Tag Archives: Donald Trump’s ties to Russia

🎼Extras…and Trump-Gaffney musings😥…

By Rosalie Tirella

The heart-breaking Chris …

… and Kurt …

Wish these guys had stuck around our mean ol’, ravishingly beautiful orb. Artists … they would have HAD to create art.

🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼

Then there are people whose lives are the antithesis of art. Take (please!) prez Donald Trump and, on the local “stage”: Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney; his tool, wife Coreen Gaffney (she will vote lockstep on the council with her ever cynical hubbo Mike, if she wins pol office. BEWARE, WOO!!!); and Aidan Kearney-Turtle Boy, the son of former Woo school committee member and religious right stealth candidate Mary Mullaney. Turtle Boy and Mike Gaffney are so like Donald Trump, it’s scary!! They are kings of a cultural, spiritual wasteland! They manipulate their supporters. They have so many head games running that the voters lose track of the lies…

During these politically dysfuntional times, does every American city/town have a Mike Gaffney and Turtle Boy? And their tools, a la Coreen Gaffney? Yeah. Probably.

Sigh…

Still, we must keep hope alive! In the country …

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pics: R.T.

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…and the city.

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The 1 good thing that’s come out of a Trump presidency …

And …

If the press, most likely via leaks from pissed off FBI-ers (without an independent prosecutor there is little chance the truth about Russia and Trump will be uncovered now during the DC investigations), learns Donald Trump, to improve his chances of winning the presidency, colluded with Russia during the presidential campaign, then Trump’s behavior was treasonous. He sold America down the river in hopes of winning the election. Russia = nation that works to destabilize democracies = an enemy nation. Trump’s betrayal of America – putting her in harm’s way for political gain = reason to impeach Trump. – R.T.

💗 Ezra Klein …

💗 VOX

“Trumpcare” – NOT in style!!!😱😱😱

But first …

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REPUBLICANS SUSCEPTIBLE TO “OVERPROMISING” POLS

By Steven R. Maher

“If you’re going to live a good life, you’ve got to live within your income.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Treasury Secretary George Humphrey

“Through his time in office, he [Humphrey] insisted that the government do just that. He fought profligate spending, irritating liberals and imprudent tax cuts, to the annoyance of conservatives.” – From “Eisenhower: The White House Years,” by Jim Newton.

Recently, I was watching a talk show and heard one Republican pundit say that Trump “overpromised” on health insurance during his candidacy for the Presidency.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump repeatedly promised that his replacement for Obamacare (some call it “Trumpcare”) would allow everyone to choose their own doctor and medical plan; would cost less money; increase benefits and make available universal coverage to all Americans.

How was such a miracle to be accomplished?

Basically, through the miracle of the marketplace. Trump vowed he would make insurance rates go down and make health insurance benefits go up by increasing competition of insurance companies by allowing insurers to sell their policies across state lines.

“Believe me,” Trump would say after promising how much better a program than Obamacare, Trumpcare would be.

Trump later backed off from these pledges, saying health care was more “complicated” than he had anticipated.

Susceptible to this?

Why did so many of Trump’s supporters believe this?

I’m beginning to believe that Republican voters are particularly susceptible to demagogic appeals. We saw this with “Supply Side” economics. Under this highfalutin theory, Congress could cut taxes, increase military spending and balance the budget – all at the same time. Try doing this with your personal life. You will find yourself in bankruptcy court. Granted, you will live high off the hog, eating caviar, filet mignon and lobster to your heart’s content – right up to the point where you run out of credit cards and the bondholders decide to cut you off.

Unfortunately – or rather fortunately, given who is in the White House – there is no Chapter 11 under which nations can default on their debt.

Someday the United States will have to balance its budget. Better that we do it now ourselves, rather than wait until America’s creditors force us to do it.

Republicans used to be the party of fiscal rectitude, wearing the old green shade accounting hats as they counted beans. They threw away those sensibilities when they adopted the fraud known as “Supply Side” economics. Now they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater with Trumpcare.

The Republicans won’t be the party of common-sense economics, like Dwight Eisenhower, until they give up “supply side” economics and “Trumpcare.”

REC Worcester Earth Day clean-ups … Vegan St. Patty’s Day yum yums … and music 🎵🎶🌹🎵 to our ears!🌸

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From REC:

Saturday, April 8

8 am – 12 pm

We are excited to invite you to join us for this year’s REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

This is truly a community-wide event in which residents come together every year to give Worcester the Spring-cleaning it deserves.

