civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

What Do You Believe?

So this is what it comes down to. What you believe. I have historically written these essays in attempt to lay out a logical basis for my arguments and normally use scores of citations from many different sources. But this time I am writing from the heart.

You can believe he is a god. Many of his supporters do. Rational folks ask themselves why; where does the hatred and fear come from? Decent folk will never understand how anyone heard his words and voted for him anyway. No conspiracy theory needed. He bragged about sexually assaulting women – and they voted for him. He mocked disabled people, veterans, the military, the Intelligence Community, women, and minorities. And they still voted for him. The Party of Family Values listened to a man who has been married three times and who bragged about trying to have sex with a woman who was not his wife, and they still voted for him.

He made promises that he had no intention of keeping and they believed it. He followed a time honored nepotistic path favored by dictators everywhere and put his family into positions of power. Not one word from his supporters.

There is no principled stance in their support. There is no moral justification for their support. There is not even reason in their support – the policies he wants to enact will punish his supporters much more than anyone else.

He openly surrounds himself with Neo-nazi’s and racists and they voted for him. He appointed oligarchs and his supporters cheered. He stripped away protections for the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and refugees and his supports rejoiced.

With his words and his actions – he is either telling the truth, which makes him a disgusting, amoral, piece of shit; or he is lying, which makes him a disgusting, amoral, piece of shit.

My critique of him and his followers is apolitical. Although I would happily engage with them to discuss his policies, which I whole heartedly reject. No. My criticism of them stems from the fact that they agree with his agenda of hatred and fear. They certainly have no political agenda. In fact I challenge you to read the RNC’s official platform and find the intersection between what the sexual-predator who has usurped power is doing and the stated objectives of the party.

So what do you believe?

Do you believe there is a way out? Do you believe his tenure is short lived? Do you believe the damage he has done can be fixed?

Do you believe that the alternate reality his followers embrace can somehow be overcome? With facts? Logic?

I’m not sure I do.

I don’t know if he has created this rift or if he exposed it. But we are a nation divided. A major flaw with Liberalism is that we are too quick to be conciliatory. We are too willing to compromise and see other points of view. Conservatives have exploited this for decades. Somewhat ironically instead of using this exposed weakness to put a Conservative in power, they installed a monster.

I listened to Michael Savage talk the other day about how Liberals won’t let others have a different opinion and how they will use Nazi Brown Shirt tactics to silence dissenters. My initial reaction was to rail against it. He is asserting a false equivalency. But he is also sort of right.

When faced with violence and intimidation what are you to do? My acceptance of your opinions stops when you threaten me or the people that I love.  The accusation that I refute your racism and white supremacy is correct. I don’t believe there is a long-term future for a society where hatred and threats of violence based on differences in skin color, or religion, or any other bigotry is allowed.

Given his low polling numbers, I believe most of the country agrees with me.

What do we do about it? We are being terrorized by a political minority lead by an authoritarian demagogue.  There is much historical data about previous examples of this throughout the 20th Century.

Time will tell.


Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM), NCCAOM Dipl. Acupuncture

civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

I Looked and Behold a Pale Horse

I used to work for the government. Had I been accused of a single thing that this administration is accused of I would immediately have lost my clearance, been prevented from working, and possibly be in jail. That’s not hyperbole.  And I don’t mean a trial and conviction. I mean an accusation. The mere hint of impropriety would have ended my career. Today we celebrate accusations of treason and collusion as “shaking things up”.

But these traitors continue to work as if nothing is out of the ordinary. The citizenry grumbles on Facebook, the Democrats in Congress spew harsh rhetoric, and the Republicans celebrate.

If the people that have usurped power in our government are traitors – all of the other illegal, immoral, and unethical actions are meaningless. The deception and stonewalling being done by the GOP is unprecedented and alarming. Does it mean that the conspiracy is larger than we understand? Are Republican members of Congress compromised by the Russians in the same way as the Executive Branch is? With only 26% of Americans identifying as Republican (1), not only are we are being governed by a kakistocracy, but we are being subjugated by a government that has no popular support. The latest polls show the sexual predator DT weighing in with a 36% approval rating. (2)

There is tangible evidence from multiple sources that accuse the sexual predator DT and his administration of working with the Russians to subvert American democracy.

He has direct financial ties with enemies to the USA and is directly profiting off his office. He has instituted flagrant nepotism. He is actively dismantling the institutions that make our nation great. He has more conflicts of interest than it’s possible to count.

The list goes on and on, and we all know it.

Most of us are currently unaffected by these changes – unless you are a woman, poor, a person of color, an immigrant, disabled, or LGBT. Basically, as long as you are a white male everything is great.

But even Republicans have to drink water, don’t they? I know that Republicans don’t believe in science, but surely they can see that dumping toxic chemicals in the water supply is bad. Or maybe not. After all the Governor of Michigan is a Republican and hasn’t fixed the toxic water in Flint.

They hated being told what to do by a black guy for eight years so much that they are willing to hurt themselves to undue all the good things that he did.

So we resist. We write passive aggressive posts on social media, we engage with trolls, we call our Senators. These actions may have worked in the past, but I’m not so sure about now. We scored a victory? with Obamacare. For now. But “…House Republican leaders and the White House have restarted negotiations on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act” (1).  And if they can’t do it that way, the sexual predator DT will happily let it “implode”. (2).

  Either way – not really a victory. Stated another way, your government is actively working to deprive millions of Americans from access to healthcare.

    We are on the receiving end of a coordinated attack from both our government and a hostile foreign enemy. Republicans have used our apathy and disconnection from politics to usurp the government. Why? I don’t know. Money I’m sure is part of it. But I think they are also motivated by racism, sadism, and fear. Their position as the white male majority is in decline and they are lashing out violently. As I have pointed out in my other writings, Conservatism is a failed philosophy. I only hope that the planet can survive the destructive thrashings of them fading into history.


Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS(AOM), NCCAOM Dipl. Acupuncture




civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

A Case for Treason?

I needed a reality check today. Did Trump and his staff really collude with a hostile foreign government? I’ve read the news, perused the social media sites, talked with friends and co-workers; but I just couldn’t believe that it was really possible.

Headlines are hard to filter sometimes – they are often written in a way designed to get clicks and not necessarily to convey truth.

So I went searching for things that our elected officials have actually said. The results? Well, they are alarming. I will spare you the predictable Republican responses, which generally follow party lines by ridiculing the Democrats.

Here is a sampling of Members of Congress, a former US President, and former Governor, and Senior Advisor to President Obama. I had toyed with the idea of adding journalists, celebrities, and other world leaders, but in the end I decided against it. I thought it might dilute the point I am trying to make.

Keep in mind that Members of Congress are not somehow less important than the President. They are in fact co-equal, and are just as powerful and responsible as the Executive Branch. When they say something, even if it is controversial, it should be listened to.  I don’t want to jump to conclusions. In fact, as much as I hate Trump I really do not want him to have sold out our country to the Russians. He exudes so many other crimes that would be much better to impeach and/or arrest him for. He has caused serious damage to our country. But if he is really colluding with the Russians, I’m not sure that is something we can bounce back from.

The intensity of calls to action with regards to potential treason committed by the President and his staff is increasing. If this is true, I believe that it will be the single most significant event in our countries long and proud history.

Additionally, I wonder what there will be to do about those that are supporting him and blocking investigations into his potential wrongdoings. Food for thought. They will all need to be investigated too.

Rachel Maddow said that “Our government may be controlled by the Russians”. Take that however you’d like, but it looks like a convincing case to me.


“We have seen a number of indications of individuals affiliated with Mr. Trump who’ve had contacts with Russian officials…There is nothing more important than, when we have got the potential of a foreign nation, not only interfering in our election process, but lord knows what else…there’s nothing I have done in my Senate career that’s more important than this investigation.” – SEN. MARK WARNER 27 Feb 17 (1)


About the possible cover-up in the Flynn affair – “There’s a profound question about whether he was acting on his own, or whether he was acting at the behest of the now president or others in the administration,” Schiff says. “Who else was knowledgeable that he had misled the vice president, and in doing so misled the country?” – REP. ADAM SCHIFF 20 Feb 17 (2)


“The American people deserve to know why the nation’s Attorney General and all of the president’s men were in frequent contact with Russian operatives during the election,” Jeffries said in a statement. “Something stinks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We are determined to find out if the rot goes all the way to the top.” –  REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-N.Y.) (3)


“Total staff infection. Democracy at risk. Sessions must follow Flynn and resign. We need a comprehensive nonpartisan investigation.” and “GOP, cut the crap. Agree to an independent 9/11-style commission to get to the bottom of the Russian connection.” – REP. JAMIE RASKIN 1 Mar 2017 (Twitter)


On Trumps connections to Russia – “We all need answers.” – PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH (4)


“What do the Russians have on @realDonaldTrump that he would flirt with bowing down to Russia’s aggression? #ProtectOurDemocracy” SEN. NANCY PELOSI 27 Feb 17 (Twitter)


“So it turns out Flynn was also working for a foreign autocrat while working in Trump campaign. Next question, what Did Trump know and when?” – Former Governor HOWARD DEAN 10 Mar 17 (Twitter)


“How do you appoint a guy as your NSC director who is a foreign agent with $$ ties to a key global player?” – Senior Advisor to President Obama DAVID AXELROD 10 Mar 17 (Twitter)


“The Justice Department should appoint a special prosecutor to give Americans credible answers about Russia’s involvement in the election.” and “What did President Trump know about meetings involving his campaign and the Russians?” – SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (5)


Sen. Schumer is calling for an “immediate” investigation by the Department of Justice’s independent watchdog into federal probes of communication between Donald Trump’s team and Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.) (6)


About Trumps ties to Russia – “Get ready for impeachment. Because we’re going there. I’m going there.” –REP. MAXINE WATERS (7)


“We no longer just have smoke on Trump-Russia ties. We have heat. Too much Russia. That’s why we need a special prosecutor to investigate”. – REP. TED LIEU 10 Mar 17 (Twitter)


“If members of the administration are essentially conspiring with Russia – either through the [2016 presidential] campaign earlier or now in the administration itself – I mean, look, Wolf, that’s the very definition of treason” – REP. SETH MOULTON (8)


Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM), NCCAOM Dipl. Acupuncture


current events, democracy, politics, Uncategorized

Rush Limbaugh – The Mouth of the Republican Party

I listen in on a.m. conservative talk radio all the time and I have for years. Although painful, it is an important job; it is one of the easiest ways to find out what the Right wing thinks. One of the first things that caught my attention today was that Rush and Trump play golf together. This is not surprising as Trump surrounds himself with the worst humans – Miller, Gorka, Bannon, Alex Jones etc. But it is a good reminder about who exactly Trump gets his information from.

66 year old Missouri native Rush Limbaugh is one of the leaders of the Right. His show is often cited as the “most important talk radio show” (1) and with 14 million weekly listeners it has the largest audience of talk radio shows in the U.S. (2). He is an authentic voice for the Right and is very influential. He is also a college drop out described by his own mother as having “…flunked everything.” (3) He is well known for his disparaging remarks about African-Americans (4), women, LGBT, Liberals- basically everyone that is not a white male. Like Trump, he is a Reality TV star. And the unfortunate fact is that our country loves that about them.

In keeping with Conservative values – Rush has been married four times and divorced three times. In 2003 he was being investigated for “illegally obtaining the prescription drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone.” (5) and in October of 2003 admitted on-air that he was addicted to painkillers. In 2006, he was arrested for having “received about 2,000 painkillers, prescribed by four doctors in six months”.

