TBR News October 4, 2018

Oct 04 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. October 4, 2018: “It is amazing how one can make serious errors of judgement.

From a reading of the daily news one gains the distinct impression that Donald Trump is entering into a state of advanced senility, is amoral to a degree, a pathological liar and self-deluded to an even more remarkable degree.

Now one’s such negative views are corrected by a wonderful new movie,’ The Trump Prophecy’ that lets the entire doubting world know that God Himself has blessed our President with His Grace and protects him from wicked Satanists of the Left and Center who seek to destroy him!

Next, I have no doubt, it will be revealed to all and sundry that Jesus Himself was seen by Secret Service agents leaving Trump’s White House bedroom on three separate occasions!

And previous wicked stories that Trump is vulgar with women and gleefully gropes them are terrible lies designed to prevent the American people from discovering that Trump is actually Blessed by God and the Savior of America.

But only part of America to be sure.

Blacks, women, gays, Mexicans and Muslims are not included in the ranks of the Fortunate Ones.

Just pure white males, and only those from the political, and religious, right, are acceptable in God’s eyes. And any of these with an IQ exceeding their hat size are to be elevated to sainthood at the earliest possible moment.”


The Table of Contents

  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 40
  • Key senators criticize Trump for mocking Kavanaugh accuser
  • Opposition to Kavanaugh grows after Senate hearing: Reuters/Ipsos poll
  • Tired of the political divide in America? Don’t worry, it’s going to get much worse

Blessed Prozac Moments!      

  • The chosen one? The new film that claims Trump’s election was an act of God
  • New York tax authorities investigating Trump fraud allegations
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations


Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 40

August 8, 2018

by Daniel Dale, Washington Bureau Chief

The Toronto Star, Canada

The Star is keeping track of every false claim U.S. President Donald Trump has made since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. Why? Historians say there has never been such a constant liar in the Oval Office. We think dishonesty should be challenged. We think inaccurate information should be corrected

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not teling the truth.

Last updated: Aug 8, 2018

  • Nov 28, 2017

“And lots of good things are going to happen, including the bringing back to our country of — probably will end up being over $4 trillion — money offshore that’s stagnant that companies — they’re just not able to bring it back. So I think it’s going to be a number over $4 trillion.”

Source: Remarks at meeting with Congressional leaders

in fact: Trump’s “$4 trillion” estimate is unsupported by any experts. The U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation released an estimate of $2.6 trillion in August 2016, and experts said they were not aware of a massive jump in the following 12 months. An October 2017 report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) also pegged the number at $2.6 trillion, while Goldman Sachs pegged it at $3.1 trillion the same month. “There’s no world in which it’s $4 trillion,” ITEP senior policy analyst Richard Phillips said in November. “I do not know of anyone who increased the estimate so much recently,” Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, said in August. “Like many things, I assume he made this up on the fly,” said another expert on the subject, who requested anonymity, when Trump made an estimate of $5 trillion in August.

Trump has repeated this claim 32 times

“Corporate will be able to compete now against the world. If you look at China, if you look at so many other countries, if you look at many of the countries, China is at 15 percent. They’re lower than us.”

Source: Remarks at meeting with Congressional leaders

in fact: China has a business tax rate of 25 per cent. It offers a 15 per cent rate only to certain firms, mostly in the high-tech sector, in about 20 particular cities.

Trump has repeated this claim 13 times

  • Nov 29, 2017

“The House of Representatives seeks contempt citations(?) against the JusticeDepartment and the FBI for withholding key documents and an FBI witness which could shed light on surveillance of associates of Donald Trump. Big stuff. Deep State. Give this information NOW! @FoxNews”

Source: Twitter

in fact: This was an inaccurate description of the Fox News report Trump was citing. (Perhaps Trump’s question mark indicates he was himself unsure of what he was saying.) Fox reported that “a senior counsel for the House Intelligence Committee urged Republican Chairman Devin Nunes” to pursue contempt of Congress citations. A committee lawyer urging a committee member to seek contempt citations is far different than the whole House actually seeking a contempt citation. As of a week later, Nunes had directed his staff to draft a citation, but it still had not been considered by the committee, much less the full House.

“So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the ‘unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: The incident Trump referred to as an “unsolved mystery” is not an unsolved mystery. In 2001, when MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was a Florida congressman, a 28-year-old employee was found dead in one of his offices. The death was never considered suspicious; authorities said she collapsed on account of an undiagnosed health condition, then hit her head on a desk and suffered a blood clot. Former St. Petersburg Times reporter Bill Adair, who later founded the fact-checking website PolitiFact, said he looked into the case and found no reason to doubt the official account. He told the Washington Post: “It was a tragedy then that it was the subject of conspiracy theories; it’s even more of a tragedy now that it’s still the subject of conspiracy theories because the authorities were clear — they did a thorough investigation. It’s terrible that people are still referring to this as a mystery. It’s not a mystery.”

“VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: These were not Trump’s own words, but we’re including them in the list because he retweeted them without correction to his 44 million followers on Twitter. The Dutch embassy in Washington tweeted to Trump to inform him that the boy shown in this video, originally tweeted by far-right Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen, was not a migrant. “The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands,” the embassy wrote.

  • Nov 30, 2017

“You know, for years, they have not been able to get tax cuts — many, many years, since Reagan.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Trump is wrong even if he is only talking about legislators from his own party. Republicans passed major tax cuts under George W. Bush.

Trump has repeated this claim 11 times

“You know, we’ve spent almost $7 trillion in the Middle East over the last 16 years — $7 trillion.” And: “And all of that, but we’ve spent almost $7 trillion. We could have rebuilt our country four times over.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: There is no basis for the “$7 trillion” figure. During the 2016 campaign, Trump cited a $6 trillion estimate that appeared to be taken from a 2013 report from Brown University’s Costs of War Project. (That report estimated $2 trillion in costs up to that point but said the total could rise an additional $4 trillion by 2053.) Trump, however, used the $6 trillion as if it was a current 2016 figure. He later explained that since additional time has elapsed since the campaign, he believes the total is now $7 trillion. That is incorrect. The latest Brown report, issued in late 2017, put the current total at $4.3 trillion, and the total including estimated future costs at $5.6 trillion.

