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Know your rights
(permalink)

Published Thursday, June 14, 2018 @ 10:31 AM EDT
Jun 14 2018

On June 7, Tiana Smalls, whose Facebook profile describes her as owner of Fire Flower Beauty Company, was riding a Greyhound bus from Bakersfield, California to Las Vegas, Nevada. As the bus approached an agricultural checkpoint at the Nevada state line, Ms. Smalls said the driver made an unusual announcement: "We are being boarded by Border Patrol. Please be prepared to show your documentation upon request."

Ms. Smalls immediately reacted. According to a description she posted on Facebook, she stood up and loudly said, "This is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. You don't have to show them shit!!!" She then used Google Translate to repeat her message in Spanish, reassuring the Spanish-speaking woman sitting beside her and probably countless other fellow passengers.

Border Patrol agents boarded the bus and started to ask the passengers for their "documentation." Ms. Smalls stood up again and shouted, "You have NO RIGHT to ask me for anything! This is harassment and racial profiling! We are not within 100 miles of a border so [these agents] have no legal right or jurisdiction here!"

Ms. Smalls' simple and courageous act of resistance was enough. The Border Patrol agents, realizing that they would face an uphill battle, immediately retreated, telling the driver to continue on.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials claim sweeping authority to operate in the interior of the United States. Their basis for doing so is a federal statute that purports to allow CBP officers to undertake certain enforcement activities without a warrant "within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States." A federal regulation adopted in 1953 inexplicably defines a "reasonable distance" as up to 100 air miles from any external boundary of the United States—an area that sweeps up nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population (200 million people), nine of our 10 largest cities, and several entire states (including Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Jersey). And still CBP cheats its way to more interior encroachment, for example, by claiming that the Great Lakes shared with Canada are "functional equivalents of the border" so that all of Michigan and Chicago are in its reach.

CBP often overlooks basic civics in making this power grab, however. No act of Congress can authorize a violation of the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.

In general, the Fourth Amendment allows law enforcement to enter business areas that are open to the public. In nonpublic areas, however, law enforcement officers must have a warrant, consent, or "exigent circumstances" for their entry to be constitutional. Because you need a ticket to board a Greyhound bus, these are nonpublic areas. In a recent letter to Greyhound's general counsel, the ACLU explained that Greyhound is not obligated to consent to the Border Patrol's warrantless and unjustified raids on its buses.

Since Trump took office, CBP activity far from our actual borders has increasedsignificantly. ACLU affiliates in Washington, California, Arizona, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Florida have reported multiple incidents involving Border Patrol agents boarding Greyhound buses without a warrant or consent, and terrorizing passengers by demanding their papers. These reports indicate that Border Patrol agents routinely engage in racial and ethnic profiling, singling people out for the color of their skin or accents.

We live in dark times. Many people want to stand up for their own rights and the rights of others, but feel unsure about how. Ms. Smalls' experience, like that of two brave women in Montana last month, teaches us that sometimes knowing one's rights and speaking out with confidence delivers truth to abusive power.

https://medium.com/aclu/one-woman-who-knew-her-rights-forced-border-patrol-off-a-greyhound-bus-c9f5c6275588


Categories: ACLU, Border Patrol, Congress, Donald Trump, Fourth Amendment, Greyhound, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Customs and Border Protection


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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What fresh hell can this be?
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Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018 @ 11:56 AM EDT
Jun 13 2018

A propaganda video, released by the White House. The freaking White House. Trump showed it to Kim Jong-un on an iPad before their meeting. It was also shown to the press pool.

The writer/director wasn't credited, but thankfully that person is no Leni Riefenstahl.

While there are several companies called "Destiny Productions", none seem to have been involved in this execrable exercise. It would appear the White House just chose it as a metaphor, and as usual, didn't bother to see if the name actually belonged to someone else.


Categories: Destiny Productions, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Leni Riefenstahl, North Korea, Politics, Signs of the Apocalypse, The Daily KGB Report, Video


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Fortunately, it still works in the opposite direction
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Published Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 7:56 AM EDT
May 24 2018

Donald Trump cannot block critical Twitter users, court rules

WASHINGTON- A federal judge in New York ruled Wednesday that President Trump may not block users from following his Twitter account because the social media platform is a "public forum" protected by the First Amendment.

A group of Twitter users sued the president in July after the @realDonaldTrump account blocked them from replying to his messages. The seven users had each tweeted a message critical of the president before they were blocked.

"Blocking of the individual plaintiffs as a result of the political views they have expressed is impermissible under the First Amendment," Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in the decision.

"While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the president's personal First Amendment rights, he cannot exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him," she wrote.