This morning (March 9th, 2017) I listened in on Seattle talk radio A.M. 770 to the Rush Limbaugh show and was motivated to write about it and him. To set the tone for folks that don’t know much about him, Rush has spent 29 years working to discredit and damage Liberals. “Beating the left has always been what this has been about” (6). He does so by playing into the xenophobia and hatred that Conservatives carry at there core. “…the people I always describe as those who make this country work. The people who define the character and who define the values of this country were the winners [in last night’s presidential election].” (7) And who are the people that voted for Trump that Rush describes as owning the “character” and “values” of this country? White non-college educated men. (8)

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on Limbaugh and point out some of the atrocities that spill out of his mouth hole. Why am I writing this? I want to highlight the things this deplorable says so that we citizens better understand who is influencing the people running our government.

  • “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”  (9)
  • “This is not a nation of people that are discriminated against.” (10)
  • Referred to the participants in the Woman’s March as ‘feminazis’ (11)
  • “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.” (12)
  • “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.” (13)
  • “Have you ever noticed how all newspaper composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?” (14)
  • “I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there’s a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn’t deserve.” – Rush Limbaugh made this statement about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb during a September 2003 broadcast of ESPN television’s Sunday NFL Countdown program. The controversy generated by the remark prompted Limbaugh’s resignation from his position as a commentator on that show. (15)
  • “Women should not be allowed on juries where the accused is a stud.” (16)
  • “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.” (17)
  • “Let’s say we discover the gene that says the kid’s gonna be gay. How many parents, if they knew before the kid was gonna be born, [that he] was gonna be gay, they would take the pregnancy to term? Well, you don’t know but let’s say half of them said, “Oh, no, I don’t wanna do that to a kid.” [Then the] gay community finds out about this. The gay community would do the fastest 180 and become pro-life faster than anybody you’ve ever seen. … They’d be so against abortion if it was discovered that you could abort what you knew were gonna be gay babies.” (18)
  • “Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is also a White House dog?”
    -Rush Limbaugh, while holding up a photograph of 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton on his 1993 television show (19)
  • “They’re out there protesting what they actually wish would happen to them sometimes.”
    – Rush Limbaugh, on women who protest against sexual harassment (20)
  • “What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
    ~Rush Limbaugh, referring to Sandra Fluke, a student at Georgetown Law School who was denied the right to speak at a congressional hearing on contraception hearing, in which she planned to discuss a friend of hers who needed contraception to prevent the growth of cysts (21)
  • “Let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do — let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.” (22)
  • “We’re not sexists, we’re chauvinists — we’re male chauvinist pigs, and we’re happy to be because we think that’s what men were destined to be. We think that’s what women want.” (23)


Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM), NCCAOM Dipl. Acupuncture

  6. Rush Limbaugh Show, 9 Nov 2016
  7. Ibid.
  9. January 1993 issue of Flush Rush Quarterly
  10. Rush Limbaugh Show, 9 Nov 2016
  11. Ibid.
  12. Rush Limbaugh Show, 19 Jan 2007
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.
civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

Analysis of Trump Answers from Press Conference 16 Feb 2017

My bona fides – I used to be an Interrogator in the Army. At one point in my life, I was a professional ‘lie detector’ I suppose you could say. Analysis of a written transcript of a verbal exchange does not exactly line up with my training and experiences, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

I’ve been out for a long time so take my analysis with a grain of salt.

This Q & A patterns falls into three types-

  1. A direct answer: yes, no, or I don’t know. I would say that when he gives a direct answer to the question that it is probably factual.
  2. Deflection: A question is asked and Trump goes on a tangent about something unrelated. This is probably a prevarication or a lie.
  3. Ignoring: A question is asked and Trump simply ignores it. Not clear what this means. Could be covering a lie, it could be an attempt to steer the conversation away from a topic he is not sure about or that he is covering up for something. It could be dementia. Maybe he didn’t hear the question. I have not evaluated these questions. What the reporters should do in this case is ask the question until an answer is received.

The reporters asking the questions do it very poorly. Really, really poorly. Perhaps there is a decorum or a culture that you use when interacting with the President that I’m not aware of. However, because they ask such terrible questions its more difficult to evaluate the answers.

Transcript and Analysis

Q1. During the campaign, did anyone from your team (inaudible) Russian government or Russian intelligence? Q2 And if so, what was the nature of those conversations (inaudible)?

A. The failing New York Times wrote a big, long front-page story yesterday. (Q1 and Q2 Deflection. He is avoiding answering the questions.)

Q3. (Off mike) said today that you have big intellectual margins (inaudible) 300 or more, or 350 electoral votes. President Obama about 365 (off mike).

A.  Yeah. (Q3 Truth. This is in fact, what he said today)

Q4. (Off-mike) why should Americans trust you (off mike) the information (off-mike)?

A. Well, I don’t know. I was given the information. (Q4 Truth. Asked about why Americans should trust him he answered that he doesn’t know why they should trust him)

Q5. Can you tell us in determining that Lt. Gen. Flynn did – whether there was no wrongdoing in your mind, what evidence was weighted? Q6. Did you ask for transcripts of these telephone intercepts with Russian officials, particularly the Ambassador Kislayk, who he was communicating with? Q7. What evidence did you weigh to determine that there was no wrongdoing? Q8. Further to that, you said you are going to aggressively pursue the source of these leaks.

A. We are. (Q8 Truth. He is going to aggressively pursue the source of the leaks. The following questions were not answered – Q5 Was their wrongdoing in your mind about Flynn, Q7 what evidence did you use to come to that conclusion, Q6 and did you ask for a transcript of the intercept)

Q9. Can we ask what you’re going to do and also, we’ve heard about a – a review of the intelligence community headed up by Steven Feinberg, Q10. what can you tell us about that?