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“Oh, I get a headache thinking about who made these deals. (Laughter.) One after another. WTO, NAFTA, the wonderful deal with South Korea — remember, they said it’s going to produce 200,000 jobs? And it did, for South Korea.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Trump was mixing up two trade deals. Bill Clinton touted NAFTA by promising that it would create 200,000 jobs in two years. Barack Obama touted the free trade deal with South Korea by saying it would “support at least 70,000 American jobs”; he did not make a claim about 200,000 jobs.


“…the wonderful deal with South Korea — remember, they said it’s going to produce 200,000 jobs? And it did, for South Korea. Didn’t produce — we lost 200,000 jobs. It turned some of our businesses’ main streets into empty ghost towns. You see what’s happened.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: There is no basis for the claim that “we lost 200,000 jobs” because of the free trade deal with South Korea. Trump’s top anti-free-trade adviser, Peter Navarro, has claimed that the deal cost the U.S. “100,000 jobs”; the Economic Policy Institute estimated “more than 95,000 jobs between 2011 and 2015.” Those figures are hotly disputed by proponents of the deal. Regardless, not even critics of the deal offer an estimate of 200,000 jobs lost.

Trump has repeated this claim 7 times

“Now we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore American prosperity and reclaim America’s great destiny. We’ve already made tremendous progress — far greater than I would have thought. I will tell you this in a non-braggadocios way — there has never been a 10-month president that has accomplished what we have accomplished. That I can tell you. That I can tell you.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: It is possible that Trump had done more at the 10-month mark than any other president in some specific form of activity, such as regulations reversed, but he was nowhere near the top when it comes to overall achievement, historians agree. In terms of bills signed, the measure he most frequently cites as evidence for this claim, he is behind Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, according to a tally done by the website GovTrack two weeks prior to this comment, and none of those men accomplished nearly as much in the first 100 days as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Moreover, many of Trump’s bills to this point are minor, such as bills naming government buildings. He has not signed a single major piece of legislation; Roosevelt, by contrast, signed 15 in his first 100 days.

Trump has repeated this claim 19 times

“The unemployment rate nationwide is the lowest it’s been in 17 years — and 13 states this year have seen unemployment drop to the lowest levels in the history of their state. And I hate to tell you, but Missouri happens to be one of them.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Both parts of the first sentence, which was included in the prepared text of this Trump speech, were correct: the unemployment rate was at a 17-year low, and 13 states had hit a new historic low in 2017. But the third part, which Trump ad-libbed, was false: Missouri was not one of the 13 states that hit a new historic low. Its lowest rate for 2017 was 3.5 per cent in October, above the level it was at from Aug. 1999 to June 2000, during Bill Clinton’s tenure.

“We’ve created nearly 2 million jobs — 2 million jobs, think of that. We used to lose millions. Now we’ve created 2 million jobs since I won the election.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: This is not entirely incorrect, but it is highly misleading in two ways, so we’re including it. First, Trump’s “we” is dubious: he is giving himself credit for jobs gained over the last three months of Barack Obama’s presidency. Counting only jobs added during his own presidency, his total was about 1.5 million at the time he spoke. Second, in saying “we used to lose millions,” Trump suggested he had orchestrated a turnaround from losing millions of jobs to gaining millions of jobs. This is incorrect: the economy had not lost millions of jobs, or lost jobs at all, since 2009.

“Remember I used to say, we can hit 4 and we can hit 3? And they were all saying, forget it, forget it. It was 1.2. It was doing terribly. We were flat. We were even. And now, we’re hitting numbers that nobody thought possible, certainly not in this time.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: The level of economic growth that occurred in the second and third quarters of 2017, which Trump was boasting about here, was foreseen by various economic analysts predicted. While economists scoffed at Trump’s campaign pledge of annual growth of 4 per cent or higher, most experts predicted second-quarter growth in the neighbourhood of the actual rate of 2.6 per cent; as FactCheck.org noted, entities like the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Moody’s had all projected growth higher than 2.6 per cent at one point or another. Third quarter growth, 3.3 per cent, was higher than the expert consensus of around 2.5 per cent, but it still was not at a level anyone would have thought impossible; JPMorgan had expected a near-identical 3.2 per cent in the quarter, the Financial Times reported.

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“This (tax bill) is going to cost me a fortune, this thing — believe me. Believe me, this is not good for me.” And: “I think my accountants are going crazy right now. It’s all right. Hey, look, I’m president. I don’t care. I don’t care anymore. I don’t care. Some of my wealthy friends care. Me? I don’t care.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Trump’s tax framework would help the wealthy in general and help him personally. Among other changes, the bill would cut the top individual rate, from 39.6 per cent to 35 per cent, and cut the rate for “pass-through” businesses used by Trump’s enterprise; the House version of the bill would also get rid of the estate tax that applies only to estates worth at least $5 million. While Trump and his family stand to gain most from the estate tax repeal — the New York Times found he could save $1 billion from that alone — he would still benefit to the tune of millions, at least, from the Senate version of the bill.

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“Me, it’s not so — I have some very wealthy friends — not so happy with me, but that’s OK. You know, I keep hearing Schumer, ‘This is for the wealthy.’ Well, if it is, my friends don’t know about it.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: We are not privy to Trump’s conversations with his wealthy friends, but there is no chance that wealthy businesspeople are not aware that the tax bill is good for wealthy people. A Tax Policy Center analysis of the bill found that “the largest cuts as a share of income (go) to taxpayers in the 95th to 99th percentiles of the income distribution.”

