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Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Put the Drumpf Corruption Scandal Together.....

Donald Trump advisor Sheriff David A. Clarke was in Russia while Michael Flynn dined with Putin

On December 10th of 2015, Michael Flynn traveled to Moscow to attend a dinner for Russia Today, and he sat at the same table as Russian president Vladimir Putin. Shortly thereafter, Flynn became a Donald Trump campaign advisor, and ultimately became Trump’s National Security Adviser. It’s recently come to light that Flynn was paid $40,000 by the Kremlin to attend the dinner, in violation of U.S. law. As it turns out, another Trump campaign advisor was also in Moscow, meeting with Russian officials, on that same day.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, who played a prominent role as a surrogate in the Donald Trump campaign and served as an informal campaign advisor, was also in Moscow on December 10th of 2015. We know this because Clarke tweeted a photo of himself at the time, adding the caption “Red Square near the Kremlin with a Russian officer. Met earlier with Russian Foreign Minister who spoke on Mid East.” This raises so many questions it’s difficult to know where to begin.
What are the odds that these two men, a midwestern sheriff and a Washington military bureaucrat, who had no connection to each other, and who later both went on to become prominent faces of the Donald Trump campaign, just happened to coincidentally travel to Moscow on the exact same day in order to meet with high ranking members of the Russian government? Is it more likely that both men were simultaneously brought to Moscow because the Russian government was recruiting and assembling the team that it planned to install as Trump’s top campaign people?

And since we now know that Michael Flynn was paid to travel to Moscow on December 10th (source: New York Daily News), does this mean David Clarke was paid by Russia to be there as well? Clarke’s tweet from Moscow on that day raises nearly limitless questions that must now be answered. Contribute to Palmer Report 

Bannon and Trump are out for revenge
Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s reclusive chief strategist and the intellectual force behind his nationalist agenda, said Thursday that the new administration is locked in an unending battle against the media and other globalist forces to “deconstruct” an outdated system of governance.
“They’re going to continue to fight,” Bannon said of the media, which he repeatedly described as “the opposition party,” and other forces he sees as standing in the president’s way. “If you think they are giving you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.”
Atop Trump’s agenda, Bannon said, was the “deconstruction of the administrative state” — meaning a system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president and his advisers believe stymie economic growth and infringe upon one’s sovereignty.
For those who doubted Trump-Bannon’s determination to destroy the liberal international order that has kept world war at bay and promoted global prosperity since the end of World War II, this will come as a rude awakening. Bannon’s simultaneous attack on the media suggests that it is not simply about trade or immigration policy. 
From an economic standpoint, Bannon is talking mumbo jumbo. Protectionism and immigration exclusion retard growth; they do not promote it. We do not lose “sovereignty” when our consumers enjoy a higher standard of living thanks to imported goods. And in the regulations department, what could be more of a regulatory burden than cutting legal immigration, trying to influence which suppliers to use via a border adjustment tax or bullying companies about where they set up their plants? This is not about sovereignty; it is about creating an even more powerful government, one that is oblivious to economic reality and ignores the political and economic upheavals that the policies create.
Bannon may very well know that he is peddling junk — crumbs tossed to low-information voters desperate to find a culprit for their economic woes. If he has been listening to U.S. business leaders, allies, informed members of Congress or the Federal Reserve chairman, he must have figured out how counterproductive his nationalist ideas are. (We’ve tried this before in the 1930s — with poor results.) And yet the appetite to decimate liberal Western democracies and shred an international system that has maintained relative peace and prosperity is unabated.
The conclusion one is drawn to over and over is that Bannon and Trump are living out a cultural revenge fantasy. Bannon-Trump remain bonded to their base not because of ideology or agenda, but because they desire the downfall of coastal and urban elites (personified by the media), detest the ethnic and racial demographic trends that continue to make the country more diverse and hold fast to various myths and an exaggerated sense of victimhood (e.g. climate change is a hoax, minorities all live in violent and poverty-stricken cities, Christians are “persecuted”). No wonder the Trump team finds a role model in the anti-Western, authoritarian Russian President Vladimir Putin, who runs a kleptocracy that impoverishes his people, whom he then tries to pacify with grandiose nationalistic ambitions. (They may not have a high-tech industry, but by gosh, the Empire is back!)
When Trump cannot achieve his aims (e.g. replacing Obamacare with a nonexistent superior system that costs less) or when his rhetoric embroils the country in political and economic conflict, members of his base may notice that their lives are not improving one iota. Perhaps some will stick to him until the bitter end. In the meantime, an impressive coalition of rationalists from right and left is developing. From both sides of the political perspective we see Americans amassing who understand that globalism is both desirable and irreversible and that democratic norms are worth preserving. They’ve decided that what Trump wants to destroy — not just Obamacare but also international liberal structures and democracy itself — is worth preserving. Seeing Bannon’s smug delight in smashing the pillars of political and economic stability we have taken for granted should remind anti-Trump Americans: They are in quite a fight, and the stakes could not be higher.