A.  Well, first of all about that, we now have Dan Coats, hopefully soon, Mike Pompeo and James Comey and they’re in position so I hope that we’ll be able to straighten that out without using anybody else. (Q9 True. There were talks of Seven Feinberg, a billionaire private equity magnate conducting a review of the intel community. I am assuming that he would rather a review be conducted by Comey and Pompeo).

Trump goes on to say- (Q10 True.) The gentleman you mentioned is a very talented man, very successful man and he’s offered his services and you know, it’s something we may take advantage of. But I don’t think we’re need that at all because of the fact that you know, I think that we are gonna be able to straighten it out very easily on its own.

And then- As far as the general’s concerned, when I first heard about it, I said huh, that doesn’t sound wrong.

Then Trump goes back and answers the question about Flynn (Which was – Q5 Can you tell us in determining that Lt. Gen. Flynn did – whether there was no wrongdoing in your mind).  As far as the general’s concerned, when I first heard about it, I said huh, that doesn’t sound wrong. My counsel came, Don McGahn, White House Counsel, and he told me and I asked him, he can speak very well for himself. He said he doesn’t think anything is wrong, you know, really didn’t think. It was really what happened after that but he didn’t think anything was done wrong. I didn’t either because I waited a period of time and I started to think about it, I said “well I don’t see” – to me, he was doing the job. (To reiterate, the question was – did Flynn did anything wrong? Trump’s answer was “…that doesn’t sound wrong”. Trump’s wordy explanation follows a pattern where when he is prevaricating or lying he says a lot of words that don’t mean anything. I believe that the more incoherent his answers are the more he is lying. I would evaluate this as being False and that Trump indeed knew what Flynn did was wrong.)

Q11. What will you do on the leaks?

A.  Yes, we’re looking at them very – very serious (Q 11 True they will look into them.). I’ve gone to all of the folks in charge of the various agencies and we’re – I’ve actually called the Justice Department to look into the leaks. (Q 11 True.)

Q12. Can you say definitively that nobody on your campaign had any contacts with the Russians during the campaign? Q13. And on the leaks, is it fake news or are these real leaks?

A.  Well the leaks are real. (Q 13 True. As we have seen his pattern for telling truth is simply to answer the question.) The news is fake because so much of the news is fake. So one thing that I felt it was very important to do – and I hope we can correct it. Because there’s nobody I have more respect for – well, maybe a little bit but the reporters, good reporters. (Q 13 also False. The news is not fake. His answer drifts off into incoherency, following the pattern we have discovered for his answers. Truth is answered, lies are deflected and incoherent. Q 12 is not answered.)

Q14. Did you direct Mike Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador?

A.  No, I didn’t. (Q14 Direct answer. True.)

Q15. It sounds as though you do not have much credibility here when it comes to leaking if that is something that you encouraged during the campaign –

A.  All right. So, in one case, you’re talking about highly classified information. In the other case, you are talking about John Podesta saying bad things about the boss. I will say this, if John Podesta said that about me and he was working for me, I would have fired him so fast your head would have spun. (Q 15 Trump deflects here. The question is “can Americans believe you with regards to government leaks given your past statements”. Trump’s actual answer is ‘all right’ which is not actually an answer to this question. He then proceeds to talk about Podesta reinforcing his pattern for lying.)

Q16. You said the leaks are real, but the news is fake. I guess I don’t understand. It seems that there’s a disconnect there. If the information coming from those leaks is real, then how can the stories be fake?

A.  The reporting is fake. Look, look….You know what that is? Here is the thing. The public isn’t — you know, they read newspapers., they see television, they watch. They don’t know if it’s true or false because they’re not involved. I’m involved. I’ve been involved with this stuff all my life. But I’m involved. So I know when you’re telling the truth or when you’re not. I just see many, many untruthful things. (Q16 False. Trump is maintaining his pattern. When he lies he deflects and the answer meanders into unrelated territory. The question – How can the leaks be real and the stories be fake. Trump’s answer – The reporting is fake.)

Q17. Aren’t you concerned, sir, that you are undermining the people’s faith in the First Amendment, freedom of the press, the press in this country, when you call stories you don’t like “fake news”? Q18. Why not just say it’s a story I don’t like?

A.  I do that. (Q17 Here he is ignoring the first, and much more important question about undermining the First Amendment, and Q18 answers the second question.)

Q19. When you call it “fake news”, you’re undermining confidence in our news media (inaudible) important?

A.  No, no. I do that. (Q19 Strange answer here. I think he is telling the truth – he believes that calling the news “fake” is indeed undermining confidence.) The answer continues – Here’s the thing. Ok. I understand what you’re – and you’re right about that, except this. See, I know when I should get good and when I should get bad. And sometimes I’ll say, “wow, that’s’ going to be a great story.” And I’ll get killed. (More meandering incoherence.)

Q20. For those who believe that there is something to it, is there anything that you have learned over the last few weeks that you might be able to reveal that might ease their concerns that this isn’t fake news?

A.  I think they don’t believe it. I don’t think the public – that’s why the Rasmussen poll just has me through the roof. I don’t think they believe it. Well, I guess one of the reasons I’m here today is to tell you the whole Russian thing is a ruse. That’s a ruse. And by the way, it would be great if we could get along with Russia, just so you understand that. (Q20 Honestly I don’t know what Trump is answering here, nor am I sure what the reporter is asking. I don’t know if the reporter is talking about accusations of news being fake in general, of if it is about a specific incident. There was banter across a variety of topics to include Russia, fake news, the press in general, CNN, the fact that he won the presidency, Reince Prebus, and how the media hates him. As near as I can tell, whatever Trump thinks he is answering, I think he is falsifying.)

