Trump Continues Contemptuous Behavior

The Contemptuous Donald Is Finally In Contempt…

Trump faces numerous law suits around the country

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

Holding The Contemptuous One in Contempt

After years of apparent criminal and questionable civil business activities, Donald Trump is finally being forced to face the music.  He is being held in contempt of court by New York State Justice Arthur Engoron.  I heartily applaud this decision and am planning a “Contempt for Trump” party, complete with champagne, a DJ for dancing, and swag bags, including a mini-Donald Trump collector’s edition dartboard, macaroons, and a bottle of Evian water, for my guests.  It’s about time the orange haired scowling monster is called on the carpet legally.  Per the citation, this civil contempt charge will cost Trump ten thousand dollars per day until such time as he turns over the subpoenaed documents.

So, What Does That Mean, Really?

So, what exactly is “contempt of court”?  We sometimes hear this phrase referenced as just “contempt”.  According to Wikipedia, being in contempt of court means, “the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers.”  This can include willful disobedience of a court order, ignoring the court’s decorum or authorization, or failure to preserve a reverent frame of mind.  Investopedia defines, “Contempt of court is a legal violation committed by an individual who disobeys a judge or otherwise disrupts the legal process in the courtroom.”  This describes Donald Trump accurately.

Ignore The Court at Your Peril

Wikipedia also states, “Contempt of court is essentially seen as a form of disturbance that may impede the functioning of the court.  The judge may impose fines and/or jail time upon any person committing contempt of court.  The person is usually let out upon his or her agreement to fulfill the wishes of the court.”  In other words, Mr. Trump, you have never been, nor will you ever be above the law.

Trying To Stave Off the Inevitable Again…

“The Donald” was ordered back in February of this year to turn over documents for scrutiny no later than March 31, 2022.  It is unclear whether the daily fine is retroactive to the end of March deadline or not, but we can hope that it is.  Sources report that Trump’s legal team had agreed to provide the documents but then filed exceptions saying the summons, despite having been approved by the judge, “is grossly overbroad, unintelligible, unduly burdensome, and does not adequately describe which documents and communications are requested or sought with reasonable particularity.”  Letitia James, the New York State Attorney General, sought the fines to force the former president to comply with the NY State subpoena.

More Of the Same Game

Trump and his company, The Trump Organization  is accused, quite bluntly, by the state of NY of tax fraud.  The attorney general’s accusations in the filing are regarding misreporting property values to receive loans with better terms and improved tax positions.  New York’s top lawyer had also said of late her investigators had, “uncovered substantial evidence establishing numerous misrepresentations in Mr. Trump’s financial statements provided to banks, insurers, and the Internal Revenue Service.”

What, Me Cooperate?

Needless to say, “The Donald”, who apparently feels he is above the law, is still not cooperating.  Ms. James considers Justice Engoron’s actions to be “a major victory” and that the rule of law has prevailed.  These documents are needed for an attorney general investigation into Trump’s business holdings.  Her office has been assisting the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with a synchronous criminal investigation into Donald’s companies, as well.  The court, declaring him in contempt is monumental.  Mr. Trump apparently committed crimes, and this decision should hopefully knock his attitude down a few pegs, but I doubt it will.

More Ways to Try to Hold Off the Inescapable

Criminal charges against his “Organization” are being pursued, and it’s CFO Allen Weisselberg who denies wrongdoing and has entered a not guilty plea despite charges of falsification of business records and tax fraud.  The subpoena in the civil probe by New York’s lead litigator is similar, perhaps say, to the turning over of one’s tax returns when running for president.  Forty-five sued Attorney General James, filing in federal court, at the end of 2021, claiming her exploration to have political motivation.  The suit is still unresolved.  Gee, could this be a stall tactic on the part of “The Donald”?  He would never do such a thing, not.  Trump attorney Alina Habba claims he is unable to turn over the documentation, claiming that he does not actually have said documents.  She goes on to say the office of the attorney general was told this.