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“In all fairness, the stock market was going this way (drawing flat line with hand).”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: While the stock market has performed well in Trump’s first 10 months, hitting a succession of record highs, it was also rising before he took office, not flat. CNNMoney noted in October: “This market upswing is now 103 months old, making it the second-longest on record. Trump can claim credit for 11 months at most, if you start counting after the election. The other 92 months of upward trajectory took place under President Obama.” As Forbes magazine reported three days before Trump’s inauguration, the S&P 500 nearly tripled under Obama: “When Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009, the U.S. stock market was in free fall. The financial crisis was in full swing following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, a popular measure of the U.S. stock market, closed at 805 points on Inauguration Day. Eight years later, the S&P 500 index has risen to 2,274 points after one of the great bull runs in stock market history.”

“And it allows builders to build, and it allows farmers to farm. You know what I’ve done for farmers. Where if you had a little puddle in the middle of your field, you go to jail if you touch it, right? You know what I’m talking about. Not anymore. Not anymore. Not anymore.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: This claim about puddles was a common Republican talking point under Obama, but it was never accurate. The Environmental Protection Agency specifically excluded puddles from the regulation in question, known as Waters of the United States; a fact sheet about the regulation on the EPA website says, “THE CLEAN WATER RULE DOES NOT REGULATE PUDDLES.”

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

“You saw what happened recently where the certain agency or bureau that was causing so much trouble to lenders, where they could not lend. They just couldn’t lend. It was devastating. They were going out of business. Well, we’re taking care of that. We’ve already taken care of a big part of it, and yesterday you saw we won the lawsuit.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Trump was referring to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government body created in 2011, after the financial crisis, to protect consumers from improper behaviour by banks and other financial companies. But his history is off: growth in bank loans to companies boomed in the Obama years after the creation of the Bureau, but it has fallen to lower levels at least preliminarily under Trump. As the Wall Street Journal reported in October: “Since President Donald Trump’s election, bankers and investors predicted that pro-business policies would lead to a surge in corporate borrowing, which would help bank profits. Instead, the growth of loans to companies has dropped precipitously since last November — to 2.1 per cent from 8.1 per cent, according to Federal Reserve data.” While some smaller community banks have indeed struggled in recent years, there is no evidence that the Bureau has been a significant cause. The Star contacted three experts who are critical of the Bureau to ask them for their thoughts on the veracity of Trump’s claim; the one who responded said the claim is difficult to fact-check because it is so vague. Finally: it’s worth noting that a new Bureau rule finalized in October places significant new restrictions on payday lenders, but it has not forced them out of business en masse to date. Even if it had, Trump’s claim about “lenders” would be overly broad.

“And that (Asia) trip was a tremendous success. You know, we brought back $250 billion in contracts. That’s going to be over a trillion dollars very soon.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Though Trump claimed $250 billion in sales to China alone, many of these agreements were not actual sales but rather memoranda of understanding that may or may not turn into sales in the future. “The announcement, also heralded a week earlier by Chinese and U.S. officials, represents previously struck deals, tentative investments, statements of intent and extensions of business with existing Chinese customers, with some new orders,” the Associated Press reported. “For example, the initiative provides for the Chinese purchase of 300 Boeing jetliners that have a list price totaling $37 billion. That deal is known to be a mix of old and new orders and appears to fit in the normal order of business. As well, airlines get deep discounts from the list price.” The Washington Post noted: “The largest single project unveiled was China Energy Investment Corp.’s plan to invest $83.7 billion in power generation, chemical manufacturing, and underground storage of natural gas liquids and derivatives in West Virginia. But the two sides signed only a memorandum of understanding, not a formal contract.”

Trump has repeated this claim 7 times

“When you lose by one vote, then it’s called — you go back. You know, some people said, oh, you failed with health-care. I said, what do you mean we failed? We didn’t fail.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: This is almost too obvious to fact-check, but nonetheless: Trump and Republicans failed on health-care. They could not get any of their multiple proposals to replace Obamacare through the Senate; the plan that represented their best hope was defeated 51-49 in July, and a last-ditch alternative proposal was abandoned in September on account of insufficient support.

“And by the way, what happened — what happened is Obama took a long time — years — to get Obamacare, right?”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law one year and two months after he took office. This does not round to “years.”

Trump has repeated this claim 3 times

“As a candidate, I pledged to fight for American jobs. I think it’s possibly the number one reason I got elected. And I think we’ve done a lot better, at this point, than anybody ever even thought possible. Think of that, two million jobs since the election — two million more jobs in this country since the election. Nobody expected that. Nobody expected that.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Trump was inaccurately describing his jobs performance as unforeseen and extraordinary. In fact, the economy added fewer jobs under him, during his first nine full months in office, than it did during the same period under Obama: an average of about 163,000 per month under Trump from February through October 2017, an average about 199,000 per month under Obama from February through October 2016.

“But it used to be $2.5 trillion (in corporate profits parked offshore). You know what that is? Trillion. Money you can’t bring back in. It’s prohibitive — both in complexity and in the amount of tax you have to pay. So nobody brings back in — $2.5 trillion. But $2.5 [trillion] I’ve been saying for six years. I think now it’s $4 trillion to $5 trillion.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Trump’s “$4 trillion” estimate is unsupported by any experts. The U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation released an estimate of $2.6 trillion in August 2016, and experts said they were not aware of a massive jump in the following 12 months. An October 2017 report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) also pegged the number at $2.6 trillion, while Goldman Sachs pegged it at $3.1 trillion the same month. “There’s no world in which it’s $4 trillion,” ITEP senior policy analyst Richard Phillips said in November. “I do not know of anyone who increased the estimate so much recently,” Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, said in August. “Like many things, I assume he made this up on the fly,” said another expert on the subject, who requested anonymity, when Trump made an estimate of $5 trillion in August.

