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 on: July 18, 2018, 04:44:47 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

 on: July 18, 2018, 04:10:43 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

 on: July 18, 2018, 04:05:59 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post…

This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man

Which Republicans will stand behind a president who puts Russia first?

By GEORGE F. WILL | 2:57PM EDT — Tuesday, July 17, 2018

AMERICA's child president had a play date with a KGB alumnus, who surely enjoyed providing day care. It was a useful, because illuminating, event: Now we shall see how many Republicans retain a capacity for embarrassment.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, a Democrat closely associated with such Democratic national security stalwarts as former senator Henry Jackson and former senator and former vice president Hubert Humphrey, was President Ronald Reagan's ambassador to the United Nations. In her speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, she explained her disaffection from her party: “They always blame America first.” In Helsinki, the president who bandies the phrase “America First” put himself first, as always, and America last, behind President Vladimir Putin's regime.

Because the Democrats had just held their convention in San Francisco, Kirkpatrick branded the “blame America first” cohort as “San Francisco Democrats”. Thirty-four years on, how numerous are the “Helsinki Republicans”?

What, precisely, did President Trump say about the diametrically opposed statements by U.S. intelligence agencies (and the Senate Intelligence Committee) and by Putin concerning Russia and the 2016 U.S. elections? Precision is not part of Trump's repertoire: He speaks English as though it is a second language that he learned from someone who learned English last week. So, it is usually difficult to sift meanings from Trump's word salads. But in Helsinki he was, for him, crystal clear about feeling no allegiance to the intelligence institutions that work at his direction and under leaders he chose.

Speaking of Republicans incapable of blushing — those with the peculiar strength that comes from being incapable of embarrassment — consider Senator Lindsey O. Graham (South Carolina), who for years enjoyed derivative gravitas from his association with Senator John McCain (Arizona). Graham tweeted about Helsinki: “Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.” A “missed opportunity” by a man who had not acknowledged the meddling?

Contrast Graham's mush with this on Monday from McCain, still vinegary: “Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” Or this from Arizona's other senator, Jeff Flake (Republican): “I never thought I would see the day when our American president would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression.” Blame America only.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and others might believe that they must stay in their positions lest there be no adult supervision of the Oval playpen. This is a serious worry, but so is this: Can those people do their jobs for someone who has neither respect nor loyalty for them?

Like the purloined letter in Edgar Allan Poe's short story with that title, collusion with Russia is hiding in plain sight. We shall learn from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation whether in 2016 there was collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign. The world, however, saw in Helsinki something more grave — ongoing collusion between Trump, now in power, and Russia. The collusion is in what Trump says (refusing to back the United States' intelligence agencies) and in what evidently went unsaid (such as: You ought to stop disrupting Ukraine, or downing civilian airliners, or attempting to assassinate people abroad using poisons, and so on, and on).

Americans elected a president who — this is a safe surmise — knew that he had more to fear from making his tax returns public than from keeping them secret. The most innocent inference is that for decades he has depended on an American weakness, susceptibility to the tacky charisma of wealth, which would evaporate when his tax returns revealed that he has always lied about his wealth, too. A more ominous explanation might be that his redundantly demonstrated incompetence as a businessman tumbled him into unsavory financial dependencies on Russians. A still more sinister explanation might be that the Russians have something else, something worse, to keep him compliant.

The explanation is in doubt; what needs to be explained — his compliance — is not. Granted, Trump has a weak man's banal fascination with strong men whose disdain for him is evidently unimaginable to him. And, yes, he only perfunctorily pretends to have priorities beyond personal aggrandizement. But just as astronomers inferred, from anomalies in the orbits of the planet Uranus, the existence of Neptune before actually seeing it, Mueller might infer, and then find, still-hidden sources of the behavior of this sad, embarrassing wreck of a man.


George F. Will writes a twice-weekly column on politics and domestic and foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He began his column with The Post in 1974, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977. He is also a regular contributor to MSNBC and NBC News. His books include: One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation (2008), Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and the Recovery of Deliberative Democracy (1992), Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball (1989), The New Season: A Spectator's Guide to the 1988 Election (1987) and Statecraft as Soulcraft (1983). Will grew up in Champaign, Illinois, attended Trinity College and Oxford University and received a PhD from Princeton.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump says he accepts U.S. intelligence and misspoke in Helsinki

 • VIDEO: Opinion | If Putin wanted a U.S. president to do his bidding, it would look exactly like this

 • Kathleen Parker: It's time to excise the Trump cancer

 • Molly Roberts: The Trump baby blimp is wonderfully obvious


 on: July 18, 2018, 03:51:42 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

 on: July 18, 2018, 02:54:37 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

 on: July 18, 2018, 12:57:37 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

TROPHIES - Rod Emmerson

 on: July 18, 2018, 10:05:16 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post…

The growing Trump-Putin kompromat question

Two Democratic senators are now talking openly about it,
and Trump and Putin are offering a similar denial.

