A key point in the theory that Donald Trump and the Russians conspired in the 2016 election is the allegation that during the Republican convention, the Trump campaign changed the GOP platform to weaken its stance on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

The only problem is, it’s all wrong.

The original draft of the platform shows it always had tough language on Russian aggression in Ukraine. And not only did that language stay in the final platform, it was actually strengthened at the convention.

The original draft stated: “Repressive at home and reckless abroad, their policies imperil the nations which regained their self-determination upon the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will meet the return of Russian belligerence with the same resolve that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will not accept any territorial change in Eastern Europe imposed by force, in Ukraine or elsewhere, and will use all appropriate measures to bring to justice the practitioners of aggression and assassination.”

That wasn’t exactly a pro-Russia or pro-Putin statement. And it stayed in the final Republican platform.

So how did the narrative get started? It appears it was unwittingly set in motion by a single Republican delegate, a Texas woman named Diana Denman, who proposed to add paragraphs to toughen the original platform’s position on Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian people deserve our admiration and support in their struggle, and in their efforts to strengthen the rule of law, forge a free-market economy, and expand democratic governance. We therefore support maintaining (and, if warranted, increasing) sanctions against Russia until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored. We also support providing lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine’s armed forces and greater coordination with NATO on defense planning. Simultaneously, we call for increased financial aid for Ukraine, as well as greater assistance in the economic and humanitarian spheres, including government reform and anti-corruption.”

At the behest of the Trump campaign, the platform committee took out the reference to “lethal defensive weapons.” But it approved her statement and, in the place of lethal aid, substituted a pledge to provide “appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine.”

“We support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions, together with our allies, against Russia unless and until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored. We also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine and greater coordination with NATO defense planning.”

“The platform ended up tougher than it started,” Denman told me.

Later, however, The Washington Post published a story headlined, “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine.” It charged that Trump had weakened the platform, and a new conventional wisdom began to form: The Trump team, doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin, gutted the GOP platform’s position on behalf of Russia.

That is precisely the opposite of what happened. In the end, the platform, already fairly strong on the Russia-Ukraine issue, was strengthened.

The Trump campaign agreed to a platform condemning Kremlin belligerence, calling for continued, and perhaps increased, sanctions against Russia, for the full restoration of Ukrainian territory, for refusing to accept “any territorial change in Eastern Europe imposed by force, in Ukraine or elsewhere,” and pledging to aid Ukraine’s armed forces.

The bottom line is that almost nothing in the Trump-weakened-the-GOP-platform narrative is as it seems. Whatever the full story of Trump and Russia in the 2016 campaign turns out to be, it will only be revealed by examining what actually happened, not by repeating talking points.

Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

(114) comments

Carlos Ponce

Byron York, the anti-Trumps don't like facts that counter their partisan narrative. They'd rather stick to their false narrative. And that includes "news" sources like the Washington Post. So sad.[sad]

Victor Krc

Thanks to the GCDN for occasionally publishing correctives to the usual AP partisan propaganda tripe that we have to put up with.

George Croix

Title aside, those pundits who 'got it wrong' didn't make a mistake, they intentionally changed the narrative to suit an ideological agenda, or, lied, as it's more accurate and concise.

Steve Fouga

Words, just words.

The key issue was the removal of the lethal weapons provision.

In short, the Trump campaign played a key roll in weakening the U.S. stance against Russia, compared to what it could have been.

Doyle Beard

please give facts here

Carlos Ponce

I don't see it as "weakening the U.S. stance against Russia". Even the author of the "lethal weapons provision", Texas Republican delegate Diana Denman says “The platform ended up tougher than it started.”

Let's see
"We also support providing lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine’s armed forces and greater coordination with NATO on defense planning."
Replaced by:
"We also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine and greater coordination with NATO defense planning.”

"lethal defensive weapons" replaced by "appropriate assistance".
Doesn't sound weaker to me. "Appropriate assistance" can mean "lethal defensive weapons". It leaves the door open to other possibilities.

Steve Fouga

Carlos and Doyle, I stand by my comment. Giving my p-oed neighbor a gun so he can shoot me is a stronger stance than saying you'll "assist" him, because of the potential immediacy and impact of the threat. I actually like the final version of the platform better, because it's NOT provocative. But, like I said below, this is no longer worth arguing about. Much bigger events in play now.

The only thing I would like to take back is my use of the word "roll" rather than "role."

Carlos Ponce

" I actually like the final version of the platform better, because it's NOT provocative. " The author of the original thinks the final version is better and stronger.[beam]
"Giving my p-oed neighbor a gun so he can shoot me...." Why would you do that?

Steve Fouga

Better, because it's NOT as strong, Carlos. It's possible to agree with an outcome without agreeing to how it came to pass.

George Croix

A 'lethal weapon' can be almost anything under the right circumstances and in the right hands. Undefined specifically, it's nothing but boilerplate......
"Appropriate assistance' requires thought and consideration of the situation at hand, which may include arms, munitions, food, vehicles, etc....
Even a 'red line' can lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths, although few would consider a line to be lethal....
As always, one size does not fit all, but one narrowly intended position can cause a lot more harm than intended.....

Steve Fouga

George, "appropriate assistance" is even more boilerplate than "lethal weapon."

BTW, I'm not even sure I agree with the prospect of the U.S. arming Ukraine; in fact, it's close to a provocation IMO. Still, using the words "lethal weapons" is a stronger stance than not using them.

I may give up on this one. There are so many things going on that are more important than the Republican Party platform. I wonder why this article was even written. It would have been very appropriate a few months ago, but now...

Carlos Ponce

" 'appropriate assistance' is even more boilerplate than 'lethal weapon'." Not really.
" I wonder why this article was even written." Wonder no more. It is to demonstrate how partisan the Leftist media is. Nothing but FAKE NEWS. No matter what Trump does they'll claim it's wrong and will destroy this nation. BOOM! WORLD WAR 3, The END OF THE WORLD, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, FAMINE, DROUGHT, MASSIVE POLLUTION, PLAGUES , will come with the election of Donald Trump is the image they project.

Curtiss Brown

It is easy to slay the enemy on the battlefield after the battle is over. The war, however, goes on. The question of the role of the Russians in our election and the role of the Trump team is still at issue. The young Byron of York is practicing his sword work on the dead, while the real contest forms elsewhere.

Carlos Ponce

"is still at issue" - only to the Leftist pundits and the anti-Trumps.

Steve Fouga

Actually, no. It's still at issue to the FBI and other intelligence services, and thus a problem for the Trump Administration. Getcher' popcorn, Carlos, and bone up on your arguments supporting a president beholden to an adversarial government. He's gonna need your help!

Willis Briggs

Steve, you are probably quite correct about a failed Trump presidency because that is the #1 priority of the democrats. Sad there are no longer statesmen in politics.

Steve Fouga

Willis, I would have mixed emotions about a failed Trump presidency, IF that were to happen. I like some of his "policies," such as they are, but dislike more. As for the man himself, I find him seriously distasteful.

ON THE OTHER HAND, I think President Trump offers a better chance to get our economy rolling again than anyone who might replace him. I saw a recent poll prioritizing the issues Trump voters were most concerned about. Jobs and the economy topped the list. I agree with them.

If the Trump Campaign colluded with Russia, all bets are off as far as I'm concerned. He wouldn't deserve to be our president. If the Russia issue goes away as the FBI learns more, then I would still have the concern that President Trump doesn't seem to be governing. He's not filling important positions, canning amateurish Administration officials, aligning himself with powerful Republican leaders, etc.

