Odds and Ends

Today, rather than discussing a single topic, I thought I’d post a couple of observations that are related to some of the previous month’s discussions.

Russia. A fairly common response to the media’s focus on the Russia investigation–especially but not exclusively from supporters of Trump and/or the GOP–is that it is unlikely that Russian interference made a difference in the outcome, so why the big obsession with it?

Unless it turns out that Russia hackers actually changed vote totals, I tend to agree that the efforts probably didn’t change the election results. That said, let me respond to the “then why the fuss” question with an analogy.

Let’s say you own a company. Your internal auditor comes to you with evidence that one of the bookkeepers tried to embezzle from the corporation’s account, but was unsuccessful. Would you breathe a sigh of relief, and go about your business as usual? Or would prudence dictate that you investigate in order to find out what was attempted and why, so that you could 1) add safeguards to be sure the account is protected in the future; 2) determine whether the bookkeeper was acting on her own or in concert with other employees; and 3) inquire into management practices that may have given the impression that embezzlement was possible–or that so angered an otherwise good employee that she felt no compunction trying to steal from the company?

I should also note that success of a venture isn’t the key to whether it’s right or wrong. (If you try to kill someone and fail, you’re still guilty of attempted murder.)

Joe Donnelly. Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly is a big disappointment. (Not as big a disappointment as Fifth District Representative Susan Brooks, but that’s a discussion for another day.) Even conceding that he’s an Indiana Democrat and thus will need independent and even a few Republican votes, he’s been really bad on issues I care a lot about. That said, I will still vote for him in November, and you should too.  We don’t get to choose between perfect and not-perfect. Mike Braun, the Republican candidate, is dramatically, unacceptably worse. But even if Braun weren’t a self-satisfied, self-described “Trumper,” a vote for him would be a vote for Mitch McConnell–aka the most evil man in America– to continue leading the Senate.

The odds of the Democrats winning control of the Senate aren’t good, but if there is a blue “wave,” it is possible. In order for that to happen, however, we have to elect every Senate candidate who has a “D” next to his or her name–and that definitely includes Joe Donnelly. (And to be fair, he does support a progressive agenda about half the time–which is half more than Braun would do.) Think of it this way: a vote for Donnelly is really a vote against Mitch McConnell.

The Democrats and America’s myriad imperfections. A number of commenters to this blog have railed against the imperfections and misdeeds of the Democratic Party. I agree with some–hell, a lot– of those criticisms, just as I agree that any accurate history of this country documents a whole host of failures to live up to our national ideals. I also recognize that today’s America is more plutocracy than liberal democracy, and that needs to change.

What really drives me nuts about purists, however, is the naiveté. (Assuming, that is, that they truly want to effect change, and aren’t just satisfied parading their moral superiority.) In real life, making the perfect the enemy of the good simply rewards the bad. (See discussion of Donnelly election, above.) The Democrats are very imperfect. Today’s GOP is many multiples worse. Our choice is between not-so-good and demonstrably horrible.

Any honest look at history confirms that sustainable progress is incremental. If we can move from horrible to not-so-great (but a hell of a lot better) in November, we can get to work making the systemic and cultural changes that need to occur if we are to have any hope of salvaging democratic governance–not to mention the planet, the economy, the  justice system and public education.

If the purists stay home, and we don’t dislodge the horribles, we’re toast.

35 thoughts on “Odds and Ends

  1. They absolutely changed HOW people voted. Maybe not the voting machines but the ideas planted in the Trumpies little heads