Last year, more than 1,000 volunteers came together to pick up more than 50 tons of trash at over 60 sites in Worcester!!!🌸❤

Let’s do even more this year to make
Worcester cleaner and greener🌻🌺!

WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU❤💛💜❤!

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If you would like to help us coordinate the cleanup of a particular site, we encourage you to sign up as a Site Coordinator.

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Otherwise, please sign up as a Volunteer (or group of volunteers) and we will connect you with a site in your area!

This event is only possible because of your volunteerism and commitment to our city. The REC, along with many partners including city government, non-profits, and businesses provide the materials, pick-up services and logistics.

We look forward to working with you!

Please feel free to contact Pat Barnosky with any questions or concerns
– earthday@recworcester.org – 508-799-9139

Thank you for joining with your neighbors and friends to support the 28th Annual REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

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GO VEGAN THIS ST. PATTY’S DAY!🍻🍏

Irish Cabbage Salsa!

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1 cup shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1 carrot shredded

2–3 green onions chopped

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. whole grain mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Refrigerate overnight.

Makes about 2 cups

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Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew

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1 large onion chopped

3 ribs celery chopped

2-3 cloves garlic minced

1/2 head cabbage chopped

4 carrots sliced

1-1 1/2 pounds potatoes cut in large dice

1/3 cup pearled barley optional or substitute with gluten-free grain

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon rosemary crushed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6-8 cups vegetable broth

3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt to taste

Place vegetables, seasonings, barley and broth into a large stockpot.

Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary.

Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

*****
😄😄😄❤

America must come to the realization: Donald Trump is mentally unfit to be President of the United States …

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Worcester’s best and bravest fought for “liberty and justice for all.” We must save America – and American ideals – once again!       photo: R.T.

We Must Act Now

By Rosalie Tirella

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution must be invoked …

Vice President Mike Pence must take over Donald Trump’s duties …

Trump must be incapacitated …

I believe President Donald Trump is mentally unfit – psychologically unable – to lead America for the next four years. As President of the United States of America Trump is arguably the most powerful person on earth – a planet he may, in four years, destroy. The job has always been too gargantuan for our Presidents (see their “before” I became President and “after” I was President photos – how they’ve all aged prematurely in office). Only this President seems oblivious to the IMMENSE powers of the American Presidency.  The  far-reaching, global, domino-effect of the American Presidency. Accusing his predecessor, President Barack Obama, of wiretapping him and his minions (a felony) – via Twitter!!!! – then firing off his next Tweet about the fate of his old TV show Celebrity Apprentice shows us just how deeply fucked up Donald Trump is. Knowing what we now know, would you hire him to run the corner 7-11?! (Didn’t think so!!!)

Trump is an oblivious, narcissistic, vindictive, combative, venal, dangerous world “leader” – he shows ZERO RESPECT FOR HIS OFFICE.

Trump must go. His cabinet and Congress must do the right thing. This is NOT about kicking the Republicans or their world view out the door, this isn’t Right versus Left, this isn’t Progressive vs Conservative or Democrats vs Republicans. This isn’t about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer under Trump’s presidency … This is about saving America and all she stands for – has stood for. In 2017 this is about saving our precious natural world, our rivers, streams, mountains, polar bears, fauna and flora great and small. This is about stopping a nuclear war with North Korea (and possibly China), preventing Russia from upending American democracy and democracies – fledgling and established – throughout the world. This is about saving NATO, the Western Alliance … EVERYTHING after the great Marshall Plan. This is about saving THE AMERICAN VOICE – a true and noble voice that, through out the ages, for the ages, especially during the two Great  Wars, has had global moral authority, brought freedom to entire countries, lifted up the struggling no matter where they lived, fed the hungry irrespective of whose side they were on, gave hope to ALL oppressed people, sought truth, shed light, opened doors, freed minds …

With Trump this could all disappear. My heart is breaking!

Congress, the Trump cabinet, MUST DO THE RIGHT and LEGAL THING – SAVE AMERICA and the WORLD. Incapicate Donald Trump.

Vice President Pence – a politician whose views are diametrically opposite mine! – must take over the job. Steadier hands are needed to steer the American ship. A new helmsman is needed. A new day MUST DAWN!

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From POLITICO (we’ve made some sentences bold):

“The 25th Amendment [to the Constitution] was ratified, Feb. 10, 1967

“By ANDREW GLASS 02/10/12 04:24 AM EST

“On this day in 1967, the Nevada Legislature ratified the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. It was the 38th state to do so and put the constitutional change over the top.

