Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Senate overwhelmingly passes new Russian sanctions deal while Trump's Secretary of State argues against them.

Remember who you work for.
Courtesy of Politico:  

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan package of new Russia sanctions that also lets Congress block President Donald Trump from easing or ending penalties against Moscow, the year's most significant GOP-imposed restriction on the White House. 

The 97-2 vote on the Russia sanctions plan capped a week of talks that demonstrated cross-aisle collaboration that's become increasingly rare as Trump and the GOP push to repeal Obamacare without any Democratic votes. Senators merged the sanctions package with a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill that's on track for passage as soon as this week, complicating the politics of any future veto threat from the Trump administration.

"It’s particularly significant that a bipartisan coalition is seeking to reestablish Congress, not the president, as the final arbiter of sanctions relief, considering that this administration has been too eager — far too eager, in my mind — to put sanctions relief on the table," Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who pressed hard for the strongest possible anti-Russia bill, said in a floor speech. "These additional sanctions will also send a powerful, bipartisan statement that Russia and any other nation who might try to interfere with our elections will be punished."

This is a real shot across the bow of the Trump Administration which has shown great hesitancy in pursuing further sanctions against Russia.

But don't take that from me, take it from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who warned against these sanctions: 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Congress on Wednesday against passing any further sanctions against Russia that would prohibit "dialogue" with the country on issues like counterterrorism. 

At a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting Tuesday, Tillerson said that he agrees with Congress that Russia needs to be punished for meddling in the 2016 election, but asked lawmakers for "flexibility." 

"I certainly agree with the sentiment that has been conveyed by several members from both parties that Russia must be held accountable for its meddling in U.S. elections," Tillerson said. 

"I would urge Congress to ensure any legislation allows the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation."

Boy nothing says "We did not collude with the Russians to steal this election," like trying to water down the sanctions designed to punish them from stealing our election, don't you think?

It is like they are so lacking in self awareness they have NO idea how all of this looks.

Or perhaps they are simply so arrogant, they don't care.


  1. Anonymous8:55 AM

    I'm going with "they don't care." Who's going to stop them? And they know it.

  2. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Most White House officials feared Robert Mueller would go after President Trump for obstruction of justice.

    The signs were everywhere: James Comey's testimony that Trump urged him to drop the FBI probe of Michael Flynn; Trump's forceful denial, and counterattack on Comey's character; Mueller hiring high-powered lawyers steeped in complexities of presidential power; followed by the president contemplating firing Mueller.

    With the Washington Post bombshell report that the obstruction probe is in full swing ("Trump's actions now a focus of Mueller inquiry"), the reality has White House officials and Republicans sweating profusely for several reasons:
    Keep reading 380 words

    They know Trump talked to countless people about ending the Flynn probe, so they assume Comey's version of events is true.
    They assume he did, indeed, ask Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, if they could help derail the Flynn probe, as the WashPost reported. They also assume he said similar things to other officials.
    Nobody has privately mounted a straight-faced argument to us that Trump didn't say this stuff to Comey or to Coats/Rogers. That's telling in itself. The fact that the Trump public position — that Comey is a perjurer — isn't being argued in private.
    Any obstruction probe requires context, which means investigators digging into the finances of Flynn, Trump and Jared Kushner. This is the phase of the probe many Republicans have always feared most.
    The obstruction probe is simply a new layer to the bigger underlying matters: Did Flynn have illegal or improper contacts, and did the Trump campaign collude with the Russians to influence the 2016 campaign? So the investigation is metastasizing.
    Trump's wife and Chief of Staff had to dissuade him from firing Mueller this week, the N.Y. Times reported. Why fire someone if you have nothing to hide?
    Text to Jonathan Swan from a GOP operative close to the White House: "Leak was probably a response to stories about POTUS firing Mueller. Can't fire him now."

    The White House response came from Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz: "The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal."

    But the article notably doesn't attribute anything to the FBI. It cites "[f]ive people briefed on ... interview requests" for "senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice."
    That sounds like lawyers for people contacted by the investigation.

    Sound smart: With each passing day, Republicans find it harder to chalk all of this up to rookie mistakes.

    What to watch for: In addition to condemning the FBI for leaking, expect White House surrogates to start saying that there is nothing unusual about Mueller looking into this as part of his investigation. He'd be attacked for doing an incomplete job if he finished his investigation and hadn't explored this issue.

    1. So basically, Trump made it worse by failing to just leave it alone. If he had stepped back and done nothing about the Flynn/Russian investigation, he might have been fine. But by constantly trying to stop it, he is now guilty of obstruction.

      He brought it on himself. You know it's true because that is exactly his personality.

      He just couldn't help himself.

      Oh, I can't wait until he is under oath.