Trump has repeated this claim 32 times

“Massive tax cuts and reform. I don’t even mention the word ‘reform’ because people don’t know exactly what we’re talking about.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: While Trump prefers to refer to his tax bill as “tax cuts,” he frequently uses the phrase “reform” as well — and not only in the previous sentence here. Two weeks prior to this speech, he tweeted: “Great to see @RandPaul looking well and back on the Senate floor. He will help us with TAX CUTS and REFORM!” In October, he tweeted: “All of this ‘Russia’ talk right when the Republicans are making their big push for historic Tax Cuts & Reform. Is this coincidental? NOT!” In August, he tweeted: “Working hard on tax cuts & reform!”

“For too long, our tax code has incentivized companies to leave our country in search of lower tax rates. It happens. Many, many companies — they’re going to Ireland. They’re going all over. They’re going all over Asia. But they’re stopping because they now want to take advantage of what’s happening and what we’re about to pass, hopefully…. That’s stopping. So now the plants are starting to move back.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: Corporate offshoring is not “stopping” under Trump. The same week as Trump’s remark, a labour group called Good Jobs Nation released a study that found “93,449 jobs have been certified by the Department of Labor as lost to trade competition or corporate outsourcing since Trump’s election,” a total “higher than the average job loss rate of 87,576 for the preceding five years.” The study also found: “Since Trump was elected, major federal contractors have been certified as shipping 10,269 American jobs abroad.” Some of these losses occurred while Obama was still president, so Trump cannot be blamed for all of them — if the president deserves blame for any. But it is certainly false that companies are “stopping.”

Trump has repeated this claim 7 times

“Many Democrats have promised tax cuts that don’t mean anything because they really want major tax increases. Senator Claire McCaskill — have you ever heard of her?…She wants your taxes to go up.”

Source: Missouri speech on tax reform

in fact: There is no evidence for the claim that McCaskill wants to raise taxes. McCaskill opposed the Republican tax bill, but she said she supported a cut to the corporate rate to “somewhere in the low 20s,” the same level included in the Republicans’ legislation.

Key senators criticize Trump for mocking Kavanaugh accuser

October 3, 2018

by David Alexander and Amanda Becker


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two moderate Republicans who could be pivotal in determining whether the Senate confirms U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh criticized President Donald Trump on Wednesday for mocking a woman who has accused the judge of sexual assault.

Senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins were among the lawmakers who took issue with comments Trump made regarding Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California who detailed her sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh at an extraordinary Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week.

At a political rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night, Trump mocked Ford’s testimony about the alleged assault in Maryland in 1982 when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17.

Ford testified that she could not remember the precise date or location of the alleged assault or how she got home afterward, but offered a detailed account of the incident in which she said a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her down, tried to remove her clothing and covered her mouth when she screamed.

“What neighborhood was it in? I don’t know. Where’s the house? I don’t know. Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? I don’t know. But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember,” Trump, who was himself accused during the 2016 presidential race of sexual misconduct with numerous women, said in his imitation of Ford’s testimony.

“And a man’s life is in tatters,” Trump added.

Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show, Flake said that “there’s no time and no place for remarks like that, that discuss something this sensitive at a political rally.”

“It’s just not right. I wish he hadn’t … done it. I just say it’s kind of appalling,” Flake said.

Speaking briefly to reporters, Collins said, “The president’s comments were just plain wrong.” She did not respond when asked if his comments would affect her vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Trump’s fellow Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin. That means if all the Democrats vote against Kavanaugh, Trump could not afford to have more than one Republican oppose his nominee, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote. So far, no Republicans have said they would vote against Kavanaugh.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s top Democrat, called Trump’s comments “cruel,” adding, “He sent a clear message to victims of sexual assault that they should not be believed.”

A day after the hearing, Trump had called Ford “a very credible witness” who provided “very compelling” testimony.

Flake was instrumental in getting Trump last Friday to initiate an FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court judge nominated by the president for a lifetime job on the top U.S. court. Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s accusation as well as allegations by two other women, all dating from the 1980s.

Trump limited the investigation to no more than a week.

Opposition among Americans to Kavanaugh has increased in the wake of last week’s hearing, Reuters/Ipsos polling data showed on Wednesday.

In the latest seven-day average in a survey of 4,057 U.S. adults, 41 percent of respondents opposed Kavanaugh, 33 percent supported him and 26 percent said they did not know. Opposition to Kavanaugh grew 4 percentage points after the hearing, apparently driven by people who previously were undecided.


In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Trump did not back away from his comments at the rally, instead attacking Kavanaugh’s Democratic critics. Trump said when he goes to political rallies, which are organized by Republicans, he sees that voters are angry at the “vicious and despicable” way Democrats are treating his nominee.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News that “the president is pointing out factual inconsistencies. By Ford’s own testimony, there are gaps in her memory.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation this week after each senator is given a report on the ongoing FBI investigation.

Republican Senator John Kennedy said the FBI report should be made public.

The Kavanaugh confirmation battle comes against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and assault that has toppled a succession of powerful men. Voters will cast ballots in Nov. 6 elections in which Democrats are trying to seize control of Congress from Trump’s party.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell again took aim at Kavanaugh opponents.

“We will not be intimidated by these people,” McConnell said. “This is all part of the organized effort to delay, obstruct and intimidate, including those of us who will be voting this week.”

Several people with information related to the allegations against Kavanaugh have said they have tried in vain to speak with the FBI. Ford’s lawyers said on Tuesday she offered her full cooperation with the FBI but received no reply.

Reporting by David Alexander and Richard Cowan; Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert, Amanda Becker, Nathan Layne and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham and Paul Tait


Opposition to Kavanaugh grows after Senate hearing: Reuters/Ipsos poll

October 3, 2018

by Lawrence Hurley and Chris Kahn


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Opposition among Americans to Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, has increased in the wake of his testimony last week before a U.S. Senate committee in which he defiantly denied sexual misconduct allegations, Reuters/Ipsos polling data showed on Wednesday.

