Sunday, July 24, 2016

Connecting Donald Trump To Vladimir Putin - Selling Out America One Golf Course At A Time

Mod: The timing is certainly interesting. There wasn't very much attention paid to the rumored Putin/Trump connection before the Republican convention. But now? Now articles are hitting the Internet at the rate of around one an hour. It's like somebody saved all of this stuff until after the nomination. Perfectly amazing. The people whose job it is to protect this country from its worst enemies have decided it is time to get rid of this bum. Real power at work. Here is a selection of the latest news reports on Putin's apparent control over the Republican Party's candidate for President of the United States, and why that is a very bad thing for everyone who loves this country.

Inside Trump’s financial ties to Russia and his unusual flattery of Vladimir Putin (The Washington Post - link): Trump’s relationship with Putin and his warm views toward Russia, which began in the 1980s when the country was still part of the Soviet Union, have emerged as one of the more curious aspects of his presidential campaign.

The overwhelming consensus among American political and national security leaders has held that Putin is a pariah who disregards human rights and has violated international norms in seeking to regain influence and territory in the former Soviet bloc. In 2012, one year before Trump brought his beauty pageant to Moscow, then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called Russia the United States’ top geopolitical threat — an assessment that has only gained currency since then.

Trump has conveyed a different view, informed in part through his business ambitions. Since the 1980s, Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities, and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world.

Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son, Donald Jr., told a real estate conference in 2008, according to an account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Does Donald Trump Have A Subversive Partnership With Vladimir Putin's Propaganda Machine? (Newsweek - link) The opponent wields a “firehose of falsehood” with “a shameless willingness to disseminate partial truths or outright fictions.” He “entertains, confuses and overwhelms the audience” with exaggerations and unfounded rumors. His technique is entirely new, confounding decades of conventional wisdom that says effective political messages should stay close to the truth.

Donald Trump? No, Vladimir Putin, who has piloted “a remarkable evolution in Russia's approach to propaganda,” according to a new study from RAND, a think tank based in Santa Monica, California, which has been supplying the Pentagon and CIA with ideas since 1948. Despite ignoring past principles of propaganda, RAND says, Putin has “enjoyed some success” in his main goal: undermining Western unity, and specifically its military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO.

His success stories: The rise of Moscow-backed right-wing “populist” movements in Europe, along with Western disunity over Ukraine, Turkey, Syria and how to deal with Syrian refugees. And now Donald Trump?

Traitor Trump?
Donald Trump Invites Putin to Invade Melania’s Hometown (The Daily Beast - link): Donald Trump is now on the record saying he wouldn’t necessarily back NATO members if Vladimir Putin decided to invade. That’s a bit ironic since one of the countries most threatened by NATO’s collapse is Slovenia, where his wife, Melania, was born.

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump said the U.S. would not provide military aid to NATO members unless they put 2 percent of their GDP toward the alliance. “Have they fulfilled their obligations to us? If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes,” Trump said.

Trump’s comments drew the ire of both U.S. defense officials and of NATO. Officially, the Pentagon refused to chime in, desperate to keep the wall between politics and the troops. But around the proverbial Pentagon water cooler, the talk among some is quite different. Officials noted that many member nations are trying to meet their financial obligation, which is aspirational, not a condition of the alliance. Such rhetoric, some fear, could encourage Putin to seek additional territory from nations like Poland and the Baltic states.

“Let’s just move forward with plans to hand Eastern Europe to Russia,” one U.S. defense official scoffed.

Why Russia is rejoicing over Trump (Politico - link): MOSCOW — Excited by Donald Trump’s pledge to promote “easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia,” the Kremlin establishment earlier this month invited Trump adviser Carter Page to speak before graduating students of Russian School of Economics. Page did not disappoint. In his remarks, Page condemned current American policy for its “often-hypocritical focus on democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change.” When a Russian student asked Page whether he really believed that American society was liberal and democratic, Trump’s adviser grinned and delivered a line that might have come from Vladimir Putin himself. “I surround the word ‘liberal’ with quotes,” he said. ”I tend to agree with you that it’s not always as liberal as it may seem,” he said. “I’m with you.”

