Let Trump Hang Himself
I've largely tried to avoid commenting about Trump during the transition period out of a desire to focus solely on what the cretin does once he's officially the president, because trying to deal with the outrage daily serves no purpose with someone who has the emotional IQ of an adolescent. With his ascension now only days away, several comments are in order.
I wish John Lewis had not raised Trump's illegitimacy so early and gotten into a knife fight like this. A better response would simply have been to say that he is avoiding the inauguration weekend out of a concern that Trump was aided and abetted by a hostile foreign power, and that he was awaiting the results of a congressional inquiry to confirm his suspicions and Trump's potential illegitimacy. There is more than enough in what Christopher Steele has dug up, and in Putin's own reactions to the allegations that will be impeachable, without going the extra step of calling him illegitimate now. Clearly, Putin has unwittingly impaired his asset by his ham-handed defense of Trump and confirmed the worst fears of people like John McCain and other GOP senators that Lewis could simply let circumstances evolve to make his case for him without overstepping like this.
Trump will come into office already so unpopular that he has no margin for error with his initial actions. The public is already against any Trump and Koch Brothers' attack upon the Environmental Protection Agency. The public already has ethical concerns about him. And he'll be messing with the Affordable Care Act just as it is finally popular with the public, and then be saddled with the horrendous aftermath. His behavior and statements will generate an endless stream of negative messages from overseas. And this is all before Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell begin sending him their unpopular hit list of rollbacks in Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, tax giveaways, and other things that the electorate never voted for. In short, Trump is destined to be a failure who will crash and burn of his own doing, and Democrats need to avoid overstepping and simply help the man hang the anvil around his neck.
Trump Has Been Compromised
by Deacon Blues
Why is it not surprising that Donald Trump comes into office already compromised by Vladimir Putin?
Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.
The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.
That's because the far-right cabal inside the New York FBI doesn't want to know, or cares that Trump is a foreign asset, as long as he isn't Hillary, and as long as he does whatever he's told by Mike Pence and the Koch Brothers.
What's even more intriguing however is that the two-page synopsis of the known intelligence confirms that Trump's team was working with Russian government contacts during the election, and that foreign intelligence agencies and the congressional leadership now know this too - especially John McCain.
Mark my words: Trump will not complete his first term.
Unleashing Hell in the Middle East
One of the certainties of the new Trump foreign policy will be a slavish obedience to whatever Bibi Netanyahu wants, even the destruction of the two-state solution. As evidenced by his selection for US ambassador to Israel of someone who is far right and against a two-state solution, as well as in favor of the provocative movement of our embassy to Jerusalem. Trump can now be counted upon to enable Israel’s march towards an undemocratic Jewish state that treats the Palestinian natives as second-class, apartheid-suffering residents of their homeland.
As noted in the New York Times today, the end result of such enabling and blind support for a single-state solution will be to isolate Israel and the United States from our allies and in the region, destabilize Jordan and likely peel away the support of the moderate Sunni states that currently tolerate Israel and live alongside it. And given Trump’s narrow-minded and singular focus on killing Islamic terrorists as his sole foreign policy objective apart from doing whatever Bibi and Putin want, America is about to find itself far more alone and far more unsafe.
Aside from Netanyahu, both political parties have their fingerprints on this failure. Despite their stated support for a two-state solution, the Bush administration’s NeoCons would never have allowed it to come to fruition on their watch. Having said that, and knowing that all foreign policy during Barack Obama’s eight years came straight from the White House, the president can’t escape blame himself for a wasted eight years. Just like Obama bears responsibility for avoiding the hard work in Syria and Iraq and favoring instead the legacy opportunities of the Iranian nuclear deal, he also made little or no direct investment or commitment himself towards a two-state solution with an odious Israeli prime minister.
No doubt the two-state solution was not without its challenges; it’s just that a non-democratic Jewish state has even more, and places the United States in an untenable position. Which raises the question: what does America do in a post-Trump Middle East? I would argue that having Netanyahu get Trump’s compliant support for killing off a two-state solution will only make it certain that the next Democratic administration finally backs away from both Israel and Saudi Arabia, and resumes being an honest broker seeking stability and opportunity. Unlike the orthodox Jews and alt-right nationalists pushing the current GOP towards the fringe in foreign policy, American Jews more broadly do not support where Netanyahu is taking Israel, and will have a front-row seat to what Bibi and Trump’s team bequeath to their homeland. All I know is that Israel just got the last of its no-strings, multi-year military aid packages from the United States, because we won’t be bankrolling a new South Africa in the Middle East.