In the latest seven-day average in a survey of U.S. adults, 41 percent of respondents opposed Kavanaugh, 33 percent supported the conservative federal appeals court judge and 26 percent said they did not know.

Opposition to Kavanaugh grew 4 percentage points after the Sept. 27 Judiciary Committee hearing in which university professor Christine Blasey Ford detailed a sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh and he denied it, portraying himself as the victim of a “political hit.”

In the latest seven-day average in a survey of U.S. adults, 41 percent of respondents opposed Kavanaugh, 33 percent supported the conservative federal appeals court judge and 26 percent said they did not know.

Opposition grew every day after the hearing in the poll, conducted between Sept. 25 and Oct. 1.

The increase in opposition to Kavanaugh, facing a confirmation vote in the Senate after being nominated by Trump for a lifetime position on the court, appears to be driven by those who previously did not have an opinion. The percentage of respondents with no opinion on Kavanaugh decreased by about 7 percentage points compared to a week before the hearing.

Support for Kavanaugh has remained relatively stable, the polling showed, rising slightly after the hearing.

Opposition rose among Democrats by 6 percentage points to 71 percent and was relatively unchanged among people unaffiliated with a political party compared to before the hearing, according to the poll. Support among Republicans stood at 70 percent, rising 4 percentage points in the days after the hearing, but was lower among Republican women, at 64 percent.

Among independents and people unaffiliated with a political party, 31 percent opposed Kavanaugh, 20 percent supported him and 49 percent said they did not know.

The fight over Kavanaugh’s nomination comes against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and assault that  has toppled a succession of powerful men.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English. It gathered responses from 4,057 U.S. adults, including 1,347 Republicans and 1,653 Democrats. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 2 percentage points

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Chris Kahn; Editing by Will Dunham


Tired of the political divide in America? Don’t worry, it’s going to get much worse

October 2, 2018


Politically and culturally, the gulf between left and right, Democrat and Republican, seems to be widening day by day. According to one new study, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Political polarization is even worse than most people think, argues a new Michigan State University study. Rather than being a new, Donald Trump-era phenomenon, as many in the media seem to think, the researchers found that today’s hyper-polarized political landscape is a problem that’s been growing for almost five decades.

“What I’ve found is that polarization has been steadily getting worse since the early 1970s,” said researcher Zachary Neal. “Today, we’ve hit the ceiling on polarization. At these levels, it will be difficult to make any progress on social or economic policies.”

Rather than resulting from loose relations between the left and the right, today’s polarization comes from strong but extremely hostile relations between both sides, the researchers argue.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s bitter confirmation fight is a prime example of this intense hatred between political figures. Washington DC used to be known as a place where rival politicians would duke it out in Congress, then come together in the city’s bars and eateries to hash out bipartisan solutions to the problems of the day, bound by their shared duty as public servants.

Now, battle lines are drawn. To Democrats, Republicans hate women and want to railroad Kavanaugh into the court to continue their assault on women, gays, minorities, and anyone who isn’t a straight white male. To Republicans, Democrats will tell any lie to block the process, stalling and obstructing until they can get a shot at retaking control of the Senate.

The MSU researchers’s study was confined to Capitol Hill. It evaluated polarization by analyzing how often politicians from each party co-sponsored legislation. It found that while the average Representative or Senator reads thousands of bills each year, they co-sponsor only around 200.

Outside Washington, the general trend is similar. After White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and her dinner party were booted out of a Virginia restaurant for her politics this summer, the divide between left and right played out in the streets, with protesters ambushing Trump officials in restaurants, ‘Antifa’ protesters doxxing thousands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and celebrities calling for the kidnap and torture of Trump’s family. All of this prompted one Tennessee law professor to declare that a “new Civil War” is “well underway.”

The professor, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, wrote that part of the problem now is that Americans don’t feel social ties which transcend politics. It’s all us vs. them — and nothing in between. He argues that churches, fraternal organizations and neighborhoods used to cross political lines, but that this America has “shrunk and decayed” and people are increasingly finding their identity only in politics.

In the age of Trump, if that identity isn’t expressed on the streets, it’s expressed in a series of increasingly segregated online echo chambers. On Reddit, the second and third most popular discussion boards are r/politics and r/The_Donald. On r/politics, users regurgitate liberal Trump-hate and almost exclusively discuss their mutual hatred for his administration, policies, appearance, etc. The_Donald, on the other hand, is a 24/7 Trump rally, where every policy is celebrated and the president can do no wrong.

Where’s all of this heading? Neal suggests electing more centrists to Congress. To him, politicians willing to cross the aisle – as Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R) did after Kavanaugh’s confirmation was moved forward to a Senate vote last week – could get things working again.

The problem with this, however, is that polarized voters won’t vote for centrist candidates. Republican voters enraged by Democrat efforts to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination won’t vote for a Senator who might cave to Democrat pressure, as Flake appeared to. Likewise, the Democratic party’s recent slide to the left also means that these voters might not be too enthusiastic about backing a less militant, suit-and-tie Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton candidate again.

What kind of policies can possibly be enacted in this climate? Neal points to the Affordable Care Act as an example of what’s in store. With the narrowest of majorities, Democrats squeezed ‘Obamacare’ through in 2010, with all 178 House Republicans voting against the bill. Once Republicans regained a slim majority in the House of Representatives in 2011, they instantly began ongoing efforts to repeal it.

“This study raises new questions about the future of Congressional politics,” Neal said. “In truth, the only thing that is bi-partisan in Congress is the trend toward greater polarization.”


Blessed Prozac Moments!      

The chosen one? The new film that claims Trump’s election was an act of God

More than 1,000 US cinemas are screening The Trump Prophecy – which posits that God chose the philandering billionaire to restore America’s moral values

October 3, 2018

by Harriet Sherwood in Lynchburg, Virginia

The Guardian

It was, everyone agreed, a miracle. The unexpected election of Donald Trump in 2016 was an act of God, who chose the philandering billionaire and reality TV star to restore America’s moral values.

