Franklin MO Dems

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

The New Yorker takes a look at the activities surrooundiung Mike Flynn, President Trump’s top intelligence officer, in The Questionable Account of What Michael Flynn Told The White House…

The White House would like this to be a story about Flynn lying to them.

But now Flynn is gone, and there are some bigger unresolved questions. Did Trump instruct Flynn to discuss a potential easing of sanctions with Russia? Did Flynn update Trump on his calls with the Russian Ambassador? Did Trump know that Flynn lied to Pence about those contacts? What did the White House counsel do with the information that he received from Yates about Flynn being vulnerable to blackmail?spy in shadow

“It wasn’t one report,” the senior White House official told me about the series of news articles that made Trump finally focus on Flynn yesterday. “It was a drip, drip, drip.”

Both Congress and the F.B.I. are looking into Flynn’s links to Russia. There are several former Obama officials who saw transcripts of his calls with the Russian Ambassador. The dripping has only just begun.

Drips indeed. This is not the first time a Republican candidate has worked agaisnt a current administration before actually assuming power. One of the most famous was not known at the time but revealed by presidential audio tapes that became public. In this example Republican Richard Nixon began negotiations with Vietnam took place behind the back of President Lyndon Johnson and undercut Johnson’s efforts to end the war and save the lives of American fighting men and women. has the details in Nixon Prolonged Vietnam War For Political Gain

In 1968, the Paris Peace talks, intended to put an end to the 13-year-long Vietnam War, failed because an aide working for then-Presidential candidate Richard Nixon convinced the South Vietnamese to walk away from the dealings, says a new report by the BBC’s David Taylor. By the late 1960s Americans had been involved in the Vietnam War for nearly a decade, and the ongoing conflict was an incredibly contentious issue, says PBS:

In 1967, with American troop strength in Vietnam reaching 500,000, protest against U.S. participation in the Vietnam War had grown stronger as growing numbers of Americans questioned whether the U.S. war effort could succeed or was morally justifiable. They took their protests to the streets in peace marches, demonstrations, and acts of civil disobedience. Despite the country’s polarization, the balance of American public opinion was beginning to sway toward “de-escalation” of the war.

Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign.

… In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris – concessions that would justify Johnson calling for a complete bombing halt of North Vietnam. This was exactly what Nixon feared.

The self-interests of Republicans struck again in a case that hits close to home considering one of the folks held hostage in Iran was from Washington, MO. Rocky Sickmann was a Marine taken hostage along with 51 others for 444 days. The New York Times provides some insight with New Reports Say 1980 Reagan Campaign Tried To Delay Hostage Release…

He says in his article that the accounts of the meetings in Madrid are part of an accumulation of information he has developed in research for a book. He says it has led him to conclude, despite earlier doubts, that some kind of discussions took place between the Reagan campaign and Iran.

“The story is tangled and murky, and it may never be fully unraveled,” Mr. Sick writes.

The fate of the hostages was a pivotal issue in the 1980 election. They were taken prisoner when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s revolutionary Government, seized the United States Embassy in Teheran in November 1979. A military operation to rescue them failed in the Iranian desert in April 1980. The Carter Administration hoped that it might obtain their release either through negotiations or a second rescue mission before Election Day, and Reagan campaign officials were concerned that the return of the hostages could swing the election to Mr. Carter.

While President Trump plays footsie with the Russians this is not the first time a Republican has undermined American law and status to advance their own self interest. Of course, Making America Great Again was an inspirational slogan. Who know it really implied a return to shady foreign relations activity.

This week’s Democratic Radio

:Dan Rodgers
Princeton history professor emeritus Dan Rodgers says the Republican political agenda is a simple-minded fairy tale and that it is the job of Democrats to obstruct their agenda.on-air

Allan Lichtman
Political scientist Allan Lichtman says he won’t call it “fascism,” but early signs from Trump are sounding alarms as to what to expect.

Gabriel Debenedetti
Bill Press interviews Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti about the future of the Democratic Party.

Jim Hightower
There’s a word for Trump’s latest flimflamming of workers

Former Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander wants you to know what he’s doing next…

Let America Vote Logo

I’ve decided to take on one of the biggest problems in this country: voter suppression.

This means a lot to me. As Secretary of State in Missouri, making sure eligible voters had access to the polls was a huge part of my job. This week, I started Let America Vote to continue that work across the country.are-you-ready-to-vote

Voting is the fundamental right of every American. GOP tactics like photo voter ID laws, slashing voting hours, or questionable purges of voter rolls have nothing to do with protecting elections — they’re meant to keep certain people from voting because those people rarely vote Republican.

I joined the Army to protect this nation. I did it because I truly believe that our country, our democracy, is a beacon of hope where everyone is equal and everyone’s voice is valued. Voting is one of the fundamental rights that I put my life on the line for, that my fellow soldiers fought and died for. I have a stake in this democracy — and I intend to do everything I can to make sure every eligible American can exercise their right to cast a ballot.