  2. It was quickly established that Russians were connected to the Trump campaign through his family members and campaign organizers and Trump has long had his own Russian connections and, obviously, his Putin/Russia mutual adoration connection. Whether the Russian hacking, interference and millions of dollars changed the vote outcome is but one condition of the current Mueller investigation. We need to know about the many and various financial dealings between them (and Democrats) and if the exchange was through legal business dealings or graft and payoffs with millions of dollars hidden “offshore” to avoid paying taxes. We need to know all who are involved and the extent of their involvement. Yesterdays evidence of Manacort paying millions of dollars for his suits and other luxuries by wire transfers from Cyprus is only part of his list of crimes and this is only his FIRST trial. What is the connection to Russia as the source of millions in income or all who have been and are being investigated by Mueller’s committee? We DO need to know the extent of the president’s Russian connections; no matter who the president may be. There is much more and much deeper connections than the vote outcome (be it Trump or Hillary Clinton) regarding millions of unreported and untaxed dollars. As American citizens we have the civil and fundamental RIGHT to know this information to the fullest degree; the Mueller investigation can and will provide the information. A line from the movie, “Three Days Of The Condor”; “A lie not uncovered does not make it truth.”; paraphrased, “A CRIME not uncovered does not make it legal.”

    As for “The Democrats and America’s myriad imperfections”…we are at a time and place in this country’s history where it is numbers that matter in this mid-term election year. This election is not at the pleasure of meeting voter’s personal preferences but re-balancing the administration and Congress to preserve and protect democracy and the Constitution – we are at a life-and-death point in time on many levels. After only 18 MONTHS; it will take years to undo the “deconstruction” and damage done by the sitting president and his administration…but only if we make that “Blue Wave” a reality and not a dream. And it will only be the first step in a long and difficult journey. We must regain lost ground before we can make headway in this action.

  3. Here’s the interesting juxtaposition: Trump’s constant rants about Mexicans and the need for his wall and the statistics showing the relatively positive impact Mexican immigrants have on our society and economy, with the evidence that Russia hacked our election (and now other institutions) and his reticence to acknowledge it and its serious impact on our democracy, let alone confront Putin or create a plan or strategy to secure the cyber border. WTF?

  4. Some personal “odds and ends” I would like to see cleared up. Trump Tweeted Sessions to “end Mueller’s witch hunt”; Sessions early on recused himself from any and all Russian issues, doesn’t this prevent him from “ending Mueller’s witch hunt” whether Trump’s Tweet was an order or not (not, per Sarah Huckabee Sanders)? Or; can Sessions “un-recuse” himself to end Mueller’s investigation, and in doing so would this put him in the lineup of those to be investigated by whoever replaced Mueller? Nixon’s firing of the lead investigator did not stop that investigation ending in his resignation before he could be impeached. I am seriously asking this question because we have no way of knowing from one minute to the next what Trump will do and if there is an end to the Republican limitless support of his dangerous idiocy.

  5. JoAnn,

    As we have learned over the past 18 months, Sessions and 45 can do whatever they can get away with. With the current Congress, that means they can do whatever they want. Vote blue!

  6. in NoDak we have sen hietkamp, who, voted for gorsuch,and pruitt,aka mr oil and coal. now were faced with kavenaugh..with nodak being a redder than red,and ignorant in views beyond cheap rehetoric,hietkamp is pushed into being socalled a moderate demo,or what ever she herself has claimed,crosses the line for trump etc…her words… anyway, after her rant about the protesters,dapl, and the votes for the court and epa, shes suppose to be somewhat a demo.(dino).balancing her act against cramer,a trumper,teabagger,and ass,,,,..but,we still need the votes for,the left side.like accidently seeing the fox news channel, and smelling
    the rancid odor, we hold our noses and vote..best wishes in november..

  7. Trump’s rant yesterday that Sessions immediately shut down Mueller’s investigation shows, to me, that Mueller keeps getting closer to trump’s illegal activities and he is scared.

    Is anyone else amazed that people continue to support our toddler-in-chief? I really was unaware that so many crazy people inhabited this country. Life was much better for our country and for the world before these idiot assholes felt they could crawl out of the infested holes they were hiding in. Trump’s craziness gave them the boldness to bring out their craziness too. His encouragement of them to be physically violent is even worse.

    It is going to be another two long years of the entire world having to put up with him and his evil vp.

  8. Don’t disagree with voting and voting D, even holding one’s nose. But I do think the so called “purists” counter another sort of naivete, namely that all political power resides at the ballot box.