Carlos Ponce

No problem! Trump will come out smelling like roses.[beam]

Steve Fouga

Maybe, Carlos. So far, its

Judicial Branch 2, President Trump 0
Legislative Branch 1, President Trump 0

Carlos Ponce

Judicial branch? Yes, when you go court and judge shopping the 9th Circus, I mean Circuit is the place to go. The second was stopped by an Obama appointee, one of Barack's classmates who stopped the temporary ban not based on the executive order but on Trump's campaign rhetoric. Any 1L law student can tell you that's not right.
Of ALL the Executive orders only 2 have been stopped. So your Legislative Branch over Trump is incorrect. As of March 6, twenty seven EOs have been issued. The judiciary has upheld all but two. And yes, many have been challenged but you don't hear or read of his victories. No need to wonder WHY.
Legislative? Don't worry, it's only the first first minutes of the first quarter. Democrats are gloating over a goal line stance that stopped this legislation. The "game" has just started. And why don't you read about Trump's proposals that have been passed, signed into law? No need to wonder WHY.
Your scoreboard is INCORRECT. Nice try, though.[beam]

Carlos Ponce

We did hear of a few of Trump's triumphs in the paper: funding for NASA and Keystone Pipeline. And the first executive order on immigration was upheld in Boston by Judge Nathaniel Gorton. How's that scoreboard coming?

Jim Forsythe

"Trump will come out smelling like roses" or like the Titan arum, corpse flower. It up to him to him !
He has not learned how to step over the fresh cow pies.

Carlos Ponce

Thank you for your comment, Jim. You're like the eternal pessimist.

Jim Forsythe

"fresh cow pies" =  North Korea. Trump care, trying to roll it out before he has consensus for it's passage with in his party , tweeting, Executive Orders, not ready to be executed. These and other issues will determine if he gets roses, or not.

Carlos Ponce

There were Representatives holding out their consent till the last second hoping their amendments would be considered. The bill fell short at last count by about 16. But don't let your heart be troubled. Obamacare will be overturned, not soon but before long. As bad as this proposed bill was, it was far better than Obamacare but did not include some things Trump wanted and did include some things he didn't want. So it's goodbye bill. Wait for the next bill. [beam]

Jim Forsythe

I must have missed the special session!
Nov. 1,
“I will ask Congress to convene a special session so we can repeal and replace,” he continued. “And it will be such an honor for me, for you and for everybody in this country because Obamacare has to be replaced. And we will do it, and we will do it very, very quickly. It is a catastrophe

"President Donald Trump experienced firsthand a truism outlined in the musical Hamilton: “Winning is easy. Governing is harder.” Republican lawmakers have opposed Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, from the moment it was signed into law on March 23, 2010. On the very day President Obama put pen to paper, the term “repeal and replace” was coined." 
After 7 years , a bill should have been ready to go. Will the Freedom Caucus fold , or will it be some others? Some may have a hard time voting for what the Freedom Caucus wants.This is just the  part  one of  Trump Care, and still have the Senate  to go. For  a party that has all 3 branches , it seams like a rough start. We will see when the get to the hard stuff like taxes.

Freedom Caucus said no, to the strong arm of Bannon.
"Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill," Bannon reportedly said."

Freedom Caucus stands up to pressure and did not back down.
"A Freedom Caucus member reportedly replied: "You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn't listen to him, either."

Carlos Ponce

" I must have missed the special session!'
You also must have also missed Trump's tweet this morning AND Pence's speech today. IT'S COMING! This is a temporary "time out" so everyone involved can step back and look over the ramifications of not passing a replacement.
Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 9h9 hours ago:
"ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!"
"Addressing a pro-Trump rally in West Virginia, Pence told supporters that the president 'won't rest until we repeal and replace ObamaCare,' according to pool reports." The Hill

Steve Fouga

Carlos, the scorecard looks pretty bleak for President Trump. Funding NASA and sneaking thru a few minor executive orders doesn't measure up to a Trumpcare debacle or a growing list of Russian problems. (See Devin Nunes winery for the latest issue)

But you're right about it still being early days. The disasters can't possibly keep piling up at the current rate.[tongue]

Jim Forsythe

Reply to Carlos Ponce Mar 25, 2017 6:39pm

Which one of his tweets are you referring to. Instead of saying, will be working with all to produce the best bill possible, he appoints blame
I guess his big plan is wait until Obama Care explodes , to do something. Kind of Governing after the fact.
 Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 12h12 hours ago
Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!
Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump Mar 25    
ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!
Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump Mar 24     
The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!
Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump Mar 11     
We are making great progress with healthcare. ObamaCare is imploding and will only get worse. Republicans coming together to get job done!

Carlos Ponce

If you ignore all the touchdowns the other team makes it looks bleak too! [rolleyes]
There are far more accomplishments on Trump's team that you're ignoring.[tongue]

Steve Fouga

I'd ask you to list them, but I know I'd end up with a series of links a mile long, so don't. Please.

Instead, please list the few top accomplishments so far, other than, of course, the top accomplishment of being elected. In prose, please, rather than links.

I'm serious. I'm really curious what you think he's accomplished. I have my own list, and it's not empty. I'd like to see yours.

Jim Forsythe

."Boris Epshteyn (born 1982) is a Soviet-born American Republican political strategist, investment banker, and attorney. He was a senior advisor to Donald . The White House staffer in charge of overseeing its television surrogates, is leaving his job"
"Boris Epshteyn, a Trump surrogate who frequently appears on television and describes himself as a senior adviser to the campaign. The Russia-born investment banker and attorney moderated a panel at an October 2013 conference in New York City called “Invest in Moscow!” The panel was mainly comprised of Moscow city government officials, like Sergey Cheremin, a city minister who heads Moscow’s foreign economic and international relations department."
 

Steve Fouga

Epshteyn was among the funniest of all of Trump surrogates during the campaign. It was impossible to take him or Kellyanne Conway seriously -- I thought. [unsure]

But evidently 63M people took them seriously. Go figure. [ohmy]

Carlos Ponce

List of President Trump's accomplishments.... so far
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/02/20/president-donald-j-trumps-first-month-achieving-results-american-people
And according to Time, after the first week:
http://time.com/4643431/donald-trump-president-first-day-accomplishments/
And Townhall:
https://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2017/02/18/donald-trumps-top-10-accomplishments-in-his-first-month-in-office-n2287565

Steve Fouga

Thanks, Carlos. I can see from your links that you consider anything the president has done to be an accomplishment. I guess in one sense that's true. I really want to see the ones you thought were most important.

To get on my list it has to be 1) something he or his administration has done, 2) something I agree with, and 3) something I feel is weighty or consequential. Here are my top 3:
-- Re-instituted the rule of law as it applies to immigration
-- Proposed a conservative budget that cuts spending
-- Implemented a federal hiring freeze

Carlos Ponce

"I can see from your links that you consider anything the president has done to be an accomplishment."
These are not my lists. I provided one from the White House, one from the Leftist media and one from what many consider a conservative site.

Steve Fouga

I know, Carlos. That was my point, and my purpose in asking for YOUR list of top accomplishments rather than a list of links.

It's not important, just curious. [smile]

Carlos Ponce

We would have a disagreement on what constitutes an "accomplishment". My list would be comparable to that issued by the White House. Not every one is a touchdown but field goals and points after count.

Victor Krc

"Always expect the worst and you wont be disappointed".