I Don’t Know Where It Is

Ms. James made it clear that Trump and the company were to provide statements regarding what they did to attempt finding these documents.  She went on to say Donald should have knowledge of the whereabouts of such documentation, since he, “personally executed documents central to the issues under investigation.”  If this is complied with, the civil contempt charge can potentially be averted. Well, how difficult is it to look in the paper shredder or the fireplace, Mr. Trump?  It could save you ten grand a day.  If you go too many days being fined this significant sum of money, how will Melania get her plastic surgery, or will you be able to afford golf balls, because those are the only kind you possess.  Ten big ones is a lot of McDonald’s, Donald.

Which Witch is Which?

Of course, forty-five’s lawyer is calling this, “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”; let her tell that line to Joan of Arc.  The Trump Organization alleges turning over more than 750,000 documents in this investigation, however the New York attorney general claims that the release of papers has been rather lethargic.  She wants a look at “post it notes” and the files that “The Donald” utilized as communication to his employee base.  This information is necessary to examine and evaluate whether civil suit will be brought against the former ‘Oval Office’ occupant and his firm.

Still Subject to The Rule of Law

Trump’s attorneys have filed an appeal and we don’t know whether the court of appeals will suspend the fine during the appellate process.  But reportedly the judge has just recently rejected “The Donald’s” affidavit, which claims Trump does not have the documents that are being demanded by the Attorney General of New York.  In closing, I for one am overjoyed to see any legal action against forty-five because absolutely no one is above the law, whether it be criminal or civil.  Statutes govern all citizens, even former White House residents.

OPINION: Put the Mask Back On Rudy

OPINION: Put the Mask Back On Rudy, We Don’t Want to See Your Face

Rudy Giuliani mask up and stay masked up, we don't want to see your stinkin' face.

OPINION:

Put the Mask Back On Rudy;  We Don’t Want to See Your Face

 

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

“I’m Done”

When Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, was unmasked on “The Masked Singer”, judge Ken Jeong walked off the stage, saying, “I’m done”, and who can blame him?  Personally, I was surprised that even a FOX show would have a man with Rudy’s lack of morality on any episode.  Shock value for sure but not a wise decision; viewership is sure to tank, one can hope. Host Nick Cannon stated, “It surprises us all that you’re here”.  Exactly Nick, it’s mind boggling that he appears on any television show, other than perhaps, “America’s Most Wanted”.

Trial By Jury, Not By “Combat”

Of course, what we want to see is Mr. Giuliani and his former client “The Donald” on trial for crimes against our nation and humanity.  His “trial by combat”, “Game of Thrones” comment regarding the January 6th, 2021, insurrection, and his client’s part in it makes my blood run cold.  This man belongs behind bars, not behind a mask on any television show.  His barbaric comment, “I was referring to the kind of trial that took place for Tyrion in that very famous documentary about fictitious medieval England.  When Tyrion, who is a very small man, is accused of murder.  He didn’t commit murder, he can’t defend himself, and he hires a champion to defend him”, borders on the insane.  The only time we care to hear him sing would be in a court of law against the Trumpster and his fellow cronies.

Work Cut Out for Him

The Federal Prosecutor’s office for the Southern District of New York (i.e., Manhattan) has been pursuing cases regarding Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump for some time.  As of October, of last year, it is headed by President Biden nominee Damian Williams, the first African American to hold the position.  We wish him Godspeed.

“…In Deep Trouble”

During an interview a year ago this month with Vanity Fair, Preet Bharara, the Southern District prosecutor from 2009 to 2017, was quoted as saying, “Rudy Giuliani is in deep trouble”, as he should be.   Later in the same interview, Bharara also quipped in response to the allegations of the Justice Department under Trump and ally Bill Barr blocking search warrants related at the time, “It’s possible the delay by Justice cost Rudy Giuliani a Trump pardon.”  A pardon by Trump was given to his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, sentenced to seven years for his wrongdoings, as one of Trump’s last actions in office during December of 2020.

