Politics

How Facebook manipulated voters

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Facebook co-founder, chairman, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, standing on Red Square in Moscow, Russia.

In a contentious 2016 U.S. presidential election, social media proved to be the most important factor. How important? Brad Parscale, who was Trump’s digital director for the campaign, stated that Twitter was important, and that Facebook was “100 times more important”. Why was, and is, Facebook so important? Social media allowed (and still allows, despite the obvious conflict of interest) Donald Trump to reach out to his supporters, and they reached back in the form of millions of dollars in donations. In fact, he is still using social media to get donations for his 2020 re-election PAC fund, which is currently being used to pay the dozens of lawyers for him and his staff.

Social media, Facebook in particular, also allowed “dark ads”, which are paid advertisements tailored to specific segments of account holders. For instance, if I wanted to create a Facebook advertisement promoting myself as a political candidate, I could specify that the ad would only be shown to white males on Facebook between 21 and 45 who live in the Midwest. These “dark ads” aren’t commonly known, but many of us have seen them. Many of these ads weren’t used to promote anyone, but they were used to portray people in an extremely negative fashion, and either outright lied or exaggerated the truth. Most of them depicted Hillary Clinton as a corrupt traitor who worked with foreign powers and terrorists to undermine our democracy…which, ironically, was what Donald Trump exactly did to secure the election.

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The election itself was extremely close. Hillary Clinton, despite winning the popular vote (and winning it with the second highest ever number of votes), lost to Donald Trump in electoral college points. Here in Michigan, Donald Trump only won by a little over 10,000 votes, which is an extremely small number in a presidential election.

As for Twitter, Oxford University released a study of how voters in Michigan were manipulated by “fake news” on Twitter. The researchers found out that the fake news was much more prevalent than real news, and hit its peak of manipulation one week before the election. Could this have been the difference in Michigan, where Trump only won by 10,000 votes? It certainly played an influential part.

Here is the study, in PDF format:

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Now, we have learned that “Russiagate” head investigator Robert Mueller obtained a search warrant for all Facebook ads that were linked to Russia, in particular a Kremlin-linked company called the Internet Research Agency. Facebook alone has reported over 3,000 of these ads in the past 2 years, but this number is believed to be exponentially higher. This was a mutually beneficial relationship: Facebook made extra money, and political operatives in Russia were able to manipulate people on Facebook without being traced, for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising, and they could use blatant lies that could not be easily traced to their creators.

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Here is a screenshot of Facebook explaining unpublished page post advertisements, which are also known as “dark ads”.

We have already learned of the vast manipulation that Russia had undertook to undermine the 2016 election. All U.S. intelligence agencies, and intelligence agencies across the world, have said this. In fact, the only people denying any Russian manipulation are…Russia, and Donald Trump’s administration.

Of course, these intelligence agencies (in particular, “5 Eyes”, an alliance of the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand) were already monitoring all communications that were suspected to come from Russia, long before the 2016 campaign even started. This type of social media manipulation has been going on for many years. The Cold War technically ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, but I would argue that it never really ended. We now have a new Cold War, which is being fought with the Internet. Instead of nuclear weapons, we now have computers to fight asymmetrical warfare.

As citizens, we are only scratching the surface as to what we know about voter manipulation through social media. I would wager that within the next year, we will learn the disturbing truth: that social media and “backchannel” communications were instrumental in securing the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In fact, I already believe it.

It has been rumored that Mark Zuckerberg may actually run for president in 2020. At this rate, he will be lucky not to be charged with any crimes for his complicit actions as the head of Facebook.

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A week inside Donald Trump’s White House

Keeping track of all the stupid things that Donald Trump does is, quite literally, a full-time job. Remember when complete news cycles were devoted to former President Barack Obama wearing a tan suit, and Michelle Obama wearing sleeveless blouses?

