Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Betty MacDonald, Betty MacDonald biography and the wrong daughter




[Betsy+2]


mrs. piggle wiggle_danish_1948_hardcover-cleaned_FRONT
Hello 'Pussy' this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle:  

You mistook Ivanka from Brighton for your daughter?

Do you have any idea why they feel so ashamed? I do!  
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Should I remain in bed, leave my country or fight against the dragon?

( see also the story by Wolfgang Hampel
' Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say ' )
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The Egg and I Film Illustration























 

The Betty MacDonald Networks Foto.

Click images for alternate views

Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle author Betty MacDonald on Vashon Island
<p>Time Out of Mind (1947) - avec Betty et Don MacDonald et Phyllis Calvert</p>

Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood

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Betty MacDonald's mother Sydney with grandchild Alison Beck

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Bild könnte enthalten: 1 Person

Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas

Kein automatischer Alternativtext verfügbar.



Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel is going to introduce life and work of Betty MacDonald at Vita Magica January 2017.

Wolfgang Hampel talks about the new fascinating Betty MacDonald biography which will be published in 2017 by Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club. 


Anita, I'm one of your many fans. 


Many greetings to Eartha Kitt II. You are a dream team. Thank you so much for sharing the photo of you and Eartha in your living-room. It's so cute.

I admire your Betty MacDonald Fan Club story about Betty MacDonald, Robert Heskett, Donald MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde R. Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea Darsie Bard Goldsmith, Alison Bard Burnett, Jerry Keil, Joan MacDonald Keil, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Perry Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and many others. 


It's the best Betty MacDonald Fan Club story ever beside Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and his magical Betty MacDonald Interviews.

Björn: I have a surprise. My parents visited the Northwest in the sixties. Both are huge Betty MacDonald Fans and they went to Vashon of course and they met ........


Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Cleve Bard and Mary Alice Bard. We have many photos of the family and my father filmed them with his camera. So you can see and hear the Bard family. I'm going to present this at the next Betty MacDonald Fan Club Meeting. 


Mary Bard Jensen is very funny, indeed but you'll enjoy Clyde Jensen, Cleve and Mary Alice Bard as well. A wonderful family!

Björn, we can't wait to see the Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde R. Jensen, Cleve Bard and Mary Alice Bard interviews filmed by your father. Did Mary Bard Jensen share any info about the story of Sandra, which Betty MacDonald mentioned in her book Anybody can do anything?


We would like to learn more about Mary Bard's book published in the thirties. We know so much more about it after reading Anita's Top Betty MacDonald Fan Club story. Anita also tells the exciting story of Dorita Hess. Betty MacDonald describes this rather strange lady in Anybody can do anything.


Did Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde R. Jensen, Cleve Bard and Mary Alice Bard mention her in the interviews?

Björn, excuse my many questions, please but it's so great to have the opportunity to see all the members of the Bard family. I'm overwhelmed. It's such a great feeling. 


I hope we'll be able to see these interviews and the filmed Betty MacDonald interview at the next Betty MacDonald Fan Club meeting.

Jens: Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I bet there will be many more fans in the future. 


Isn' t this amazing? Wolfgang Hampel and Alison Bard Burnett are born humorists. Both delight their fans from all over the world.


I'd love to have a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories. What about a book? 

We adore Wolfgang Hampel's high humor and wit in Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and his wonderful Betty MacDonald interviews.

Jens, it doesn't amaze me at all. As you wrote Alison Bard Burnett and Wolfgang Hampel are born humorists. I heard many more Alison Bard Burnett interviews by Wolfgang Hampel will be published in the future. Come on, please. Do it! This couple is so funny. I can listen to them a million times without getting tired. Pure Bard and Hampel magic.


Wonderful story tellers, world painters, great entertainers. Alison Bard Burnett and Wolfgang Hampel share it with Betty MacDonald Fans from all over the world.
 

By the way I don't like poems so much but Wolfgang Hampel's satirical poems are as witty and charming as his Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald Interviews. Wolfgang Hampel's very funny stories about everyday life make us laugh aloud.

I heard one of the next Betty MacDonald Fan Club Newsletter stories are about our beloved Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor members When will it be published? In February? 


I hope so very much because I believe that  Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor members are outstanding artists and writers.

 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are working on an updated Betty MacDonald biography.

This very new Betty MacDonald biography includes all the results we got during a very successful Betty MacDonald fan club research which started in 1983.

You'll be able to find unique Betty MacDonald treasures in our Betty MacDonald biography.

Betty MacDonald biography includes for example interviews with Betty MacDonald, her family and friends.

We got many letters by Betty MacDonald and other family members even very important original ones.


Our goal is to publish a Betty MacDonald biography that shows all the details of Betty MacDonald's life and work but also to present her fascinating siblings.

Dear Betty MacDonald fan club fans let us know please what you are interested most in a future Betty MacDonald biography.  

Do you prefer an e-book or a so called real book?
 
Vita Magica by Wolfgang Hampel is really fascinating and very interesting.


Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel is going to introduce life and work of Betty MacDonald at Vita Magica January 2017.

He is going to talk about the new fascinating Betty MacDonald biography. 


Wolfgang Hampel and Friends of Vita Magica visited Minister of Science of Baden-Württemberg, Theresia Bauer in Stuttgart.

They visited Landtag and had a great time there.
 

We are looking for your favourite city for International Betty MacDonald fan club event 2017.

Send us your votes please.

Deadline: January 31, 2017


Do you have any books by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen with funny or interesting dedications? 


If so would you be so kind to share them?


Our next Betty MacDonald fan club project is a collection of these unique dedications.


If you share your dedication from your Betty MacDonald - and Mary Bard Jensen collection you might be the winner of our new Betty MacDonald fan club items.


Thank you so much in advance for your support.



 


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Thank you so much for sending us your favourite Betty MacDonald quote.


You'll be able to read more info during January.

We are so glad that our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back.

New  Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many new interviews.

Alison Bard Burnett and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's fascinating project Vita Magica.
Very exciting Betty MacDonald fan club news! 
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel is going to present life and work of Betty MacDonald in Vita Magica January 2017.
You'll be able to read more info during January!
Vita Magica December was very successful.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel invited a very famous author.

The visitors enjoyed Vita Magica very much.  

A great event! 







Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel interviewed Betty MacDonald's daughter Joan MacDonald Keil and her husband Jerry Keil.

This interview will be published for the first time ever.


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New Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many interviews never published before.


We adore Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli 


Thank you so much for sharing this witty memories with us.


Wolfgang Hampel's literary event Vita Magica is very fascinating because he is going to include Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

It's simply great to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others.

 


Linde Lund and many fans from all over the world  adore this funny sketch by Wolfgang Hampel very much although our German isn't the best.

I won't ever forget the way Wolfgang Hampel is shouting ' Brexit '.

Don't miss it, please.

It's simply great!

You can hear that Wolfgang Hampel got an outstandig voice.

He presented one of Linde Lund's favourite songs ' Try to remember ' like a professional singer.

Thanks a million!