Q21. Is tax reform on the line?

A.  Tax reform is going to happen fairly quickly. (True) We’re doing Obamacare. We’re in the final stages.

Q22. You mentioned Russia. Let’s talk about some serious issues that have come up in the last week that you have had to deal with as President of the United States.

A.  Ok. (Q22 This isn’t really much of a question)

Q23. You mentioned the vessel – the spy vessel off the coast of the United States.

A.  Not good. (Q23 Direct answer. True)

Q24. There was a ballistic missile test that many interpret as a violation of an agreement between the two countries; and a Russian plane buzzed a US destroyer.

A.  Not good. (Q24 Direct answer. True)

Q25. I’m just trying to find out your orientation to those….

A.  All of those things you mentioned are very recent, because probably Putin assumes that he’s not going to be able to make a deal with me because it’s politically not popular for me to make a deal. So Hillary Clinton tries a re-set. It failed. They all tried. But I’m different than those people. (Q25 The question was basically what’s going on with these Russian provocations. Trump’s answer “Those things happened recently”. Deflection. He is lying or prevaricating. Even more damning is that he interjects Clinton. As an aside, I have noticed this is a common tactic used by the Right when they don’t want to talk about Trump.)

Q26. How are you interpreting those moves? Q27. And what do you intend to do about them? Q28. Have you given Rex Tillerson any advice or counsel on how to deal?

A.  I have. I have. (Q28 True. He has given Tillerson advice or counsel. Q26 and Q27 Trump ignores the first two questions.)

Q29. Is Putin testing you, do you believe sir?

A.  No, I don’t think so. (Q29 True. Trump doesn’t not believe that Putin is testing him. I find this to be one of the most shocking truths in the interview.)

Q30. So when you say they’re not good, do you mean that they are….

A.  Who did I say is not good? (Q30 Answering a question with a question. Deflection)

Q31. No, I read off the three things that have recently happened. Each one of them you said they’re not good.

A.  Not it’s not good, but they happened. (Q31 Repeating the question. Deflection.)

Q32. But do they damage the relationship? Do they undermine….

A.  They all happened recently. (Q32 Deflection.)

Q33. Do they undermine this countries ability to work with Russia?

A.  No. (Q33 True.) They all happened recently. (More Deflection). And I understand what they’re doing because they’re doing the same thing. Now again, maybe I’m not going to be able to deal with Russia, but at least I will have tried. (An interesting confession. True. He believes that he may not be able to pull off his deal with Russia, whatever that is). And if I don’t, does anybody really think that Hillary Clinton would be tougher on Russia than Donald Trump? Does anybody in the room believe that? Ok? (Deflection, incoherence, bringing in Clinton)

Q34. Can we conclude there will be no response to these particular provocations?

A.  I’m not going to tell you anything about what response I do, I don’t talk about military response. I don’t say I’m going into Mosul is four months. “We are going to attack Mosul in four months”. Then three months later, “We are going to attack Mosul in one month.” Next week, we are going to attack Mosul.” In the meantime Mosul is very, very, difficult. Do you know why? Because I don’t talk about military, and I don’t talk about certain other things, you’re going to be surprised to hear that. And by the way, my whole campaign, I’d say that. So I don’t have to tell you. (Q34 Deflection. I don’t know what to make of this. The question was about a response to Russian provocation. The answer was “I’m not going to tell you.” Which is True. The breakdown into Mosul doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the question except to move the conversation away from Russia.)

Q35. On the travel ban would you accept that that was a good example of the smooth running of government?

A.  Yeah I do. I do. (Q35 True. He believes that it was a good example of a smooth running of government.)

Q36. Were there any mistakes?

A.  Wait. Wait. I know who you are. Just wait. (Q36 Deflection. He believes there were mistakes. He goes on to describe that the rollout was smooth but that the courts were bad.)

Q37. I was just hoping that we cold get a yes or no answer on one of these questions involving Russia. Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?

A.  Well I told you, Gen. Flynn obviously was dealing. So that’s one person. (Q37 Deflection, asked again specifically to answer yes or no, he deflected. He gives Flynn’s name presumably because his dealings were already made public.)

Q38. During the election?

A.  No. Nobody that I know of. Nobody…. (Q38 If he had left this answer just as ‘no’ and would say that he was telling the truth. He continues by deflecting- )

Q39. So you’re not aware of any contact during the course…

A.  Look, look, look….How many times do I have to answer this question? (Q39 Deflection. Answering a question with a question.)

Q40. Can you just say yes or no?

A.  Russia is a ruse. I know you have to get up and ask a question. It’s so important. Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. (Q40 Deflection. I would say that this exchange indicates falsehood).

Q41. But in his capacity as your campaign manager (Manafort), was he in touch with Russian officials during the election?

A.  You know what? He said no. I could only tell you what he – now he was replaced long before the election. You know that, right? (Q41 Answering a question with a question, deflecting.)

Q42. On national security and immigration, can you give us more details on the executive order you plan for next week? Even its broad outlines?

A.  Yeah. (Q42 True. He can provide more details)

Q43. Will it be focused on specific ….

A.  It’s a very fair question. (Q43 Deflection)

Q44. Countries? And in addition, on the DACA program for immigration?

A.  Right. (Q44 True)

Q45. What is your plan, do you plan to continue that program or to end it?

A.  We’re gonna show great heart. (Q45 Deflection. This is not a plan nor is it an answer). DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. (Trump has not answered the question)

Q46. Can you talk a little bit about what’s first for Melania Trump does for the country and (inaudible) so opening White House Visitors Office, what does that mean?

