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Attacking allies after a defeat is definitely a cunning ploy

Trump is blaming Preibus, Ryan, the Freedom Caucus, and pretty much everyone but himself for the  healthcare defeat. I suppose we should be happy he’s so politically illiterate that he thinks Congress simply needs to bow down to him. Politics doesn’t work that way. A determined minority can often punch way above its weight.

So now, rather than ponder what mistakes he made and try to fix them, Trump instead is attacking allies and people whose help he will need. Trump has no experience in politics. Running what essentially is a small family business does not prepare one for the knock-down combat that is DC politics.

On Friday evening, a somewhat shellshocked president retreated to the White House residence to grieve and assign blame. In a search for scapegoats, he asked his advisers repeatedly: Whose fault was this?

Increasingly, that blame has fallen on Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, who coordinated initial legislative strategy on the health care bill with Mr. Ryan, his close friend and a fellow Wisconsinite, according to three people briefed on the president’s recent discussions.

Despite the public displays of unity with the speaker, Mr. Trump and his team now regret outsourcing so much of the early drafting to Mr. Ryan.

Trump is about to get kicked in the teeth on healthcare


The Freedom Caucus in the House just rebuffed Trump’s offer to make his proposed healthcare plan nastier and less inclusive. God forbid anyone should actually be able to get meaningful coverage. Trump, political neophyte that he is, thought he could bully members of the House to get it passed. That didn’t work. (Pro tip: Bullying should be the last tactic, not the first.) So then Trump tried to make his healthcare plan acceptable to House troglodytes, and that’s not working either.

Trump has no clue how to get bills through Congress. Good. His budget is in trouble too. A couple of big defeats and even his hard-core supporters will begin to leave him, because it will be clear he is incompetent.

Republican Senators have already loudly and repeatedly said the House healthcare plan is not acceptable. That was before Trump made the plan even worse, which lessens chances of it passing the Senate.

Conservative House Republicans rebuffed an offer by President Trump on Thursday to strip a key set of mandates from the nation’s current health-care law, raising doubts about whether House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has the votes to pass the bill.

If Republicans fail this initial test of their ability to govern, Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans may face a harder time advancing high-priority initiatives on infrastructure, tax reform and immigration. They might also find themselves navigating strained relationships among themselves.

Don’t moan about Trump. Fight.

So, within just two months, our new president has the lowest poll ratings ever for this point in an Administration. He and his cohorts are being investigated by Justice for colluding with Russians on the election. His immigration, budget, healthcare plans are in deep trouble in Congress. Ranking members of his own party say he just made shit up when he accused a former president of wiretapping him through a foreign intelligence agency. He makes enemies constantly, and is no doubt embroiled in slimy financial arrangements with foreign governments.

You would think those who oppose him would be going woo-hoo, let’s throw some gasoline on this fire. However, too many liberals and progressives continue moaning about how bad Trump is, pondering if the investigations will go anywhere and what happens if they don’t, and isn’t it all just so terribly tragic.

There is a very good chance Trump could be toppled from power early. Sen. Feinstein thinks Trump he will resign within a few months. The chances of this happening are greatly increased if everyone fights hard and does everything they can to topple Trump. This is not the time for moaning. This is the time to fight!

California may have its wettest water year on record


Water years in California go from Oct 1 – Sep 30. The drought has broken, and spectacularly so. It’s already been one of the wettest years ever. If rainfall in the remaining months is normal, it will be the wettest year on record. Amazingly, more storms are coming, and they will fall in northern California watersheds and the Central Valley. This is great news for California, and for Southwest states, because the more water California has, the less pressure there in on the crucial Colorado River, whose water is shared by seven states and Mexico. Several major reservoirs in California are above their historical capacity now, which is way better than things were last March.

Now that we’re more than 2/3 of the way through California’s wet season, it’s pretty clear that much of the state has experienced its wettest 3-6 month period on record. Virtually every corner of the state is above average to date, though anomalies have been much more impressive in the north. The Northern Sierra watersheds are currently sitting at just above 200% of average precipitation for the season to date–a rather extraordinary statistic. If California receives at least average precipitation for the rest of the season, 2016-2017 would become the state’s wettest Water Year on record.

What is pretty clear, though, is that this year’s extreme wetness on the seasonal scale has pushed parts of California’s aging water infrastructure to the brink.

FBI indicts Russian intelligence officers for Yahoo hack

The crucial point is FSB continued to use Belan rather than detaining him based on the Interpol Red Notice. Further, Belan used the stolen data to personally enrich himself, something FSB had to know. Thus FSB is essentially a criminal enterprise / national security agency, and it would not be outlandish to assume they were sharing in the proceeds.

FSB also of course used the hacked data to target people of interest to them,,]. If any of the targeted were dumb enough to use their Yahoo password on other accounts, then their job became so much easier. And I guarantee some of them did.

From the DoJ announcement:

Instead of acting on the U.S. government’s Red Notice and detaining Belan after his return, Dokuchaev and Sushchin subsequently used him to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo’s network. In or around November and December 2014, Belan stole a copy of at least a portion of Yahoo’s User Database (UDB), a Yahoo trade secret that contained, among other data, subscriber information including users’ names, recovery email accounts, phone numbers and certain information required to manually create, or “mint,” account authentication web browser “cookies” for more than 500 million Yahoo accounts.

The arrested are:

Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, was an officer in the FSB Center for Information Security, aka “Center 18.” Dokuchaev was a Russian national and resident.

Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43, was an FSB officer, a superior to Dokuchaev within the FSB, and a Russian national and resident. Sushchin was embedded as a purported employee and Head of Information Security at a Russian investment bank.

Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, aka “Magg,” 29, was born in Latvia and is a Russian national and resident. U.S. Federal grand juries have indicted Belan twice before, in 2012 and 2013, for computer fraud and abuse, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft involving three U.S.-based e-commerce companies and the FBI placed Belan on its “Cyber Most Wanted” list. Belan is currently the subject of a pending “Red Notice” requesting that Interpol member nations (including Russia) arrest him pending extradition. Belan was also one of two criminal hackers named by President Barack Obama on Dec. 29, 2016, pursuant to Executive Order 13694, as a Specially Designated National subject to sanctions.

Karim Baratov, aka “Kay,” “Karim Taloverov” and “Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov,” 22. He is a Canadian and Kazakh national and a resident of Canada.