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  and our 'Italian Betty MacDonald' - Betty MacDonald fan club honor member author and artist Letizia Mancino belong to the most popular Betty MacDonald fan club teams in our history.

Their many devoted fans are waiting for a new Mr. Tigerli adventure.

Letizia Mancino's  magical Betty MacDonald Gallery  is a special gift for Betty MacDonald fan club fans from all over the world.


Don't miss Brad Craft's 'More friends', please. 

Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island is one of my favourites.


I agree with Betty in this very witty Betty MacDonald story  Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say by Wolfgang Hampel.

I can't imagine to live in a country with him as so-called elected President although there are very good reasons to remain there to fight against these brainless politics.


A council worker from Brighton, whom Donald Trump mistook on Twitter for his own daughter, has urged the president-elect to face up to his responsibilities and learn more about climate change.
Trump quoted a praiseworthy tweet directed to him by Lawrence Goodstein, a Twitter user in Seekonk, Massachusetts, that described his daughter Ivanka as “a woman with real character and class” late on Monday.
But Goodstein had mistakenly put @Ivanka, not @IvankaTrump – not a significant mistake in light of Goodstein’s 160-odd followers, but of far greater consequence circulated by Trump to his 20.1 million.

Don't miss these very interesting articles below, please.




Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?



We don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows? - Dana Rohrabacher


Lately, it appears Trump has gone back into the field to drag in a whole new bunch of State contenders. 

My favorite is Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, a person you have probably never heard of even though he’s been in Congress since the 1980s and is currently head of the prestigious Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
Rohrabacher is also a surfer and former folk singer who once claimed global warming might be connected to “dinosaur flatulence.” 

Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?



Don't miss the very interesting articles below, please.

I think the future dinosaur flatulence will be the behaviour of 'Pussy' and his very strange government.

Poor World!    Poor America! 


The most difficult case in Mrs.Piggle-Wiggle's career


mrs. piggle wiggle's magic_korean_2011_hardcover_FRONT



Hello 'Pussy', this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

You took calls from foreign leaders on unsecured phone lines, without consultung the State Department. We have to change your silly behaviour with a new Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure. I know you are the most difficult case in my career - but we have to try everything.......................




Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel sent his brilliant thoughts. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang! 

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Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?

I'll be the most powerful leader in the world.


Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say

Copyright 2016 by Wolfgang Hampel

All rights reserved 


Betty MacDonald was sitting on her egg-shaped cloud and listened to a rather strange guy.

He said to his friends: So sorry to keep you waiting. Very complicated business! Very complicated!

Betty said: Obviously much too complicated for you old toupee!

Besides him ( by the way the  First Lady's place ) his 10 year old son was bored to death and listened to this 'exciting' victory speech. 

The old man could be his great-grandfather.

The boy was very tired and thought: I don't know what this old guy is talking about. Come on and finish it, please. I'd like to go to bed.

Dear 'great-grandfather' continued  and praised the Democratic candidate.

He congratulated her and her family for a very strong campaign although he wanted to put her in jail.

He always called her the most corrupt person ever and repeated it over and over again in the fashion of a Tibetan prayer wheel.

She is so corrupt. She is so corrupt.  Do you know how corrupt she is? 

Betty MacDonald couldn't believe it when he said: She has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.

Afterwards old toupee praised his parents, wife, children, siblings and friends. 

He asked the same question like a parrot all the time:

Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?
I know you are here!

Betty MacDonald answered: No Pussy they are not! They left the country.

They immigrated to Canada because they are very much afraid of the future in the U.S.A. with you as their leader like the majority of all so-called more or less normal citizens. 

By the way keep your finger far away from the pussies and the Red Button, please.


I'm going to fly with my egg-shaped cloud to Canada within a minute too.

Away - away - there is nothing more to say! 


Real vs. Ersatz









I can understand the reason why Betty MacDonald, Barbara Streisand, other artists and several of my friends want to leave the United States of America.


I totally agree with these comments:

This is incredible! I'll You get what you pay/vote for and Trump is the epitome of this ideology. America I won't feel bad for you because you don't need my sympathy for what's coming but I am genuinely scared for you. 'Forgive them lord for they know not who they do' or maybe they do but just don't care about their future generations who will suffer for this long after the culprits have passed away. 

Is the USA like North Korea where you can't trust other politicians?

That's it. 

Put Ivanka in! Put Ivanka in! Put my whole family and friends in! '

What about Putin? 

Or the leaders from China and North Korea?

Wouldn't it be a great idea to put them in too?

What about very intelligent and qualified Sarah Palin? 


André Maurice Dayans Foto.



I found this in Wikipedia about her:

In 2006, Palin obtained a passport[88] and in 2007 traveled for the first time outside of North America on a trip to Kuwait. There she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing at the Kuwait–Iraq border and met with members of the Alaska National Guard at several bases.[89] On her return journey she visited injured soldiers in Germany.[90]

That's the reason why very intelligent and brilliant Sarah Palin knows the World very well. 

Sarah and ' Pussygate '  will rule America and the World - what a couple. 


I am neither Christian enough nor charitable enough to like anybody just because he is alive and breathing. I want people to interest or amuse me. I want them fascinating and witty or so dul as to be different. I want them either intellectually stimulating or wonderfully corny; perfectly charming or hundred percent stinker. I like my chosen companions to be distinguishable from the undulating masses and I don't care how. - Betty MacDonald




Daniel Mount wrote a great article about Betty MacDonald and her garden.

We hope you'll enjoy it very much.

I adore Mount Rainier and Betty MacDonald's outstanding descriptions

Can you remember in which book you can find it?

If so let us know, please and you might be the next Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner. 

I hope we'll be able to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others - very soon.

It' s such a pleasure to read them. 

Let's go to magical Betty MacDonald's  Vashon Island.



Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team share their recent Betty MacDonald fan club research results.

Congratulations! They found the most interesting and important info for Wolfgang Hampel's oustanding  Betty MacDonald biography.

I enjoy Bradley Craft's story very much.  


Don't miss our Betty MacDonald fan club contests, please. 

 
You can win a never published before Alison Bard Burnett interview by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel. 

Good luck!  

This CD is a golden treasure because Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shares unique stories about Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nancy and Plum. 





Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I'm one of their many devoted fans. 


Many Betty MacDonald  - and Wolfgang Hampel fans are very interested in a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories.


We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.

Tell us the names of this mysterious couple please and you can win a very new Betty MacDonald documentary. 


 


Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerl is beloved all over the World.

We are so happy that our 'Casanova'  is back.



Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to share very interesting info on ' Betty MacDonald and the movie The Egg and I '. 

Another rare episode (from March 21 1952) of the short-lived comedy soap opera, "The Egg and I," based on best selling book by Betty MacDonald which also became a popular film.

The series premiered on September 3, 1951, the same day as "Search for Tomorrow," and ended on August 1, 1952. 

Although it did well in the ratings, it had difficulty attracting a steady sponsor. This episode features Betty Lynn (later known for her work on "The Andy Griffith Show") as Betty MacDonald, John Craven as Bob MacDonald, Doris Rich as Ma Kettle, and Frank Twedell as Pa Kettle.


