Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trump Refuses To Implement The Sanctions Congress Passed On His Pal Vlad


There have been whispers out of the White House that Trumpanzee wants to get rid of the oil guy he appointed Secretary of State and put Mike Pompeo, the CIA chief, in his place. He may have changed his mind yesterday if someone told him about Pompeo's BBC interview in which he warned that Russia will likely target the midterm elections and that he has "every expectation" that Russia will attempt to disrupt the U.S. midterms. "The Russians," said Pompeo, "have been at this a long time, and I fully expect they’ll continue to be at it." Congress thought the same thing, which is why they passed-- overwhelmingly, new sanctions on Russia. It passed in the House 419-3 and in the Senate 98-2. Despite those huge votes-- and at the same time Pompeo's warning was being broadcast, Señor Trumpanzee said he won't impose the sanctions on Russia. Far right radio host-- and Illinois ex-congressman, Joe Walsh tweeted "Putin is laughing right now. I mean, think about it: He screws with our election, he knows we won't come together to go after Russia, and he's got Trump & the Republicans going after our own intelligence agencies instead. Putin must just love this."

And Walsh wasn't the only Republican unhappy with Trump cuddling up with Putin Susan Collins on CNN: "The one thing we know for sure already is the Russians did attempt to meddle in our election. And not only should there be a price to pay in terms of sanctions, but also we need to put safeguards in place right now for the elections for this year... We know the Russians have not given up on their disinformation campaign and their attempt to sow discord in this country, and also to undermine faith in democratic institutions." Moving to stop Kremlin meddling is one thing Trump will never do. Just like 2016, he wants the interference.

Instead of obeying the law, Trump's Treasury Department released a list of names of Putin associates who were naughty. The list includes "every senior member of the political administration at the Kremlin, and every Russian oligarch with a net worth of $1 billion or more." The Trumpist regime, according to CNN, "stopped short of imposing any new punishments, saying the legislation was already doing its job. The report was 'not a sanctions list,' it said. Putin pretended to be vewy, vewy upset: "What's the point of this? I don't understand," he laughed. "But this is of course an unfriendly act. It complicates already complicated Russia-US relations and harms international relations in general. Those who engage in this are basically engaged in their own domestic politics. They are trying to attack their elected president." He added that "we have heard about some other secret list, containing other names, so we need to look and see what is going to happen." Is that so? How did he here about that and from whom? I hop Mueller adds that to what he's investigating.

Ironically, if you go to YouTube you find nothing but Russian troll garbage on the front pages of a search for "Trump, sanctions, Russia." It was just what they were doing during the election to bury videos unfriendly to Trump. YouTube,a subsidiary of Google, refuses to fix the problem, which is constant.

It's somewhat ironic that Marco Rubio (R-FL), now a dedicated Trump apologist and enabler, has joined with Non Menendez (D-NJ) in warning the country that Trump's Kremlin allies are meddling in Latin American elections, too. They wrote to Rex Tillerson: "We write to urge you to raise the importance of strong, independent electoral systems in Mexico and Latin America more broadly. We are increasingly concerned about growing efforts to undermine these hard-fought and widely supported advances, particularly those emanating from outside the region." Trump still denies that Russian inference swung the 2016 presidential election to himself. (Yes, Trump is an illegitimate president.)
The senators allege Russia is using "sophisticated technology" to influence Mexico's upcoming presidential election, and they're asking Tillerson to urge Mexico and other countries to rely on help from USAID to safeguard their elections. Violent protests of thousands recently erupted after the Honduras presidential election, a contested race that was marred by accusations of voter fraud. Tear gas had to be used to diffuse the angry streets when the winner was declared weeks after the vote took place. The senators point to those images in calling for the need to support strong electoral processes to sustain a democracy.

U.S. National Security Advisor HR McMaster noted Russian efforts to insert their influence in Mexico late last year.  "We've seen that this is really a sophisticated effort to polarize democratic societies and pit communities within those societies against each other," said McMaster "You've seen, actually, initial signs of it in the Mexican presidential campaign already."

Given the spate of upcoming presidential elections this year in the Western hemisphere-- there are six-- the senators are concerned about the potential for exploitation.

"Weak electoral systems can be easily exploited and manipulated by malicious actors like Russia," the senators write. "As such, we believe it is critical that USAID continue to play an active role in providing technical assistance, education and training to support countries' efforts to strengthen electoral systems."

...Tillerson has acknowledged Russian interference in the 2016 US election. When he traveled to Russia last year he deemed it a "serious issue" that has been "fairly well-established." The secretary also reiterated this point in Washington late last year.

"Russia continues aggressive behavior toward other regional neighbors by interfering in election processes and promoting non-democratic ideals," Tillerson said. "We, together with our friends in Europe, recognize the active threat of a recently resurgent Russia."

Still, the Trump administration did not follow through on congressional legislation that would in part, have sought to punish Russia for its U.S. election interference. Without adding new sanctions to target the Russian intelligence and defense sectors, the Trump administration said that the legislation itself was doing enough to deter Russia. The State Department said that in speaking with U.S. allies and partners, it was able to turn off "potential deals" that would have amounted to several billions dollars.

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It isn't so much that it's the evil empire that is fucking with our elections. It's that our elections are so easy to fuck with. Rs have been doing it for decades. The Ds did it in 2016 if not before. And the WAY the Russians cajoled American rubes into voting for the mid-double-digit-IQ in chief makes us look... well... like the fucking morons we are.

And the senate also repealed Glass-Steagall, which led directly to the crash, by 98-2. So holding up the senate unanimity as a positive wrt Russia sanctions is kind of ... ironic??

At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree with 5:36 that our elections are too easy to hack, I remain skeptical that the Russians did anything significant. If plastering mass quantities of hostile ads on YouTube constitutes hacking, then this nation is too stupid to survive anyway.

I keep waiting for a significant act on the part of the Russians to be revealed, yet all I see and hear are things like Susan Collins (whose IQ is about as low as Trump's) proclaiming "We KNOW!" Sure, I hear that from Xtians all the time and I'm still no closer to agreeing with their beliefs either.

If the Russian influence is as pervasive as claimed, then they had to have done something which can be revealed. Show me that they did something significant, and maybe I won't believe that all of this Russia sanction stuff isn't just a slow-motion version of the war that HER! wanted to start over the Ukraine.

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:27, several states' election commissions, voter rolls and vote counting systems were penetrated. The DNC and RNC were both penetrated. Stormy Daniels was penetrated. 3 of the 4 were PROBABLY by Russians.

We won't hear any details because the gummint still, interestingly, doesn't want to admit that their shit is pretty much open and out there. The vote counting thing has been hacked for 20 years.

Also, if the public were convinced that the Russians actually changed counts or stripped registered voters, there might be a noticeable reversal of their support for the douchenozzle in chief's indifference to voting security.

That shit will never be confirmed.

But the tech industry (and obamanation, who did nothing, and the government intel agencies) is 98.6% sure the Russians did hack all of them. Full disclosure, I'm in the tech industry. I read user group discussions. I believe it. It happened.

At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I remain unconvinced until the proof is shown. "Probably" and other such words would get thrown out in a trial. And just because voting has been hacked for twenty years doesn't prove that the Russians were the culprits. I'm more inclined to believe the Republicans are, for they had means, motives, and opportunity in far more effective ways to alter counts - including physical custody of the machines.

Anything else is distraction.

At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In tech circles, it's been confirmed that at least SOME of the sources of the hacking of state and local election machinery came from known Russian sources. It happened.

Keeping the bag over your head is fine. It's what americans do.

At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tech circles? Like the guys who shut off your iPhones to save the batteries? Those tech circles? Who can't be bothered to close all of the security holes in software because those are features to be sold to advertisers and not bugs? Thos tech circles?

Yeah, I'll believe them when they can prove this assertion to a jury of MY peers in a court of law regularly constituted and under indictment.

This crap about trying cases in the media without following the form and the letter of the law is how Republicans get away with so much.

Keep THAT bag over YOUR head.


Post a Comment

<< Home