Well, here is what has happened this week in the White House and Donald Trump’s administration. For perspective, keep in mind that a week is approximately two 72-hour news cycles:

The Coward-In-Chief told us on Twitter about how he could pardon himself and his family (six months into his presidency!), and he STILL thinks that disclosure of publicly available information constitutes a “leak”:

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He appeared at the commissioning ceremony for USS Gerald Ford, where he gave a speech where he bragged about himself and whined about the media, just like he does during all of his speeches to the military.

Trump fired his long-suffering press secretary Sean Spicer, who had become notorious for banning videocameras from press briefings, his ridiculous statements, and his many fashion “faux pas”…

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…and replaced him with longtime friend Anthony Scaramucci, who promptly called chief of staff Reince Priebus a “fucking paranoid schizophrenic”, and said that the chief strategist Steve Bannon “sucks his own cock”. To reiterate, the White House Director of Communications called the New Yorker to tell a reporter this in an on-the-record interview.

What wasn’t as newsworthy, however, is the fact that Scaramucci may make a massive profit for his ownership stake in SkyBridge because of a White House loophole letting him avoid a capital gains tax. The disclosure of his publicly available financial forms regarding this made Scaramucci so mad that he went on Twitter and threatened the “leaker” with prosecution. Apparently, he must have read a U.S. Government Civics high school textbook immediately afterwards, because he then deleted the tweet.

Not surprisingly, Chief of Staff Reince Preibus (whom Trump derisively called “Reincey”) was fired the next day. His replacement is John Kelly, who was formerly Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, and who used to be in charge of the notorious Guantanamo Bay military detention center.

Speaking of press briefings: press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took propaganda to an entirely new level when she read a letter from a “9 year old” named “Dylan”, with the nickname of “Pickle”, during a press conference:

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I don’t know about you, but this seems ridiculous and implausible. Most nine year old children have much higher writing skills than this. The purported letter, which was “mailed”, never even had any creases on it. Donald Trump also has a long history of creating false aliases to spread his fake news, which have a Wikipedia page dedicated to them. And, let’s not forget that Vice President Mike Pence has a cat named “Pickle”.

Donald Trump gave a speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree, which drew parallels to Adolf Hitler and the Hitler Youth for its political rhetoric. Trump, who was never a Boy Scout, encouraged the crowd to boo Barack Obama, who actually was a Boy Scout. Not only that, Trump mentioned sex, swore, bragged about himself, lied about others, and actually told the crowd of kids that he thanked them for the support during the election, and asked them to support repealing Obamacare.

Of course, the current president of BSA is Randall Stevenson, who is also the CEO of AT&T, which stands to profit immensely if the Trump administration approves their merger with Time Warner. To be fair, it is a longtime tradition for current presidents to speak at the BSA Jamborees, but there is nothing traditional about how the Trump administration have conducted themselves.

The GOP-created Trumpcare was defeated THREE times in Congress this past week: full repeal, modified repeal, and “skinny repeal”. It is off the table for now, but Republican health care legislation is like a zombie: eventually it’ll come back to life to try and scare us all…

Trump repeatedly bragged about the rising economy, despite only being in office for 2 financial quarters, and despite not passing any legislation that would directly or indirectly affect the economy. He also bragged about the Chinese company Foxconn promising to build a factory in Wisconsin. Of course, Foxconn has made these promises for years, but ultimately reneged.

Foxconn is probably most notorious for being such a tough place to work, that they had to install suicide nets at their Chinese headquarters to help deter demoralized and overworked employees from killing themselves.

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At this rate, the overworked and demoralized White House is going to need suicide nets of its own…

Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was summoned to the Senate Judiciary Committee to provide testimony regarding Russian collusion. Since he wasn’t sworn under oath, Kushner was able to lie repeatedly. However, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign manager Paul Manafort are also due to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committe.

