https://www.theodysseyonline.com

My $4.40 (opinion)

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

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

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

For starters:
trumpdujour11.html, a daily poke at the Bully in Chief.

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

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

✔What, exactly, is Fake News? Any media coverage Donald Trump does not like. But there are many Fake News sites out there. Here is an up-to-date list of sites that do not care about the truth. Also, bear in mind that members of the Trump administration have tried to dupe the media on many occasions — presumably with tips that seem plausible and are not easily dismissed as “crazy.”

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

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




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

✔Stories of the week:
1) Deputy AG appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee probe of Russian interference in election: Robert Mueller, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to serve in the role, Rosenstein said. The move marks a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation to be run independently of the Justice Department. Calls for a special counsel have increased since Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week. (washingtonpost.com)

2) Why the latest White House crisis is a really big deal: Donald Trump’s latest crisis -- over his reported disclosure of highly classified information to Russia -- is giving voice to a question whispered privately in Washington during weeks of political turmoil: Is the President up to the job? “This isn't really about the power of the President. He has the power to do this,” former CIA Director Michael Hayden said on CNN Tonight Monday. “This is more about the person of the President and the performance.” (cnn.com)

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

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

✔Commentary of the week: Trump has a dangerous disability: It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either. This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability. It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence. (George F. Will: washingtonpost.com)

✔TV special of the week:
1) SNL’s Weekend Update Torches Trump Over Comey Firing
2) SNL: Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer Makes Out with Alec Baldwin’s President Trump
3) SNL: Alec Baldwin’s Trump Reveals the Real Reason He Fired FBI Director Comey
(Marlow Stern: thedailybeast.com)

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



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

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

Today’s political cartoons

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



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

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

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

Today’s political cartoons

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



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

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

Today’s political cartoons

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



May 19
People Here Think Trump Is a Laughingstock’: “Chaos.” “Circus.” “Laughingstock.” Those were just a few of the comments I heard in Berlin this week from senior European officials trying to make sense of the meltdown in Washington at just the moment when a politically imploding Donald Trump embarks on what he called “my big foreign trip” in the morning’s kickoff tweet. (Susan B. Glasser: politico.com)

Russia Probe Looking at Official in Trump White House: The activities of an unnamed current White House official are now under investigation in the FBI’s probe of President Trump’s ties to Russia, two U.S. officials confirmed to NBC News. (nbcnews.com)

Trump brags to Russians about firing ‘nut job’ Comey: POTUS Trump bragged to two top Russian officials last week that firing “nut job” FBI Director James Comey eased “great pressure” on him, The New York Times reported Friday. “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said, according to the Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” (cnn.com)

Former FBI director Comey to testify publicly: The public commitment to testify comes after a tumultuous week and a half since President Trump dismissed Comey -- a move that perplexed committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA), who vowed to bring Comey before the committee nonetheless to testify as part of their probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, including potential ties between the Trump campaign and Kremlin officials. (washingtonpost.com)

Today’s political cartoons

Best of the day:
larger copy at timesfreepress.com       and larger copy at tribunecontentagency.com



May 18
Israeli source that Trump outed was ‘the most valuable source’ on ISIS: One official said now that the Russians are aware of the source, there is greater risk the source could be compromised in some way. That makes it less likely that the intelligence community will trust future information, the official said. All the officials agreed that Trump’s impromptu revelation had shaken career intelligence officers’ confidence in Mr. Trump’s ability to keep secrets and exacerbated long-standing tensions between him and the intelligence community. (Mark Sumner: dailykos.com)

Trump's divisive unity plea: He loves division, except when he’s the one under attack. Then he goes all kumba-do-what-I-say. “I hate to see anything that divides,” said the man who ran one of the most divisive campaigns in one of the most divisive elections in history, when he was asked about his view on the appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether his own aides were involved in Russian efforts to swing the 2016 election. (Edward-Isaac Dovere: politico.com)

European leaders fear Trump’s political chaos is undermining U.S. power: In conversations with more than two dozen current and former European ministers, lawmakers, diplomats, intelligence officials and military officers in recent days, there was a common theme: After nearly four months of the Trump administration, many fear that mounting domestic scandals could sap Washington’s ability to respond to challenges ranging from Russia to terrorism to North Korea. The officials paint a continent on edge ahead of Trump’s first foreign trip, a nine-day voyage that in Europe includes a visit to NATO in Brussels, an audience with the pope and meetings with European leaders. With the White House under siege, some officials said that they were still searching for ways to work with Trump even as they were deeply concerned about the future. (Michael Birnbaum: washingtonpost.com)

