"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, February 13, 2017

"America First!": National Security Edition

We all know, because we've been told endlessly over the pas couple of generations, that the Republicans are the party of national security, while the Democrats are too willing to give away the store. After all, that was the shitgibbon's major talking point throughout his campaign to add the White House to his various resort properties.

Well, maybe not so much. From Betty Cracker at Balloon Juice, a good summary/analysis of the Michael Flynn/Russian Ambassador phone conversations before the election. She starts off with this clip from Rachel Maddow -- I recommend that you watch it all the way through:

Trump and the Republicans (which sounds like a really bad garage band) are downplaying this, needless to say, with Trump finally assuring us that "he'll look into it." There -- doesn't that make you feel better? Yeah -- me, too.

The Democrats, for a change, are all over it:

“The President and his National Security Advisor have given the Russians the impression that whatever they do, they are not to worry, because the Trump White House will not stand against their aggression,” Pelosi said in a statement on Saturday.

“General Flynn should be suspended and have his intelligence clearance revoked until the facts are known about his secret contacts with the Russians,” she said.

Pelosi also called on the FBI to further investigation Trump’s relationship with the Kremlin, and urged Congress to launch an “outside commission” to examine the ties.

“President Trump’s kowtowing to Vladimir Putin is endangering our national security and emboldening a dangerous tyrant,” Pelosi said. “What do the Russians have on President Trump that he would flirt with lifting sanctions and weakening NATO?”


“This action would be deeply troubling under any circumstances, but considering Russia’s effort to tip the election toward President Trump, the General’s actions are disqualifying,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

“If he did so, and then he and other Administration officials misled the American people, his conduct would be all the more pernicious, and he should no longer serve in this Administration or any other,” House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said.

That's the kind of thing that leads to reactions like this:

U.S. intelligence operatives are withholding sensitive information from the White House for the first time in history because they believe that Russia will find out anything they tell Pres. Donald Trump and his aides. . . .

“Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration — not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump — that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust,” wrote former analyst for the National Security Agency Jack R. Schindler.

Not only has Trump gone out of his way to discredit the nation’s spy agencies, his main national security guru, Gen. Mike Flynn either appears to by lying about his conversations with the Russian government about U.S. sanctions or can’t remember breaking the law.

How bad is this? When your own spies don't trust you enough to pass along information that you're supposed to have, I'd say you've got a serious problem.

Does anyone doubt at this point whose puppet is in the White House?

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