Trump Trots Out the Romanian President, But the Corrupt Power Behind the Throne is Liviu Dragnea (Who Met with Mike Flynn Just before the Inauguration)

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Trump trotted out the President of Romania today for a show at the White House Rose Garden.  Most of the press coverage has been about Trump’s comments about James Comey, tapes, and his supposed willingness to testify under oath about all the stuff swirling around him.

The Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, was here to talk about stronger ties with Washington and how Romania was really working hard to up its spending for defense, a big thing on Trump’s mind when it comes to NATO members.

From Foreign Policy:

The Romanian President Is in D.C. to Talk Defense, But…

SNIP
“Security and defense represent a key component of the U.S.-Romanian strategic partnership,” Iohannis said at a Wednesday event at the Heritage Foundation. “As a dependable ally, Romania is doing its share. This year, we have fulfilled our objective,” spending 2 percent of GDP on defense — the first, Iohannis said, to do so, noting it was at the top of his presidential agenda.

“The visit of the Romanian president in Washington is here to underline the importance of our defense and military ties and reinforce our cooperation also in terms of trade,” Victor Negrescu, a Romanian member of European Parliament told Foreign Policy. Negrescu pointed to increased Romanian defense spending, support for the installment of an anti-ballistic missile system, and the establishment of a “pro-U.S. caucus” in Romanian parliament.

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But who is behind this “pro-U.S. caucus? Well, there is a power behind this throne.  The President of the parliament’s chamber of deputies is one Liviu Dragnea, who is considered to be the guy with the real power.  He organized the “pro-U.S. caucus.”  Iohannis is the head of the ruling party, but is not the prime minister.  Why? Because, as the Foreign Policy article explains, Iohannis ” would not approve a government with Dragnea at the helm, because Dragnea was convicted for his role in rigging a 2012 referendum. ”

Gee, whiz! And isn’t it interesting that, according to Foreign Policy, ” Dragnea met with Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor, shortly before Trump was sworn in as president (and a few weeks before Flynn was fired in disgrace.) Dragnea is also thought to be a force behind the proposed legislation that would let politicians charged with corruption — as Dragnea himself is — off the proverbial hook; that legislation was withdrawn after thousands took to the streets of Bucharest.

Back in February, you might recall that hundreds of thousands of Romania citizens protested for in the streets for 6 nights.  The Guardian reported

’27 years of corruption is enough’: Romanians on why they are protesting

After six nights on the streets, Romanian protesters appear to have won after the government scrapped corruption legislation that ignited the country’s largest demonstrations since the fall of communism. But those who responded to a Guardian callout say it is not enough, and are demanding that the government step down.

“They are profoundly corrupt. Their first priority after taking office is to alter the most important work that has been done in Romania in the past 28 years: the anti-corruption fight,” says Andrei, a 28-year-old air traffic controller, who protested in Bucharest. “Nobody wants a reversal to the period of the early noughties where there was no consequences for organised fraud.”

Half a million Romanians took to the streets after the government put through a decree to decriminalise corruption involving sums of less than 200,000 lei (£38,000). The prime minister, Sorin Grindeanu, of the Social Democratic party (PSD) and who has been in office for less than a month, repealed the order on Sunday.

SNIP

An immediate beneficiary of the decree would have been the PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, who faces charges of defrauding the state of €24,000 (£20,000). Dragnea has said he has not ruled himself out as a future leader, but under current law is not allowed to be appointed prime minister because of his conviction.

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Dragnea was among those depicted as effigies during the protest:

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At the time, President Iohannis made pronouncements against this legislation, so Trump may not look on this stance favorably. However, Trump would be OK with the fact that   back in December 2016, he rejected a Muslim woman for the position of Prime Minister.

Romania’s president has rejected a proposal by the leftist party that won elections this month to appoint the country’s first female and first Muslim prime minister.

Klaus Iohannis gave no reasons for rejecting the nomination of Sevil Shhaideh, put forward by the Social Democrats (PSD), but there was speculation that it may have been due to her Syrian husband’s background.

“I have properly analysed the arguments for and against and I have decided not to accept this proposal,” the president said in a televised statement. “I call on the PSD coalition to make another proposal.”

The PSD won 45% of the vote on 11 December. Its leader, Liviu Dragnea, withdrew his own bid to become prime minister because he is serving a two-year suspended sentence for fraud in a previous election.

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Of course, only a couple of months ago, the man who did became prime minister, Grindeanu, tried to water down the anti-corruption laws.