Poor Donald Trump. More unfairly treated than any politician in history. Ever.: We will pause now to recall that Abraham Lincoln was accused of everything from drunkenness to treason to being a “fungus from the corrupt womb of bigotry and fanaticism” before being assassinated. You’d think Trump would remember that, since he seems to regard himself as an expert on Lincoln. (Meteor Blades: dailykos.com)

Trump is totally delusional about what’s happening to him right now: Despite Trump’s suggestion that he is being victimized by a witch hunt, and that a more adept PR strategy could minimize the damage, this is a situation entirely of Trump’s own making. And each of Trump’s actions leading up to this moment are rooted deep in his autocratic and authoritarian impulses; his total contempt for basic institutional processes; and his tendency, when his sense of grievance strikes, to slip into a delusional belief that he can overwhelm the institutional independence of his persecutors the way he might steamroll someone in a business deal. (washingtonpost.com)

Today’s political cartoons

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



May 17
Deputy AG appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee probe of Russian interference in election: Robert Mueller, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to serve in the role, Rosenstein said. The move marks a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation to be run independently of the Justice Department. Calls for a special counsel have increased since Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week. (washingtonpost.com)

NYT: Team Trump knew Flynn was being investigated and Trump still hired him: Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case. Despite this admission, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser. (Kerry Eleveld: dailykos.com)

Even Washington Thinks Humpty Trump Might Be Impeached Now: As recently as a week ago, the thought of impeaching Trump, while a wishful to most Democrats, was not spoken of in the halls of Congress without eliciting scorn, laughter or that sound you make when you stifle a sneeze. With that said, late in the week the slow moving, rusty wheels of the legislative branch started to move and some congressmen seriously began to discuss impeaching the president. The query Trump made to Comey about his investigation, the violations of the emolument clause, conflict of interest, wearing too much orange makeup, you name it, picked up their pace after Comey’s firing—which many say is the tipping point. (Brian Karem: playboy.com)

Today’s political cartoons

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



May 16
Notes made by former FBI director Comey say Trump pressured him to end Flynn probe: According to the notes written by Comey following a February meeting with the president, Trump brought up the counterintelligence investigation into Flynn and urged Comey to drop the probe in the wake of the national security adviser’s resignation. (Devlin Barrett, Ellen Nakashima and Matt Zapotosky: washingtonpost.com)

The James Comey memo is an existential threat to Donald Trump’s presidency: If true, that is almost the textbook definition of obstruction of justice, a charge that could well lead to impeachment proceedings. "Reluctantly I have to say yes," said independent Maine Sen. Angus King the Comey memo are true. (cnn.com)

Republicans may be reaching their breaking point with Trump: There was a distinct shift among GOP lawmakers after news that the president pressured James Comey to drop an FBI investigation. (John Bresnahan, Rachael Bade: politico.com)

Today’s political cartoons

Best of the day:
larger copy at bokbluster.com       and larger copy at editorialcartoonists.com



May 15
Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador: POTUS Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. (Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe: washingtonpost.com)

Behind the Scenes as Another Crisis Hits the Trump White House: This time it was reports that President Donald Trump had disclosed highly sensitive classified information to top Russian officials. The face of the response was National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, well-regarded as a steadying influence but facing his most visible — and most fraught — moment in this administration so far. (nbcnews.com)

White House’s source balks at Trump’s dubious Russia assertions: Just hours after White House spokesman Sean Spicer said President Trump had received assurances from a key senator that the idea of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was a “hoax,” a spokesman for the senator, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, denied any such conversation. (msnbc.com)

As Trump's poll numbers fall, Republicans are eyeing the exits—but still afraid to act: Senate Republicans, increasingly unnerved by President Trump’s volatility and unpopularity, are starting to show signs of breaking away from him as they try to forge a more traditional Republican agenda and protect their political fortunes. (dailykos.com)

Today’s political cartoons

Best of the day:
larger copy at usnews.com



May 14
The amateurish autocrat: President Trump’s opponents have spent his administration’s first months engaged in an unusual but important debate: Is Trump a problem because he is incompetent or because he harbors autocratic designs that threaten American democracy itself? At the end of his first 100 days, the debate was tilting toward ineptitude. (E.J. Dionne Jr.: washingtonpost.com)

Clapper: U.S. institutions under assault from Trump: “I think in many ways our institutions are under assault both externally -- and that’s the big news here is the Russian interference in our election system -- and I think as well our institutions are under assault internally -- from the President.” (Eli Watkins: cnn.com)

Today’s political cartoons

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



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