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I have to tell you, I was very disappointed when you didn’t show up for my performance at the 2017 Mensa Worldwide Olympics competition at the beautiful Salton Sea Hyatt hard by the majestic peaks of the Chocolate Mountain Naval Aerial Gunnery Range.
As usual, I brought home a gold medal in the Mensa Pentathalon, taking first in my signature events, the modem toss and the stacked-server high jump, and racking up a new personal best, second place in the Oxford English Dictionary clean and jerk.
Fox News released an excerpt last night of an interview of President Donald Trump by Bill O’Reilly that will air before the Super Bowl tonight. In it, O’Reilly asks Trump about Putin, noting that “Putin’s a killer.” Trump then responds, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think–our country’s so innocent?”
This is not different from things that Trump said during the campaign. In a December, 2015, appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Trump made a similar statement. When host Joe Scarborough said that Putin “kills journalists that don’t agree with him,” Trump replied “Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe.” Later in the interview Scarborough asked Trump if he condemned the killing of journalists. Trump said, “Oh sure. Absolutely.” I wonder if O’Reilly will ask the president a similar follow-up question. I hope so.
“I demand equality,” Elizabeth “Dances With Wolf Blitzer” Warren screamed at the half-court line. “They have all the height. Our players need their fair share.” She pointed at Sheriff David Clarke Kent and his cowboy hat. “And, he’s a ….”
“Democrat,” I yelled to drown out whatever epithet she was attempting to hurl. “The R’s made him an honorary R, so under the rules of this game, he’s eligible to play on the RNC team.”
Vladimir Putin isn’t going to even bother retaliating to what he dismissively called “kitchen diplomacy” after President Obama’s latest attempt to pee in President-elect Trump’s pool. I have to say I love this response. The presidency of Barack Obama can’t end soon enough… Preview Open
Is Jill Stein, of course. From her website, now repurposed as a conduit for dark money towards lawfare by recount: Stein attended a dinner Thursday night, sitting at the table with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “While the objective of that dinner was not to engage in serious discussions, Putin did appear to respond in his formal remarks […]
Republicans have a lot of people to thank this year. For example, there is FBI director James Comey. Last summer, he was the Republicans’ goat, refusing to indict Hillary Clinton. Now he is the Man of the Hour. Then there is Hillary herself: whose corruption is a gift to any opponent, even Donald Trump. But don’t forget Vladimir Putin. Month after month, he has worked tirelessly for the GOP ticket, undermining the Democrats, mainly through his cut-out Julian Assange.
Putin has never stopped being a KGB man, just as Russian intelligence, whatever its current initials, has never stopped being the KGB. (We could go back further, of course, with this alphabet soup.)
The WikiLeaks revelations have been damning – damning of the Democrats. But can you imagine if Putin and the Kremlin were on the other side? If they were uncovering TrumpWorld’s e-mails instead of HillaryWorld’s? The e-mails of Corey, Manafort, Newt, Ivanka, Roger Stone, Ann, Laura, Sean, Kellyanne, Rudy, Ailes, and all the rest? Of Trump himself? I have a feeling those e-mails would be just as damning as the Hillary-related ones – and more entertaining.
In 2012, Mitt Romney said of Russia, “This is without question our number one geopolitical foe. They fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that [Obama] has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed.” Later, at a presidential debate, President Obama famously responded, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
The press giggled at zinger just as they had mocked Romney’s concern about Putin’s growing belligerence. Let’s check the status of the US/Russia relationship today:
Secretary of State John Kerry has suspended diplomatic talks with Russia over Syria, citing President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing military intervention on behalf of incumbent dictator Bashar Assad.
Over on Twitter, economist Ernie Tedeschi notes, “Russia’s economy has shrunk 5% in inflation-adjusted terms since 2013. America’s has grown 7.5%.” Yes, Putin’s authoritarian populism is proving to be, among other things, simply terrible economics.