Staff Sergeant Ernest Dugar
Drill Sergeant, Fort Polk, La.
September, 1969

George Croix

One thing I have learned from this particular discussion is that a husband getting a half million buck payment for a speech in Russia, and then his wife greasing the skids for transfer of a bunch of uranium control to those Rooskies, then they both pocket a cool 150 million or thereabouts disguised as a 'Foundation Donation', is NOT 'collusion'....and neither is whispering about 'flexibility' to Putin's Russian Ambassador too close to a hot mike.....
Nothing dirty going on there...just like out at Miss Mona's......

That Pot sure thinks it's less black than the Kettle......[innocent][whistling]

Steve Fouga

Well, George, maybe the problem is that in one case the collusion worked, and in the other case it didn't. No harm, no foul?

Now, maybe if Secretary Clinton had actually been elected, the shoe would be on the other foot. In fact, I'm sure it would. We were guaranteed a legal sideshow no matter what happened in November. [crying]

George Croix

Well, Mr. Fouga, that sounds like as long as you get away with it, there was nothing wrong....

Don't try that at home, kids...leave it to the professionals.....

Steve Fouga

"Well, Mr. Fouga, that sounds like as long as you get away with it, there was nothing wrong...."

That's not how I feel. I believe in justice, and the rule of law. I have no problem with an investigation of the Clintons. I'm actually a more serious person than my comments sometimes suggest.[tongue_smile]

I DO think that as a practical matter it's more important to get to the bottom of ties to Russia that the sitting president might have, rather than those of someone no longer in a position to do our country harm.

George Croix

Do ya really think the Clintons are in no position to do the country harm.....?

Steve Fouga

Not compared to a president. Not worth pursuing if it takes one agent away from the Trump-Russia investigation. Not worth worrying about.

George Croix

Of course....

Jim Forsythe

Is this the beginning of the end , or is Mike Flynn just covering his self?
Updated March 30, 2017 6:41 p.m. ET          
WASHINGTON—Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

Carlos Ponce

Don't presume anything before he testifies. Did Mike Flynn speak to the Russians? Of course he did. It is considered part of his job. What is being ignored is the quid pro quo between Russia and Hillary Clinton. Hillary signs off on 1/5 of American uranium to the Russians, Russia gives a sizeable donation to the Clinton Foundation. Why nothing about that?[ohmy]

Jim Forsythe

Ironically, Russia was shipping uranium to the US for ~20 years after the end of the cold war. There had been tons of refined uranium stockpiled in dilapidated facilities. The US bought it and it has been used to fuel nuclear power plants. About 10% of US electricity was being produced by this program. (Shipments ended in 2013.)

Russia doesn’t have the legal right to export uranium out of the US
"The claim that Clinton gave 20 percent of America’s uranium to Russia is incorrect and clearly misleading. Trump is referring to Russia’s nuclear power agency purchasing a majority stake in a Toronto-based energy company between 2009 and 2013. The company had mines and land in a number of US states with huge uranium production capacity — a move the US State Department signed off on. But PolitiFact
did a thorough fact-check of the claim last year when Trump first made it on the campaign trail, and found the following faults with it:
The mines, mills, and land the company holds in the US account for 20 percent of the US’s uranium production capacity, not actual produced uranium.
The State Department was one of nine federal agencies and a number of additional independent federal and state regulators that signed off on the deal.
President Obama, not Secretary Clinton, was the only person who could’ve vetoed the deal.
Since Russia doesn’t have the legal right to export uranium out of the US, its main goal was likely to gain access to the company’s uranium assets in Kazakhstan.
Crucially, the main national security concern was not about nuclear weapons proliferation, as Trump suggests, but actually ensuring the US doesn’t have to depend too much on uranium sources from abroad, as the US only makes about 20 percent of the uranium it needs. An advantage in making nuclear weapons wasn’t the main issue because, as PolitiFact notes, “the United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium.”

Carlos Ponce

See "Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal"
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html
"At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.
Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States."

Carlos Ponce

"Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton." NYTIMES
implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security, implications for national security............
I hope you finally get it Jim

Jim Forsythe

Newsweek March 28, 2017
Trump tweeted late Monday night: “Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillaryth deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia?”
What’s he talking about? Well, there obviously isn’t an especially presidential level of detail in there. But we presume he’s referring to allegations, first aired in 2015, that the Clinton family benefited from a “pay for play” scheme, whereby U.S. uranium reserves were supposedly transferred to the Russian owners of a mining corporation in return for donations to the Clinton foundation.
One problem, though: it’s false.
According to Snopes, the fact checking site, this goes back to 2010, when Russia’s nuclear agency, Rosatom, completed purchase of a 51 percent stake in mining company Uranium One.
Clinton, as America’s top foreign policy official, had a role to play in the deal because it included the transfer of ownership of Uranium, which is deemed a sensitive national security matter. It required approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, on which Clinton sat.
Over the time that the deal was going through, a 2015 book, Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer, claimed that the Clinton Foundation accepted handouts from nine individuals connected to Uranium One totaling more than $100 million.
But, according to Snopes, there are big problems with citing this as evidence of Clinton corruption, as Trump has done several times, or calling it a “Bill and Hillary deal.”
First, Clinton had no power of veto or approval over the deal. She was one of nine members of the committee, and in any case only the president has veto power.

Second, the vast bulk of the donations the Clinton Foundation allegedly received came from a man called Frank Giustra, the company’s founder. But Giustra sold off his stake in the company in 2007, before the deal went through and before Clinton became secretary of state.
.

Carlos Ponce

Jim, don't believe everything Snopes posts. Sometimes they get it right but often not. The article has pro-Hillary twists of facts in it. So you really think Hillary had no say in the matter. Okay, does that mean you're putting this entire fiasco of a deal on Barack Hussein Obama? If Hillary wasn't responsible then who was? Had to be either Obama or someone in his administration. Can't run from this one, Jim.

Carlos Ponce

The Libs say Hillary Hillary wasn't responsible for approving the Uranium 1 deal.
The Libs say Hillary wasn't responsible for the Benghazi fiasco nor the deaths of four Americans including an ambassador.
The Libs say Hillary was not responsible for any of the State Department fiascos that happened during her tenure.
Then what the heck did she do as Secretary of State??? Except for the "Reset" button which was also a flop, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING if you believe the Libs storyline! And the Libs wanted her for President of the United States? Give me a break.

George Croix

"There's nothin' dirty goin' on."

Miss Mona

Steve Fouga

The uranium is gone, the deal done.

What's important NOW is the Trump Administration's ties to Russia, and Russia's ability to influence events in the U.S. Once the former is adjudicated and the latter mitigated, the government can go after Hillary.

Carlos Ponce

"What's important NOW is the Trump Administration's ties to Russia..."
You mean we should cut off ALL are relations with Russia? Trade, diplomatic, tourism, etc? That's ALL Trump's people were doing - THEIR JOB! Whether as private businessman or like General Flynn setting up contacts with them. There are legitimate reasons for this administration to have "ties to Russia".
As for Russia trying to influence the outcome of the election can you find ONE person who can legitimately say, "I voted for Trump due to Russian influence." I DOUBT IT. Remember, I wrote "LEGITIMATE".
Why did Hillary lose? Bad candidate, turned off a lot of people with her remarks and actions, barked like an idiot, ran a terrible campaign, bad policy platforms, roped off the media, etc. You take your pick.
Did the Russians try? Let's say yes. Did they sway ANY votes? Even James Clapper could find no evidence.
Did the Obama administration try to influence the Israeli Prime Minister election? YES! Did their influence have an effect? No.
If a world geography class if the teacher asks, "Where's Russia?" a student could answer, "In the minds of Liberals" and be right.

