Day One

I started writing this article Friday morning, one day after the Republican National Convention concluded business. According to their nominee Mr. Trump, the entire world outside my door should be a flaming paper bag of dog shit by now, and he is the only one who will save us from it. I am going to step outside a minute today to check on that and will be right back.


Okay. I have checked the world and confirmed it’s not entirely a flaming paper bag full of dog shit. It is, however, in a transition period between the end of the Republican National Convention and the beginning of the Democratic National Convention.

It appears as though this transition was written as a screenplay by John Le Carre and Richard Condon. For those not familiar with spy thrillers, Le Carre and Condon are (respectively) the authors of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Manchurian Candidate.

Outside of a spy novel plot, what has happened thus far in the 2016 American presidential campaign seems pretty fantastical. It all started off normally enough. On Friday, Mrs. Clinton successfully introduced her running mate Tim Kaine to the rest of the country at the Democratic ticket’s rally in Miami, Florida. Then, while that was happening, WikiLeaks dumped thousands of emails from the DNC’s servers — particularly from DNC leaders Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Amy Dacey and Brad Marshall — which showed the DNC may have colluded with the Clinton campaign against the Sanders campaign.

Although the content of the emails were individual, personal exchanges and suggestions by DNC leadership on how the Clinton campaign could use Sanders’ atheism as a means to stem the Sanders campaign’s insurgency, those suggestions were not used by the Clinton campaign. What the leak did do successfully was to throw the proverbial turd in the punch bowl of the Democratic National Convention. Its timing was perfect, ripping off the scabs from the wounds of die-hard Sanders supporters and delegates who felt cheated by Sanders’ loss in the primaries, thereby creating a contentious Day 1 for the Clinton-Kaine celebration.

But then the story gets even weirder. Over the weekend, the Clinton campaign accused Russia of tampering with American politics, citing that Russians hacked DNC email servers to benefit Donald Trump. The FBI, for their part, believe the same.

For those new to this storyline, the Putin-Trump connection started emerging long before this DNC email hack was reported by the press. Josh Marshall’s article in Talking Points Memo, the Washington Post, and Slate all cover Trump’s Putin connection and its relevance to the campaign, which in a nutshell is this: On the campaign trail, Trump has called for a new partnership with Moscow and overhauling NATO, the allied military force seen as the chief protector of pro-Western nations near Russia. And Trump has surrounded himself with a team of advisers who have or have had financial ties to Russia.

That advisory team includes Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort, partner in the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelley, which is featured in the Center for Public Integrity’s Report, The Torturers’ Lobby.  Manafort is a long-time friend and ally of Viktor Yanukovych, former President of Ukraine (elected 2010), who was sympathetic to Russia’s agenda for the region. He was deposed in 2014. Yanukovych now lives in southern Russia under protection of a Russian citizenship granted him by Putin.

With the exception of Deutsche Bank, major banks in the West refuse to do business with Trump. The risk is too great due to his unscrupulous business practices. Trump is a long-time admirer of Vladimir Putin, and Putin’s Russian oligarchic supporters provide capital for Trump’s projects here and abroad.


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The Trump campaign’s gutting of the Republican Party’s platform against Russian tactics in Ukraine indicate how and why he would like the US to change the way we view Russian interests in the region. It supports his financial interests.

Given late June’s Brexit vote, and the failed Turkish coup against Erdogan — another strong Putin fan — acting on behalf of Putin’s interests may serve to completely destabilize an already fragile Europe and NATO. And neither Trump nor Putin gives a shit. They’re bros.

But this week is about the Democrats. As of yesterday, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla) has resigned from her post as Chair of the DNC. At this morning’s Florida state delegation’s breakfast she was roundly booed. She will not be speaking first to gavel the convention to begin. Donna Brazile will act as temporary Chair for the DNC and the campaign. Senator Sanders will formally endorse Secretary Clinton, though he was booed by his own supporters today when urging their support of her.

