Sunday, January 13, 2019

FOX helps Trump, Trump helps Putin, America gets the shaft.


A CNN interview with Carl Bernstein discussing Saturday’s Washington Post article by Greg Miller about the extraordinary lengths Trump goes to, to conceal details of numerous private conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.  The conversation drifted onto FOX News not reporting on these latest revelations, nor about the growing impacts of Trump’s government shut down for that matter.  At 5:47 Brian Stelter asks a question that I understood as: 
‘Is the public ill-served if FOX doesn’t make it clear how important this Russian story is?’
Seems to me the question ignores the known history of FOX and what Mr. Ailes has achieved over there.  In typing out a comment I couldn’t resist tossing in, I did some research to refamiliarize myself with the FOX network’s history.  One thing led to another and since I like sharing the fruits of my efforts, I’ve created another bibliography, this one regarding FOX network and what amounts to one hell of a brainwashing operation.  I start with the video, then my comment, followed by a fascinating, if depressing, collection of stories that help explain how FOX played the power game.

Carl Bernstein: Trump helped Putin destabilize US
Brian Stelter  |  CNN  |  Published on Jan 13, 2019

Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein discusses a report by the Washington Post that says President Donald Trump tried to hide his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin from senior officials in his own administration. #CNN #News

Comments | 5:40 CC wrote: Well, FOX, Murdochs, Ailes have been trying to manipulate and brainwash Americans and our politics since their inception.  "Bias in Cable News: Persuasion and Polarization" Martin, Yurukoglu 4/5/17  https://web.stanford.edu/~ayurukog/cable_news.pdf   
With the help of some oligarchs, tea party and such - the great American deception.   It's been playing out under liberal noses, now the water's simmering froggy.  https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/how-roger-ailes-built-the-fox-news-fear-factory-244652/
So tragic, specially since we (specially liberals) keep talking past each other (specially folks who've disconnected themselves from physical reality, and folks who think they're "God's" warriors and who believe Trump is their messiah.  It's foolish to think it's okay just to write them off.
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Seems to me the oligarchs of the world are thinking they can dispense with governments.  FOX owes no allegiance to America.   Their history makes clear their own profits and power is all that matters to them.  But enough from me, here’s an informative reading list:

A forensic engineer’s evaluation of Trump’s Border Wall’s fatal flaws. Amy Patrick

Nothing to add, the following tells it all.
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A forensic engineer’s evaluation of Trump’s Border Wall’s fatal flaws.


To recap: I’m a licensed structural and civil engineer with a MS in structural engineering from the top program in the nation and over a decade of experience on high-performance projects, and particularly of cleaning up design disasters where the factors weren’t properly accounted for, and I’m an adjunct professor of structural analysis and design at UH-Downtown. I have previously been deposed as an expert witness in matters regarding proper construction of walls and the various factors associated therein, and my testimony has passed Daubert.
Am I a wall expert? 
I am. I am literally a court-accepted expert on walls.
Structurally and civil engineering-wise, the border wall is not a feasible project. Trump did not hire engineers to design the thing. He solicited bids from contractors, not engineers. This means it’s not been designed by professionals. It’s a disaster of numerous types waiting to happen.
What disasters?
Off the top of my head...
1) It will mess with our ability to drain land in flash flooding. Anything impeding the ability of water to get where it needs to go (doesn’t matter if there are holes in the wall or whatever) is going to dramatically increase the risk of flooding.
2) Messes with all kind of stuff ecologically. For all other projects, we have to do an Environmental Site Assessment, which is arduous. They’re either planning to circumvent all this, or they haven’t accounted for it yet, because that’s part of the design process, and this thing hasn’t been designed.
3) The prototypes they came up with are nearly impossible to build or don’t actually do the job. This article explains more:
And so on.
The estimates provided for the cost are arrived at unreasonably. You can look for yourself at the two-year-old estimate that you see everyone citing.
It does not account for rework, complexities beyond the prototype design, factors to prevent flood and environmental hazard creation, engineering redesign... It’s going to be higher than $50bn. The contractors will hit the government with near CONSTANT change orders. “Cost overrun” will be the name of the game. It will not be completed in Trump’s lifetime.
I’m a structural forensicist, which means I’m called in when things go wrong. This is a project that WILL go wrong. When projects go wrong, the original estimates are just *obliterated*. And when that happens, good luck getting it fixed, because there aren’t that many forensicists out there to right the ship, particularly not that are willing to work on a border wall project— a large quotient of us are immigrants, and besides, we can’t afford to bid on jobs that are this political. We’re small firms, and we’re already busy, and we don’t gamble our reputations on political footballs. So you’d end up with a revolving door of contractors making a giant, uncoordinated muddle of things, and it’d generally be a mess. Good money after bad. The GAO agrees with me.
And it won’t be effective. I could, right now, purchase a 32 foot extension ladder and weld a cheap custom saddle for the top of the proposed wall so that I can get over it. I don’t know who they talked to about the wall design and its efficacy, but it sure as heck wasn’t anybody with any engineering imagination.
Another thing: we are not far from the day where inexpensive drones will be able to pick up and carry someone. This will happen in the next ten years, and it’s folly to think that the coyotes who ferry people over the border won’t purchase or create them. They’re low enough, quiet enough, and small enough to quickly zip people over any wall we could build undetected with our current monitoring setup.
Let’s have border security, by all means, but let’s be smart about it. This is not smart. It’s not effective. It’s NOT cheap. The returns will be diminishing as technology advances, too. This is a ridiculous idea that will never be successfully executed and, as such, would be a monumental waste of money. 
This is set to public. Have a blast sharing it.
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Why the Wall Won’t Work
This article appeared in the May 2017 issue of Reason.