This is the theme of The Trump Prophecy, a movie telling the story of Mark Taylor, a former fireman from Orlando forced to retire after suffering from PTSD, which premiered on Tuesday.

Between graphic nightmares featuring demonic monsters and hellish flames, Taylor received a message from God in April 2011, while he was surfing television channels.

As he clicked to an interview with Trump, Taylor heard God say: “You are hearing the voice of the next president.”

And so it came to pass, although it took another five years and a national prayer campaign. Taylor duly wrote a book, The Trump Prophecies: The Astonishing True Story of the Man Who Saw Tomorrow … and What He Says Is Coming Next, on which the movie is based.

The belief that Trump’s election was God’s divine will is shared by others. Franklin Graham, the prominent conservative evangelical, said last year that Trump’s victory was the result of divine intervention. “I could sense going across the country that God was going to do something this year. And I believe that at this election, God showed up,” he told the Washington Post.

Taylor has made other claims, which he calls “prophetic words”, including that Trump will serve two terms, the landmark supreme court ruling on abortion in the Roe v Wade case will be overturned, and that next month’s midterm elections will result in a “red tsunami”, strengthening Republican control of both houses of Congress.

Barack Obama will be charged with treason and Trump will authorise the arrest of “thousands of corrupt officials, many of whom are part of a massive satanic paedophile ring”. Trump will also force the release of cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s that are currently being withheld by the pharmaceutical industry.

About 1,200 cinemas across the US were screening The Trump Prophecy on Tuesday and Thursday this week. There may be repeat showings if there is demand. Given several rows of empty seats in the Regal River Ridge Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia – a conservative evangelical heartland – that may prove unnecessary.

But there were plenty in the audience that heaped praise on the movie and its lengthy coda of talking heads hailing America’s leadership in the world, strong economy, military prowess, defence of Israel and general godliness.

“God is definitely using Trump to restore America and bring revival to our land,” said cinemagoer Kathy Robinson. “He stands for the common man and protects our freedoms. And he’s a good man himself – not perfect, but none of us are.”

Doug Barringer was impressed with the movie. He was sceptical of Trump “right up until election night. But what I’ve seen him doing since has led me to believe that maybe he is an instrument of God.”

There was doubt in Jayne Gillikan’s mind. “Trump is God’s will, there’s no other way to explain it. I prayed for him through the [2016 election] campaign. I know in my heart that God raised him up for this time in our country.”

The £2m movie was a collaboration between ReelWorks Studios and the film school at Liberty University, an evangelical Christian institution here in Lynchburg. More than 50 students and nine members of faculty were involved in the production.

But some students objected to the movie on theological grounds. They launched an online petition calling for the project to be cancelled.

“This movie could reflect very poorly on all Liberty students and Liberty University as a whole,” the petition said. “Mark Taylor claims to have received prophecies directly from God that do not align with the Bible’s message.”

It added: “Some cinematic arts students have expressed that they are disheartened by being forced to be a part of promoting a man that they don’t agree with. Many do not want this movie on their resumé

Liberty was already ranked the most conservative college in America. “Further actions such as this will only hurt students’ chances of finding jobs in more liberal work environments,” it said.

By the time of Tuesday’s premiere, it had been signed by 2,286 people.

Stephan Schultze, Liberty’s professor of cinematic arts and the movie’s director, dismissed the petition. “We had one student in our cohort who asked to be transferred to an alternative project. Most students were very positive,” he said.

The film was “a very pivotal, significant moment” for Liberty’s cinematic arts department. It was only the second time that a US film school had been involved in a feature film scheduled for theatrical release, he said.

Sean Barlow, a Liberty cinematic arts student who was a camera operator on the movie, said it had been a “great experience” while acknowledging that “a lot of people weren’t happy”. But, he added: “The message of unity is something this country really needs right now.”

Social media companies were also reluctant to be associated with the movie, according to the producers.

Facebook deemed adverts for the film to be political, according to a report by Fox News.

Rick Eldridge, CEO of ReelWorks and the film’s producer, told the Guardian it was targeted at “a conservative audience, a faith community, but every American who loves his country should appreciate the movie and be inspired by it”.



New York tax authorities investigating Trump fraud allegations

Announcement comes after New York Times reported Trump and siblings helped their parents dodge taxes

October 3, 2018

by Tom McCarthy in New York

The Guardian

New York state tax authorities are investigating after the New York Times reported that Donald Trump engaged in “dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud”, as he and his siblings took control of a real estate empire built by Fred C Trump, the president’s late father.

“The tax department is reviewing the allegations in the NYT article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation,” the New York state taxation authority told the Washington Post.

In a blockbuster investigative report built on interviews with the elder Trump’s former employees and more than 100,000 pages of documents including tens of thousands of pages of confidential records, the New York Times unfolds the story of how Trump “received the equivalent today of at least $413m from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day”.

Little of the information had previously come to light. Its publication, which was subject to blanket denials by a lawyer for the president and by the White House but which was not refuted in detail, fundamentally alters the visible facts establishing the centerpoint of Trump’s identity: his wealth.

However, Trump himself hit back on Wednesday morning with a bizarre tweet.

“The Failing New York Times did something I have never seen done before. They used the concept of “time value of money” in doing a very old, boring and often told hit piece on me. Added up, this means that 97% of their stories on me are bad. Never recovered from bad election call!” he wrote.

The investigation drew on Fred Trump’s tax documents but did not unearth the president’s personal tax filings, which Donald Trump has refused to disclose.

The story of a nine-figure inheritance contradicts Trump’s portrayal of himself, going back more than 40 years, as a self-made man. He has characterized his father’s real estate empire as a “tiny” concern and said he only ever took a $1m loan from his father, which he paid back with interest.

“I got peanuts,” Trump told one interviewer. “My father didn’t leave a great fortune. It was Brooklyn and Queens real estate. I built this empire and I did it by myself. Nobody did it for me.”

