Showing posts with label Putin-Nolike-Udead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Putin-Nolike-Udead. Show all posts

February 6, 2017

Trump Equates Putin to Our Government, Our Military, Killings

Trump shares the WH with Putin and signals Putin’s government is like the USA
Trump's first two and a half weeks on the job have included plenty of ups (the inauguration, the Gorsuch pick, the photo-ops with business and union leaders), as well as downs ("alternative facts," that phone call with Australia's prime minister, the U.S. military raid in Yemen). But the roughest moment of Trumps early presidency took place this past weekend.

 First, a federal judge appointed by George W. Bush temporarily blocked Trumps immigration/travel ban, and a federal appeals court rejected the administration's request to restore it. 

Second, Trump attacked that federal judge -- referring to him a "so-called judge" -- and said he would be blamed if there was a terrorist attack. "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!" Trump tweeted Sunday

And Third, Trump appeared to equate Russia's political violence under Vladimir Putin to violence in the United States. "There are a lot of killers. We've got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country's so innocent?" he told Fox's Bill O'Reilly in a pre-Super Bowl interview. That comment drew bipartisan condemnation. ("When has a Democratic political activists been poisoned by the GOP, or vice versa? We are not the same as #Putin," Sen. Marco Rubio said. "@POTUS statement suggesting moral equivalence between Putin's Russia and the United States of America is deeply troubling and wrong," Rep. Liz Cheney added.)

Suffering a judicial setback, attacking the judiciary (which could raise some difficult questions for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch), and arguing that the United States isn't morally different from even the most authoritarian countries. The one bright spot for Trump over the weekend? His beloved New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in the championship game's biggest comeback ever. 
NYT: The president's team "had stormed the beaches without any plan for a longer war"
Given that rocky weekend and chaotic start, the New York Times reports that Team Trump is rethinking its approach. "The bungled rollout of his executive order barring immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a flurry of other miscues and embarrassments, and an approval rating lower than that of any comparable first-term president in the history of polling have Mr. Trump and his top staff rethinking an improvisational approach to governing that mirrors his chaotic presidential campaign, administration officials and Trump insiders said," the New York Times' Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman write. More: "One former staff member likened the aggressive approach of the first two weeks to D-Day, but said the president's team had stormed the beaches without any plan for a longer war." And there's this: "[Steve] Bannon remains the president's dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump's anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council, a greater source of frustration to the president than the fallout from the travel ban." 
Former Obama and Bush national-security officials: Trump's travel ban makes America less safe
"Ten former senior U.S. diplomats and security officials planned to file an affidavit in a federal appeals court arguing that President Donald Trump's executive order curtailing immigration would actually make America less safe," per NBC's Andrea Mitchell and Richie Duchon. "The brief obtained by NBC News was written jointly by two former heads of the CIA, two former Secretaries of State, a former Secretary of Defense, a former Secretary of Homeland Security, and senior officials of the National Security Council. 'This order cannot be justified on national security or foreign policy grounds. It does not perform its declared task of 'protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.'" the co-authors — Madeleine Albright, John Kerry, Janet Napolitano, Susan Rice, Leon Panetta, John McLaughlin, Avril Haines, Michael Hayden, Lisa Monaco, Michael Morell — wrote in the filing. The list was largely made up of prominent Democrats." That said, McLaughlin, Hayden, and Morell all served in the George W. Bush administration. 
Pence defends Trump's attack on federal judge and comparing the U.S. to Russia
On "Meet the Press" yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence defendedTrump's "so-called judge" remark. 
PENCE: Well, look, the president of the United States has every right to criticize the other two branches of government. And we have a long tradition of that in this country.
TODD: But is this a constructive way to do it?
PENCE: I think people find it very refreshing that they not only understand this president's mind but they understand how he feels about things. He expresses himself in a unique way. And again, the judge's actions, look, the judge's actions in this case in Washington, which are at odds with the federal district court judge in Boston, who upheld the constitutionality of the president's actions.
After that exchange, "Meet" replayed this Pence criticism of former President Barack Obama, when Pence was a member of Congress: "This president has shown an unusual interest in commenting on his critics in the media and here on Capitol Hill. The American people don't want to hear the president's reflections and commentary on criticism." Pence's reaction: "Well, my hair's the same color as it was back then. But, you know, I've learned a lot. I've learned a lot about ... the prerogative presidents have to be able to respond to their critics." Also on "Meet" yesterday, Pence said this about Trump's Putin/"killers" statement: "I don't accept that it's a moral equivalency... President Trump has been critical of American policy in the past. And I expect he's always going to continue to be candid with the American people." 
Trump's Putin/"killers" remark reignites "American exceptionalism" debate -- but turns it on its head
Remember during Obama's first term when Republicans attacked him for not believing in "American exceptionalism" (for saying "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism")? Some examples of Republican criticism of Obama: 
  • Mitt Romney: "We have a president right now who thinks America's just another nation. America is an exceptional nation."
  • Sarah Palin: "When President Obama insists that all countries are exceptional, he's saying that none is, least of all the country he leads."
  • Newt Gingrich: "Exceptionalism for Americans is the belief that the United States is in some way more open, more vigorous, more optimistic than other nations are," he said. "Our best leaders have reminded us that we have a moral obligation to the cause of freedom and that the cause of freedom is the cause of all mankind."
  • Rick Perry: "[T]hose in the White House today don't believe—they don't believe in American exceptionalism. They'd rather emulate the failed policies of Europe."
  • Mike Pence: "Finally, to renew American exceptionalism, we must recognize that our present crisis is not merely economic but moral in nature. At the root of these times should be the realization that people in positions of authority from Washington to Wall Street have walked away from the timeless truths of honesty, integrity, an honest day's work for an honest day's pay and the simple notion that you ought to treat the other guy the way you want to be treated. As strongly as I believe in the economic policies in this address, I know we will not restore this nation with public policy alone. It will require public virtue."