Steve Fouga

"There are legitimate reasons for this administration to have "ties to Russia"."

Diplomatic ties, fine. Not personal or business ties. If it's discovered that the Trump campaign didn't coordinate with Russia to influence the election, and that all personal and business ties were severed upon President Trump's victory, I'll be satisfied with that part of the equation.

As for influencing the election, I guess we'll find out, because Russia's tactics now have the full attention of federal law enforcement, and I would bet the military, too. While I'm pissed that they attacked our election, I'm much MORE concerned about what they'll do in the future, now that they've gotten away with it.

Being a suspicious sort when it comes to Russia, I hope we understand their cyberwarfare abilities quickly, and learn to prevent future attacks on power grids, financial institutions, physical infrastructure, military installations, etc. Further, I suggest the Administration, Congress and DoD, possibly in coordination with NATO and other close allies, should very publicly announce the development of a set of Rules of Engagement for cyberwarfare, i.e., which sort of attack warrants a response in kind, which sort warrants political or economic sanctions, which sort warrants a kinetic response, etc. During the Cold War, if the Soviet Union had done what they just did, it would probably have been viewed as an act of war, requiring a kinetic response.

I can hardly believe you don't recognize the danger Russia poses. I can't tell if you're just not paying attention, or if you refuse to believe the accusations because they may have benefitted your candidate, or what.

Carlos Ponce

I was speaking of the past when it came down to "business ties" BEFORE the election, BEFORE they were appointed by Trump.
And I fully recognize the danger that Russia poses and so does Donald Trump. What the Liberals call "cozying up to a dictator and giving homage and adulation" is nothing more than a ploy to gain in a diplomatic way.
"I would love it if we could continue to build a more positive relationship with Russia. Obviously we would very much like to have a positive relationship with Russia and we would like to see Putin be less defensive toward a relationship with the United States so that we could work together on some issues." -Hillary Clinton
"I sat next to [Putin]. He’s an engaging and, you know, very interesting conversationalist," she told trade consultant Sanford Bernstein on May 29, 2013.
Funny it's just diplomacy when Democrats do this, BUT WHOA NELLY!, if a Republican tries doing exactly the same they must be in cahoots with the Russians.
This will drag on through the 2018 mid-terms and 2020 presidential election. When the Democrats don't have policies that actually work they go to Saul Alinsky's book and DEMONIZE their opponents. Democrats are good at Demonizing.

George Croix

Helllooooo....the Rooskies have been doing all they can to interfere with and destabilize EVERY country in the world that they benefit from destabilizing for, oh, about 100 years now.
Suddenly, it's Big News....?
Why wasn't Hillary interfering with and undermining efforts for Putin's last election in 2011 Big News, and why exactly does anybody suppose he'd NOT want to put a stick in her eye at her own election effort?
For that matter, why wasn't it Big News that ex-Pres. Obama's own campaign apparatus ended up in Isreal WITH big money from our own State Dept. trying all it could to undermine and interfere with Netanyahu's re-election?
Answer?
Simple.
Selective outrage...the two faces of the Democrat Party...yet again....
"Let's move on"....where have we heard that before.
And often....it's always the operative 'progressive' demand when trying to divide, divert, and deceive.....
I ask again, having never gotten an answer, HOW did any 'Russian hacking' effect the last election? Are they suspected of hacking into electronic voting machines not even connected to the internet? Nobody but maybe some of the loons with their genitals on their heads believe that.....
Was it the leaking of info Podesta, he of his 'password" password, was was being two-faced about? If so, how does one explain THAT damning info in the first place, as it supposedly never existed. If there was no damning bad stuff there, then a 'hack' would have amounted to squat.
So, what is going on here is deflecting the Podesta stupidity/lying onto a 'Russian scare'.... divert and distract...all the better to pretend Hillary wasn't an even worsee candidate than McCain....
BTW, a few minutes looking will show Podesta's own ties to Russia....and we already know about the Clinton's ties to Russia.....when blind eyes are opened.
If you say the information the Rooskies got and passed out from Podesta's personal emails sank Hillary, then why isn't PODESTA the target of 'progressive' rage..???
Is the guy who slanders you not guilty but the one telling you about it is????
All this ignores the simple fact, too, that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of failing on her own lack of merit....twice.....
If we don't like hacking, we need to shutdown about 99% of the U.S. intelligence gathering networks, and stop messing with OTHER countries.
Or, keep pretending great umbrage at what we ourselves do all the time.....

I'm guessing the usual suspects go with option 2......

George Croix

Hacking?
How about this from an article about the new DNC honcho, Tom Perez:

"The defeat last year of frontrunner Hillary Clinton was an especially tough loss, considering hacked emails revealed that committee leaders tried to give Clinton the edge over primary challengers. And committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, resigned in the aftermath."

So, by 'progressive' standards, the bad part is not the ACTIVE and COORDINATED undermining of a candidate for President by his OWN PARTY leadership, but that the scheming and subterfuge was revealed??
Too clever by half, the story of the machinations and underhanded dealings of the Fix Is In For Hillary campaign....

No, it was the Russians...not the scheming and lying and double dealing and set up for failure...

George Croix

pss:
Maybe it would have all worked out different if that Russian Reset Button had actually used the word for 'reset' instead of for 'overcharged'....
Or, considering Hillary was the one doing it, was it just a Freudian slip when she was thinking about the speaking fees and impending uranium shuffling possibilities....[beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam]

Carlos Ponce

Putin's ploy worked - Hillary got more popular votes! Vladimir doesn't quite understand how American Presidential Elections work and apparently neither do the Liberals of this country. Logically, if the Russians had any real influence in the election of 2016 and they actually wanted a Trump victory, wouldn't Donald J. Trump have won the POPULAR vote? [beam]

Steve Fouga

Not necessarily. She might have won by 5 million votes if the Russians hadn't attacked the election. Maybe the Russians were what made it as close as it was.

You guys are so worried that your guy didn't win fair and square!

Steve Fouga

George, you're either completely missing my point, or purposely obfuscating.

I'm afraid of what Russia will do in the future, not what they've already done. If Hillary had won the election, we would be having a discussion about uranium, rather than cyberwarfare. The common denominator is Russia.

Surely you know by now that Russia telegraphed their attack long before the election, and are now suspected of having disrupted the Republican primary as well. The issue (to me at least) is not the specific files that were hacked or released, or the bots that were inserted into social-media sites to sway the primary voters in Trump's favor, or the bots used to sway the general election voters in Trump's favor; the issue is that we were attacked by an adversarial foreign power, and I wish for it not to happen again.

I also disagree with Carlos's assertion that President Trump understands the danger that Russia poses. This is not one of Trump's "Art of the Deal" ploys. I doubt he is even aware of Russia's history of deceit and aggression. He is a narcissistic ass who doesn't bother to learn about his foes.