A.  Now that’s what I call a nice question. That is very – who are you with? Good I’m gonna start watching, all right? Thank you very much. Melania’s terrific, she was here last night, we had dinner with Senator Rubio and his wife who is by the way, lovely. This goes on for a long time. Word after word but he never answers the question except to say that Melania is outstanding and that the visitors center has something to do with giving tours of the White House. (Q46 Deflection, incoherent. There is no particular answer here)

Q47. You said something as it related to the inner cities?

A.  Fix the inner cities. (Q47 True. Trump mentioned fixing the inner cities)

Q48. What will be that fix and your urban agenda as well as your HBCU Executive Order that’s coming out this afternoon?

A.  That was very professional and very good. We’ll be announcing the order in a little while and I’d rather let the order speak for itself. But it could be something that I think that will be very good for everybody concerned. (Q48 This answer continues, but it is unrelated to the question, rambles, talks about inner cities being hell etc.)

Q49. When you say the inner cities, are you going – are you going to include CBC, Mr. President, in your conversations with your – your urban agenda, your inner city agenda as …

A.  Am I going to include who? (Q49 Requesting clarification to the question)

Q50. Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional –

A.  Well, I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting? (Q50 Answering a question with a question. This answer seems to suggest that Trump is not aware of the CBC, nor is he aware that reporters to not set up meetings for the president.)

Q. (The last question was garbled and hard to understand.)


50 Questions asked.

6 Questions ignored completely. (Can not evaluate.)

20 Questions answered by deflecting. (Indicates that he is lying or prevaricating)

4 Question that I don’t know how to evaluate, or that Trump himself tried to get clarification on.

20 Questions answered truthfully

This is what was true-

  • He did talk about the electoral college earlier that day.
  • He does not know why Americans should trust him.
  • He is going to aggressively pursue the leaks.
  • There were talks about Feinberg reviewing the intel community.
  • They don’t want Feinberg to review the intel community.
  • They are going to look into the leaks, and they have asked the DOJ to get involved.
  • There are real leaks.
  • He did not direct Flynn to talk to the Russian ambassador.
  • He does say when he doesn’t like a news story.
  • He believes that calling the news “fake” is indeed undermining confidence.
  • They are going to implement tax reform.
  • Trump believes the Russian spy vessel sitting off the coast, the missile test and the Russian bomber  buzzing US warships are “not good”
  • True. He has given Tillerson advice.
  • True. Trump doesn’t not believe that Putin is testing him
  • True. The provocations don’t damage relations.
  • Trump believes the rollout was good.
  • He can provide details about his EO.
  • The EO will contain DACA provisions.
  • He has mentioned fixing inner cities.

These are the lies-

  • People on his team interacted with Russians, during the campaign and Trump knew about it.
  • Trump does believe that Flynn did something wrong.
  • Trump is covering up something about Russia.

Q1. Deflection. (Did anyone on your team interact with Russia)

Q2. Deflection. (What did your team talk to Russia about)
Q3. True. (He did talk about electoral college margins earlier in the day)

Q4. True. (He doesn’t know why Americans should trust him)

Q5. Initially he doesn’t answer the question. Later in the press conference he says that Flynn didn’t do anything wrong, but I believe his statement show that Trump does believe that Flynn did something wrong.

Q6. Not answered.

Q7. Not answered.

Q8. True. He is going to aggressively pursue the leaks.

Q9. True. There were talks about Feinberg reviewing the intel community.

Q10. True. They are going to try to not use him to do that.

Q11. True. They are going to look into the leaks and they have asked the DOJ to do it.

Q12. Not answered.

Q13. True. There are real leaks. But also, false, the stories are not fake.

Q14. True. He did not direct Flynn to talk to the Russian ambassador.

Q15. Deflection. Americans can not believe him with regard to the story about government leaks.

Q16. False. The leaks are real and the stories are real.

Q17. Ignored. He ignores the question about undermining the First Amendment

Q18. True. He does say when he doesn’t like a news story.

Q19. True. He believes that calling the news “fake” is indeed undermining confidence.

Q20. I don’t know what to analyze here.

Q21. True. They are going to implement tax reform.

Q22. Not really a question.

Q23. Russian spy vessel – “not good”. True.

Q24. Missile test and Russian bomber buzzing US war ships. “not good”. True.

Q25. Deflection. The question – what’s going on with these Russian provocations. Trump’s answer “Those things happened recently”.

Q26. Not answered.

Q27. Not answered.

Q28. True. He has given Tillerson advice.

Q29. True. Trump doesn’t not believe that Putin is testing him

Q30. Deflection. Answering question with a question.

Q31. Deflection.

Q32. Deflection (Do the Russian provocations damage relations with the US – Answer “They happened recently”)

Q33. True. The provocations don’t damage relations. Trumps answer to this one goes in some interesting directions.

Q34. The question was about a response to Russian provocation. The answer was “I’m not going to tell you.” Which is True, but leaves the question unanswered.

Q35. True. Trump believes the rollout was good.

Q36. Deflection.  He believes there were mistakes.

Q37. Deflection, asked again specifically to answer yes or no, he deflected. He gives Flynn’s name presumably because his dealings were already made public.

Q38. Deflection. If he had left this answer just as ‘no’ I would say that he was telling the truth.

Q39. Deflection.

Q40. Deflection.

Q41. Deflection.

Q42. True. He can provide details about his EO.

Q43. Deflection.

Q44. True. The EO will contain DACA provisions.

Q45. Deflection. “We’re gonna show heart” is not an answer.

Q46. Deflection and incoherent.

Q47. True. he did mention fixing inner cities.

Q48. Unknown. Mostly incoherent.

Q49. Requests clarification about the question.

Q50. Deflection. Answering a question with a question.

civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

Flynn Timeline

I’m really trying to finish Part 3 of my essay “Trump so Far”, but as I was going through the transcript from Trump’s press conference on 16 Feb 2017, I got distracted by trying to understand the scandal with Flynn.