    “In a political system where nearly every adult may vote but where knowledge, wealth, social position, access to officials, and other resources are unequally distributed, who actually governs?” Robert A. Dahl in “Who Governs”1961

  9. Severe criticism of the Democrat Party and Senator Donnelly does not make one a “purist” or “naive”. Rather, it reflects a belief that we can do “better”.

  10. To the purists (who in my heart I often agree with) I say this: Third parties NEVER work except the skew or screw elections. Staying home is simply quitting and handing the prize to the enemy. Please, please, please do what my father, and FDR Democrat always did and who taught me to always do–ALAWAYS VOTE and ALWAYS VOTE DEMOCRAT no matter what. Anything less is to guarantee Republican control and Repiglican results. Hell yes vote Donnelly and anyone else with a D behind their name. It is simply self preservation.

  11. What is with Koch Network withholding support of Braun? Are they that confidant he will win regardless?

  12. John,

    “Don’t disagree with voting and voting D, even holding one’s nose. But I do think the so called “purists” counter another sort of naivete, namely that all political power resides at the ballot box.”

    Thanks, that’s what I’ve been trying to say for the past three years. By the way, in 2004, I made a special trip to Tampa in order to meet with Edward Tufte who was co-author with Robert Dahl, in some of his major efforts.

    Those two professors understand American politics better than anyone, I’ve come across.

  13. Since I’ve been reading this blog, the following from Wray MUST be the theme for all rational people. Those with personal agendas and long-lived biases will get more of the same if they don’t:
    “ALAWAYS VOTE and ALWAYS VOTE DEMOCRAT no matter what. Anything less is to guarantee Republican control and Repiglican results.”

  14. The best explanation that I’ve seen of how we got here:

    “In a political system where nearly every adult may vote but where knowledge, wealth, social position, access to officials, and other resources are unequally distributed, who actually governs?” Robert A. Dahl in “Who Governs”1961

    I picture the Russian campaign to elect Trump as a very professional advertising campaign. Marketing professionals know statistically where to invest. They know what appeals to demographic groups and how effective different approaches are to getting people to buy. What the return is on any investment. It’s no longer “Mad Men” but almost actuarial science.

    But what makes me believe that Putin appointed Trump is that apparently Mueller believes that he can prove that in August of 2016 Putin’s spies stole the entire then current Clinton election strategy with all of it’s election insights. That’s everything in detail about what the campaign would do to attract what percentage of which demographics down to the county level to win the EC.

    What would a competitive chess player do with the map of how each of her potential moves would be responded to?

    Given the professionalism I assume of spy craft and DNC campaign strategists and the stolen information, which can be assumed or not was shared with the campaign, I have no doubt that Putin could swing the EC without being in the voting booth at all.

    I believe that when Mueller gets done in court there will be no question who got Agent Orange into the Whitehouse.

  15. The “Cruelty” of this administration should drive the purists bonkers and it should be an easy dem vote. But we dems and independents and rational gop have our own struggles between the centrists and the progressives. Can we set that fight aside and unite behind the dem? We didn’t the last time as has been belabored.
    Today the Pop(party of Putin;the gop has switched their first letter) is pushing freezing fuel efficiency standards, allowing more tailpipe emissions into our already too warm atmosphere.
    Today this cruel adm. is pushing cheap health care plans eliminating those with pre-existing conditions.
    The pop has been forcibly and cruelly separating families at the border and having no plan to reunite them.
    etc. etc.
    How many teams win playing only defense?
    We must go on the attack re every cruelty this adm. rolls out. We must label this cruelty, and market this cruelty to the masses to the point where they will feel driven to vote against this cruelty. My concern is not enough are driven to get out to vote against this cruel adm. More marketing must be done. We need to unite against this cruel arm. with a common theme, and none is better than “Cruel Administration”.
    The dumb “better deal” slogan needs to be buried with the crooked dealmakers.