Carlos Ponce

"This is not one of Trump's "Art of the Deal" ploys. I doubt he is even aware of Russia's history of deceit and aggression." Really? Read Chapter 2: “The Elements of the Deal” – Trump aims high. He will keep pushing and pushing to get what he is after.
Use your leverage:
"The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you're dead." Remember Trump invited political foes from the business sector and the Democratic Party to the White House.
To say he is not "aware of Russia's history of deceit and aggression" is off the mark.
"He is a narcissistic ass who doesn't bother to learn about his foes." You may be right on the former but the latter shows you've sipped too much Liberal kool-aid. So sad.[sad]
Do the Russians want the USA under Trump to upgrade their military as Reagan did, an upgrade that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union?
Do the Russians want the United States to increase their fuel producing capacity to the point of self sufficiency and export surplus in competition with them?
Did the Russians want Trump to continue sanctions against them as he has done as announced by Nikki Haley, UN ambassador?
These and other actions show Trump is well aware of Russia and Putin. There's an old adage, "Keep your friends close, your enemies closer." Or does that only apply when a Democrat is in the White House?
Remember the Vulcan proverb, " Only Nixon could go to China."

Steve Fouga

You make some good points, Carlos, especially President Trump's budgeted military buildup and his energy self-sufficiency goal. I just hope the president isn't in the pocket of an oligarch, or Putin himself. And if he is, I hope he's caught.

I definitely believe the president is a narcissist, though. Unfortunately I have plenty of experience with them. Not a pretty picture. As you and the president would say, so sad.

George Croix

No.
I was making MY point, and there's no obfuscation in my point.
I'm not hitching a ride. I have my own transportation.....

But, to reply to your latest post, Mr, Fouga, what Russia will do in the future WILL be guided by what they have already done...just as their actions have been since the 1917 Revolution....What they get away with or succeed at, they do more of....
Forget that at our own peril.
We give them 'reset buttons' and talk of American lack of exceptionalism, and they give us alliance with Syria and Iran when it suits them.....because they CAN.
As to 'Russian meddling in our election', as if that's some new thing, which I suppose it would be to so many disconnected other people, had they found zip but cookie recipes, yoga schedules, and innocent commentary on election plans and tactics in all the emails, they'd have moved along to another target...
It's the CONTENT that was disclosed that matters just as much, if not much more, than the disclosure itself. Despite the effort to ACTUALLY obfuscate that.
No there there, then all the hacking in the world does squat...
Then, there's the little issue of nobody HAS to swallow info hook/line/and sinker without making some effort to determine if it's factual.....being too lazy to look or care is a personal failure, one our enemies, in this case the Russians, will...always...happily exploit.
Saying what's already happened is not as important as what's happening now strikes me, personally, as very wrong....not just about Russians but about just darn near any subject one might come up with.
It certainly makes it harder to develop a profile, and a plan of action, it seems to me.
But, that's just me....

"I doubt he is even aware of Russia's history of deceit and aggression.'
Well, ask Hillary about how stupid the OTHER guys are......[whistling]

Steve Fouga

What happened in the past is important, no doubt, which is why that past has been under FBI investigation for 10 months. What happened in the past is important for profiling of course, and also in the sense that it might have helped us choose the most dangerous president ever elected. Further, it's important because the past might yield the evidence to bring that president down. So yes, definitely important.

That would pale in comparison to a foreign adversary knocking down the New York Stock Exchange for months, wrecking our electrical power grid, opening the floodgates on our dams, scrambling our military and law-enforcement communications networks, disabling our hospital computer systems, and so on. I'm concerned that this administration isn't as concerned as I am, when they were just witness to, if not complicit in, the largest-scale example of cyberwarfare ever executed.

But George and Carlos, what I REALLY don't understand is why you keep making this about Hillary. The Russia issue is about President Trump and his administration, because they are now in charge of running the country! I think it's fine to be disgusted by Hillary, dislike her, hate her, and go after her legally, if cases can be made. But right now she's a sideshow. The main event is President Trump and his Russophile gang of amateurs.

Carlos Ponce

"What happened in the past is important, no doubt, which is why that past has been under FBI investigation for 10 months."
Actually, Trump was being surveilled before he became a viable candidate. This increased with his percentage in the polls. Something there? Not really, just typical business dealings. And then as reported by Rep. Nunez the surveillance had nothing to do with Russia. They call it DIRTY TRICKS. Find out ANYTHING about the opposition and use it against them. Think Watergate on a wider scale.
Obama knew of Russian hacking back in 2015. He was right to be concerned but asked his people to spread a wide net hence the "incidental" pulling in of Trump's staff. According to LAW they should have been MASKED but someone in the administration ordered they be UN-MASKED. Evelyn Farkas reported the sudden "rush" at the end of Obama's term to spread this information.
Why Hillary? Why the sudden onslaught of of mis-information from the Leftist Media of Hillary's role in the Uranium 1 deal? Because they're SCARED the people will discover their corruption. It also points out the hypocrisy of the Leftist media. Quoting Politifact and other uber-Left sources proves nothing.
"The main event is President Trump and his Russophile gang of amateurs."
Your bias is showing Steve. It's only the "main event" because he's a Republican president, not because there's anything there.I'd hate to see you driving on the highway in the opposite lane - you veer to the Left.[scared]

Steve Fouga

"You veer to the Left."

It's somewhat true. I consider myself a centrist but, having taken several political ideology or political compass "tests," I always show up as "leans left" or "somewhat liberal," or some other title that brands me as wildly liberal here in Galveston County. In other parts of the country I would be considered conservative. The tests always snag me on the environment and the amount of government intrusion I'm willing to countenance. I think of myself a realist when it comes to government involvement in my life.

As for bias, Carlos, I could say the same for a majority of the folks on this forum, including you. We're just biased in different directions. My statements emphasizing an investigation of President Trump over a similar investigation of Secretary Clinton are SOLELY because the president is in a position to do more damage. I have no love for Ms Clinton, I just don't see that she poses any imminent threat. Go ahead and prosecute her -- as long as it doesn't detract from the Trump investigation.

I admit to an anti-Trump bias, but NOT because he's a Republican -- I vote Republican as often as Democrat. The other part of those "tests" is the Authoritarian-Libertarian axis, where I show up as strongly Libertarian. Anyone with authoritarian tendencies is repugnant to me. Combine this with President Trump's personality, which I find distasteful, and there's no way I can like the man. If his policies turn out beneficial, I can overlook this dislike -- and some of his policies DO appear beneficial. But for me, and for now, the Russia allegations overwhelm everything else.

George Croix

For the same reason that the Police do not just move on to the next murderer or bank robber, having failed to yet bring the last ones to justice.
For the same reason that the military does not just ignore the threats that have not yet attacked them.
For the same reason that a builder makes a punch list so that unfinished work does not remain unfinished.
For the same reason that people are fixated on Russia right now, when there is more direct danger to them posed by the people in this country who have lost their minds.
I don't chew gum, but can walk and drink a Diet Coke at the same time.....

Steve Fouga

Okay, George. I actually agree with most of your reasoning. I would just add that prioritization is important in most of the examples you listed.

Trump: High-priority
Clinton: Not as high

As a relatively new member of this forum, I should probably get used to the idea that you, Carlos, P.D., and a few others will almost always attack Hillary and Barack, whether they're relevant to the topic at hand or not. You're still butthurt from the past 8 years.

That's fine; I can adapt. [cool]

George Croix

Speaking for myself, that's a good conclusion you drew there, Mr. Fouga.
Too bad it's so wrong.....
Of course, since it's yours, it can be anything you want it to be...

George Croix

ps:
"Anyone with authoritarian tendencies is repugnant to me.'
Well, then, Mr. Fouga, you must know a little something personal about pain in the hiney for the last several years....maybe that's where the conflation onto me came from.....
[beam][beam][beam][beam][beam]

Steve Fouga

Not at all. My conclusion, which you labeled incorrect, is based solely on reading your posts. I can't know what you truly believe, but I can certainly observe what flows from your prolific fingertips.