Bad Company Continues to Corrupt Morals

Giuliani’s apartment was searched to ascertain if he broke political lobbying laws when he served as Donald Trump’s lawyer.  Once the top Federal Prosecutor on the island of Manhattan himself, his law license was suspended for “false and misleading statements” in regard to Trump’s loss of the 2020 election in two boroughs of the city (both Manhattan and the Bronx) he once was mayor of.  He is also suspended from practicing law in Washington, DC. Rudy could face disbarment.  What a fall from grace his involvement with Forty-Five has caused him.  As the Bible says and is often echoed, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV).

September 11th To January 6th?

Makes one ponder whether Rudy’s heart was ever in the right place. Clearly, the Giuliani of 9/11 is not the man that is partner in crime to the orange haired monster.  During those attacks on our nation, Giuliani was counted upon to make a phoenix rise from the ashes. He was the loving father our nation needed,  intelligent and strong.  He made a horrific situation almost bearable, doing his best against the worst nightmare our nation had faced.  He showed courage and fortitude. What has happened to the man we came to admire twenty-one years ago?   Many books have been written about the Manhattan College and NYU School of Law alumnus.

The Taller They Are…

I, for one, am saddened by his fall. It resembles a bad dream but, unfortunately, the nightmare is so very real.  It is disconcerting enough when one of Trump’s cronies is a criminal, but it is certainly all the more distressing when the person was once considered an American hero.  This reminds one of the O.J. Simpson trial.  Will Rudy’s trial be similar, “If it does not fit, you must acquit”?  How is the man we now distrust and detest, the same one we admired during one of the saddest and darkest times in recent history? It seems incomprehensible.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Rudy Giuliani handled the brutal attack on the World Trade Center with aplomb and strength, but now during our most recent hour of distress and vexation Mr. Giuliani has not only failed our nation, he supported the unthinkable acts of violence.  This brings up the same question regarding people we know personally who took a ride on “The Donald” train and lost their way (if they ever really knew it).  Is there any turning back for those afflicted with the Trump cancer?  In the case of Rudy Giuliani, it appears to be terminal.  He claims that he should not be held accountable for the Capitol riot, saying his “trial by combat“ comment was hyperbolic. Well, someone believed his words, Rudy, an insurrection certainly occurred.

Casualties Beyond That of Respect for Constitutional Practice

Four lives were lost immediately during the violence – two to “natural causes” of cardiovascular disease, one to meth overdose, and the defensive shooting of Ashli Babbitt.  Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes, the second fatal, shortly thereafter as a result of the significant injuries he sustained that day. A fifteen year police veteran Howard Liebengood committed suicide three days after the travesty, followed by fellow Officer Jeffrey Smith a few days later.  One hundred and forty police officers were injured during the attack on our nation’s capital.

Since The Glove Does Fit, We Must Convict

Rudy Giuliani needs to stand trial for his role in the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election.  No one is above the law; not a former president, an associate Attorney General, or even Time Magazines “Person of the Year” for 2001. Twenty years after being named man of the year Rudy has turned to supporting violent overthrow of the government.  Rudy is no longer “America’s Mayor”, he is now part of America’s ongoing nightmare.  It is with a heavy heart that I have watched Donald Trump lead so people astray. I trust in God, not Mr. Trump or any of his cohorts.  In closing, I demand they investigate and if proven guilty, “Throw the book at this masked singer.”

Ketanji Brown Jackson; A Winning Decision

Ketanji Brown Jackson – A Winning Decision 

The confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson is a historic day for black Americans and the U.S. Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson: A Winning Decision 

By Anna Hessel

 

Promise To Keep

During his presidential campaign Joe Biden promised to nominate the first African-American woman to the Supreme Court.  True to his word, when Justice Stephen Gerald Breyer announced his retirement, President Biden nominated the very accomplished Ketanji Brown Jackson.  On February 25, 2022, President Biden tweeted, “I’m proud to announce that I am nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court.  Currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, she is one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional justice.”  Ketanji had previously made former President Barack Obama’s short list for the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016, according to NPR.

Higher Power Couple

She was born on September 14th, 1970, in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Ellery and Johnny Brown.  Ms. Brown Jackson is a graduate of Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School, earning her law degree in 1996.  The same year, having dated for six years in college, she married Dr. Patrick Graves Jackson.  Dr. Jackson is a gastrointestinal general surgeon employed at MedStar Health at the Pasquerilla Healthcare Center, Georgetown University Hospital, and Georgetown professor, per the Miami Herald.

