Trump and Putin Sitting in a Tree

tppu

Trump and Putin sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love [money], then comes marriage [taking down NATO], then comes baby in a baby carriage [Russia taking the Baltic States].

Donald Trump is now the official nominee of the Republican party in the United States. In the past year, there have been disturbing hints of unusually close ties between the Trump family and the Russian government.

Over the last year there has been a recurrent refrain about the seeming bromance between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. More seriously, but relatedly, many believe Trump is an admirer and would-be emulator of Putin’s increasingly autocratic and illiberal rule. But there’s quite a bit more to the story. At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties. There is also something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of evidence suggesting Putin-backed financial support for Trump or a non-tacit alliance between the two men.

Now that Donald Trump is the official Republican party nominee, he and his campaign will be getting highly classified national security briefings. I guess its from the CIA, to Donald, to Manafort, to Trumps Russian investors, to Putin. Could Manafort even get any clearance at all? He’s worked for various dictators as well as the Pakistani Intelligence Services who have close ties to Al Qaeda. Paul Manafort may not want to get those briefings because having the clearance means he could get prison time if he fucks up and shares information.

The aides were rushed through an intense security-clearance process, and while the Trump campaign didn’t respond to an inquiry about which aide would join Trump in the briefings, people familiar with the process said it is difficult to imagine Manafort clearing such a process.

“Ties to Russia and the Kremlin would without question be a matter of concern. He’d have to explain in far more detail what the contact has been. That will have to be fleshed out in far more detail,” said Moss. “It would be difficult — but not impossible — to imagine security clearing him.”

A former Republican national security official put it more bluntly: “He’s an intelligence classification vetting nightmare scenario.”

And last week, during the run up to the Republican convention, the only time Trump’s campaign expressed any interest in international events was to strip out any support for an independent Ukraine.

Still, Republican delegates at last week’s national security committee platform meeting in Cleveland were surprised when the Trump campaign orchestrated a set of events to make sure that the GOP would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.

Inside the meeting, Diana Denman, a platform committee member from Texas who was a Ted Cruz supporter, proposed a platform amendment that would call for maintaining or increasing sanctions against Russia, increasing aid for Ukraine and “providing lethal defensive weapons” to the Ukrainian military.

“Today, the post-Cold War ideal of a ‘Europe whole and free’ is being severely tested by Russia’s ongoing military aggression in Ukraine,” the amendment read. “The Ukrainian people deserve our admiration and support in their struggle.”

Trump staffers in the room, who are not delegates but are there to oversee the process, intervened. By working with pro-Trump delegates, they were able to get the issue tabled while they devised a method to roll back the language.

On the sideline, Denman tried to persuade the Trump staffers not to change the language, but failed. “I was troubled when they put aside my amendment and then watered it down,” Denman told me. “I said, ‘What is your problem with a country that wants to remain free?’ It seems like a simple thing.”

Finally, Trump staffers wrote an amendment to Denman’s amendment that stripped out the platform’s call for “providing lethal defensive weapons” and replaced it with softer language calling for “appropriate assistance.”

Apparently Trump’s own party is outraged about Trumps remarks about not supporting our NATO allies.

Republicans are already reacting with outrage. “Totally insane,” is how former ambassador Eric Edelman describes the remarks. “He says he has been advised by Secretaries Baker and Kissinger but I find it hard to imagine that they would have recommended the things that he said in his New York Times interview. It would be totally contrary to everything they have written and the manner in which they conducted themselves in office.” He continued, “His comments have already undermined U.S. alliances, emboldened Russian revanchists, degraded our extended nuclear deterrent, threatened multiple trade wars that would beggar the international economy and destroy American prosperity.” Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute tells Right Turn, “Donald Trump is apparently the bastard stepchild of Charles Lindbergh and Barack Obama, at once embarrassed by American values and leadership, contemptuous of loyalty unless it’s to him, strangely drawn to dictators and utterly ignorant of history.” She added, “If this guy led another country, we’d be considering sanctions and fretting about his political enemies languishing in prison.”

When this story finally starts making more traction in the news, what will happen to the Republican’s Siberian candidate?

At some level, Mr. Trump’s motives shouldn’t matter. We should be horrified at the spectacle of a major-party candidate casually suggesting that he might abandon American allies — just as we should be horrified when that same candidate suggests that he might welsh on American financial obligations. But there’s something very strange and disturbing going on here, and it should not be ignored.

And the right is also getting worried about Trump’s Russian connections of Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn.

