https://www.theodysseyonline.com

My $4.40 (opinion)

I have run these websites (440int.com started in 1995) using the same political attitude I always used when I was on the radio, trying very hard to not stray too hard to the left or the right -- aiming right down the middle.

Not anymore. The 2016 election of Donald Trump to POTUS was hard to accept after watching him bully and lie his way to power. His total lack of sympathy for those less fortunate than him, his lack of empathy for any opinion other that his own, his complete lack of respect for women and his willingness to destroy, by any means possible, those who oppose(d) him, has convinced me, like it has so many of my fellow Americans, to speak up. The more our voices are raised, the better our chances become of bringing this would-be despot down and ending our national embarrassment.

So, I am shining some light on those sites that I think are getting it said the best. It’s my attempt to help you through the BS (Jon Stewart says bullshit is the New Official Language of the U.S.) to get at the facts -- the real facts -- about this POTUS and his amateur-hour wrecking crew.

For starters:
trumpdujour04.html, a daily poke at the Bully in Chief.

FactCheck.org Donald Trump page and The Washington Post Trump Fact Checker will help you maintain your sanity. Consult them after any and all Trump statements.

✔How Donald Trump, Julian Assange and Russia are connected, and how they changed the election. salon.com lays it out in frightening detail.

✔What, exactly, is Fake News? Any media coverage Donald Trump does not like. Where did Fake News come from in the first place? FOX cable channel started the ongoing, ugly, anti-establishment campaign. But there are many Fake News sites out there now. Here is an up-to-date list of sites that do not care about the truth. Also, bear in mind that members of the Trump administration have tried to dupe the media on many occasions — presumably with tips that seem plausible and are not easily dismissed as “crazy.”

✔If you are ready to act, Do These 10 Things, and Trump Will be Toast: Michael Moore says, “...I’m convinced we’ll succeed in halting the dark force that is Trump. We can tie him up in knots at every turn, and eventually, we can bring him down.”

✔And we salute #TheResistance; also just #Resistance.




Photos of the week month:
larger copy at cnn.com        larger copy at cbsnews.com
So Trump can smile -- but you have to be a Russian official to get it: The Russian Embassy (U.S. media was not allowed in the meeting) tweeted photos of Trump smiling and shaking the hand of Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak; and laughing it up with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Kislyak in the Oval Office. Current and former U.S. intelligence officials have accused Kislyak of being a top spy and recruiter of spies. (cnn.com, cbsnews.com)

Stories of the week:
1) Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin: Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in December that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, asked him about setting up a communications channel between the transition team and the Kremlin using Russian facilities in the United States. (washingtonpost.com)

2) As G7 Ends, It’s Clear How World Leaders Are Learning to Handle Donald Trump: Small concessions, flattery, simple language, cultivation of his advisors, a united front, and low expectations are key to managing the U.S. bull in the global china shop. (Christopher Dickey: thedailybeast.com)

Satirical piece of the week: Nation Favors Travel Ban on Person Who Has Recently Visited Muslim Country: A majority of poll respondents said that if this person remained outside the U.S. forever, they would “sleep better at night.” (Andy Borowitz: newyorker.com)

Quote of the week: “Meals on Wheels, even for some of us who are considered to be fiscal hawks, may be a bridge too far.”: Representative and Freedom Caucus member Mark Meadows (R-NC) (dailykos.com)

Commentaries of the week:
1) Questions FOX and the right need to answer: Unfortunately, the task of policing FOX is mainly left to liberal groups. Conservative media watchdogs have no stomach, it seems, for tackling a media operation that has become the scourge of journalism and of principled conservatism. Talk radio is likewise infected by conspiracy mongering and aversion to empirical data. (Jennifer Rubin: washingtonpost.com)

2) Jared Kushner is in deep trouble—and his White House enemies are feeling pretty good about that: I don’t think we have to worry about the members of this White House colluding with each other to sweep their worst scandals under the rug. The members of this White House would feed each other to passing bears, if the opportunity arose. (dailykos.com)

3) Trump's declining linguistic skills laid bare: In interviews Trump gave in the 1980s and 1990s (with Tom Brokaw, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey, Charlie Rose, and others), he spoke articulately, used sophisticated vocabulary, inserted dependent clauses into his sentences without losing his train of thought, and strung together sentences into a polished paragraph. Psychologist John Montgomery said, “it’s hard to say definitively without rigorous testing” of Trump’s speaking patterns, “but I think it’s pretty safe to say that Trump has had significant cognitive decline over the years.” No one observing Trump from afar, though, can tell whether that’s “an indication of dementia, of normal cognitive decline that many people experience as they age, or whether it’s due to other factors” such as stress and emotional upheaval. (Kerry Eleveld: dailykos.com)

Billboard of the week month year:
More here
Santa Monica artist Karen Fiorito said she has a “real fear” of the direction of the country politically under Trump. She said the dollar signs imitating Nazi swastikas originally were designed by New York artist Hugh Gran for her 2004 Bush presidency billboard, but she believes they were appropriate for use in this piece as well.