Side By Side

Dr. Jackson is a supportive spouse and ally. It was a pleasure watching as he proudly sat behind his wife during the Senate confirmation hearings, alongside his twin brother William.  Dr. Jackson called her a, “brilliant and compassionate partner who still takes my breath away.”  The admiration is quite mutual.  On March 21st, 2022, Judge Jackson was quoted as saying, “Speaking of unconditional love, I’d like to introduce you to my husband of 25 years, Dr. Patrick Jackson.  I have no doubt that without him by my side from the very beginning of this incredible professional journey, none of this would have been possible…We met in college more than three decades ago.  Since then, he’s been the best husband, father and friend that I could ever imagine.  Patrick, I love you.”  Dr. Jackson had wiped a tear from beneath his eye as his beautiful wife, attired in a royal blue ensemble, testified at her hearing.

Lead Me Along The Path…

The couple have two daughters, Leila, age 17, and Talia, age 21.  Judge Jackson, when describing their shared parenting techniques, points out they have taught their daughters to respect all people, while putting work before play.  Ketanji’s strong faith in God is inspiring and empowering.  When she turned 18, during her freshman year at Harvard, Ms. Jackson recalls sitting on the university steps in tears, seeking consolation for her homesickness in the Lord.  “Even in my loneliness, I thanked God for the opportunity He had given me, for the firm foundation He had provided, and also for how far I had come.  The Bible is filled with people who through faith, were able to see beyond the present, to a world of hope and glory.  God knows what lies ahead of each of us.  The best you can do, as you look forward, is to take the long view…I do know that one can only come this far by faith.”

Friends In High Places

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and human rights activist, praised the nomination. Ms. Markle is quoted as saying, “The civil rights history of tomorrow is being written today…Her nomination has opened new ground…For the millions of young women who will rightfully find inspiration from this moment, let’s remind ourselves that Black achievement is something that exists just not today or yesterday, and not just in moments of celebration, but as a fabric woven into the entire chronicle of the American story.”

More Glass On The Ground

I personally get misty when I recall Vice President Kamala Harris, “so help me God”, as she was sworn in as the first woman, first black female, and first biracial woman to hold the office of Vice President of the United States.  VP Harris also teared up as the glass ceiling was once again shattered when Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed.  Kamala had presided over the history-making Senate vote, one very historic female overseeing the ascent of another very historic woman.

Made It With Room To Spare

Unfortunately, there were no black women in the Senate to vote for Judge Jackson, however, the chamber of one hundred, does have three black men. Of those three black Senators, only Tim Scott of South Carolina voted against her confirmation.  The reasons for that vote will be long questioned. Against these odds, the predominantly male and Caucasian assembly still confirmed this stellar nominee.  Early on it was feared by both the White House and Democrats; that Harris acting as President of the Senate, might have to break a tie.  VP Harris’ vote, however, was not necessary, because of the three Republican votes by Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

Judge To Justice

Ketanji Brown Jackson, cum laude graduate of Harvard Law, former supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review, and magna cum laude government graduate of Harvard’s Radcliffe College, will become the 116th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the first black woman to hold this position.  She watched her confirmation vote with President Biden, and they took a celebratory selfie, which the President tweeted, stating, “We’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America.”  He went on to call this vote a “historic moment” for the United States.  Justice-designate Jackson, with a 53-47 confirmation vote, will be sworn in this coming summer to the highest court of our nation.  I believe she will serve us extremely well.

It’s History!

Prior to the historic vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was quoted as saying, “This is one of the great moments of American history…Today we are taking a giant, bold and important step on the well-trodden path to fulfilling our country’s founding promise.  This is a great moment for Judge Jackson, but it is an even greater moment for America as we rise to a more perfect union.”

Elle Woods Knows

Elle Woods fans around the world praise the accomplishments of this woman of integrity, intelligence, and grace.  “What, like it’s hard?”  Congratulations and God bless, 116th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the Very Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson.