Honest and patriotic Republicans who support Trump, or are tempted to do so, should review some of the publicly available evidence. Trump’s business seems to be heavily dependent on Russian investment. His top campaign advisor, Paul Manafort, was the advisor to the Putin-backed stooge Viktor Yanukovich, and has deep ties to the Putin apparat. One of Trump’s national security advisors, retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, was paid to give a speech at a Russian propaganda celebration and was seated next to Putin. Trump’s Russia advisor Carter Page, who does much of his business with Russian companies, has argued, among other things, that “a few officials in Washington” annexed Ukraine and that the “so-called annexation” of Crimea by Russia was a rational response to this injustice.

I sincerely hope that the Republican party rethinks its current selection of the Donald Trump as its nominee. As a left leaning independent, I’m horrified that a major national political party did so little vetting on its nominee.

Making America Safe Again

This election has gone off the rails. Today on Raw Story, I saw the following news items:

  1. http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/see-the-face-of-american-fascism-decoding-sheriff-joe-arpaios-anti-bestiality-video/ Sheriff Joe Arpaio actually makes a video imploring people not to have sex with their animals. Who knew this was a problem in Arizona? I think the man is getting senile.
  2. http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/oklahoma-lawmakers-call-state-of-emergency-to-stop-trans-kids-from-using-the-restroom/ A State of Emergency? Really? Over a couple of kids?
  3. http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/not-crazy-kansas-anti-abortion-group-demands-lawmakers-oppose-mythical-human-animal-hybrids/ Words fail me on this one. Some morons are in desperate need of a science class.
  4. http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/federally-funded-transphobic-christian-school-demands-to-see-birth-certificates-to-weed-out-kids/ Wow, and I thought Jesus’s message was one of loving everyone and not judging people. I guess not according to these people.

Here are some quotes from the above stories to illustrate how delusional these people are:

Here he denounces America’s latest nightmare – not migrants, not even Muslims, but zoophiles. Arpaio is leading a campaign against bestiality, dedicating resources to rounding up people who abuse animals. In this video he presents it with the grimmest severity as a national crisis that he alone has the courage to face. He seems gripped by Jesuitical fury. This is a campaign for the national soul. Arpaio wrings his white hands repeatedly, kneads and unkneads his fingers, as he denounces dog abusers with all the dramatic intensity of senator Joe McCarthy going after communists.

and

“It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby
declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval,” Senate Bill 1619 stated in part.

The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Brian Bingman and state House Speaker Jeff Hickman, restricts students around the state from using restrooms according to their gender identity, in direct opposition to the White House’s stance, announced earlier this month in response to similar legislation in North Carolina.

“This directive to schools is not only unlawful, but the breadth of overreach in this instance by the Obama Administration is shocking,” said state Rep. John Bennett (R). Bennett co-sponsored a concurrent resolution calling for the federal House of Representatives to impeach President Barack Obama regarding the issue.

and

“If we cannot legally refuse students who are struggling with homosexuality or gender identification, we must maintain our right to hold to the truths of God’s Word,” Breitkreutz wrote in the letter obtained by the New Republic. “In other words, although we do not have the right to refuse admittance to people choosing an outwardly sinful lifestyle, we do maintain the right to discipline and dismiss students for these choices.”

and

Kansans for Life has given candidates questionnaires asking where they stand on human cloning and on the creation of human-animal hybrids.

“Am I aware of it happening [in Kansas]? At this moment, no,” Kathy Ostrowski, the group’s legislative director told the Star. “But does that mean it’s not happening somewhere? I can’t tell you that.”

The group also asked candidates whether they would support legislation requiring invasive information from women seeking abortions, including “economic, educational and health history profiles and other relevant information, such as the stated reason for the abortion, from women obtaining abortions,” and also the collection of information about “fertility procedures, including the number of embryos created, implanted, destroyed, selectively reduced and retained.”

The conservative Christians have completely given in to their inner delusional fears on their quest to make America into some sort of gigantic safe space for their fantasies of racial, sexual, and political purity. I dread what this country would turn into if their desires were made into law. They make the Handmaid’s Tale and the medieval witchhunts look like a day at the spa. As a political progressive, I really hope that these idiots permanently tarnish the image of conservatism for many years in the future.

Ted and The Dildo

teddie

In 2008, Ted Cruz tried to ban the sale of sex toys in Texas. This was his rationale:

“There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.” – Ted Cruz

How the hell could you enforce this kind of law? Force everyone to be chemically castrated and have to apply for permission from the government to in order to have sexual feelings? What a nutcase.

