Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pentagon considering a possible nuclear response to the next cyber attack. WTF?

Courtesy of HuffPo: 

The Pentagon is reportedly pushing a new retaliation tactic should the U.S. ever be hit by a devastating cyberattack: America could nuke the culprit. 

The New York Times reported Tuesday that a pre-decisional draft of the Defense Department’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, which details U.S. nuclear strategy, includes “large cyberattacks” as an example of a non-nuclear strike on American lives and infrastructure that could be countered with nuclear weapons. 

“Three current and former senior government officials said large cyberattacks against the United States and its interests would be included in the kinds of foreign aggression that could justify a nuclear response,” the Times wrote of the new strategy. The officials stressed, however, that “other, more conventional options for retaliation” could also be used in response to a cyberattack. 

The Nuclear Posture Review, or NPR, was commissioned last year by President Donald Trump and is currently being reviewed by the White House. It will need the president’s approval before it’s made final.

No, no, no, no, no!!!

As much as I want there to be a more robust response to the next cyber attack you cannot kill potentially millions of innocent people becasue their government is hacking our email accounts.

Nuclear weapons are the final deterrent, NOT the opening salvo in response to an attack.

Especially a non-lethal cyber attack.

Besides who believes that Putin's puppet would actually allow this response to a Russian attack, which is the most likely?

And while the Pentagon is apparently losing its collective mind, the Trump Administration has still done virtually nothing to defend us against the next online attack from our enemies.

Here is today's test of your gag reflex.

This is so disturbing on so many levels.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director offers $100,000 dollars to Trump's favorite charity if he will prove he only weighs 239 pounds.

Courtesy of EW: 

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn isn’t buying Donald Trump’s annual medical exam. And he’s willing to bet $100,000 that the report wasn’t accurate. 

Gunn tweeted that he would give six figures to Trump’s favorite charity if the president would step on a scale under more transparent circumstances.

Gunn is simply saying what I think the majority of the people recognize.
And that is that the man on the right is definitely NOT six foot three and DEFINITELY does not weigh only 239 pounds.

Which means by the way that we really cannot believe a single thing that the White House doctor, Ronny Johnson, told us yesterday.

We have a story right below this one which insinuates, rather strongly, that Trump paid Marla Maples to claim he was the best lover she had ever had.

So of COURSE he also must be the healthiest president, no matter how much that costs to prove.

Personally I think that if Donald Trump wants to put this all to rest he should take James Gunn up on his offer.

 Besides it could prove lucrative, because let's face it Donald Trump's favorite charity is Donald Trump.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has lawyered up. Update!

Courtesy of the Daily Beast:  

Corey Lewandowski, the president’s erstwhile campaign manager, has lawyered up. The Daily Beast has learned that Peter Chavkin, of Mintz Levin, is representing Lewandowski for purposes of the Russia investigations. Lewandowski helmed Trump’s campaign until Paul Manafort took over on May 19, 2016. A month later, the campaign announced that Lewandowski was out. There’s significant animosity between the two men. 

Apparently Lewandowsky is testifying today to the House Intelligence Committee.
I have no idea what Lewandowski knows, or doesn't know.

But I have faith that once his testimony is released that it will prove quite entertaining.

Is it just me or does anybody else hear the tune "Another One Bites the Dust" every time another former Trump campaign or current White House staffer is identified as a potential witness in these investigations?

Update: It looks like Lewandowski is taking a page from the Steve Bannon playbook.
I bet he sings like a canary for Mueller as well.

Steve Bannon spent eleven hours on the Hill yesterday refusing to answer questions even after receiving a subpoena.

Courtesy of NBC News:  

Steve Bannon told lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election that the White House instructed him not to answer questions related to his tenure as a top White House adviser, prompting a rare subpoena to compel testimony, multiple congressional sources tell NBC News. 

The former Breitbart executive and now-spurned Trump confidante spent more than 11 hours on Capitol Hill to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, the first of three high-profile witnesses expected before the panel this week. 

Rep. Mike Conway, R-Texas, who is overseeing the panel’s Russia probe, said they expect additional testimony from Bannon after further discussions with the White House over what lawmakers in both parties considered an overly broad claim of executive privilege.

However as confidant as this might have made the White House feel, sources claim that Bannon will not defy the Mueller subpoena.

Courtesy of the Daily Beast:  

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon broke some bad news to House investigators Tuesday, announcing that the White House had invoked executive privilege to keep him from answering many of their questions. 