Not surprisingly, Trump defended Kushner in what he terms a “witch hunt”. Somewhat surprisingly, he actually used his 11 year old son to make fun of the FBI investigation on Twitter…

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Which is pretty pathetic, considering Donald Trump has spent more time golfing this year than he has spent time with his son Barron his entire life…

In fact, Donald Trump has golfed more times this year than most presidents spend their entire terms. Unlike other presidents, however, Trump owns his own courses, so the U.S. government and taxpayers actually pay him to golf.

In other news: Donald Trump, who has lived his entire life acting as if he is above the law, who is an accused rapist, who currently has open lawsuits filed against him for sexual assault and unpaid wages, who is currently under FBI and New York state attorney general investigation, who has literally worked with Italian and Russian mafia members, who was sued by the Department of Justice for racism, and who has committed financial fraud on a massive scale…

stated his support for law enforcement in their efforts to stop the MS-13 gang.

Of course, his “support” for law enforcement does not extend to his own administration. The most powerful LEO in the U.S., attorney general Jeff Sessions, has been publicly ridiculed and repeatedly demeaned by Donald Trump in hopes that Sessions will resign. Not to mention Trump’s continual libel and slander directed to current and former LEO’s in the U.S. intelligence communities, especially the ones that are currently investigating Trump in the Russiagate investigation, including Robert Mueller.

His counselor Kellyanne Conway said that ethics filings discourage potential government employees (maybe because the Trump administration HAS no ethics?). She also complained about White House leakers, despite the many rumors that she is the main senior staff member gossiping to the media.

Trump went to Youngstown, Ohio, to waste our time and money giving another rally. Why does he still give campaign rallies? To boost his fragile self-esteem? Who knows. He did say that it “broke all records”…but the venue he spoke at only has a 5,900 person capacity, so it sure wasn’t a crowd record he broke. Maybe it set a record for the most amount of lies ever spoken in Youngstown? Who knows…

If all that isn’t enough, the Coward-In-Chief announced on Twitter that he would ban all transgendered people from serving in the military.Untitled

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Take a look at the timestamps on those 2 tweets.

There is a NINE MINUTE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM. The entire U.S., not to mention the U.S. military (who Trump had NOT spoke to, despite his claims), and much of the world, actually thought that the United States was declaring war on another country! But nope…it was just a draft-dodging dingleberry deciding to tell actual servicemembers that they cannot serve in the military.

He didn’t tell them during a press conference. He told them on social media.

Unsurprisingly, the military immediately released a statement contradicting Trump’s orders, which said that transgendered people are allowed to serve until further notice…

In the meantime, the White House itself is being run by overworked junior staffers who are incapable of writing propaganda above a 5th-grade reading level. Here is what the White House reads (literally, this is what they tell us they read):

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So…to summarize, the White House thinks preparatory work is actually newsworthy (the contractors protesting the bidding process, however, WAS newsworthy), they think illegal border crossings are capable of “crashing” instead of falling or decreasing, and they even quote the insufferable Michelle Malkin speaking about Internet “net neutrality”. I’m not quite sure how net neutrality would have U.S. Constitutional challenges, considering the Internet wasn’t even around in 1787. If you ask me, the White House should spend more time reading the U.S. Constitution, instead of ridiculous opinions from irrelevant people.

And, to top all of this off, a Reuters poll released 3 days ago states that Donald Trump only has a 35% approval rate, and a 59% disapproval rate.

Anyway, I’m sure this isn’t even the full list of stupid things that Donald Trump has done this week. But, if you want to see more stupidity for yourself, here’s Donald Trump’s Twitter page.

Just be prepared for ignorance and hypocrisy on an “unpresidented” scale…

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Millionaire asshole golfs again

After Donald Trump’s trip to France to celebrate Bastille Day (surely he recognizes the symbolism?), he skipped returning to the White House, and immediately went to his Trump golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament is there, which lasts throughout this weekend, and the Golfer-In-Chief wasn’t about to skip out on his 2 favorite pastimes: golf, and leering at women.