This week on the TRavis Smiley Show featured the most knowledgeable person in the country on trade policy. Lori Wallach heade up Public Citizen Trade Watch and joined Tavis to discuss NAFTA, TPP, what Trump could and would do and a few other topics in this half hour segment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Lori M. Wallach has been director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch since 1995. Wallach is an expert on the operations and outcomes of tradeLori Wallach policies such as NAFTA, WTO, Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority and more. She is steeped in the domestic and international politics of current trade negotiations and disputes, including TPP and TAFTA/TTIP. Wallach works closely with Congress and civil society, scholars, and activists in the U.S and developing countries to foster the growing debate about implications of different models of globalization on jobs, off-shoring, wages, the environment, public health and food safety, equality and social justice, and democratically accountable governance. She’s author of The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority.

It’s all the rage, have you read Indivisible? Check it out…



Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the man responsible for oversight of the brewing scandals of the Trump administration got an earful when he held a town hall in his disrict.

Hundreds of people shouted down Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) at a town hall he held in his home district on Thursday night, with many yelling “Do your job!” at the chair of the House Oversight Committee.stop yelling at me

Chaffetz has come under fire for taking few actions against either Donald Trump’s international business empire and the potential conflicts-of-interest it creates, or pushing Trump to release his tax returns.

As the chair of the committee tasked with investigating “waste, fraud, and abuse” in the federal government, Chaffetz is perhaps the government official with the most power to check Trump’s unprecedented potential to leverage the White House for private gain.

But so far, Chaffetz has issued no subpoenas, called for no hearings, and scheduled no meetings to investigate Trump’s either potential abuse of the office.

One aspect of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare that seems to be ignored is the impact it has had on helping Americans to start their own business while taking care of their families and providing jobs for others in thier community. A few years before the enactment of Obamacare a friend of mine and I were enjoying some beverages at the Pacific Coffee House and discussing small business and government policy. My buddy really wanted to start his own business but could not afford to give up his employer provided health insurance.

This week’s Missourian has a similar story in Alderman: Affordable Care Act Repeal Real Threat to His Business...

Repealing the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, could spell doom to many small businesses, according to a Pacific attorney who operates a one-man law firm.Doctor patient

Alderman Nick Chlebowski started his law firm, Chlebowski Law LLC, in June 2013, partially because of the ability to obtain affordable insurance for his family through the Affordable Care Act.

Repealing the act could remove affordable insurance coverage to individuals who operate small businesses, hampering one of the best economic growth opportunities for communities like Pacific, he said.

Obamacare went into effect shortly before Chlebowski, a Pacific resident, made the decision to open a law office in his hometown.

“Knowing that I would be able to get insurance for me and my family under what was, at that time, a new law, was what prompted me,” he said. “I had been on Cobra for my previous employment, and I saw that I could try to get a job with somebody else or I can strike out on my own.”

Electrek brings us this video of a trip around San Francisco with no hands on the wheel in GM Releases Impressive Real-World Self-Driving Demo of Bolt EV Prototype…

Last week, Cruise Automation, GM’s startup working on self-driving technology, released a video of its Bolt EV prototype driving autonomously in San Francisco. Even though the company claimed it was driving autonomously, it was quite boring since it was from a dashcam and looked exactly like a video of someone driving around for a few minutes.Chevy Bolt

The company learned from its mistake and with a simple in-video feed from inside the vehicle, they released a much more impressive video this week showcasing their latest self-driving progress.

It might sound trivial, but the simple addition of a clear view of the driver not touching the wheel makes the same feat more interesting.

It was again filmed in San Francisco in a Bolt EV equipped with a sensor suite developed by Cruise. The startup has been operating fleets of Chevy Bolt EVs in the Bay Area, Arizona, and Michigan since last year.

In total, GM has more than 40 autonomous vehicles in its test program.

In December, they released a few shots of one of their most recent test vehicles:

George Lakoff, the linguistics professor, has the answer as to why The Donald activates such passion with his limited speech patterns. How can people support a man that lies more than any politician in modern times? Mr. Lakoff has the answer in this segment of the Tavis Smiley Show…

The cognitive science and linguistics professor joins us to discuss the scientific factors behind the suggestive media messaging used by the Trump administration.Trump lies urinal

George Lakoff is an author, linguist and cognitive scientist. He is Director of the Center for the Neural Mind and Society at UC Berkeley. He is the Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at UC Berkeley, where he’s taught since 1972. His research involves the application of cognitive and neural linguistics to politics, literature, philosophy and mathematics. Lakoff applies his work to analyzing political world views and the framing of issues in public discourse. He is working on a neural theory of thought and language that explains how meaningful ideas can arise from neural circuitry and their connections to the body. George Lakoff’s books include Don’t Think of an Elephant!, Whose Freedom?, and The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, among others.

Blunt devos