Lindsey Graham Reacts To Trump’s Working Cyber Security With Russia and It’s Brutal

Lindsey Graham thought President Trump gave a great speech in Poland. Despite the hemming and hawing of some on the left, it was a good speech that reaffirmed the values and strengths of western civilization. It was not a wink and nod to the jokers on the alt-right no matter how much people like Peter Beinart want it to be.

But once again, when it comes to Russia, Trump wilts like a flower before the former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin. Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard wrote how Trump was “de-pantsed” by Putin and then Trump tweeted the following:

Senator Lindsey Graham responded to this on Meet The Press. Watch:

It’s not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s pretty close. He gave a really good speech in Poland, President Trump did, and he had what I think is a disastrous meeting with President Putin. Two hours and fifteen minutes of meetings; Tillerson and Trump are ready to forgive and forget when it comes to cyber-attacks on the American election of 2016. Nobody’s saying, Mr. President, the Russians changed the outcome. You won fair and square. But they did try to attack our election system. They were successful in many ways and the more you do this, the more people are suspicious about you and Russia. He’s got a great national security team around him. He’s doing a good job in Afghanistan, North Korea and ISIL. But when it comes to Russia, he’s got a blind spot. And to forgive and forget when it comes to Putin regarding cyber-attacks is to empower Putin and that’s exactly what he’s doing.

In fairness, some people do believe and are saying Russia helped change the outcome. Granted, those people are mostly on the fringe, but they are making that argument.

That said, Graham is right. Trump is tougher on our allies than he is on Putin and in politics, perception matters a lot. It is something Trump still does not understand, or he does and is ignoring advice from people around him.

It’s only to his detriment that he continues to come off like somebody who’s under Putin’s spell.

 

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The Washington Post Offers Up A Textbook Case of Garbage, Biased Journalism

Imagine you’ve been in a coma for the previous month. You come out of it, and one morning you pick up The Washington Post, and you find a story that discusses, in part, the shooting of a member of Congress.

The title of the story says:

In Alexandria shooter’s hometown, rage-filled radio host channels middle America’s inner frustration

Whoa! That certainly sounds ominous. The story starts like this:

It’s not yet 11 a.m., and Bob Romanik, sitting behind the microphone at his radio station in a rundown strip mall in the middle of America, already has said the “n-word” out loud — and on air — at least a dozen times.

Romanik is a surly 68-year-old former East St. Louis street cop. He hates Black Lives Matter and talks proudly about his Caucasian heritage to anyone who will listen. And do they listen. His controversy-courting radio program — he’s the self-styled “Grim Reaper of Radio” on KQQZ 1190 AM — reaches across this region, in and around Belleville, Ill.

The suburban community about 20 miles east of St. Louis drew attention in recent weeks because it was the hometown of James T. Hodgkinson, the out-of-work politically frustrated home inspector who up and left, drove a van to the Washington area, and then shot four people at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria.

There’s a scene in ‘All The President’s Men’ where Carl Bernstein says to Bob Woodward that his opening of a story needs more “clarity.” The first three paragraphs of the story by Peter Holley are clear enough, aren’t they? It’s obvious, right?

James Hodgkinson listened to Romanik, a right-wing racist on the radio enough that he drove to Washington DC and shot up a congressional baseball practice. The obvious next question for a reader is, “Which Democrats at the baseball practice got shot?”

Is there anything else to ask after reading the first three paragraphs?

One might be shocked back into a coma to learn James Hodgkinson was not an angry conservative, but instead was an angry Bernie Sanders supporting, Occupy Wall Street guy who favored watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, hated Donald Trump and who shot up a Republican congressional baseball practice, shooting Republicans, including Republican Representative Steve Scalise.

If the story were only about Romanik and didn’t mention Hodginkson, it would be a run-of-the-mill profile about some local AM shock-jock and a pretty good one at that. It is interesting to see the kind of influence local talk shows have just like local newspapers and local television news.

But what editor at the Washington Post allowed Holley to link Hodgkinson to a right-wing radio talk show host without even confirming he ever listened to the show? Perhaps after seeing this:

The nation was shocked, but Romanik — who seems to delight in launching savage attacks on local politicians and stoking his listeners’ many frustrations about race, crime and government — certainly wasn’t. Despite being a die-hard supporter of President Trump who has perfected the art of the dire populist message, many of Romanik’s biggest fans in southern Illinois are disgruntled Democrats like Hodgkinson.

“I can’t say for sure if this Hodgkinson guy listened to me, but he probably did,” Romanik said in a recent interview. “If people would be honest about what drove Hodgkinson to the point of violence, you’d probably see a lot of people right on the same page with him all over the country. But around here, for sure.”