Betty MacDonald fan club exhibition will be fascinating with the international book editions and letters by Betty MacDonald.

 
I can't wait to see the new Betty MacDonald documentary.

Enjoy a great breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick, please.

Yours,

Ari


Don't miss this very special book, please.


Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas


Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  



Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

Betty MacDonald fan club fan Heiderose Teynor




Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles 





Donald Trump mistakes Ivanka from Brighton for his daughter

President-elect mistakenly retweets praise for council worker from England with same first name as his daughter







Donald Trump mistakes council worker for daughter Ivanka




A council worker from Brighton, whom Donald Trump mistook on Twitter for his own daughter, has urged the president-elect to face up to his responsibilities and learn more about climate change.
Trump quoted a praiseworthy tweet directed to him by Lawrence Goodstein, a Twitter user in Seekonk, Massachusetts, that described his daughter Ivanka as “a woman with real character and class” late on Monday.
But Goodstein had mistakenly put @Ivanka, not @IvankaTrump – not a significant mistake in light of Goodstein’s 160-odd followers, but of far greater consequence circulated by Trump to his 20.1 million.





So Trump’s shoutout was instead directed to Ivanka Majic, a council worker from Brighton, England, who used to work for the Labour party, whose number of Twitter followers doubled overnight. Majic has taken advantage of her moment on the global stage by urging Trump to both take more care in his tweets and accept the scientific consensus about manmade climate change, which Trump challenged during his campaign.
Replying to the president-elect, she tweeted: “And you’re a man with great responsibilities. May I suggest more care on Twitter and more time learning about #climatechange.”
She also tweeted data pointing out that 97.5% of publishing climatologists and about 90% of all publishing scientists supported the human-induced climate theory.



Overnight Majic has attracted a global following. “Ivanka Majic from Brighton, England, is a wonderful woman. You’re right,” replied Mark Pygas, a writer for Distractify, to Trump and Goodstein. “I mean, she’s probably trying to sleep and her phone is going off the hook but it’s a hell of a story.” According to a subsequent screenshot tweeted by Pygas, Goodstein blocked him for pointing out the error and made his account private.


Trump had not deleted his tweet nor acknowledged his mistake at the time of writing, though Goodstein made his account private. It had been retweeted 2,800 times and favourited 15,000 times, with more than 4,600 replies – the vast majority of them including Majic. The Guardian has attempted to contact Majic, believed to be employed as a researcher at Brighton and Hove city council. Her profile suggests she is not as active a user of Twitter as the president-elect, with just six tweets – most of them retweets – in the past week.
Her last activity on Twitter was a retweet encouraging votes in Brighton’s upcoming restaurant competition and another publicising a resident’s appeal for the return of her lost house keys.
On Saturday, Majic had tweeted a link to a news story about Brighton’s “thriving food scene”:



Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump, who campaigned with Trump and is moving to Washington DC as her husband, Jared Kushner, becomes a senior White House adviser, seemed oblivious to the compliment paid to her by Goodstein, sharing a photo of “#datenight” with her 2.74 million followers.


Goldstein’s misdirected tweet had come during a CNN programme on the incoming first daughter featuring interviews with her brothers, Donald Jnr and Eric Trump, and about which their father had expressed concerns:


As president, Trump will have the option of taking over the official @POTUS Twitter handle or maintaining his own, @realDonaldTrump. With 20.1 million followers hanging on his every missive compared with @POTUS’s 13.5 million, Trump has given no indication he will make the switch.


Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, told CNN earlier this month that Trump would “probably be tweeting from both, or whatever he chooses”. Last week, BuzzFeed News publicised concerns that Trump’s “shockingly insecure” personal Twitter account had no known special security protections and was open to being exploited with potentially devastating impacts for the stock market and geopolitical stability.
It would not be the first time Trump’s account has been hacked: in 2013, when he was best-known as a real estate tycoon and host of The Apprentice TV show, someone reportedly gained access to his account to tweet Lil Wayne lyrics (“These hoes think they classy, well that’s the class I’m skippen”, from the remix of will.i.am and Britney Spear’s Scream & Shout).
“My Twitter has been seriously hacked --- and we are looking for the perpetrators,” Trump tweeted at the time.

Since you’re here…

…we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but far fewer are paying for it. And advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to pay for it, our future would be much more secure.





 As Trump Era Arrives, a Sense of Uncertainty Grips the World





 
President-elect Donald J. Trump in the Trump Tower lobby on Monday. His remarks in a string of interviews have escalated tensions with China and infuriated allies. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times
LONDON — The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed.
Just days before he is sworn into office, President-elect Donald J. Trump has again focused his penchant for unpredictable disruption on the rest of the world. His remarks in a string of discursive and sometimes contradictory interviews have escalated tensions with China while also infuriating allies and institutions critical to America’s traditional leadership of the West.
No one knows where exactly he is headed — except that the one country he is not criticizing is Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin. For now. And that he is an enthusiastic cheerleader of Brexit and an unaffiliated Britain. For now.
Mr. Trump’s unpredictability is perhaps his most predictable characteristic. The world is accustomed to his provocative Twitter messages, but is less clear about whether his remarks represent meaningful new policy guidelines, personal judgments or passing whims. In the interviews, Mr. Trump described the European Union as “basically a vehicle for Germany” and predicted that the bloc would probably see other countries follow Britain’s example and vote to leave.
Continue reading the main story




Mr. Trump also said Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, had made a “catastrophic mistake” in allowing refugees to pour into Europe.

The barrage of inflammatory comments in joint interviews published Sunday and Monday in Britain and Germany elicited alarm and outrage in Europe, even as Ms. Merkel dryly characterized Mr. Trump’s positions as nothing new.
“They have been known for a while — my positions are also known,” Ms. Merkel said Monday in Berlin. “I think we Europeans have control of our destiny.”
Her clipped response came as officials and analysts struggled with how to interpret Mr. Trump’s remarks, as well as how to react to them.
Some argued that the president-elect’s words should be regarded as tactical, intended merely to keep his options open. But nearly everyone agreed that Mr. Trump had made trouble, especially in criticizing Ms. Merkel, given her importance as a figure of stability in Europe and her campaign for re-election later this year.
For good measure, Mr. Trump had also infuriated China by using an interview on Friday with The Wall Street Journal to again question China’s longstanding One China policy. It holds that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the mainland.




 
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Berlin on Monday. Mr. Trump’s comments about her and how the European Union is “basically a vehicle for Germany” have damaged Ms. Merkel, who is running for re-election this year. Credit Oliver Weiken/European Pressphoto Agency
On Monday, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said that anyone trying to use the status of Taiwan for negotiations would be “smashing their feet by lifting a rock” and would face broad and strong opposition from the Chinese government and people, as well as the international community. She added that “not everything in the world can be bargained or traded off.”
The English-language China Daily accused Mr. Trump on Monday of “playing with fire,” saying that if Taiwan became up for negotiation, as Mr. Trump suggested to The Journal, “Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves.”
Mr. Trump’s interviews in Europe have placed him right in the middle of the Continent’s most contentious issues. His critique of German dominance over the European Union is hardly a novel thought; many Europeans share the same complaints. But what is startling is how an incoming American president would make such a statement about a key ally and, in doing so, give succor to populist parties seeking to shatter the European political establishment.