Trump has already advertised the tournament on his Twitter page, multiple times…

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At this point, you are probably wondering how the hell a POTUS can get away with advertising for a golf course that he owns and profits from.

To be fair, Donald Trump was awarded the tournament in 2012, back when he had just bowed out of that year’s presidential election, and was still happily cashing NBC checks on “The Apprentice”. Upon being awarded the tournament, Trump had this to say:

“It is my great honor to have Trump National Golf Club Bedminster host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open,” said Donald J. Trump, chairman and president of The Trump Organization. “We designed this course to appeal to and to challenge the greatest golfers in the world, and having the most prestigious event in women’s golf at this course makes our plans complete. I look forward to a truly memorable championship.”

The USGA, after Trump’s election, wanted to move the tournament to a different course. Apparently, Trump’s attorneys threatened a lawsuit if they moved, so the USGA had no choice but to hold the tournament at Bedminster.

Although, I’m not quite sure why this particular course was chosen in the first place. According to Golf Digest magazine, Trump Bedminster is a mediocre golf course, and is not even a top-10 course in New Jersey. It reportedly has a flooding problem, which helps to explain why Trump’s golf balls always end up in the water when he golfs there (or elsewhere!).

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Eric Trump, son of Donald, is the one nominally in charge of the Trump Golf enterprise, when he’s not busy diverting money from cancer charities and children’s hospitals to buy oil paintings and housewares. The Trump children have had a horrible week, from Ivanka getting exposed by the Washington Post for her hypocritical business practices, to Donald Jr. lying several times about the several Russians he met with during his father’s presidential campaign. As the “Russiagate” investigation rolls on, Donald Trump is busy trying to distract us from his crimes. Whether that is awkwardly yanking on the French first lady’s arm, having bouts of amnesiausing his 2020 re-election fund to pay for his son Donald Jr’s legal fund (now there’s a sad irony), or calling the Russiagate investigation a “hoax” despite the 25+ investigators and attorneys currently working on it, Donald Trump always manages to stay in the news on a daily basis for doing things that are stupid to the point of being newsworthy.

And, of course, despite the fact that he continually called out Barack Obama for his golf trips, and the fact that he promised to not vacation as much when he became president, this is the 36th golf outing that Trump has taken since he was inaugurated 6 months ago. Trump’s vacationing has become so notorious that there are several websites dedicated to keeping track of it:

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Since Trump still fully owns Trump Organization and discreetly oversees it, he profits off of U.S. taxpayers, who get charged every time he travels to a Trump hotel, golf course, or any other associated property. Between the usage of Air Force One and Marine One, the security costs, etc., it adds up very quickly. As you can see on the graphic above, he has already cost taxpayers over $46 million (in my opinion, the actual costs run much higher). And that money gets put right back into his company, which is an apparent violation of the U.S. Constitution emoluments clause. The fact that he still advertises Trump golf events on Twitter just adds insult to injury.

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A plane flies over Trump Bedminster golf course in New Jersey, protesting the appearance and ownership of President Donald Trump.

The “Russiagate” investigation has started to ramp up recently, so using his companies to profit off of his presidency may not seem like a big deal compared to things like espionage, conspiracy, and perjury. I assure you, however, that it will be one of the many things that will contribute to his eventual undoing.

 

MAGA: My Angry Government Article

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Ever since Donald Trump unimaginably became our 45th president, I have refrained from writing articles about him. Mostly because he does something stupid to the point of being newsworthy every day, and I would not have the time to constantly write about it.

