GOP’s Moment Of Truth

We really are in “never never” land. It is impossible to draw innocent conclusions from yesterday’s press conference following Trump’s private meeting with Vladimir Putin.  During yet another incoherent and unhinged rant, the President insulted America’s intelligence community and insisted that he believed Putin’s denials of election interference.

The “summit” with Putin came on the heels of disastrous meetings during which Trump insulted America’s closest allies and inflicted significant damage on important American alliances.  In stark contrast, he absolutely fawned over Putin– even after Putin made a point of coming 45 minutes late to their meeting, a public signal of disrespect that somehow didn’t enrage our notoriously thin-skinned POTUS.

At this point in the surreal saga that has been the Trump presidency, there is no longer any doubt about Russia’s interference in the American election. That case has been made over and over by American Intelligence officials, most recently, Dan Coats. It has been confirmed by the mounting number of detailed indictments filed and guilty pleas obtained by Bob Mueller.

Over at Vox, Ezra Klein has an exhaustive (and damning) list of what we now absolutely know.Not what we speculate, not what we surmise, but what we know.

Nevertheless, as Klein noted,

Standing next to Putin, Trump turned on America’s intelligence services, and again mused about how much better it might have been if Russia had cracked Clinton’s server and gotten her documents.

So while the entire world was watching, the President of the United States attacked agents of his own country and administration– and gave Putin a big wet kiss.

As Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times, 

Such behavior by an American president is so perverse, so contrary to American interests and values, that it leads to only one conclusion: Donald Trump is either an asset of Russian intelligence or really enjoys playing one on TV.

Everything that happened in Helsinki today only reinforces that conclusion. My fellow Americans, we are in trouble and we have some big decisions to make today. This was a historic moment in the entire history of the United States.

There is overwhelming evidence that our president, for the first time in our history, is deliberately or through gross negligence or because of his own twisted personality engaged in treasonous behavior — behavior that violates his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

A Manchurian candidate committing intentional treason would have been more skillful. Even if–as a friend of mine posits–the Russian oligarchs who have financed Trump for years have him “by the short hairs”– the stupidity displayed at the press conference was counterproductive. This clumsy and irrational performance  just adds to the already overwhelming amount of evidence that (while he may or not be a knowing Russian asset) Trump is definitely seriously mentally ill.

The real question is: what will Congressional Republicans do with this incontrovertible, in-your-face evidence of traitorous behavior? How long can they pretend he is either competent or acting in America’s interests? As Friedman says,

Every single Republican lawmaker will be — and should be — asked on the election trail: Are you with Trump and Putin or are you with the C.I.A., F.B.I. and N.S.A.?

As former CIA chief John Brennan tweeted,

Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you??? 

Where indeed? They sure aren’t from Indiana. And I haven’t noticed much in the way of patriotism from other Republicans currently serving in the House or Senate.

The refusal of an American President to honor his oath of office–his refusal to protect and defend our country– is a Constitutional crisis. If GOP lawmakers continue to put their own interests and those of their party above their duty to the country, if they continue to abet this President’s erratic and treasonous behavior, history will not be kind to them.

Hopefully, neither will the voters.

 

50 thoughts on “GOP’s Moment Of Truth

  1. over the past month a few articles come about trumps ideals,many focused at him selling America out for his own intrests,obviously. if we think russsia has something on trump,they do, a place in red square for a trump hotel. recent celeberities,have made comments on how nice russia is ti visit,obvioulsly,publicity is the only outcome for russia. i suppose my presence would get me a box like mintski,aka,mintski act..the russians are thugs,and so is putin,trumps a ignorant lap dog. to be set up by trump for embarrassment is one thing,embarrassing America,a new low. i hope the republicans support this,as they have so far supported trump. its a glaring fact,they have only,money,greed and power in thier sights.Sen,Mcain is probably the only living republican who would stand up and tell it like it is. trump and kushner want a hotel in red square,the NRA want a subversive take over of America,and they ask for putins help. now,are we finally done with this mess? time for the streets,time for change, no backbone needed,its the only country you have ,,,loook at the daily news cover today…it says it all…

  2. I was quite disheartened to listen to two prominant GOP senators making excuses for Mr. Trump yesterday. They not only do not see what is right on front of them, they refuse to see. Refuse! These people scare me as much as does Trump. He may be stupid; they spineless and stupid.

  3. The Republican base loves Trump. Republican Representatives and Senators want to keep their jobs more than anything. No Republican will speak out against Trump, unless they’re already leaving and their “courage” is perfectly safe. 0% of Elected Republicans care whether or not Trump is awful.

  4. Yesterday’s events confirmed what many already believed about Trump’s relationship to Russia but those events also opened the door wider for those Republicans who’s support for Trump was fading. This is a move in the right direction, but solves nothing. All of the facts of what now appears to be treason are not yet known. Facts that are coming into the light, a bit here, a bit there, point to a broad scale corruption of the Republican Party and its supporters by the Russians. There is at least one Congressman involved, the NRA is involved, and by their actions the Freedom Caucus has at least knowingly turned a blind eye to the crimes. There is a reason that the Republican Party has not demanded better presidential behavior from Trump or threatened to impeach him, and it isn’t that they “believe” in him.