      Because the other core personality trait he has is his inability to tell the truth. He lies, constantly. He lies without realizing he is lying. But it doesn't matter.

      He'll lie under oath and then they have him for perjury too.

      He is going to be impeached in record time unless he either resigns or dies in office (probably from a stroke or heart attack brought on by the pressure.)

  3. Anonymous9:01 AM

    They don't give a shit and think Americans are not paying attention. Vote the assholes out (Republicans) when they come up for reelection. Especially The Donald should he decide to run again.

    1. That is the ONLY thing they are afraid of; losing seats because of Trump and their current anti-American actions.

      But Gianforte and soon Handel will convince them they can screw over the American people and still get elected.

      Unfortunately, they are probably right.

      If the current actions of the DCCC are any indications, the Republicans will remain in power after 2018 and possibly 2020 too.

  4. Anonymous9:01 AM

    The Russia Probe Is a Vast Lava Flow Moving Toward Trump

    ...I think we can understand that even if President Trump is totally innocent he would resist the Russia connection premise simply because it throws the legitimacy of his election into some question. We should need no convincing that pride and status and accomplishment means everything to Trump. This undercuts what he must see as his life’s greatest accomplishment. So doubting this or even undercutting it publicly does not necessarily imply guilt. But I cannot imagine that hearing the President push this argument privately with his spy chiefs comes off as highly disturbing and troubling. Again, here I do not mean this in a narrowly legal sense but, for his spy chiefs, just a sense of “What is the President up to?” “What’s the root of this resistance?” How can they not wonder?

    The Times mainly follows the Post. But it gets interesting in the last two grafs …

    1. How much more illegitimate can Drumpf make his so called victory when he lies about it every time he opens his mouth?

      This asshat is his own worst enemy, making him America's worst enemy.

  5. Anonymous9:03 AM

    And on the second day, nastiness returned

  6. Anonymous9:16 AM



    "Russia must be held accountable for its meddling in U.S. elections,"
    -Rex Tillerson 

    1. But apparently accountability doesn't include sanctions.

      Exactly how does Tillerson propose to make Russia accountable? Write 1000 times "I will not interfere in the elections of other countries."?

  7. Anonymous9:21 AM

    The world is laughing at Donald Trump as Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull mocked Trump for his brags about poll numbers and winning while pointing out that Putin is the reason why Trump won the election.

    ...Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, “The Donald and I … we are winning and winning in the polls. We are winning so much We are winning like we have never done before. We are winning in the polls. We are. Not the fake polls. Not the fake polls. They’re the ones we are not winning in. We are winning in the real polls. You know the online polls. They are so easy to win. I know that, do you know that? I kind of know that. They are so easy to win. I have this Russian guy..”

    Other world leaders are mocking Trump for his obsessive need to brag about the polls, at least the polls that he believes are real, and the fact that Putin got him elected president.

    ...Trump was asked if believed that he was under investigation now, and he answered by pretending like the reporters were not in the room. Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the question was an answer. The President knows that his old talking point that he is not under investigation has been blown to bits, and his ranting statements on social media on Thursday morning are proof that he knows he is under investigation.

    Donald Trump isn’t saying anything, which means that the clock on the bomb is ticking. It is only a matter of time until he explodes. Things are bad in the White House, but Trump’s silence suggests that it is even worse than anyone can imagine.

    Trump’s non-answer isn’t discipline. It is avoidance of the reality that his presidency is crumbling to dust around him.

    1. World leaders are outright mocking the U.S. president.

      When in history has that EVER happened?

      Even when Bush was president, they didn't openly and brazenly make fun of him in public.

      Our president is a laughingstock to the world.

      I hope the GOP is happy. They did this. They are 100% responsible.

  8. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Ranting Trump Accidentally Confirms He Is Under Investigation After Staff Claimed It Was Fake News

    Trump Accuses Qatar Of Funding Terrorism, Sells Them $12 Billion Worth Of Weapons

    Republican Goes Rogue, Blames Trump For Baseball Game Attack On GOP (VIDEO)

    ...Sanford then turned his focus on Trump, stating that he is part of the reason America has become so deeply divided, and his rhetoric has undoubtedly had an effect on the country. Sanford didn’t mince his words when he said:

    “I would argue that the president is at least in partially – not totally – but partially to blame for demons that have been unleashed. The fact that you have the top guy saying I wish I can hit you in the face. Why don’t you and I’ll pay your legal fees. That’s bizarre. We ought to call it as such. What I’ve said back home, some of these people have been frankly weird and different in a town hall meeting. I say what is going on. They’ll say look, if the guy at the top can say anything to anybody at any time, why can’t I? I think we all need to look for ways to learn from what happened yesterday and to say, wait a minute, this is a pause moment. What might I do a little differently in the way I reached out to other members.”