The White House did not respond to a request for a comment. The Justice Department said in a statement it disagreed with the decision and is considering its next move.

Trump has more than 52 million followers on his @realDonaldTrump account, which has become the platform he uses most often to communicate to voters.

"The president's practice of blocking critics on Twitter is pernicious and unconstitutional, and we hope this ruling will bring it to an end," said Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, which filed the suit.

(via USA Today)

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Windows 10 has crashed on me- again- causing another painful bout of trying to reconstruct everything. Backups are useful, but it doesn't help that Microsoft has designed an operating system and applications with file structures that resist or even conceal themselves from recovery utilities. I'm almost the at the point of considering getting a new system; I've rebuilt this one from the oxide up three times so far. Perhaps four years is the limit for the reliable operation of consumer PCs. Whatever... in the immortal words of Paul Simon, "You know, I don't find this stuff amusing anymore."

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Due to the Memorial Day holiday, KGB Report on the web will return on Tuesday. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent updates.


Categories: Donald Trump, Microsoft, The Daily KGB Report, Twitter, Windows


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Faux Trump
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Published Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 10:08 AM EDT
May 22 2018

(Read the full article in the Boston Globe)

WASHINGTON — The hallmark of President Trump’s Twitter feed is that it sounds like him — grammatical miscues and all.

But it’s not always Trump tapping out a Tweet, even when it sounds like his voice. West Wing employees who draft proposed tweets intentionally employ suspect grammar and staccato syntax in order to mimic the president’s style, according to two people familiar with the process.

They overuse the exclamation point! They Capitalize random words for emphasis. Fragments. Loosely connected ideas. All part of a process that is not as spontaneous as Trump’s Twitter feed often appears.

Presidential speechwriters have always sought to channel their bosses’ style and cadence, but Trump’s team is blazing new ground with its approach to his favorite means of instant communication. Some staff members even relish the scoldings Trump gets from elites shocked by the Trumpian language they strive to imitate, believing that debates over presidential typos fortify the belief within his base that he has the common touch.

His staff has become so adept at replicating Trump’s tone that people who follow his feed closely say it is getting harder to discern which tweets were actually crafted by Trump sitting in his bathrobe and watching “Fox & Friends” and which were concocted by his communications team.

Those familiar with the process wouldn’t fess up to which tweets were staff-written. But an algorithm crafted by a writer at The Atlantic to determine real versus staff-written tweets suggested several were not written by the president, despite the unusual use of the language.


Categories: Donald Trump, The Daily KGB Report


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Trump does this 20 times a day; Star Trek unification torpedoed?
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Published Monday, May 14, 2018 @ 3:45 PM EDT
May 14 2018

I could think of several things, especially taking into account his prodigious consumption of Diet Coke. But it's worth considering another daily habit.

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CBS has filed a lawsuit to block merger with Viacom. Star Trek could be a casualty of this corporate war. This is certainly a major step backwards for the reunification of CBS and Viacom, owner of Paramount Pictures. Since Viacom split up in 2005, Star Trek has been divided between CBS and Paramount Pictures, with CBS owning the brand and television rights and Paramount owning the film library and holding the rights to make new feature films. A CBS/Viacom merger could create more opportunities for building the brand, cross-promotions and other synergies. Potentially it could eventually lead to building a coherent ‘Star Trek Cinematic Universe’ across TV and film. For now, any such dreams will have to be put on hold with CBS and Paramount continuing to forge their own independent paths with Star Trek.


Categories: Donald Trump, Star Trek, The Daily KGB Report


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"A deal's a deal"
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Published Wednesday, May 09, 2018 @ 2:18 PM EDT
May 09 2018

Orange Douché again fails to follow his own advice.

(If video starts at the beginning, go to 0:55.)


Categories: Donald Trump, The Daily KGB Report


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Must See TV
(permalink)

Published Monday, May 07, 2018 @ 9:21 AM EDT
May 07 2018

Saturday Night Live's cold open the other day was the Infinity Wars of Trump satire.


Categories: Donald Trump, SNL, The Daily KGB Report


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Can't anybody here play this game?
(permalink)

Published Thursday, May 03, 2018 @ 4:43 AM EDT
May 03 2018

Perhaps Giuliani's paying back Trump for not making him secretary of state or leading the Department of Homeland Security.

Or perhaps he's contributing to what appears will be the President's main line of defense, incomptetent legal representation.

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KGB Report on the web will return on Monday. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent updates.

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Categories: Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, The Daily KGB Report


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A few more questions
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Published Tuesday, May 01, 2018 @ 9:58 AM EDT
May 01 2018

While Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has nearly 50 questions he wants to ask President Trump, there are a few more things I'd like to know:

How much time do you spend each day attending to that orange, quasi-living thing on your head? You're aware you're not fooling anyone, right? Isn't it really the caterpillar stage of a flannel moth?