By AARON BLAKE | 8:39AM EDT — Tuesday, July 17, 2018

THERE WAS a time there when the Steele dossier's alleged, lewd tape of Donald Trump in a Moscow hotel room was Something We Didn't Talk About. Then James B. Comey made it not-so-taboo.

Now the broader idea that Russia has compromising information, or kompromat, on Trump has moved even more to the forefront. And it's all thanks to Trump's decision to hold a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin — and then practically bow to him.

The thing about Trump's posture toward Putin isn't just that it's highly controversial and questionable given Russia's 2016 election interference; it's also totally counter to Trump's brand. This is the guy who wrote the “Art of the Deal” and, just days before his meeting with Putin, was wrecking shop at a NATO summit in hopes of getting fellow members to kick in more for the common defense.

Even as he has oscillated from being extremely tough on and extremely friendly toward North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump has almost always been deferential to Putin. And that was certainly the case on Monday.

By the end of the day, both Trump and Putin had been asked about the idea that Russia may be blackmailing Trump (Putin addressed it twice, in fact), and two Democratic senators, including Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York), had suggested Putin had something on Trump. Once wary of looking too conspiratorial, they just went for it.

“Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous and inexplicable behavior is the possibility — the very real possibility — that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Senator Jeff Merkley (Democrat-Oregon) went even further, saying it was “likely” that Russia had something on Trump.

“I think it's likely,” Merkley told BuzzFeed News. He added: “It's the standard strategy of Russia when people visit there who are important, to try to get compromising information on them, to set them up with hookers, to tape everything that goes on in their room. So it's likely that they have that.”

Yep, a United States senator is now talking openly about a United States president having been blackmailed using, in his own words, “hookers”. Charlie Dent, the recently retired Republican congressman, also voiced his suspicion about it on Tuesday morning on CNN.

Putin and Trump, for their parts, offered similar talking points to rebut the idea that Putin is pulling Trump's strings. After not appearing to totally deny that he had something on Trump during their news conference, Putin offered a flatter denial to Fox News's Chris Wallace, saying Trump was of no interest to him given he hadn't launched his political career when he was in Moscow in 2013.

“We don't have anything on them, and there can't be anything on them. I don't want to insult President Trump when I say this — and I may come [off] as rude — but before he announced that he will run for presidency, he was of no interest for us,” Putin said, according to Fox's translation. “He was a rich person but, well, there's plenty of rich persons in the United States. He was in the construction business. He organized the beauty pageants.”

“It sounds like it's utter nonsense.”

Trump echoed that in an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity.

“I guess he said as strongly as you can say it, ‘They have no information on Trump’,” Trump said, yet again apparently taking a former KGB officer at his word. “It was an interesting statement, too. You know, many years ago when I was there — what was it, '13 — a long time ago, he said there were many, many business people there. In all fairness, I was a very successful businessman, but I was one of a lot of people. And one thing you know if they had it, it would have been out. And so, he said it's nonsense.”

Exactly why Trump acts this way toward Putin is anybody's guess. One possible reason is that he truly admires the strongman and wants to be his friend. Another is that this is all a troll — a massive, obstinate overreaction to the narrative that Russia interfered in the election (and maybe elected Trump). Trump is known to do pretty much the opposite of what everyone urges him to do, and pretty much everyone, including his own party, has urged him to get tough on Putin.

But this is also a topic that Trump, according to Comey, hates. Comey said Trump asked him to investigate and disprove the lewd tape allegation. Comey wrote that it “bothered him if there was ‘even a 1 percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true.”

If Trump truly wanted to combat this story line, it would seem rather easy. Instead, he insists upon holding a private, two-hour meeting with Putin and repeatedly declining to press him on the 2016 election. Then he practically defends Putin in public, with the whole world watching.

It's becoming a topic that's more difficult to ignore. And even if Putin actually has nothing on Trump, it completely plays into his goal of destabilizing the United States and the West. The more chatter there is about an American president being compromised, the better for him.


Aaron Blake is senior political reporter for The Fix at The Washington Post. A Minnesota native, he has also written about politics for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Hill newspaper.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump appears to wink at Putin during summit

 • VIDEO: What is ‘kompromat’?

 • Trump says he accepts U.S. intelligence on Russian interference in 2016 election but denies collusion

 • In battle for nonverbal dominance at U.S.-Russia summit, Putin was the clear winner, experts say

 • The truth about Trump and Russia that Republicans cannot say out loud


 on: July 18, 2018, 09:56:05 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post…

(click on the animated cartoon to reveal the source)

 on: July 18, 2018, 09:07:58 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

Hahaha.....the stupid Trump-supporting fuckwit from Woodville just had another brain fart.

 on: July 18, 2018, 03:34:27 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
yes war would be better lol

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