politics

Don’t Shoot the Looters – Military Script Notes on Deep Impact

Deep Impact is one of a pair of twin films released in 1998 that were based around a giant meteor colliding with earth. The film and its twin, the more successful Armageddon, were both supported by NASA and the Department of Defense.

Florida Seeks to Make Sharing Footage of Mass Shootings Illegal

Lawmakers in Florida are seeking to strike a balance between protecting the families of the victims of mass shootings and protecting the media’s ability to accurately report on the events.

The Mueller Report: More Disquieting Insights

It takes many hours to read the Mueller report, but the deeper you dig, the more arresting insights and intriguing plot twists you find.One surprising insight: Many of the players in the Trump campaign appear to be apolitical. They don’t grasp for power; they seek what’s “good for business,” in the words of former campaign chair Paul Manafort.

Case in Point: Carter Page

Beginning on page 95, the report recounts the saga of Carter Page, candidate Trump’s foreign policy adviser.

The Mueller Report: The First Hundred Pages

It is and as chock-full of Russian names as any novel by Tolstoy. It is such good reading that it should not be left to the pundits to digest. Dive right in and you’ll almost immediately come up with intriguing tidbits. First, there’s a “caveat emptor” message from the author:

Youth Struggle With After-Effects of Gun Violence

Every year an estimated 3 million children witness gun violence — and the impacts can last a lifetime. Lizzie Eaton knows this all too well.Eaton is one of the high school students from Parkland, FL, who are fanning out to share with the rest of the country what they’ve learned about gun violence.“There’s no way to prepare for a tragedy like this,” she said.

Official Skripal Story Changes Yet Again, This Time with Added Ducks

According to the New York Times, the official story we’ve been told about the Skripals isn’t true, and wasn’t true when the UK government told it to us.(

Is It Time to Worry About the Next Recession?

At a time when Americans are grappling with climate change, gun violence, voter suppression, and an immigration crisis, — both conservative and progressive — would like to add to that plate of worries: a looming recession.After all, it’s been a decade since the US economy began to rebound from the severe financial downturn of 2008.

Would Universal Background Checks Create National Gun Registry?

Universal background checks for gun purchases are one of the more popular gun control measures, . Acting on this popularity, the Democratic-controlled House that would establish them nationally.

ClandesTime 176 – What Vice Doesn’t Tell You about Dick Cheney

Vice has won awards along with praise from audiences and critics alike, but how well does it inform its audience about Dick Cheney? This week I take a look at the important material that Vice overlooked, or didn’t know about.

Kavanaugh Surprises Redistricting Reformers

Good news for reformers trying to take the politics out of drawing legislative boundaries: The two cases of partisan redistricting now before the Supreme Court are so blatant, they almost scream “unconstitutional.”The bad news? Justice Anthony Kennedy — the court’s swing vote who at least seemed open to the notion that the court should regulate the practice — is long gone. His replacement? The very conservative Brett Kavanaugh.What’s at stake is the future of democracy, reform advocates say.

With Mueller’s Report Finally in Hand, Let’s Get to the Real Issue

It is likely tons of ink and thousands of hours of airtime have been consumed by members of the media speculating on the contents and the timing of the Mueller report. That report has been submitted.

Department of Propaganda – Spy Culture on The Statist Quo podcast

Word about the entertainment liaison offices continues to spread - The Statist Quo podcast recently did a focus episode on the DOD's film office, Phil Strub and the rewriting of movie scripts.  Hosted by Matt, a US Army veteran and ex-convict, the epis

In ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuaries,’ Officials Refuse to Enforce New Gun Laws

As gun control advocates see more of their proposed policies become law, another group with a decidedly different aim is also gaining momentum. It’s a loose network of local officials who are refusing to enforce the new laws, which include measures to require universal background checks, or ban assault weapons, or temporarily remove firearms from those deemed a danger to themselves or others.

Russia’s Secret Tools for Killing, Torturing, Spying

Manhattan is the kind of place where you can find just about anything. But it seems like the most improbable location in the world for a KGB Espionage Museum. Yet such a place has opened in a storefront at 245 West 14th Street, Manhattan — right in the heart of former enemy territory. (At least I hope it’s “former.”)

ClandesTime 174 – The Big Short vs Margin Call

The 2008 Wall Street crash has inspired little more than a staccato response from Hollywood, with very few films taking the subject seriously. In this episode I examine and review two of the more prominent movies that cover this topic – The Big Short and Margin Call.

Why the Pentagon Rejected Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

In early 1977 the producers of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes approached the Pentagon about filming a couple of brief scenes at National Guard armories.  Even though the National Guard Public Affairs staff thought it was a fun film and were happy to h

How America Fell Out of Love With Machine Guns

Able to fire 25 rounds per second, and with a standard drum magazine of fifty .45-caliber rounds, the Thompson submachine gun, or tommy gun, was the weapon of choice for gangsters of the Prohibition era.

The Bush Family Stories You Won’t See Tonight on CNN

CNN is certainly aggressive in questioning the myths fathered by President Donald Trump. But how does it stack up in the truth-telling department when it comes to former presidents? To determine that, you can watch its new series, , to air tonight — and then come see a small selection of what we have unearthed.