  16. I always thought it seemed pretty simple – who you vote for wise. If you’re liberal, you vote for your liberal person in the primary. You get out the vote for that liberal candidate and you work for it. If that liberal candidate doesn’t get to the general, then you’re stuck voting (still voting!) for whoever the (D) is. We have a two party system, so it’s not like there’s much choice in the matter. I would have preferred Sanders last time around, for instance, but Trump sure seemed like a dumpster fire. So, it wasn’t too much hard work to select Clinton. Making perfect (or great or even just good) the enemy of “not screaming awful” just seems silly to me.

    If asked, “would you like terrible, possibly life threatening food poisoning or to be shot in the head?” I’m going to roll the dice on staying hydrated and riding out the food poisoning for better days later. I’m not going to tell the person “it’s all the same. It doesn’t matter” when it patently does make some level of difference.

    There’s been a great deal of “Yeah, but the dems are bad too” out there as a response to everything awful that comes out of the current administration – and that’s completely missing the point. It must be intentionally obtuse. It’s the exact same thing, and just as silly, as the All Lives Matter people. Yes. All lives do indeed matter. Lives are important. It’s important for everyone to be treated well. But, the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t saying only black lives matter. They’re saying there’s a specific issue that needs to be addressed. Their house is on fire, your house in next door. The house that’s actually on fire gets a little more attention. Your house is still special.

    No one argues Dems are perfect. They’re just saying the current republican party is insane. So, almost anything is “better” – not great. Just better. And better, even nominally better, is an improvement.

    The whole “Whatever. They’re all the same” argument simply drives me up a wall.

  17. Marv is right – all power does not reside in the ballot boxes. However, access to power does reside in the ballot boxes and our task is to access the power to effect change from the current chaos in this so-called “administration.”

    Speaking of odds and ends, and among other atrocities, perhaps in the long or even medium run the seditious and/or treasonous conduct of the clueless one is eclipsed today by the announcement that his administration is rolling back Obama’s tailpipe regulatory standards in another bow to the fossil fuel industry as we burn ever more gas and diesel fuel in the transportation industry, the number one producer of atmospheric degradation, one a critic notes is the equivalent of bringing 30 new coal-burning plants on line. Thanks, Don!

  18. I hope I have made this point before: I’m voting straight ticket DEMOCRAT. I don’t expect anything worthwhile from the Trump GOP.
    Joe Donnelly may change his tune on some issues and we must push back when he votes with the GOP, but it’s politics in the prairie and the Blue Wave will be what it takes to straighten out Donnelly.
    Join the Blue Wave on November 6th that will bring Trumpy Republicans down off their high horses, bring dignity back.
    Give Joe another 6-year term but watch his voting record, tell him how to vote in the Senate, and give him ‘what for’ when he strays and votes with the GOP.
    No more rhetoric, Joe, just restate your pet policies, stick to, don’t water down, the Democrat Party Platform, be an FDR, not a Trump hero. Compare their accomplishments. V.P. Harry Truman emerged a winner; what can be hoped for with V. P. Pence except his leadership of the Bedroom Police Patrol?

  19. Russia, Russia, Russia!! Those Russikies are so good no one to my knowledge can prove a single states voting system was hacked, or that a single vote was influenced by those treacherous Russikies.

    An article in The Intercept today discusses the influence on our electoral process by the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC). Sounds pretty mundane, but they are a lobbying group that seeks to advance the goals of the largest players in the private health care industry.

    “The council, which spends over $5 million a year on industry advocacy and brings together chief executives of major health corporations, represents an array of health industries, including insurers, hospitals, drug makers, medical device manufacturers, pharmacies, health product distributors, and information technology companies.”

    “As it stands now, the Medicare law, authored under the influence of the drug lobby, prevents the agency from using its collective bargaining power to negotiate lower prices for pharmaceuticals as part a benefit program known as Part D. Progressive health care activists have agitated for the government to become directly involved in negotiations.”

    “Drug industry groups like the Healthcare Leadership Council — which is funded by pharma giants Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, and Bristol-Myers Squibb — have opposed the negotiation route.”