“A key provision of the amendment, which Congress had proposed on July 6, 1965, states: “Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.” Another important clause establishes procedures to be used when a president becomes incapacitated and how such disabilities are to be lifted.

“The need to act had become evident with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Lyndon B. Johnson, until being elected president in 1964, served 14 months in the Oval Office without a vice president to replace him. Until the amendment was ratified, the vice presidency had been vacant 16 times after a president or vice president had died or resigned.

“Since ratification, the amendment has been invoked six times. The most far-reaching use was in 1973, when President Richard Nixon nominated Rep. Gerald Ford (R-Mich.) to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew.

“The amendment was invoked again, when Ford, who had assumed the presidency on Nixon’s resignation, nominated Nelson Rockefeller, the former New York governor, to succeed him as vice president. The Senate confirmed Rockefeller on Dec. 10, 1974, 90 to 7. When the House followed suit on Dec. 19 by a 287-128 vote, Rockefeller was sworn into office.

“The disability clause has been invoked for brief periods when presidents have undergone surgery. It was unavailable when President Woodrow Wilson suffered a major stroke in 1919.

SOURCE: “THE TWENTY-FIFTH AMENDMENT: ITS COMPLETE HISTORY AND APPLICATIONS,” BY JOHN FEERICK (1992)”

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From VOX.COM (we’ve made some sentences bold):

And then there’s Section 4 — which is about how the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can deprive the president of his powers without his consent.

“2)  Wait, the VP and Cabinet can depose the president?

“Sort of. There are three major parts to Section 4 of the 25th Amendment. The first part establishes how a president can be quickly stripped of his powers due to inability.

“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

“A few notes here. First, the power to sideline the president for inability is given to the vice president and a “majority” of “the principal officers of the executive departments.” (President Reagan’s Justice Department interpreted this to mean the main Cabinet departments, which today number 15.) Theoretically, Congress can also create and empower some “other body” that could make this declaration, but so far it has not done so.

“So all the VP and eight Cabinet secretaries have to do is put in writing that the president is “unable” and send that message to the Speaker of the House (currently Paul Ryan) and the Senate’s president pro tem (currently Orrin Hatch). Then the vice president “immediately” takes on the president’s “powers and duties.”

“Importantly, though, the veep only becomes “Acting President.” So the elected president hasn’t lost his office yet, just his powers — and not necessarily permanently, as we’ll see in a moment.

“Finally, there is zero elaboration on what it would mean for the president to be “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” There is no specification even that it refers solely to health. In theory, it could entail not just physical inability but a judgment call on mental health or even, conceivably, poor character or simple disagreement. It’s really up to the VP and Cabinet to interpret it.

“3)  But what if the president wants to stay in charge?

Section 4 continues:

“Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

“This is a mouthful, but the gist is that the president can tell the speaker of the House and Senate president pro tem that he is in fact not unable, and that he wants his powers back. You can imagine this happening if the president regains consciousness from some injury or ailment — or if he simply disagrees that he’s unfit for office.

“If he does this, he’ll get his powers back in four days — unless the vice president and at least eight Cabinet officials say, in writing, that he is still unable. Then the vice president will remain in charge for the time being, and Congress will have to step in to settle this dispute. The rest of Section 4 is about this contingency:

Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

So Congress will vote on whether the president is in fact “unable.” If two-thirds of both the House and Senate vote that he is, then the vice president will remain in charge as acting president.

“If they fall short of that margin in either House, or simply fail to act within 21 days, the president will regain his powers. … ”

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Russian ally paid Trump’s son $50,000 for pre-election speech

But first …

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By Steven R. Maher

During the campaign leading to Donald J. Trump’s November 8, 2016, presidential election, Republicans obsessed over the large speaking fees paid to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by Wall Street investment firms.

According to the GOP, these fees were in exchange for access and/or influence during a Clinton Presidency. Trump himself denounced these payments as a “pay to play” deal on Clinton’s part.

Now it turns out that Trump’s son, Donald J. Trump Jr., was paid $50,000 for speaking at an October 11, 2016, dinner at the Ritz Paris Hotel, hosted by the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, reported the Wall Street Journal this past Friday, March 3, 2017.

“The Trump organization didn’t dispute that amount [$50,000] when asked about it by The Wall Street Journal,” the newspaper account stated.