45 Reasons To Invoke 14th Amendment On “45”

OPINION:

45 Reasons To Invoke The 14th Amendment On “45”

OPINION:

45 Reasons To Invoke The 14th Amendment on “45”

 

By Anna Hessel

 History In The Breaking

There is much talk about invoking the 14th Amendment on “The Donald” to prevent him from ever holding public office again.  Senator Amy Klobocher has been instrumental in this fight, as well as Liz Cheney.  Just as a reminder, we must never forget Trump’s disastrous time in office.  Here are forty-five reasons why we must stand firm on stopping the “orange monster” from seeking office again:

The Beginning Of The End…

  1. Trump is responsible for the insurrection on January 6th, 2021 – this is the action that will allow the 14th Amendment to be invoked. He watched the violence unfold on television, doing nothing to stop it, despite being told to end the riot by more than one person close to him.
  2. He caged children at the Mexican border, ripping them from the arms of their parents.
  3. Trump only did one positive thing during his time in office, passing legislation making animal cruelty a felony but he also laughed about pet ownership during a speech and encouraged trophy hunting.
  4. None of us ladies want to be grabbed by the “pussy”.
  5. Trump openly made fun of a disabled journalist, giving license to mock the disabled.

Truth Is Relative

  1. He claims the election was stolen, when in fact Joe Biden received a record number of votes. He claimed victory well before millions of votes were tallied.
  2. He held a Bible he does not read in front of a church he does not attend for a photo op.
  3. Trump is a racist against any non-Caucasian race and encourages white supremacy and “white nationalism”.
  4. He wants to gut Social Security and Medicare; programs that many seniors and disabled Americans rely upon.
  5. Do we really want to see his orange hair, hear his annoying voice, or look at his unpleasant mug day after day, ever again?

Great Waste

  1. His campaign for the White House consisted of a waste of police force hours and foolish grandstanding. He was scheduled to have a rally in Chicago – extra officers were out in place and “The Donald” was a no-show.  He insults Chicago with comments about the number of murders in the Windy City.  His rallies have played the American people for fools.
  2. Trump lies and insults someone nearly every time he opens his mouth – our nation cannot tolerate another four years of this.
  3. He wanted to spend taxpayers money on a dictator’s military parade.
  4. He brought us a “men’s magazine” model as a “first lady”.
  5. His first lady literally stole a speech from a movie character; Elle Woods, in Legally Blonde.

More Highlights

  1. He is a sexist that encourages violence against women. He has taken women’s rights back decades and another four years of the Trumpster would undo all the progress President Biden has made for women’s rights.
  2. He wanted to fist fight President Biden, choosing violence as a way to bully the man who beat him in the election
  3. He refuses to tax wealthy billionaires, wanting middle-class and lower income individuals to foot the bill.
  4. Donald Trump dismantled the pandemic response team that was put in place by the Obama Biden administration. Instead of trusting science, he downplayed the severity of COVID-19, and then encouraged people to drink toxic bleach.  He refused a mask mandate to save lives.
  5. He removed the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Which Way Is Up?

  1. He considers global warming to be a joke, again refusing to listen to science, preferring to rely on fossil fuel companies, dictators and Russian oligarchs for his information.
  2. Trump has encouraged antisemitism in our nation. Millions of Jewish people have been victims of his racism.
  3. He thinks all Muslims are terrorists and spreads this lie.
  4. Donald Trump is ignorant regarding American history. In a 4th of July speech he said Revolutionary soldiers “took over the airports”, then jumped to a War of 1812 reference of “rockets’ red glare” and Fort McHenry.
  5. Cancer causing windmills, need I say any more about this?

Agenda Schme-enda

  1. He is responsible for Postmaster General DeJoy. “The Donald” wants to see the Postal Service privatized.  Please see my article on Louis DeJoy and the reasons our mail is late.
  2. The disgraced ex-president wants to privatize prisons.
  3. His Supreme Court nominees clearly have a right-wing agenda. The appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson will finally balance and counteract this far right mentality in our nation’s highest court.
  4. Donald Trump is a reality television personality, not an attorney. He bankrupted his own businesses and is unfit to run a country.
  5. He is supported strongly by the NRA and will not even consider common sense gun control.

