Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Hey, didn’t we win the Cold War?

I always thought the United States and its allies won the Cold War, that we forced the Soviet Union to spend beyond its means on a military machine, bankrupting the country.

The USSR collapsed under its own weight. The Reagan administration sought prior to its demise to negotiate a deal to limit the production of nuclear weapons.

Four presidents came and went, the treaty was kept in place. The United States and Russia whittled their respective nuclear arsenals.

Now comes Donald Trump to assert that the Russians haven’t been faithful to the treaty. So he’s going to trash it. Then he announces a proposed buildup of nuclear weapons. The Russians counter with a threat to rebuild their own nuclear arsenal in response to the U.S. threat.

“Russia has violated the agreement,” Trump said. So he’s taking action.

It’s a dangerous course upon which the president is embarking. Instead of deploying diplomats and weapons inspectors to determine the extent to which Russia “violated” any agreement, Trump wants to flex our nation’s military muscles.

I know this seems to piddle all over the notion that the president is somehow beholden to Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin. To the extent that he’s holding Russia accountable for its actions in this context, I applaud the president’s rhetorical aggressiveness; if only he would use the same approach to dealing with Russian attack on our 2016 presidential election.

But are we now going to restart the arms race that produced a policy called Mutually Assured Destruction?

It’s simply a MAD course to follow.

Grist for propagandists …

Take a good look at this picture. I don’t know who these fellows are. I only know that they’re wearing clothing that can be used as grist for propagandists.

The shirt says “I’d rather be Russian than a Democrat.”

Funny, huh?

Do you think Vladimir Putin, sitting in his Kremlin office in Moscow, is going to use this shirt as a way of declaring victory in his effort to sow discord, distrust and despair among Americans?

Yes. He undoubtedly is enjoying the sight of guys like these two fellows and the sound of the anger being expressed throughout the United States of America.

Steven Seagal: Renaissance Man

You’ve no doubt heard of Steven Seagal. He’s a martial arts expert who’s done some films that highlight his fighting skill.

Let’s face it. He can’t act his way out of wet paper bag.

He’s now been enlisted by Donald J. Trump’s BFF, Vladimir Putin to — and this is so good — work on improving U.S.-Russia relations.

Wow, man! Isn’t that right in Steven Seagal’s wheelhouse? Actually, um, no. It isn’t.

Seagal is a Russian citizen these days. He appears frequently on Russian state TV to talk about, oh I don’t know, this or that.

Now he’s been tasked with shoring up Russia’s relations with the United States?

I suppose I shouldn’t look askance at this too blatantly. Other entertainment figures have assumed similar roles in the past, although I am hard-pressed to name any of them at this moment.

Still … Steven Seagal?

No, sir, Putin was ‘happy’ you won

Donald J. Trump’s lying is accelerating to a breakneck pace.

Just three weeks after Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin, said he was glad to see Trump win the 2016 presidential election, the president said this at Pennsylvania political rally:

“I’ll tell you what, Russia is very unhappy that Trump won, that I can tell you. But I got along great with Putin.”

Huh? What? Is he, um, delusional?

Yes! He is! Without question.

The president also might be losing his marbles. OK, that’s too harsh. I don’t think he’s losing cognition or that he suffers from dementia.

Trump’s obsession with himself is spiraling out of control. Not that it had that far to go to reach that point in the first place. He has been self-obsessed for decades.

To think he won election in 2016 to the first public office he ever sought. And it just had to be the presidency of the United States of America.

Frightening.

Trump-Putin II postponed, to what end?

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are going to meet a second time — but not until after the first of the year.

The announcement came from national security adviser John Bolton, who — borrowing the president’s favorite epithet describing the examination of the “Russia thing” — said the meeting would occur after the “witch hunt” has concluded.

C’mon, Mr. National Security Adviser. There ain’t a “witch hunt” taking place.

Robert Mueller is proceeding with his probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded in 2016 with the Russians operatives who attacked our electoral system. The special counsel is not the partisan hack he has been accused of being by, um, actual partisan hacks.

The next summit between the U.S. and Russian presidents should proceed. I support the idea of the two leaders talking to each other. They should face each other and they should talk openly and candidly about the issues they have in common and those that separate them. They also should do so publicly to the extent they can.

The problem, though, still rests with that first summit in Helsinki. They went into a closed-door meeting and the world doesn’t yet know what they discussed, where they agreed and what they decided. Then the two leaders had that press conference in which Trump rolled over in front of Putin in that ghastly show of weakness by the so-called “leader of the free world.”

As for the juxtaposition with special counsel Mueller’s investigation, let’s just wait to see what conclusions are drawn once the probe is finished.

We have an extremely fluid situation in front of us. The Mueller probe can end in any number of ways, some of which might bode poorly for the president.

And, oh yes, we have that midterm election coming up.

If at least one congressional chamber flips from Republican to Democratic control, well … let’s just wait to see how that plays out.

Donald Trump: Jokester in Chief

I am laughing out loud. Really! I am!

Donald J. “Jokester in Chief” Trump has put a tweet out that says the following: I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!

Man, that’s a knee-slapper. You know?

Didn’t Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, stand next to Trump in Helsinki and admit to the whole, wide world that he “wanted Trump to win” the 2016 presidential election?

