Tag Archives: Russia

Obama was an active ally and supporter of Russia for his entire administration

Can we all just get along? Hillary Clinton ended Republican-led opposition to Russian aggression
Hillary Clinton ended Republican-led opposition to Russian aggression

I guess everyone remembers how Hillary Clinton presented the Russian Foreign Minister with a “reset” button that they pushed together, signaling to the world that Democrat politicians wanted nothing to do with the view that there was anything morally wrong with Putin’s thugocracy.

But all of a sudden, the same Democrats who bent over for Russia for eight years are complaining about Russia today.

This article from National Review is a helpful reminder of exactly what the Democrats did with Russia during the last eight years.

Excerpt:

He reset with Russia shortly after its clash with Georgia in 2008. He concluded the New START agreement with Moscow that reduced our nuclear forces but not theirs. When candidate Mitt Romney warned about Russia in the 2012 campaign, Obama rejected him as a Cold War relic. The president then went on to forge an agreement with Russia’s ally Iran to allow it to preserve its nuclear program. During the red-line fiasco, he eagerly grasped a lifeline from Russia at the price of accepting its intervention in Syria. He never budged on giving Ukraine “lethal” weapons to defend itself from Russian attack. Finally, Obama cut U.S. defense spending and cracked down on fossil fuels, a policy that Russia welcomed since its economy is dependent on high oil prices.

Put all of this together, and it’s impossible to conclude anything other than that Obama was a Russian stooge, and not out of any nefarious deals, but out of his own naivete and weakness. Obama didn’t expect any rewards when he asked then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a hot-mic moment at an international meeting to relay to Vladimir Putin his ability to be more “flexible” after the 2012 election; he was, to put it in terms of the current Russian election controversy, “colluding” with the Russians in the belief it was a good strategy. His kompromat was his own foolishness.

The cost of Obama’s orientation toward Russia became clearer during the past two weeks. When he pulled up short from enforcing his red line, an agreement with the Russians to remove Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons became the fig leaf to cover his retreat. This deal was obviously deficient, but Obama officials used clever language to give the impression that it had removed all chemical weapons from Syria. Never mind that Assad still used chlorine gas to attack his population — exploiting a grievous loophole — and that evidence piled up that Assad was cheating more broadly.

The Russians eagerly covered for Assad because he’s their client. What was the Obama administration’s excuse? It effectively made itself a liar for the Russians at the same time Moscow bolstered the Assad regime we said had to go, smashed the moderate opposition we were trying to create and sent a destabilizing refugee flow into Europe. This was a moral and strategic disaster.

Now, I’m pretty sure that if you ask a typical Democrat, they won’t remember any of the things that Obama did to embolden Russian aggression in the last eight years.

Remember this?

And how about this?

Obama was our President for the last eight years, and he supported our enemies (Russia, Iran, Cuba) and opposed our allies (Georgia, Ukraine, Israel). And now the Democrats complain about the evil Russians – the same evil Russians that they supported when they voted for Obama. They voted for the pro-Russia candidate and now they are complaining about the empowered Russia their President created. Obama sold our American foreign policy out for the Russians and the Iranians – that’s what Democrats voted for. TWICE.

Most people on the left can’t remember what Obama did in the last 8 years with Russia and Iran. Democrat political views just consist of demanding taxpayer-funded condoms, so that they can get drunk, get pregnant with a hot guy, then kill the baby or go on welfare. There really isn’t anything more to being a Democrat than that. Democrats today look at Syria and don’t realize that their President has been backing the two biggest Syrian supporters for the last eight years: Russia and Iran. They complain about the very situation that they created when they elected an America-hating progressive.

Foreign. Policy. Matters.

Trump will inherit many foreign policy disasters

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

The most difficult mistakes for Trump to fix will be the foreign policy blunders committed by the last administration – the creation of wars in other countries and the the supporting of our enemies (giving assault weapons to drug cartels, giving nuclear weapons to Iran, etc.) that are the most difficult to make right.

Consider this article from the Daily Signal.