    Finally, a Republican who has the guts to point out just how insane and inappropriate Trump’s behavior is, and to acknowledge that there are consequences to having a POTUS who is this unhinged. You can watch the interview below:

  9. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Trump-World Turns On ‘Anti-Trump Special Counsel’ Robert Mueller

    It’s only been a month since the Justice Department appointed him, but the knives are already out for special counsel Robert Mueller.

    President Donald Trump on Thursday denounced what he called “the single greatest witch hunt in American political history” after The Washington Post reported that he is being investigated for obstructing justice.

    The investigation into his presidential campaign’s possible ties to Russia, the president said on Twitter, is being led by “some very bad and conflicted people.”

    Mueller is a highly-respected former director of the FBI and is the second-longest-serving director in the agency’s history. He was appointed by a Republican president in 2001 and confirmed unanimously by a 98-0 vote in the Senate.

    Moreover, like another prominent target of the president, he is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. He received the Bronze Star, two Navy medals, the Purple Heart, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.

    But those details do not appear to have swayed the allies and surrogates of the president, who have stepped up attacks and criticisms of Mueller’s handling of the investigation. In fact, the campaign against the special counsel is beginning to resemble attacks against former FBI director James Comey, whom the president fired abruptly earlier this year.

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally, on Thursday called Mueller the “anti-Trump special counsel.”

    1. Anonymous10:08 AM

      Everyone I know is absolutely 'pro' Mueller. I think they (certain media outlets) are spreading this untruth -

      Trump needs to be IMPEACHED asap to save our country!

  10. Anonymous9:36 AM

    VOTE 97-2 Russian Sanction Plan

    Nay votes were

    Senator Rand Paul
    Senator Bernie Sanders


    What's up with that?
    Is he a commie?

    1. Wrong.

      It wasn't Bernie Sanders.

      The only two “no” votes on the Russia bill were from Republican Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul.

  11. How will Jar head Kushner reconcile new sanctions with his money lenders in Russia that Drumpf doesn't do business with?

  12. Anonymous9:37 AM

    Scarborough Calls Out Trump's New Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich

    ...This is grotesque and fans the flames of rage among the unbalanced. What exactly is the price of an ambassadorship these days?

  13. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Meet the all-star legal team who may take down Trump

    ...The fact that Mueller’s team can conduct such a broad probe — one apparently looking into every possible angle of the Trump-Russia scandal, from possible financial crimes to outright collusion with the Kremlin — is a reflection of just how much legal firepower he has assembled.

    Trump thinks “they” created his legal problems. He created his legal problems.
    Thursday’s Trump Twitter rant is particularly psychologically revealing.

    Another morning, another Donald Trump tweet. But this one speaks volumes about the psyche of our commander in chief.

    ...Trump’s resistance to taking responsibility for his actions is perhaps the single greatest threat facing his presidency. If he realized the damage he was doing to himself, he could perhaps stop doing it. But so long as he sees his problems as the product of an unfair “WITCH HUNT,” he will continue to see his reckless, enraged reactions as a reasonable response, and so will continue destabilizing his presidency.

    Is America descending into political violence again? I asked 12 experts.

  14. Anonymous10:02 AM

    As far as the baseball game? It should be postponed because this is a big deal. Congress must be put on notice. "YOU PEOPLE" are elected paid servants with benefits. 80% of Americans do not approve of this so called president nor his cabinet of lousy actors. Americans are outraged at the behavior, tweets and alt news coming from this bunch of wacko criminals. It is time to clean this mess up and return this country to sanity.

  15. Anonymous10:03 AM

    ‘So what? Who cares what he says’: Nancy Pelosi shuts down Andrea Mitchell hyping Gingrich attack on Mueller

  16. Anonymous10:04 AM

    BUSTED: Key parts of Sessions’ testimony were just contradicted by this oil lobbyist

    The Guardian reports that Richard Burt, who served as ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration and who has lobbied on behalf of a pipeline company that’s now controlled by Russian state-owned energy conglomerate Gazprom, has admitted to attending two dinners organized by Sessions last year during the height of the 2016 presidential campaign.

    “I did attend two dinners with groups of former Republican foreign policy officials and Senator Sessions,” Burt told the Guardian.

    1. Sessions committed either perjury or obstruction?

      He'll be out of the job too.

      And all those that stood against his confirmation will be vindicated.

      Including Elizabeth Warren.

      Mitch McConnell will once again be shown to be a misogynist ASSHOLE.