This is just Day One of the Democratic National Convention. Four days after the Republican National Convention and we haven’t even begun with the speeches. Who knows what’s going to happen next? It all feels like worlds are colliding, and indeed they are. We are connected by global finance and interests and, in this election year, it shows itself in every way imaginable from the “R” to the “D” side. It may be a case of picking your poison. But maybe one we can recover from; choose the other one, and the world may not.

So there is no real, big flaming bag of dog poop on my front porch at least. But who knows what will happen this week? Well, let me take that back. At least we will know one thing by the end of the evening: Michelle Obama will be the first First Lady ever to have spoken at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions. That’s a positive!

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About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

16 thoughts on “Day One

  1. Barbara Koehler

    I don’t have any problem seeing the fine hand of Eris in all this business of Trump-loves-Russia’s-Putin, do you?

    Once the comedians introduced Paul Simon and the Bridge theme I didn’t have any problem seeing Chiron’s role. From then on it was a great show and the grand fire trine energy (Uranus-Pholus-Mercury) must have carried them all well into the wee hours.

    On to day two!

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author


      CHIRON!!!! — that was it in a nutshell. I tuned in right when Sarah Silverman and Al Franken were there to introduce Paul Simon. I wonder what time did the Chiron aspect happen?

      ERIS!!! – she is a goddess who doesn’t take crap from anyone. And Michelle and Elizabeth Warren were there to deliver their blows to Trump — Michelle by soft relentless punches to the jaw, and Elizabeth’s massive blows to the gut.

      As Eris would say: Just let HER do it!

      1. Barbara Koehler

        Fe, transiting Chiron is in range of aspecting several planets but his lock-step pace with transiting Uranus (always about 30 degrees or so behind Uranus) is doing a number on the retrograde U.S. Sibly chart’s Mercury at 24+ Cancer. While Uranus squares the U.S. Mercury, Chiron trines it. It’s like Uranus chases our nation’s mental “birds” out into the open and then Chiron retrieves them. Transiting Chiron is also trine transiting Asclepius, his protégé in Scorpio, maximizing the healing effect.

        I usually see Eris’ positive effect as exposing the true motivations of people with hidden agendas, but more and more I do believe that women, strong women, are utilizing her from vantage points where they have a wide audience to play to. This makes it safer for those women to expose the truth, something transiting Eris’ companion, transiting Uranus is more than happy to provide cover for. The truth shall set us free; that still holds true doesn’t it?

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author


      It is totally NOT off topic. It’s right the fuck on!

      She is marvelous! I want an energy reading from her! She is so spot on with the massive change since 2012. We are at an oscilloscopic wave with this election, and will continue doing so, riding these waves for awhile with all the personal planets activating and energizing. Its going to be an interesting ride on this planet these next few years.

  2. Len Wallick

    Fe: Thank you for hitting this proverbial home run for the rest of us in the Planet Waves community to cheer. Michelle Obama’s was not the only triumph yesterday. Yours as well.

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author


      Thank you! When it comes to group endeavors here at PW, it feels like we’re really tuning in to the stars.

      Saturn on my MC, and Merc 29-30 Aqu. Paris in October. We’ll need to talk soon. (its all good!)

  3. Geoff Marsh

    Excellent reporting, Fe. I haven’t had this sort of political adrenaline-rush since the ’60s.

    Whatever happens, don’t give up the fight. What lost it for Britain and Brexit was the vague assumption that we couldn’t lose.

    Trumputin is a world catastrophe waiting to happen. The fascist Faragistas and their Brexiteers are already on board with that one.

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author


      Mr. Twain’s “Truth is stranger than fiction” completely applies.

      But — the Russians???

      I heard a hilarious interview post DNC Convention with the writers for the HBO show – “Veep” — which is a fabulous satire on US politics — written by liberals. No one is safe with them. Anyway when asked about Trump’s real ties to the Russians, they said, “it sounds like an arch-villain plot line from a ‘Scooby-Doo!” cartoon.

      So far, you just can’t make up stuff about this election that’s weirder than reality!