It was thus perfectly in keeping with Trump campaign’s entente with the Kremlin that last week Trump aides reportedly watered down the new Republican platform on Russia, removing language that called for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces. Page, an energy expert, has close ties to Russian business and relationships with executives at Gazprom, the giant state-run gas company. Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has worked as a lobbyist for former Ukraine’s former Russia-aligned president, Viktor Yanukovych.

For Putin, Trump is the gift that keeps on giving. Shunned and sanctioned by western leaders for Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Putin now sees a future ally riding into view. The Kremlin and its right-wing supporters also enthusiastically applaud the isolationist they see in Trump, who has suggested he might curtail U.S. involvement in NATO and European affairs, and who derides the same political “mainstream” that has deemed Putin a pariah.

It's Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladimir Putin (The Atlantic - link): The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a KGB-trained dictator who seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire by undermining the free nations of Europe, marginalizing NATO, and ending America’s reign as the world’s sole superpower.

I am not suggesting that Donald Trump is employed by Putin—though his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was for many years on the payroll of the Putin-backed former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. I am arguing that Trump’s understanding of America’s role in the world aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests; that his critique of American democracy is in accord with the Kremlin’s critique of American democracy; and that he shares numerous ideological and dispositional proclivities with Putin—for one thing, an obsession with the sort of “strength” often associated with dictators.

Trump is making it clear that, as president, he would allow Russia to advance its hegemonic interests across Europe and the Middle East. His election would immediately trigger a wave of global instability—much worse than anything we are seeing today—because America’s allies understand that Trump would likely dismantle the post-World War II U.S.-created international order. Many of these countries, feeling abandoned, would likely pursue nuclear weapons programs on their own, leading to a nightmare of proliferation.

Putin’s wager on Trump is paying off already (The Salt Lake Tribune - link): The secret plot to control America, launched from abroad, is an old theme in American pop culture. "The Manchurian Candidate," a film made in 1962, imagined a Chinese scheme to engineer a coup d'etat. Aficionados of paranoid thrillers may also recall "Lucky Bastard," a 1998 Charles McCarry novel, which featured a U.S. president controlled by a Soviet case officer who happens to be his wife.

But now it is 2016, truth is stranger than fiction, and we finally have a presidential candidate, Donald Trump, with direct and indirect links to a foreign dictator, Vladimir Putin, whose policies he promotes. And yet it is not secret, it is not a plot, there is no conspiracy. No one has been hypnotized or recruited by foreign intelligence. Just as Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, openly accepts Russian money, the Trump campaign advertises its Russian links and pays no real political price.

He has also surrounded himself with people whose deep links to the corrupt world of Russian business would normally disqualify them from U.S. politics. He brought in a foreign policy aide, Carter Page, who has long-standing connections to Russian companies, including Gazprom, and has supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine. His campaign manager, Paul Manafort, worked for many years in Ukraine on behalf of Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian president ousted in 2014. While living in Kiev, Manafort had plenty of time to absorb the disinformation tactics perfected by the Kremlin, all of which are now being put to use: the thugs at meetings, the appeal to extreme emotions — those bereaved mothers at the convention — and, of course, fake websites and Internet trolls.

Russia is clearly participating in the Trump campaign. The theft of material from the Democratic National Committee a few weeks ago was the work of Russian hackers. Russian state media and social media, together with a host of fake websites and Twitter accounts with Russian origins, actively support Trump and are contributing to some of the hysteria on the Internet. I'm not arguing that any of this has been decisive. But whatever resources Putin wagered on Trump, they are paying off.

Donnie! Come give Vlad a big kiss!

The Real Winner of the RNC: Vladimir Putin
(Slate - link): Donald Trump’s convention has been marked by gross incompetence in all areas save one: He’s been highly effective in moving the Republican Party toward Vladimir Putin. The deftness of this reversal of policy is so anomalous that we need to consider its causes, as well as its consequences.