It lists 5 crises created by the Obama administration in the last 8 years:

  1. ISIS in Iraq and Syria
  2. Afghanistan War
  3. Ukraine-Russia War
  4. Saudi Arabia-Yemen War
  5. Campaigns Against Terrorists in Africa

There was no “Islamic State” in Iraq or Syria when president Bush left office. Iraq and Syria, along with Egypt and Libya, were stable. Libya had just voluntarily given up their WMD programs without a shot being fired, because of concern that Bush would invade them, too. But then Obama became president and withdrew our troops from Iraq. What happened next? Genocide, rape and sex-trafficking on a scale unimaginable to naive American progressives.

Excerpt:

1. ISIS in Iraq and Syria

In response to rapid territorial gains made by the Islamic State during the first half of 2014, the U.S. and allied countries began a military campaign against the terrorist group, relying primarily on airstrikes and support of local ground forces.

As of Nov. 2, the U.S. coalition has conducted nearly 16,000 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, the countries where ISIS maintains its largest presence.

The Defense Department reports that as of Aug. 31, the total cost of operations related to defeating ISIS is $9.3 billion and the average daily cost is $12.3 million.

Trump inherits the military campaign against ISIS during a crucial phase, as the U.S. undertakes missions to take back key territory controlled by the militants.

[…]In Syria, the Obama administration is supporting 30,000 Syrian-Kurdish and Syrian-Arab fighters, who announced last weekend they were launching a campaign to liberate the ISIS capital in Raqqa. There are roughly 300 U.S. special operations forces on the ground in the country.

The moves to take back ISIS’ remaining strongholds showcase the extent to which Obama has prioritized the counter­terrorism mission in Syria over efforts to help resolve the country’s civil war, which has resulted in as many as a half a million deaths.

On Monday, in a press conference, Obama acknowledged his Syria policy “has not worked.”

Another blunder by the Obama administration occurred with his decision to take a naive, pacifist stance with Russia. Obama and Clinton were following the liberal playbook, which states that the best way to stop a bully from being aggressive is to bow down to him and grovel. This is literally how progressives think about foreign policy – they think that weaknesses causes tyrants to back off, and that strength causes tyrants to arm up and attack their neighbors.

How well this the progressive view work with Russia?

3. Ukraine-Russia War

Europe’s only active war has resulted in the deaths of nearly 10,000 soldiers and civilians on both sides.

The conflict started in 2013, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, under pressure from Russia, suspended talks on a trade deal with the European Union. Thousands of protesters hit the streets in the following days, supporting closer ties with the West.

The protests turned violent, and Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and pro-Russian rebels began to seize territory in eastern Ukraine. Separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk eventually declared independence.

Two cease-fire accords are not being observed. The Obama administration’s policy has been to support a German and French-led effort to negotiate a settlement to the war, and maintain pressure on Russia by working with the European Union to uphold sanctions imposed on Moscow for its annexation of Crimea. The Obama administration has also delivered Ukraine tens of millions of dollars in nonlethal aid, but has not provided weapons.

Obama isn’t providing Ukraine with weapons, because his progressive playbook says that Russia will be more likely to attack if they stand to take more losses to anti-tank weapons. That’s how people on the secular left think. They make decisions based on what makes them feel superior and what makes them look idealistic to others – not based on what works.

But there’s more. Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio championed an idealistic intervention in Libya. They thought that if we got rid of Libya’s dictator, then there would be a spontaneous uprising of peaceful Muslim democracy-lovers. So they ordered air strikes with no ground invasion, and guess what they got?

Islamic State taking root in the anarchy they created:

5. Campaigns Against Terrorists in Africa

Obama has described his efforts to destroy al-Qaeda’s core leadership as one of the successes of his national security policy. But the terrorist threat has spread to new regions in recent years, prompting a U.S. military response, and Trump will have to decide how to proceed.

Unrelated campaigns in Libya and Somalia are prime examples of the diffuse threat.

In Libya, the U.S. has conducted more than 360 airstrikes in support of pro-government forces trying to expel ISIS from the coastal Libyan city, Sirte. A small number of U.S. special operations forces are also providing on-the-ground support.