    Keep those e-mails and letters and phone calls pouring into the offices of our representatives. Join in any protest you can. Be outspoken and do not be afraid to take on any Trump apologist you come across. It isn’t just the Congress that needs to stand up… it is all of us.

  5. Only protected GOP’ers will speak out against Trump because they fear primary elections. A conservative will be ousted by a more extreme candidate who supports Trump and his racist bait.

    Personally, I think Trump should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for deescalating a war with another nuclear superpower.

    Obama received the award for basically getting elected than marched on with our Middle East wars, drone attacks, and kill lists.

    Don’t forget, America needs war. Big Defense needs wars for the bottom line. Putin outmaneuvered Obama in Ukraine and Syria only increasing tensions with the Deep State. Blaming Russia for Clinton’s loss was already in John Podesta’s email account posted on Wikileaks. As HRC’s campaign manager, they agreed to promote Trump as a good strategy. They also said they would blame Russia if they lost.

    “Is it real or is it Memorex?”

    Not really sure why Americans (mostly Democrats) suddenly believe everything our military intelligence says. Same with the lapdog media. Remember 9/11 and the Iraq War? Saddam Hussein ring a bell? Libya?

    I find it odd that we support the NSA on Trump/Putin but don’t trust them regarding Net Neutrality. They already have access to all communications. Read the detailed indictment against the alleged 12 Russian hackers. Supposedly, the USG knows these hackers used cryptocurrency to buy much of their equipment and software. Yet, cryptocurrency isn’t traceable like monetary purchases.

    “Is it real or manufactured?”

    Remember all the speeches made by top officials leading up to the Iraq War?

    ALL LIES.

    But this time, they are telling the truth and we should be outraged. 😉

  6. WHY does Trump constantly open himself to criticism he hates by publicly siding with Putin, refusing ever to criticize him while openly criticizing multiple allies, and equating Putin’s murderous regime with American democracy? There may be 12 billion reasons why.

    A recently retired Indianapolis attorney whose integrity is the gold standard has connected the dots to find an explanation. Click trumpbribe.com.

    If trumpbribe.com is right and Trump could figure out a way to lift sanctions from Russian oil companies, both Putin and Trump would make billions.

    Checkout trumpbribe.com and share it with friends. It makes more sense with each new revelation.

  7. Putin hit a grand-slam home run at the bottom of the 9th inning yesterday on the world stage; he knew what form of support Trump’s stand would take before agreeing to this bogus “summit”…or he never would have agreed to meet. Putin needs no second time at bat; he accomplished his objective yesterday as his butt-kissing buddy stood 100% for Putin and Russia and turned his back on the United States of America, our Constitution and all true Americans. Trump will claim “fake news, fake news, “witch hunt, witch hunt”, “the American media is our enemy”, “it is the Democrats”, “it was Hillary’s E-mails”, “it was President Obama”. His Tweets will begin to overlap one another in his hurry to prove himself to be the American hero his ego has convinced him he has become in the eyes of the world.

    My Facebook post yesterday; “TRUMP MUST BE STOPPED; BY WHATEVER MEANS IT TAKES” brought a warning of possibility of police at my door from one friend and a Facebook friend considered it “in poor taste” and “graphically violent”. I learned my friend doesn’t watch the news and doesn’t vote. My response to the FB friend was a reminder of Impeachment, sedition, mental instability to carry out the powers and duties of his office which have been ignored by Congress since his first week in the Oval Office.

    “The real question is: what will Congressional Republicans do with this incontrovertible, in-your-face evidence of traitorous behavior? How long can they pretend he is either competent or acting in America’s interests?”

    I would change one word in Sheila’s quote above, “How long WILL they pretend…?” They have been pretending since they made the fateful decision to drop 16 other actually qualified presidential nominees in 2015 and nominated “The Donald” as THEIR leader. Yesterday’s performance by both Trump and Putin made me physically ill, actually nauseous. I have been trashing all Democratic mail begging for money and deleting those on the Internet; fed up with sending money and seeing no change or promise of seeking change. I retrieved the letter which came with my 2018 DNC membership renewal for the address and sent a $100 check I cannot afford to send at this time. It was the only “action” I could take; donating to individual Democratic candidates and organizations seems to be a waste. Hopefully, the DNC will find a positive use for my pitiful attempt to help my fellow Americans and my country.