Implying that President Obama was authoritarian ignores the fact that his legislative agenda was purposely and preemptively blocked. He then did what any rational person would do: he pursued his agenda using tactics other than legislation.

Carlos Ponce

"ignores the fact that his legislative agenda was purposely and preemptively blocked"
Hardly. This is based on rhetoric from ONE Republican trying to rally the troops. What was accomplished by the 111th Congress? Blocked? The Republicans did not have the numbers to block.
January 29, 2009: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–2
February 4, 2009: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (SCHIP), Pub.L. 111–3
February 17, 2009: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Pub.L. 111–5
March 11, 2009: Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub.L. 111–8
March 30, 2009: Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–11
April 21, 2009: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, Pub.L. 111–13
May 20, 2009: Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–21
May 20, 2009: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–22
May 22, 2009: Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–23
May 22, 2009: Credit CARD Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–24
June 22, 2009: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as Division A of Pub.L. 111–31
June 24, 2009: Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 including the Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash for Clunkers), Pub.L. 111–32
October 28, 2009: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Pub.L. 111–84
November 6, 2009: Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–92
December 16, 2009: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Pub.L. 111–117
February 12, 2010: Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, as Title I of Pub.L. 111–139
March 4, 2010: Travel Promotion Act of 2009, as Section 9 of Pub.L. 111–145
March 18, 2010: Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, Pub.L. 111–147
March 23, 2010: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub.L. 111–148
March 30, 2010: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, Pub.L. 111–152
May 5, 2010: Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111–163
July 1, 2010: Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111–195
July 21, 2010: Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub.L. 111–203
July 29, 2010: Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010
August 3, 2010: Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111–220
August 10, 2010: SPEECH Act, Pub.L. 111–223
September 27, 2010: Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111–240
December 8, 2010: Claims Resolution Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111–291
December 13, 2010: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111–296
December 17, 2010: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853
December 22, 2010: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111–321, H.R. 2965
January 2, 2011: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111–347, H.R. 847
January 4, 2011: Shark Conservation Act, Pub.L. 111–348, H.R. 81
January 4, 2011: Food Safety and Modernization Act, Pub.L. 111–353, H.R. 2751

George Croix

I don't have to imply, Mr. Fouga....I simply have to remember, and acknowledge....

Mr. Pot said to Mr. kettle, "You, sir, are black".
I am reminded for some reason of the old argument about which hurts weighs more: a falling bag containing a pound of feathers, or a pound of lead.....

The answer, of course, is that it depends upon who's head either one falls....
The guy hit by the feathers will swear that he suffered just as much as the leaded guy, ignoring the realities......

George Croix

hurts weighs???

just hurts.....
almost close enough

George Croix

psa:
I note yet again that the years from January 2009 to January 2011 have been removed from the Convenience History Books, being very inconvenient at times.....

Steve Fouga

I'm sorry, I don't get your logic. I admit this could very well be my fault because I simply don't understand, so explain it to me.

Are you saying that when President Obama had numbers and was able to enact his legislative agenda through Congress, he was authoritarian because he enacted it?

And then, when he didn't have numbers and the Republicans blocked his legislation and he resorted to executive orders, he was authoritarian for pursuing his agenda without Congressional help?

Or is it that you perceive any government intrusion into our personal lives as authoritarian?

Or what?

George Croix

Thereafter, the ex-Pres.' demonizing(s) of opposing views were, if not daily, then regular to the point of missed if somehow not done at any given opportunity.
It's not my opinion, it's videotaped fact(s) available for anyone to check for themselves....denial is simply not possible and be honest about it.....
So far, that puts Pres. Trump one-up on his predecessor, with at least SOME willingness to negotiate....if still not enough....but while the feathers are not the same, they are both, for sure, still birds in a flock of authoritarians...
There's my viewpoint....

"And then, when he didn't have numbers and the Republicans blocked his legislation and he resorted to executive orders, he was authoritarian for pursuing his agenda without Congressional help?"
And there's yours.....

Note the difference.....ergo my earlier mention of the two vanished years, but leaving out the revisionist history since....

Anyway, I'm just here to opine... and part of that is presenting what is easily found by anybody else who wants to.

If anyone chooses to pretend it happened differently....I don't care....
In such a case, wishing won't make it actually so.....

Carlos Ponce

"Are you saying that when President Obama had numbers and was able to enact his legislative agenda through Congress, he was authoritarian because he enacted it?"
No, I'm not saying that at all. You contend, "the fact that his legislative agenda was purposely and preemptively blocked." Not so, Steve, not so. I only address that part of your post as my post specifies.I don't address whether it was authoritarian or not.

Steve Fouga

Okay, got it. Thanks, Carlos. I was replying to two people who were replying to me in two different ways, and it didn't work.

George Croix

Well, flippity flip...

Over half my post disappeared.

I don't have time to redo tonight as I'm runnign late right now , so just pick up in January 2009 with 'We won' when SOME effort was made to present alternative views by the Opposition party, and it still ties together....

Jim Forsythe

Is this were we are headed for?
"A top spokesman for Russian President Putin said Friday that the U.S.’s relationship with Moscow may be worse than during the Cold War."
Is Russia to be believed?
"Peskov  (Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman) denied reports that Russia interfered with the elections. He said many Russians supported Trump’s presidency due to remarks he made during his campaign".
“The reasons is very simple,” he said. “It’s not about preferring someone. It’s about whose ideas are more close to you and whose ideas are more welcome in Russian public opinion.”
If investigations are not done , will it go away? Is the President losing support?
"But weeks of early, politically damaging battles over controversial policies and an ongoing probe into his campaign’s ties to Russian interference in the election have left Trump with the lowest approval rating of any president since Harry Truman. Most of the right wing Republican House members in the Freedom Caucus, now in the president’s crosshairs, outperformed him in the past election, giving them little incentive to cooperate."
Trump, and his group on immunity.
“When you are given immunity, that means that you have probably committed a crime,” Flynn said in September on NBC's “Meet the
Press.”
Here's what Trump said in the closing days of the campaign
“If she were to win, it would create an unprecedented constitutional crisis that would cripple the operations of our government. She is likely to be under investigation for many years, and also it will probably end up — in my opinion — in a criminal trial.” (Nov. 3 in New Hampshire)
“She is likely to be under investigation for a long time, concluding in a criminal trial — our president. America deserves a government that can go to work on day one and get it done.” (Nov. 4 in New Hampshire)
.@KellyannePolls on HRC: “If you’re under your 2nd FBI investigation in the same year then you do have a…corruption & an ethics problem.”
  Sean Spicer‏Verified account @seanspicer 20 Feb 2016
Replying to @AriMelber
@AriMelber not if @HillaryClinton becomes nominee - probably tough to get excited about someone under FBI investigation               

Like No two situations are analogous, of course. The Trump team will argue that the investigation into Clinton more clearly focused on her personal wrongdoing. But Trump's administration is now a focal point of an FBI investigation, and one of his closest advisers is seeking an immunity deal."
But weeks of early, politically damaging battles over controversial policies and an ongoing probe into his campaign’s ties to Russian interference in the election have left Trump with the lowest approval rating of any president since Harry Truman. Most of the right wing Republican House members in the Freedom Caucus, now in the president’s crosshairs, outperformed him in the past election, giving them little incentive to cooperate."