Disgruntled Democrats apparently listen to right-wing radio talk show hosts and then shoot at Republicans. Got that?

The Washington Post story is a textbook example of garbage journalism. Peter Holley should be ashamed of himself for writing it and whoever his editor is, should be ashamed for allowing it to get published. Strip all the information about Hodgkinson, and it’s an interesting story.

As it stands, it’s a story that attempts to link James Hodgkinson to Bob Romanik as the source of Hodgkinson’s influence for shooting Steve Scalise and three other people in Alexandria, Virginia on June 14, 2017.

 

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Garbage Site Gateway Pundit’s WH Correspondent Thinks 9/11 Is Funny

Plenty of people have their knickers in a twist over my post from earlier today where I took off on the new frauds of the GOP. Jim Hoft is one of the people who broke off from the tag of “alt-right” so they too could benefit from the election of Donald Trump.

It worked. These people get White House press passes despite engaging in the kind of journalism that makes the editors at Weekly World News, blush. When they’re not writing garbage takes and stories that have no basis in fact, their White House correspondent is tweeting out stuff like this:

You can hear it now:

“That is just so funny because it totally takes down libtard CNN!!”

That’s what these idiots are all about, not conservatism. They’re not serious people. And they don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

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BREAKING: Man Arrested Outside Jeff Flake’s Office For Allegedly Making A Threat

Let’s see how quickly the cable news stations are on this story. Funny how the Steve Scalise shooting disappeared from the news after only a few days. There was some talk of “both sides need to cool it” with political rhetoric, but if the following is true, it seems one side has a problem.

From The Washington Examiner:

A man was arrested for telling staffers to Sen. Jeff Flake that liberals will solve their Republican problem by getting “better aim,” and made a reference to the shooting at a practice for the congressional baseball game last month.

Jason Samuels, Flake’s communications director, told Tuscon News Now a protester was arrested on Thursday morning after making threatening statements to staffers.

“You know how liberals are going to solve the Republican problem? They are going to get better aim,” he said. “That last guy tried, but he needed better aim. We will get better aim.”

The protester was likely referencing last month’s shooting in Alexandria, Virginia.

It all comes back to what Democrats are saying. Look at the Senate health care bill and how Senator Elizabeth Warren called it “blood money” and saying Republicans are seeking to pay for tax breaks with “American lives.”

People will argue, “You can’t blame Warren!” 

That is true. It would not be her fault but I draw a direct line between what she says and people like James Hodgkinson feeling fine with the actions they take.

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CNN and NBC Continue To Screw Up on Russia, Giving Trump ‘Fake News’ Fuel

I hate the term ‘fake news.’ I’ve heard it enough and read it enough to last a lifetime. There are Facebook trolls who respond to anything published on Facebook, critical of President Trump as “fake news.” It’s worse than hearing “the liberal media.”

Unfortunately, there is a press corps that allows Trump and his surrogates to make it easy to shout “fake news” because the media continues to get basic facts wrong.

Today, Jim Acosta of CNN and Katy Tur of NBC both repeated a claim that has been shown to be incorrect. First, Acosta beclowned himself on television. He repeated the claim that “All 17 intelligence agencies” concluded Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

Acosta said, “Trump said it was only 3 or 4. Where did he get this number?’

Probably from the DNI report, Jim. The one that states the CIA, FBI, and NSA all reached the same conclusion on Russian meddling.

Katy Tur of NBC weighed in, repeating the same falsehood as Acosta:

She deleted the tweet because it was wrong but not before it received more than 400 retweets.

James Clapper, in testimony before Congress, said it was three agencies and not seventeen. People keep referring to this statement from DHS and DNI as “proof” that the “17 agencies” claim is correct but look at the agencies listed. Why on earth would the Drug Enforcement Agency or Coast Guard be asked to assess Russian meddling in the election? It’s absurd.

I am somebody that wants to give the press the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their reporting. This constant cry of “fake news” whenever it involves criticism of President Trump makes my brain ache. However, Tur and Acosta are not helping by getting basic facts wrong.

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The State of Journalism, Anonymity and Political Culture

Politics is a culture all of its own. Some people vote some write letters to the editor, and some people breathe politics every day, whether they do it for a living or simply out of a passion for the political process. There are times when politicos are consumed with their own little word that sometimes they forget that end of every political diatribe they have, a real, live person on the receiving end.

