Thoughts & Essays

5TtRT: Michael Cohen, Allen Weisselberg, Flint, MI, racism, & election hacking

Today’s biggest news comes from everyone’s current favorite Trump chump, Michael Cohen, who has some stuff to say about that Trump Tower meeting between Donny Jr. and some Russian spies back in 2016. Cohen’s tapes also kicked up another Trump insider who’s testimony may prove interesting. Plus, we have more bad news about Flint, MI, a great read about racism, and a look at election hacking.

5 Things to Read Today

⚖️ CNN: Cohen claims Trump knew in advance of 2016 Trump Tower meeting
Michael Cohen says that he was in the room when Donny Jr. told Trump about the meet-up with Russians in 2016, to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, and that Trump gave the go-ahead. That’s… that’s pretty big, you guys, but get your salt shakers out. Cohen has no evidence other than his say-so for this, and this dude is in, like, all of the legal trouble. He may just be spouting crap in hopes of striking a deal with Mueller to get out of some trouble. Hard to say right now.

⚖️ Bloomberg Opinion: New Cohen Tape Surfaces a Bigger Trump Fish
Speaking of Cohen, one of the names that got dropped in the Cohen tapes that were released was Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer. Apparently, he helped set up the payments to the National Enquirer, which were then used to buy and bury Karen McDougal’s story of an affair with Trump. Weisselberg’s worked for the Trumps his whole life, and probably knows everything there is to know about Trump’s finances. He’s been subpoenaed to testify in Cohen’s trial.

🚱 Frontline: Flint Water Crisis Deaths Likely Surpass Official Toll
So, you remember Flint, MI, and how they had lead in the water and it’s killing people, and it’s been several years and this shit still isn’t fixed yet, right? Turns out, it gets worse. Flint was probably giving people Legionnaires’ disease, too. Pneumonia shot up while Flint was using water from the Flint River, and now experts think Legionnaires’ disease probably killed a bunch of people in Flint during the water crisis.

🤔 Vox: American white people really hate being called “white people”
This is a great read on racism, racial “priming,” being a member of a dominant racial group, and related topics. Seriously, read this thing. It’s super interesting and too long to sum up.

🗳️ The Root: Evidence Shows Hackers Changed Votes in the 2016 Election But No One Will Admit It
The basic argument: So, we know for a fact that Russians breached the crap out of tons of election systems in the US. We know for a fact that electronic voting machines and their support systems are wildly, ridiculously easy to hack. And we know for a fact that the Russian government went to a great deal of time, effort and expense to mess with our election. So why do we think they didn’t change any votes?

I’m not sure what to think of this article, personally. The Root isn’t exactly the New York Times, but this particular writer, Michael Harriot, generally has his shit together.

I think that the idea that Russian agents may have changed actual votes in the 2016 election isn’t a cockamamie idea, but there isn’t any hard proof of it in public view yet. I also think that this is exactly the kind of thing Congress should have been investigating and working to prevent for the last two years, but they didn’t, because the GOP are power hungry sociopaths who care only about their own power and nothing at all for the country.

I also, also think that this is exactly the kind of thing a lot of us have been railing about and warning people about for 15 years or more, and that we’ve been raising hell to get this fixed and no Congress, regardless of who was in charge of it, has done much to fix it.

Were votes changed in 2016? We don’t know. We may never know. But we for damn sure better start acting like they were and get on the stick to prevent it from ever happening again.