In the interview published Monday in the German newspaper Bild and The Times of London, Mr. Trump also equated his trust of Ms. Merkel with his trust for Mr. Putin.
“I start off trusting both,” he said during the joint interview, which was conducted inside his office in Trump Tower in New York, “but let’s see how long that lasts. It may not last long at all.”
Certainly, Mr. Trump knows how to give a provocative interview. He repeated past criticisms that NATO is “obsolete” for supposedly not confronting terrorism, only to quickly add that “with that being said, NATO is very important to me.”
Mr. Trump’s comments “are a direct assault on the liberal order we’ve built since 1945 and a repudiation of the idea that the United States should lead the West,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a former senior State Department official and ambassador to NATO, who also advised the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
“To say that NATO is obsolete, openly support the disintegration of the E.U. and then denigrate Merkel and put her on a par with Putin is a fundamental break with 70 years of American policy and strategic thought supported by Republicans from Eisenhower to now,” said Mr. Burns, who has served presidents of both parties. “NATO is the great power differential between the United States and Russia, as our Asian alliances are the power differential between us and China.”
Mr. Trump’s remarks almost certainly rankled Europe’s two most powerful leaders, Ms. Merkel and Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain. Mr. Trump’s enthusiasm for Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, or Brexit — if welcomed by British officials, in general terms — has put considerably more pressure on Mrs. May. She is preparing to give a major speech on Tuesday about her Brexit plans, even as Mr. Trump promised to give Britain a quick and fair trade deal outside the European Union — a deal that cannot take place for at least two years until Britain leaves the bloc.
Awkwardly for her, one of the interviewers was Michael Gove, who strongly supported Brexit and ran for the Conservative leadership against Mrs. May, who immediately fired him from the cabinet. Mr. Trump’s first meeting with a British politician was with another May adversary, Nigel Farage, the former leader of the anti-Europe U.K. Independence Party, or UKIP.
Ms. Merkel, who is known for her sang-froid and pragmatism, shrugged off Mr. Trump’s latest criticism, saying that what matters is what he does in office. “I am waiting for the president to be sworn into office. That is the way it is done,” she said. “And then, of course, I will work with him together.”




 
A newsstand in London. Mr. Trump’s enthusiasm for Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, or Brexit, has put considerably more pressure on the British prime minister, Theresa May. Credit Facundo Arrizabalaga/European Pressphoto Agency
The German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, was not so sanguine. Mr. Trump’s comments had “caused astonishment and commotion, and I’m sure not just in Brussels,” where he spoke on Monday before a monthly meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

Mr. Steinmeier said that he had just seen the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, and that there was continuing concern inside the military alliance.
“First, it goes against the statements of the nominated defense secretary a few days ago,” Mr. Steinmeier said. “We have to see what it will yield in terms of U.S. foreign policy. The same goes for the statements on trade policy. We count on the U.S. to stick to its international obligations, including in the World Trade Organization.”
Others cautioned against taking Mr. Trump’s words literally, at least for now. “I take all of this with a pinch of salt,” said Robin Niblett, the director of Chatham House, the London-based research institution. “I think Trump is trying to keep his options open and not be cornered by simply standing up for existing policy positions.”
Mr. Trump’s transition team will try to begin to smooth over some of the tensions on Tuesday in Washington, where the group planning his inauguration will host a black-tie dinner for members of the foreign diplomatic corps to mingle with prospective cabinet members, leaders of Congress and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
President Obama’s departing ambassador to Germany, John B. Emerson, has used a series of exit interviews and speeches in recent days to urge the Germans to stay calm, not to overinterpret Twitter posts or view them as finished foreign policy. Mr. Emerson underscored that, while more clarity was needed, there were signs that Mr. Trump did value NATO and the promise of United States protection for European allies.
“It’s a very crucial issue, not just for European security, but for American security,” Mr. Emerson said. He noted that Mr. Trump “authorized President Obama when he came here on his trip shortly after the two of them met to reassure European partners of the full commitment to NATO. Now, we need to see what that means.”
Yet Europe is staring at a potentially transformative political year, with elections coming in the Netherlands, France and Germany, and possibly in Italy. Victories by populist parties could destabilize the European Union, and many European officials worry that Mr. Trump’s attacks are damaging.

Martin Schäfer, a spokesman for Mr. Steinmeier and the German Foreign Ministry, flatly rejected Mr. Trump’s comment in the interview that the European Union “is basically a vehicle for Germany.”
“Perhaps in times such as these, when order is crumbling, it is more important than ever that we want to, and must, stand together,” Mr. Schäfer said, underlining the post-World War II German stance that only through the country’s role in a larger European alliance are peace and prosperity guaranteed.
Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France said Mr. Trump’s comments were an invitation to the bloc to stand united. “As is the case with Brexit,” he said, “the best way of defending Europe, and that is the invitation Mr. Trump has given to us, is to remain united as a bloc, not forgetting that the strength of Europeans lies in their unity.”
The British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, who supported Brexit, emphasized Mr. Trump’s warm comments on the Anglo-American relationship. “I think it’s very good news that the U.S.A. wants to do a good free trade deal with us and wants to do it very fast,” he said. “Clearly it will have to be a deal that’s very much in the interests of both sides, but I have no doubt it will be.”






by David Morgan CBS News January 15, 2017, 2:02 PM

Scottish paper describes Trump inauguration as return of “The Twilight Zone”





Satirists and late-night comics have not spared President-elect Donald Trump -- and neither has a Scottish newspaper’s TV critic.
Sunday Herald reviewer Damien Love’s writeup for this Friday’s broadcast of the inauguration of the reality TV star as the 45th President of the United States characterized the proceedings as the return of “The Twilight Zone.”
The satirical TV review has since gone viral:
President Trump: The Inauguration
4pm, BBC One/STV

After a long absence, The Twilight Zone returns with one of the ambitious, expensive and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have dabbled often with alternative history stories – among the most common is the “What if The Nazis Had Won The Second World War” setting – but this huge interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years, sets out to build an ongoing alternative present.
The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017 in which huge sections of the US electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president. It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible. Today’s feature-length opener concentrates on the gaudy inauguration of President Trump, and the stirrings of protest and despair surrounding the ceremony, while pundits speculate gravely on what lies ahead.
It’s a flawed piece, but a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we’re not careful.”
Twitter users praised the description as “brilliant,” and “genius,” and noted the paper’s “terrifying sense of humor.” 



Rod Serling’s classic series, which aired on CBS from 1959-1964, and which has been shown in syndication ever since, was renowned for presenting stories of science fiction, the supernatural and the uncanny, often with a twist ending.



  • David Morgan
    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.



