, a finding that's caused angst among some Democrats, who believe the White House should have provided more details about the hacking ahead of the election.
The Obama administration, through a statement from the Director of National Intelligence, did identify Russia as the culprit in early October. But private assessments had pinned the blame on Moscow far earlier.
Earnest defended the White House and President Barack Obama against accusations they were slow to act, saying it was essential all 17 US intelligence agencies completed their reviews before making the information public.
He insisted the administration didn't want to appear politically motivated in naming Russia as the culprit in the election meddling.
"It would have been inappropriate for White House figures, including the President of the United States, to be rushing the intelligence community to expedite their analysis of this situation, because we were concerned about the negative impact it was having on the President's preferred candidate in the presidential election," Earnest said.
"That would have been all the more damaging in an environment where you have the Republican nominee without evidence suggesting the election was rigged," he continued.
Trump repeatedly made the claim the election was rigged against him, an allegation Obama said was harmful for democracy.


Helping Trump win isn’t a sign of Russian strength. It’s a sign of Russian weakness.




There’s a lot to parse when it comes to Russia’s role in the US election — both the overwhelming evidence that it interfered in the vote and the recently disclosed CIA conclusion that it did so in order to help get Donald Trump elected. But there’s an even more fundamental question that needs to be answered:

What the hell are the Russians thinking?

Interfering in a US election is a dangerous game. Imagine if Hillary Clinton had won — as virtually every pundit and statistical model was predicting at the time that Russia started leaking hacked emails of Clinton allies. The Russians would have infuriated the most powerful person in the world.

That didn’t happen, and the US instead elected the most Kremlin-friendly presidential candidate in recent American history. But it’s not clear that Russia will get off scot-free, with lawmakers from both parties calling for as-yet-unspecified punitive measures designed to retaliate for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 elections and to deter Russia from trying to meddle in elections to come.

So why take the risk? Part of the answer has to do solely with Trump’s jarringly positive views of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his willingness to embrace policies — like potentially pulling the US out of NATO — that have long been among the Russian strongman’s top strategic objectives. Compare this with Clinton’s long record of hawkishness on Russia, and Trump was (from the Kremlin’s perspective) a far better choice.


But there’s a deeper answer, according to several Russia experts: The Putin government is much weaker than it appears, and the hack comes from a position of weakness, not confidence.












Their argument is that Moscow is outclassed militarily by the US and its NATO allies and buckling economically under the weight of international sanctions and low oil prices. It’s a country that’s very far from reaching the heights of power that Putin wants for it.

The hack, on this analysis, is the clearest evidence yet of how far Putin is willing to go to weaken his rivals and thus raise Russia’s relative strength. He’s not trying to repair his own government; he’s trying to damage those of other countries. With a democracy like the US, the best way to do that is to use a large and sophisticated propaganda campaign to shake confidence in the election and elect a threat to the established Western order like Trump.


“The military balance is grim; the economic balance is grim. And so how do you deal with that?” asks Dan Nexon, a professor at Georgetown University who studies great power politics. “[Information warfare] is pretty much what the Russians have going for them.”

Trump’s instincts are a lot friendlier to Putin than Clinton’s




Final Presidential Debate Between Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Held In Las Vegas  
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Nobody really knows what Donald Trump will do as president. But if his policy ideas voiced during the campaign were a good guide, the Kremlin will have reason to celebrate.

Trump has praised the Russian bombing campaign in Syria, supported moves like Brexit that destabilized Russia’s European rivals, and personally praised Putin. Most importantly, he has mused about weakening American commitment to NATO. Nothing Putin could do on his own would help Russia’s standing on the world stage and regional influence more than the collapse of the Cold War–era military alliance.

Now, we don’t know how exactly how seriously to take Trump’s musings about NATO. He could change his tune once in office, given the immense pressure that would come from lawmakers, allies, and the American security establishment. It’s hard to say, and uncertainty when it comes to America is definitely worrying to Russian security people.

What is clear, though, is that Putin and his allies really didn’t like Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary is the worst option [from the Russian point of view],” Fyodor Lukyanov, the chair of Russia's Council on Foreign and Defense Policy and an influential voice in Russia’s security establishment, told Vox last year. “There is a widespread view that she personally hates Putin.”

The Kremlin saw her proposals for a no-fly zone in Syria and a history of aggressive criticism of Russian foreign policy as strong evidence that the US would be more confrontational toward Russia with President Clinton in the White House. Even if the Russians aren’t convinced that Trump would be good for them, they could very well think he’s better than the alternative.

“I was in Moscow just last week ... and my sense is they’re concerned and confused about what a Trump presidency means,” Alina Polyakova, the deputy director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, tells me. “Trump is absolutely a risk. [But] it was worth the risk, from the Kremlin’s point of view.”

The Putin regime is much weaker than you think










Merkel And Putin Honour World War II Gestapo Victims 
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
But the mere fact that the Russians preferred Trump to Clinton doesn’t explain why they’d be willing to actively support him. There were doubtless US elections during and after the Cold War where the Russians had a preferred candidate, but Moscow has never intervened as aggressively as it appears to have done in 2016.

“What’s new is how brazen and explicit it has been,” Polyakova says.

So why? Why would the Russians so boldly attempt to elect their preferred candidate, knowing that the intervention carried a serious risk of American retaliation?

Some experts argue that the key variable here is Russian weakness, not strength. To understand this, you need to understand Russia’s strategic situation a little bit better.

By any metric — defense spending, control of advanced military tech, you name it — the United States is by far the world’s most dominant military power. A recent book by Dartmouth’s Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth attempted to quantify the degree of American dominance in these terms. Their findings were unequivocal.