The following is my recreation of the timeline compiled from the NY Times, the Washington Post, Vox, NBC, and Mother Jones.

Dec 2015 Mr. Flynn, then retired from the Army, attended a dinner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of RT, a Russian state-backed English-language news channel that disseminates Russian views on global affairs. He sat at a table with President Vladimir V. Putin, spoke beforehand and subsequently appeared on RT as a commentator. Flynn was paid to give a speech at this dinner.

Jan 2016 – Nov 2016 Flynn hobnobbed with Kislyak during the campaign. Flynn-Kislyak conversations “were part of a series of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that began before the November 8 election and continued during the transition.” Kislyak said that he had been in contact with Flynn since before the election, but declined to answer questions about the subjects they discussed. Flynn’s pre-election interactions with Kislyak occurred while Moscow was attacking American democracy with its secret operation to subvert the election via hacking and leaking (and more) to boost Trump’s prospects.

June 2016 News breaks that the Democratic National Committee had been cyber-penetrated, private cyber experts immediately concluded that Russian intelligence was the culprit.

17 Aug 2016 As the GOP presidential nominee, began receiving briefings from the US intelligence committee.

18 Nov 2016 Trump names Flynn to be his National Security Advisor.

29 Dec 2016 Flynn calls Kislyak (This is the same day that President Obama slaps sanctions on Russia for interfering in US elections) Flynn told Kislyak that Trump would be rolling back Russian sanctions. The two speak on multiple occasions on this day.

30 Dec 2016 — Putin says he won’t retaliate for the sanctions and invites children from the U.S. embassy to a Christmas party. Trump then praises Putin in a tweet.

Sometime in Jan 2017 — The FBI reviews intercepts and finds the Flynn-Kislyak conversation. The matter gets folded into the FBI’s ongoing probe into Russian election-related hacking and related issues.

11 Jan 2017 Trump denies members of his staff had contact with Russia before the election, during the campaign.

12 Jan 2017 Washington Post reports on the 29 Dec telephone conversation between Flynn and Kislyak.

13 Jan 2017 Trump spokesman Sean Spicer says Flynn did not discuss sanctions with the ambassador and the purpose of the call was to schedule a time for Trump and Putin to speak post-inauguration.

?? Jan 2017 US Intelligence provides transcripts of the conversations between Flynn and Kislyak showing that they did indeed talk about sanctions.

14 or 15 Jan 2017 Flynn tells Pence that he did not talk to Kislyak about sanctions. (Pence said that he spoke to Flynn ‘directly’ before the interview on Face the Nation).

15 Jan 2017 Face the Nation Pence declared that the Trump campaign had no interactions with Moscow.

19 Jan 2017 Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates — discuss the situation and want to warn the Trump team that Flynn has misled Spicer and Pence. FBI Director James Comey vetoes that, saying it will compromise his ongoing investigation.

20 or 21 Jan 2017 FBI questions Flynn about his contacts with the Russians.

23 Jan 2017 At Spicer’s first White House press briefing, he says that Flynn assured him the night before that the Flynn-Kislyak call did not involve sanctions.

26 Jan 2017 Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informs Trump that Flynn had misrepresented the calls and was therefore vulnerable to Russian blackmail evidence that Trump’s senior campaign adviser on national security was in regular contact with Putin’s man in Washington.

8 Feb 2017 Flynn tells the Washington Post that he did not discuss sanctions with Russia.

9 Feb 2017 Washington Post reports that Flynn did discuss sanctions with Kislyak.

10 Feb 2017 A spokesperson for Flynn tells NBC News that Flynn “can’t be 100 percent sure,” but doesn’t remember talking sanctions. Trump denies knowledge of the reports that Flynn and the Russian talked sanctions. “I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?” he tells reporters. Also that day, Flynn speaks by phone to Pence, reportedly to apologize to him.

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM), NCCAOM Dipl. Acupuncture

civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

Trump So Far – Part 3 Analysis and Repercussions (Appointments and Nominations)

Part 3 is my attempt at analysis. I have broken it down into the same headings as found in Part 2 Timeline Summary.

Furthermore, I will be posting these sections individually in an attempt to make them more accessible.


Starting in the summer of 2016 with the appointment of VP Pence, Trump has been evaluating and assembling his Cabinet and other Executive Branch positions, formally completing this process on Feb 8th.

Pence was the Governor of Indiana and had relatively low job approval ratings in his state (1). In spite of this, Pence is popular with Republicans, especially on Capitol Hill (2). Pence was likely chosen for the sake of “party unity” (3) and to be an acceptable replacement for when Trump gets impeached or is removed from office through the 25th Amendment.

With the exception of his nominations for Secretary of Defense General Mattis and DHS General Kelly (I think both are exceptional), I would argue that Trump has assembled the worst Cabinet in history. I will also be completely ignoring the potentially traitorous collusion with Russia that so many of these people have (I will look at that in a future essay).

A cautionary note about Mattis – his move to SecDef takes him directly from his position helping to run General Dynamics — “a $30-billion colossus that heavily relies on Pentagon contracts overseen by the Defense Secretary.” (4) Mattis owns $1,000,000 in General Dynamics stocks. This is a huge conflict of interests. A question to ask – Trump just called for a $54 billion dollar increase in military spending, how much of that money ends up directly in Mattis’ pockets? Something to keep in mind with nearly every member of team Trump is the amount of money they will now be making directly off the citizens of US.