Study Finds Trump’s Grammar “Just Below 6th Grade Level”




Eloquence is a trait valued by debate team coaches but not necessarily needed for the White House. Though their supporters will always defend them, George Washington and George W. Bush are just two of many presidents considered poor public speakers — and there have been many commanders in chief in the two centuries between them who were not necessarily golden-tongued. Now, an academic paper has put some presidents and political candidates’ language on trial. “A Readability Analysis of Campaign Speeches From the 2016 US Presidential Campaign,” released this week by Carnegie Mellon University, analyzed stump speeches to measure their “readability” — the reading level of an address, ranked from first grade to 12th grade. And, according to a summary from the university, the study found “most candidates using words and grammar typical of students in grades 6-8, though Donald Trump tends to lag behind the others.” The story was more complicated than “Donald Trump can’t talk good,” however. First, the researchers needed a way to measure readability.“It is based on the observation that some words (and grammatical structures) appear with greater frequency at one grade level than another,” Maxine Eskenazi, a scientist in the university’s Language Technologies Institute, and Elliot Schumacher, a graduate student, wrote. “For example, we would expect that we could see the word ‘win’ fairly frequently in third grade documents while the word ‘successful’ would be more frequent in, say, seventh grade documents. We would not see dependent clauses very often at the second grade level whereas they would be quite frequent at the seventh grade level.” Then, they needed some speeches to analyze.
“A database was collected containing documents from each of the [then] five current presidential candidates: Ted Cruz (5), Hillary Clinton (7), Marco Rubio (6), Bernie Sanders (6), Donald Trump (8),” the paper read. “… They range from the declaration of candidacy speech to campaign trail speeches to victory speeches to defeat speeches.” What about a historical comparison? “We also analyzed the readability of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address … and a speech from Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan,” the researchers wrote.
The results showed that the level of our political discourse had deteriorated — partly because of Trump.?
“Speeches by past presidents while on campaign and the Gettysburg Address were at least at the eighth grade level,” the paper read. “The candidates’ speeches mostly went from seventh grade level for Donald Trump to tenth grade level for Bernie Sanders.”
The researchers also tried to measure “the degree to which the candidate changes their choice of words from one speech to another.” The result appeared to confirm the perception of Hillary Clinton as a chameleon.?
“[Change] could reflect an effort to take into account the different audiences or circumstances (winning or concession speech in a state, for example),” they wrote. “We can see that Hilary Clinton has the highest standard deviation and so the biggest change of choice of words from one speech to another, while Ted Cruz varies the least in his choices.”
Up next was a look at politicians’ grammar.
“We see that George W. Bush had the lowest level and Abraham Lincoln the highest,” the paper read. “Amongst the candidates, levels are between sixth and seventh grades except for Donald Trump (grade 5.7).”
A summary of the study put this result in another light. The linguistic top of the pops, it turned out, was the Gettysburg Address — which came from the pen of a man with little formal schooling.
“In terms of grammar, none of the presidents and presidential candidates could compare with Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address — an admittedly high standard, with grammar well above the 10th grade level,” the summary read. “The current candidates generally had scores between 6th and 7th grades, with Trump just below 6th grade level. President Bush scored at a 5th grade level.”

 

Vocabulary and Grammatical Comparison (Carnegie Mellon University)

The researchers, who used a measure of readability meant to account for differences between written and spoken language, noted that evaluating public speakers is not easy.
“Assessing the readability of campaign speeches is a little tricky because most measures are geared to the written word, yet text is very different from the spoken word,” Eskenazi said in a statement. “When we speak, we usually use less structured language with shorter sentences.”
Trump, for one, seems to intuit that many of his supporters are not grammarians.





Politics

Stephen King Just Summed Up Trump’s Attack On Meryl Streep Brilliantly

World-famous author Stephen King took to Twitter today to respond to Donald Trump’s Twitter tirade about actress Meryl Streep’s criticisms last night at the Golden Globes. As he so often does, King nails exactly what is disturbing about Trump’s hypersensitivity and the danger it presents to the American people. To be the leader of the United States of America requires a certain thickness of skin; a need to rise above slights real and perceived in order to put the good of the country before your own ego. But Trump is incapable of ignoring even the pettiest of slights.
The presidency of the United States is perhaps the most emotionally taxing job in the world, and requires great personal strength and conviction to properly execute. The well-being of millions of people lie in the hands of the president, along with their very lives.
Trump’s inability to let a perceived slight from an actress who didn’t even call him out by name – and his insistent need to insult and demean his critics – shows just how emotionally immature he is and how unqualified he is to lead this nation.



Friday January 13, 2017

Donald Trump news conference 'clear attack on the free press'

President-elect Donald Trump refused to answer questions from CNN at his first news conference, Jan 11, 2017, declaring the news outlet as 'fake news.'

President-elect Donald Trump refused to answer questions from CNN at his first news conference, Jan 11, 2017, declaring the news outlet as 'fake news.' (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)
Listen 19:13
Read story transcript

On Jan. 11, U.S. president-elect Donald Trump held his first press conference in months.
It was at this news conference Trump declared CNN as so-called "fake news" and refused to take questions relating to the network's report on unverified intelligence documents that suggests Russia has compromising information on the president-elect.
Some observers worry this move signals a presidency that is already taking an authoritarian tone. And it has journalists having to explore the best ways to cover the incoming U.S. administration.
"This is a clear attack on the free press. It's violating every norm and standard that we have in countries like the United States and Canada," policy analyst Jasmin Mujanović tells The Current's Friday host Laura Lynch.
"It's signaling that he intends to … fundamentally remake what it means to live in a republic of laws in the United States."
Media placeholder
Trump on fake news0:45
Mujanović says for observers and reporters of authoritarianism, Trump's behaviour sounds off all kinds of alarm bells.
"I don't think it's an accident that some of the most prescient analysis and critique that has come out over the last year year and a half has been from people who have studied authoritarianism, you know in the Middle East and Eastern Europe etc."
He tells Lynch that Trump normalizing lying on public record as a means of public policy and as a means of governance as well as normalizing fringe extreme movements, "are all incredible blaring red flags."
Political columnist Susan Delacourt takes issue with journalists in that news conference telling Lynch "they were egging [Trump] on and trying to get him to say something scandalous."
"It was kind of a dereliction of duty on the part of the media I thought."  
APTOPIX Trump
Trump's conduct at his recent news conference is 'not becoming of someone who purports to be the leader of the free world or at the very least the leader of a democratic republic,' says policy analyst Jasmin Mujanović. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)
Delacourt says when politicians see the role of media as a marketing or advertising tool and not a public service, there's a problem.
"Donald Trump is a marketer. He's a businessman and he thinks that the media is there primarily to help him do his job and when it doesn't he's you know 'you're fired' or 'you're fake news' or he can shout them down." 
"The problem is is that the line between using the media for that purpose and then just discounting them altogether is it can be easily breached."
When it comes to holding Trump to account, Mujanović has little faith the media can make that happen.
"I don't want that to be interpreted as an attack on the media. I have colleagues who work in journalism. I just think that the issue is that reporters in the United States and Canada and large parts of Europe really have no first-hand experience with authoritarianism so to them this is this is entertainment. This is a circus."
Delacourt's advice to the Washington press corporations over the next four years:
"Don't allow yourself to be played off each other. Hang together."
"And remember that your job is a public service that sometimes competition between the media is not as important as the public service — a democratic rule of the media."
Listen to the full conversation at the top of this web post.
This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar, Ines Colabrese and Sujata Berry.