Just when everybody thought the WWE/Trump meme hysteria died down, it roared back to life with vigor when CNN, led by reporter Andrew Kaczynski managed to find the person who made the original meme in the form of a GIF. It depicted a scene from a WWE wrestling match with Donald Trump pummeling a person with a CNN logo for a face (it was WWE Chairman Vince McMahon). The video President Trump used in his tweet was created separately, but CNN managed to find the original Reddit user.

Unsurprisingly, the man turned out to be a bigot, with people discovering a bunch of racist screeds on Reddit. Caught, he apologized and deleted his Reddit account. It raised the hackles of some people, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. What got the outrage train moving was CNN’s addition of a line that stated while they knew the identity of the Reddit user, they would allow him to remain anonymous but could change their mind. It set off a round of accusations about blackmail and doxing. It also raised questions about

It also raised questions about whether or not CNN’s report was real journalism or an act of revenge as well as a debate over Internet anonymity, as well as an insight into the ugliness that comes out of people in situations such as this one.

Was it journalism? 

The changes to journalism go back over 20 years. In the 1990’s, television, radio along newspapers and magazines dominated politics. Online political activism centered around AOL chat rooms. Two types of journalism existed for the most part in politics – reporting, and opinion. It’s still relatively the same except now unconventional outlets attract millions of people to read, and resources people have available to them make it so that getting information is relatively easy.

Was CNN’s story important news, on part with what is going on North Korea? No. But it is still news. I am certain when people saw the President’s tweet for the first time, many of them asked, “Who did that for him?” and “Who made that?” Both legitimate questions for people in general, but also for journalists. I think it was a story worth reporting, but CNN should have dug deeper and tried to gain a sense of who it is in the White House outside of Dan Scavino that’s working on the president’s social media accounts and determine where they get the information the president tweets to tens of millions of people.

Should people be anonymous online or note?

The incident allowed for people to say, “Hey, if you’re going to be posting stuff on the Internet, you should do it with your real name!” I think the attitude misses the point of why anonymity online is a good thing. The Supreme Court ruled on more than one occasion that anonymous speech is protected free speech. Do I care of some bigot who uses anonymity to spread racist bile on the Internet is unmasked? Not at all.  That is an extreme form of anonymity by somebody who wants to say nasty things without consequence. There are, however, many people who choose to remain anonymous for a variety of reasons, none of which is associated with malice.

To that end, I support people who feel they must mask their identity while online. People do it for a variety of reasons, many of which rise far above the desire to say bigoted things and get away with it. A job situation or legal reasons can necessitate somebody is anonymous. People are using one particular incident to make a blanket case against Internet anonymity.

If we think back over history, something that comes immediately to mind? The Federalist Papers. Written anonymously in 1788, the 85 articles and essays urged ratification of the US Constitution. While some people suspected the authors were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, it wasn’t until 1944 when historian Douglass Adair assigned all 85 to the three men. It is a textbook case for why anonymity remains a viable option for some, and the public should respect it.

What has become of our political culture?

Reporting never used to make people so angry they set out to “do something about it.” However, that scenario is playing itself out following the CNN story publication. It starts with a lie. Donald Trump Jr. and alt-right mental midget Jack Posobiec claimed the person who created the Reddit meme is 15-years-old. It wasn’t true.

It didn’t stop another famous Internet turd, Mike Cernovich, from calling on losers to descend on Andrew Kaczynski’s home and protest his actions. I had people tweeting at me all day sentiments of “Good for him! He deserves it!”  and other colorful statements. “This is the libs getting a taste of their own medicine!”

It’s revenge politics, not ideas politics. It is the politics of anger. Ironically, in November 1994, Time magazine had a cover of Newt Gingrich, looking mad in the harsh direct sunlight. The magazine said, “Mad as Hell – The GOP’s Newt Gingrich Has Perfected The Politics of Anger.”

It’s ironic because compared to what we are witness to almost every day, that was a time when people got angry over policy but they debated the merits, not the so-called “harm” it would inflict upon political opposites. We’ve gone from rhetoric that peaked at, “If the budget plan passes, there will be schools around the country where kids will not have access to a reduced price school lunch.” Now, the public hears Senator Elizabeth Warren call a healthcare bill “blood money” and that the bill will pay for tax cuts for wealthy Americans with “people’s lives.”

The anger consuming people is going to boil over at some point, and that goes for the left and the right. Nobody is innocent. Nobody is worse than any other. It’s going to come to a head, and people are going to get hurt.

People used to talk about the “politics of personal destruction.” It’s no longer about being personal towards somebody else. The culture shifted, and now, too many involved in politics take everything personally. People are allowing politics to define themselves as a person and using it to pass judgment on those whose politics they do not agree. We’ve only seen flashes of this over the last 10 years, but now we’re at a near boiling point and there may be no stopping it.