Did you appoint Scott Pruitt to head the EPA to prevent the government from banning the sale of Tan in a Can? And that you hoarded a warehouse full of industrial strength aerosol lacquer for your hair?

Are you aware that photographic negatives of you look just like a rabid raccoon?

Are you still paying people to wander around Hawaii looking for Obama's birth certificate?

Why is your name in pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's little black book?

Is it fair for taxpayers to pay for security for a billionaire who doesn't pay taxes?

If your IQ is so high, why do you tweet Special Council instead of Special Counsel? And we won't mention 'bigly' or 'covfefe'.

So everyone can have the same opportunity as you, how about giving $10 million to every college grad, like your father did?


Categories: Donald Trump, The Daily KGB Report


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Please, just make it stop
(permalink)

Published Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 8:25 AM EDT
Apr 26 2018

For the past 15 months, the monologues of late night television comedians has been full of almost nothing but jokes about Trump and his administration.

An argument can be made for this situation. As Saul Alinsky said, "Humor is essential to a successful tactician, for the most potent weapons known to mankind are satire and ridicule."

But those weapons are not especially effective against Trump. He's been the object of satire and ridicule for the past three decades, and he seems to thrive on it. Even those who voted for him grudgingly acknowledge he's a bozo.

Also, the jokes are just too easy. The punchlines for Trump's public statements are obvious, like mittens pinned to the sleeves of a child's jacket.

Stephen Colbert, the most prolific Trump basher, now has the highest ratings of any late night show. I attribute this to his audience's revenge fantasies. In the late late night category, Seth Meyers has dominated with routines that are funny but emphasize the seriousness and absurdity of our country's situation. Consider:

Politcal satire is nothing new. Its modern form pioneer was Mort Sahl, whom television host Steve Allen said was "the only real political philosopher we have in modern comedy." His social satire performances broke new ground in live entertainment, as a stand-up comic talking about the real world of politics in the 1950s and 1960s was considered "revolutionary." Instead of obvious, rapid-fire cheap shots, Sahl's routines were thoughtful, which made the satire even more biting:

I suspect many are like me: victims of "Trump fatigue."

Please. Mueller, Congress, somebody... just make it stop. This isn't funny anymore.

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KGB Report on the web will return on Monday. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent updates.


Categories: Donald Trump, Mort Sahl, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, Steve Allen


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Dangerous delusions
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Published Friday, August 12, 2016 @ 4:34 PM EDT
Aug 12 2016

Share on Facebook

Donald Trump said that if he loses Pennsylvania, it will be due to voter fraud.

Ok, a reality check here, folks.

Trump currently trails Clinton by 9-11% in the polls.

Pennsylvania hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, when George H.W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis.

Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama won PA by turning out voters in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the increasingly Democratic Philadelphia suburbs, which were once Republican.

This more or less affirms political consultant James Carville's assessment that "Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between."

What concerns me is not Trump, but his supporters. In this post- factual age, his fans will be incensed when the inevitable happens. He admonished his supporters to vote for him, then "go around and look and watch other polling places and make sure that it's 100 percent fine."

The thought of gun-racked pick-up trucks of Trump supporters from Tionesta, Punxsutawney. Meadville and Franklin pouring into the Hill District on election day to "monitor" the vote is, frankly, alarming.

There's always the chance that Trump's continued descent into madness will result in him being effectively removed from the ticket or garner only record low results, but it's still unsettling.

I know of several persons (including my wife, who had never voted before in her life) registering this year so that they could cast their ballots against this self-aggrandizing, narcissistic, insane lunatic.

No matter who wins the election, things are going to be rather bumpy for a while. Prepare yourself.


Categories: Donald Trump


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You can't make this stuff up...
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Published Thursday, August 04, 2016 @ 12:10 PM EDT
Aug 04 2016

"In the last 24 hours, Donald Trump has refused to endorse Republican leaders up for re-election, accused John McCain of failing veterans, suggested Americans pull their 401(k)s out of the stock market, threw out a crying baby at a rally, fought with the father of a dead soldier, and suggested President Obama was responsible for the death of troops during George W. Bush's time in office. Said voters, 'Yeah, but I'm not sure I trust Hillary Clinton.'"
-Seth Meyers


Categories: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Seth Meyers


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Bloomberg blasts Trump
(permalink)

Published Friday, July 29, 2016 @ 8:57 PM EDT
Jul 29 2016

Of all the speeches given at the Democratic convention this week, Michael Bloomberg's was the most unexpected and compelling.