How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump




 
The building in London housing Orbis Business Intelligence, a commercial intelligence firm started by a former British intelligence officer who collected an opposition research dossier on President-elect Donald J. Trump. Credit Yui Mok/Press Association, via Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Seven months ago, a respected former British spy named Christopher Steele won a contract to build a file on Donald J. Trump’s ties to Russia. Last week, the explosive details — unsubstantiated accounts of frolics with prostitutes, real estate deals that were intended as bribes and coordination with Russian intelligence of the hacking of Democrats — were summarized for Mr. Trump in an appendix to a top-secret intelligence report.
The consequences have been incalculable and will play out long past Inauguration Day. Word of the summary, which was also given to President Obama and congressional leaders, leaked to CNN Tuesday, and the rest of the media followed with sensational reports.
Mr. Trump denounced the unproven claims Wednesday as a fabrication, a Nazi-style smear concocted by “sick people.” It has further undermined his relationship with the intelligence agencies and cast a shadow over the new administration.
Late Wednesday night, after speaking with Mr. Trump, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, issued a statement decrying leaks about the matter and saying of Mr. Steele’s dossier that the intelligence agencies have “not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.” Mr. Clapper suggested that intelligence officials had nonetheless shared it to give policy makers “the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.”


Parts of the story remain out of reach — most critically the basic question of how much, if anything, in the dossier is true. But it is possible to piece together a rough narrative of what led to the current crisis, including lingering questions about the ties binding Mr. Trump and his team to Russia. The episode also offers a glimpse of the hidden side of presidential campaigns, involving private sleuths-for-hire looking for the worst they can find about the next American leader.
The story began in September 2015, when a wealthy Republican donor who strongly opposed Mr. Trump put up the money to hire a Washington research firm run by former journalists, Fusion GPS, to compile a dossier about the real estate magnate’s past scandals and weaknesses, according to a person familiar with the effort. The person described the opposition research work on condition of anonymity, citing the volatile nature of the story and the likelihood of future legal disputes. The identity of the donor is unclear.
Fusion GPS, headed by a former Wall Street Journal journalist known for his dogged reporting, Glenn Simpson, most often works for business clients. But in presidential elections, the firm is sometimes hired by candidates, party organizations or donors to do political “oppo” work — shorthand for opposition research — on the side.
It is routine work and ordinarily involves creating a big, searchable database of public information: past news reports, documents from lawsuits and other relevant data. For months, Fusion GPS gathered the documents and put together the files from Mr. Trump’s past in business and entertainment, a rich target.




After Mr. Trump emerged as the presumptive nominee in the spring, the Republican interest in financing the effort ended. But Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton were very interested, and Fusion GPS kept doing the same deep dives, but on behalf of new clients.
In June, the tenor of the effort suddenly changed. The Washington Post reported that the Democratic National Committee had been hacked, apparently by Russian government agents, and a mysterious figure calling himself “Guccifer 2.0” began to publish the stolen documents online.
Mr. Simpson hired Mr. Steele, a former British intelligence officer with whom he had worked before. Mr. Steele, in his early 50s, had served undercover in Moscow in the early 1990s and later was the top expert on Russia at the London headquarters of Britain’s spy service, MI6. When he stepped down in 2009, he started his own commercial intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.
The former journalist and the former spy, according to people who know them, had similarly dark views of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, a former K.G.B. officer, and the varied tactics he and his intelligence operatives used to smear, blackmail or bribe their targets.
As a former spy who had carried out espionage inside Russia, Mr. Steele was in no position to travel to Moscow to study Mr. Trump’s connections there. Instead, he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country as well.

Mr. Steele wrote up his findings in a series of memos, each a few pages long, that he began to deliver to Fusion GPS in June and continued at least until December. By then, the election was over, and neither Mr. Steele nor Mr. Simpson was being paid by a client, but they did not stop what they believed to be very important work. (Mr. Simpson declined to comment for this article, and Mr. Steele did not immediately reply to a request for comment.)
The memos described two different Russian operations. The first was a yearslong effort to find a way to influence Mr. Trump, perhaps because he had contacts with Russian oligarchs whom Mr. Putin wanted to keep track of. According to Mr. Steele’s memos, it used an array of familiar tactics: the gathering of “kompromat,” compromising material such as alleged tapes of Mr. Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel, and proposals for business deals attractive to Mr. Trump.
The goal would probably never have been to make Mr. Trump a knowing agent of Russia, but to make him a source who might provide information to friendly Russian contacts. But if Mr. Putin and his agents wanted to entangle Mr. Trump using business deals, they did not do it very successfully. Mr. Trump has said he has no major properties there, though one of his sons said at a real estate conference in 2008 that “a lot of money” was “pouring in from Russia.”
The second Russian operation described was recent: a series of contacts with Mr. Trump’s representatives during the campaign, in part to discuss the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta. According to Mr. Steele’s sources, it involved, among other things, a late-summer meeting in Prague between Michael Cohen, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, and Oleg Solodukhin, a Russian official who works for Rossotrudnichestvo, an organization that promotes Russia’s interests abroad.


By all accounts, Mr. Steele has an excellent reputation with American and British intelligence colleagues and had done work for the F.B.I. on the investigation of bribery at FIFA, soccer’s global governing body. Colleagues say he was acutely aware of the danger he and his associates were being fed Russian disinformation. Russian intelligence had mounted a complex hacking operation to damage Mrs. Clinton, and a similar operation against Mr. Trump was possible.
But much of what he was told, and passed on to Fusion GPS, was very difficult to check. And some of the claims that can be checked seem problematic. Mr. Cohen, for instance, said on Twitter on Tuesday night that he has never been in Prague; Mr. Solodukhin, his purported Russian contact, denied in a telephone interview that he had ever met Mr. Cohen or anyone associated with Mr. Trump. The president-elect on Wednesday cited news reports that a different Michael Cohen with no Trump ties may have visited Prague and that the two Cohens might have been mixed up in Mr. Steele’s reports.
But word of a dossier had begun to spread through political circles. Rick Wilson, a Republican political operative who was working for a super PAC supporting Marco Rubio, said he heard about it in July, when an investigative reporter for a major news network called him to ask what he knew.
By early fall, some of Mr. Steele’s memos had been given to the F.B.I., which was already investigating Mr. Trump’s Russian ties, and to journalists. An MI6 official, whose job does not permit him to be quoted by name, said that in late summer or early fall, Mr. Steele also passed the reports he had prepared on Mr. Trump and Russia to British intelligence. Mr. Steele was concerned about what he was hearing about Mr. Trump, and he thought that the information should not be solely in the hands of people looking to win a political contest.