 

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Did CNN Target The Wrong Meme Creator Over Trump’s WWE/CNN Tweet?

Dominating the news for much of the day, the story about CNN tracking down the person who created the video clip of President Trump “pummeling” a CNN logo created several conversations about media ethics and what constitutes “real” journalism.

CNN tracked down a Reddit user named /u/HanAssholeSolo as the person who created the GIF President Trump tweeted on July 2nd. CNN never revealed his identity but left open the possibility of doing so. The user issued an apology and deleted his Reddit account. Some people, mainly Trump supporters took CNN’s comments about possibly revealing his identity as a threat and started the hashtag, #CNNBlackmail.

It prompted discussions about journalistic ethics, whether CNN was right to allocate resources to it at all and if the guy deserves any anonymity for his postings, many of which are racist.

Now it turns out, while the HanAssholeSolo guy created the original GIF, it may not have been the one the president tweeted. Buzzfeed has a rundown of all the differences between what Trump tweeted and what HSA uploaded to Reddit. What they conclude is this:

Someone downloaded the GIF that HanAssholeSolo originally posted to Reddit. Then that person cropped it to better fit a video player like Facebook or YouTube. Then they went through the effort of syncing it back up with audio from the original clip. Then that person put it somewhere where Trump or one of Trump’s people could see it and download it. Then whoever found the video version had to get it to Trump’s phone.

They also say this:

There are only a few ways a video can get into an iPhone’s camera roll.

Basically, someone sent it to the president via a private messaging app like WhatsApp, iMessage, or just simple texting. Or it was emailed to him and he downloaded the video as an attachment.

It would be almost impossible on an iPhone for Trump to have seen the video and downloaded it himself.

They’re right. Somebody sent the video clip to Trump who then tweeted it out (or somebody did it for him). The question is, where did the clip with the synced up sound originate? There is almost zero likelihood the video originated from Reddit.

The other issue CNN isn’t asking is how much of a role does Dan Scavino have in all of this? He’s the one making $180,000 a year to be President Trump’s social media maven. Was their coordination with the person created the video use on Twitter? These are questions CNN should be asking the White House.

 

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Rahm Emanuel Should Deal With Chicago’s Shootings Instead of Bragging About Their Transit System

The New York Times published an op-ed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel where he takes aim the New York City subway system, bragging the Chicago system has a better on-time performance and more satisfied riders.

I haven’t lived in the New York City area in twenty years, but I was born there, and I worked there, and like most native New Yorkers, I get prickly when politicians from second-rate cities chime in with their opinions. Chicago is a fine city, but it pales in comparison The Big Apple. New York has better restaurants, entertainment, music, aesthetic, sports teams, and more.

New York City also has a problem with their subway system. It is one of the largest in the world, and it does have problems. People I who use it daily said they cannot remember when it was so poor. Delays, maintenance and the lack of new train cars make for an experience leaving daily riders frustrated, to the say the least. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Bill de Blasio share a lot of the blame for the current mess. The problems today existed four years ago, and they’ve done nothing. Now it’s worse, and they deserve criticism.

But Rahm Emanuel needs to shut up right now and deal with issues in Chicago unrelated to their mass transit. New York City’s subway system serves eight times as many riders than Chicago. It has nearly four times as many track miles. The entire system operates 24 hours a day. It’s not even close. New Yorkers may wait longer for a train to arrive but Chicago residents are more likely to be shot and killed. That’s not a brag. That is just a fact.

In 2016, Chicago had 746 homicides, nearly 60 percent higher than in 2015. By contrast, New York City had 335 murders. That’s fifty percent fewer murders with a population three times as high. If you equated the population, Chicago’s murder rate would be reminiscent of New York City in the early 1990’s when they dealt with 2,000 homicides a year. People defending Chicago argue their city’s per capita murder rate is in the middle of the pack on a list of cities per-capita murder rate. But is that truly a bragging point? New York’s per-capita murder rate is so low it doesn’t appear on lists with Chicago. It’s one of the rare instances of Chicago being “better” than New York City.

Also, defenders of Chicago love to blame Indiana and other states for their homicide issue saying it wouldn’t be a problem of it wasn’t so easy to get a gun in another state. It’s a lame attempt at buck-passing. New York City has stringent gun laws with states nearby where it is easier to purchase firearms, and it doesn’t have the same issues.

Things are so bad in Chicago; it’s been labeled with the nickname, ‘Chiraq.’ For all the problems New Yorkers have with the subway system, it’s doubtful they’d want to change places wit their Chicago counterparts. Why would they?