A bizarre addendum to these deplorable nominees is the Republicans abridging the vetting process. Democrats accuse the GOP of ramming Trump’s nominees down their throats without the advance vetting that Obama gave his first-term Cabinet (5). His nominees are a menagerie of billionaires, millionaires, and lobbyists with corporate ties and who also donated money to Trump. Even Gen. Kelly failed to disclose his position on the Board of a lobbying firm called ‘Spectrum Group’ (6)

Three of President Trump’s nominees for Cabinet positions (Ross, Mulvaney, and Price) “revealed that they had engaged in illegal or questionable behavior that prior administrations have considered serious enough to necessitate a nominee’s withdrawal.” (7). Monica Crowley was forced to withdraw from a position on the NSC for plagiarizing her Ph.D. thesis (8) Puzder was forced to withdraw for scandals related to domestic abuse and cheating workers out of wages (9). DeVos was confirmed in spite of “blatantly violating campaign finance laws” (10) and lying about sitting on the Board of her parent’s association (11).

Let us not forget the whirlwind tour of National Security Advisor Flynn (who lasted a record 25 days). He was canned for lying to the Vice President about communications he had with Russian agents (12).

In all of this scandal laden news it’s easy to forget that Steve Bannon is a white supremacist who ran a paper that regularly denigrated women and minorities and who may have received illegal donations from a PAC (13). And now he is Chief Strategist. Steve Sessions was prevented from holding office in the 80’s for being a racist. Now he is Attorney General. Or that Sebastian Gorka (who Vanity Fair called the ‘Jihad Whisperer’ (14)) and Stephen Miller (Miller has been accused of association with Neo Nazi Richard Spencer) (15) also have strong white nationalist leaning and are both potentially white supremacists who hate Muslims. Both of them are valuable members of Trumps staff.

FCC appointee Ajit Pai is moving to relax internet privacy standards (16) and wants to get rid of “net neutrality” rules (17). After reviewing “net neutrality” I’m at a loss to see how it benefits the people in our country. It does however benefit corporations a great deal. With each appointment it becomes easier to see the creation of an oligarchy.

In addition to the criminality and corruption taking hold in the leadership of the USA, this Cabinet brings with them a number of individuals who hold outlandish, unscientific, and bizarre world views. Ben Carson believes that the pyramids were built to store grain (18). He also believes that homosexuality is a choice, evolution is an idea encouraged by the devil and, most famously, that Obamacare is ‘the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.’ (19). Rick Perry, the new Secretary of Energy, didn’t know what the Department of Energy was or what it did (20). Steven Mnuchin, the new Secretary of the Treasury has never served in government and has no experience in setting macroeconomic policy (21). He did however lead Trump’s fundraising efforts. He also “failed to disclose his interests in a Cayman Islands corporation as well as more than $100 million in personal assets.” (22) Scott Pruitt is a climate change skeptic.  Ryan Zinke said that the science behind climate change is “not proven”.

I could go on and on about how unqualified his Cabinet is, or how they are generally hostile to the mission of the Department they have been put in charge of. Or I could lecture at length on their ethical violations and criminal activities, but I think that the point has been well made. The Washington Post has a good article that summarizes this (23).

Just a couple more points about his staff-related decisions.

  1. Keeping FBI director Comey – he is a partisan operative who will not investigate Trump’s Russian connections. Or as stated by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), former head of the Congressional Black Caucus. “He embarrassed this nation, he possibly influenced the outcome of a presidential election, and he should not hold any position of trust, whatsoever, in our government.” (24)
  2. Reorganizing the NSC to put Bannon on it – Re-organizing the NSC is not particularly noteworthy. In fact, putting the Director of the CIA on the NSC is probably a good idea. However Bannon, a white supremacist and political hack should have no place anywhere where national security is being discussed. It is in fact hard to believe that he would qualify for a security clearance (Let us not forget that Bannon is endorsed by KKK leader David Duke) (25). Senate confirmed Cabinet members are held accountable for their decisions.(26) Bannon will not be. In a 2011 interview Bannon said progressives vilify conservative women because they’re not “a bunch of dykes.” (27) In 1996, he was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery, and dissuading a witness (28). His ex-wife accused him of being anti-Semetic (29). His newspaper, Breitbart, compared the work of Planned Parenthood to the Holocaust. (30)
  3. In January Trump made a spectacle of relieving then acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Swapping out personnel isn’t a big deal, but in the letter he put out about it is. As a response to her ordering the DOJ not to enforce Trump’s controversial ban in immigrants he accused her of betraying the country. (31) This fits into a pattern with Trump of seeing anyone who disagrees with him as an enemy or a traitor; much in the same way he calls news he doesn’t like “fake news”.

Summary – Trump has demonstrated an unconscionable level of ineptness by not filling in the job vacancies of the Executive Branch. All in all, the new President has about 4,000 positions he is responsible for filling, to include hundreds of senior staff positions. Of the positions that he has filled, the decisions seems to be largely guided by who donated money to him.

Also with regards to the positions that he has filled, they are of two types. 1. They are hostile to the agency they were hired to run (Pruitt, Puzder, Zinke), or 2. They are completely unqualified to run it (Perry, Carson). In some instances, his nominees are both (DeVos).

Many members have committed or been accused of committing serious ethics violations (DeVos, Kelly, Ross, Mulvaney, Price, Conway, Tillerson, Carson) (32,33,34,35)

He has also filled his team with racists (Sessions), white supremacists (Bannon, Miller, Gorka), and liars (Spicer, Conway, Miller). Additionally, nearly every member has egregious conflicts of interests and as previously mentioned many have very concerning ties to Russia.

His cabinet lacks diversity and in no way represents the melting pot that makes American great. This will be the first cabinet in 30 years without a Latino (36). The four most powerful departments will be led by white males (the first time this has happened in 26 years) (37) Of Trump’s 18 highest profile members – “…some Cabinet-level and others powerful but slightly lesser, and excluding his vice president and most senior White House staff — 14 are white, of which 12 are male.” (38) All of his top National Security members are white men.

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM), NCCAOM Dipl. of Acupuncture

  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  19. Ibid
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Ibid
  30. Ibid.
  37. Ibid
  38. Ibid.