In fact, the Times reported, Trump was the beneficiary of “295 streams of revenue that Fred Trump created over five decades to enrich his son”. That largesse made Donald Trump a millionaire by the age of eight, the report says.

Fred Trump was one of the most prolific real estate developers of his time, erecting apartment buildings and row houses in the outer boroughs of New York City – mostly Brooklyn and Queens – in the explosion of residential construction that followed the second world war. His ruthless landlord practices were the subject of a protest song, Old Man Trump, by the folk singer Woody Guthrie, a longtime Brooklyn resident.

In defiance of the mountain of tax returns, incorporation and loan documents, the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, released a statement on Tuesday evening that said Fred Trump “has been gone for nearly 20 years” and described the New York Times report as “misleading”.

“Many decades ago the IRS reviewed and signed off on these transactions,” Sanders said.

But as damaging as the revelation of his massive inheritance might be to the myth Trump has carefully maintained, the documentation in the New York Times report of alleged tax fraud by Trump – which, if true, could still be subject to civil fines – might represent the greater hazard to the president.

In one dramatic example, the New York Times reported that Trump and his siblings paid only $52.2m in taxes on more than $1bn in wealth transferred to them by their parents. That is an approximately 5% tax payment at a time when gifts and inheritances were taxed at 55%. The alleged sleight of hand was achieved, the New York Times reports, by the systemic undervaluation of assets and properties.

A lawyer for Donald Trump, Charles Harder, denied that his client had a role in devising a tax strategy for his father’s inheritance and disputed the assertion that the president had committed tax fraud.

“Should the Times state or imply that President Trump participated in fraud, tax evasion or any other crime, it will be exposing itself to substantial liability and damages for defamation,” Harder said in a statement.

“The New York Times’s allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100% false, and highly defamatory,” the lawyer continued. “There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which the Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate.”

The New York Times investigation documents two dramatic moments in the chain of wealth passing from father to son. In 1997, Donald Trump and his siblings took ownership of their father’s empire, netting the current president tens of millions of dollars instantly, the report said.

Weeks earlier, Trump had published The Art of the Comeback, explaining how he had recovered after his casino interests collapsed.

“I learned a lot about myself during these hard times,” he wrote. “I learned about handling pressure. I was able to home in, buckle down, get back to the basics, and make things work. I worked much harder, I focused, and I got myself out of a box.”

What Trump’s book does not mention was the method by which he made a bond payment on a troubled casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. His father, the New York Times reported, sent to the casino “a trusted bookkeeper” with a check for $3.35m. The emissary bought $3.35m in chips and left without placing a bet. The same day, Trump Sr wrote another check, for $150,000, to the casino in question.

“It was an illegal $3.5m loan under New Jersey gaming laws, resulting in a $65,000 civil penalty,” the New York Times notes.

Then, in 2003, Donald Trump told his siblings they should sell the assets that fed their respective fortunes: the pieces of their father’s empire. The deal closed in 2004 for $737.9m, the paper reported.

But the banks financing the purchase valued the empire on sale at nearly $1bn, according to the New York Times.

“In other words,” the report said, “Donald Trump, master dealmaker, sold his father’s empire for hundreds of millions less than it was worth.”


The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

October 4, 2018

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas  in 1993  when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley , Crowley told Douglas  that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publications.

Conversation No. 11 b

Date:  Monday, April 29, 1996

Commenced: 2:09 PM  CST

Concluded:  2:28  PM CST

GD: Back again, Robert. Are you OK for time?

RTC: I have enough time, Gregory. What is it?

GD: I had a chat with Kimmel today and I made a mistake. I had read something once about forged evidence and innocently mentioned faked fingerprint evidence used in a Federal case. He got very testy about this and tried to lecture me about minding my own business.

RTC: That would be a very sore spot with Kimmel. He has to defend his turf. Faked evidence? The Bureau has been known to stoop to that on a number of occasions. If they know, or believe you did something but can’t quite get you, why lo and behold they find your fingerprints all over something. Possibly a gun used in icing Martin Luther King or a blood stained print at the scene of a mob killing. Faking evidence and suborning perjury is nothing new for the Bureau. No one likes to talk about it because of the uproar it would cause. All kinds of lawsuits by innocent and framed convicts would follow. Kimmel is very protective of the Bureau but I think he spends more time trying to rehabilitate the Admiral. Still, I don’t know if he dirties his hands with such goings on but he surely knows about them. I certainly do

GD: Tell me something, Robert. Do you think Kimmel hooked up with you to spy on you?

RTC: Probably but I never tell him, or Bill, anything.

GD: Kimmel was mad I am talking to you. He said you were an old man and to leave you alone.

RTC: Tom can fuck himself. I’ll talk to anyone I wish, whenever I wish. All Tom thinks about is getting his grandfather the Admiral pardoned.

GD: I know. I tried to help the family out on that because of some of the documents Mueller had. I told him the Roosevelt/Churchill conversation papers came from Mueller, not you.

RTC: Thank you for that. Tom has been running around, all over Washington, trying frantically to prove you faked them. They tested the paper and checked on the typing and everything was fine but Tom won’t accept that you might be right, even though it would help his futile quest. They’re all a bunch of treacherous assholes there, believe me.

GD: Why would he get so upset about the question of fingerprints? I don’t see how you can fake these seriously.

RTC: Fingerprints? A piece of cake for the FBI. They know just how to put someone’s prints just where they want them. I could tell you about this if you kept quiet about it. If it ever got out how they fake evidence, as I just said, the appellate courts would be jammed up for years.

GD: I won’t say a word.

RTC: For your own sake, don’t. All right, here goes. If the FBI has a copy of your fingerprints, they can make molds of them and put them onto a rubber glove. It goes this way: They make a photographic negative of the prints , make a reverse negative and…do you know what a zinc is?