February 3, 2017

Russian Activist Falls Very ill in Moscow with Putin-don’t-like-Urdead’

 Vladimir Kara-Murza

A prominent Russian opposition activist who almost died from an apparent poisoning two years ago was in stable but critical condition Friday after suddenly falling ill during a trip to Moscow.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, a U.S. green card holder with dual British-Russian citizenship, was in Russia promoting a documentary film about Boris Nemtsov, his close friend and Russian opposition leader who was shot and killed only a few hundred yards from the Kremlin in 2015.

Kara-Murza, a journalist who lives in Virginia with his wife, Evgenia, is chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom and coordinator of the Open Russia Foundation, which promotes civil society and democracy. He has also testified before Congress on political repression in Russia.
Kara-Murza’s condition is similar to 2015 when he almost died from sudden kidney failure in a suspected poisoning in Moscow.

His lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov, said in a posting on Facebook that his condition stabilized but that Kara-Murza remained in critical condition with kidney failure after falling ill Thursday.
"He is already on life support and in a medicated coma. It's the same clinical picture (as last time)," his wife told the BBC. "The reason is unclear like last time. He's (recently) been active and healthy."
Evgenia Kara-Murza said her husband, who had been staying at his in-law's home, suffered the same symptoms as in May 2015. In that incident, he was treated in Moscow but eventually transferred abroad following the intervention of British and U.S. diplomats.

 On Wednesday, Kara-Murza posted a Facebook tribute to Nemtsov along with a photo of roses at the site on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge near the Kremlin where he was shot and killed in February 2015 by gunmen in a passing car. Kara-Murza’s suspected poisoning in 2015 also occurred during a visit to Moscow to honor his slain friend.

 Alexander Litvinenko, radiation poisoned with Putin-Nolike-Udead, died 2006

After his recovery two years ago, Kara-Murza said the ordeal began with the sudden failure of his kidneys followed by other vital organs in what he called a politically motivated attack.
"Frankly there is no other possible reason," he told CNN. "I don't have any money dealings. I don't have any personal enemies. I didn't steal anybody's wife."
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who spoke out this week against dissidents and journalists targeted for murder in Russia, said it appears Kara-Murza was again singled out for his political and opposition activity.

“(Russian President) Vladimir Putin does not deserve any benefit of the doubt here, given how commonplace political assassinations and poisonings have become under his regime," said Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

He called on the Trump administration and new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillersonto "make Kara-Murza's cause America's cause," to question Russian authorities on the incident and to "ultimately hold Putin accountable if he was targeted by the regime.”
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., the ranking member of the foreign relations committee, praised Kara-Murza for his activism and human rights work and said his mysterious illness “appears to be part of an alarming trend where Russian political opposition are targeted for their work.”


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