Friday, July 14, 2017

Trump Got Played. And Isn't A Player

Tomorrow's newspaper column:
Opinions may vary. Mine is that Putin played Trump like a balalaika. Example: agreeing to work with Russia to create an “impenetrable cybersecurity unit” is like inviting Mexican drug cartels to build his border wall. (After bipartisan derision, Trump pretended he knew all along it couldn’t happen. Riiight.) 
Worse was denouncing, on foreign soil, our intelligence agencies and free press while claiming “no one knows” who hacked the election. Which never occurred. But is Obama’s fault. Even Trump’s UN ambassador said “everybody knows” it was Russia. (Keep your résumé up to date, Nikki.) Backfilling, she defended Ivanka’s place-taking for daddy, saying she’s part of a “public service family.” I may not understand the term.  
Every involved US intelligence agency and every member of Congressional intelligence committees, Republican and Democrat, agrees that Russia alone was behind the hacking. Virtually all acknowledge its purpose was to help Trump win, and that it was on orders from Putin. Still to be determined is to what extent Trump’s team was in on it, although Don Jr. is stumbling toward implicating everyone, making a tougher sell for Foxolimjonesians insisting it’s fake news. (If there weren’t still people who claim Trump never lies and was an honorable businessman, it’d be an impossible sell.) Besides, who wouldn’t believe denials from a man who ordered hacking and one who benefitted?  
This much is clear: under Trump, there’ll be no consequences for Russian election interference, let alone unequivocal acknowledgement. Time to “move forward,” the men agreed. Because a malign invasion by a foreign adversary is no big deal. Not to Trump, not to his loyalists. Unless the aim had been different. 
It was a lopsided engagement: A novice Secretary of State and a gullible president, neither with diplomatic experience, alone in a room with a seasoned kompromat political operative and a former KGB agent around whom people seem predisposed to become dead, with or without poison or bullets in their systems. Usually there are official note-takers at such meetings. That there were none is a thought-provoking decision, leaving only he-said/he-said versions of the extent to which hacking was discussed and claims of innocence accepted. One assumes, though, that the two known spies among the four will have made records of some sort. To be stashed with the other stuff.  
In fairness (for this columnist is nothing if not fair), a ceasefire in a portion of Syria was implemented, and if it lasts that’s a good thing. Then Rex Tillerson said US and Russian objectives in Syria are “exactly the same” and that maybe the Russians have “the right approach and we’ve got the wrong approach.” Wow.  
Admittedly, US foreign “policy” has been changing at the speed of Twitter; but it’s long been stated that “we” want Assad gone, while Russia continues to prop him up and abet his crimes. We’re left to wonder why he said it, and what Trumpists would have said, had it been John Kerry. With that and Trump’s “fuggedaboudit” attitude toward election interference, Putin got what he wanted, likely including giveaways about which we may never hear. If cooperation with Russia, with its major military and minor economy, is desirable, having easily manipulated amateurs on our side and professional malefactors on theirs bodes worrisome.  
For those who’d dismiss this as left-wing blather, read what the editor of The Weekly Standard, about as right-wing as there is this side of Breitbart, had to say. True conservatives still exist, even as they’re powerless in their own party.  
In terms of economic impact, meeting Putin was a sideshow. The G-20 summit, at and before which Trump handed leadership of the free world to Germany and economic supremacy to China, was the main event. By its end, centuries of respect for the US had all but evaporated. Trumpites who think our past leadership was only about giving money away are unconcerned. But Europe, China, and Japan had forged their own agreements by the time Trump got there; and with the US alone in rejecting the Paris Accords, such self-inflicted isolation will be disastrous, and not just in trade and energy production. In a connected, dangerous world, reputation is currency and incompetence has far-ranging consequences.  
“Make America Great Again.” Turns out it contains a homophone.
[Image source]


Smoothtooperate said...

I think we'll get a clue as to whether we are completely screwed when the Obamacare vote happens. People will have to vote. Anyone who votes to pass the bill is essentially the grim reaper...An army of grim reapers.

I can remember for months, years, that Obama couldn't run on his record. Well, he did it twice and won twice. Obamacare may well be the thing Tpubs can't run on. Obamacare may scare enough people that they'll vote for anyone who wants healthcare for all or refuses to gut Obamacare as is, etc. Saying you are pulling healthcare from millions is now the third rail. Obamacare, the new third

Sidney Schwab said...

Agree. And if they repeal without replacing, they'll be really screwed. I think they know that. Although given how Trumpists rush to support him no matter how obvious his malfeasance, who knows?

Smoothtooperate said...

What gives me assurance is there's enough red teamers to squash any attempt at repeal.

These RINO's have cut taxes and deregulated, giving tax breaks to the wealthiest. Their states economy is in freefall. If they don't get the medicaid money to shuffle around, their entire state is flushed down the toilet due to lack of funds. It's the same thing with FEMA money. Huff and puff "We won't accept FEMA money" say the red teamers. Then they went and got that sweet sweet FEMA money late on a Friday night news dump.

Always keep in mind. We are dealing with Extreme team red (including Russia and China...Apparently is pronounced "Gyna"...I had no idea Thank you Mr. Drumpf! COVFEFE!) They are principled patriots wanting to give the government back to the people. It's only like 32 people, but the government doesn't get our tax dollars! The peoples money is returned to the 3 dozen people.

It's a one track mind. These are principled people. It's all about the money. Change the rules so you are not charged with a crime when you do something that was once, and still should be illegal. Lack of enforcement is usually the first to go. You can decapitate anything by removing enforcement of any law. Then take the money from the sobotaged failing government programs and businesses, US Postal service etc. Then give the money to the "creators" and the jobs will falls from the skies like acids rains. The "creators" will do the right thing and do it better and under budget. Then start pulling free/reduced meals at school. Cut healthcare for everyone but the kids. Change water sources and poison a generation with lead.

Saving money is different from sucking every drop of its life's blood so the "creators" can send it to the Caymans, investments into other red causes, like investing in Russia and China.

Someone has to launder all that money. The USA is the only place that can handle the kind of volume needed to launder it all. Tpub principles.

They say there's no free meals. Well, those "Bundy Bunch" terrorists took over a national park and didn't have food. They got some food after begging on FB. They got more blow up dolls and a nice assortment of dildos than food. So I guess they are half right.

Mukman Mukilteo said...

To coin a phrase, "Out of the Chaos came Disorder." At this point, we would be well-served by another Benghazi hearing to take the heat off Russia.

Anonymous said...

Ah... This is where they make America GRATE again!!


Sidney Schwab said...

And thus the homophone to which I referred.

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