But executive privilege—the president’s right to keep certain information from the public so he can have frank conversations with aides—will not keep Steve Bannon from sharing information with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, according to a person familiar with the situation. 

“Mueller will hear everything Bannon has to say,” said the source, who is familiar with Bannon’s thinking.

Not sure what game Bannon is playing here as it seems very unlikely that Trump will ever invite him back into the inner circle.

But we certainly know what game Robert Mueller is playing. He isn't.

And just today it was revealed that Bannon has reached a deal with the Mueller team.

Courtesy of CNN: 

Steve Bannon has struck a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's team and will be interviewed by prosecutors instead of testifying before the grand jury, two people familiar with the process told CNN. He is expected to cooperate with the special counsel, the sources said.

It appears that Steve Bannon realizes that Mueller is not playing games as well. 

More about Donald Trump's affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels.

As it turns out there was a reporter from Slate working on the story about Trump and Daniels before the election.

Jacob Weisberg did not post that story because he did not feel he had enough corroboration to write it with confidence that it could stand up to scrutiny.

Now that the Wall Street Journal has written their account of Daniels receiving $130,000 in hush money Weisberg has written about what he learned during multiple interviews with Daniels.

From the article: 

Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, did indeed have a story about Trump, which she related to me in a series of phone conversations and text exchanges that took place between August and October of 2016. 

Daniels told me she’d gone to Trump’s hotel room after meeting him at a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada in 2006. There they’d begun a sexual relationship, which continued for nearly a year. They’d met in New York and more than once in Los Angeles. In early 2007, Trump had invited her to a party to promote Trump Vodka, where she was photographed. He’d also invited her to his Miss USA pageant that year. 

In our conversations, Daniels said she was holding back on the juiciest details, such as her ability to describe things about Trump that only someone who had seen him naked would know. She intimated that her view of his sexual skill was at odds with the remark attributed to Marla Maples.

You may remember that Maples reported that it was "The Best Sex" she had ever had.

You know just like Trump is the least racist person you have ever met, the best businessman in history, and the healthiest person to ever occupy the White House.

Weisberg sort of glossed over the more prurient details and instead focused on what was then a pending financial agreement between the lawyers for Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels' attorney: 

Daniels said that, through intermediaries, she and Trump had worked out an agreement for the presidential candidate to pay her a six-figure sum to keep quiet. More specifically, she said her lawyer Keith Davidson, a Beverly Hills–based attorney who specializes in claims against celebrities, had worked out the terms with Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. 

Daniels told me that agreement involved a complicated arrangement to shield the real names of the parties. She texted me an unsigned two-page document spelling out this arrangement, the title of which was “Exhibit ‘A’ to the Confidential Settlement Agreement and Release: Assignment of Copyright and Non-Disparagement Agreement.”* The document she texted me indicated that in the main agreement—a document I never saw—“Stephanie Gregory Clifford aka Stormy Daniels is referred to by the pseudonym ‘Peggy Peterson,’ and ___________ is referred to by the pseudonym ‘David Dennison.’ ” 

The document Daniels sent me included two additional pseudonyms, “David Delucia” and “RCI,” but did not indicate which person and/or entity those pseudonyms referred to. Another provision in the document I saw stated that only Daniels’ lawyer Keith Davidson and a lawyer for the other party would be allowed to retain copies of the side-letter agreement identifying the parties by their actual names.

About a week before the election Daniels stopped responding to texts and emails, likely due to the fact that she had reached that financial agreement which the Wall Street Journal reported on recently.

Now it is very unlikely that this story by Weisberg would have changed the outcome of the election, because let's face it unless this was gay sex, or sex with a black person, Trump's deplorables would not be bothered in the least.

However, as has been pointed out by a number of commentators, this story would have DESTROYED the candidacy of any other politician that we can think of, and that right there tells us just how far away from our moral center we have drifted since Donald Trump rode down that escalator to announce his candidacy.

In Touch got even more information about this fling from Daniels back in 2011. Here is their story:

Stormy told In Touch, “[The sex] was textbook generic,” while discussing the fling they had less than four months after Donald’s wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron. “I actually don’t even know why I did it, but I do remember while we were having sex, I was like, ‘Please, don’t try to pay me.’” 