So Liviu Dragnea is doing fine behind the scenes…and he hasn’t ruled himself as being Romania’s leader in the future, despite his corruption…stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post-Paris Agreement Withdrawal, Visualize this Every Day….

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

So now that Trump has taken a dump on the planet, this image should become part of a global visualization exercise every day…

Take a deep breath…and another…close your eyes and continue to breathe fully, letting the muscles of your body melt into your chair….

Now…

Imagine Trump and one of his closest climate “advisors” on a shrinking piece of ice…the water surround them and laps at the ice floe.  They are alone…perhaps Trump is with Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA…perhaps he is with Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, who is focused on the destruction of our national parks through drilling and mineral extraction….

It doesn’t matter who is with Trump…the water is getting higher…and higher…The ice is melting away, slowly, slowly…

Thumbnail

But Trump is repeating his slogan “Make America Great Again” as he sinks into the water…slowly…slowly…

*****

Repeat this visualization daily….Make it manifest, make it so…

 

*****

United Nations Framework Covention on Climate Change–Paris Agreement

 

Lawrence O’Donnell is Staying on the Air!!

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Tonight, as he bid farewell to an intern who was leaving for a new job starting next week, Lawrence O’Donnell said that next week HE would be sitting right there covering the Comey testimony and would be covering everything “for the next couple of years.”

With his contract coming due around June 4th, we had heard nothing except that it seems O’Donnell and management were talking again.

So now we have the news…Lawrence O’Donnell will be giving us his great discussion and analysis for 2 more years for sure!!!!

A victory for all of us!!!

 

 

Is MSNBC Starting to Edge out Joy Reid? Her Sunday Schedule Pushed Back for a Soccer Game? UPDATE: 10/23/2017 …Happily, Joy is busier than ever!!!

Update:  Joy is subbing for practically everyone and in an interview she stated that she really enjoys seeing how all the shows work. She is appearing on Meet the Press occasionally, and recently went to the Virgin Islands to report on the hurricane disaster there. She continues to report on the Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
GO JOY!!!

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

OK, maybe I’m just being hypersensitive about how MSNBC is shoving out a lot of people who are deemed as being “too far left” for the taste of Andrew Lack.  (very interesting Lack bio at Comcast.com corporate:  Andrew Lack.) We are in the dark about the fate of Lawrence O’Donnell but the purge started a long while back when Melissa Harris Perry blew the whistle on the network. God forbid that a show is devoted to a serious round table dealing with current issues involving the issue of Black America. Rev. Al’s Politics Nation has been reduced to early A.M. on Sunday.  And the list goes on

Joy Reid had her own show during the afternoons that was axed around the time that Alex Wagner’s NOW , the Cycle, Ronan Farrow Daily and The Ed Show were cancelled in February 2015. The Reid Report was struggling with low ratings as was the whole lineup.

Reid stayed on with the network, filling in and covering the 2016 campaign and became more visible and a real stalwart.  She was rewarded with her weekend AM Joy program which is a top destination for thinking people.  (Of course, she COULD have been given the slot have Greta Van Susteren was given but…) Her show is delivering great ratings and Joy has been writing books and as well as essays at sites like the Daily Beast…so, she’s blossoming as a media star.  See her outdated MSNBC bio here: Joy Reid outdated biography MSNBC.

So, why is MSNBC shoving Joy’s show around as the Trump scandals heat up?  Joy has been a leader in questioning the whole lot of GOP lackeys, and has been ahead of the pack in questioning the role of VP Mike Pence and his knowledge of Gen. Mike Flynn’s lies.  She has been steadily calling out the entire bunch over at the Daily Beast,  Her latest scathing salvo dated May 20, 2017 is entitled Donald Trump Knows Just How Bad the Russia Investigation Can Get

My favorite quotation from this piece is classic Joy:

“(We are asked to believe Mike Pence, the head of the transition team, heard this confession and the warnings about Flynn from the then-acting attorney general with his index fingers stuck firmly in his little lamb ears.)”

BUT…as Joy Reid’s audience grows, could this be a bit too much for MSNBC?

Today, Joy’s show is being pushed back 2 hours because there is a Premier League soccer match that MUST be shown in her regular Sunday time slot. ?????

Now, checking the NBCSN schedule, I can see that, yes, other games are being dropped onto other NBC outlets. CNBC, Esquire, USA, Bravo, SyFy, E!, Oxygen,  Telemundo and NBC Universo are ALL showing games at the same time, 10 AM ET.  NBCSport.com/tv-lisings

Now, I’m a huge soccer fan…was one before it became more popular. I had season tickets for the Cosmos at the midfield line just behind the players’ family section at the old Giants Stadium, where I saw all the greats.  Back in the late 70’s/early 80’s I was writing letters and calling Don Imus to lobby for coverage because the media was blacking out most coverage. For example, while 34,000 of us were watching a game in the rain, the only news was that baseball had been rained out.  I can say that my letter to the New York Times was published and Imus reported the score of that game! So, my sports activism worked!