Since the 2011 American intervention in Libya that led to the death of the country’s deposed dictator leader, Muammar Gaddafi, the country has been plagued by instability.

Today, the U.S. is supporting a project to build a unity government in Libya. But the unity government has not yet won the approval of Libya’s various rival factions.

“Libya is a quintessential civil war,” Middle East expert Pollack said. “ISIS makes their home in civil wars.”

Separately, in another African nation, Somalia, the U.S. has been engaged for more than a decade in an air campaign against al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda. The group is responsible for one of the deadliest attacks in Africa, when in 2013 it struck a mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

The terrorist group spawned in 2005, taking advantage of chaos in a country that has been split apart by civil war for 25 years.

This year, The Washington Post reports, the U.S. has conducted more than a dozen airstrikes and drone strikes against al-Shabab.

According to The New York Times, as part of a multifront war against militant Islam in Africa, American forces are also involved in helping to combat al-Qaeda in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad.

Although progressives like to style themselves as being “anti-war”, they actually cause a lot of wars and deaths with their misguided idealistic military interventions. Obama inherited a peaceful situation in Russia and in the Middle East, but he screwed everything up.  To stop wars you must understand military issues. Just because a person says they don’t like war, it doesn’t mean that they know what actions to take to avoid war.

Least qualified president ever leaves Trump foreign policy disasters

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

Of all the things that the least qualified president did in the last eight years, the most difficult for the incoming Trump administration to fix are the national security and foreign policy blunders.

It’s not just that he gave away all our classified secrets via Hillary’s unsecure e-mail server is a problem. And then there were the leaks of our national security secrets from people like Edward Snowden and gay private Bradley Manning. And of course the hacking of our computers by the Chinese. What else would you expect from a political party that focuses on free condoms and gay marriage?

But the worse mistakes are the foreign policy blunders – the creation of wars in other countries and the the supporting of our enemies (giving assault weapons to drug cartels, giving nuclear weapons to Iran, etc.) that are the most difficult to make right.

Consider this article from the Daily Signal.

It lists 5 crises created by the Obama administration in the last 8 years:

  1. ISIS in Iraq and Syria
  2. Afghanistan War
  3. Ukraine-Russia War
  4. Saudi Arabia-Yemen War
  5. Campaigns Against Terrorists in Africa

There was no “Islamic State” in Iraq or Syria when president Bush left office. Iraq and Syria, along with Egypt and Libya, were stable. Libya had just voluntarily given up their WMD programs without a shot being fired, because of concern that Bush would invade them, too. But then Obama became president and withdrew our troops from Iraq. What happened next? Genocide, rape and sex-trafficking on a scale unimaginable to naive American progressives.

Excerpt:

1. ISIS in Iraq and Syria

In response to rapid territorial gains made by the Islamic State during the first half of 2014, the U.S. and allied countries began a military campaign against the terrorist group, relying primarily on airstrikes and support of local ground forces.

As of Nov. 2, the U.S. coalition has conducted nearly 16,000 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, the countries where ISIS maintains its largest presence.

The Defense Department reports that as of Aug. 31, the total cost of operations related to defeating ISIS is $9.3 billion and the average daily cost is $12.3 million.

Trump inherits the military campaign against ISIS during a crucial phase, as the U.S. undertakes missions to take back key territory controlled by the militants.

[…]In Syria, the Obama administration is supporting 30,000 Syrian-Kurdish and Syrian-Arab fighters, who announced last weekend they were launching a campaign to liberate the ISIS capital in Raqqa. There are roughly 300 U.S. special operations forces on the ground in the country.

The moves to take back ISIS’ remaining strongholds showcase the extent to which Obama has prioritized the counter­terrorism mission in Syria over efforts to help resolve the country’s civil war, which has resulted in as many as a half a million deaths.

On Monday, in a press conference, Obama acknowledged his Syria policy “has not worked.”