“Our investigation shows that the United States indisputably remains the sole superpower, and the gap between it and the other powers ... remains very large,” they write.

Russia, by contrast, fell into disrepair after the collapse of the Soviet Union — and modernization efforts under Putin have failed to come close to making up the gap. When you add America’s might to that of its NATO allies, some of which have increased defense spending in response to Russian military adventurism in Syria and Ukraine, the picture for the Kremlin looks quite bad — “much, much weaker,” as Nexon put it in our conversation.

The Russian economy, likewise, is in dismal shape. Russia has depended heavily on trade in natural resources, particularly oil and gas; the recent collapse in oil prices and spread of shale gas in the West has been painful for Russia. Western sanctions, punishment for its invasion of Ukraine, have made it much harder for Russian corporations in key sectors (including oil and banking) to do business abroad.

The result is an economy that has been in recession for two years. GDP has declined to roughly the level it was in the immediate wake of the 2008 financial collapse:





The result, then, is that you have a Russia that is extremely limited — at least, compared to what it once was. Russia can bully around a weaker non-NATO state, like Ukraine; it can help prop up an ally against ragtag rebels, as in Syria. But it cannot challenge the Western-led alliance for global supremacy in the way the Soviets could.

Putin can’t change this — he can’t rebuild the Russian military overnight, or solve its fundamental economic weakness relative to America. That means that accomplishing his ultimate goal of restoring Russian greatness means he needs to break the American-led alliance — somehow persuading these countries to abandon institutions like NATO and take a softer view of Moscow’s overseas meddling.

“Information operations” — like, say, hacking a political party’s emails and dumping them publicly — is a particularly effective tool for accomplishing this goal. Putin’s principal rivals are Western democracies, whose elections can theoretically be swayed by the release of damaging information. And the United States happened to be holding an election with a candidate who, at least on paper, seems likely to destabilize America’s commitment to its allies and cozy up to the Kremlin.

To analysts like Nexon and Polyakova, the takeaway is clear: Even though there was a chance the US might retaliate, Russian leaders likely concluded that intervening to help Trump was worth it.

“Putin is willing to take increasingly bigger risks to strategically place Russia as a [great] power in the world again,” Polyakova says. “I think it’s the Kremlin’s attempt to balance the security asymmetry that currently exists.”

If this analysis is correct, then don’t expect Russia to stop with the US election. Both France and Germany are holding national elections in 2017; both of them feature far-right candidates who support a less hostile stance to Russia than their opponents. If Russia’s information operation worked in America, there’s no reason to think the Russians wouldn’t try it with two of their other leading rivals — or, for that matter, in a future US election.

“If you can divide [Western countries], even in a half-assed way, that’s good,” Nexon says. “If you can get people elected who look like they might rip up [institutions like NATO] on their own, that’s even better.”

















Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin
Anne MacDonald Canham

 




 







Beijing Airpot


Mr. Tigerli in China

Copyright 2016 by Letizia Mancino
translation by Mary Holmes
All rights reserved  


Yes Betty, either or it seems he wanted to fly only with Singapore Airways.

Boeing or Airbus, it’s just the same isn’t it? Aren’t they both just fat birds with 500 passengers?

Yes, but Singapore Airlines has the most beautiful airhostesses: delicate, fine, graceful…  Mr. Tigerli had looked forward to the flight so much!

So the little man was disappointed?

You just can’t imagine how disappointed he was.
 But thank God one of the hostesses was a pretty Chinese girl. Mr. Tigerli purred loudly but she didn’t hear him because the purring of the Airbus 380 was even louder.

The poor cat!

You’ve said it Betty. Mr. Tigerli was in a very bad mood and asked me for a loud speaker.

I’m sure you can get one in 1st Class.

“”Russian Girl” had even heard you over the roar of the Niagara Falls” I said to Mr. Tigerli. “You are a very unfaithful cat. You wanted to get to know Asiatic girls. That’s how it is when one leaves one’s first love”.

And what did he say to that?

“Men are hunters” was his answer.

Yes, my dear cat, a mouse hunter. And what else did he say?

Not another word. He behaved as if he hadn’t heard me.

The Airbus is very loud.

I told him shortly “Don’t trouble yourself about “Chinese Girl”. There will be enough even prettier girls in China. Wait till we land in Guilin”.

Did he understand you?

Naturally Mr. Tigerli understood me immediately. Yes, sweetheart, don’t worry. They will find you something sweet to eat.

And he?

He was so happy.

No problem going through the immigration control?

Naturally!  Lots of problems. How could I explain to customs that the cat had come as a tourist to China to buy shoes?

Fur in exchange for shoes…

Don’t be so cynical Betty!

Cat meat in exchange for shoes?

I said to the officials. He isn’t a cat, he is Casanova.


He came through the pass control with no trouble!



photos and graphics betty family betty and friend



Is this Mr. Tigerli?





Dare we face the question of just how much of the darkness around us is of our own making? - Betty MacDonald
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Betty MacDonald














Take an illustrated day trip through Washington state’s largest city with artist Candace Rose Rardon.
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Linda White yes,if my health allows.I have a few problems but is something I have always wanted to do,especially as I reread her books.


Linde Lund


Linde Lund Dear Linda I'll keep you posted.


Bella Dillon


Bella Dillon · Friends with Darsie Beck
I still read Mrs Piggle Wiggle books to this day. I love her farm on vashon.




Lila Taylor


Lila Taylor Good morning...Linde Lund
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