The former New York mayor's business empire is worth $46 billion, roughly ten times that of Donald Trump's, sp je's not intimidated by Trump's weath and influence You rarely hear billionaires bashing each other, but Bloomberg pulled no punches.

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Now, I'm not here as a member of any party, or to endorse any party platform. I am here for one reason, and one reason only: to explain why I believe it is my imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States. And to ask you to join with me in supporting her this November.

When the Founding Fathers arrived here in Philadelphia to forge a new nation, they didn't come as Democrats or Republicans, or to nominate a presidential candidate. They came as patriots who feared party politics. I know how they felt. I've been a Democrat, I've been a Republican, and I eventually became an independent because I don't believe either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership.

When I enter the voting booth each time, I look at the candidate, not the party label. I have supported elected officials from both sides of the aisle. Probably not many people in this room can say that, but I know there are many watching at home who can. And now, they are carefully weighing their choices. I understand their dilemma.

I know what it's like to have neither party fully represent my views or values. Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence. Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction.

There are times when I disagree with Hillary. But whatever our disagreements may be, I've come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.

I believe it's the duty of all American citizens to make our voices heard by voting in this election. And, if you're not yet registered to vote, go online. Do it now. It's just too important to sit this out.

Now, we've heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business. I couldn't agree more. I've built a business and I didn't start it with a million-dollar check from my father. Because of my success in the private sector, I had the chance to run America's largest city for 12 years, governing in the wake of its greatest tragedy.

Today, as an independent, an entrepreneur, and a former mayor, I believe we need a president who is a problem solver, not a bomb thrower. Someone who can bring members of Congress together, to get things done. And I know Hillary Clinton can do that because I saw it firsthand.

I was elected mayor two months after 9/11, as a Republican- and I saw how Hillary Clinton worked with Republicans in Washington to ensure that New York got the help it needed to recover and rebuild. Throughout her time in the Senate, we didn't always agree- but she always listened. And that's the kind of approach we need in Washington today, and it just has to start in the White House.

Given my background, I've often encouraged business leaders to run for office because many of them share that same pragmatic approach to building consensus, but not all. Most of us who have created a business know that we're only as good as the way our employees, clients, and partners view us. Most of us don't pretend that we're smart enough to make every big decision by ourselves. And most of us who have our names on the door know that we're only as good as our word.

But not Donald Trump.

Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us.

I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he'll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What'd I miss here?!

Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy. He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He's wrong on both counts.

We can only solve our biggest problems if we come together and embrace the freedoms that our Founding Fathers established right here in Philadelphia, which permitted our ancestors to create the great American exceptionalism that all of us now enjoy. Donald Trump doesn't understand that. Hillary Clinton does. And we can only create good jobs if we make smarter investments in infrastructure and do more to support small businesses. Not stiff them. Donald Trump doesn't understand that. Hillary Clinton does.

I understand the appeal of a businessman president. But Trump's business plan is a disaster in the making. He would make it harder for small businesses to compete, do great damage to our economy, threaten the retirement savings of millions of Americans, lead to greater debt and more unemployment, erode our influence in the world, and make our communities less safe.

The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can't afford to make that choice.

Now, I know Hillary Clinton is not flawless; no candidate is. But she is the right choice- and the responsible choice- in this election. No matter what you may think about her politics or her record, Hillary Clinton understands that this is not reality television; this is reality. She understands the job of president. It involves finding solutions, not pointing fingers, and offering hope, not stoking fear.

Over the course of our country's proud history, we have faced our share of grave challenges, but we have never retreated in fear. Never. Not here in Philadelphia in 1776, not at Gettysburg in 1863, not through two World Wars and a Great Depression, not at Selma or Stonewall, and not after 9/11- and we must not start now.

America is the greatest country on Earth- and when people vote with their feet, they come here. The presidency of the United States is the most powerful office in the world, and so I say to my fellow independents: Your vote matters now. Your vote will determine the future of your job, your business, and our future together as a country.

To me, this election is not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It's a choice about who is better to lead our country right now: better for our economy, better for our security, better for our freedom, and better for our future.

There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November. So tonight, as an independent, I am asking you to join with me- not out of party loyalty but out of love of country. And together, let's elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America.