    “The Healthcare Leadership Council’s outreach to candidates was not limited to Hawaii. Lobbyists working with the group have surveyed congressional candidates for open seats in Indiana, Kansas, California, Minnesota, Illinois, and New Mexico.” https://theintercept.com/2018/08/02/healthcare-medicare-for-all-hawaii/
    ===================================================================

    Frankly, I am a lot more concerned about the above type of lobbying than the Russikies.
    I guess those of us in the Left Progressive Camp, are now “purists”. We actually expect – Truth in Labeling. I do not exactly see how we can have Universal Health Care or Single Payer, without pushing hard.

  20. Agent Orange’s mission on top of what Putin demands is to take from the middle class what little wealth we still have and redistribute it to he and his oligarch friends and the Republican donor class.

    It’s a good thing that we have a Republican Congress to watch out for our best interests.,

  21. ML,

    Having worked for an Ely Lilly subsidiary back in the day, I can tell you first hand – from the mouths of their cost accountants – that they openly lead with “We’re in business to make money, not cure people of illness.” Talk about cynicism….

    This segment of so-called free-market enterprise is craven and its stockholders slathering greed merchants. This greed has produced an entire segment of humanity who lost their sense of being if for no other reason than to make money no matter who or what is harmed in the process. Said another way, the greed merchants are actually doing more to aid the extinction of the species than any other human actions including wars.

  22. From Pete today:
    “It’s a good thing that we have a Republican Congress to watch out for our best interests.,”
    Got your tongue in your cheek, Pete?
    Humor in sarcasm, eh?

  23. JoAnn@ 8:00am:

    As Peggy replied. We are in totally uncharted waters. No one in the history of this Country has ever tried to “un-recuse” him/herself. Just how one could do that seems to be a logical fallacy.

    Under these circumstances, where (if Sessions were to follow Trump’s orders and try to do it) Sessions would be directly obeying the order (“should”) given to him by the President, it would engender the “Constitutional Crisis” that many of us, since Trump’s election, have all along feared was inevitably coming in some form or another.

    If, as Peggy said, Congress won’t step in — pretty highly unlikely that ANY of the former Republicans in Congress, who appear to be scared shitless by the Trumpite followers who have taken over the former Republican Party, have the either the guts, gumption, or moral fortitude to protect the Country rather than Trump. Then the Supreme Court would inevitably get drug into the fight with a very uncertain outcome (and another reason why Trump’s current nominee for the Supreme Court shouldn’t even get a hearing or be voted upon. But that’s another topic and outrage). Because again, nothing like this has ever happened before and there are no existing precedents.

    As many of the talking heads in the media noted yesterday — and I believe correctly so — Trump’s ordering Sessions that he “should” un-recuse himself in order to then end the criminal investigation involving Trump himself constitutes not only the Federal crime of directly interfering with a criminal investigation (and perhaps other crimes as well), but also fits well with the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” necessary to file articles of impeachment. But as far as I’m aware not one of the former Republicans in Congress have done much more than say: “Oh, that’s just Trump being Trump.” He’s always saying stuff like that. (See Susan Collins). I guess in other words, he didn’t really mean it, and it supposedly has no effect and should just be ignored.

    Also, what about Trump’s tweets yesterday, the first day of his former campaign manager’s trial before an un-recused jury, lauding Manafort and essentially saying that Manafort has done nothing wrong, let alone criminal. Seems to me to be a blatant attempt to tamper with the jury. Even though the Judge has instructed the jurors not to watch, read, or listen to any reports about the trial (not sure if they were explicitly instructed not to read Trump’s Tweets) when they go home at night, if I were the prosecutors I might want to be asking the Judge to question the jurors about it, and perhaps sequester them going forward.

    Never a dull day, unfortunately for us and the well being of the Country.

  24. When you see Pence standing behind Trump bigly beaming while Trump is bloviating biglier, you know Pence is thinking Eliza Doolittle’s song:
    “Just you wait, Mike Pence, just you wait.”