Yeah, he said that. I heard him. So did you

I do have a bit of positive commentary to offer, though. At least the president didn’t fire this Twitter message out with all-capital letters.

Wishing DNI Coats had kept quiet about his reaction

Man, I wish Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats hadn’t issued an apology to Donald J. Trump.

The president reportedly was upset with Coats because of the DNI’s reaction to news that Trump had asked Russian strongman Vladimir Putin to visit Washington in the fall.

Coats, the nation’s top spook — and a valuable member of Trump’s national security team — learned about the invitation while being interviewed on national television.

His reaction was classic. It also was not a reason for him to apologize.

As Politico reported: Trump, according to two outside allies, has grown exasperated with Coats, whom he blindsided Thursday when White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Twitter that the administration was working to bring Putin to Washington this fall. The news landed while Coats was in the middle of a live interview with NBC in Aspen, Colorado.

Coats said he meant no “disrespect” to the president, who reportedly was angry. Good grief, he could have said as much privately in a phone call to the president.

Truth be told, it as Coats who was “disrespected” by the president who failed to consult with one of his chief national security advisers before issuing the invitation to the very man who attacked our nation’s electoral process in 2016.

The shoe, I’m tellin’ ya, was on the other foot.

Coats, though, felt compelled to set the record straight.

I just wish he hadn’t done it. There was no need.

Putin polls better than Trump after Helsinki

I’ve been reading news reports out of Russia that suggest the following: Vladimir Putin’s performance in Helsinki has place far more favorably among his constituents than Donald Trump’s has among his own home folks.

Imagine that. For once, I agree with the Russians.

Putin came to the same summit as Trump that had no clear agenda. The Russians’ penchant for secrecy, though, apparently has played well back home. Thus, the Russian public opinion survey machine — if such a thing actually exists — has determined that Putin’s standing is elevated.

Trump’s standing back here in the United States? Not nearly so good. Indeed, the president has been pounded and pilloried, not just by the so-called “liberal” media, but by many in the conservative media as well. Republican politicians have been taking aim at the president, too, although in somewhat tepid terms.

The president’s base? Those folks — the 38 to 40 percent of Americans who support Trump no matter what — is still all in.

What now?

Just think: The two men are now heading for a second summit in Washington, D.C., later this year.

Are you scared yet? I certainly am.

Still trying to process that bizarre joint appearance

Nearly a week later and that mind-blowing press availability with Donald J. Trump and Vladimir Putin is still the talk of the town.

Or the nation. Maybe the world.

I’m still trying to make sense of it. I’m trying to determine what in the world is rattling around in the president’s noggin. I’m trying to figure out why in the name of bilateral relations he didn’t call Putin out for what damn near everyone on Earth knows he did: the Russian president orchestrated the cyber attack on our electoral system in 2016.

I’m still not ready to say that Trump has broken the law and committed an act of treason for which he could be prosecuted, convicted and given the ultimate sentence … of death.

But damn! As former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates said this week, Trump might be the first president in history who isn’t “all in” with regard to standing up for the United States of America.

I believe she is correct. Trump’s hideous disparaging of our intelligence agencies and his acceptance of Putin’s denial that he attacked our electoral system spoke volumes about the president’s commitment to the nation he governs. It’s not there!

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. As many of us have noted — and I’m one of them — Trump entered the 2016 campaign after never run for any public office of any kind. Public service is a totally foreign concept to this guy. He gauges every move, every decision, every action on its impact on his poll standing, or his “ratings.”

Then we have that Helsinki event. The president who vowed to “get tough” with our adversaries has gotten soft. The president who said he would “make America great again” has made America the world’s laughingstock. The man who vowed to “put America first” has now put our foes first, starting with Russia.

All the while he keeps yapping and yammering about “rigged witch hunts” while getting angry when his Cabinet doesn’t fawn over his every pronouncement.

And he keeps lying.

My head is about to explode.

Come clean on the Trump-Putin meeting

I am not the first person to say this out loud, but I’ll say it anyway.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin need to tell the world what the hell they talked about in that closed-door meeting in Helsinki, Finland. Come clean, Messrs. President. You represent nearly 500 million people between you. The world wants to know.

Republican lawmakers are starting to put a bit of heat on the president. According to The Hill: Congressional Republicans are urging the White House to get ahead of the Kremlin by defining what was and wasn’t agreed to. What was said between the two leaders, they admit, remains a disconcerting mystery.

Not only that, Americans need some clarity on the questions that are gnawing at many of them: What, if anything, does Putin have on Trump? Why won’t the U.S. president seriously condemn the Russian president’s ordering of the attack on our electoral system in 2016? Where will the path to bilateral friendship take the two nations? Did the leaders make any verbal agreements between them? If yes, then what the hell are they?

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., also wonders whether a proposed second Trump-Putin summit is going to implement some mystery agreements.

Then there’s this, also from The Hill: Members of Congress worry that Russia will use the Helsinki summit to undermine U.S. relations with NATO allies, especially with former East bloc and Soviet states that Putin views as within his country’s traditional sphere of influence.

Lots of questions. Lots of mystery. We need some transparency and accountability. Now!