  4. Fe Bongolan Post author

    This is bigger than Jesus Christo in a taco bowl. Here we go (excerpt from Motherboard Vice):

    Nearly two months earlier, in April, the Democrats had noticed that something was wrong in their networks. Then, in early May, the DNC called in CrowdStrike, a security firm that specializes in countering advanced network threats. After deploying their tools on the DNC’s machines, and after about two hours of work, CrowdStrike found “two sophisticated adversaries” on the Committee’s network. The two groups were well-known in the security industry as “APT 28” and “APT 29.” APT stands for Advanced Persistent Threat—usually jargon for spies.

    CrowdStrike linked both groups to “the Russian government’s powerful and highly capable intelligence services.” APT 29, suspected to be the FSB, had been on the DNC’s network since at least summer 2015. APT 28, identified as Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU, had breached the Democrats only in April 2016, and probably tipped off the investigation. CrowdStrike found no evidence of collaboration between the two intelligence agencies inside the DNC’s networks, “or even an awareness of one by the other,” the firm wrote.

    This was big. Democratic political operatives suspected that not one but two teams of Putin’s spies were trying to help Trump and harm Clinton. The Trump campaign, after all, was getting friendly with Russia. The Democrats decided to go public.

    Digitally exfiltrating and then publishing possibly manipulated documents disguised as freewheeling hacktivism is crossing a big red line and setting a dangerous precedent

    The DNC knew that this wild claim would have to be backed up by solid evidence. A Post story wouldn’t provide enough detail, so CrowdStrike had prepared a technical report to go online later that morning. The security firm carefully outlined some of the allegedly “superb” tradecraft of both intrusions: the Russian software implants were stealthy, they could sense locally-installed virus scanners and other defenses, the tools were customizable through encrypted configuration files, they were persistent, and the intruders used an elaborate command-and-control infrastructure. So the security firm claimed to have outed two intelligence operations.

    Then, the next day, the story exploded.

    Full article here.

  5. Amanda Painter

    And now Trump is publicly saying he hoped that Russia hacked Clinton’s emails (from the NYT):

    “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras. “I think you will probably be mightily rewarded by our press.”

    …and prosecutors on Wednesday dropped all remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers awaiting trial in the death of Freddie Gray

    The shit just keeps piling on, doesn’t it? Where’s the really big cosmic fan, and which way is it pointed?

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author


      Trump is doubling down. Its a tactic. I want to see what kind of briefing the CIA gives him as well as Clinton, which is SOP for the Presidential nominees, post-convention.

      The security level of the information shared is up to the POTUS. I truly hope Obama plants a macguffin in the Orange One’s head to fuck him up. Black Ops can be quite, well — clever. Maybe Mr. Putin sees him as damaged goods, even as a tool. But his oligarchic friends have much to lose if Trump is neutralized.

      (Wow — even this speculation reads like a Cliff Notes Tom Clancy!)

      On another note, as I was leaving my gym this morning, I noticed a guy mesmerized by Trump on CNN, the image and the closed-captioning riveting him to the tv. I remembered what we have been talking about here at PW and what I have learned listening to others about the impact of the messages from Trump’s campaign, which is a study in media vampirism.

      The two parties may be after the soul of this nation. But we are struggling to find our own souls in this battle. The degree of fear projected on us is toxic — radioactive. It is also addictive. It triggers intense feelings of fear and anger, which triggers depression and powerlessness. And its that powerless void that “Strong Men” want to fill.

      Because negative stimulus enlivens the survival part of the brain that thrives on it, it gives people who don’t have means to express what they feel a chance to at least feel something. Its the very definition and substance of crack cocaine.

      Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. But looking at that guy watching the tv like the little girl in “Poltergeist”, I found myself thinking “Caroline — don’t look at the light, baby! Listen to my voice! Come follow my voice!”

      Putting it in terms personal to me, in the Medea Project we use the term “Saving Our Own Lives” — symbolizing a means to not rely on another man to come and protect you, or another hero to save your day. We are our own heroes, lifting each other up. We fill our own voids with living our lives, being in community, and supporting each other — the women, men and children in all our lives.

      Keep on keeping on, Planet Waves community. Even as pieces of our world are falling away, we are always creating!! Go on, then!

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