  25. Peggy and David F; your comments supported the fact that my questions were valid regarding questionable current and possible future actions by Trump, et al. You responded by saying the same things I did as if informing me of what is going on and none of us have received any legal answers to my questions or your comments.

    Regarding Trump’s Tweets yesterday supporting Manafort, they were simply a self-serving, hopeful cover-up of his own illegal tax evasion actions. And remember; this is only the first Manafort trial on this one issue; not his expensive tastes but paying for them using wire transfers from his offshore bank accounts where he has hidden millions to avoid paying taxes. Is there a connection to Trump involved in this trial, in this part of Mueller’s investigation? Another of those “Odds And Ends” with no end in sight; part of the bigger picture or another distraction from what Congress is doing “behind that curtain”? Who the hell knows?

  26. Vernon @ 12:55 > Having worked for an Ely Lilly subsidiary back in the day, I can tell you first hand – from the mouths of their cost accountants – that they openly lead with “We’re in business to make money, not cure people of illness.”

    The Republicans have tried big time and I think partially been successful in allowing union employees a choice in denying that union dues be used in political activities. At least here is what I have found –

    It is true that federal law and some state laws prohibit unions from using dues dollars to make contributions to political campaigns. That’s why unions have political action committees (PAC).

    From Forbes > In 25 states, known as “right-to-work” states, members can already leave their unions and stop paying all associated dues with no penalties.

    But even in the other 25 forced union states, union workers still have rights. They can become an agency fee payer, which means they only pay for the non-political parts of union membership. Additionally, they can become a religious or conscientious objector who does not fund the union at all.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2015/08/26/not-just-in-right-to-work-states-union-workers-can-opt-out-of-membership/#6d65e45e7141
    =========================================
    So I have an observation and questions. Not sure if anyone can answer though.
    Corporations sell a products or services. Can a corporation use a part of their profits to fund a PAC?? I presume the corporation can also use a portion of it’s profit to fund a lobbying group.

    If corporations can fund a PAC or a lobbying group for political purposes, then – Citizens who buy the corporations products or services actually are funding this activity. Using the example of the Unions, I would think buyers of their product or service would have a right to object to having their money used to fund a PAC or lobbyists.

    The retort would probably be then do not buy that product or service.

    Just musing away here on Friday.

  27. Monotonous@3:09pm
    Haven’t researched your musings. But off the top of my head, my answer would be YES. See Citizens United.
    Where I currently live, Arizona, Arizona Public Service, which is owned by a huge conglomerate, Pinnacle West Capital Corp., has basically openly bought the Arizona Utility Commission that regulates utilities and sets rates, by funneling huge amounts money, through PACs, to fund the campaigns of the elected Commissioners who will do the power companies’ bidding. All legal, more or less. They are also currently spending millions of dollars in an effort to defeat a citizens’ initiative that would put limits on the Utility Comm. and the companies ability to destroy rooftop solar in Arizona in favor of the electric companies’ building their own or buying power generated from huge solar arrays that they can control.

    So when its customers pay their electric bills, they are also paying to buy politicians and influence elections that will raise their rates and increase the profits of the conglomerates. Nice!

  28. Thanks David @ 4:06 pm. >> “So when its customers pay their electric bills, they are also paying to buy politicians and influence elections that will raise their rates and increase the profits of the conglomerates. Nice!”

    Wow -What a sweet deal rate payers get screwed twice and pay for it.

    I must have been time traveling in the TARDIS (Whovians will understand), when I said in my previous post it was a Friday afternoon.

  29. WOW! WOW!, grab your hip boots and pull them on. A dump truck load of Cow Manure has just landed our Secret Service:

    Warning this is not from The Onion or Borowitz Report
    From the Guardian:
    Suspected Russian spy found working at US embassy in Moscow

    Exclusive: Russian is understood to have had full access to secret data during decade at embassy.

    US counter-intelligence investigators discovered a suspected Russian spy had been working undetected in the heart of the American embassy in Moscow for more than a decade, the Guardian has learned.