To recap: The Trump campaign showed little interest in the writing of the Republican Party platform, even as the document evolved to undermine the nominee’s political strategy and took stances at odds with his own. But his aides did intervene aggressively in one committee meeting. They pushed hard to soften the platform’s stance on providing military assistance to Ukraine. When pressed about this change, Trump aides literally ran in the other direction.

Then, on Wednesday, Trump told the New York Times that he would abandon our nearly seven decades–old commitment to collective security in Europe. If Putin rolled tanks into Eastern Europe, Trump would have to check whether those countries paid their fair share to NATO before fulfilling our obligations to protect them.

For his part, Putin has recognized the opportunity that the Trump campaign presents. He has thrown Russian propaganda behind it; his intelligence services have purloined documents from Democratic Party servers, and they have begun publishing them on the internet.

And why not? Trump is Putin’s geo-strategic dream. NATO has been effective at curbing Putin’s military adventurism. Russia may mess around in eastern Ukraine, but it won’t set foot in Estonia or Poland. That’s because it has little interest in fighting a war with an alliance obligated to protect those countries. Rather than facing a resolute, unified West, he prefers conducting a negotiation with a fragmented one and has sought to destabilize Europe through support of Trump-like figures in France, Italy, and elsewhere. Nobody believes in the art of the deal more than Vladimir Putin—and in Trump, he sees a naïve, egomaniac whom he can roll.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin’s enabler: Understanding the Republican frontrunner's fondness for Russia's strongman (New York Daily News - link): It’s too easy to imagine the horror with which statesmen like Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan would view Donald Trump’s rampage through the GOP. I’d like to hear instead from the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the founding father of the Red Scare in the 1950s, or from his fellow redbaiter Richard Nixon.

I can imagine them waving a stack of papers and shouting, “I hold here in my hand a list of names of people at the highest levels of the Trump campaign who have worked for the Russian government under the direction of a former agent of the KGB!”

This charge would be entirely accurate, although it’s always been dubious that there is anything former at all about Vladimir Putin’s KGB status. It’s well-established that Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and two of Trump’s top advisers, Carter Page and Michael Flynn, have ties to Russia and the Kremlin.

Manafort worked for years as the chief political fixer for Viktor Yanukovych, Putin’s puppet ruler of Ukraine. Page used to work for Russian energy giant Gazprom and was recently in Moscow on Trump’s behalf to explain that America shouldn’t interfere in global affairs (especially Putin’s), talking points that come straight from Russian state-controlled TV. Trump himself has frequently praised Putin’s “strength” while suggesting that the two of them would get along very well.

Meanwhile, Putin’s giant global propaganda machine promoted Trump through the GOP primary and makes it quite apparent that Moscow would much prefer him to Hillary Clinton as President Obama’s replacement. What had been lacking until now was any tangible return on the Kremlin’s investment.

That changed last week when members of the Trump campaign worked with pro-Trump delegates to change a GOP platform amendment on American aid to Ukraine, which was invaded by Putin in 2014 and where Russian forces maintain a destabilizing conflict. The amendment originally followed the recommendation of nearly every top U.S. military and security official to “provide lethal defensive weapons” that would help Ukraine’s fragile democracy defend itself.

The Trump staff got the language changed to “appropriate assistance,” a meaningfully meaningless phrase that no doubt pleased Putin very much.

Mod: Perhaps the most devastating article of all is next. Spend some time with this one. The payoff is big.

Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing (Talking Points Memo - link)

Mod: There are plenty more stories just like the above available on the Internet. Just go to Google News and tap in "Trump + Putin." Literally pages of articles will pop up. This is one of the truly great political scandals of our time. Donald "Treason" Trump could very well be a traitor to the United States of America.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

69 comments:

  1. I'm sure Putin is looking forward to Monday. Trump starts getting National Security briefings. Putin will probably end up reading a document with every word from those briefings since his good buddy is the one receiving them.