After the election, the memos, still being supplemented by his inquiries, became one of Washington’s worst-kept secrets, as reporters — including from The New York Times — scrambled to confirm or disprove them.
Word also reached Capitol Hill. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, heard about the dossier and obtained a copy in December from David J. Kramer, a former top State Department official who works for the McCain Institute at Arizona State University. Mr. McCain passed the information to James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director.
Remarkably for Washington, many reporters for competing news organizations had the salacious and damning memos, but they did not leak, because their contents could not be confirmed. (Mother Jones magazine was an exception, publishing a story on Oct. 31 that described the dossier, its origin and significance, while omitting the titillating details.) That changed only this week, after the heads of the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency added a summary of the memos, along with information gathered from other intelligence sources, to their report on the Russian cyberattack on the election.
Now, after the most contentious of elections, Americans are divided and confused about what to believe about the incoming president. And there is no prospect soon for full clarity on the veracity of the claims made against him.
“It is a remarkable moment in history,” said Mr. Wilson, the Florida political operative. “What world did I wake up in?”

Jonathan Martin, Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on January 12, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: How a Crisis Spilled Out of a Sensational, Unverified Dossier.



McCain unloads on Putin during Mattis confirmation hearing: ‘He needs us as his enemy’





McCain unloads on Putin during Mattis confirmation hearing: ‘He needs us as his enemy’




Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) unloaded on Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday during Defense Secretary-designate Gen. James Mattis’ confirmation hearing.
McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that, under Putin, Russia has “invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, threatened NATO allies, intervened militarily in Syria, leaving a trail of death and destruction and broken promises in his wake.”
“Russia’s military has targeted Syrian hospitals and first responders with precision weapons,” McCain added. “Russia supplied the weapons that shot down a commercial aircraft in Ukraine. Russia’s war on Ukraine has killed thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.”
The senator pointed out that Putin’s “disrespect for our nation” is evidenced by Russia’s deliberate interference in the November election through “cyber attacks and a disinformation campaign designed to weaken America and discredit Western values.”
McCain said that he has watched three presidents fail to improve relations with Russia — and those failures were not due to “a lack of good faith and effort on the U.S. side”: “Putin wants to be our enemy. He needs us as his enemy. He will never be our partner, including in fighting ISIL. He believes that strengthening Russia means weakening America.”
“We must proceed realistically on this basis,” McCain continued, adding that the United States must display strength to any “adversary that seeks to undermine our national interest and challenge the world order.”












  • Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

    we share a very special gift by beloved and very popular Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor member Letizia Mancino.


    We know you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

    Thanks a Million, dear Letizia Mancino.


    You are an outstanding writer and artist.

    We are so proud and happy to have you with us.

    Letizia writes: One should not underestimate Wolfgang Hampel’s talent in speedily mobilizing Betty MacDonald’s friends.

    We agree. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang Hampel for doing this. You founded Betty MacDonald Fan Club with four members.

    Now we have members in 40 countries around the world. A dream came true.

    Mary Holmes did an excellent job in translating this great story. 


    Thank you so much dear Mary Holmes. 


    We are really very grateful.

    All the best to Letizia, Wolfgang and Mary and to all Betty MacDonald Fan Club fans from all over the world!

    Lenard



    Following in Betty’s footsteps in Seattle:

    or some small talk with Betty

    Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
    All rights reserved
    translated by Mary Holmes

    We were going to Canada in the summer. “When we are in Edmonton”, I said to Christoph Cremer, “let’s make a quick trip to Seattle”. And that’s how it happened. At Edmonton Airport we climbed into a plane and two hours later we landed in the city where Betty had lived. I was so happy to be in Seattle at last and to be able to trace Betty’s tracks!

    Wolfgang Hampel had told Betty’s friends about our arrival.
    They were happy to plan a small marathon through the town and it’s surroundings with us. We only had a few days free. One should not underestimate Wolfgang’s talent in speedily mobilizing Betty’s friends, even though it was holiday time. E-mails flew backwards and forwards between Heidelberg and Seattle, and soon a well prepared itinerary was ready for us. Shortly before my departure Wolfgang handed me several parcels, presents for Betty MacDonald's friends. I rushed to pack the heavy gifts in my luggage but because of the extra weight had to throw out a pair of pajamas!

    After we had landed we took a taxi to the Hotel in downtown Seattle. I was so curious to see everything. I turned my head in all directions like one of the hungry hens from Betty’s farm searching for food! Fortunately it was quite a short journey otherwise I would have lost my head like a loose screw!
    Our hotel room was on the 22nd floor and looked directly out onto the 16-lane highway. There might have been even more than 16 but it made me too giddy to count! It was like a glimpse of hell! “And is this Seattle?” I asked myself. I was horrified! The cars racing by were enough to drive one mad. The traffic roared by day and night.
    We immediately contacted Betty MacDonald's friends and let them know we had arrived and they confirmed the times when we should see them.

    On the next morning I planned my first excursion tracing Betty’s tracks. I spread out the map of Seattle. “Oh dear” I realized “the Olympic Peninsula is much too far away for me to get there.”
    Betty nodded to me! “Very difficult, Letizia, without a car.”

    “But I so much wanted to see your chicken farm”

    “My chickens are no longer there and you can admire the mountains from a distance”

    But I wanted to go there. I left the hotel and walked to the waterfront where the State Ferry terminal is. Mamma mia, the streets in Seattle are so steep! I couldn’t prevent my feet from running down the hill. Why hadn’t I asked for brakes to be fixed on my shoes? I looked at the drivers. How incredibly good they must be to accelerate away from the red traffic lights. The people were walking uphill towards me as briskly as agile salmon. Good heavens, these Americans! I tried to keep my balance. The force of gravity is relentless. I grasped hold of objects where I could and staggered down.
    In Canada a friend had warned me that in Seattle I would see a lot of people with crutches.

    Betty laughed. “ It’s not surprising, Letizia, walking salmon don’t fall directly into the soft mouth of a bear!”
    “ Betty, stop making these gruesome remarks. We are not in Firlands!”

    I went further. Like a small deranged ant at the foot of a palace monster I came to a tunnel. The noise was unbearable. On the motorway, “The Alaskan Way Viaduct”, cars, busses and trucks were driving at the speed of light right over my head. They puffed out their poisonous gas into the open balconies and cultivated terraces of the luxurious sky- scrapers without a thought in the world. America! You are crazy!
    “Betty, are all people in Seattle deaf? Or is it perhaps a privilege for wealthy people to be able to enjoy having cars so near to their eyes and noses to save them from boredom?”

    “When the fog democratically allows everything to disappear into nothing, it makes a bit of a change, Letizia”

    “ Your irony is incorrigible, Betty, but tell me, Seattle is meant to be a beautiful city, But where?”

    I had at last reached the State Ferry terminal.

