By T.K. McNeil & D. S. Mitchell

Family Man

It is a tradition in American politics for candidates to play up their religion, their military service and their progeny. Apparently one out of three is enough considering who is currently occupying the Oval Office, at least when he isn’t golfing.  Trump recently re-enforced the Big Daddy reputation by taking the whole dang family (that he is willing to admit exists) on a state visit to the United Kingdom. The adult Trump children their spouses and their children were everywhere. You couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing them carrying notebooks and briefcases, and shooting selfies as if they were part of an ‘official’ diplomatic U.S. delegation.

With Spouses & Grand Kids

The visit, of course, was totally legitimized by the fact that his daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner hold, thanks to him, high government positions. No other administration would have hired Trump’s adult children because they are so inept and corrupt. My God, they are so unfit they needed a presidential command to get their security clearances.

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go! (With Nepotism)


Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

(With Nepotism)

By Ross Turner

In The Moment

Nepotism is having a moment right now.  Arguably, this moment never ended, but it has found renewed vigor in the presidency of Donald J. Trump.  Nepotism simply means favoritism towards relatives, usually expressed by their appointment to unearned positions.  The word stems from the Latin nepos, meaning nephew, which during the Middles Ages became nepotismo in Italian. Nepotismo referred to the tendency of Popes and bishops to assign relatives to positions of power.  Since they took vows of chastity and had no sons of their own, these assignments often fell to nephews.  The word may be medieval, but the practice is as old as mankind.  We are biologically hardwired to favor our kin over strangers, but this doesn’t mean that family is always fit for the job.

The Nepos Scale

History is rife with examples of nepotism that highlight its often disastrous consequences.  From the formation and collapse of the Roman Empire, to countless mad kings lording over the realms of Europe, much bloodshed and tumult has occurred as a result of incompetent kin who never should have held power in the first place. Nonetheless, families can’t seem to help themselves and keep on appointing each other to run their businesses and countries (into the ground.)  So, in the spirit of family, let us survey the Trump clan and see how far nepotism has taken them.  To assist in our appraisals, I’ve developed a highly scientific metric called the “Nepos Scale.”  Zero nepos is billing your toddler for diapers; five nepos is promoting your toddler to Director of Operations.

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Part V: Behind The Curtain

Part V: Behind The Curtain

D. S. Mitchell

At the end of Part IV: Behind The Curtain, David Cay Johnston told the reading audience that he had never seen evidence that Donald Trump was now a billionaire, or ever has been a billionaire.   I have no idea, and actually I really could care less if Trump is a billionaire or just a multimillionaire. That shit’s all in his head, not mine. Kinda like the guy who buys the biggest most gaudy truck he can find, to make up for some secret deficiency.

What I do care about is the obvious, and quite serious conflict of interest issues.  Trump has provided no tax returns, he has not established a blind trust, or divested himself of his businesses.  There are many questions about his deals with Russian oligarchs and his ongoing effort during the 2016 campaign to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, working behind the scenes with his long time attorney, Michael Cohen.

One of the character flaws noted by personal friends of Trump and discussed earlier in this series, is Trump’s poor judgment when choosing partners and associates. I can’t help adding my opinion on this matter.  I think, in addition to poor judgment, Trump just does not give a damn, that’s right, I don’t think he cares. The president’s  choice of Jared Kushner to be his Senior Advisor is a perfect example.

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FBI Raids Paul Manafort Home

FBI Raids Paul Manafort Home

D. S. Mitchell

Nearly two weeks after the event, news was finally leaked by the Washington Post, that in the early morning hours of July 25, 2017, former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia was raided by FBI investigators. Reports indicate boxes of documents were removed from the home.

The raid came within hours of Manafort speaking to investigators for the Senate Intelligence Committee, at which time he answered questions and provided notes from several meetings, including the controversial June 9, 2016 meeting between Russian “government attorney” and several other people with known Russian connections and members of the Trump 2016 Presidential election team, including the Trump campaigns big names, Kushner, Manafort and Don, Jr.