How Not To Do It…

  1. Donald Trump is the first and only “president” or presidential candidate that blatantly refuses to show the American people his tax returns.
  2. He also is the only outgoing “president” to not attend the inauguration of his successor.
  3. He used the Oval Office for his own selfish wants, not for the betterment of the American people.
  4. He refused to allow his private quarters in the White House to be cleaned. There are rumors that there were mice in parts of the presidential residence.
  5. He discourages healthy lifestyles with a diet of fast food and lack of exercise.

Achievements And Accomplishments

  1. Trump’s bill count ranks last. He claimed to have broken President Harry Truman’s legislative record but according to statistics from the Truman library, “The Donald” has not even come close.  He signed less bills than the six administrations before him.
  2. He was removed from Twitter for his abusive tweet storms.
  3. Trump vetoed $741 billion in military spending as well as a three percent pay raise for our military troops.
  4. He insulted the memory of John McCain and made a horrific comment about “shithole countries”.
  5. “The Donald” proudly compared his press briefings to a Mike Tyson boxing match.

More Greatest Hits…

  1. Trump pardoned Blackwater contractors that massacred Iraqi civilians. This war criminals got away with murdering innocent people that included children and women.
  2. He told impressionable young boys at a Boy Scout Jamboree about a hot and wild party he was invited to.
  3. He is homophobic and had trounced the rights of the LBGTQ community repeatedly.
  4. His buddy “Moscow Mitch” McConnell fights the Democrats on every issue, swearing to stop all President Biden’s appointees if he comes back to leadership.
  5. He praises Putin, the man responsible for the war in the Ukraine. Showing himself as “Putin’s Puppet.”

The Answer Is Clear

We must never forget the atrocious behavior of Donald Trump and we must rally to invoke the 14th Amendment to stop him from another reign of terror.  Please support all efforts to see our Constitution used to curtail the Trumpster from seeking office ever again.  The “legacy” of agonistic torment that Donald Trump has left behind must never be repeated.

 

Black Sabbath “War Pigs”

Black Sabbath “War Pigs”

Black Sabbath “War Pigs”

The Calamity News and Politics Jukebox Choice of the Day is from the premier metal band (my opinion) BLACK SABBATH doing their powerful anti war song, “War Pigs”.  Support Ukraine. Donate to UNICEF Ukraine Relief.

Putin’s War On Humanity

Putin’s War On Humanity

The people of Ukraine are valiantly fighting to halt Russian assault.

Putin’s War On Humanity

By Anonymous

 

No Words

Empathy is a word that gets tossed around a lot. And yet, when we put it to use in times of tragedy, it does little to solve the matters at hand—except, perhaps, to stay that hand from causing further destruction.

I Can Imagine

Right now, I’m mother of one with another on the way. I could be one of those terrified Ukrainians running from bombs, one hand holding my child’s and the other clutching my belly. For a moment, I can place myself there: terror, frustration, and determination all coursing through my veins as I fear for my family’s wellbeing, wondering if my husband would be running with us or staying behind to defend our country and our democratic way of life.

Loud and Ugly

There is much at stake, and although it doesn’t always feel real to us, as we’re scrolling through the news on our phones and sipping our coffee, the reality of injury and death is a stark possibility for those simply living in any war torn region of the world. Now, Ukraine has become a war zone due to the madness of one man, Vladimir Putin. Putin’s ilk is nothing new. Sadly, such strongmen take over countries and strip citizens of self determination, someplace in the world on a nearly daily basis. Some countries fall quietly. Such is not the case with Ukraine, the fight there is loud and ugly, as Ukrainian civilians take up arms to fight back against the Russian invaders.