Another blunder by the Obama administration occurred with his decision to take a naive, pacifist stance with Russia. Obama and Clinton were following the liberal playbook, which states that the best way to stop a bully from being aggressive is to bow down to him and grovel. This is literally how progressives think about foreign policy – they think that weaknesses causes tyrants to back off, and that strength causes tyrants to arm up and attack their neighbors.

How well this the progressive view work with Russia?

3. Ukraine-Russia War

Europe’s only active war has resulted in the deaths of nearly 10,000 soldiers and civilians on both sides.

The conflict started in 2013, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, under pressure from Russia, suspended talks on a trade deal with the European Union. Thousands of protesters hit the streets in the following days, supporting closer ties with the West.

The protests turned violent, and Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and pro-Russian rebels began to seize territory in eastern Ukraine. Separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk eventually declared independence.

Two cease-fire accords are not being observed. The Obama administration’s policy has been to support a German and French-led effort to negotiate a settlement to the war, and maintain pressure on Russia by working with the European Union to uphold sanctions imposed on Moscow for its annexation of Crimea. The Obama administration has also delivered Ukraine tens of millions of dollars in nonlethal aid, but has not provided weapons.

Obama isn’t providing Ukraine with weapons, because his progressive playbook says that Russia will be more likely to attack if they stand to take more losses to anti-tank weapons. That’s how people on the secular left think. They make decisions based on what makes them feel superior and what makes them look idealistic to others – not based on what works.

But there’s more. Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio championed an idealistic intervention in Libya. They thought that if we got rid of Libya’s dictator, then there would be a spontaneous uprising of peaceful Muslim democracy-lovers. So they ordered air strikes with no ground invasion, and guess what they got?

Islamic State taking root in the anarchy they created:

5. Campaigns Against Terrorists in Africa

Obama has described his efforts to destroy al-Qaeda’s core leadership as one of the successes of his national security policy. But the terrorist threat has spread to new regions in recent years, prompting a U.S. military response, and Trump will have to decide how to proceed.

Unrelated campaigns in Libya and Somalia are prime examples of the diffuse threat.

In Libya, the U.S. has conducted more than 360 airstrikes in support of pro-government forces trying to expel ISIS from the coastal Libyan city, Sirte. A small number of U.S. special operations forces are also providing on-the-ground support.

Since the 2011 American intervention in Libya that led to the death of the country’s deposed dictator leader, Muammar Gaddafi, the country has been plagued by instability.

Today, the U.S. is supporting a project to build a unity government in Libya. But the unity government has not yet won the approval of Libya’s various rival factions.

“Libya is a quintessential civil war,” Middle East expert Pollack said. “ISIS makes their home in civil wars.”

Separately, in another African nation, Somalia, the U.S. has been engaged for more than a decade in an air campaign against al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda. The group is responsible for one of the deadliest attacks in Africa, when in 2013 it struck a mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

The terrorist group spawned in 2005, taking advantage of chaos in a country that has been split apart by civil war for 25 years.

This year, The Washington Post reports, the U.S. has conducted more than a dozen airstrikes and drone strikes against al-Shabab.

According to The New York Times, as part of a multifront war against militant Islam in Africa, American forces are also involved in helping to combat al-Qaeda in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad.

Although progressives like to style themselves as being “anti-war”, they actually cause a lot of wars and deaths with their misguided idealistic military interventions. Obama inherited a peaceful situation in Russia and in the Middle East, but he screwed everything up.  To stop wars you must understand military issues. Just because a person says they don’t like war, it doesn’t mean that they know what actions to take to avoid war. President Trump is inheriting disasters from his incompetent predecessor.

Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and Russia’s acquisition of American uranium

Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help
Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help

That headline is sensational, but consider this article by Andy McCarthy in National Review.

It says:

Hillary and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, operated the Clinton Foundation. Ostensibly a charity, the foundation was a de facto fraud scheme to monetize Hillary’s power as secretary of state (among other aspects of the Clintons’ political influence). The scheme involved (a) the exchange of political favors, access, and influence for millions of dollars in donations; (b) the circumvention of campaign-finance laws that prohibit political donations by foreign sources; (c) a vehicle for Mrs. Clinton to shield her State Department e-mail communications from public and congressional scrutiny while she and her husband exploited the fundraising potential of her position; and (d) a means for Clinton insiders to receive private-sector compensation and explore lucrative employment opportunities while drawing taxpayer-funded government salaries.