Categories: Democrats, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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Worst case scenarios
(permalink)

Published Thursday, July 28, 2016 @ 6:26 AM EDT
Jul 28 2016

"With Hillary Clinton, worst case scenario, you have a bad President for four years, right? And America's had bad presidents before, you'll get through it. But America, you have never had a Donald Trump before. A man, who claiming to be the leader of law and order and make America safe candidate, that man who invites foreign hackers to steal files that he himself said contain American national security data? Yhat man? That's a leader you've never had. A man who publically admires and now very possibly colludes with Vladimir Putin? A man who's lovingly endorsed by Kim Jong-un? A man who praises and doubles down on praising Saddam Hussein? These are his role models. And these people, what you have to understand is, once they're in power, they don't go away. You don't get a chance to vote them out in four years. Their rule ends when the country ends. So to all the people out there, considering voting for Trump, I hope you enjoy your vote. Because on days like this you realize, this could be the very last vote you will ever get."


Categories: Daily Show, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Trevor Noah


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Ramblings
(permalink)

Published Thursday, July 21, 2016 @ 7:01 AM EDT
Jul 21 2016


(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Photo)

Not only did the Republicans nominate Trump for President, a red-bellied piranha was caught in North Park Lake. Ok, 2016, you win. Please stop.

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My son referenced a political thread in which he was engaged, and somehow the conversation turned into quotes from from the 1984 cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

My son noted, "Lectroid involvement would explain a lot about the Trump campaign."

Laugh while you can, monkey boys...

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Pixie, our small, insane, alien dog-like creature who resembes a Shih Tzu, behaved quite well for Dr. Joanna Rubin and her staff at Bridgeville Animal Hospital for her pre-spay exam. The thought of her reproducing is too terrifying to consider. (Pixie, not Joanna.)

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"Every word that comes out of Mike Pence's mouth reminds me that somewhere in rural Indiana, probably near Elkhart, a Quizno's is missing its assistant manager."
-Ed. Gin & Tacos (on Facebook)

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Today is Get to Know Your Customer Day, Invite an Alien to Live with You Day, Legal Drinking Age Day, National Junk Food Day, National Tug- Of-War Tournament Day, and Take a Monkey to Lunch Day.

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Watching the Republican National Convention, I keep expecting them to break out into "Springtime for Hitler."

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ACA out of detent. Mode control, both auto. Descent engine command override, off.
-Buzz Aldrin
(The actual first words spoken by a human from the surface of the Moon, July 20, 1969.)

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On The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Braddock mayor John Fetterman observed that since outrageous claims, lies and statements seem to have no effect on Trump and his ilk, we are now living in a "post=factual" age.

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According to a story in The New York Times Magazine, this past May Donald Trump's son, Donald Jr.,contacted a senior adviser to Ohio governer and failed Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich, and asked him if the governor had any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history. Here's where it gets weird:

When Kasich's adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father's vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply.

I've maintained since he entered the race that while Trump wants to win the Presidency, he really doesn't want to be President. Too much work, too much discipline and- let's face it- The White House is a step down from the decor of his multiple, gilded homes which appear to have been furnished by Saddam Hussein's interior designer.

He has the nomination. The question is now, how can he get out of it if he wins the election? Medical? Personal problems? (Hey, he's on wife number three). Stay tuned.

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I don't know if it's an accomplishment or not, but thanks to the Republicans in general and Trump in particular, I have now blocked more people on Facebook than I have as friends. Every once in a while I encounter one of them in real life, where I'm tempted to grab them by the shoulders and shake them, while screaming "Are you insane? We grew up together in the sixties! What the hell happened to you?"

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So, at least we now have the answer to the question "How could the German people allow Hitler to rise to power?"

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Someon stole my Bernie Sanders yard sign the other week. It was after he had suspended his campaign, but stil... I wanted to save it, to show there were some same people about in 2016.

You may have noticed on the right sidebar that I've replaced the Sanders plug with one for Hillary Clinton. At least she's not Trump...


Categories: 2016, Adolf Hitler, Bernie Sanders, Bridgeville Animal Hospital, Buckaroo Banzai, Buzz Aldrin, Candidates, Dogs, Donald Trump, Facebook, Gin and Tacos, Hillary Clinton, John Fetterman, John Kasich, Mike Pence, Politics, The Nightly Show


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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The morning after
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Published Wednesday, July 20, 2016 @ 3:30 AM EDT
Jul 20 2016

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47 years ago, we put Americans on the moon. Now we no longer have manned spaceflight capability and Donald Trump is the GOP presidential candidate. The future sure ain't what it used to be.