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OPINION: DeJoy Is No Joy

OPINION: DeJoy Is No Joy

OPINION: DeJoy Is No Joy

By Anna & Wes Hessel

 

Not Swift

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”  But what about Post Master Louis DeJoy?  We know our mail is being delivered slower and later in the day.  Some people are not receiving mail delivery for days.  I’m sure you can relate to this one; I received last month’s power bill in the same mail delivery as this month’s power bill. That has never happened to me before. So why, now? The U.S. Post Office has been delivering mail  for over two hundred thirty years, they are better than this. What do we really know about this Republican Trump appointee?

Something We Should Have Never Contracted

First, Louis DeJoy was CEO, as well as founder, of New Breed Logistics.  In 2014 New Breed merged into XPO Logistics.  DeJoy became chief executive over XPO’s contract logistics unit.  A year later he left this post to take a prominent position on XPO’s board, where he continued through 2018.  New Breed was a United States Postal Service contractor, and still is as XPO.  Louis is also known to be a major Republican fundraiser and contributor.

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Dems Face Tough Battle in 2022 Mid-terms

OPINION:

Democrats Face Tough Battle In 2022 Mid-terms

High inflation may dim Democrats to hold onto congress

OPINION:

Democrats Face Tough Battle In 2022 Mid-terms

The U.S. mid-term  elections are less than nine months away. According to experts, painful political fallout is coming for the Democrats. Currently, the Democrats have a very small majority in the House, control the presidency, while a “fluid” position exists in the Senate. The 2022 midterm elections are crucial, because they’ll determine if  Mitch McConnell “gridlock politics’ returns or not.

By D. S. Mitchell

 

Poll Ratings Drop

Presidential approval ratings have dipped to dismal levels. The causes are many. The slow, painful, public  assassination of the social portion of the Build Back Better by enemy insiders, Sinema and Manchin was painful to watch on cable news. Biden’s persistent claim that he is a uniter, a consensus builder, blew up in his face when he and his team could not deliver their own caucus; a terrible embarrassment.

COVID Hysteria

The on-going COVID pandemic is driving normal people insane. You see it everywhere, in interactions between customers and clerks, between cops and citizens, between voters and officials. The anger is palpable. Besides anger; there is depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, rage-on-a-plane-madness, and of course, homicide, and suicide.

Desperate Means

I think there is growing proof that the fabric of civil society, worldwide, is coming apart. The isolation, the restrictions, mask mandates, no mask mandate,  vaccinate, don’t vax, the misinformation, the fear, the death, social media experts in white coats criminalizing their profession, have overwhelmed us all. People are ready to blame anyone for their troubles, all they need is someone with a megaphone to incite the crowd. A dangerous situation.

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Russian Cyber Attacks Targets and Purpose

Russian Cyber Attacks Targets and Purpose

Russian hackers are causing world wide problems.

Russian Cyber Attacks Targets and Purpose

By Joseph Wales and D. S. Mitchell

 

A Consistent Threat

Headlines linking Russia to a web of cyber attacks against a variety of sovereign nations has become daily bread for decision-makers and the public alike. Whether it’s the NotPetya attack, the recent shut down of the Colonial Pipeline, or meddling in foreign elections; Russia is a consistent and aggravating threat. Russia uses cyber operations alongside non-military and military methods to pursue its strategic goals. It views this as an ongoing information confrontation.

Back in Time

Russia began attacks on the United States in 1996 with the Moonlight Maze attack. The Moonlight Maze resulted in the theft of a massive amount of classified information from several U.S. government agencies. Those effected included NASA, the Department of Energy, the Defense Department, and numerous private sector entities and defense contractors. The attack caused a serious breach, compromising national security interests, strategies, and capabilities.

Ukraine Intimidation

Russian state-sponsored attacks are on the rise, most famously Russian cyber ninjas are behind the recent mischief in Ukraine. Several cyber events have  knocked out major government websites this month. This cyber-intrusion is aimed to intimidate society and destabilize the situation in the country, stopping the work in the public sector, and crushing citizens trust in the governing authorities.

What It Includes

Russia’s cyber warfare units employ hacker attacks, internet surveillance SORM technology, dissemination of  propaganda and misinformation, political trolling, and all means of social media manipulation. Most of these attacks, although not technically in house operations,  are still coordinated by the Russian FSB. The FSB replaced the notorious KGB, but a change in initials doesn’t change the mission.