Reported the Journal: “… [the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs] President, Fabien Baussart, and his Syrian-born wife, Randa Kassis, have cooperated with Russia in its drive to end the Syrian civil war, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. In December, Mr. Baussart nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize. Ms. Kassis is a leader of a political faction endorsed by the Russians in negotiations to end the war in Syria.”

SNL portrayal

The Wall Street Journal report came the day before President Trump’s favorite bête noire, Saturday Night Live, portrayed son Eric Trump as an intellectually challenged near-idiot. Eric was presented as blurting out that his father was still making decisions for the Trump family business from the Oval Office, while his brother Donald Trump Jr. was hastily feeding him Cheerios and fluids to shut him up.

If you have $50,000 and want to hear the wit and wisdom of Trump Junior, his speech-giving career is ongoing.

“A talent-booking agency called All American Speakers lists Donald Trump Jr. on its website as a client who commands a minimum of $50,000 an appearance,” said the Wall Street Journal.

1/3 OF WORLD’S MILITARY SPENDING DONE BY USA. TRUMP DOES NOT NEED TO INCREASE U.S. MILITARY BUDGET BY $54 BILLION – A 10% INCREASE

But first …


Trump + Russia = bigger than Watergate. (Show America your tax returns, Donald!) – R.T.

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By Steven R. Maher

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” – President Dwight Eisenhower

President Donald J. Trump has called for a $54 billion increase in the United States military budget. The Associated Press reported on March 3, 2017, that this would be a 10% increase in the Defense Department budget.

The Wall Street Journal reported on February 28, 2017, that the U.S. in 2015 accounted for 34% of the world’s military spending. The newspaper, citing the U.S. Defense Department for the U.S. figures and the Stockholm International Peace Institute for those of other countries, put the spending as follows:

• The U.S. spent $595 billion on defense.

• China spent $214 billion on its armed forces.

• Russia spent $91 billion.

• Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, spent $85 billion.

• France, the U.S.’s oldest ally, spent $61 billion on defense.

• Britain, the U.S.’s closest ally, spent $60 billion.

• India, the world’s largest democracy, spent $51 billion on defense.

• Germany, another U.S. ally, spent $47 billion.

• Japan, another U.S. ally, spent $46 billion.

• South Korea, a flashpoint because of North Korea’s erratic dictator, spends $39 billion.

• Brazil spends $32 billion.

The 10 countries above, less the U.S., account for 42% of the world’s military spending. Counting the U.S., the figure rises to 76%. The rest of the world makes up the remaining 24%, or $412 billion.

While the most likely country the U.S. would go to war with remains North Korea, its military spending did not make the top ranks of military spenders. That leaves China and Russia to consider.

The U.S. and its formal NATO allies (France, Britain and Germany) and allies through other treaties (Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea) spend $933 billion on defense. China and Russia are spending $305 billion.

The U.S. and its allies are spending three dollars for every dollar spent by its potential wartime enemies.

This is before the increases Trump is calling for.

Where spending is needed

According to various media outlets, there are two areas the U.S. does need to spend more money on: First, there have been reports that some U.S. military units are running low on ammunition. Second, there have been reports that some military equipment, particularly aircraft, have been “cannibalized”, i.e., spare parts have been taken from working machines to repair other equipment, and not replaced.

There is no argument that such spending is required. But buying enough ammunition and filling up the backlog of spare parts won’t cost anywhere near $54 billion.

What does Trump want to spend the extra money on?

Trump wants to expand the U.S. Navy from 272 ships to 350 ships, reports the Associated Press. The navy itself wants to expand it to 308 ships after 2020, says the same report.

Trump wants to expand the Fleet to a size even beyond what the U.S. Navy says is needed. Trump recently visited the newest naval aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford, which cost $12.9 billion. The amounts Trump would spend to get the 350 ships the Navy says it doesn’t need, could be extraordinary. This would be to face two potential enemies, China and Russia. The U.S. and its allies are already outspending three to one on their militaries.

Trump appears to be falling into a trap frequently encountered among political leaders: he is preparing to refight the last conventional war. But the future threats are more likely to be in the areas of terrorism and cyber-warfare. These are the areas Trump should concentrate on, not buying ships the Navy doesn’t say it needs.

It will be interesting to see how the 30 Tea Party Congressmen – the so-called freedom lobby – vote on Trump’s wasteful military spending plans. These are the people who have spent the last eight years denouncing Barrack Obama’s budget deficits. Let’s see if they’re willing to put the taxpayers’ money where their big Tea Party mouths have been and vote down Trump’s fiscally irresponsible military buildup.