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80 Reasons To Smile

80 Reasons To Smile

D. S. Mitchell

The last two days have been full of drama and emotion. Jared Kushner is on Capitol Hill and talking to members and staffers from the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, behind closed doors. @POTUS spent 35 minutes last night giving a rambling disgusting speech to 40,000 boy scouts at their annual Jamboree. New Tweets from the president attacking Sessions hit the internet today, which brought significant push back from the conservative branch of the Republican party, including Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart News. The Senate is voting to bring TrumpCare out of committee today and I worry for the possible 30 million people that will lose health care.

I am jumping up and down and I am about to self-combust. But, I know that will not help. I know I need to keep up my efforts to derail TrumpCare. I have made twelve calls to Senators this morning asking a certain few Republican Senators to resist the White House and do what is best for the American people.

Calamity Politics is a political blog with a progressive leaning agenda. Calamity Politics intends to present relevant and engaging political conversation on a daily basis. Usually once a week I try to find something to smile about and share those thoughts with my readers.
As agitated as I am, I thought the best thing for my attitude and my blood pressure was to think of a substantially large number of reasons to smile. So, here are 80 Reasons to Smile, even on a day as disturbing day as today.

1.) Being part of a team 2.) Sunrises 3.) Sunsets 4.) Watching the turntable as an old vinyl plays 5.) Dimples 6.) Warm Apple Fritters 7.) Night games 8.) A checklist 9.) Arched doorways 10.) Search lights 11.) A day at the museum 12.) Finding a 4 leaf clover 13.) A loft for the little ones 14.) Antique claw foot tubs 15.) Sprinklers 16.) Popping bubble wrap 17.) Seeing a dream come true 18.) Baked potato “loaded” 19.) A “free month” of anything 20.) The sweetness of fresh corn on the cob 21.) Flipping pancakes 22.) Paper Airplanes 23.) Tic Tac Toe games 24.) Nervous energy 25.) Homemade onion rings the size of bracelets 26.) Cutting my own bangs 27.) Old perfume bottles 28.) Last nights spaghetti reheated 29.) Shari Lewis’ Lambchop 30.) Old things re-used and re-purposed 31.) Mozart 32.) Holding hands 33.) Salt water aquariums 34.) The caverns and mesas of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico 35.) A reading corner 36.) A secret admirer 37.) A talking parakeet 38.) Lingering over coffee with the Crossword Puzzle 39.) Persistence 40.) Celery filled with crunchy peanut butter 41.) Knowing you are appreciated 42.) Yes or No answers 43.) Floor to ceiling views 44.) Marinas and harbors 45.) Beachcombing 46.) Honeysuckle 47.) Ancient ruins 48.) History 49.) Jazz 50.) A window box garden 51.) Barge homes 52.) Potluck with family and friends 53.) A winning basket scored at the buzzer 54.) A weekly play break 55.) Sunday afternoon poker 56.) A lake cabin 57.) Black licorice 58.) Cobbled streets and tiled roofs 59.) Cast iron skillets 60.) Six layer cakes 61.) Magnolia trees 62.) The buddy system 63.) Old dolls and Teddies 64.) Caramel apples 65.) The Fusion of Tex-Mex 66.)Bead board ceilings 67.) Watching my grand daughter play hop scotch 68.) Loving what you do 69.) Koala bears 70.) Corner cabinets 71.) Elvis music 72.) The ability to change 73.) Tongue twisters 74.) Garden benches 75.) Losing weight 76.) Molasses cookies 77.) Nasturtiums 78.) Afternoon Croquet at the beach house 79.) Clean countertops 80.) Essential oils

Well by the time I got to the number eighty John McCain strode in to the Senate chamber, and cast a deciding vote to bring the Repeal the ACA bill out of committee. Some Republican Senator that I didn’t recognize came on Hardball and said he thought Kushner had been “open and straight forward and appeared to answer all questions thoroughly and honestly.”

I’m not in the mood to add a couple more reasons to smile, cuz I’m really angry and I think I need to take the dog for a walk.

Join the Resistance


Israelis and Palestinians Clash

Israelis And Palestinians Clash

D. S. Mitchell

Calamity Politics is a progressive blog which is most obviously a reflection of my own personal life view.  That vision is a forward looking view for the United States. A country where equality is the norm, not the oddity.  A place where religious freedom is never questioned.  A place where merit, not money is the basis of power.  A country fully open and fully inclusive.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Many would call it another Snowflake dream, however you don’t get to the moon if you are convinced no one will ever fly.  The election of Donald Trump to the presidency is like electing that guy who doesn’t believe anyone will ever  fly.  I think you need to think ‘a thing’ is possible before it will ever become possible.  I am convinced of that observation.