  8. Last , year I represented voters from several States who sought, through a petition for writ of mandamus, to have the 2016 presidential election declared void due to Russian interference. I received positive feedback from lawyers I previously had not known (thanks, Marv) and also was hit by trolls and Russian bots. The United States Supreme Court dismissed the petition without comment. Everything alleged in the petition either has been confirmed or confirmed with (metaphorical) steroids. Yesterday, I spoke w/someone in Senator Donnelly’s office to voice my opinion that nominees of the person who currently occupies the Oval Office should not be confirmed and that proceedings for impeachment (and I know the House first has to pass articles of impeachment then the Senate tries the case, but still there is footwork in preparation). As I was about to finish the call, I started sobbing. I never thought I would sob for the United States – my country.

  9. Todd, as always, misses the mark due to picking the wrong targets. He needs to reread war news beginning with “W’s” administration and through President Obama’s 8 years of administration.

  10. mark small; thank you and please keep working for the true salvation of our country. I have shed my share of tears the past 2 years; yesterday they became nausea and anger. I live alone and and have no one to share this disaster with other than 3-4 family members and my blog family here, I hope you are not alone in your grief.

  11. Theresa,

    “There is a reason that the Republican Party has not demanded better presidential behavior from Trump or threatened to impeach him, and it isn’t that they “believe” in him.”

    You should know that answer, since you have voiced it before. When Trump finally goes too far which he might have just done, the Republicans will jettison him and bring in Mike Pence. And that will pose even a bigger problem for those who still support some semblance of a democracy.

    From my vantage point, “The Republican Express” is still on schedule, as the arrival time still hasn’t changed. It never will, as long as rely SOLELY on the likes of media types like Paul Krugman who lack PHYSICIAL-KINESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE.

  12. “What will congressional Republicans do…..”? Other than issue well worded statements that sound distressed, not a damn thing. They are enablers.

  13. mark small, Thank you for your efforts to save the country. I haven’t shed tears yet, but have come close. Mostly I just scream and then get busy doing what I can like protesting yesterday at the ICE office up on Zionsville Road. Today it will be more e-mails to representatives. Keep some hope in your heart for a better day.

  14. So, this is just a personal theory. I think that Russian infiltration may be more pervasive within the Republican Party than just the Trump administration. I think the exodus of lawmakers isn’t just electoral math. I believe that this case may lead to the RNC itself, though only time will tell.

  15. JoAnn,

    Thanks for confirming that the rants from Todd miss every target, are paranoid and useless to the conversation.

    Marv,

    There ARE other authors who address the situation from a variety of angles: You and me.

    No, the Republicans will NOT do anything important regarding the ouster of this madman in the White House. Overt treason isn’t enough for their craven souls to come to the rescue of their country. If Trump addresses Congress today, those bastards will all stand and cheer. We are in very big trouble and our government is complicit in the destruction caused by Trump while coddling a third-rate dictator. Remember how those 7 assholes came back from Russia saying we should stop picking on Putin?

    My God! They’re even asking US to betray our own country. Republicans are displaying strong symptoms of sell-out and corruption that makes the fall of Rome look like teen-age dance.

  16. This blog and its commenters have become farcical.

    Excepting Todd and M. Languor.

    #walkaway

  17. Jack Smith @8:23
    Jack, you are a poet with your call to arms today. The Trumpist traitor carpetbaggers need that hotel in Red Square for deluxe place to go when we, the voters, give them their walking papers after November 6, 2018 lest we forget.

    Joe Donnelly, are you still GOP-Lite? Are you still in Mitch’s camp? In Donald’s?

    Who among you would give the traitors a job or a free ride?
    Vladimir has medals for them and the U.S.A will send them their pensions to Moscow by direct deposit.

    Follow Trump to perdition, ya’all; what gross ineptitude!!
    Where are the babies?

  18. Republicans have had so many opportunities for “moments of truth”, to put the good of the country over the “win” for their party or their donors, and have – for the most part – failed to step up. I doubt they will this time either. Unfortunately, I think the democrats have also failed many times – attack the other, not provide vision and leadership. Perhaps I can say this because I don’t have kids or grandkids, but with all of our resources and wealth if we can’t take better care of our earth and each other, we deserve to die off.

  19. I see where William has invoked his right to be the final arbiter of all things said and by whom on this blog. Well, I hope you will honor your mindless statement and go away, William. That move will significantly raise the overall IQ of the blog.

  20. First the trumpbribe.com. site sums up what I think has been the driving force in this whole mess. “Follow the money.” – attributed to Depp Throat
    Second, I too, believe that significant members of the Republican Party in Congress stand to profit in some way from this “deal” made with Putin via Trump — remember, this is tied to lucrative energy sources. Hence they will once again do NOTHING!!
    Third, thank you to all of the people on this blog who support each other & our country with intelligent and thoughtful writings and actions (Mark, you done good!).
    Fourth, JoAnn, you are not alone. In my area of South Carolina (conservative Trump -supporter land) a woman reached out, by word-of-mouth, to a few like minded women & invited them to meet at her home after Nov. 2016. She named the group “Club 142” after her street number. Today, through strictly word of mouth, our group numbers over 300 and we meet every other Wednesday (usually about 40 members attend) to discuss “action items” involving voter registration, immigration, environment, health care, etc. We have marched as group to protest gun violence and immigration policy and to support women’s rights.
    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

  21. Here is a link to a very good article on the Pence Family. Cleanup of Pence family gas stations cost Indiana more than $20 million. The article is a critique including bankruptcy, political cronyism, and environmental damage are all laid out in this article. You will not find the article in the Indianapolis Star, it is in the Chicago Tribune.

