Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

How can POTUS sustain his presidency?

It’s getting worse for the Donald Trump administration, if that is possible.

Just in the past week Americans have been told:

  • That the FBI launched an investigation into questions about whether the president is acting as an “agent” for the Kremlin, which is where the Russian government calls the shots. Why in the world would the FBI look into such a thing if it didn’t have “probable cause” to suspect something was terribly wrong?
  • On top of that we now hear just in the past couple of days that the president seized the records of the translator who was present in the room when Trump met with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. The meeting produced that astonishing kowtowing by the president who disparaged U.S. intelligence findings that Russia attacked our electoral process in 2016. Trump said Putin told him the Russians didn’t do it and Trump believed the Russian spymaster/killer’s denial over the intelligence analysis of our agencies.

Trump also has reportedly kept his senior advisers in the dark about what transpired in that one-on-one meeting with Putin.

How in the name of national integrity does the administration sustain itself in light of all this?

While all this unfolds before us, special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly is finishing up his exhaustive investigation into the president, his possible relationship with Putin and the Russian government.

Please, Mr. Special Counsel, finish your work and present it to us. Many millions of Americans want to know what in the world is going on with our president.

We are entering dangerous new territory

Ladies and gents, boys and girls, we have entered a sort of Twilight Zone of American politics.

No one alive today can remember when the FBI opened an investigation into whether the president of the United States was acting as an agent for a foreign hostile power.

Until now. Allegedly.

The New York Times has reported that the FBI launched such a probe after Donald Trump fired James Comey from his post as FBI director. This is uncharted territory, even for a president who has launched many forays into heretofore unwalked paths.

This is, shall we say, dangerous and frightening in the extreme.

The NY Times reports that the FBI was concerned about Trump’s possible Russia connections even before he fired Comey. Indeed, as a Republican presidential candidate, Trump goaded the Russians into looking for those missing e-mails from Hillary Rodham Clinton, the president’s opponent in 2016. Then the president fired Comey in May 2017 and told NBC News anchor Lester Holt that he fired the FBI boss because of “the Russia thing.”

There now appears to be even more fodder — if you can believe it — for special counsel Robert Mueller to examine possible conspiracy to obstruct justice allegations against the president.

As is his custom, Trump fired off about a dozen Twitter messages this morning condemning what he continues to call “the failing New York Times” and “Lyin’ James Comey,” who he described as a “total sleaze” and a “disgrace.”

Comey is not a sleaze. Mueller is not engaging in a “witch hunt.” Trump himself is acting more like a desperate man looking for political cover.

Count me as one American who wants the Mueller probe to end soon and for him to lay all the facts on the table. Millions of Americans’ inquiring minds want to know the truth about their president.

Something tells me it won’t be pretty.

Trump parrots Kremlin line on Afghanistan

It’s impossible to believe that Donald Trump has said anything that, by itself, would doom his presidency. He has said so much, so often and with such idiocy that he should have been shown the door long ago.

Get a load, though, of what blurted from his pie hole during a 90-minute press availability in the Cabinet Room. He said the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 because “terrorists” were entering the USSR and that the Soviets were justified in responding as they did in invading the neighboring nation.

It’s been said already by others, but I’ll reiterate it here: The only other place where that fiction has been told has been in the Kremlin, where the Russian government is headquartered. No one else on Earth has ever said out loud and in public that terrorist incursions were the reason that the USSR invaded Afghanistan and fought the Afghans for a decade.

Which begs the question: What in the name of revisionist history is the president doing here? Some have suggested he is speaking the Russian line because he actually believes it, that the Russians have penetrated his skull with propaganda that no one else actually believes. Others suggest that Donald Trump, whose astonishing ignorance takes our breath away, simply doesn’t know what he’s saying, but that he is in love with the sound of his own voice.

The Wall Street Journal, with its right-leaning editorial page, has skewered the president with an editorial today. It said, “We cannot recall a more absurd misstatement of history by an American president.” Just think: The WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a friend and ally of Trump who also owns the president’s favorite cable TV network, Fox News.

I do not know what prompted Trump’s utterly ridiculous assertion. The best case is that it is the product of blind ignorance. The worst case is that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has something on the president, that Trump is now officially frightened to the point of reciting Russian propaganda regarding one of the signature episodes of the Cold War.

Whatever the case, for the president of the United States to so egregiously mischaracterize one of the world’s darkest moments is frightening on its face.

Donald Trump is unfit to occupy his high and exalted office.