But, after this weekend, I cannot stay silent. Donald Trump is, without a doubt, the most incompetent person to ever hold office in any capacity, let alone being a leader of the free world. He thoroughly embarrassed the U.S. during the G20 Summit, from letting his unelected daughter Ivanka actually represent the U.S. at the table during a meeting (the G20 is the largest meeting of world leaders, having a child represent you is unusual and has never happened before. He should have, at the very least, suborned his chair to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, NOT his daughter!) to having a secretive meeting with Vladimir Putin that lasted for hours, without any note-taking or witnesses. He actually stated that him and Putin would start a cybersecurity initiative, despite the fact that Putin’s Russia was the country who hacked into our voter logs and nuclear reactors. If that isn’t insane enough, Trump has seemingly taken a page from communist countries like North Korea, and posted a choir singing his own “theme song” celebrating his Make America Great Again catchphrase (this video is from July 4th. he has posted a newer one with a super ridiculous slideshow on his Twitter page):

 

Pretty awful, huh? OK. Let me pour a nice big glass of “covfefe”, and let’s get started…

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Donald Trump is a liar. He will literally say anything to try to get over on you. Don’t believe me? Here, he’ll prove it:

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Didn’t expect him to say that, huh? He still has literally hundreds of contradictory and ridiculous tweets on his page. His former golf caddy and current anti social media director Dan Scavino Jr. hasn’t bothered to delete any of his older tweets, or even to suggest a coherent and consistent platform for Trump to follow on Twitter, so his tweets continue to be outrageous and hypocritical.

How bad is Trump? Well, he has a 34% approval rating in the U.S., and is hated even more outside of the U.S. (he has a 12% approval rating in Germany, where he just left from the G20 Summit in Hamburg). He hasn’t accomplished anything of substance, except to divide the country even more with his ridiculous rhetoric. The only thing he seemingly accomplished was keeping the Carrier air-conditioner jobs in Indiana, and that has proven to be fake, since the jobs are being lost anyway. His executive orders are mostly meaningless, and state and local leaders ignore his orders to report undocumented immigrants and voter logs. The GOP-created “Trumpcare” is being called the most-hated piece of legislation in U.S. history. He has taken more golf trips during his first 6 months than most presidents take their entire term, and he has cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars already due to flagrant overuse of Secret Service security and the Air Force One plane. His speeches are filled with lies, and complaints towards media organizations that have treated him far better than he deserves. If that’s not bad enough, whenever he visits a Trump hotel or golf course (oh, you thought he would have to put Trump ownership in a blind trust? Nope, he still discreetly runs the company!), he charges the government for its usage. Donald Trump is, quite literally, using the presidency as a way to profit off of you and me.

His administration is filled with Trump acquaintances and family members, along with K-Street and Capitol Hill rejects. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who had absolutely no political experience (Trump himself had no political experience either before becoming President), became senior staff members in the White House. Rick Perry, who wanted to get rid of the Department of Energy yet couldn’t even name it in a debate (the moment ended his presidential campaign last year), is…you guessed it, the secretary of the Department of Energy. His Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is a long-time associate of many influential Russians, and Vladimir Putin even awarded him the Russian Order Of Friendship in 2012. Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, with his son, reportedly had Russians attempt to hack into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. The Housing and Urban Development cabinet is run by a man who thinks poverty is “a state of mind” (Ben Carson), and a wedding planner whose only qualification is that she presumably lives in a house (Lynne Patton). If you are Catholic, you should be offended that a woman who had an affair with a married man whose wife was suffering from cancer, has been nominated by Trump to become Ambassador to the Holy See (the Vatican). If you are Muslim, you are certainly offended at his ill-conceived attempts at banning Muslims from entering the country (which have been overturned by U.S. Circuit Courts). If you have average intelligence or higher, you have to be offended at a White House that refuses to allow videotaped press briefings, that treats journalists like troublesome children, and that uses social media just like troublesome children.