Trump, Nazi-Enabler

UPDATE (3/2/16):

Until today, I was using the term Nazi Enabler in a rhetorical manner, but not now. Here is a video of actual neo-nazis roughing up a black woman at a Trump rally.

The hat-wearing Trump supporter appears to be white nationalist Matthew Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, according to other protesters who spoke with the New York Daily News.

Matthew Heimbach was fired as a child welfare case worker in Illinois, according to Hatewatch.

“Matthew Heimbach was employed with DCS from Jan. 11 to Jan. 28, 2016, as a family case manager trainee,” Hungate said in a brief email response. “His probationary working test was terminated on Jan. 28.

When pressed, the agency spokeswoman said Heimbach “was dismissed for his behavior at work.”

“His behavior in training was disruptive of the workplace, incompatible with public service, and not protected speech. For example, what I’ve been told is that, while in training, his response to a question suggested violence against a client,” Hungate told Hatewatch.

And finally, Donald’s son is being interviewed by a white supremacist show, The Political Cesspool.

As Edwards broadcast his show live from the Trump rally on Saturday, he and his co-hosts praised the real estate developer for building support among a broad swath of white people. Edwards compared Trump’s coalition-building to the efforts of the hated Republican elites, whose, “way of growing the party is to let every minority in and pander to them and sell out the traditional base of the Republican party, which is white people.”

Edwards said he and his co-hosts have attended three different Trump rallies in recent months: One in Illinois, one in Arkansas, and the rally in Memphis. With press credentials from Trump, the white supremacists feel “every bit as legit” as members of the traditional media, he added.


I have a friend, who was supporting Donal Trump for president, until this weekend that is. Earlier he had asked why I was not supporting Trump as his earlier political positions seemed very moderate. I said that I thought he was a Nazi Enabler and a probable supporter of white supremacy based on what has actually come out of his mouth in his earlier statements. Now this weekend he is retweeting Mussolini. He actually retweeted a Gawker bot that would periodically send out fascist quotes attributed to Trump.

Twitter is Trump’s preferred social media platform for direct communication with his followers, haters, and—most importantly—the journalists who obsessively cover his carnival-like presidential campaign. It’s where Trump goes to personally insult his enemies and opponents, but it’s also where he seeks evidence of his greatness, and regularly retweets (in his idiosyncratic style, quoting entire tweets rather than using the network’s built-in retweet tool) praise for himself.

And here is is refusing to disavow the Klan and white supremacy on CNN:

What really interesting about his claim to know nothing of white supracism and the KKK, is that in earlier run for president, he explicitly called out David Duke and the Klan as something he would not support. He most certainly knows the Klan as his father was a member in the Klan before WW2.

I can’t believe he has this much support. But the Nazis rose to power with about 38% of Germans supporting them. It’s frightening to realize the GOP is about 38% of the American populace. As an Independent, I’m starting to be concerned.

Rubio 3000 Malfunction

During the last Republican debate, the Marco Rubio unit has a series of malfunctions. This particular model has been malfunctioning lately, repeating the same talking points over and over. Take a look at the source code (in the comments to the article in Jezebel). But I think there is an error in the speculation about the source code that runs the Rubio 3000. Looking at the behavior of the unit, this is probably what is actually running:

while(active) {
    if(under_attack) {
       run(focus_shift_protocol)
       run(scripted_answer)
       run(bash_obama)
    }
    else if (questioned) {
       run(scripted_answer)
       run(bash_obama)
    }
    else {
       run(talking_point)
       run(scripted_answer)
       run(bash_obama)
    }
}

See the problem with the source code, the unit keeps repeating the same set of scripted answers and keeps running the same bash_obama routine. Perhaps the scriped_answer and bash_obama functions need a random input to prompt a varied output, instead of the same outputs over and over. Here is a much better version of the subroutine, perhaps the maintenance staff can update the Rubio 3000 with the following:

while(active) {
    random_answer = random()
    random_bash = random()
    if(under_attack) {
       run(focus_shift_protocol)
       run(scripted_answer(random_answer))
       run(bash_obama(random_bash))
    }
    else if (questioned) {
       run(scripted_answer(random_answer))
       run(bash_obama(random_bash))
    }
    else {
       run(talking_point)
       run(scripted_answer(random_answer))
       run(bash_obama(random(bash))
    }
}

See, much better.