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    1. Putin can fill in the details from the hacked Hillary emails.

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    2. Yes. Funny how the Trumpers are using that material. I guess they really are in bed with the KGB.

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  2. If so, 4:54, Trump hopefully will receive a luxurious lifetime-share in our Guantanamo tropical resort.

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    1. Apparently he would prefer Moscow.

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    2. The golf course, not the Gulag...

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  3. Just in case anyone is wondering why Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich or the two Bush presidents have refused to endorse Trump. They know this stuff is coming out and don't want to be remembered for supporting a traitor.

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    1. You mean its not because they "broke the pledge?"

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    2. The fact that trump so easily beat all those losers shows they have true connection to their constituents. They are traitors to they own so called party

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    3. Actually Trump is the traitor. He is owned by Putin. Those Republicans standing up to him are heroes.

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    4. None of the failed republican candidates are heroes. They just want control of their own power back

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    5. Have you ever seen so many Republican elected officials refuse to endorse their presidential candidate before? It isn't just candidates doing this. The two previous Republican presidents gave thumbs down to Trump as well. They weren't candidates. Just patriots.

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  4. I think one of the most telling moments during the primary debates was when one of the hosts asked Donald Trump what he would do about all his business investments if elected president. His reply was that his family would handle them. Which means he would handle them. This is a major conflict of interest! Presidents, etc. are expected to place their assets into blind trusts so that they can remain neutral when it comes to trade decisions and the like. We all know that the narcissistic Donald will only add to his wealth while in office. After all, he has practiced Croney Capitalism all his life - you know, the art of the deal? No one ever said these deals were honest.

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    1. Maybe by this point, someone has informed Trump about the usual practice, and he'll figure out some way to make it look like he's complying.

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    2. I think the powers that be are now working on a strategy to get this guy out while causing the least amount of damage possible. Telling the bullheaded nutjobs that support Trump that their candidate has been caught peddling American foriegn policy so he can get the cash to build golf courses is going to take some finesse. But this guy has got to go. And he will.

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    3. 11:54
      Don't bet on this. Trump is a narcissistic sociopath. He will not step aside, no matter how big the pressure is on him. He will just shrug it off.
      A look into the history tells us this: Many people in Germany never thought that a sociopath like Hitler could be voted into power or that anyone would believe that he alone could fix their economic problems. They were surprised by the power of emotions and soon found themselves as opponents of "the movement" in jail or concentration camps, if they did not manage to flee in time.
      Trump is a threat to our democratic values and he must be named as such.

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    4. 1:20, I've been wanting to point out parallels with the early Nazi party, but understand that once someone types Hitler or Nazi, the discussion ends in rolled eyes and groans.
      Anyway - the Nazis were the party for.....PEACE. Yep. That's the rhetoric they used, successfully, to convince people in the early days to vote for them. Made me flinch when Trump started his speech saying the Republicans were the party for peace.
      Many of the German people thought Hitler was a buffoon, an ill-mannered boor who wouldn't win a thing.

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    5. I agree that the Nazi comparison is often overused, which results in the eye-rolling you described. However, the parallels here are so striking, that they cannot be ignored out of fear that eyes might be rolling or not.

      Take the relatively desperate economic situation of part of the population, which makes them vulnerable to identify a scapegoat for their situation - in Germany it was the Jews, Sinti and Roma and homosexuals - here it is the Mexicans, Blacks and Muslims.
      Then the rhetoric - "I alone can fix it." His shouting during his speeches, his appeal to emotions rather than to rational thinking. His use of modern technology to reach more people more effectively. Even the gestures of Trump and some of his most devote followers look at times more like a "Sieg Heil" salute than anything else.

      "Peace, greatness, honor and strength" is what Hitler promised. It is important that we are keenly aware of this. If you have ever wondered how this was possible, ... you may be witness of it.

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  5. I'm worried about the moment when the Trump supporters figure out he's a fraud.

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    1. Might happen soon. It's all over the Sunday morning talk shows today.