May 28
Angela Merkel Says Germany Can’t Fully Rely on the US or the UK Anymore: French President The German Chancellor said she realized this after spending the past few days with Trump. (buzzfeed.com)

Macron says Trump handshake was ‘moment of truth’: French President Emmanuel Macron says his now famous white-knuckle handshake showdown with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump was “a moment of truth” — designed to show that he’s no pushover. (abcnews.go.com)

Who’s who in Trump-Russia saga (note: give this page some time to load -- it is stuffed with videos): CNN has compiled a list of the growing and diverse cast of characters at the start of a critical week of hearings for Senate investigators looking into Russia’s actions and its possible ties to Trump associates. (Zachary Cohen: cnn.com)

‘Because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.’: We do need to know whether or not our president is a crook. We also need to know if he can possibly stop himself from revealing nuclear launch codes in order to show what a big man he is. (Susan Grigsby: dailykos.com)

Today’s political cartoons

Best of the day:
larger copy at http://savannahnow.com/opinion/mark-streeter/2017-05-27/streeter-cartoon-when-pushy-comes-shove



May 27
Experts agree: Trump is obstructing justice in Russia probe: Mounting evidence could be used to press charges against Donald Trump for obstruction of justice as the investigation into the Trump camp’s Russia ties continues. (msnbc.com)

Scrutiny of Jared Kushner’s Russia contacts brings the probe to Trump’s inner circle:Kushner is a focus in the Russia investigation over his meetings with at least two Russian officials, Moscow’s ambassador to the U.S. and a banking executive. He is not a target of the FBI investigation and has not been accused of committing a crime, but sources said he is among a number of White House staffers and former Trump campaign officials who are likely to be interviewed by the FBI. (abcnews.go.com)

Today’s political cartoons

Best of the day:
larger copy at usnews.com       and larger copy at creators.com



May 24
Dean: Trump’s behavior similar to Nixon's: Dean, who served as White House Counsel for President Richard Nixon, said that Trump’s behavior clearly shows he doesn’t want any investigations involving Russia or Michael Flynn to continue. (cnn.com)

Congressional Budget Office Unveils Crucial Report on GOP Health Plan: NBC’s Kasie Hunt joins Nicolle Wallace to hash out the Congressional Budget Office’s latest analysis of Trump’s American Health Care Act. (msnbc.com)

5 moments that show Trump isn’t about to get any help from the intelligence community: Director of national intelligence Daniel Coats and former CIA director John Brennan testified in front of Senate committees Tuesday, and their testimony didn’t help Trump’s case. At all. Here are five moments that stand out as being particularly unhelpful to the president. (washingtonpost.com)

Today’s political cartoons

Best of the day:
larger copy at luckovich.blog.ajc.com



May 23
CIA director alerted FBI to pattern of contacts between Russian officials and Trump campaign associates: “I was worried by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons,” former CIA director John Brennan said, adding that he “felt as though the FBI investigation was certainly well-founded and needed to look into those issues.” (washingtonpost.com)

Calculating or naive? Trump caught in cloud of Russia probe revelations: The POTUS is now facing questions about two potential incidents of obstruction of justice: applying pressure on and eventually firing FBI Director James Comey, and separately leaning on National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to publicly deny any collusion between his aides and a Russian operation to disrupt the election last year. (cnn.com)

Today’s political cartoons

Best of the day:
larger copy at creators.com       and larger copy at usnews.com



May 22
Billy Bush on notorious Trump tape: “It wasn't ‘locker room talk’: “I'm in a lot of locker rooms, I am an athlete, and no, that is not the type of conversation that goes on or that I've participated in,” he said. Instead, Bush told The Hollywood Reporter, Trump’s comments were typical of the Manhattan billionaire. Bush was unable to recall another instance of the now-president speaking quite so inappropriately about women, “but he's a provocateur. Shocking statements flow like wine from him.” (politico.com)

First lady’s hand swat a viral sensation: As the Trumps and the Netanyahus walked the red carpet following a formal welcoming ceremony and remarks, the POTUS seems to reach for his wife’s hand. The first lady appears to swat her husband’s hand away with a visible flick of her wrist. (cnn.com)

Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence: Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election. (Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima: washingtonpost.com)

Today’s political cartoons

Best of the day:
larger copy at politicalcartoons.com       and larger copy at cartoonmovement.com



May 21
Trump mocked Obama for bowing to a Saudi king. And then he …: Bowed? Surely not, some insisted, after watching Trump bend his knees, slump forward and bob his head to let King Salman place the honorary collar of Saudi Arabia’s founder around his neck. Whatever he was doing with the king, Trump appears to have left his Washington troubles only to walk into the same quagmire of diplomatic body language as so many presidents past. (Avi Selk: washingtonpost.com)

Donald Trump’s staggering litany of national security hypocrisy and failure: With the assignment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel into the matter of Russian links to the Trump administration, many would argue that Donald Trump’s days in the Oval Office are numbered—and rapidly shrinking. Even some Republicans, such as Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, have openly voiced the “I-word.” (Frank Vyan Walton: dailykos.com)

Today’s political cartoons

Best of the day:
larger copy at gocomics.com       and larger copy at savannahnow.com



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John Williams, Honolulu, Hawaii
E-mail prez440@hawaii.rr.com
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