Trump ‘leadership’ takes a huge hit

Donald J. Trump has spared little effort in disparaging the leadership of his immediate presidential predecessors.

He actually has praised dictators such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un as being “strong leaders” who govern with iron fists while denigrating the leadership of our own president at the time, Barack Obama.

So . . . how did the current president “lead” as it regarded the government shutdown?

He agreed with a Senate deal that he assured leaders he would sign, even though it didn’t contain money for “The Wall” he wants to build along our southern border.

Then right wing blowhards such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter blast him for “caving” to Democrats and sensible Republicans; they want the wall built, period! They made their displeasure known to Trump.

The president then caved to them! He reversed course! He took back his pledge to sign the bill. Then he blamed Democrats for failing to achieve a compromise.

Is that how we define leadership? Is that the mark of a strong leader? Is that how a committed statesman governs?

Donald Trump has demonstrated jaw-dropping weakness. In the face of political pressure, he kowtows to a radical right wing radio blabbermouth and a right wing commentator known for her intemperate utterances about anyone with whom she disagrees.

Take a look at how two PBS commentators, liberal columnist Mark Shields and conservative columnist Michael Gerson, characterize the president’s behavior this week:

Oh, and then we have the James Mattis resignation as secretary of defense as well.

Are you frightened yet? If so, you are part of a growing number of Americans.

Trump talks to Putin? Big deal; just no press conferences

The White House has confirmed that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin talked to each other at the G20 conference in Buenos Aires.

In keeping with my pledge to go soft on the president and Putin for the time being, I’ll merely say: So what? Big f****** deal, man!

Trump and Putin were two of the many world leaders who gathered to talk to each other about a whole host of issues. Trump had canceled the one-on-one meeting with Putin ostensibly over the Russians’ aggression in the Black Sea against Ukrainian navy ships. There well might be some domestic concerns coming into play. Whatever.

That the U.S. president and the Russian president talked to each other doesn’t necessarily portend another embarrassment for Donald Trump, as did the Helsinki summit the men conducted.

At least they won’t appear together in a press conference.

It took a Russia-Ukraine confrontation to cancel a meeting . . . good!

Donald J. Trump has made precisely the right call in canceling a planned meeting in Argentina with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin.

It wasn’t the Russian attack on our electoral system in 2016 that produced the abrupt cancellation. Nor was it Russia’s alliance with Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad in his civil war with insurgents.

The cancellation comes after Russian ships collided with Ukrainian ships and took Ukrainian sailors captive in the Black Sea. The president said the aggression cannot stand.

He had planned to meet with Putin one-on-one during the G20 meeting in Argentina. That’s now off.

I won’t speculate on the impact of all the other “Russia things” that might be hanging over the heads of both men. Nor will I wonder whether the president didn’t want to risk a repeat of that hideous summit in Helsinki where Trump sided with Putin’s denials on Russian interference in our elections, dismissing the findings of the U.S. intelligence community that, yes, they most certainly did interfere.

I’ll simply say the president need not meet with Vladimir Putin until the Russian strongman makes amends for his latest act of aggression. Accordingly, Donald Trump made the right decision.

A Thanksgiving plea to POTUS

I want to direct this next blog post to the president of the United States. He likely won’t see it, given that he has several million Twitter followers. But … here’s hoping for the best.

Mr. President, I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Really, I do wish it for you and your family. But please, sir, I have a request: Do not do anything stupid, foolish, outrageous, insulting, moronic, idiotic or distasteful on this day … at least! It’s too much to ask that you refrain from such idiocy beyond this uniquely American holiday.

Enjoy your time at Mar-a-Lago. Surround yourself with friends. Give thanks for all that you have. I’m sure you’ve got some nice digs there.

Give thanks if you want to Vladimir Putin for all he sought to do to help you win the 2016 election. Give thanks also to your new BFF, Kim Jong Un, the guy with whom said you are in love. You are entitled to give thanks to Saudi prince Mohammad bin Salman (I will not refer to him as “MBS”) for buying all those jet fighters — even though he ordered the murder of that journalist in Istanbul.

Just don’t make any goofy policy pronouncements today via Twitter, Mr. President. I want to enjoy the day here in North Texas with my family and I do not want to get my blood boiling over some stupid remark from your Twitter account.

Tomorrow’s another day. I am sure you will provide millions of us with grist to either condemn or praise. Count me as one who’s likely to be in the former category.

Until then, sir … again, happy Thanksgiving.

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?