So, now, as someone more devoted to political activism, I have to call into question what’s going on at MSNBC…and today, specifically, the decision to push Joy Reid back 2 hours so a Hull-Tottenham match is aired instead of the best discussion of current politics.

Really, MSNBC????

*****

I’ll be revisiting the Lack influence at some point since his bio discusses his former life at Bloomberg…..

Contact Info for Saving Lawrence O’Donnell, What’s left of MSNBC and Our Sanity — Bonus: Contact Info for Lakeland Bank, Which Likes to Hassle Employees Out of a Job if They Dare Have “Unapproved” Political Leanings

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

The main Comcast number that I’ve seen will send you to their Executive Customer Relations office, where a very nice young man chatted with me this morning….but that’s NOT the place to deliver your comments.   After I delivered my speech (see below), he said he was getting a lot of call about this but…

He referred me to NBC-Universal in NYC, which handles the NBC broadcast side.  So, I called there and was able to leave a voice mail. Hit # afterwards which will confirm that your message has been recorded (they don’t give you that instruction, but it is an “option,” so I suggest you do it.)

Here’s the number:  212-664-4444

Of course, in my speech, I brought up Andrew Lack, Brian Williams, the top ratings of  the Hayes, Maddow, and O’Donnell lineup, and Lawrence’s own unique insights that he brings to the political news because of his experience working in the bowels of the Senate.  I also told the message machine the same thing I told the young man at Comcast…that Williams was a known liar that was being rehabbed at the expense of O’Donnell and that if we see Hugh Hewitt with a show, that would make me puke.  I finished by saying that if O’Donnell goes, I go.

I made another therapeutic call for my soul just before calling NBC…over at  Raw Story there is this item:

GOP lawmaker targets New Jersey activist by sending letter to her boss — and she resigns under pressure

An activist who lives in Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R – NJ) district resigned from her job earlier this year after the congressman called her out as a progressive “ringleader” in a letter to her boss.

WNYC reports that Saily Avelenda, a resident of West Caldwell, NJ, stepped down from her job at a local bank after being confronted over her work for a local progressive activist group called NJ 11th for Change.

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Having grown up in the general area, this name goes WAY BACK for me…and for New Jersey.  This name represents a New Jersey dynasty…lots of places associated with it, including a building at Rutgers University.  See this 2009 NJ Monthly profile:  Like Father, Like Son, And Son, And Son…

So, I guess when you get a donation from a board member at Lakeland Bank by the name of  O’Dowd, who runs an advertising firm, a guy like Rodney feels he can just call the bank up and suggest that they hassle an employee until they feel they need to leave.

Mr. O’Dowd, advertising guy, now has a pretty lousy public relations situation on his hands.  Of course, the Congressman who never holds town halls will be getting a lot of flack, but I found it more interesting to call the Lakeland Bank, where I talked to a nice lady in Customer Service who dutifully took my name and typed up my comments, even asking if I wanted someone to call me!

Well, I declined the offer because I heard her typing what I said…which included my familiarity with Rodney, my background in marketing research that gave me some cred in my comments about O’Dowd the advertising guy, and the fact that I have some wealthy relatives who live in West Caldwell, NJ, whom I will be talking to about where they put there money.  Of course, I said that I would suggest they’d look around for another bank if they do, indeed, bank there and expressed my happiness that I was out Jersey and wouldn’t have to consider banking with them at all…

So, if you would like to talk to a nice lady at the Lakeland Bank, here is the number:

Customer Service Department

Toll free 866-224-1379

  • Monday – Friday 7am to 8pm
  • Saturday 8:30am to 2pm
  • Sunday 10am to 2pm

Lakeland Bank was named on of Forbes’ 2016 “Most Trustworthy Financial Companies” which apparently doesn’t reflect how they actually treat their own employees, who know have to watch their backs if they aren’t conservative enough and apparently have no right to a private life outside of work.  Needless to say, I did NOT add my congratulations to the bank as the nice lady typed my complaints about their treatment of their progressive employee.

