July 17, 2018

Trump-Putin Summit

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

, casting doubt on the findings of his own intelligence agencies and sparking a storm of criticism at home.” (Reuters)

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized the President for contradicting US intelligence agencies and “

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The left is deeply alarmed by Trump’s refusal to condemn Putin.

“Given opportunity after opportunity to criticize Putin’s attacks on America and its allies—from the annexation of the sovereign territory of another country to the poisoning death of a British civilian—Trump instead spent his time attacking the Democratic opposition, the free press, and the FBI.”


“Trump is simply insanely obsessed with what happened in the last election. But now he is president, and the fact that he may not have colluded with the Russians doesn’t mean he does not, as president, have a responsibility to ensure that the Russians be punished for interfering in our last election on their own and be effectively deterred from doing so in the future.”

New York Times

“Trump is willing to publicly confront US allies on defense spending, humiliating the assembled heads of state at a NATO summit. He’s willing to hit the EU with tariffs and WTO suits over

allegedly) unfair trade practices. Yet when given a massive platform to confront Vladimir Putin over a series of very real attacks on the United States and its allies, Trump actually defended the Russian leader.”


“We are past the point where Trump’s conduct can be ascribed to his belief that it is imperative to improve U.S.-Russia relations. If Trump doesn’t care about the state of U.S.-German relations, U.S.-Canadian relations or U.S.-U.K. relations… why would he care about U.S. relations with a country that has one-fourteenth of America’s GDP and one-tenth of its defense budget?”

Washington Post

“The [US-Russia] relationship went from very bad to very good in those four hours without Russia announcing any concessions or course correction whatsoever… While Trump stayed completely silent on the issue of Ukraine, Putin said that the conflict was an internal one for the country and that more pressure should be put on Kiev to agree on Russian terms. And the entire issue of Syria seemed to be reduced to a mutual effort to help with the security issues of Israel adjacent to the occupied Golan Heights.”

Washington Post

“In all, it was an astonishing display, and one that should leave the president’s supporters in Congress and the nation alarmed. A country can hardly defend itself against future assaults if its president can’t acknowledge the ones that have already taken place.”


The right generally condemns Trump’s comments, but notes that, despite the rhetoric, his administration has taken a tough stance against Russia.

The right generally condemns Trump’s comments, but notes that, despite the rhetoric, his administration has taken a tough stance against Russia.

“A strong and prudent president would have crafted a condemnation both forceful and diplomatic about Russia’s election meddling, military aggression, and abuses of human rights and civil liberties. Trump spoke up on none of these things, thus giving Putin another win.”

Washington Examiner

“I can understand Trump’s reluctance to accept the findings of intelligence agencies that have demonstrated bias and hostility towards him. However, the conclusion is also that of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is controlled by Republicans.”

Powerline Blog

“Diplomacy at the highest levels calls for restraint of words and tone. But it doesn’t call for one leader to defer to another’s leader’s views… The price for all this in the short- and medium-term… is likely to be an emboldened Putin who is willing to withstand more pain because he got out of the press conference what he wanted: deference, enhanced prestige, and thus power over his internal and external enemies.”

The Federalist

Counterpoint: Trump “never ‘attacked’ U.S. intelligence agencies, nor did he explicitly take one side over the other. He said that he trusted Putin — as he should have done, if his goal was to improve relations… far from being weak, Trump has been tougher than his predecessors toward Russia, letting his actions speak louder than his words.”


Many point out that “Trump’s actual policies toward Russia—from defense spending, stepped up missile defense and troop deployment in eastern Europe, to energy, to browbeating NATO to spend more on defense, to killing Russian mercenaries in Syria, etc—are much tougher and pose much more adversity for Russia than Obama’s policies, or anything Hillary Clinton might have done.”

Powerline Blog

“The panic induced by his verbiage should be tempered with the knowledge that he says a lot of stuff, and that members of his own administration ignore most of it when it comes time to implement policy. They know it, Putin knows it, and the press knows it.”

National Review

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

Man tellspolicehe wasn’t drinking while driving. Instead, he was downing bourbon only while stopped at traffic signals and stop signs.


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