At one point, Stormy told In Touch, she excused herself to go to the bathroom. “When I came out, he was sitting on the bed and he was like, ‘Come here.’ And I was like, ‘Ugh, here we go.’ And we started kissing.” After having sex, Stormy said, “We hung out for a little while and he just kept saying, ‘I’m gonna call you, I’m gonna call you. I have to see you again. You’re amazing. We have to get you on The Apprentice.’” 

Of course Trump never did get Daniels that gig on "The Apprentice" or kept any other promises that he made to her.

However he DID pay her off, which is why she is denying all of this now.

On a final note the fellow adult film star that Stormy Daniels invited to a threesome with Donald Trump appeared on the Megyn Kelly show to tell her side of things.

I do not typically post video of Kelly's show, but I think you will like this.

“Picture this: Donald Trump chasing me around the bedroom in his tighty whities isn’t something you forget.”

And now none of us will be able to forget it, or that such an embarrassing POS is occupying the People's House. 

FBI rattled, worried about ability to do their job, after Justice Department gives documents to Congressional Republicans.

Courtesy of Bloomberg:  

The Justice Department’s decision to give congressional Republicans access to documents about FBI investigations risks exposing sensitive sources or material and poses a critical early test for bureau Director Christopher Wray, current and former U.S. law enforcement officials say. 

Some officials view the department as capitulating to a small group of Republicans who are intent on helping President Donald Trump undermine the integrity of the FBI and, by extension, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election. 

It’s the latest setback for a law enforcement agency that has long held itself out as doggedly independent and above partisan politics, only to be besieged over the last two years by questions about its handling of politically sensitive investigations into Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Trump. 

One agent said he’s now concerned that forms identifying FBI informants would be handed over to Congress. If that happened, he said, it would cause him to think carefully about whether to withhold sensitive information from future reports. 

Another agent said recent statements about the bureau by Trump and congressional Republicans have made it more difficult for him to get informants to open up. 

Trump has tweeted that the Federal Bureau of Investigations is “in Tatters -- worst in history” and has said a senior official committed “treason.”

The FBI knows full that is it only a matter of time after the Republicans get their hands on the documents, that the leaks and spreading of false information will begin.

Their agenda right now is to protect Donald Trump from the Mueller investigation, and they will burn down the entire American justice system to achieve that goal.

Bet on it.

Trump's first year in office saw 3.2 million more Americans without health insurance.

Courtesy of TPM:  

Over the course of President Donald Trump’s first year in office, the number of Americans without health insurance increased 1.3 percent—with 3.2 million more people uninsured, according to Gallup-Sharecare’s latest tracking report published Tuesday. 

It’s the largest one-year increase in the uninsured population since Gallup-Sharecare began the survey in 2008. 

The study noted “several factors” swelling the ranks of the uninsured, from increased premiums caused by insurance companies dropping out of the individual market to uncertainty around whether the Trump administration would enforce the individual mandate’s penalty for forgoing health insurance. Exacerbating both factors, the GOP-controlled Congress repealed the individual mandate in December, which is expected to hike premiums by an additional 10 percent or more. 

Premiums also went up significantly in 2017 when the Trump administration cut off cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies, though the vast majority of people on the individual market were shielded from the increase by a bump in their federal tax credits. 

Though the uninsured rate remains well below the high of 18 percent—the year before the Affordable Care Act went into effect—the increase in 2017 is the first reversal of several years of decline. And Gallup-Sharecare predict that the trend will continue, with more people dropping or losing their insurance coverage in the years to come.

Gee, who would have thought that constantly attacking Obamacare without having a better plan to take its place would have such a negative effect?

Oh that's right, the almost 66 million people who voted for his opponent.

Pretty much sums up the Trump presidency. Don't you think?

Courtesy of the Daily Mail: 

President Donald Trump along with wife Melania and son Barron boarded Air Force One amid rainy Florida weather on Martin Luther King Jr day. 

Photos show President 45 holding a large black umbrella close to his head - perhaps in an effort to keep his famous hair from being pelted by rain drops. 

But wife Melania, 47, and Barron, 11, were left to the mercy of the elements as they boarded the plane at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach. 

It is not clear whether Trump, 71, at any point offered space under his large umbrella to his wife or son. 

Oh I think it's pretty clear.

He didn't.

And why in the hell would anybody who knows that Trump names everything after himself, and uses his Twitter account to engage in constant self aggrandizing, ever think to help anybody other than himself?

Ever?