    >>> Vice President Mike Pence turns nostalgic when he talks about growing up in small-town Columbus, Indiana, where his father helped build a Midwestern empire of more than 200 gas stations that provided an upbringing on the “front row of the American dream.”

    The collapse of Kiel Bros. Oil Co. in 2004 was widely publicized. Less known is that the state of Indiana — and, to a smaller extent, Kentucky and Illinois — are still on the hook for millions of dollars to clean up more than 85 contaminated sites across the three states, including underground tanks that leaked toxic chemicals into soil, streams and wells.

    Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management, which regulates gas stations, did not respond to a detailed list of questions from the AP.

    In a statement, Pence’s older brother Greg Pence — who was president of Kiel Bros. when it went bankrupt and is now running for Congress as a Republican — distanced himself from the cleanup costs.

    “Greg Pence has had nothing to do with Kiel Bros since 2004. This is another attempt by the liberal media to rehash old, baseless attacks,” campaign spokeswoman Molly Gillaspie said.

    In June 2004, Greg Pence resigned as the company filed for bankruptcy. In the immediate aftermath of the bankruptcy, the state sought about $8.4 million from the company for cleanup and fines. After a new Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, assumed office in 2005, the state dropped that claim , which had been filed under Daniels’ Democratic predecessor, Gov. Joe Kernan.

    Here is the Kicker or the slap in face: Greg Pence wasn’t out of work for long. Within months, Daniels appointed him deputy commissioner of the Department of Environmental Management, the same agency fighting Kiel Bros. in court. Pence stepped down after only a few months, however, and returned to the petroleum business. <<<<
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-pence-family-gas-stations-indiana-20180713-story.html

  22. Vernon,

    “Marv,
    There ARE other authors who address the situation from a variety of angles: You and me.”

    You’re right we’re down to 2. As you know, I’m a staunch supporter of your book. But we’re being attacked on multiple levels. One person can’t TRACK on multiple levels, that’s impossible. You’ve tracked on the SURFACE LEVEL. On the other hand, I’ve repeated the task on the SUB-SURFACE LEVEL. Both are equally important. Our lifelong efforts need to be combined into a new organization named: PeaceNet. The URL associated with PeaceNet is peacenet.world.

    According to Betty, we should have started yesterday.

  23. Let me just ask a different question and maybe take a pause from the rants. Who would have thought that our own little Danny Coats would be one of only two Republicans to speak up. After 45’s anti-Constitution press conference, he made it very clear that he has presented and will continue to present 45 with evidence of Russia’s work, both past and present Of all Republicans in DC, only he and John McCain have spines.

  24. After being momentarily shocked! shocked! at this behavior from their party leader, Republicans will fail to do anything other than fall in line. The question is, what will WE do.

  25. The Fake President Donald Trump does it again.! And again! And again! And again! And again! And again?

  26. Monotonous; Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management only tested 14 homes in Franklin, Indiana, within a 5-mile radius of the former Amphenol facility, known to be a major polluter of the area after three years of two young mothers of Johnson County childhood cancer cluster victims began seeking help. The health department reported 111 childhood cancer victims between 1999 – 2013; the mothers went to Washington, D.C., last year to talk to lawmakers seeking attention; Erin Brockovich’s organization has added the mother’s grassroots organization, “If It Was Your Child” to her membership. Dead children in this state, within a small area of a rural country, are of no interest to IDEM; little can be expected from them to deal with a wealthy and political family and their hazardous pollution in three states…especially now that Pence is Vice President. Six or seven years ago, in my very small neighborhood, public health finally tested water in a drainage ditch running through the area and into Pleasant Run Creek; a number of us reported the rat problem and the fact that the ditch ran through the Ratheon facility. The report we received was that it wasn’t a drainage ditch; it was the underground Windsor creek from north of 21st Street…and it only tested for a safe level of e-coli. They have never tested the ditch again that I have seen but do occasionally test Pleasant Run Creek where it runs through a much more affluent neighborhood a few blocks away.

  27. A multi-page article about the Pence family and the Kiel Bros. Oil Company ecological disaster appeared starting on the front page of The Indianapolis Star on Saturday July 14: “Pence gas stations leave costly legacy.”

  28. I didn’t watch the “show” of the news conference because I can’t watch that traitor speak anymore. I can only endure clips that the news shows deliver to me and what I saw yesterday was enough to keep me glued to the set for the rest of the evening. I even skipped our evening walk to watch the sh*t show end in Helsinki. I am stunned! And I can only ask…what are we going to do about it? What will the GOP do? Or are they in on it? Like someone up thread said, FOLLOW THE MONEY.