While the foundation did perform some charitable work, this camouflaged the fact that contributions were substantially diverted to pay lavish salaries and underwrite luxury travel for Clinton insiders. Contributions skyrocketed to $126 million in 2009, the year Mrs. Clinton arrived at Foggy Bottom. Breathtaking sums were “donated” by high-rollers and foreign governments that had crucial business before the State Department. Along with those staggering donations came a spike in speaking opportunities and fees for Bill Clinton. Of course, disproportionate payments and gifts to a spouse are common ways of bribing public officials — which is why, for example, high-ranking government officeholders must reveal their spouses’ income and other asset information on their financial-disclosure forms.

While there are other egregious transactions, the most notorious corruption episode of Secretary Clinton’s tenure involves the State Department’s approval of a deal that surrendered fully one-fifth of the United States’ uranium-mining capacity to Vladimir Putin’s anti-American thugocracy in Russia.

Here are the details about the donations:

In a nutshell, in 2005, under the guise of addressing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan (where the disease is nearly nonexistent), Bill Clinton helped his Canadian billionaire pal Frank Giustra to convince the ruling despot, Nursultan Nazarbayev (an infamous torturer and human-rights violator), to grant coveted uranium-mining rights to Giustra’s company, Ur-Asia Energy (notwithstanding that it had no background in the highly competitive uranium business). Uranium is a key component of nuclear power, from which the United States derives 20 percent of its total electrical power.

In the months that followed, Giustra gave an astonishing $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation and pledged $100 million more. With the Kazakh rights secured, Ur-Asia was able to expand its holdings and attract new investors, like Ian Telfer, who also donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Ur-Asia merged with Uranium One, a South African company, in a $3.5 billion deal — with Telfer becoming Uranium One’s chairman. The new company proceeded to buy up major uranium assets in the United States.

[…][L]ater, it was announced that Russia’s Rosatom had purchased 17 percent of Uranium One.

Later on:

[…][T]he Russian company sought to acquire a controlling interest in Uranium One. That would mean a takeover not only of the Kazakh mines but of the U.S. uranium assets as well. Such a foreign grab requires approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a powerful government tribunal that the secretary of state sits on and heavily influences. Though she had historically postured as a hawk against foreign acquisitions of American assets with critical national-security implications, Secretary Clinton approved the Russian takeover of Uranium One. During and right after the big-bucks Russian acquisition, Telfer contributed $1.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Other people with ties to Uranium One appear to have ponied up as much as $5.6 million in donations.

Does this sound unbelievable? Well consider this article from the far left New York Times, of all places.

Excerpt:

The headline in the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

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. 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.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

That’s what Hillary Clinton did as Secretary of State. I wonder if Democrat voters are paying attention. I wonder if national security is important to them.

Is Trump right to praise Putin’s leadership abilities?

Donald Trump and his friends, the Clintons
Donald Trump and his friends, the Clintons

In my previous post, I took on a couple of the meltdowns that Trump had in the CBS News debate Saturday night. Let’s look at another one.

Let’s first see what Trump said in this article from the leftist CNN.

Excerpt:

Donald Trump on Friday praised Vladimir Putin and appeared to defend the autocratic Russian president when pressed about his alleged killing of journalists and political opponents critical of his rule.

One day after Putin called Trump a “bright and talented” and the “absolute leader of the presidential race,” the Republican presidential front-runner returned the compliments, hailing Putin as a “leader” and pointing to his high favorability numbers in Russia.

“He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” Trump said when asked by “Morning Joe” Republican host Joe Scarborough about Putin’s alleged killing of journalists and political opponents.

“I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, a lot of killing, a lot of stupidity,” he said.