GD: Yes, I do. It is a metal copy of a negative. I learned this when I was getting some of my earlier books printed. They use this for rubber stamps.

RTC: Oh yes, just so. And then they get a pair of thin rubber surgeon’s gloves and paint liquid latex onto the zinc. When you peel the very thin, dried latex off of the zinc, you glue the prints down on each finger by using spirit gum. You can buy both the liquid latex and the spirit gum in any theatrical supply house right over the counter.

GD: Jesus, how simple, Robert. And you can go into a murder scene in private, say as an FBI technician, put on the gloves and touch things.

RTC:I know for a certainty that there are a significant number of people now incarcerated who are entirely innocent of a crime but whose fingerprints were found at the scene of a crime or on otherwise damning evidence. Many. Now do you see why I don’t want you talking about this?

GD: This explains Kimmel’s agitation.

RTC: Interesting because…when did he tell you this?

GD: Two days ago.

RTC: And he called me the next day to tell me you had been in a lunatic asylum and I should really stop talking to you. Makes sense. You were asking question about the prints and he knows you dig so he decided to head you off at the pass as far as I was concerned. Doing that with faked prints is easier than getting the usual perjured testimony from people facing Federal criminal charges.

GD: I suppose I ought to be careful.

RTC: Yes, what with Critchfield wanting your head because you are outing him on the subject of his hiring the head of the Gestapo and many other SS men and now Kimmel in an uproar, I would be a little careful, my boy.

GD: I thought you were going to say Kimmel had his balls in an uproar.

RTC: Strictly speaking, that would not be accurate. He lost them some time ago to cancer.

GD: Well, he can always sing soprano in his choir at church. I never discuss religion with him because he spouts Proverbs at me all the time. What is he?

RTC: Tom? I think the family is Episcopalian. His wife is Mormon but Tom hates Mormons. He probably doesn’t want to wear the hairshirt underwear.

GD: Well, old Brigham Young had about fifty wives and most of them were very, very young. Do you know what he once said? No? ‘I don’t care how you bring’em but bring’em young.’

RTC: (Laughter) Not nice at all.

GD: Did I tell you about the big bronze statue of Young and its official unveiling in Salt Lake City? God, the whole Young family was there, senators, congressmen and half the town. There were speeches made, the choir sung and then an elderly daughter pulled the rope to drop the bunting. During the night, some evil soul had hung a huge salami and two cocoanuts on the crotch of the figure.

RTC: (Laughter) Do tell that to Kimmel. I mean, really do tell him. He loathes you anyway so why not tromp on his corns?

GD: Not a bad idea at all. Anyway you filled me in on the Kimmel anger. And these people are supposed to be protecting all of us poor sheep.

RTC: One can dream. And one can look out the dining room window and see the Easter Bunny doing hopscotch in the back yard.

GD: And the Baby Jesus riding his tricycle over your cat.

RTC: Now, now, let’s keep religion out of this. Who knows, some Mormon FBI agent might be listening to this.

GD: One hopes. Ah the trials and tribulations of being a successful author. The chorus of outraged petty academics, and I guess, furious Jews and angry civil servants.

RTC: How do you cope with the assholes?

GD: Well, I do. I attack them, Robert, gut them and leave their stinking carcasses to rot in the sunlight. Methodology? I do not get into pissing matches with skunks. I look deeply into the personas of my detractors and when I am ready, I strike. Not always in print, either. You see, Robert, they are all very vulnerable. The can be fired from jobs, have their wives and children vanish into the night, disgusted with Daddy’s pranks, have the neighbors dump garbage on their lawns or into their swimming pools and generally have a terrible life.

RTC: And how do you accomplish those worthy goals?

GD: Oh, by various means.  An old newspaper clipping, well circulated in their circles, attributing an earlier arrest for pedophilia or torture of neighbor’s pets is a good start. A company owned by a friend turns them into a collection agency for a very large unpaid bill is also a good move. There are literally dozens of ways to teach lessons to the small of mind and the large of mouth. People, Robert, are stuck in their very small and shabby castles. They have employers, friends, neighbors and so on. That is where you can get at any of them. How can they respond to the mass distribution of that newspaper clipping exposing their activities in that Florida motel room?  Or the earlier arrest of their mother for exposing herself at a Fourth of July parade? Oh, the permutations are endless and the victim, or the evil-does, can not respond. Colonel X a militant transvestite, arrested in drag on a turnpike in New Jersey and slugging a policemen with his purse. Funny indeed and humorous enough for a neighbor to show to his friends. Stalin once said that no matter where you toss the stone into the pond, the ripples spread. No one, and I mean no one, except perhaps for a bag lady or a nut living in a cabin deep in the woods, is safe from me when I take down my creative rifle and go out for a morning hunt. I once got a stack of terrible, pornographic magazines and I mean terrible, printed up some fake address labels and stuck them on the covers. The next step was to take a few of them down to the office of a local dentist who was making trouble for me. I stuck the magazines into the piles of old magazines in his office….

RTC: Sweet Jesus.

GD: Oh yes indeed. And I sat there reading an old Geographic and was intensely gratified when a mommy and child came in for a dental checkup. A little while later, while I was enthralled looking at the huge sagging tits of native women, I heard the small child say, ’Mommy, what is the doggy doing to the lady?’

RTC: (Laughter)

GD: Oh, and the mommy looked at the magazine and shrieked. And when she saw the one about the fat woman and the dwarf, she really let loose. And she saw the dentist’s name and address on these and I can assure you, he was soon out of practice, to make a pun.

RTC: Creative nastiness, Gregory. I observe that Wolfe is making noises about you. What would you do to him?

GD: Wolfe? What? A retired librarian, friend of the CIA? Subscribe to Playgirl magazine and send it either to his former office or, better, to his home. If his wife ever saw the naked men with large joints waving around, there would be stressful moments in the living room, believe me.

(Concluded at 2:28 PM CST)

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