  29. A number of my friends have posted the article about Pence and Kiel Oil on Facebook. Let’s hope we can bring a bit of truth to light about the dark side of the Pence family.

  30. MG,

    There was a “dark side” to the leaders of the National Socialist (Nazi) Movement in Germany. What difference did that make? Ethics was considered a weakness.

  31. Thanks to Kathy McGrogan for recalling Margaret Mead’s wisdom:
    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” My mind always goes back to the effectiveness of boycotts.

    Is there anything in Indianapolis like the Club 142 in South Carolina which Kathy mentions?

  32. Concerning the Pence-Kiel Bros story is the reaction by the Pence Family and their fellow travelers.

    Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah called the findings “a years old issue” that the vice president has addressed before. She did not elaborate.

    “Greg Pence has had nothing to do with Kiel Bros since 2004. This is another attempt by the liberal media to rehash old, baseless attacks,” campaign spokeswoman Molly Gillaspie said.
    *****************************************************
    “Bankruptcy court is the last refuge of environmental scofflaws,” said Pat Parenteau, a Vermont Law School professor who specializes in environmental and natural resource issues. “This is one of the more fiendishly complicated areas of crossover between environmental law and bankruptcy law that you can imagine.”

    The Pence Family has the responses all down pat – move on, old news or liberal media. Problem is the people exposed to Pence Family Pollution cannot “move on” they have to live with it.

  33. Why are people sitting around wondering? This is not a time to ‘wonder’ this is a time to stand up and tell the bastard face on that he has to GO! He and his entire administration. THAT IS WHAT HAS TO BE DONE. However all I see are mealy mouthed apologists! And they criticize trump for not having the balls to face putin?… Folks – get in the damn streets! Get on the phone! If you sit and shut your mouth then YOU CAN GO TO HELL BY YOURSELVES! I for one, am not goin with you!
    You live here, this is your country like it is MINE! No dammit ACT LIKE A PATRIOT!

  34. It won’t be long until Coats is ‘brought to heel’. This GOP is in love with total power and will do ANYTHING to have it. How long before citizens that dare to question it are targets?

  35. Best explanation I have read on President Trump (aka Agent Orange) is:
    >> Because only one thing matters to Trump: his own interests. With Trump, it really is all about him.

    Consider the accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Trump is never going to side with his intelligence agencies on this issue. He thinks that, by doing so, he’d be admitting that maybe he didn’t win fair and square over “Crooked Hillary.” He refuses to countenance Russian meddling, not because he’s a Putin stooge, but rather because he’s an egomaniac. He’ll admit to nothing that diminishes, however slightly, his victory — and his ego.

    Russia doesn’t matter to Trump. Indeed, America doesn’t matter to Trump. With Trump, it’s really all about him.<<<<<<<<
    *************************************************
    Agent Orange is the ugly face of Plutocracy. Plutocrats and multinational corporations have no allegiance to a country. Their allegiance is to profit and in Agent Orange's case add in ego.

    As far as Russian interference in our election, the USA has been interfering, instigated coups and invasions world wide since 1945. The talking heads on CNN and MSDNC never address American aggression. The talking heads on CNN and MSDNC view America as a Rockwell painting. What we are witnessing is blow back on America.

  36. I’m wondering if Curtis Hill feels any regret that it was this story that knocked his scandal off the front page. His own interests vs. his nation’s interests. Sad that we even have to ask the question.

  37. Monotonous – There is no such thing as non-aggression in a Machiavellian world, but we need to supply context in describing American “aggression,” i.e., was it aggression after WW II to support European resistance to an expansionist and Stalinist Russia or was it a matter of looking out for the world’s collective security? Must we think of “aggression” in the abstract vs. looking out for our own interests or are we talking apples and oranges? I think the latter; we were involved at bottom not in aggression but in resistance to aggression and it worked – Europe is loaded with liberal democracies today rather than communist states beholden to Russia.

    As to Trump and yesterday > It is time for him to go. Whether Russian agent or insane, or both, it is time for a not-inviting stint with Pastor Pence who, I think, with all of his shortcomings, is not a Russian agent (though I stand to be corrected with appropriate evidence). Trump’s time is up, and we cannot excuse inaction on the grounds that Republicans are blinded to the evidence. Yesterday Trump moved us beyond mere sedition and gave us constitutionally required proof of treason in broad daylight, and we are complicit if we do nothing. Yes, we are a minority, but via ceaseless shaming of Republicans and other intense effort we can save what is left of our democracy, so let’s get going.