Rep. Keith Ellison
@keithellison
Trump vs. Freedom Caucus: President takes names, starting with Amash - Fox News
"So less than a week later, after President Trump on Thursday warned the Freedom Caucus that he would “fight them” when they face re-election next year, Mr. Sanford was hardly cowering in fear. Instead, he and other members of the Freedom Caucus returned fire."
“Intimidation may work with some in the short term, but it never really works in the long run,” Mr. Sanford said, adding that Mr. Trump should interpret the recalcitrance of conservative lawmakers as an indication of a flawed bill: “What you can’t do is shoot messengers.”
Will the President listen to Mr. Sanford, or just shoot messengers.”
“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!”

 

  

Steve Fouga

Okay, George and/or Carlos, I'll try to explain why I see President Trump as authoritarian, but I don't see President Obama that way. I'll try to bear in mind that one man's example of welcome change can be another's idea of executive overreach, and I'll acknowledge that several, perhaps many, of President Obama's actions are viewed by knowledgeable (mostly conservative) observers as authoritarian.

My concept of an authoritarian leader is one who would just as soon use the AUTHORITY of his position to enact his agenda as he would to use the normal legislative process. I also see an authoritarian as someone who would put his personal wishes or his advisors' wishes above those of a majority of his constituents or subjects. An authoritarian will easily embrace ideologies and then enact policy that is unpopular with a majority of his constituents or subjects. Right now, a majority of Americans disagree with what President Trump espouses. And yet, he shows little inclination to understand viewpoints differing from his own.

My remembrance of President Obama is different from yours, George. I remember the president trying like crazy to get things done through the normal legislative process, trying to get Republicans to involve themselves in the design of Obamacare, for instance, and being haughtily refused. So he got it done his way. Even after that, he practically begged Republicans to propose a better plan if they had one, only to be refused, while they childishly demanded its repeal. I also remember his executive orders being applauded by a majority of Americans, because they were designed to right wrongs and appeal to the majority.

My opinion that President Trump is an authoritarian is based entirely on his own words and attitude, since he hasn't seriously advanced his own agenda during the time he's been in office, so it's hard to know how he's going to act. He's issued some executive orders, most of them unpopular (but some of them good, in my opinion). He may turn out to be a master negotiator, wooing Freedom Caucus rightwingers, moderate Repubs and liberal Democrats, but so far that's not what his attitude shows. It's more like "My way or the highway," or, "I'll take my marbles and go home."

Right now, to me he feels like an authoritarian. At no time in his tenure did President Obama feel like an authoritarian to me.

Please notice that I'm not using "authoritarian" as a term to denote centralized governmental control (versus federated) which is also a legit definition. George and Carlos, if this is what you mean by authoritarian, then I can see that you would view President Obama as, well, authoritarian. As a Democrat, he would favor centralized government.

Matter of perspective, I guess. I've made up for George's missing half-post with my own uber-long one. [cool]

Carlos Ponce

"My remembrance of President Obama is different from yours, George. I remember the president trying like crazy to get things done through the normal legislative process, trying to get Republicans to involve themselves in the design of Obamacare, for instance, and being haughtily refused."
Maybe you need to subscribe to Newspaper Archives to refresh your memory. What this is is the liberal spin on facts but facts negate their veracity.
Here is a segment from Leftist Politico:
President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning - but he also left no doubt about who's in charge of these negotiations. "I won," Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.

Steve Fouga

Carlos, is your recommended archive site literally the one called NewspaperArchive? I see there's more than one archive site. Is yours relatively easy to navigate and search, in your opinion? I guess you must feel the $100/year fee is worth it. Is it fun to use? I'm considering it...

Carlos Ponce

Newspaperarchive.com is FREE to anyone who has a Rosenberg Library card. It's easy to navigate and use. Just ask any 5th grader.[beam] $100/year fee? Really?
Go to: http://rosenberg-library.org/
Under "e-Library" click on "All Online Databases"
Under "Articles, News, & Magazines" click on "Newspaper Archives"
You will then be asked for your "Borrower ID" found on your Rosenberg Library card.
And you're in.
By the way, Rosenberg Library Cards are FREE also. You DO have a Rosenberg Library Card, don't you? If you cannot find a 5th grader, the Librarian can assist you in navigating this FREE web site (FREE to anyone with a Rosenberg Library Card). If you haven't visited the Library recently I suggest you do so. Lots of good information there![beam][beam][beam]

Steve Fouga

"Newspaperarchive.com is FREE to anyone who has a Rosenberg Library card."

Now that right there is an EXCELLENT comment! It told me something I didn't already know, that could be of great use to me. And it was non-partisan to boot! [smile]

Thanks, Carlos.

George Croix

"I remember the president trying like crazy to get things done through the normal legislative process,...."
OK.
My truck drives down a very different memory lane. 'The video'(s) easily available for viewing also looks very different , as we see a Pres, IN THE SAME SPEECHES both 'asking for bipartisanship', then damning all of any other political bent.
Try that with a crew of people at work sometime, ask for their help while also calling them ugly and saying Momma dressed them funny. or, being authoritarian, as it were.
But, this is an opinion column, not a teaching classroom, so believe whatever you want.
Mr. Fouga, I rarely worry about a polled majority, of any kind, polling questions being designed to get the result the pollsters want....and when they ignore the ACTUAL realities, they get a greatly different result, election or otherwise.
In my career, as both a process unit(s) supervisor and an emergency response captain there was at any given time 'a majority' of people in the front office or command areas disagreeing with what was being done in the field/on site. Yet, going along with that majority, going AGAINST the evidence and conditions right in front of me, would have led to great monetary loss, equipment damage, personnel injury, and at times even death(s).
I hear someone talk about they 'did this because of the polls' I hear a natural NON-leader, and a dangerous and/or ineffective one to boot.
That's my life experience.
Other's may differ.....the ex-Pres. sure as heck did.
The one we have now is one I personally dislike, and IS a narcissist and has authoritarian mannerisms, but IS, imho, doing what's best for the COUNTRY, so far, in stark contrast to what left, and not much giving a flip about a bunch of people who decided it was a great idea to 'fundamentally change the greatest nation the world had ever known'.
If the Russian issue was so important, ex-Pres. Obama should have acted on it when he found out MONTHS before the election. He sat on it, because he didn't CARE because he didn't want anything to take away from Hillary's assured, he thought, election.
Or, is that fact, too, now relegated to the same place as his first 2 years in office....[wink]

Don't like Trump? Plenty of reasons not to.
But, I didn't vote for him because I liked HIM, I voted for what I hoped he'd get DONE, and against what I wanted UNDONE that, imho, got us to the point where loons with their genitals on their heads led the charge for half the nation to go stark raving nuts....

My opinion....
But, so far, my Family's great good fortune to maybe, maybe, escape living in American Greece, or Northern Central America.....

Steve Fouga

"If the Russian issue was so important, ex-Pres. Obama should have acted on it when he found out MONTHS before the election."

I agree 1000%, George. His was a selfish, unpatriotic inaction, and in my opinion his worst mistake, coming in just above the red line fiasco.

Well, it looks like we're going to continue to disagree about the relative merits of Presidents Obama and Trump. I like and agree with your comment about not always going with majority rule; still, I feel in a representative democracy it's usually the best course. If conditions in the nation ever reach the level of immediacy often encountered at the plant, then I absolutely agree that a leader must take the reins and do what needs doing, majority opinion be damned.

George Croix

For the past half century the 'majority' has been largely given short shrift.
We have become too much a nation of mini-causes and micro-conisderations....
imho.....