ClandesTime 171 – The Last Ship

The Last Ship is one of the most popular cable TV shows of recent years, as well as one of the most successful pieces of militainment. In this episode I examine the politics of the show, in particular how it depicts a conflict between the US and China.

Unasked and Unanswered Questions for Michael Cohen

House Oversight Committee members had a lot of questions Wednesday for Donald Trump’s former “enforcer” Michael Cohen. We found both the questions and the answers intriguing — as we assume most people did. However, at WhoWhatWhy, we’re not just about the questions asked. We’re also about the questions that were not asked. The dog that did not bark, if you will.

Oh What a Tangled Web… Timely Quotes on Lying

The core issue around which Michael Cohen’s explosive claims revolve is lying. Cohen admits that he lied in the past, but says that he did so at the direction of Donald Trump. In this week’s congressional hearings, the Republican committee members focused on lying, said that Cohen cannot be trusted now because he had lied before, and implied that they themselves would never lie.

How and Why the FBI Rewrite Hollywood Movies

Just like other government agencies the FBI are deeply involved in the entertainment industry, collaborating with film andTV producers to polish the Bureau’s public imageand project their messaging into the minds of moviegoers.

Michael Cohen’s Murky Backstory Warrants More Scrutiny

This week, it’s wall-to-wall Michael Cohen on Capitol Hill. Cohen, testifying both behind closed doors and in public to not one, not two, but three committees, is revealing new things, some extraordinarily newsworthy, explosive, consequential, even profound. Notwithstanding that, there is no indication that Donald Trump’s former “enforcer” is telling all.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Duped Middle Class — Will Voters Fight Back? Part 2

">Martin Lobel, JD  specializes in crisis management and represents many investigative reporters in addition to being an expert on the constitutionality of state taxes. He has written extensively on tax issues.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Duped Middle Class — Will Voters Fight Back? Part 1

">Martin Lobel, JD  specializes in crisis management and represents many investigative reporters in addition to being an expert on the constitutionality of state taxes. He has written extensively on tax issues.

FBI Apparently Had No Problem with ‘Deep State’ Storyline in Shooter

Compared to the DOD, the US intelligence agencies support a more politically diverse range of movies, from the hi-tech surveillance thriller Enemy of the State to torture porn like Zero Dark Thirty and Unthinkable.  One such controversial movie was Shooter, which depicts a deep state element framing a Vietnam veteran fo

Is the GOP Trying to Gaslight Americans on Voter Fraud?

Being afraid of huge numbers of noncitizens voting in US elections is a bit like worrying about a zombie invasion. It sounds like a major problem in theory but it’s not something to be overly concerned about in real life.

The Long Road Home – Tom Secker on Fortress on a Hill

I recently joined Henri of Fortress on a Hill to discuss the National Geographic drama series The Long Road Home, in light of the over 400 pages of documents that I obtained detailing the US Army's support for the show.

Shocker: ‘Washington Post’ Publishes Nuanced Article About RFK Assassination

Saturday was a turning point in American history. For perhaps the first time ever, one of the biggest legacy news organizations published a fair, fact-based article about a political assassination without dismissing, out of hand, any evidence of conspiracy.

Philly Ignores Cybersecurity and Disability Access in Voting System Selection

Philadelphia is about to replace its aging voting equipment. This would be good news, except that the city’s election commission has omitted cybersecurity and disability access as relevant considerations in its to prospective vendors.

The Neocon Playbook Is a Recipe for Disaster in Venezuela

When Donald Trump promised that he would only hire the “best people,” maybe he should have been pressed on what, exactly, they would be good at. Because it’s clearly not running the US government. Over the past two years, it has become clear that liars, grifters, conmen, opportunists, and crooks seem to be drawn to the president like flies to … well, you know. Now, however, a situation is arising for which one of Trump’s “best people” seems ideally suited for forcing regime change somewhere in the Americas.

Public Still at Risk as Shutdown Impact Reverberates

As the nation braces for another shutdown standoff on Friday, workers and consumers are still suffering in unexpected ways from the 35-day partial government closure that ended last month.

ClandesTime 167 – Phil Strub’s Greatest Hits

I recently found out that Strub retired from his job as the DOD’s Hollywood liaison last July, though this wasn’t covered by any news outlets and the DOD didn’t bother to tell anyone.

How Many Movies has the Pentagon Prevented from Being Made?

The Pentagon's censorship of movie scripts is fairly well established - I have documented numerous instances on this site. But their ultimate power is the ability to kill a production, to prevent a film being made.

Fake News, Trump and the Freedom of Information Act

A story doing the rounds claims that the Trump administration is taking advantage of the government shut-down to change the rules by which the Department of the Interior processes and responds to FOIA requests.

Was the Integrity Initiative behind the Salisbury Poisoning?

Newly-released documents on the Institute for Statecraft's Integrity Initiative suggest that they had a hand in the Salisbury poisoning fiasco that dominated the British press last summer.