Friday, July 7, 2017

Fixed It for You

The other thing Trump will do is ballyhoo on Twitter for months to come about how this meeting showed he did not collude with Russia to win the 2016 election, and what a great deal maker he is. At this point, to me, however, a collusion charge is not his biggest worry about the Russia special investigation. Even if he did collude (which wouldn't surprise me), he wouldn't do any jail time for it. He might get impeached for that (and that's not even guaranteed), but then Pence would just pardon him. And if Pence was also involved, Ryan would pardon him.

But the money laundering ... if Trump gets busted on that, they might not want to pardon him. He still won't do jail time, but he'll get a sentence. Come to think of it, that crooked business may be why he needed to be president. There was a New York investigation getting down to the nitty gritty when Trump threw his hat in the ring. If he were just a failed candidate when the shit hits that fan, he would likely do time behind bars.  As president, he'll skate.
Trump opened the meeting by raising the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; whether this was a fuzzy pro-forma statement or a real protest isn’t clear.

What do you think? This is the man who told the Russian ambassador to the US that he'd fired Comey so the heat about possible collusion would be going away now.

And, do we trust what Rex Tillerson says?  Hell, he's in the middle of an investigation himself for lying about climate change to ExxonMobil investors.
Putin is said to have denied any such interference.
Which is what he's been saying all along, and what did you expect he'd do?  Break down sobbing and admit it?
The Syria agreement is the most important “deliverable” from Friday’s meeting. Tillerson has been working on the details for weeks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. The cease-fire in southwest Syria, negotiated with Jordan (and, unofficially, with Israel) was actually hatched about a week ago and kept on ice so that all sides could make sure it was being observed.
Not to mention so that Trump and Putin could get the publicity from it for themselves at the G20, each showing to their citizens what great deal makers they are.

Yes, I'm a cynic.  Shouldn't I be?
Friday’s most important development was Tillerson’s announcement that President Bashar al-Assad will eventually leave power and that there will be a political transition away from the Assad family.
Is there a date for that or is he just predicting the inevitable?
Assad will probably resist, as may Iran.
I see.  Predicting the inevitable. This is apparently the first Assad has heard of it.
Summits can sometimes be dangerous. Western politicians can make unwise concessions to autocratic leaders, as happened at Munich in 1938 and Yalta in 1945, with tragic consequences. Trump, embattled and unpopular though he is, doesn’t appear to have made any such large mistakes at Hamburg. Instead, this was a summit meeting that reminded us of the benefits of diplomacy.
What a gullible report. We are in nothing like the world was dealing with in 1938 and 1945. Trump and Putin both have something to be gained from appearing to be at odds while actually working together. This wonderful moment of diplomacy was never going to be anything else, hype notwithstanding.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.


What do you want to bet she speaks Russian?  Her country of origin - Slovenia - was once a part of Yugoslavia, which was a Soviet satellite. If that doesn't get it, The Daily Mail says she speaks German, as does Putin.

Trump is laying the moves on the Argentinian First Lady.

Not even on the front row in this one!  Where's Putin?

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