  38. Once again, Republicans are at the crossroads of patriotism and greed. No Republican thinks what Trump did is acceptable, but what is the alternative? They want environmental and consumer protection regulations rolled back, they want Obamacare gone, they want tax breaks for the wealthy elite, and they want to put their little flag pin on their lapel, too and march in 4th of July parades. By saying nothing against a murdering dictator who has the POTUS in his hip pocket, they show their true colors, and those colors ain’t American. The racist rubes just know that he’s putting those brown people they hate in cages and telling off those uppity blacks like Obama and uppity bitches like Hillary Clinton. So, that’s where we are, folks, and Putin is laughing his ass off.

  39. At the Helsinki conference, when 45 looked straight into the camera and saidU.S. & Russia held 90% of nuclear power, that was a threat!

  40. I’ve written, emailed and called our “representative” Senator Donnelly regarding Supreme Court justices, health care, environmental concerns, women’s abortion rights, and the orange baby. I’ve attended rallies. After recovering from being physically sickened by the twin podium performance yesterday I feel like taking to the streets. Where? When?

  41. From a peaceful retired journalist Tom Cochrun:

    The Slovik Path for Trump
    Posted: 17 Jul 2018 12:20 AM PDT

    Eddie Slovik, a hard luck kid from Detroit was in trouble with the law from the time he was 12. He died 12 years later.
    In those years he was arrested for car theft, breaking and entering, robbery and other offenses. He was in and out prison a few times.
    Because of his criminal record he was morally unfit for the military. But after he married he was reclassified and drafted into the Army.
    It was WWII and he was sent to fight in France with Company G of the 109th Infantry Regiment of the US 28th Infantry Division. During an artillery attack Slovik said he determined he “wasn’t cut out for combat.” He went missing and was found 6 weeks later. He then told his commanding officer he was “too scared” to be in a rifle unit. He then deserted. He was caught and the Army gave him a couple of chances to change his mind and relent. He said he’d take his court marital.
    Slovik was convicted of desertion. He wrote to Allied Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower pleading for clemency. Desertion was a big problem in France as the Germans were advancing through the Ardennes and casualties were high while morale was low. Ike confirmed the execution order.
    During WWII the US military executed 102 soldiers for rape or unprovoked murder of civilians. Only Slovik was executed for desertion.
    12 Soldiers were chosen and detailed to be the firing squad. They were each given an M1 rifle with one bullet apiece, one of them was a blank. The command of “Fire” was given and Slovik was hit by 11 bullets, four of the shots were fatal.

    Donald Trump never served in the military, but was sent to a military school for disciplinary reasons. He too was a punk, but a rich boy. He’s stayed out of jail because he’s had lawyers and was able to buy politicians and threatened those who he cheated.
    On July 16th, 2018 Donald Trump committed treason in front of the world. He deserted America. I’m one of those who believe he had already been a traitor, but his appearance with Putin and what he said gave aid and comfort to an enemy.
    People far above my pay grade, people with expertise, diplomats, intelligence officers, his own Director of National Intelligence, Republicans, even those who had been timid or had been advocates of Trump have said his performance was over the line, wrong, an offense to this nation and our officers, the act of a traitor, treason.
    The US has never seen such behavior from a President.
    Still there are some who defend the traitor and attack all of those who assail him. But anyone who will defend what he said, or his “private” meeting with Putin should simply be laughed at and pitied for the brain, conscience and soul sucking vortex in which they find themselves. There is no defense for what happened in Helsinki. It was anti American, dead wrong, pandering to his Russian overlords and financial backers, and simply being Putin’s punk.
    The facts are known. Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Only a fool or a blind zealot will deny that. We don’t know how deeply they impacted the results, that investigation continues.
    Putin’s Russia is an adversary and they are still attacking our electoral process. Donald Trump met with Russian spies in the White House, and already his top campaign advisers have been indicted or pled guilty.
    On July 16 he stood before the world and even offered to allow Putin and his intelligence service to meddle in our investigation. Treason! Anti American behavior, aiding and giving comfort to an enemy. It happened on live television.
    It is the inevitable behavior of someone so unfit, unqualified, unprincipled and who thinks he can bluff and bully his way through life.
    It is clear to this writer that life should come to the same path as Eddie Slovik.
    Trump is the Commander in Chief-a military court martial is an appropriate venue for the process of justice. If convicted, then 12 Riflemen, 11 bullets, 1 blank, and a command of Fire!
    This may earn me enmity. Though my readership is limited and in no way influential, this could create problems but it has to be said. In 42 years of journalism I learned always is a good time to speak the truth. Donald Trump is a poison. It is time for him to go where traitors go. This nation should purge itself of Trump. For now and for our future.

  42. Thank you Sheila for a great post on an event that I’m still trying in my own mind to describe to my own satisfaction. I must admit that I’ve never seen such a vile spectacle in my life and was and still am mad as hell about it. While I was watching Trump make a complete fool out of himself I started thinking about the Munich Agreement of 1938 and thought of Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier, the leaders of both the England and France, and their attempt to keep the peace in the face of both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. I thought of both of them, honorable men yet misguided in their thinking that their diplomatic overtures would stop Hitler and what was going to happen in roughly a year, and then my thoughts went back to Trump. I watched him stand there and essentially go off the rails trying to defend himself and what he is likely done to betray his own country and our political system while Vladimir Putin looked on poker faced and probably inside grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat.