    “No Madam, the ferry for Vashon Island doesn’t start from here,” one of the men in the ticket office tells me. ”Take a buss and go to the ferry terminal in West Seattle.”
    Betty explained to me “The island lies in Puget Sound and not in Elliott Bay! It is opposite the airport. You must have seen it when you were landing!”
    “Betty, when I am landing I shut my eyes and pray!”

    It’s time for lunch. The weather is beautiful and warm. Who said to me that it always rains here?
    “Sure to be some envious man who wanted to frighten you away from coming to Seattle. The city is really beautiful, you’ll see. Stay by the waterfront, choose the best restaurant with a view of Elliott Bay and enjoy it.”
    “Thank you Betty!”

    I find a table on the terrace of “Elliott’s Oyster House”. The view of the island is wonderful. It lies quietly in the sun like a green fleecy cushion on the blue water.
    Betty plays with my words:
    “Vashon Island is a big cushion, even bigger than Bainbridge which you see in front of your eyes, Letizia. The islands look similar. They have well kept houses and beautiful gardens”.

    I relax during this introduction, “Bainbridge” you are Vashon Island, and order a mineral water.

    “At one time the hotel belonging to the parents of Monica Sone stood on the waterfront.”
    “Oh, of your friend Kimi!” Unfortunately I forget to ask Betty exactly where it was.

    My mind wanders and I think of my mountain hike back to the hotel! “Why is there no donkey for tourists?” Betty laughs:

    “I’m sure you can walk back to the hotel. “Letizia can do everything.””

    “Yes, Betty, I am my own donkey!”

    But I don’t remember that San Francisco is so steep. It doesn’t matter, I sit and wait. The waiter comes and brings me the menu. I almost fall off my chair!
    “ What, you have geoduck on the menu! I have to try it” (I confess I hate the look of geoduck meat. Betty’s recipe with the pieces made me feel quite sick – I must try Betty’s favourite dish!)
    “Proof that you love me!” said Betty enthusiastically “ Isn’t the way to the heart through the stomach?”

    I order the geoduck. The waiter looks at me. He would have liked to recommend oysters.
    “Geoduck no good for you!”
    Had he perhaps read my deepest thoughts? Fate! Then no geoduck. “No good for me.”

    “Neither geoduck nor tuberculosis in Seattle” whispered Betty in my ear!
    “Oh Betty, my best friend, you take such good care of me!”

    I order salmon with salad.

    “Which salmon? Those that swim in water or those that run through Seattle?”

    “Betty, I believe you want me to have a taste of your black humour.”

    “Enjoy it then, Letizia.”

    During lunch we talked about tuberculosis, and that quite spoilt our appetite.

    “Have you read my book “The Plague and I”?”

    “Oh Betty, I’ve started to read it twice but both times I felt so sad I had to stop again!”

    “But why?” asked Betty “Nearly everybody has tuberculosis! I recovered very quickly and put on 20 pounds! There was no talk of me wasting away! What did you think of my jokes in the book?”

    “Those would have been a good reason for choosing another sanitorium. I would have been afraid of becoming a victim of your humour! You would have certainly given me a nickname! You always thought up such amusing names!” Betty laughed.

    “You’re right. I would have called you “Roman nose”. I would have said to Urbi and Orbi “ Early this morning “Roman nose” was brought here. She speaks broken English, doesn’t eat geoduck but she does love cats.”

    “Oh Betty, I would have felt so ashamed to cough. To cough in your presence, how embarrassing! You would have talked about how I coughed, how many coughs!”

    “It depends on that “how”, Letizia!”

    “Please, leave Goethe quotations out of it. You have certainly learnt from the Indians how to differentiate between noises. It’s incredible how you can distinguish between so many sorts of cough! At least 10!”

    “So few?”

    ”And also your descriptions of the patients and the nurses were pitiless. An artistic revenge! The smallest pimple on their face didn’t escape your notice! Amazing.”

    “ I was also pitiless to myself. Don’t forget my irony against myself!”

    Betty was silent. She was thinking about Kimi, the “Princess” from Japan! No, she had only written good things about her best friend, Monica Sone, in her book “The Plague and I”. A deep friendship had started in the hospital. The pearl that developed from the illness.
    “Isn’t it wonderful, Betty, that an unknown seed can make its way into a mollusk in the sea and develop into a beautiful jewel?” Betty is paying attention.

    “Betty, the friendship between you and Monica reminds me of Goethe’s poem “Gingo-Biloba”. You must know it?” Betty nods and I begin to recite it:


    The leaf of this Eastern tree
    Which has been entrusted to my garden
    Offers a feast of secret significance,
    For the edification of the initiate.

    Is it one living thing.
    That has become divided within itself?
    Are these two who have chosen each other,
    So that we know them as one?

    The friendship with Monica is like the wonderful gingo-biloba leaf, the tree from the east. Betty was touched. There was a deep feeling of trust between us.
    “Our friendship never broke up, partly because she was in distress, endangered by the deadly illness. We understood and supplemented each other. We were like one lung with two lobes, one from the east and one from the west!”
    “A beautiful picture, Betty. You were like two red gingo-biloba leaves!”

    Betty was sad and said ” Monica, although Japanese, before she really knew me felt she was also an American. But she was interned in America, Letizia, during the second world war. Isn’t that terrible?”

    “Betty, I never knew her personally. I have only seen her on a video, but what dignity in her face, and she speaks and moves so gracefully!”

    “Fate could not change her”

    “Yes, Betty, like the gingo-biloba tree in Hiroshima. It was the only tree that blossomed again after the atom bomb!”

    The bill came and I paid at once. In America one is urged away from the table when one has finished eating. If one wants to go on chatting one has to order something else.
    “That’s why all those people gossiping at the tables are so fat!” Betty remarks. “Haven’t you seen how many massively obese people walk around in the streets of America. Like dustbins that have never been emptied!” With this typically unsentimental remark Betty ended our conversation.

    Ciao! I so enjoyed the talk; the humour, the irony and the empathy. I waved to her and now I too felt like moving! I take a lovely walk along the waterfront.

    Now I am back in Heidelberg and when I think about how Betty’s “Princessin” left this world on September 5th and that in August I was speaking about her with Betty in Seattle I feel very sad. The readers who knew her well (we feel that every author and hero of a book is nearer to us than our fleeting neighbours next door) yes we, who thought of her as immortal, cannot believe that even she would die after 92 years. How unforeseen and unexpected that her death should come four days after her birthday on September 1th. On September 5th I was on my way to Turkey, once again in seventh heaven, looking back on the unforgettable days in Seattle. I was flying from west to east towards the rising sun.



    Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin
    Anne MacDonald Canham

     




     







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    Betty MacDonald









    Take an illustrated day trip through Washington state’s largest city with artist Candace Rose Rardon.
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    Linda White yes,if my health allows.I have a few problems but is something I have always wanted to do,especially as I reread her books.


    Linde Lund


    Linde Lund Dear Linda I'll keep you posted.


    Bella Dillon


    Bella Dillon · Friends with Darsie Beck
    I still read Mrs Piggle Wiggle books to this day. I love her farm on vashon.




    Lila Taylor


    Lila Taylor Good morning...Linde Lund
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