PARENTS, BEWARE! Trump/GOP Is OK with Helping Your Kids Get Diabetes…But the Hell with Them Later When They Get It… (and if you suffer from mental health issues or opioid addiction, no care for you, and back to LONG jail time for all you low-level user losers out there…)

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Hey, all you loving parents out there who want good schools for your kids and a brighter future for them!  OK, I know you’re grappling with the idea of Betsy Wetsy DeVos wrecking the schools academically, but hell, at least if you are of limited means you can be somewhat consoled that at least your kid may have access to some fairly decent food at breakfast and/or lunch  Right?

WRONG!!

Healthy Food

Attention, poor people! This meal is NOT for you!

Michele Obama, of course, worked damned hard to get kids aware of eating better and also pushed for better quality school lunches…and rules were changed to move the ball forward on that score.  WHOLE GRAINS, instead of mysterious foam slices.  Vegetables that really were vegetables instead of that leftover ketchup from the Reagan days.

But, now you’ve got a problem.  In the middle of all this sturm and drang over Russia, Comey and the antics of this pretender of a President, things are happening that will affect stomachs.

Recently, the rules for what goes into school meals were sent back a few decades by our spanking brand new Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. He also took a swipe at another Obama initiative at the same time called “Let Girls Learn” for girls overseas just to try to erase Mrs. Obama along with her husband in GOP’s version of history. (And who cares about girls overseas, hell, we don’t care about them HERE!)  From the Los Angeles Times:

New Agriculture secretary says he’ll roll back Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunches initiative

By Melissa Etehad Contact Reporter  May 1, 2017 9:15 PM

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Monday that he would roll back part of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiative: stricter nutritional standards for school lunches.

(SNIP)

Under the changes to the federal nutrition standards, schools won’t have to cut salt in meals, states will be able to allow some schools to serve fewer whole grains, and schools will be allowed to serve 1% milk rather than only nonfat milk. (SNIP)

The Obama administration placed standards on school lunch nutrition in 2010 when it passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. During that time, Michelle Obama was seen by many as a leading advocate in the fight against childhood obesity. She started the Let’s Move! campaign, which sought to encourage children to take part in more physical activity and help provide healthier food options in schools in under-served communities.

The percentage of U.S. children with obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s, causing long-term physical and emotional distress for children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children with obesity are at higher risk for having asthma and Type 2 diabetes. Many are bullied and, as a result, are likely to suffer from depression and self-esteem issues.

In 2014, the standards were met with challenges in Congress led by the School Nutrition Assn., which has called the regulations too rigid, and House Republicans who supported the powerful lobbying group’s efforts.

But according to the Department of Agriculture, 97% of schools across the country are implementing the school nutrition standards set by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

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Today, a story at Raw Story details how Mrs. Obama took a shot at Perdue…

Michelle Obama smacks down Trump for gutting her healthy meals program — without ever mentioning his name

Tom Boggioni    12 May 2017 at 14:54 ET
Speaking a health conference in Washington D.C., former First Lady Michelle Obama took a veiled shot at President Donald Trump for gutting her program designed to get kids to eat healthier.

According to NBC5 Chicago, the popular Obama said parents should stop and “think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap.”

Responding to reports that Trump Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was considering delaying a requirement to lower sodium levels in school meals and would continue to waive a requirement that schools serve more whole grain food, Obama criticized the wisdom behind the moves.

“If we want to make this country great, our kids need to be healthy,” Obama said. “Not some, but all.”

MORE with video

This blunt reaction is welcomed, of course, but not so welcome is a story that is up at Shareblue today originated at the Washington Examiner (Note the upbeat headline on this one…)  But, the focus of the article is really about how Office of Management and Budget Director Gnome Mick Mulvaney  is out delivering the Republican message on healthcare that specifically targets …DIABETICS!

Mulvaney agrees with ‘Jimmy Kimmel test’