    What happened 80 years ago in Munich, among other things obviously, set in motion the Second World War starting with the German occupation of Sudetenland and ultimately all of Czechoslovakia. Hitler knew right then and there that he had the upper hand and could do basically whenever he wanted to do and I’m sure Putin was of the same mindset yesterday. It’s one thing to read about people that betray their country but it is something altogether different to see it live and on television all brought about because of the deep character flaws and perhaps mental instability of, of all people, a President of the United States.

    Putin’s grand design is to create a Greater Russia that will dominate Europe and perhaps eventually the rest of the world with himself, of course, being the head of such an entity and also relegating us to the position of being an also ran. Whether Trump is just a willing useful idiot or the victim of Kompromat is basically irrelevant at this point since as former DCIA John Brennan said yesterday Trump very likely committed the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that are necessary for impeachment. This observer is very much inclined to agree with him on his assessment. The question now is whether not any members of the Republican Congressional caucus will have the cahones to bring him up for impeachment. Given how thorough both the Russians and the all right crazies have done their jobs, the spineless Trump sycophants that infest the Congress will do nothing since their own re-election prospects and defending their seats in that Congress are far more important to them than the national security of their own country.

    Quite frankly it is due cause to vomit.

  43. To me there’s no doubt that Thug One is a gift to us from Thug Two. We may well deserve him but the election numbers plus the facts that we know just seem completely unlikely without a nefarious explanation.

    Will Mueller prove that Trump was complicit? I personally doubt it but who knows. The relevant fact is that our totally unqualified President is not a choice of democracy but a weapon of mass destruction put in place by one of the most skilled terrorists in history.

    Now what?

  44. The Surrender Summit

    by

    Vern Turner

    Yesterday, July 16, 2018, a day which will live in infamy, saw the President of the United States give comfort to the enemy, an enemy that attacked our basic tenets of democracy. That enemy, Russia, wantonly hacked into our political systems to affect the outcome of our presidential election. That is PROVEN FACT. Yet, our president, perhaps the most ridiculous person on Earth, sold out our intelligence community and openly floated conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s e-mails in response to questions asking about resisting Putin’s directives. Besides being an utter disgrace and gross embarrassment for the good people of this country, Donald Trump showed the world how beholden he is to Vladimir Putin, a murderer and dictator.

    When Putin was asked the direct question: “Do you have compromising evidence that you could use against Donald Trump?”, he actually giggled and responded with: “Now why would I do something like that?” Trump, meanwhile, stood their smirking. I’m not making this up. It was there for all the world to see. When asked if he directed activities to help Trump get elected president, Putin, unhesitatingly responded “Da”. He said that he directed the activity to interfere with our election. No evasive language. Just straight-forward, in-your-face arrogance from the man who is killing opposition politicians, opposition reporters and ex-patriots around the world who might be, or were, sowing the seeds of discontent and opposition to Putin’s tyranny.

    This is the man that our president worships, adores and favors over our OWN intelligence community and every other citizen who opposes him. It is clear that Donald Trump is without a moral compass, absent any idea about our national values, has NO idea about governing and is totally devoid of any glimmer of respect for any American not named Donald Trump.

    Donald Trump is doing more every day to destroy relationships – both diplomatically and economically – with our longest-term friends and our largest and best trading partners. Why would he do that? Oh. Right. I remember. It’s all Obama’s fault. Trump’s Obama Derangement Syndrome is now entering a new phase, it seems: Rebuke everything Obama even thought about doing and embrace the “strong and powerful” leaders who intend us harm. This isn’t deal making. This is pure pathological narcissism taken to the criminal levels of treason.

    The Trump family emulates something like the Corleone family from The Godfather. They are doing everything a criminal enterprise does and acting guilty without remorse with every utterance. They are employing more lawyers than can fill a sports complex. Why? Well, the old adage of where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Trump’s refusal to show his tax returns is indicative of his complicity with shady or flat-out illegal dealings with a variety of other parties. His constant lie production is a clear indication that he is trying to weasel out of responsibilities, deflecting criminal investigations, simply exhibiting the depth of his pathology, or all of these.

    Trump’s disgraceful performance in Helsinki was preceded by almost equally disgraceful performances at NATO and in England. But in Helsinki, Trump offered comfort to our enemy, thus constituting a treasonous act. Witnesses? The whole damned world saw him suck up to Putin at the expense and debasement of his own country and its people. That’s what traitors do. I titled this piece the “Surrender Summit” because it was our very own president who surrendered our national dignity, our place as a leader in the free world and our credibility with those countries who used to be our allies. He gave it up willingly and immediately. He didn’t even blink as he was giving us away and while Putin stood there doing is best to keep from laughing out loud. He and his cabinet did that afterwards.