This may be the lowlight of a week that also saw him make an 
unhinged phone…

Sebastian Gorka, the deputy assistant to Donald Trump who portrays himself as a counterterrorism expert, despite the fact that most of the counterterrorism Establishment disagrees with this self-assessment, is having an extremely rough week.
On a Wednesday morning Fox & Friends appearance, he presented false statistics about the recidivism rates of Guantánamo Bay prisoners released by the Obama administration — numbers that ran contrary to the government’s own figures. That earned him a lengthy rebuke from and criticism from outlets like this one, as well as yet more opprobrium from a national security Establishment increasingly furious by his policy-making influence.
It was downhill from there. Just hours after offering the bogus stat, Gorka used his personal cell phone to call Michael S. Smith II, a Republican counterterrorism expert who currently resides in South Carolina and who has been extremely critical of Gorka on Twitter. That was, in fact, the subject of the call: The deputy assistant to the president was calling to complain that a private American citizen was being mean on Twitter.
Not only did Gorka express his personal displeasure , Smith heard a threat in the call. “Gorka asserted my tweets about him merited examination by the White House legal counsel,” Smith told Newsweek. “In effect, he was threatening to entangle me in a legal battle for voicing my concerns on Twitter that he does not possess expertise sufficient to assist the president of the United States with formulating and guiding national security policies.” Shortly after Gorka made that alleged threat, Smith began recording the call, and the audio clip, published by Newsweek yesterday, is frankly mind-blowing.
Most of the call consists of Gorka and Smith arguing and Gorka insisting they set up a meeting at the White House (presumably so Gorka can convince Smith he’s a credible expert). Over and over, Gorka yells at Smith about how out of line his tweets are — if you didn’t know the context, you would think the debate was over some absolutely vital life-and-death policy matter rather than, well, tweets.
A few highlights, among many:
Gorka: Why is there such vitriol popping out of you constantly, every day now, it’s so strange. I look at your Twitter feed once or twice a day, and again, it’s half a dozen tweets about me, and I’ve never met you.
Smith: Wow, are you defeating Jihad by monitoring or trolling my Twitter feed? I mean, honestly, to begin —” [arguing breaks out]
Gorka, whose job is to keep Americans safe from a dizzying, ever-shifting galaxy of security threats and to guide the president’s counterterrorism policy, seems to be acknowledging that he spends a chunk of his workday monitoring the feeds of his Twitter critics. This is … unusual.
Smith: I would submit to you that a majority of terrorism experts who have experience working with policy makers — which you do not, until now — would agree that you are not an expert of a level sufficient to be working in the White House with the president’s inner circle.
Gorka: But that’s one man’s opinion — a man who has a two-year-old TV clip in his Twitter feed, and having to point out that he has an op-ed piece inThe Wall Street Journal as your [Twitter] header. I mean, that’s your qualifications? You don’t have a TV hit from more [sic] than two years ago? I mean, isn’t that peculiar that you’re questioning my credentials and your last TV hit was two years ago?
This nicely captures the expert-nonexpert divide going on here. Gorka seems to be saying that Smith shouldn’t be trusted as a counterterrorism expert since he hasn’t been on TV lately, which isn’t usually how a given academic community determines who has the most serious and worthwhile views. (That said, plenty of academics are media conscious — rather than ignore the jab, Smith responds that he’s totally been on TV lately.)
Smith: You have approached this conversation is a most childish and obnoxious manner.
Gorka: Read your Twitter feeds. Read your Twitter feeds. Obnoxious? [super angry] Read. Your. Twitter feeds, okay? And don’t lecture me aboutobnoxious.
Smith: I stand by everything on my Twitter feeds and there’s no way for you to change my opinion about that. To be completely frank about this, I find it most curious that a person of your manner, your demeanor, what you are exuding on this phone call, is deemed stable enough to hold a [security] clearance and work in the White House.
Again, it’s simply striking how upset Gorka is over tweets. This isn’t normal behavior for a top-level wonk.
And the week wasn’t even over yet. Perhaps the biggest blow to Gorka comes today in the form of a lengthy, well-reported article in The Forwardby Lili Bayer. The article is headlined, “Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties to Anti-Semitic Groups in Hungary,” and Bayer goes on to lay out those ties in careful detail: “Gorka’s involvement with the far right includes co-founding a political party with former prominent members of Jobbik, a political party with a well-known history of anti-Semitism; repeatedly publishing articles in a newspaper known for its anti-Semitic and racist content; and attending events with some of Hungary’s most notorious extreme-right figures.”
This didn’t just happen once or twice; it’s a disturbing pattern. For example: “In 2006, Gorka defended the use of the Arpad flag, which Hungary’s murderous Arrow Cross Party used as their symbol,” writes Bayer. “The Hungarian Arrow Cross Party killed thousands of Jews during World War II, shooting many of them alongside the Danube River and throwing them into the water. Gorka told the news agency JTA at the time that ‘if you say eight centuries of history can be eradicated by 18 months of fascist distortion of symbols, you’re losing historic perspective.’”
Under normal circumstances, either the recorded call or the Forward story would be enough to jeopardize the position of a top-tier White House adviser. Then again, under normal circumstances someone like Gorka would only have access to the White House if he signed up for a tour.

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