(SNIP)
Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget chief, said Thursday that a Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare should pass the “Jimmy Kimmel test,” though his definition deviated from that of the comedian’s.(SNIP)”I do think it should meet that test,” Mulvaney said. “We have plenty of money to deal with that. We have plenty of money to provide that safety net so that if you get cancer you don’t end up broke … that is not the question. The question is, who is responsible for your ordinary healthcare? You or somebody else?”He said the debate centered on whether others should pay the burden of paying for someone’s healthcare.”That doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes. Is that the same thing as Jimmy Kimmel’s kid? I don’t think that it is.”
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Soooo, this really puts a fine point on the general idea that Republicans like to talk about…that you basically don’t deserve healthcare if you are a “bad person.”Of course, if you trash school lunches for poor kids by trashing the nutrition standards that are aimed at helping kids eat better than they usually would, a program whose goal is to AVOID becoming diabetic or developing heart disease or asthma, particularly at a young age, then we can heap further scorn on them by not allowing them to get the necessary healthcare once these conditions develop…the ones that the GOP apparently doesn’t want to prevent them from getting in the first place! Obesity is the way to go!!Because we all know that poorer families, white, black, Hispanic and everything in between, tend to eat cheaper, more processed foods, often times because they are in places with limited grocery shopping options…and for Baby Jesus’ sake, we don’t want THEM hanging around too long because they are BAD, UNWORTHY people and  what better way to go than to just cut out healthcare for them!!! Let’s feed them “crap” at school and help their demise along right from the start of their lives! That’s a plan!!This is the way the GOP plays the game all the time….opioid/mental healthcare slashed under Republican “healthcare” (GOP Plan Strips Addiction, Mental Health Coverage For Millions As Opioid Deaths Soar ) while Jeff Sessions plans a rollback of Obama era rules with the intent to again jail even low-level drug offenders that have filled up our prisons… Hell, we really need to build more private prisons so that industry can make more money!!For the gory details on this one, see

Sessions expected to roll back Obama-era policies on drug crimes

So you see, the GOP wants to feed you crap if you’re young and need a school meal then deny you health care and apparently figures people suffering from opioid use really need to just die…or if you’re a pot smoker, well Sessions is onto that, too, and you can just spend decades in jail to help the bottom line of private jail companies. The trick to all this is that they have to be careful to allow you to live long enough on crappy food so they can populate the jails…

But don’t despair if you fall into one of these groups…you are helping Trump be a “winner” and you should be PROUD that you are helping the GOP set the clock back as YOUR time runs out!

P.S.  Sarah Palin will chug a giant soda in your honor!!!

So Trump is “Changed” by a Gas Attack…And It’s “Bombs Away”… Meanwhile….

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

So, the horrific images of a gas attack in Syria has moved Trump, touched his heart…

Pardon the cynic in me…

He’s escalated drone strikes and wants the policy regarding the sparing civilians to be gone…http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39914-amid-spike-in-civilian-deaths-from-us-strikes-trump-requests-lifting-policy-limiting-casualties   ….

The USA has killed 9 children in Yemen during a botched raid in Yemen, that was decided upon during a nice dinner, followed up with 200 civilians in Mosul…

We have thousands of children here in Flint, Michigan under threat of lead poisoning that may ruin their brains for the rest of their lives…

He’s keen on gutting healthcare, especially for the poor on Medicaid, which has a huge number of children on the rolls…

He’s willing to gut the EPA and have dangerous NEW chemicals approved that will affect the population…

Etc, etc. as the abuses pile up….

But SUDDENLY, Trump is so touched by the attack in Syria that he is “changed” ….

I guess dead refugee children washing up on the shores of the Mediterranean after escaping from Syria isn’t bad enough…and those freezing in camps and unable to travel onward are just…well, who cares?

Who thinks we are being played as the media pundits furrow their brows about how Russia will react?

Perhaps the Trump crowd consulted with the Russians…to fire a bunch of missiles on an airfield which was OK with Russia.  The Russians can supply more planes if they want to. No Russians got zapped.   A lot of tarmac got blown up….MAYBE some gas? But what really changes??  OH, WAIT…they DID NOT TEAR UP THE AIRSTRIP!!!  Maybe a few oil tanks, etc. but the airstrip is apparently ship-shape!!!

So Putin’s friend Trump gets a change of story from the Russian ties/interference story, gets a bump in the polls, and T. Rex  Tillerson goes over there as planned and talks oil deals?  Assad stays put and it’s business as usual?

And the GOP, who chickened out when Obama asked them to authorize action after he drew his red line, the same crew who bellowed about the need for ACTION after the 2013 gas attack, well….Little Marco Rubio is out there tonight looking very serious and in need of a shave pontificating about the role of Congress…you never know, McCain wants action, so heck, the GOP may do some authorizing now whereas Obama never got an ounce of cooperation on ANYTHING…

Do you really think Assad is going to go?  Do you really think that Trump is going to really do something to upset Russia over their ally Assad?

Do you????

Oh, he was eating dinner AGAIN tonight when the strike was launched…

And, when Trump reads from a script trying to look serious and Presidential? Frankly, he looks like a FAKE to me…

Update: Hillary is reported to have been in favor of bombing the airstrip…but, I bet she actually WOULD have wrecked the airstrip, not leave it intact for the Russian-Syrian allies to continue to have it available for future use…