    So, here we are, my fellow Americans, in a unique international predicament and a national emergency – as Michael Beschloss said last night on Rachel Maddow’s show. Yes, our emergency is that our sitting president has lost control of his mind and his behavior such that the country is now at great risk of losing its ability to govern itself. The Republican-dominated Congress will do NOTHING (as usual) to correct this problem; the problem being the president himself. So, who or what entity will emerge to grasp the reins of our government and lead us out of this horror show directed by Donald Trump? Who among us has the courage to fix the problem when the problem is the president himself? The cabinet? Not bloody likely. That collection of sycophants will NEVER even think of invoking the 25th Amendment, because these are the best and last jobs they’ll ever have and are therefore beholden to this wretched president.

    In a recent essay I put aside the thought and talk of impeachment because I thought it was best we concentrate on winning the November elections and removing as many Republicans as possible from as many offices as possible at every level of government. After yesterday, I’m not so sure we will HAVE elections if this president’s handler in Moscow tells him to suspend them. Can you imagine the glee and joy from this piss-ant former KGB agent at fomenting an outright rebellion/revolution in the United States? Maybe that’s an over-the-top scenario, but nobody ever expected a President of the United States to blatantly and openly surrender our sovereignty so eagerly because his fragile ego drove him to it; he is sacrificing his country – our country – for his psychological disease and imbalance. Boy, those Trump voters and supporters must be so proud of their patriotism. Those fools waving Confederate flags while wearing MAGA caps must struggle with what the word “great” means. When you worship losers, traitors and criminals, I guess surrender isn’t so bad.

  45. Unfortunately one possibility is that the GOP will figure out that they only have one viable future now. Impeach Trump and replace him with Prince Pence.

    From the frying pan into the feature.

  46. “How long before citizens that dare to question it (total dictatorial power) are targets?”

    I prefer to ask: How long before citizens who support Trump’s subversive activities are targets of a treason investigation?

  47. Pete,

    “Unfortunately one possibility is that the GOP will figure out that they only have one viable future now. Impeach Trump and replace him with Prince Pence.”

    I’m sure the Liberals in America will allow that to happen without a fight. But I’m not a Liberal nor a TRAITOR.

  48. Although I can’t imagine anything the Russians could have on Trump, including the pee tape, that would cause his cult to abandon him, he is obviously in thrall to his modern day RasPutin. And the Republican party is in thrall to Trump. At this point the Republicans are so steeped in blood that returning is virtually impossible. They will continue to mutter but accept every indignity this president heaps on them personally or the country in general. Trump has far surpassed the bar for high crimes and misdemeanors and I see no day of reckoning for him as long as Republicans have any sort of say in holding him to account. The Republican response to any of the damning evidence against Trump has been to attack the investigators. I am reminded of the excuses that the parents of problem children have often used – it’s the schools, it’s the teachers, it’s the authorities. It’s never the child.

    So I am not hopeful that we will ever see any effort by Congress to reign in this president while Republicans can act in any capacity to thwart that accountability. They would rather use their oversight powers to thwart investigations of Trump. So we will not see a line that cannot be crossed, including firing Mueller.

    I suspect the latest attacks on Rosenstein are the start of the effort to remove him from office so his successor can get rid of Mueller and kill the investigation. The results of this investigation will not be flattering to Trump whether or not there is absolute proof of collusion that can be traced directly to Trump. But we don’t know whether or not Mueller’s report will ever see the light of day. So it’s important that we at least get a Democratic majority in Congress to make sure that doesn’t happen. Otherwise, I’m afraid that Republicans will do everything they can to prevent that. Mueller’s report will be the one thing that will force Republicans to either act on their oath of office or capitulate completely, causing a constitutional crisis. They will have to decide publicly whether their allegiance is to the nation or Trump.

  49. Did anyone note the hint of irritation in Putin’s statement regarding Bill Browder’s lobbying efforts to further strengthen sanctions against Russia? If you have not read his true story: “The Red Notice”, it is a must read to understand the culture of the oligarchs and Putin’s control of them to see probability of significant money laundering by oligarch’s in Trump real estate developments. Discussion about Browder and neutralizing his campaign was omitted from Krushner’s testimony earlier last year. Krujsner claimed it was about adoption issues. That, too. Or did you see Ivanka’s giddy selfie on You Tube last year while visiting a new Trump Tower in Russia that stands empty and believed to have been financed through Trump from an oligarch. Read yesterday’s Atlantic.com by Natasha Bertrand on Browder’s growing influence by successfully lobbying for tough sanctions against Russia in seven countries. Browder will not quit until he successfully brings down Putin’s regime, the truth that Trump will not reveal for refusals to disclose his financial statements, or Browder mysteriously disappears. Watch this carefully and connect the dots. Mueller closing in.

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