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If The Trump Video Is Dangerous, So Too Is ‘You Want People To Die’ Rhetoric From Democrats

Talk is cheap in politics. In the last 24 hours, people have debated the intent of a tweet from President Trump. The video, a clip of Trump engaging in a fake brawl with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon caused a stir when somebody superimposed the CNN logo over McMahon’s head. There was a debate over whether or not the tweet incited violence towards journalists, considering Trump’s obsession with calling nearly every news outlet outside of Fox News, “fake news.”

I argued the video does not incite violence, but instead, Trump’s obsession with petty grievances keeps him from focusing on more important issues.

However, nobody questions whether or not the Democrats language reaches that level. When Democrats say Republicans “want people to die” if they support the current health care bill under debate in the Senate. Senator Elizabeth Warren called the bill “blood money” and said, “They are paying for tax cuts with American lives.”

That is an astounding statement and one that received little media attention. Unpack her statement and apply it to a fellow Senator directly. “Senator McConnell wants that person there to die so his friend over there can pay less in taxes.” 

While not agreeing to a direct correlation, people said watching Trump’s video could lead somebody to believe it’s fair to beat up a journalist. Isn’t it then fair to say someone could attack a Republican thinking they’re saving the life of another person?

If not, why not? 

James Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist, and Bernie Sanders supporter opened fired on a Republican baseball practice. It’s not fair to blame Sanders directly. But isn’t fair to surmise Hodgkinson felt justified doing what he did considering the Republican Party “wants people to die?” Isn’t it possible for him to think he was saving somebody? Similar to the man who opened fire in the pizza parlor thinking there as a child-sex ring at the location?

Watch the following video. It perfectly encapsulates how absurd the Democrats “you want people to die” rhetoric is and why people should reject it.

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Trump’s CNN/WWE Tweet Is Cause For Concern But Not Why You Think

Not content to limit his state of his juvenescence on Twitter to bickering with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzenzski, Donald Trump tweeted a video showing “beating” on a logo of CNN.

You read that correctly. The video superimposed the logo of CNN over the head of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon in a scene cut from Wrestlemania (insert whatever Roman numeral it is) when Trump launched a sneak “attack” on McMahon and pummeled him while he was down.

The tweet is everything many of us expect from the President. The tweet is trollish, juvenile, unbecoming a man of his office and just flat-out dumb. It wasn’t even funny.

It was not, however, an invitation for violence. Plenty of people seem to think so including CNN:

Trump doesn’t think on the level of encouraging violence through something such as that tweet. Trump thinks of everything in how it affects his little personal universe. Having lived in NY/NJ for nearly 30 years, anybody can tell you, Donald Trump loved seeing his name on Page Six of the New York Post more than anything else. We’re talking about a man who made up people (John Miller or John Barron) to act as a publicist for himself with New York-based reporters, particularly those from the Post and Daily News.

To him, the WWE/CNN tweet was more a reminder of how somebody remembered him being center stage at Wrestlemania one year than it was something he thinks encourages violence against reporters. Remember, professional wrestling is fake, and it’s a CNN logo, not a person. I find it ironic that many in the media who went out of their way to say congressional baseball shooter James Hodgkinson didn’t act on behalf of rhetoric espoused by Democrats and Bernie Sanders, in particular, are claiming the President’s tweet is “dangerous” in that it incites violence.

There is a concern about his tweeting but goes to his role as president.  It’s Independence Day weekend, and the President is still so consumed with his bickering mentality with the media that he can’t stop for a day. He has time to devote to his obsession with negative news coverage but not to educate himself on the day-to-day duties of the office he holds.

What’s worse is the large group of Republican and conservative legislators and activists who defend him and his antics simply because of their hatred for the mainstream media. It doesn’t seem to concern them that President Trump’s first order of business each morning is to watch morning news shows and then hate-tweet any criticism.

They excuse it with responses such as, “He’s just fighting back! Why isn’t he allowed to do that to people like Joe and Mika who say negative things about him every day?” Such questions ignore the reality of people in the press being negative towards the president no matter the party. It comes with the territory. If he cannot handle criticism from a show watched by 0.3 percent of the population (Morning Joe) then how are we supposed to have confidence in his ability to run the country?

It’s fair to say his obsession with CNN and MSNBC is impairing his ability to reason when I read he’s ignoring the advice of people in his cabinet and is preparing to engage in a trade war that will hurt our nation’s economy.

Trump’s tweet about CNN is not an incitement to violence, but it is also troubling. His inability to understand the importance of his office for the sake of petty fights is detrimental to the country. He’s not going to change and that doesn’t bode well for the republic.

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