And from the leftist Washington Post:

On Sunday, Trump took the opportunity to defend himself. “Nobody has proven that he’s killed anyone. … He’s always denied it. It’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody,” the American billionaire explained during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” He added: “You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, at least in our country. It has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.”

OK, so Trump thinks that Putin is a great leader.

Three points in response to that:

  • Putin kills people who criticize him in the Kremlin
  • Putin kills journalists who criticize him
  • Putin initiated a completely unprovoked invasion of peaceful Ukraine

Let’s look at them in order.

First point, from the leftist Washington Post.

Excerpt:

Gaunt and frail, his organs succumbing to the cruelly destructive power of radioactive poisoning, Alexander Litvinenko lay in a London hospital bed in November 2006 and identified the man responsible for his impending demise: Vladimir Putin.

Nearly a decade later, an exhaustive inquiry by a British judge concluded on Thursday that the dying former KGB operative was probably right. For the first time, the Russian president was officially implicated in a murder that seemed plucked from the pages of a Cold War spy novel but actually played out in the bar of a posh hotel in 21st-century London.

The victim: an outspoken Kremlin critic who had defected to Britain, joined the payroll of British intelligence and accused Putin of vices­ including corruption and pedophilia. The killers: a pair of assassins who, the report found, were almost certainly acting on orders from the Russian spy service, the FSB, and who left a trail of radioactive evidence strewn across London. The weapons of choice: one teacup and one massive dose of a rare nuclear isotope, polonium.

Second point, from the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

A 2009 investigation by the International Federation of Journalists reported 96 killings of journalists between 1991 and 2009, by far the highest number among the 20 richest countries in the world.

Another rolling report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) collects data of journalists killed in each nation from 1992 on. Only cases where the motive has a clear correlation to the victim’s work as a journalist make the lists.

There have been 56 such cases in Russia since CPJ started collecting data, with 25 deaths after Putin took office in May 2000. This means the frequency of deaths went down significantly after Putin’s inauguration, with less deaths during Putin’s 15 years as president or prime minister, than in the previous eight combined.

Third point, from the Washington Free Beacon.

Excerpt:

Russia has deployed as many as 10,000 troops in eastern Ukraine for more than a year and has actively sought to hide the deaths of its soldiers, according to a new report that provides a comprehensive assessment of the Kremlin’s invasion of its neighbor.

The report was published Thursday by the Interpreter, a daily online journal that translates Russian media and reports on Russian affairs, also detailed the Kremlin’s provision of increasingly sophisticated weaponry and vehicles to separatists in Ukraine. Nearly 8,000 people have been killed in the Ukrainian conflict since April 2014.

The conflict originated in March 2014 when unmarked Russian soldiers seized the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, an invasion that followed Ukraine’s ousting of a pro-Moscow leader. Despite denials from Russian President Vladimir Putin at the time that the troops belonged to Russia, he later admitted that he deployed them.

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Putin escalated support to separatists in eastern Ukraine that resided in areas with a majority of ethnic Russians. Reserve officers in the Russian military, who also had ties to the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU, commanded the rebels in attacks. By June 2014, the Ukrainian military said that Russia had massed more than 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s border and deployed about 7,000 to 10,000 Russian soldiers inside Ukraine.

Aside from complete ignorance about anything related to the job of being President of the United States, Trump has two other qualities that worry me. First, his temperament during the debate – the unhinged screaming and calling people liar about things he said on video – is disturbing. Second, I have no doubt that Trump would go from praising Putin to attacking him for killing journalists, if Putin made the slightest criticism of Trump. Perhaps by mocking Trump’s short, stubby fingers.

Trump supporters in denial

I know 3 Trump supporters, and I’ve tried to speak to them about things like eminent domain, support for bank bailouts, single payer health care, touchback amnesty, Planned Parenthood support, support for Vladimir Putinadultery and divorce, support for the gay rights agenda, four bankruptcies, etc. Their response has been do deny the evidence. Trump never did those things, all the news articles are lies, and all the videos of Trump saying those things are fake. I expect better than that from Trump supporters. This time, the stakes are as high as they could be: 4-5 Supreme Court picks.  This is the ballgame for America.