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There has been proven collusion with Russia during the election, with Donald Trump’s campaign. U.S. intelligence agencies have proof, and major media outlets like CNN and the Washington Post have proof as well. U.S. intelligence agencies have asked the media to not release this information, but as the investigation moves along, this information will eventually be released to the public. This is why the “Golfer-In-Chief” always talks about “fake news”, he wants to discredit the media before the Russiagate investigation goes to the next level. Robert Mueller, head of the investigation, has dozens of people working on the case, and he even has people focusing on potential money laundering and fraud (trust me, there’s been a lot of that). Needless to say, the Commander-In-Queef wants to control the media narrative before it controls him. This is something he’s done his entire life. Remember when the New York Post infamously ran a cover story bragging about Donald Trump’s sexual prowess? He personally leaked that story. If Marla Maples hadn’t been forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement like everyone else who is associated with Donald Trump, she would surely tell the truth. Of course, rumors abound that First Lady Melania Trump (when not working on her “cyberbullying initiative”) is cheating on Donald with a man who lives in NYC, and this was part of the reason she stayed behind to live in Trump Tower (which we paid for) while Donald moved into the White House.

Donald Trump IS fake news. He is the original gangsta, the Triple OG of fake news. How fake? He used to call news organizations under the guise of “John Barron”, who would “leak” news that praised Trump in some capacity.  Any news article or show that makes complaints about Trump (which is basically everything except for Fox News), is called “fake news” by him and the White House, because his feelings got hurt. Donald has a son named Barron, he has fake Time magazine covers posted on his Trump properties along with oil paintings of himself that was paid for with Donald J. Trump charity foundation money, and he is still leaking fake news out to the world, but on a much larger level.

I’ll end this article as simply as possible, with the philosophy of Occams Razor. Occams Razor states that if two explanations exist for one outcome, then the simpler and more logical explanation is usually correct.

Are we to believe a man who has lied his entire life, who has lived by his rules without ever being held accountable for them, who currently has open lawsuits ranging from sexual assault to non-payment of funds (yes, the president can be sued for things that happened before he became president), a man who recently renewed the web domain “TrumpTowerMoscow.com” , a man who is either narcissistic, has dementia, or is an idiot (probably a combination of the three)…or are we to believe our own intuition and facts that are easily accessed on the internet?

The ironic part is that Trump has been committing crimes his entire life. He only ran for president out of spite, to prove to his many detractors that he could actually become president. Well, he accomplished it all right, but now he is subject to the same checks and balances that guide everyone else in government. He has committed fraud on an unprecedented (unpresidented?) scale, and has been flagrant about it. Unfortunately for him, he can’t bribe or extort the U.S. government to drop the investigation, although he has surely tried, like with former FBI director James Comey.

If you are a true patriot (not a fake patriot who waves their made-in-China flag around and uses flag emojis constantly, but is really a hypocrite traitor, like Michael Flynn and his son), then you have to be pissed off at where our country is. I’m pissed off. Trump has alienated our world allies, while reaching out to dictators in Turkey, the Philippines, and Russia. That’s why I took the time to write this article. His entire administration is filled with complicit traitors. Most of the U.S. military, contrary to his propaganda, does not respect him, and Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis is probably the ONLY person in his administration who is not a traitor (incidentally, Mattis is #6 in the presidential line of succession). Donald Trump has always been a fake, a fraud, and a coward. He has never won a fair fight in his life, because he has always rigged the fights in his favor. If you believe in karma, then he is certainly due for his. If you believe in the rule of law, then he will be held accountable for colluding with Russia to win the presidential election, for lying about it, for obstructing justice (most notably, for the firing of former FBI director James Comey), and for violating the U.S. Constitution emoluments clause.

Whether his supporters are in denial, or simply support him out of spite towards everyone else, they will soon find out what most of the world has already learned: that he is an incompetent traitor. The day Donald Trump leaves office is the day that we can truly begin to make America great, again.

 

 

 

 

Donald Trump comes to Ypsilanti, MI

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What an unexpected treat! No, I’m not talking about the heavily redacted tax forms that were leaked from the White House…no, I’m talking about our Commander-In-Queef in the orange flesh! In my city! About 5 miles from my house, at the old Willow Run auto plant that has recently been converted to an autonomous car testing facility.