As for those relative merits, you might recall that ex-Pres. Obama got a Nobel Prize just a couple months or so into his Presidency for his 'potential'....lucky for him it's not able to be taken back....[whistling]
Current Pres. Trump hasn't even made 3 months yet...maybe in 21 more he'll have done a lot of good, or may be as worthless as toe jam...but for sure, 3 months isn't long enough to tell. One goofy guest column is already whining about 'promises not kept'....and people actually AGREE with that!! Go figure....unfixable....
Maybe next week they'd like an end to poverty and hunger, and the week after world peace, then coast from there....
It's hard to deal with ideologues, being utterly irrational as they are.....

About that agreeing to disagree, Mr. Fouga.
I'm going to agree I'm right.
You are on your own.... [beam][beam][beam][beam]

Tell ya a little something about those taken reins....they can leave blisters on your...hands.....the price one pays for caring more about success and safety than optics and feelings.
A refinery, at least the the one I was at, is an almost perfect copy of national politics.
Even if you save all the bacon from burning, you still get some P ant whiner somewhere who complains that you could have done it better (of course it takes them 2 weeks in committee study to determine that, when the field guy has 2 MINUTES, or less, to decide...), or that you 'didn't follow procedure'...never minding that doing so would have been disastrous under the conditions at the time...
Life imitates...other life....[whistling]

Carlos Ponce

So Susan Rice was responsible for unmasking Americans which is against the law. Susan, you've got some 'splaining to do !

Steve Fouga

Just being a patriot.[thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

Susan a patriot? Only for an America where Constitutional rights are ignored for the "good of the party".

Steve Fouga

Carlos, it's entirely normal for a National Security Advisor to be interested in national security!

Hey, a few posts back I had some questions about your recommendation of newspaper archives. Sounds interesting, would like to hear a little more from you, as an actual user...

Carlos Ponce

So it's National Security Interest that puts Party Politics over following the law and telling the truth?
Susan Rice went on National TV and told us that the Benghazi killings were due to a Film. -Is that for nation or for party?
Susan Rice told us that Bowe Bergdahl served with "Honor and Distinction". - Is that for nation or party?
Susan Rice unmasked Trump's people - was that for Nation or party? It is within her authority to do so BUT there must be a "National Security Interest". James Clapper had access to the same information and reported there was nothing there.
Methinks Susan Rice placed Party Loyalty over the laws of the United States and truth. Patriot? I think NOT.

Carlos Ponce

"Carlos, it's entirely normal for a National Security Advisor to be interested in national security" Some of the information had NOTHING to do with Russia or any other foreign government. Just partisan politics.

Steve Fouga

Well sure, Carlos. Spies often spend hundreds of hours collecting conversations involving other spies, and find only a few nuggets of relevant, actionable information. No doubt that happened in this case as well. Thank goodness the FBI has the whole lot!

Jim Forsythe

Steve, I do not use it, but this is the free side.https://go.newspapers.com/welcome/?xid=1005&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Finch%20newspapers.com%20Search&utm_term=newspaper%20archives%20free&utm_content=%5Bnewspaper%20archives%20free%5D

George Croix

So, Edward Snowden is a patriot.....
Who knew.....[beam][beam]

Steve Fouga

Nope. Snowden was spy and a traitor.

Susan Rice was acting within the law, in her official capacity as National Security Advisor. Big difference.

Or, maybe I just don't understand your comment.

Carlos Ponce

Susan Rice lied about Benghazi FIVE times on National TV. She is NO PATRIOT!
The only people who consider her credible are GULLIBLE.

Steve Fouga

Okay, maybe no patriot. Of course I can't really know, but I believe most elected and appointed officials are patriots. Not in the sense of "nationalist," but in the sense of loving and supporting their country. And being a patriot is different from being credible. And furthermore, patriots often don't go with conventional wisdom, or even tell the truth. A patriot might very well lie to protect the country. And I was just jabbing with the "patriot" line anyway; it doesn't really matter if she is a patriot or not.

What I really believe is that she was acting legally, within the authority of her office, in what she considered the best interests of the country. If Fox wants to try to make it something different, that's their right. But they had better do it through political commentary, and not represent it as news.

George Croix

All one needs to understand is illegal to unmask private citizen names, and the sudden change in rules, enabling new 'acting within the law', at the 11th hour of the last Admin. to 'allow' passing info around among various agencies where it had never been done before, thus guaranteeing a bigger leak network? Maybe it was just a spontaneous thing....
Taken with the proven record of lying of Susan Rice, it's not rocket science.
Of course, that presumes anyone still thinks it WAS 'the video', and that Bergdahl really did serve with honor.....
C'mon.....

Steve Fouga

She did what any National Security Advisor in her position would have done. I consider her actions sensible. If what she did is illegal, I'm sure President Trump will SEE HER IN COURT! and LOCK HER UP!

I wonder how her actions became public. I doubt Mike Cernovich or Fox made it up. Oh, no!... Someone must have leaked her involvement to the dishonest Rightist press. I doubt it was the Obama administration. So sad, all the leaks... [sad]

Jim Forsythe

Until a investigation is done , everyone is  at the mercy of whoever reports the news
The Washington Post
There is precisely zero evidence that Rice used this information — assuming the reports are true — for anything other than her own official purposes or did anything unholy. Unmasking is not leaking, and as our own Karen DeYoung notes, Rice couldn't have names unmasked without permission from the relevant intelligence agency — a system in place to prevent political abuse.

Did she have  legitimate reasons to to unmask individuals?
And as President Barack Obama's national security adviser, she could very well have had legitimate reasons to ask to unmask individuals in these intelligence reports, which are part of her job. The Journal's claim that “Ms. Rice would have had no obvious need to unmask Trump campaign officials other than political curiosity” certainly takes some logical liberties, given that we don't even know the subject of the reports.
Second — and importantly — there is also still no evidence that any surveillance was targeted at Trump, as he has alleged in tweets. This doesn't speak to that, either.

Rice spoke to MSNBC shortly after this post went up and said she didn't use any such intelligence for political purposes. Unfortunately, she was not asked about her comments to PBS.
"The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes; that's absolutely false," she said. She added: "I leaked nothing to nobody, and never have and never would."

Part of her job duties?
"That's necessary for me to do my job," she said. "It's necessary for the secretary of state, or the secretary of defense, or the CIA director to do their jobs. We can't be passive consumers of this information and not — and do our jobs effectively to protect the American people. Imagine if we saw something of grave significance that involved Russia, or China, or anybody else, interfering in our political process and we needed to understand the significance of that. For us not to try to understand it would be dereliction of duty.

Carlos Ponce

Parse her rhetoric in replies to MSNBC questions. [whistling]

Steve Fouga

She did what any National Security Advisor in her position would have done. I consider her actions sensible. If what she did is illegal, I'm sure President Trump will SEE HER IN COURT! and LOCK HER UP! I wonder how her actions became public. I doubt Mike Cernovich or Fox made it up. Oh, no!... Someone must have leaked her involvement to the dishonest Rightist press. I doubt it was the Obama administration. So sad, all the leaks... [sad]

Carlos Ponce

Her finger prints were all over the information backed up at the White House. No leak here - just evidence left at the scene of the crime.

Steve Fouga

Fair enough, if that's where it was found. There was certainly no reason to hide it. It's important that we know about it. But somehow it came to light... Most stuff at the White House doesn't come to light. But I guess sometimes it does. I'm not clear on how that happens. I think it's usually when the president or his staff decides to make it public.

But don't be distracted by it; it's not the real story. That's my opinion, of course.
[wink]

Jim Forsythe

Maybe in the new budget , they need to fund some flex seal !

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.