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I'm starting to think that this is the last season of America and the writers are just going nuts.
-Jake Flores


Categories: Donald Trump


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He doesn't like Mexicans, immigrants, and...
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Published Monday, July 18, 2016 @ 1:31 AM EDT
Jul 18 2016


Categories: Donald Trump


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Cannot Be Unseen
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Published Tuesday, July 05, 2016 @ 1:24 PM EDT
Jul 05 2016


Categories: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton


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Observation of the day
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Published Monday, June 27, 2016 @ 12:56 PM EDT
Jun 27 2016


Categories: Donald Trump, Politics, Republicans


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I'm shocked, shocked I tell you...
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Published Tuesday, March 29, 2016 @ 6:15 AM EDT
Mar 29 2016

An Open Letter to Trump Voters from His Top Strategist-Turned-Defector

I respect Trump's fans. That's why I can no longer support the man himself.
-Stephanie Cegielski

Even Trump's most trusted advisors didn't expect him to fare this well. Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it. The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12% and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50%. His candidacy was a protest candidacy.

It pains me to say, but he is the presidential equivalent of Sanjaya on American Idol. President Trump would be President Sanjaya in terms of legitimacy and authority. And I am now taking full responsibility for helping create this monster- and reaching out directly to those voters who, like me, wanted Trump to be the real deal.

My support for Trump began probably like yours did. Similar to so many other Americans, I was tired of the rhetoric in Washington. Negativity and stubbornness were at an all-time high, and the presidential prospects didn't look promising.

In 2015, I fell in love with the idea of the protest candidate who was not bought by corporations. A man who sat in a Manhattan high-rise he had built, making waves as a straight talker with a business background, full of successes and failures, who wanted America to return to greatness.

I was sold.

Last summer, I signed on as the Communications Director of the Make America Great Again Super PAC.

It was still early in the Trump campaign, and we hit the ground running. His biggest competitor had more than $100 million in a Super PAC. The Jeb Bush deep pockets looked to be the biggest obstacle we faced. We seemed to be up against a steep challenge, especially since a big part of the appeal of a Trump candidacy was not being influenced by PAC money.

After the first debate, I was more anxious than ever to support Trump. The exchange with Megyn Kelly was like manna from heaven for a communications director. She appeared like yet another reporter trying to kick out the guest who wasn't invited to the party. At the time, I felt excited for the change to the debate he could bring. I began realizing the man really resonates with the masses and would bring people to the process who had never participated before.

That was inspiring to me.

It wasn't long before every day I awoke to a buzzing phone and a shaking head because Trump had said something politically incorrect the night before. I have been around politics long enough to know that the other side will pounce on any and every opportunity to smear a candidate.

But something surprising and absolutely unexpected happened. Every other candidate misestimated the anger and outrage of the "silent majority" of Americans who are not a part of the liberal elite. So with each statement came a jump in the polls. Just when I thought we were finished, The Donald gained more popularity.

I don't think even Trump thought he would get this far. And I don't even know that he wanted to, which is perhaps the scariest prospect of all.

He certainly was never prepared or equipped to go all the way to the White House, but his ego has now taken over the driver's seat, and nothing else matters. The Donald does not fail. The Donald does not have any weakness. The Donald is his own biggest enemy.

A devastating terrorist attack in Pakistan targeting Christians occurred on Easter Sunday, and Trump's response was to tweet, "Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead, 400 injured. I alone can solve."

Ignoring the fact that at the time Trump tweeted this (time-stamped 4:37 p.m.) the latest news reports had already placed the number differently at 70 dead, 300 injured, take a moment to appreciate the ridiculous, cartoonish, almost childish arrogance of saying that he alone can solve. Does Trump think that he is making a cameo on Wrestlemania (yes, one of his actual credits)?

This is not how foreign policy works. For anyone. Ever.

Superhero powers where "I alone can solve" problems are not real. They do not exist for Batman, for Superman, for Wrestlemania and definitely not for Donald Trump.

What was once Trump's desire to rank second place to send a message to America and to increase his power as a businessman has nightmarishly morphed into a charade that is poised to do irreparable damage to this country if we do not stop this campaign in its tracks.

I'll say it again: Trump never intended to be the candidate. But his pride is too out of control to stop him now.

You can give Trump the biggest gift possible if you are a Trump supporter: stop supporting him.

He doesn't want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House. He's achieved that already and then some. If there is any question, take it from someone who was recruited to help the candidate succeed, and initially very much wanted him to do so.

The hard truth is: Trump only cares about Trump.

And if you are one of the disaffected voters- one of the silent majority like me- who wanted a candidate who could be your voice, I want to speak directly to you as one of his biggest advocates and supporters.

He is not that voice. He is not your voice. He is only Trump's voice.

Trump is about Trump. Not one of his many wives. Not one of his many "pieces of ass." He is, at heart, a self-preservationist.

In fact, many people are not aware of the Trump campaign's internal slogan, but I will tell you. It is stolen from a make-believe television presidency on The West Wing where Martin Sheen portrayed President Bartlet. The slogan on the show amongst the idealistic group of Bartlet's staff was "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet."