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Trump's Border Wall Would Be a Disaster for Wildlife
Chris Clarke,  July 20, 2016


California's border with Baja California is a complex region with unique environmental issues. Our Borderlands series takes a deeper look at this region unified by shared landscapes and friendship, and divided by international politics.
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Trump's Wall Could Cause Serious Environmental Damage
By Erika Bolstad, E&E News on January 26, 2017


The effects of building a massive concrete wall range from increased emissions to blocked wildlife migration routes
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Trump’s wall: The inside story of how the president crafts immigration policy
By Ashley Parker ,David Nakamura and Philip Rucker | July 19, 2017

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Beto explains the overlooked reason why Trump’s border wall makes no sense
You can't put a wall right next a major river like the Rio Grande.
JOE ROMM - DEC 29, 2018


But that means the border would, as O’Rourke points out:
  • “Block access to the Rio Grande River, the 4th longest river in North America”
  • “Seize land from Americans through eminent domain”
  • “Exile hundreds of thousands of acres of the U.S. to a no mans land between the river and the wall”
  • “Seal off critical wildlife corridors” and
  • “Destroy YOUR public lands.”
The problem is that the vast majority of the U.S.-Mexico border that does not already have a wall runs straight down the middle of 1,254 snaking miles of the Rio Grande River. So, as ThinkProgress reported in April 2017, ever-worsening, climate change-fueled floods greatly complicate any plausible design.
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President Trump Border Security Briefing
JANUARY 10, 2019 - C-SPAN


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Democrats' Response To President Trump's Oval Office Address | TIME



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered a sharp rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s Oval Office address on the border wall Tuesday night.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The American self deception. Not like Kochs mapped out. But, hey ...

             
As if we couldn't see something like this coming way back in 2015/16.  We The People, always so gullible.  Now here we are, Our Russian Obligate Prez Trump, America's nightmare.  Some call it treason.  There are way more important, immediate real world problems needing our focus.  So stupid, so self-destructive.



Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying about Trump Tower project in Russia

CBC News: The National - Nov 29, 2018


In a bombshell federal court hearing in New York, Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer, pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about a Moscow real estate project Trump pursued during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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MSNBC Nov 29, 2018

Rachel Maddow reports on Michael Cohen's surprise new plea deal with Robert Mueller and what it tells us about Donald Trump's relationship with Russia during the 2016 campaign while Russia was attacking the U.S. election to help Trump.
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Still not a big fan, but she does her homework, she lays out her info, it's a compelling narrative.   

MSNBC - Published on Dec 4, 2018

Another FBI Official Overseeing President Trump Russia Investigation Exits | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC
Rachel Maddow reports on the departure of Bill Priestap from the FBI and notes that now all of the senior FBI officials who were involved in the Trump Russia investigation at the very beginning have left, even as the investigation has not concluded.          

