An Open Letter to Maria Butina From Her Victims

by Kseniya Kirillova An open letter to Maria Butina from her victims Very few people know that before her arrival in the US, Maria Butina, recently convicted of spying for Moscow, had managed to gain trust with the Russian opposition to Vladimir Putin, and participated in human rights and opposition efforts in the country. Her work and apparent commitment was so compelling that none of the activists she knew and participated with could even imagine that she worked for the government or intelligence agencies.  Parallel to Butina’s “opposition” activities, she…

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Faith in Putin Hits 13-year Low, Yet Some Russians Still Trust Him

by Kseniya Kirillova Faith the Russian people have in President Vladimir Putin dropped to the lowest level its been in more than a decade, dealing a serious blow to the image of the Russian leader as the widely popular and respected father-figure of the state. Confidence in Mr. Putin dropped more than a third early this year to a 13-year low, according to a poll by the Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), published in late January.  Just under 33% of Russians expressed trust in their president,…

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Otto Warmbier, Kim Jong-un and The Feckless American President

photo of American President Donald Trump gratuitously shaking hands with brutal and oppressive North Korean autocrat, Kim Jong-un.

by Richard Cameron   Co-host of the NPR (National Public Radio) program, “Here And Now”, Audie Cornish, interviewed Washington Post journalist Anna Fifield yesterday on a story she authored that is still resonating internationally. Before we review her comments and her story, let’s set the background briefly. Otto Warmbier was a 21 year old student at the University of Virginia, who elected to participate in a study abroad program in late 2015, part of which found him taking a 5 day side excursion from Hong Kong, to Pyongyang, North Korea…

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It Is Time We Start Electing the U.S. Attorney-General

by Tony Wyman The United States Attorney-General is supposed to work for you and me, the people of this country, not anyone else, including the president of the United States, to insure that justice is served across the nation.  But as Bill Barr just demonstrated, that doesn’t seem to be the way the current AG’s understands his job description. “I suspect that the president was pretty pleased with the performance of Bill Barr today and particularly on the issue of obstruction,” said Fox News commentator Chris Wallace about the Attorney-General’s…

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America Should Never Forgive Kirstjen Nielsen

by Tony Wyman Perhaps I am being sexist, but I expect more from women than I do from men.  Throughout my life, I have been blessed to have women around me who combined great kindness, compassion and sensitivity with equally great strength, intelligence and sound moral judgment.  And, thanks to them, I have always seen women as embodying the best the human race has to offer. Maybe that is why my reaction to the cruelty demonstrated by former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen hit me as hard as…

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If There is a Recession Coming, How Can We See it Before it Happens?

by Tony Wyman June will mark the 10th anniversary of the end of the Great Recession, the longest and deepest economic downturn this country had seen since World War II.  Unemployment doubled, housing values dropped 30%, the S&P 500 declined 57% and U.S. households lost $14 trillion of wealth, more than 20%, during the nearly 19-month decline. SInce then, the country has enjoyed one the longest periods of expansion in the nation’s history, thanks to the aggressive and unprecedented responses by fiscal and monetary policy makers in the Bush and…

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Arizona State Representative Is Latest Casualty In The Hypocrisy Of G.O.P. Family Values

video screen shot of local Phoenix coverage of former Arizona State Representative David Stringer and the campaign to force his resignation based on sexual crimes against children

by Richard Cameron   Arizona State Representative David Henry Stringer (R-Prescott), resigned his office this week, just hours before a police report obtained by legislative leaders was set to be made public in the hearings calling for his removal from the Arizona House. Stringer was, by both national and Arizona standards, an “ultra-conservative”, alt-right, far right political figure and legislator. A man whose racial and anti-immigrant view are on par with and in some instances even exceed that of Iowa Congressman Steve King and another House member from his own…

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Intelligence Operations are Designed to be Impossible to Prove: Why the Mueller Report Failed to Find Collusion

by Kseniya Kirillova For the second time this week, the leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, blocked the resolution which called for the publication of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s intervention in the 2016 presidential election. As of now, all we know about the content of the report is what’s in the short summary by the Attorney General William Barr, who said that the Special Counsel “…did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in…

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Draconian Opioid Crackdown Produces Collateral Victims And Unnecessary Trauma For Chronic Pain Sufferers

photo of protest against opioid crackdown that has deprived chronic pain sufferers the pain medications they rely on

by Richard Cameron   Last May, we published an article about the unintended consequences of the federal and state response to the Opioid crisis. Following that, we received a considerable number of comments that reinforced our contention that the policies that were instituted created considerable more turmoil and trauma than they alleviated. Here is a sample of what we heard. The names have not been published to protect the privacy of the correspondents: “I have MCTD (mixed connective tissue disease). What that is is overlapping autoimmune diseases. I have 8…

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President Trump Just Showed America Why He Is Unfit to be President

by Tony Wyman Following what political commentators could only call the best day in his presidency, Donald Trump had the opportunity to show America that he is a man of character worthy to be the president of the United States. And he failed. Following 22 months of investigation into now discredited allegations that Mr. Trump colluded with Russian operatives seeking to influence the 2016 presidential race to prevent former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from being elected, no one could blame the president for feeling a sense of both relief…

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