  17. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Twitter reacts to Putin offering Comey asylum

    1. Rather a backhanded way for Putin to back up Trump's accusations and try to sully Comey's reputation.

  18. Anonymous10:15 AM


    Daily Mail:
    China approves nine Donald Trump trademarks it previously rejected sparking allegations of 'special treatment' for his family business

    China has granted preliminary approval for nine Donald Trump trademarks That decision is likely to fuel further allegations that Beijing may be giving the president's family business special treatmentMatthew Dresden, an intellectual property attorney, said: 'I have never seen any decisions made that quickly. That suggests special treatment'China granted provisional approval for four Ivanka trademarks since April 20....

    China has also granted formal approval for dozens of Trump trademarks in the last few weeks, bring to 39 the total number of official registrations China has given the Trump family business since he took office, according to China's Trademark Office. 

    Those marks include branded spa and massage services, golf clubs, hotels, insurance, finance and real estate companies, restaurants, bars, and a trademark class that covers bodyguards, social escorts, and concierge services, according to Chinese records....

    All told, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC has at least 24 trademarks that were granted provisional or full approval in China, plus 43 pending marks and three invalid marks, according to Trademark Office database records.

    At least seven of those trademark approvals were published after March 29, when Ivanka Trump announced she would become a federal employee, serving as an adviser to her father.

    Around that time, her company, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, applied to the Chinese government for at least 14 new trademarks. 

    Her brand has said the trademarks were all filed defensively, to protect her name against squatters....


      "The Guardian interviewed several employees at a factory in Subang, Indonesia, that produces Ivanka Trump-branded clothes. Employees there earn the equivalent of $173 a month ― the lowest legal minimum wage in all the provinces in Indonesia. One worker, Alia, said she lives in a dusty boarding house near the factory, an hours-long drive from her children, and can only afford to visit them at their grandmother’s house once a month.

      “When Alia was told the gist of Ivanka Trump’s new book on women in the workplace, she burst out laughing,” The Guardian reported. “Her idea of work-life balance, she said, would be if she could see her children more than once a month.” "

      "Trump, a senior adviser to the president, stepped down from running the fashion label in January, when her father was sworn into office and it became increasingly clear that she would hold an official role in the White House. But the clothes still bear her name as she travels the world giving speeches about women’s empowerment, and workers are seeing price tags on garments worth more than a month’s rent for them.

      “Sure, I’m proud to make clothes for a well-known brand,” one warehouse worker told The Guardian. “But because I see the price tags, I have to wonder, can’t they pay us a bit more?” "

      Of the three Chinese activists investigating working conditions at one of Trump's factories, one was arrested and two are "missing."

  19. Anonymous10:18 AM

    Donald Trump’s Biggest Mistake Might Have Been Getting Elected

    1. Here's the meat:

      "Trump feeds off the ardor of his fans, and his best chance of retaining that ardor lay in defeat in a squeaker. Then he’d be able to claim that he was the man who could be, nay, should be, king, and spend the remainder of his days shaking a Byronic fist at the “rigged” system, the ideal situation for someone who is, by nature, an outsider and a rager. Instead, he pulled off the upset. Now he’s on the inside of the inside, in a job that requires, above all else, calm reflection and sober judgment. No longer can he say whatever kooky little whacked-out thought that pops into his skull. Not without bringing down a world of shit, anyway (see: Obama wiretapping tweets). And, oh yeah, he’s going to actually have to deliver on his campaign promises or risk hurtful comparisons to Crooked Hillary. And from there it’s only a short jump to the most painful scenario of all: the crowd’s love turning into hate, the cheers turning into jeers.

      He’s president of the United States. It’s his nightmare. Our worst nightmare."

  20. Anonymous10:19 AM

    Ivanka is as phony as her tits

  21. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Republicans Demand More Taxpayer Money For Their Security Instead of Acting On Gun Violence

    Sen. Orrin Hatch Plays Dumb and Claims He Hasn’t Seen The Secret GOP Trumpcare Bill

  22. The real significance of this (besides confirming that they KNOW Russia hacked the election) is that the legislation is written specifically so that only Congress can repeal or adjust the restrictions. The President has no power to remove the sanctions. That says a lot too. They don't want Trump to be able to remove the Russian sanctions, especially if it eventually comes out that he did indeed collude with the Russians to get elected.

    They are covering their asses.

    That might work with their base but there are plenty of the public that will still tar them for allowing this asshole into the oval office in the first place.

  23. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Tillerson 'fears' that Putin will stop playing nice counterterrorism with Trump, while in reality Trump is handing international state counterterrorism secrets to Putin in the actual Oval Office.

  24. Anonymous1:58 PM

    If Tillerson doesn't like it he can either resign or take up congressional baseball, his choice.

  25. Anonymous4:25 AM

    If the Republicans are voting for sanctions against Russia, then they are running very scared. It's a kind of admission that there was Russian interference in the 2016 election after all. Not that many of us have doubted it at all. The problem is that the GOP Congressional leadership is likely to be involved as well, at least in the cover up.


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