Will he use the word “bigly”? Will he take credit for the economic upturn, despite being a President for less than a financial quarter? Will he accidentally get run over by an autonomous car?

Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.

Does Donald Trump have a child with ASD?

Barron Trump is a child who has already lived an amazing life in his first 10 years, and his life promises to become even more amazing now that his father and mother will be President and First Lady Of The United States.

There are rumors going around that he may have ASD (autism spectrum disorder). These rumors started about 2 years ago, and resurfaced during Barron’s appearance at one of Donald Trump’s speeches. It is said that he was showing typical ASD behavior, such as twitching, lack of eye contact, and nervousness.

Of course, the more likely explanation is that he WAS nervous! Try to imagine yourself at 10, in front of a massive crowd such as he was.

While there is no definitive proof to these rumors, there are some interesting points to be made:

-Donald Trump has been commenting on his belief in the largely debunked link between autism and vaccines since 2007…or since Barron was an infant. Trump has made these comments on news shows as well as on his personal Twitter webpage. Here is an article that has aggregated screenshots of his comments.

-Although the vaccine link is largely agreed to have been debunked, there is a definite correlation between parental age and risk of ASD. Donald and Melania Trump had the largest possible risk factors as parents, since Donald was almost 60 years old while Melania was 35 when Barron was conceived. It has been stated that older fathers and younger mothers have a higher risk for children with ASD, and in Donald and Melania’s case the risk was 4.4 times higher, with an almost 1:2 chance of developing mental illness in general.

-Trump has also donated to charities that support and try to raise awareness of the largely debunked ASD/vaccine link, in particular the charity of actress Jenny McCarthy, “Generation Rescue”.

Donald Trump wouldn’t seem like the most understanding person when it comes to children with special needs, especially with his disparaging comments of disabled adults in the past. But if Barron was, in fact, a child with ASD, it could do an enormous good for autism awareness in the U.S., and worldwide. It has been said that 1 in approximately 55 children are born “on the spectrum”, which would mean that there are millions of children and adults in the U.S. that have ASD. 

The last president to have a family member with special needs was John F. Kennedy, whose sister Rosemary was institutionalized. She was, by most accounts, an eccentric if basically normal adult who underwent a lobotomy in the 1940’s, which permanently incapacitated her. Whether due to strong familial guilt or a genuine passion for the cause, the Kennedys would thereafter donate money and resources to raise awareness of mental illnesses and disabilities, with Eunice Kennedy founding the Special Olympics in 1968.

Of course, this is all just speculation at this point. Donald Trump wouldn’t release his tax returns, and he wouldn’t even release a legitimate medical record, despite becoming the oldest POTUS (at 70) in history. He probably won’t be commenting on his child’s medical records any time soon.

But, then again, even if Barron does have ASD, he is surely on the high end of the spectrum, since by all accounts he is an intelligent and talented child. I don’t think that more kids have ASD than in the past, but that there has been more testing, and over-testing in some instances. The same kid who might have been “quirky” or “a loner” 50 years ago would probably qualify for an ASD diagnosis nowadays. It would not be surprising if Barron is on the autism spectrum due to his parents’ risk factors and his father’s sudden interest in ASD topics shortly after his birth, especially since Trump rarely comments on any topic that doesn’t affect him directly or indirectly. Although, it would not be surprising at all if Barron wasn’t on the spectrum, either.

Regardless of all the speculation, Barron will be living a once-in-a-lifetime dream of having a presidential Dad, and living in the White House. I genuinely wish him the best of luck, and I hope he gets to play with his toy cars and airplanes in the Oval Office…!

The Trump transition: the first 60 days

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Well, this past week has certainly been crazy. Donald Trump pulled the biggest political coup of the 21st century thus far by winning the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As shocked as you may be about it, keep in mind that no one is more shocked than Trump himself. He initially ran for president just to see how successful he could be in the primaries, with no expectation of actually securing a nomination. Trump was basically in a win-win situation: if he lost the election, which for much of his campaign he expected to, he would still have secured a lot of political capital and he would have leveraged his presidential run into more Trump-related business, such as the so-called Trump TV media venture.