So, please join me as I do post-mortem examination of the political news of the day.

The bubble of American politics broke open for just a minute or two and more unrest in Israel between the Netanyahu government and Palestinian representatives and Palestinian protesters came into focus.

In the 1967 War, Israel captured East Jerusalem along with all its holy sites from Jordan.  Furthermore, Israel then annexed the area in a move that was condemned by most world leaders.  In fact, to this day the world community has declined to recognize the legality of the annexation, and that action has led to years of unresolved conflict between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

Israel had allowed the Jordanians to maintain a special role in administering certain religions sites including the Aqsa Mosque.  The Aqsa Mosque is believed by Israeli’s to be the site of the destroyed Temple of the Mount, one of the most holy sites of ancient Israel.

Six people died Friday in a new outbreak of violence. At the entrance to the Aqsa Mosque, a sacred site to both Jews and Muslims.  Israeli authorities installed metal detectors and instituted a restriction on who could enter the Mosque and its grounds after the brutal killing of two Israeli guards by two Arabs who had been attending a service at the mosque.

The three Palestinian protesters were killed in separate events.  All three were fatally shot by Israeli police around the city of Jerusalem and the surrounding territory.  Israeli spokesman claimed the actions were necessary for police safety when rock throwing and firebombing became a serious endangerment.

Three Israeli’s were brutally stabbed and killed in their home, by a Muslim man in an apparent response to the previous killings of the three Palestinian protesters in clashes with Israeli security forces.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas cut a trip to China short to address the spiraling crisis over the installation of the metal detectors.  Mahmoud announced he was, “freezing contacts with Israel at all levels until it cancels the new measures” around the holy site.

Clashes came as thousands of Palestinian Muslims prayed in front of police barricades in the streets around the “Old City” of Jerusalem as Israeli authorities clamped tougher restrictions on Palestinians. The metal detectors at Aqsa have increased friction between the parties and have emerged as a symbol for the protesters.

An Arab member of the Israeli Parliament argued that “the metal detectors are a political issue.  They have them all over the world, in supermarkets, shopping malls, everywhere.  But, they are there by consensus, not imposed by someone else.”

Netanyahu government “believes the decision to leave the metal detectors at the entrance of the Temple Mount is the right decision–in the national interest.”

Israeli police issued a statement, “according to the decision of the highest political echelon,  police “will decide how strict the security checks would be, based on assessments of the situation.”

The situation for many of the Middle Eastern countries is perilous. Whether it is Syria, Iraq, Yemen or Israel the centuries of fighting and distrust have torn the region apart.  I have no answers.  I do not have the education or diplomatic experience to do much more than observe and comment.  I freely admit those shortcomings.  that is why I am going to take a moment to slap Donald Trump around the ears.

It was just a month or two ago when the American people were advised that Jared Kushner could and would, solve the Middle East crisis.

I am waiting, but I think like nearly everything else Trump, he does not know what the hell he is talking about; and neither does that spoiled son in law of his, and I guarantee that Jared Kushner will not solve the Middle East problem, this year or ever.

Join the Resistance.  Don’t forget to call the Senators and demand they halt their attack on ACA and encourage them to do some quick fixes. Organize your neighbors.  Register to vote. Run for office. Donate your time. Donate your money. Vote Democratic.  Twitter your reaction to political events.

Let’s not let Trump stop our forward motion.  Hopefully Trump will be nothing more than an ugly blot on our country’s history.


Natalia and Associates

Calamity Politics is a progressive political blog. Our intention at is to present relevant, thought provoking articles about serious political issues that are confronting our country.

More Trump Russian scandal news keeps leaking out. It appears that the GOP candidate and his inner circle are intricately enmeshed with various Russian oligarchs and the Russian government. One of the major characters in this building drama is former Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump campaign surrogate and Trump appointee to the position of the highest law official in the United States, the Attorney General.

Mr. Sessions appeared at his confirmation to have developed a sudden onset of amnesia, totally forgetting 2 separate visits he had with then Russian Ambassador, Kisylak. When those meetings were disclosed by the press, Sessions went back and changed his statements, protecting himself from possible perjury charges.