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    2. 8:48, unfortunately this won't reach them. Or if it does, they'll cry media chicanery and double down.

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    3. The polls show Trump down about 30 points in California. In this state he's like a 3rd party candidate.

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    4. He's not even going to make it to election day.

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  6. Can somebody please explain how you can support Israel and Vladimir Putin at the same time?

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    1. Because both governments are fascist, and he's a fascist.

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    2. Well Mod, now you have the anti-semetic crowd on your blog.
      Since when is Israel, the only democracy in the middle east, a fascist state?

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    3. Probably Trump.

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    4. Hi 7:36, I am a staunch supporter of Israel, and I'm on this blog.
      Don't let one idiotic anti-semitic comment make you generalize.

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    5. Thank you for spelling "semitic" correctly.

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  7. Still waiting for him to release his tax returns...when Hell freezes over

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    1. Trump's hiding them because he doesn't want people to see how much money he got from Russia.

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    2. He's not legally required to. Why should he?

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    3. His campaign mngrs from the KGB advised against it.

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    4. 9:04 AM
      To instill trust in his words.

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  8. A former Rand Paul campaign staffer says to look into Putin link!

    On MSNBC stating that the ties between Trump's changing of the RNC platform to reflect changes to issues dealing with Ukraine, his ties to Putin, and the timing of the release of emails should be investigated.

    WOW! This is gaining traction here..

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    1. I get the feeling that those intelligence officials whose job it is to prevent American elections from being taken over by hostile foreign powers have orchestrated Trump's take down. This is a scandal of historic proportions.

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    2. Almost as scandalous as the mystery pink cow in the crèche.

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    3. Where do you store the Festivus pole in the off season?

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  9. Krugman: "Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate"http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/opinion/donald-trump-the-siberian-candidate.html

    If elected, would Donald Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House? This should be a ludicrous, outrageous question. After all, he must be a patriot — he even wears hats promising to make America great again.

    But we’re talking about a ludicrous, outrageous candidate. And the Trump campaign’s recent behavior has quite a few foreign policy experts wondering just what kind of hold Mr. Putin has over the Republican nominee, and whether that influence will continue if he wins.

    Then came Mr. Trump’s interview with The New York Times, in which, among other things, he declared that even if Russia attacked members of NATO he would come to their aid only if those allies — which we are bound by treaty to defend — have “fulfilled their obligations to us.” But is there more to the story? Is there some specific channel of influence?

    We do know that Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, has worked as a consultant for various dictators, and was for years on the payroll of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president and a Putin ally.

    And there are reasons to wonder about Mr. Trump’s own financial interests. Remember, we know nothing about the true state of his business empire, and he has refused to release his taxes, which might tell us more. We do know that he has substantial if murky involvement with wealthy Russians and Russian businesses. You might say that these are private actors, not the government — but in Mr. Putin’s crony-capitalist paradise, this is a meaningless distinction.

    At some level, Mr. Trump’s motives shouldn’t matter. We should be horrified at the spectacle of a major-party candidate casually suggesting that he might abandon American allies — just as we should be horrified when that same candidate suggests that he might welsh on American financial obligations. But there’s something very strange and disturbing going on here, and it should not be ignored.

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  10. I was just thinking . . . There are four living former Presidents (two Democrats and two Republicans) as well as the sitting President. None of them support Donald Trump. That's called bipartisanship.

    Perhaps America should pay attention to the people who actually know what the job entails.

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    1. Do any of them really inspire?

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    2. Maybe we should not look for inspiration in our political leaders. That's what ministers are for.

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    3. I agree. I want a good administrator, not some loudmouthed fuhrer.

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  11. So are Reince Preibus and his crew so power hungry that they either didn't bother to thoroughly vet Trump, or they did and they don't care, as long as they have power. The GOP is over and done.

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  12. Google Hillary and Putin. See what you get.