Inside the Trump camp, the slogan became "Let Trump Be Trump."

It is a repurposed slogan that seemed spot-on for the candidate. He is an intelligent, charismatic man who is involved in every aspect of his organization and would rather speak from the cuff than read briefing notes and recite them. I, in fact, admire Trump for this. But saying this qualifies him to be president is like saying that Seth Rogan is suited to be president. Another extraordinary improvisor, not an extraordinary presidential candidate.

Trump has undoubtedly lived up to the slogan, right down to his main public-relations liaison. Rather than go for a focus-group Washington insider, his communications person had previously taken press calls for the Trump Organization and directed them to the appropriate Trump child. She joked that before joining the campaign she thought "Common Core" was a class at Equinox.

The primary problem with this? What I've seen the longer I've helped prop him up along with the millions who are helping Trump is that we got the slogan wrong. A more accurate internal slogan would read, "Let Trump Help Trump."

I don't dismiss any single Trump constituent, which is why I believe it's important to let you know that the candidate does.

I, too, think our country has gone off track in its values. I, too, think that we need a dramatic change of course. But I am, in my heart, a policy wonk and a believer in coming to the table with necessary knowledge for leading the free world.

The man does not know policy, nor does he have the humility to admit what he does not know- the most frightening position of all.

I remember watching the second Trump debate and thinking, After this, he is going to have to start hammering it home on policy; the country needs substance to make an informed decision.

I wished for it six months ago and am still waiting for it today. He had an opportunity after the terror attacks in Belgium and instead he used the opportunity to talk about closing the borders and what a mess that country had become. I was appalled that he offered no condolences or words of support; he merely gave his "build a wall" stump speech and talked about his greatness.

I felt sad for him at that moment.

And now, with the latest horrifying terror attack in Pakistan, my sadness has turned into anger.

I consider myself a part of the silent majority that led to Trump's rise, which is why I want you to know that I am with you- I wanted Trump to be real, too.

He is not.

He even says so himself. His misogyny? That's the character.

His presidential candidacy? That's a character, too.

The problem with characters is they are the stuff of soap operas and sitcoms and reality competitions- not political legacies.

Trump made me believe. Until I woke up. And he has no problem abusing your support the same way he cheated hard-working men and women out of millions of dollars, for which he is now being sued.

I came into this eager to support a savvy businessman who received little outside funding. I loved Trump's outsider status. But a year has now passed since I was first approached to become part of Team Trump.

While the pundits pontificated about what type of PR stunt Trump had up his billion-dollar sleeves, I met with people who convinced me he was serious about changing the political conversation. I wanted to raise millions for him. I wanted to contribute to millions of votes.

And as part of that support, in October, I supported the internal decision to close the Super PAC in order to position him as the quintessential non-politician. I still supported him with great passion after that. The decision to close the Super PAC was part of that devotion to his message of outsider change.

But something was shifting.

Without intending to do so, I began to hear and evaluate him more critically and skeptically as a member of the voting public rather than a communications person charged with protecting his positions.

I no longer felt that he was the leader the country was looking for, and I found myself longing- aching, really- for policy substance that went beyond building a wall and making Mexico pay for it. What were once bold- although controversial- statements now seemed to be attempts to please the crowds, not direction to lead this country to a better place. I began to realize his arrogance and isolation had taken over and were now controlling his message.

And here's what he tapped into: the unprecedented, unbelievable anger.

Because we are all angry- and we all have a right to be. But Trump is not our champion. He would stab any one of his supporters in the back if it earned him a cent more in his pocket.

Unfortunately, the more vitriolic Trump has become, the more the people responded to him. That drove him to push the boundaries further and further.

I also started seeing a trend of incompetence and deniability.

When there was a tweet that contained an error, he would blame it on an intern; when there was a photo containing a World War II Nazi Germany background, he would blame it on an intern; when he answered questions in an overtly controversial fashion, he would claim that he did not properly hear the question. He refused to take responsibility for his actions while frequently demanding apologies from others.

Imagine Trump wronged you, even in the smallest possible way. He would go to the grave denying he had ever done anything wrong to you — ever.

Trump acts as if he's a fictional character. But like Hercules, Donald Trump is a work of fiction.

No matter how many times he repeats it, Trump would not be the "best" at being a president, being in shape, fighting terrorism, selling steaks, and whatever other "best" claim he has made in the last 15 minutes.

He would be the best at something, though. He is the best at looking out for Donald Trump- at all costs.

Don't let our country pay that price.