In May of 2017 the U.S. Department of Justice quietly and abruptly settled a case against Prevezon Holdings. Prevezon is a Russian firm accused of laundering an estimated $230,000,000 dollars through Manhattan real estate purchases and sales. The case was about to go to trial when DOJ made Prevezon an offer they couldn’t refuse. DOJ headed by Attorney General Jefferson Sessions felt a fine of 6,000,000 was appropriate. The six million is far less than the case was expected to settle for. Furthermore, the Russian firm was not required to make any admissions of guilt.

Way back in May, the lawyer representing the family of Pyotr Katsyv, the former Vice Governor of the Moscow region, whose son Denis owns Prevezon was an unknown Russian lady lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya.

In a statement at the time of the settlement announcement, Veselnitskaya said the offer by Trump’s lying Attorney General was almost “like an apology from the United States government”.

As of July 9, 2017 anyone with ears or eyes knows who Natalia Veselnitskaya is. She is the “Russian government lawyer” whose meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort as well as a former Russian intel officer who is now a U.S. citizen and registered lobbyist, and numerous other people, including a translator and a mysterious and rumored money laundering Russian real estate figure named Kaveladze.

This June 2016 meeting is the biggest political bombshell revelation in the quest to uncover any evidence of Trump Russia collusion in the 2016 presidential election. Hair raising information. This story is starting to burn very hot and the fire is getting closer to the Oval Office.

A group of Democrats in Congress are interested in the dealings the Trump campaign has had with the Russian government and they further are seeking information to learn if Veselnitskaya, the female attorney who came to Trump Tower a year ago described as “a Russian government lawyer” peddling dirt on Hillary Clinton, had any unethical connection with Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration that led to his decision to settle the lawsuit on terms so seemingly friendly to Prevezon.

The Prevezon case was being brought by Preet Bharara, the U.S  attorney for the Southern District of New York.  Mr Bharara was fired by President Trump after initially being asked to stay on post-inauguration. Bharara similar, to fired FBI Director James Comey,  has  stated that he was uncomfortable with personal overtures made by Donald Trump and surrogates.

The day prior to Bharara’s firing, Trump attempted to reach Mr. Bharara by phone and the prosecutor refused to speak to him or call him back, citing discomfort with Trump’s desire to ingratiate himself with a U.S. attorney.

Seventeen Democrats came together and sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions stating in part:”We write with some concern that the two events may be connected and that the DOJ may have settled the case at a loss to the United States in order to obscure underlying facts”

The lawmakers want to know if Natalia Veselnitskaya had any role in the Prevezon settlement talks, whether Sessions–who had been a Trump campaign advisor–knew of the 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, whether any Trump administration officials had contacted the DOJ about the case, and the Democratic lawmakers also asked for documents explaining the decision to abruptly settle a very strong case for a ridiculously low fine.  A soft settlement that none believe the Bulldog prosecutor Bharara would ever have settled for.  Suspiciously, the settlement was arranged within several weeks of Bharara’s firing.

The public rarely gets excited over dirty business dealings involving money laundering and a complex tax fraud scheme, but this “matter seems to intersect with too many key signposts of the burgeoning Trump-Russia scandal to ignore,” said Will Bunch in an article for, which was one source used by Calamity Politics in the research for this post.

The early dishonesty by Sessions, regarding issues Russian,  is a broader *”mosaic of lies” that have permeated the Trump campaign and the subsequent Trump administration regarding their contacts with Russians.  The mounting number of secret contacts by Trump officials coming to light are making it increasingly difficult to believe those past and current dealings between the Trump campaign and their administration with the Russian government are honest and above board.

Sessions had by his own statement, recused himself from the Russian investigation and all things Russian.  However, there is no reason to believe that the disgraced Sessions recused himself from the Prevezon settlement, and as such the Prevezon settlement and Natalia Veselnitskaya have fallen into the growing abyss of the Russian-Trump conspiracy scandal.

I’m more and more convinced that these activities with the Russians originated in dirty money transactions and probable purchases/sales at Trump properties that were designed to launder ill gotten money out of Russia.  It is possible that there are salacious dossiers and ugly sex transactions by Trump, I have no problem believing that such information exists, unless of course it is boy-on-boy.  That dirty scenario would put an end to Trump. But, I think it all started because of money and Trump’s need to feed his hyper-expensive life style.