Russia’s prospects for long-term, diversified, sustainable economic growth remain bleak. There is no efficiently functioning legal framework, and government continues to interfere in the private sector through myriad state-owned enterprises. Corruption pervades the economy and continues to erode trust in the government. … Progress with market-oriented reforms has been uneven and often reversed at the urging of those with an interest in maintaining the status quo. Increasing inflationary pressure poses a major risk to overall macroeconomic stability. Large state-owned institutions have increased their domination of the financial sector at the expense of private domestic and foreign banks. …
The Democratic Party’s national convention is attempting to lay claim to the patriot mantle. Yet the party is not quite there. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was heckled with chants of “no more war.” The Code Pink wing lost the nomination this year, but it won the platform, and may yet win it all in the next cycle.
Vladimir Bukovsky was prominent in the dissident movement within the old Soviet Union, and spent 12 years in prisons, labor camps, and psychiatric hospitals. He has lived in Britain since the late 1970s, and has been a vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin, referring to Putin and his circle as the heirs of Lavrenty Beria — Beria being Stalin’s notorious secret-police chief. Bukovsky also expressed the opinion that the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko (in Britain, by radioactive polonium) was done at the behest of Russian authorities. So you can be pretty sure that Bukovsky isn’t on Vladimir Putin’s list of ten favorite people.
Recently, Bukovsky has been charged with child pornography by British authorities. Claire Berlinski believes that he was likely framed by the Russian regime. (More from Claire here.) It certainly seems quite possible that Putin’s intelligence agencies planted the evidence on Bukovsky’s computer, and I am happy that Claire is going to be further investigating this matter, which has received little attention from the legacy media.
I tend to believe that Claire is right and Bukovsky is innocent, though I have no way of putting probabilities on this at the moment. I am also impressed by the logic of Diana West’s question: “Is there a sentient person, naturally revolted by the thought of child pornography, even five or six images’ worth, going to believe for one minute that the British state, for decades having turned the blindest and hardest and most craven of eyes against the sexual despoilment and prostitution of generations of little British girls at risk at the hands of criminal Islamic “grooming” gangs, has suddenly developed some compelling interest in protecting the welfare of children, and thus turned its avenging sword on … Vladimir Bukovsky?”
John Kerry: says Assad better step down by August–and not try to carve out Aleppo in the meantime–or face a changed U.S. approach to the war in Syria Vladimir Putin: sends his buddy to put on a cello concert in the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre in Palmyra Preview Open
“When Putin came to power, the first thing he did was take control of state television. Not the secret service, not national intelligence, but the media.” Peter Pomerantsev, senior fellow at the Legatum Institute in London and expert on modern Russia, said this in an interview with Swedish national radio as they recently reported on a Swedish military official expressing concern over systematic Russian attempts to infiltrate and influence Swedish and European media.
The Russian interventionism was never more evident than during the aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 catastrophe, when a jet was shot down over Ukraine in 2014. As soon as the official Dutch crash report was published a year later, it was countered by an “alternative” report out of Russia, as well as an alternative press conference aired hours before the Dutch report came out, chronicling a reconstruction of the crash performed by Russian experts. These Russian experts, paid by the Kremlin, came to the conclusion that while it may have been Russian-made robots that shot down the aircraft and killed 300 people, these robots were no longer used by Russia but rather by the Ukrainian army, and that the Russian reconstruction had shown that the missiles probably were fired from Kiev. The findings lauded by the Russians had been investigated and debunked by the Dutch air crash investigators, but none of that information was deemed pertinent to what ended up making it on Russian TV.
What Russia and the Kremlin are doing is putting forth an image of controversy, as if the “alternative” theory regarding the crash is equally valid and probable as compared to the international consensus, and through these measures they appear to be making headway. We have seen the effects of Putin’s media strategy in the aftermath of flight MH17, with the swift dying down of outrage toward Russian annexation of Crimea and of course, the dilution and denigration of opposition forces in Syria.