This letter originally appeared on XOJane.comXOJane.com


Categories: Donald Trump, Politics, Republicans, Stephanie Cegielski


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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Trump reaps what he sows
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Published Friday, March 11, 2016 @ 10:24 PM EST
Mar 11 2016


Categories: Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow, Video


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re: Donald Trump
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Published Thursday, March 10, 2016 @ 10:31 PM EST
Mar 10 2016

As long as you're going to be thinking anyway, think big.
-Donald Trump

In an argument, you have to learn to control your emotions. The other person is the revolver, but you are the trigger. The revolver won't hurt you as long as the trigger isn't pulled.
-Donald Trump

In what is widely thought to be the largest leveraged buyout to date, Donald Trump announced that if everyone in the world will lend him all the money they have, he will buy everything they own.
-P.J. O'Rourke

One day Donald Trump will discover that he is owned- lock, stock and roulette wheel- by Lutheran Brotherhood, and must negotiate his debt load with a committee of silent Norwegians who don't understand why anyone would pay more than $120 for a suit.
-Garrison Keillor

Show me someone without an ego, and I'll show you a loser.
-Donald Trump


Categories: Donald Trump, Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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Louis CK: Please stop voting for Trump
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Published Tuesday, March 08, 2016 @ 12:10 PM EST
Mar 08 2016

Please stop it with voting for Trump. It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the shit coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.

And I'm not advocating for Hillary or Bernie. I like them both but frankly I wish the next president was a conservative only because we had Obama for eight years and we need balance. And not because I particularly enjoy the conservative agenda. I just think the government should reflect the people. And we are about 40 percent conservative and 40 percent liberal. When I was growing up and when I was a younger man, liberals and conservatives were friends with differences. They weren't enemies. And it always made sense that everyone gets a president they like for a while and then hates the president for a while. But it only works if the conservatives put up a good candidate. A good smart conservative to face the liberal candidate so they can have a good argument and the country can decide which way to go this time.

Trump is not that. He's an insane bigot. He is dangerous.

He already said he would expand libel laws to sue anyone who "writes a negative hit piece" about him. He says "I would open up the libel laws so we can sue them and win lots of money. Not like now. These guys are totally protected." He said that. He has promised to decimate the first amendment. (If you think he's going to keep the second amendment intact you're delusional.) And he said that Paul Ryan, speaker of the house will "pay" for criticizing him. So I'm saying this now because if he gets in there we won't be able to criticize him anymore.

Please pick someone else. Like John Kasich. I mean that guy seems okay. I don't like any of them myself but if you're that kind of voter please go for a guy like that. It feels like between him and either democrat we'd have a decent choice. It feels like a healthier choice. We shouldn't have to vote for someone because they're not a shocking cunt billionaire liar.

We should choose based on what direction the country should go.

I get that all these people sound like bullshit soft criminal opportunists. The whole game feels rigged and it's not going anywhere but down anymore. I feel that way sometimes.

And that voting for Trump is a way of saying "fuck it. Fuck them all". I really get it. It's a version of national Suicide. Or it's like a big hit off of a crack pipe. Somehow we can't help it. Or we know that if we vote for Trump our phones will be a reliable source of dopamine for the next four years. I mean I can't wait to read about Trump every day. It's a rush. But you have to know this is not healthy.

If you are a true conservative. Don't vote for Trump. He is not one of you. He is one of him. Everything you have heard him say that you liked, if you look hard enough you will see that he one day said the exact opposite. He is playing you.

In fact, if you do vote for Trump, at least look at him very carefully first. You owe that to the rest of us. Know and understand who he is. Spend one hour on google and just read it all. I don't mean listen to me or listen to liberals who put him down. Listen to your own people. Listen to John Mccain. Go look at what he just said about Trump. "At a time when our world has never been more complex or more in danger... I want Republican voters to pay close attention to what our party's most respected and knowledgeable leaders and national security experts are saying about Mr. Trump, and to think long and hard about who they want to be our next Commander-in-Chief and leader of the free world."

When Trump was told what he said, Trump said "Oh, he did? Well, that's not nice," he told CBS News' chief White House correspondent Major Garrett. "He has to be very careful."

When pressed on why, Trump tacked on: "He'll find out."


Categories: Donald Trump, Louis C.K., Politics


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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Trump's linguistic genius
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Published Wednesday, January 27, 2016 @ 11:48 PM EST
Jan 27 2016


Categories: Donald Trump, Video, YouTube


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Political joke of the day, Presidential edition
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Published Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 7:59 AM EDT
Oct 25 2012

(YouTube video: President Obama answers Jay Leno's question, "What's this thing with Trump and you?" )


Categories: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Elections, Jay Leno, TV, Video, YouTube


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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