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Maria Butina Takes Plea Deal, Cooperating With Investigators: Reports
Rachel Maddow | MSNBC | Published on Dec 10, 2018

Rachel Maddow shares reports that accused Russia agent Maria Butina will change her plea to guilty and has been cooperating with investigators in a deal to be explicated in court on Wednesday.

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22 hours ago - Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina has changed her plea to guilty, ... GOP operative Paul Erickson, lawyered up in light of reports swirling that ...
6 days ago - Paul Erickson, the boyfriend of accused Russian spy Maria Butina and a longtime Republican operative, may face charges. In September ...
Paul Erickson (born 1962) is an American conservative political operative and lawyer who has .... He has supported Maria Butina, now in jail awaiting her trial, who is a former assistant to Aleksandr Torshin and the founder of a Russian gun  ...
Aug 28, 2018 - Maria Butina and Paul Erickson have encountered several challenges that have surely put their relationship to the test. Long distances. Money ...


The attorney for Maria Butina—the Russian woman who's accused of ensnaring conservative political operative Paul Erickson as part of an alleged Kremlin ...
Nov 28, 2018 - Paul Erickson, the boyfriend of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina, has retained lawyers in Virginia, The Daily Beast has learned. Butina was ...

Web results

Editor's note, July 16, 2018: Russian national Maria Butina has been .... September 2014: Paul Erickson—an NRA member and longtime ...
Depending on who's asking, Maria Butina is either a Russian central bank staffer, ... She started a business with Paul Erickson, a decades-long ...
In a new court filing, prosecutors say alleged Russian agent Maria Butina is willing to divulge new information on Paul Erickson's “illegal ...
The NRA Is Awfully Quiet About Maria Butina

Why won’t the NRA comment on the arrest of the gun rights activist and accused Russian agent?
By JAMIL SMITH - July 20, 20018

It typically takes a mass shooting to keep the National Rifle Association this quiet.
As of this writing, the NRA has issued no public comment about this week’s arrest and indictment of Maria Butina, a 29-year-old Russian gun rights activist who had spent years ingratiating herself with the NRA, as well as Republican politicians and conservative notables. Butina is suspected of conspiracy to act as an unauthorized agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without the authorization of the Attorney General.
And yet all we hear from the notoriously outspoken group is crickets.
The NRA contributed $30 million to help elect Donald Trump in 2016. The FBI has been investigating whether some or all of that cash may have been supplied by Russia. Rolling Stone reported in April that the Russian central banker Alexander Torshin, along with Butina, had deeper ties to the NRA than previously known. The NRA even flew a delegation to Moscow in 2015 to meet with Kremlin officials, including one freshly sanctioned by the Obama administration. …
And yet, the NRA hasn’t said one word either in Butina’s defense or to distance itself from her and Torshin, Butina’s alleged handler who has also been hit by U.S. sanctions. On Wednesday, a new court filing alleged that Butina was sexually involved with an American connected to the NRA, which media reports have identified as veteran Republican operative Paul Erickson. More importantly, the court memo alleged that Butina had been in contact with the Russian intelligence agency FSB, which replaced the more infamous KGB. As Rolling Stone reported in April, Torshin received a medal from the FSB in 2016. … Link

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And then there's Alexander Torsion,

Donald Trump Jr. meets with Aleksander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia's central bank, at the N.R.A.'s annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
Nov 30, 2018 - Bank of Russia says Deputy Governor Alexander Torshin retired. Accused ... is leaving his position as deputy governor of Russia's central bank.
Apr 6, 2018 - Alexander Torshin, a Russian politician with NRA ties, has been ... The deputy governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation was for ...
There's a Russia story you haven't heard of yet. It's about Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia's central bank. He's an outspoken gun rights activist ...
Nov 17, 2017 - An email chain described Aleksander Torshin, a former senator and deputy head of Russia's central bank who is close to Russian President ...

May 11, 2018 - Russian official Alexander Torshin, appearing in Moscow in 2016, was ... legislature and later as a top official at the Russian central bank.

Dan Rather explains how Trump can get his Wall.

It speaks for itself and its worth sharing with your pals on the faith-shackled side. For more from Dan: https://www.newsandguts....

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