“I might even end up having a good relationship, but they’re going, ‘Will President Trump be prepared? You know, President Putin is KGB and this and that.’ You know what? Putin’s fine. He’s fine.”
And for those of you who want to check out exactly how “fine” Trump’s good buddy Vlad actually is – you can look at the State Department’s 2017 Russia Human Rights Report. If it doesn’t turn your stomach, then there is something wrong with you. And just what are the odds that Trump brings up any of the egregious human rights violations documented by the State Department during their mano-a-mano in Helsinki? Can Red get a – “No chance in hell?” Thank you.
Here is how Red fared in his Group Play predictions.
Group A Red – Uruguay and Egypt Group A Results – Uruguay and Russia
Group B Red – Portugal and Spain Group B Results – Spain and Portugal
Group C Red – France and Peru Group C Results – France and Denmark
Group D Red – Argentina & Iceland Group D Results – Croatia and Argentina
Group E Red – Brazil & Costa Rica Group E Results – Brazil and Switzerland
Group F Red – Germany & Mexico Group F Results – Sweden and Mexico
Group G Red – Belgium & England Group G Results – England and Belgium
Group H Red – Columbia & Poland Group H Results – Columbia and Japan
Red was 10 of 16 for the Round of 16. A really good grouping would be 12 or more out of 16, but Red is far from embarrassed by his picks. Red certainly did not see Croatia, Switzerland or Sweden as the powerhouses that they have proved to be in Group Play. Picking Peru over Denmark was probably Red’s biggest blunder followed by picking a shaky Egypt side over the team playing on home soil. Germany heading home probably surprised all but a very few prognosticators, but that is what happens when you score one goal – one goal!
Red’s knock-out round picks will be up tomorrow.
“The 13 Angry (and unfortunately competent – unlike the Bozos surrounding me) Democrats (aka Traitors) (plus people who worked 8 years for Obama (aka the Kenyan Terrorist) (and maybe for that idiot Bush too)) working on the rigged Russia Witch Hunt (And damn, why did I associate with so many witches), will be MEDDLING (or as some would have it – doing their job) with the mid-term elections (my last chance at escaping the pokey before I exit stage right), especially now that Republicans (stay tough!) (and proud we are of all of them) are taking the lead in Polls (God Bless Rasmussen). There was no Collusion, except by the Democrats (and Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos, DJ, Flynn, Stone, Mikey – oh shit, this list goes on doesn’t it)!”(and if I keep saying that long enough people will believe it – pretty cool, huh?)
“When I go back to Texas, nobody asks about Russia. You know, I held town halls all over the state of Texas. You know how many questions I got on Russia? Zero.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas). Red wonders exactly what town hall meetings Cruz is talking about. Looking at his official website, there is a bizarre out-of-focus picture of the Loop 360 bridge over Lake Austin, but nary a mention of any town hall meetings since Trump took office and shows that none are scheduled. Red acknowledges Cruz held some kind of under the radar meeting to discuss Veterans’ issues in recent weeks, but Cruz has been notably unwilling to face the citizens he supposedly represents in recent months. So hold a real town hall Ted, and Red will be there to ask you plenty of questions about Russians and why you now support the “utterly amoral”, “pathological liar”, serial philanderer”, and “sniveling coward” of a President who slandered your wife and father.
We know that Trump loves him some Vlad Putin – for whatever reason that probably has nothing whatsoever to do with Putin having the goods on Trump’s Moscow escapades and ties to the Russian Mob. But Trump’s affection towards the Russian strongman is now influencing a large segment of the American public. Republicans are now loving themselves some Putin and increasingly falling in line with their dear leader. Gallup reports:
A major reason for the overall rise in Putin’s favorable rating this year is Republicans’ more positive views of the Russian leader, from 12% in 2015 to 32% today. This comes at a time when President Donald Trump wants to improve relations with Russia, after somewhat frosty relations between the two countries during Barack Obama’s presidency. Independents’ opinions of Putin also have grown more positive in the last two years, but to a lesser extent than Republicans’. Democrats’ views have become slightly less positive, with just 10% viewing Putin favorably today.
So 32% of freedom-loving Republicans now have a favorable view of the former KGB agent who stole Crimea, invaded Ukraine, brutally suppressed Chechnya, destroyed the free press in Russia, pocketed billions for himself and cronies, jailed dissidents and opponents, murdered countless other opponents, ordered more slaughter in Syria, propped other dictators and interfered in our latest election. What’s not to like?
The resignation of National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, after less than a month in office may just be the tip of the giant Russian iceberg looming in front of the Trumpian ship of state. Flynn had to go after having lied to Vice President Mike Pence about discussing sanctions with the Russian Ambassador before Trump took office. Flynn apparently relayed the message from Trump that Putin need not worry about Obama’s latest round of sanctions and that everyone would kiss and make up when Trump took over. Only that seems to explain the lack of Russian retaliation. Putin had always taken strong action in response to sanctions – until he didn’t – which alerted anyone who was paying attention that something was going down.
Clearly, Trump was behind the attempt to undermine the authority of the sitting President and conduct unauthorized diplomatic negotiations with a hostile foreign power in violation of the Logan Act. Flynn was not flying solo on this mission. He thought the President had his back – a perhaps fatal miscalculation in this case.
Flynn’s connections to Putin and his Kakistocracy go much further back. Flynn was an early Trump devotee and rah-rah man and had his own connections with the Kremlin. Was he the main bag man between Trump and Putin? It seems very plausible that Flynn knows more than anyone about what happened with the Russians during the campaign. In all likelihood, Flynn was in charge of managing the apparent quid pro quo between Putin and Trump. If elected, Trump would kowtow to most of Putin’s demands and make kissy-face; in return Putin would not expose Trump’s Russian peccadillos and possible criminal connections. And to sweeten the deal, Putin would unleash his squads of hackers and undermine Hillary’s campaign. It was a win-win deal for both autocrats – the real one and the would-be one.
As it now looks more and more like Putin has the goods on Trump (the Moscow Hotel videos are probably just a teaser – the real question is whether Trump is in deep with the Russian Mob), Flynn likely had the unenviable task of selling out his country after Trump’s election. Someone had to seal the deal made with the Russian strongman during the campaign.
Trump’s big mistake may have been not tossing Flynn overboard before taking office. But perhaps he was afraid that Flynn knew too much. The problem is compounded now and the vultures are circling the White House already. Look for Trump to arrange for the Russians to either pay off or otherwise take care of Flynn before he spills the borscht. The price of treachery is always dear.