    The Russian national had been hired by the US Secret Service and is understood to have had access to the agency’s intranet and email systems, which gave her a window into highly potentially confidential material including the schedules of the president and vice-president.

    “She had access to the most damaging database, which is the US Secret Service official mail system,” the source said. “Part of her access was schedules of the president – current and past – vice-president, and their spouses, including Hillary Clinton.”

    She had plenty of time to gather intelligence without supervision, the source said. “Several employees interacted with her on a personal level by emailing her personally on a non-work account. This isn’t allowed.”

    The Guardian has been told that the potential breach was not reported to any of the congressional intelligence or oversight committees.

    “The US Congress is focusing on Russian hackers when it is possible that all of the information they needed to get into the system came from the internal breach in the Secret Service,” the source said.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/02/suspected-russian-spy-us-embassy-moscow-secret-service
    ==================================================================
    You really need to read this article. The Secret Service has had some scandals in the recent past. So far I can only find a reference to this in the Guardian.

    If all this is true it makes our “Intelligence Agencies” look like fools. Maybe that is why President Agent Orange had such a hang dog look on his face and Putin looked like the cat that just ate the canary.

  30. ML,

    If true, we are in worse shape than ever. The fox has, literally, been in the hen house for a while and is happily munching away. So, naturally, our traitor/president says shit like, “It’s better to be friends with Russia than enemies.” What a complete idiot. Russia was NEVER our friend. Russia has an absolute cultural blindspot about the West. They have ALWAYS been adversaries to the West. It’s in their DNA.

  31. Vernon @ 6:06 pm, I would say Russia in general has bad memories of the West, Swedish King Charles XII, invaded the Russian Empire and was defeated in 1709 with the destruction of the main Swedish army at the decisive Battle of Poltava (in present-day Ukraine).

    Napoleon invaded the Russian Empire in 1812, and his Grand Army was destroyed. Russian Armies would end up in Paris.

    The German Empire and the Russian Empire clashed during WW 1 from the Baltic down to Black Sea. One reason for Russian Revolution was the enormous losses, incurred by the Russians. Estimates are 1,700,000 to 2,254,369 killed.

    Hitler invaded the Soviet Union and best estimates are 25,000,000 Soviet Citizens were killed repelling Hitler’s army.

    If the Russians are paranoid of the West it is honestly acquired. That said, I feel sorry for the Russian people hundreds of years of oppression under the Czars, only to be replaced by the Communists, Boris Yeltsin, who was responsible for the rise of the oligarchs in Russia and now Putin.

  32. ML,

    Yes. I’m familiar with that history. My grandparents fled Ukraine in 1914 to avoid the horrible war.

  33. Vernon,

    “ML,

    Yes. I’m familiar with that history. My grandparents fled Ukraine in 1914 to avoid the horrible war.”

    The mistake we’re making in the U.S. and especially within the Democratic Party (this includes both the Clinton and Sanders wings) is that we’re at PEACE not WAR. There’s no assurance that there will be an election or that a Trump led Republican Party will recognize the results of the November election if they should lose control. If I’m right about the war, please take me to your LEADER.

    As you know, I’m just joking. There is no LEADER. When the Japanese invaded China in the 30’s the country came together to fight the common enemy. That should be our model at least for the time being; we must create a JOINT COMMAND to avoid a REAL WAR.

    There’s much more at stake than just an election in November. The vast majority of Americans, including Democrats have forgotten what it is to be FREE.

    COMMAND can only come from OUTSIDE of the Democratic Party. Independents have just as much at stake in the November elections as the Democrats, but have the advantage of not being caught up in FRATRICIDAL party politics.

    Before you start, I’m not talking about creating a THIRD PARTY.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    From John Neal on August 2nd:

    “I Don’t disagree with voting and voting D, even holding one’s nose. But I do think the so called “purists” counter another sort of naivete, namely that all political power resides at the ballot box.

    “In a political system where nearly every adult may vote but where knowledge, wealth, social position, access to officials, and other resources are unequally distributed, who actually governs?” Robert A. Dahl in “Who Governs”1961

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *