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Name: RuggedRealist
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York, NY
Home country: USA
Current location: NYC
Member since: Tue Jan 4, 2005, 04:36 PM
Number of posts: 32,886

Journal Archives

Best unintended comedy of Election 2016 so far, Trump's VP chides Obama for name calling

Best unintended comedy of Election 2016 thus far. Pence, Trump's VP, chides Obama saying "Politics is no place for name calling" http://goo.gl/4kkp4H

Hey Mike, ever listened to your boss? Apparently not.

Howard Fineman - "She was the President tonight... that's what she achieved."

I agree

Trump proves Hillary right, responds to her speech with several angry Tweets

He baits easier than a lab rat and has the same hair as one.

Yesterday Trump said he never met Putin. In this video in 2013 he said they had a relationship


FYI this article I wrote two days ago, Trump the Traitor working to put America firstÖ under the boot of Putin. , http://steveleser.blogspot.com/2016/07/trump-traitor-working-to-put-america.html

The question now is, if there is no issue with Trumps relationship with Putin and Russia, why the lie?

Hillary's convention speech was like hitting two grand slam homeruns in one game.

I didn't think she was capable of anything that amazing.

Trump the Traitor working to put America firstÖ under the boot of Putin.

Trump the Traitor working to put America firstÖ under the boot of Putin. http://goo.gl/s2mp9b

"Trumpís statement on NATO has hurt American National Security more than any single act by any President in US History, and Trump managed to do that without ever being elected to any political office."

The thing that concerns me about what is happening with Trump and Putin is that so many ridiculous and scurrilous things get said during an election that many folks will not give this the attention that it deserves.

There are too many things that now show that there is a connection between Trump and Putin and that Putin is willing to pull out all the stops to try to throw the election to Trump. As bad as that is, what is worse is that Trump is willing to hurt American national security to foster his relationship with Putin and Russia. We donít yet know all the specifics of the relationship between Trump and Putin but here is what we do know so far:

1. Trump has expressed admiration for Putin on multiple occasions. This is strange behavior for a nominee for President from one of the major parties to express admiration for a foreign leader who has had an adversarial relationship with the United States for the past 12 years versus Presidents of both US parties.

2. Trump has had relationships with Billionaire oligarch friends of Putin going back a number of years. Trumpís obsequiousness toward and attempt to attract the attention of Russian leaders goes back to Soviet times. He so badly wanted to meet Gorbachev that he was tricked into meeting with a Gorbachev impersonator and this was caught on camera. See here for more information about Trumpís Russian connections throughout the years http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/07/vladimir_putin_has_a_plan_for_destroying_the_west_and_it_looks_a_lot_like.html also here http://www.politico.eu/article/donald-trumps-russia-connections-foreign-policy-presidential-campaign/ and see here https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/from-russia-with-love for video of Trumps embarrassing meeting with a Gorbachev impersonator.

3. One of Trumpís top campaign personnel, Paul Manafort, has worked with Russian backed candidates in Ukraine including being on the payroll of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president and a Putin ally. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/opinion/donald-trump-the-siberian-candidate.html?_r=1

4. It has now been confirmed that Russian intelligence services were behind the hack of the Democratic Party email system and the Russians released that information just before the Democratic National Convention when it would be sure to cause problems for the Democratic nomineeís efforts to build cohesion versus Trump. Itís impossible that this was done without approval from Putin. To put it succinctly, Russian intelligence, at the behest of Putin, is trying to help Trump win the election via nefarious means. See the below posted ABC News video.

5. The Trump campaign refused a plank in the GOP platform, pushed by all other factions of the Republican Party, that would guarantee weapons to Ukraine if Russia attacked them. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-campaign-guts-gops-anti-russia-stance-on-ukraine/2016/07/18/98adb3b0-4cf3-11e6-a7d8-13d06b37f256_story.html

6. Most concerning is that Trump has broken with over 60 years of NATO policy in suggesting that if he were President, the US might not come to the aid of a fellow NATO member if attacked by Russia. http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/07/trump-nato/492341/ This is a huge blow to the members of NATO, particularly in Eastern Europe, who live with an ever increasing aggressiveness from Russia and depend on their membership in NATO to stay free from Russian domination. Newsweek published an article earlier this year titled ďCounting Down to a Russian invasion of the BalticsĒ, http://www.newsweek.com/counting-down-russian-invasion-baltics-414877 , which outlined how aggressive Putin has been in putting political, economic and business pressure on the Baltics in what can only be assumed to be a prelude to attempting to take control over those countries in one form or another. Trumpís comments must seem particularly terrifying to the people and leaders of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It could drive countries like these or others who share borders with Russia to decide it would be easier and safer to capitulate to Putinís demands to return to the Russian sphere of influence, and turn away from NATO and the EU. You can see the argument being made, better to do that now with some bargaining chips to be played than be overrun and have no say in how itís done. I promise all of you reading this that those kinds of discussions are being had in countries that border Russia after Trumpís comments. I am not saying those proposing such things will win those arguments, but they are being said and are being taken seriously. I am not exaggerating the effect of Trumpís comments on NATO. As reported by Esme Crib in Talking Points Memo, condemnation on that front was swift by a diverse group of people on both sides of the political aisle, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, criticized Trump's stance as "an open invitation to Vladimir Putin" and said that he hoped that "whoever advised Mr. Trump on this rethinks it." See this video of Bolton, who is a Trump Supporter, discussing this:

The Clinton campaign was also quick to respond to Trump's suggestions.

ďThe President is supposed to be the leader of the free world,Ē senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement. ďDonald Trump apparently doesnít even believe in the free world.Ē He went on to say that it was "fair to assume that Vladimir Putin is rooting for a Trump presidency."

Trumpís response to criticism was to double down on his position regarding potentially not coming to the aid of fellow NATO countries.

Why is Trump clinging so hard to a bad policy denounced from all corners that hasnít been defended by any foreign policy expert at any position in the political spectrum? Why is hurting US National Security by weakening NATO so important to him?

The only person who benefits from Trumpís proposed change in NATO policy is Putin.

My contention, and I will argue this point with anyone, is that Trumpís statement on NATO has hurt American National Security more than any single act by any President in US History, and Trump managed to do that without ever being elected to any political office.

The Washington Postsí Anne Applebaum put it this way:

For even if Trump never becomes president, his candidacy has already achieved two extremely important Russian foreign policy goals: to weaken the moral influence of the United States by undermining its reputation as a stable democracy, and to destroy its power by wrecking its relationships with its allies. Toward these ends, Trump has begun repeating arguments identical to those used on Russian state television. These range from doubts about the sovereignty of Ukraine ó earlier this week, Trumpís campaign team helped alter the Republican party platform to remove support for Ukraine ó to doubts about U.S. leadership of the democratic world. The United States has its own ďmessĒ to worry about, Trump told the New York Times on Wednesday: It shouldnít stand up for democracy abroad. In the same interview, he also cast doubt on the fundamental basis of transatlantic stability, NATOís Article 5 guarantee: If Russia invades, he said, heíd have to think first before defending U.S. allies. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/how-a-trump-presidency-could-destabilize-europe/2016/07/21/9ec38a20-4f75-11e6-a422-83ab49ed5e6a_story.html

Ms Applebaum also alluded to Trump being an actual Manchurian candidate.

From the links on several of the points I noted above you can see that various major media organizations are starting to report on the kinds of things I have written about here. ABC News did an excellent piece on the hack and some of the other disturbing elements of seeming cooperation between Trump and Putin. See

Putin is a bully who has invaded and taken over pieces of half a dozen neighboring countries. The surest way to deter a bully is by a rock-solid alliance between countries so that the bully knows in no uncertain terms that if he attacks one of the alliance members, all will come to the aid of the country attacked with devastating consequences for the attacker. We saw what happened in the run-up to the Second World War when dictators exploited the reluctance of countries to support each other by swiftly taking over large portions of Europe and Asia. Trump is working to bring those same conditions about by eroding the support of NATO alliance countries for each other.

This is an enormous issue. Beyond all the other reasons why Trump would make a terrible President, this issue of Trump selling out American National Security to Russia stands above them all as a critical reason why Trump should not never be President.

For reference I included NATOís article 5 from http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

Article 5
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .


So Many Folks Confused About What Impartiality in the Primary Means for a Democratic Party Organizat


With the current brouhaha about Debbie Wasserman Schultz and whether emails leaked by a hacker in Russia show wrongdoing, I think itís important that folks know exactly what the applicable rules mean in terms of how Democratic Party officials are supposed to conduct themselves with regards to contests for a Democratic nomination.

Many people seem to be attempting to apply these rules in a way they were not intended.
Iíve been subject to similar rules in the past. As a past precinct chair, then District Leader and then County Public Relations Chairperson for the Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee in Florida, we were subject to the following rule:

PCDEC Bylaws
Endorsement of Candidates
The endorsement of candidates in Primary elections is prohibited to the County Committee, the Chair of the PCDEC, and all groups within its jurisdiction, except as otherwise provided by the FDP Bylaw

Every two years, at least while I was an officer of the PCDEC, the county chairperson would go over with us exactly what that means and how it affected us.

The main idea is, you cannot endorse any candidates or make it seem to voters as if you were using your office to promote a candidate for the Democratic nomination or that the local county apparatus endorsed someone. You were absolutely permitted to volunteer for a campaign, work for a campaign and to have a strong personal preference for a candidate. The key is not to make a public endorsement. If you think about it, it doesnít make sense to do otherwise. To prevent all local Democratic Party officials from working on campaigns removes the most active Democrats from helping candidates until very late in the process. That is not the intent of the rule.

Now letís examine the DNC bylaws applicable to the situation with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

DNC Bylaws Article 5, Section 4
In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.

The bold, italics and underlining are mine and they are the key point to this rule. Again, the point is not that the national chair and DNC members canít have a strong preference for who wins the nomination it also doesnít mean that the national chair and other DNS members canít express their preference privately. It doesnít mean that a candidate canít anger them or that they canít express that anger privately.

Understanding the rule, did Debbie Wasserman Schultz break it? I donít think so.

Letís also understand that we are dealing with extraordinary circumstances here. I want everyone reading this to picture this scenario. For 25 years you have been a member of an organization that you believe in and whose goals you believe are very important. During that time, an outside individual has been attacking your organization and calling it insincere. He says he upholds the principles your organization espouses better than you do and says joining your organization would be committing treason to his beliefs. He belittles and criticizes your organization at every turn. When it comes to making decisions in a group he does support what members of your organization are doing but only because it serves his interests to do so.

At the end of those 25 years, he joins your organization, something he said he would never do, only because it is the only way he can try to get something he wants and he contends in the highest level election against someone who has been a loyal member of your organization for 30+ years. Your responsibilities are as article 5 section 4 express them above.

Do you think you and/or members of your organization would have a strong preference against this individual? Do you think you might express that privately in emails since that does not violate the rule? When it turns out that members of this individualís campaign have early in the process improperly used computer resources to gain an unfair advantage in the campaign, do you think it would make you upset? Whose fault is it that there is antipathy toward this individual in your organization? I think the answers to those questions are obvious.

But hold on, itís more than that. When Sandersí campaign was caught improperly accessing Hillary Clinton campaign information on DNC servers and the DNC moved to sanction him, Sanders sued the DNC to avoid the punishment. So you have retaliatory litigation against the DNC by Sanders on top of everything I discussed in the previous two paragraphs. Now what kind of a relationship and private opinion do you think DNC leadership and staffers have with/of Sanders?

One of the things I keep asking myself when I think about the relationship between Sanders and the DNC is, did Sanders ever do anything to reach out and mend fences? You have his 25 yearsí worth of attacks on the Democratic Party. If you were in the position he was in at the start of his campaign, wouldnít you have seen the need to try to work to improve the relationship because of your prior behavior/statements? Did Sanders ever do anything at all along those lines? If so I havenít heard of it. For someone who purports to have the skill to be President, a job where negotiations, diplomacy and dealing with countries and foreign leaders, not to mention domestic members of the opposite party, whose opinions might differ for yours and where you need to be able to craft compromises, are we to understand he was unable to reach out and try to come to some sort of dťtente with the DNC?

Another issue is whether any of this had any impact on the race. Hillaryís early and insurmountable lead came from winning African American votes in the South by huge margins and from Florida which has long been a Clinton stronghold. Nothing that I have seen has proposed anything that suggests that the DNC influenced that in any way. I am not sure African Americans in the South care that much about what the DNC says nor is there much else the DNC could do to change how they would vote. So whatever the DNC did had little impact on the race.

Of course the other upsetting point is that the leak of the DNC emails comes from a Russian hacker who almost certainly operates with the tacit or full-fledged permission of Putin. People in Russia who do things Putin doesnít like have a tendency to disappear or turn up dead see http://news.sky.com/story/the-putin-critics-who-have-been-assassinated-10369350 and note this is an abbreviated list. Even when they escape Russia, many of them have a tendency to end up dead before their time and some by horrific means, like Alexander Litvinenko https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_of_Alexander_Litvinenko so I think itís fair to say that this hacker operates with Putinís permission. Putinís attempt to put his finger on the scale here for Trump against Hillary indicates one of two things, either he really likes Trump and thinks Trump sees eye to eye with him on world affairs, or it means Putin thinks Trump is a dupe who would be easy to control or subvert. Neither possibility is a good one.

I donít care what things were said about the candidates among DNC members in private emails. But, if Debbie Wasserman Schultz or other members of the DNC went beyond privately talking/emailing and expressing personal preferences, even though itís something that any sane person knowing the background would probably understand, they should face repercussions for that. To this point, I havenít seen any evidence that they did.

Last night's RNC exploits remind me of several acronyms I learned in the military, most notably:


The most bizarre court transcript you will ever read. Warning full of vulgarities


It gets "good" starting at page #7

A Trump supporting Conservative pundit frenemy said the funniest thing about the Republican National


One of my favorite Conservative pundit frenemies called the list of speakers at the Republican National Convention a joke and characterized them as "A Calvin Klein model and Chachi".
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