Donald Trump had tried to market everything from ties, to vodka, to steaks, to his name, and most of the ventures were a failure, most notably Trump University which got him in hot water with multiple states.  Several state AGs filed suit against Trump and his “scam” university.  The real estate business however, was tailor made for laundering large sums of money, millions and hundreds of millions of dollars per transaction.

So, in my view this is how it went down.  On one side you have an eager, not so law abiding guy who owes everybody in the world, and on the other side you have a group of foreign oligarchs bent on hiding skimmed money stolen from Russian sources. Such a perfect arrangement.  An evil marriage that has after a three decade plus relationship culminated in the installation of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.

The information is being hemorrhaged out almost hourly.  It will take time but I believe that the disgusting relationship between Russia and all things Trump will be revealed. I’m not sure, but I believe that the greatest scandal in US history, involving possibly hundreds of individuals, is nothing more than a conspiracy to make more money.  You can never have too much money. Right?  I call it sick.  When money is more important that your  country, the sacredness of the vote, the near holiness of the U.S. Constitution you should be banished to that f’ing country you sold out to.

Explain to me why every American soldier serving this country doesn’t throw his gun down and demand an air line ticket home?  When you don’t know who your President is working with it’s time to cut the ties that bind. I will keep writing about the Russia scandal. It’s gonna be a rough ride. Join the Resistance.


President Steven Bannon??

President Steve Bannon??

D. S. Mitchell

Changing Situation

Two weeks ago, the political landscape around Steve Bannon was slipping away. Rumors had tapped Mr. Bannon as part of the garbage being tossed from the White House, in a pending White House shakeup. Bannon had come up against a real insider, Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Bannon had emerged  wounded by the warfare. But, Bannon is a scoundrel and is believed to have  “leaked” information on Kushner’s pre and post-election Russian activities. By the time Kushner returned from The Trump Circus Tour, Kushner faced hostility from every media source in the United States.

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I’d Call That Annoying

I’d Call That Annoying

D. S. Mitchell

Calamity Politics is a Progressive political blog where I try to go with the facts, not just my feelings. The headline news is looking really bad right now for Jared Kushner, but those of us at Calamity Politics, we will wait and watch as this new angle on the 2016 Russian Trump collusion investigation continues to suck all the oxygen out of the room.

In another life I was a real estate investor, not on a Donald Trump scale, but bigger than many. What I do know, is that there is a component of risk in real estate. An edgy excitement. Chasing the prey, cornering the prey, teasing the prey and then; maybe, purchasing ‘the prey’.

I can see Kushner being one of those guys, who like to walk the edge. The risk, part of the reward is that zing of power you feel when you conquer the risk. I have found that most real estate investors like the risk, as much as anything. It’s a weird hybrid gambling addiction. I have recovered, however. I am so done with real estate.

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Another OMG Day

Another OMG Day

D. S. Mitchell

Calamity Politics is the place for relevant, topical and engaging coverage of the U.S. political scene. Please join me today as I examine the good, the bad, the planned and the unplanned of today’s headline political conversation.

The news media has been churning out so much sludge since Monday that I have decided to just touch on each topic briefly.

Headline: Sally Talks. Sally Yates former acting Attorney General of the United States appeared in a high profile televised congressional hearing on May 8, 2017. She shared the witness table with former Director of National Intelligence now retired, James Clapper. The subcommittee has been designated to investigate the Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

Lt. General Michael Flynn is a central figure in the aforementioned investigation. Sally Yates came to Capital Hill to testify as to when the Justice Department warned the Trump White House of Flynn’s possible illegal contacts with the Russian government.

Ms. Yates, was fired by President Trump. Trump claimed that Yates was fired because she refused to defend Trump’s first travel ban. However, that may not be the real motive for the firing. When you look at the timeline of the events President Trump’s claims become questionable.

Yates said that on 1/26/2017 she had a meeting with White House Counsel Don McGahn for the purpose of alerting the White House that the sitting NSA could be a danger to the country. The DOJ led by Yates, believed Flynn, was “compromised with respect to the Russians.”

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