Dick Cheney: 'No question' Russia meddled in the US election, and it could be 'an act of war' (Business Insider link): In a wide-ranging speech at the Economic Times' Global Business Summit on Monday, former US Vice President Dick Cheney spoke unequivocally about Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Cheney said there were a "rising number of threats" in the world that, beyond national security, "even pose a threat to the globalization movements you're here to talk about today."
Segueing into talking about Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cheney warned of Russia's aggressive actions.
"I think he has designs on the Baltics. ... We know he wanted Crimea — he took it," said Cheney, who pointed to previous Russian cyber campaigns against Baltic states and Russia's recent moves to nuclearize its European enclave of Kaliningrad.
On the subject of the 2016 election, Cheney said Russia attacked the US in a possible act of war. "There's no question that there was a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin and his government, his organization, to interfere in major ways with our basic fundamental democratic processes," Cheney said. "In some quarters, that could be considered an act of war.
"I would not underestimate the weight that we as Americans assign to Russian attempts to interfere with our process," Cheney concluded.
The Gallup Poll found that as of Sunday, 36% of Americans approve of how the president is doing his job, while 57% disapprove.
The poll is conducted with 1,500 Americans and has a margin error of 3 points.
The most recent numbers, which are tracked daily, came a couple days after a vote was canceled on a GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. Trump had pushed for a vote, but after scrambling for support and coming up short, House Speaker Paul Ryan scrapped it.
Unpopularity Contest: Trump Is Off to a Historically Poor Start (NBCNews.com link): Every American president has had his ups and downs. But we've never seen this kind of down this early: A Gallup poll on Monday had President Trump's job-approval rating at 36% (it was conducted mostly after the failed health-care push). To put that standing into perspective, here's where Gallup had these other early presidencies at about this same point in time:
Barack Obama: 63% (March 16-22, 2009)
George W. Bush: 53% (March 26-28, 2001)
Bill Clinton: 53% (March 12-14, 1993)
George H.W. Bush: 56% (March 12, 1989)
Ronald Reagan: 60% (March 15, 1981)
Jimmy Carter: 75% (March 20, 1977)
What's more, George W. Bush never hit 36% in Gallup until 2006 -- well after Hurricane Katrina and after the Iraq war had turned south. And Obama never ever dropped to that level over his eight years as president, which included a government shutdown, a debt-ceiling crisis, and a HealthCare.Gov failure.
So we're at Day 68 of Trump's presidency, and he's at a dangerously low place. "In any other presidency, we'd be talking about 36% approval as an existential crisis," NBC's Benjy Sarlin quipped.
But the index rebounded from those early losses, closing down by 46 points. The Nasdaq eked out a gain of 0.1%. The recent market retreat is a reflection of rising fears on Wall Street that Trump's bold promises of sweeping tax reform, regulatory relief and infrastructure spending is in doubt. Investors have begun to contemplate that the Trump agenda will be delayed, watered down or even derailed.
"Global financial markets are in a risk off mode after the political spectacle that unfolded last week on Capitol Hill," analysts at Rabobank wrote in a report on Monday.
CNNMoney's Fear & Greed Index briefly tipped into "extreme fear." That's a dramatic reversal from "extreme greed" shortly after Trump took office. The Dow is on track for its first monthly decline since October and worst month since January 2016.
Is Donald Trump ... Emo?
Mod: Being a music loving kind of guy, I had to endure a particularly odious early 2000's pop trend called "Emo." The notion being that we are all misunderstood sufferers in this life, but harsh societal pressures prevent us from expressing our pain. Emo music attempted to correct that by enabling certain sensitive souls to let all of that hurt and anguish out. Which they did, both by the thousands, and endlessly.
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