But…here we are, with Donald Trump as commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation of the free world. A man who would randomly grab a woman’s genitals and not think anything of it will now grab onto the presidential suitcase with the nuclear codes in case all hell breaks loose. As much controversy as Trump received over his sexually explicit comments, they are minor compared to the other baggage that he brings into the White House. Here are some of the things that Donald Trump will be concentrating on in the first 60 days, instead of remedial American History and World History 101 lessons:

Lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits: The king of business litigation still has 75 pending lawsuits open against him, most prominently the one against his former for-profit college Trump University. This wasn’t a hands-off business venture: Trump owned almost 100% of Trump U, and his likeness figured prominently in the “university” advertising, recruiting literature, and coursework. It is in Trump’s best interest to get this federal lawsuit settled as quickly as possible, and he will.

There is also a New York state investigation of the Trump Foundation. Donald Trump spent a good portion of his campaign railing against what he sees as illicit practices by the Clinton Foundation, but at least the Clinton Foundation actually gives to charitable causes on a regular basis. Out of all of Trump’s despicable acts, one of the most despicable was promising to pay $6 million to veterans charities during a press conference, but not paying any of them until the media pressured him months later. What DOES the Trump Foundation do? Well, besides laundering money, there’s this: in 2007, $10,000 of foundation money was used to buy a painting of Trump, and in 2014, $20,000 of foundation money was used to buy another painting of Trump. This violates IRS rules against using charity money for personal interests.

One lawsuit that evidently went away was the pending civil suit that accused Trump of raping and beating up a 13 year old child. To be clear, this was a lawsuit that had been pending for quite some time, and was scheduled for a status conference in December. For unknown reasons, the plaintiff decided to cancel the lawsuit last week. Trump has been accused of walking into a locker room while teenage beauty contestants were changing clothes, and a recently released video from 1992 shows Trump telling a 10 year old girl that he would be dating her as soon as she became an adult.

Money, money, money: The O’Jays famous song “For The Love Of Money” took on new life as the theme song for Donald Trump’s reality show The Apprentice. Now, as Trump makes the transition from business owner to U.S. president, there will be lots of money moving around within his family. Trump plans to hand over managerial oversight of the Trump Organization (a conglomerate that controls all of Trump’s various business ventures) to his children Eric, Donald Jr., and Ivanka. The three children will have their hands full: along with handling these business ventures, they are also on Trump’s presidential transition team.

Advisers, yes-men, and cabinet members: One of Donald Trump’s most famous phrases during the election was “Drain The Swamp”, which referred to his intentions of getting rid of political insiders in Washington. This is ironic, because the list of Trump’s proposed candidates for his cabinet is as fetid and disgusting, and as full of political insiders, as any swamp imaginable. Here’s who is on Trump’s shortlist (some names are listed twice, as this is just speculation):

Chief Of Staff: Steve Bannon, of Brietbart.com; Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law; Reince Preibus, RNC chairman; Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager

Secretary Of State: John Bolton, former ambassador in the George W. Bush administration; Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House; Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor

Attorney General: Rudy Giuliani; Trey Gowdy, U.S. representative; Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey

Secretary Of The Interior: Newt Gingrich

Secretary Of Health And Human Services: Ben Carson, former 2016 presidential candidate

Secretary Of Energy: Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska

Secretary Of Homeland Security: Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County sheriff, Arizona

Adviser or spokesperson: Omarosa Manigault, reality TV star

Does that list send shivers down your spine as it does mine? If it weren’t so frighteningly real, it would make one hell of a reality show.

It looks like President-elect Trump has a busy few weeks ahead of him. Let’s hope that he can get all of this straightened out so that he can have a smooth transition into the presidency.