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    1. This one comes up first.
      GOP Rocked By Clinton Truth Bomb That Russia Is Helping Trump
      http://www.politicususa.com/2016/07/24/gop-rocked-clinton-truth-bomb-russia-helping-trump.html

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  13. Sanders supporters: remember that by 1962 most all of the 1920's socialist parties platform had been enacted. Don't abandon your principals because Bernie is not on the ticket. Vote democratic. You cannot let the bigotry unleashed by Trumputin remain unchallenged.

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    1. There is not much difference between Bernie Sanders' beliefs and Putin's.

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    2. And if you are trained in "dialetic" thinking as Putin is, you understand why he is supporting Trump.

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    3. Putin is a rightwing authoritarian dictator. Bernie is a college professor who never shuts up. Very different.

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    4. As a communist, Putin is left wing and not right wing.

      It is true though that extreme right and extreme left wing positions both support totalitarian systems and the origin of their ideologies are sometimes difficult to discern.

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    5. Putin not really a communist cold-war guy

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    6. According to this biography (https://books.google.com/books?id=DJcixDNh_m4C), Putin has spent the best part of his life with "the organs", that is the KGB.
      Since then, he has effectively destroyed any democratic structure in Russia. He is most certainly a real cold-war communist.

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    7. 8:41 PM. Under different circumstances, I would say that your naiveté is charming. Under the given circumstances, I must say it is scary.

      Here is what Putin had to say about his work at the KGB:

      "I was most amazed by how a small force, a single person, really, can accomplish something an entire army cannot," he said, according to the Telegraph. "A single intelligence officer could rule over the fates of thousands of people. At least, that’s how I saw it."

      Think about his mind set: "How he could rule over the fates of thousands", maybe more "people".

      More on this can be found here:
      From https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/01/23/the-death-of-a-former-kgb-operative-is-a-reminder-of-vladimir-putins-past-life-as-a-spy/

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    8. Putin is in bed with the oligarchs 8:11. Even if he still calls himself a communist, he is no more left wing than current Republicans are anything remotely like those who sought freedom for slaves in the 1860s. Party of Lincoln they ain't even if they say it.

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  14. U.S. Elections: Is Donald Trump The Kremlin's Candidate?
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/shelliekarabell/2016/07/24/u-s-elections-is-donald-trumpthe-kremlins-candidate/#211caf112ef3

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  15. Ok I'm confused, I thought this blog was about local issues not national politics. Very disappointed in this article. Where is the article about Hillary and her consistent and constant lies to the Anerican people?!? Have been a regular reader for years I'm out.

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    1. If you aren't concerned about the following, then I don't want to know you.

      How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President
      http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/07/how-putin-weaponized-wikileaks-influence-election-american-president/130163/

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    2. Can't resist - Anerican?
      She lied to the people of Anerica?

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    3. I am with the Moderator here:

      This is a much bigger problem than taxes in Sierra Madre, which are also a problem that need resolution, but if we do not get this bigger problem solved, we may not need to resolve the smaller problems in Sierra Madre.

      It is quite obvious that the GOP got hijacked by Trump, who has uncomfortable close ties to Putin and the KGB. He does not represent conservative values; many of his positions are in fact far left of those of Hillary Clinton. In contrast to Reagan, who challenged Mr. Gorbachev to tear down this wall, Trump wants to build one. Don't say nobody knew what walls are made for.

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    4. 5:19 said that he or she is confused. Confusing one letter with another is just further proof of this confusion.

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  16. Considering the issues with the I.R.S. in the recent past there isn't a single person within that agency willing to be a whistle blower and show proof of Trumps evil doing all under the guise of saving the United States ?

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  17. When did quotes and speculation become fact ?

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    1. That happened in 1776

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    2. Every day since the founding of Fox News

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  18. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/07/25/the-theory-of-political-leadership-that-donald-trump-shares-with-adolf-hitler/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-posteverything%3Ahomepage%2Fcard

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  19. TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!

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    1. 9:16 longs for 1929.

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    2. Trump's name repeated 9 times in caps, followed by an inaccurate slogan (America is great already) is exactly the kind of post I expect from Trump supporters. Long on drama, short on thought.

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