How Many From Russia?

Over the past year, 58% of all cyber-attacks observed by Microsoft from nation-states came from Russia. Moreover, these attacks are increasingly effective, jumping from a 21% rate in 2020, to a 32% successful compromise rate in 2021. Russian nation-state attacks are increasingly targeting government agencies for intelligence gathering, which saw a hike from 3% to 53% in a year—these attacks target agencies involved in national security, defense, and foreign policy. The top three nations targeted by Russian cyber attacks were Ukraine, UK, and the United States.

Common Causes For Cyber Attacks

Most often, cyber-attacks occur because the attackers want something:

  • IT infrastructure
  • Clients’ lists
  • Customer database
  • Customers or staff’ email addresses and login details
  • Sensitive personal data
  • Customers’ financial details such as credit card data
  • Business’ financial details

Russian Motives

Putin’s motivation is different.  Putin life goal is to restore the territory lost with the collapse of the former Soviet Union. The Russian president views cyber-attacks as a natural extension for achieving his goals. For instance, how the Russian military hacked Olympic enemies for revenge, and how it hacked the Democratic National Committee to bolster Trump’s chances in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Russians are mainly interested in influence operations without physical manipulation.

Classic Influence Operation

What we saw in the 2016 U. S. elections was a classic influence operation. This was also Putin’s aim when hacking Russia’s perceived Olympic enemies. Russia wanted information it could use against these enemies in social media campaigns. Manipulation of the news, creating new mind sets, instigating social rifts.

China, A Different Animal

On the other hand, China has also been actively involved in passive cyber-attacks. However, in the case of China, their main focus seems to center on economic, technology both military and civilian. They are going after intellectual property and stealing it to improve their advantage in world trade. For instance, they infiltrated and copied the plans of the fighter jets F-35 and F-22. The Chinese now have the largest navy in the world, thanks to learning many western secrets. The issues of Hong Kong and Taiwan are just below the surface.

Any Cut Back Coming?

Evelyn Farkas, a former defense official for Obama, argued that the Russian government would not be stopping state-sponsored cyber-attacks against America or any other nation, unless the consequences  were so painful that continuation of such behavior would be unthinkable. Despite President Biden’s meeting with Putin recently, the Russians seem immovable, denying responsibility for their ongoing computer attacks. During their meeting, Biden argued that some crucial infrastructures such as energy and water systems should be off-limits to any type of attack. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is enough mettle in the whole of the U.S. government to go after Putin and/or Xi Jinping with a cyber sledge hammer. Unless Putin and his cyber ninja forces are caused real pain, the attacks will continue.

 

Russian Mercenary Drama in Mali

Russian Mercenary Drama in Mali

Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa

Russian Mercenary Drama in Mali

By Nicholas Waithaka and D. S. Mitchell

Increasing Instability in Mali

Mali has been a hotbed of political unrest for decades, making it vulnerable to external interference from players like Russia and China. Over the past few months, reports indicate that the head of Mali’s military junta, Colonel Assimi Goita, has negotiated a deal that would bring approximately 1,000 mercenaries from the Wagner Group into the country. Mali has had escalating security and political problems, but a turn to international paramilitary actors may become the proverbial slippery slope.

A Spiderweb Of Interference

The Wagner group, first appeared in Ukraine in 2014, where it assisted the Russian military in the annexation of Crimea. Since then, a spiderweb of paramilitaries, mercenary organizations, and businesses interestingly linked to Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin have emerged under the general name; the Wagner Group.

Encouraging Instability 

In Syria the Wagner Group supported embattled President Bashar al-Assad while securing a foothold in the country’s energy sector.  In other unstable areas around the world such as Libya, Sudan, Madagascar, Mozambique and now Mali, a Russian paramilitary group is providing military support to unpopular, and undemocratic governments. The Wagner Group has become a shorthand name for a mostly opaque and extensive network of mercenary services. In fact, U.S. intelligence services caution the benign name may disrupt our ability to think about what they do and how they operate.

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