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Nothing New Under The Sun

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      Trump is willing to shut down border security by shutting down the government to get money for border security.

      It puts me in mind of an old Viet Nam protest sign:


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      Deplorable Conservative Mass Killer Dishonored His Own Mother.

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          Martin Luther King famously said "we should judge people by the content of their character". Well, this story you are about to read is another example of why many Trump supporters are looked upon as bad characters.

          Prior to becoming known as the Parkland mass shooter, Nikolas Cruz memorized his dead mother, an anti-Trump liberal, by putting a MAGA hat in her coffin. To further spite her memory, he took a picture of it.

          How low can they go?


          Parkland shooter buried his liberal mom with a Trump hat: report

          Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz slipped his own Trump hat into his late mother’s casket and then snapped a picture of it, a friend told police in a just-released report.

          Cruz’s bizarre act was detailed in a 425-page investigative document, the Miami Herald reported.

          The mother and son didn’t see eye to eye on politics — Lynda Cruz was a “liberal, anti-gun type” and the twisted teen was just the opposite.

          “Due to the fact that his mother hated Donald Trump he put it in her casket with her when she died and took a picture of her with the hat,” Cruz’s pal, Hunter McCutcheon, told a detective.

          Cruz told police he snapped after the 2017 death of his mom. He is charged with shooting 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a Valentine’s Day massacre and faces the death penalty.

          The new report, released Thursday by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, provides a detailed look into the police investigation into the shooting.

          The day before it happened, Cruz sent texts to a girl he was obsessed with, who was saved in his phone under the name, “Warning Love of Your Life.” He told her that he “felt like killing people.”

          She deleted the message because she was angry over his behavior — but he kept barraging her, texting her that he wanted to be her boyfriend and Valentine the next day.

          When she turned him down, he told her he was going to see a therapist and concluded a phone call with a creepy “goodbye.”

          Cruz continued to message and call her the day of the shooting. Some of his texts included photos of “old scars” on his arms.

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          Trump Call With Turkish Leader Led To US Pullout From Syria

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              Somebody in the government had better step up and use whatever tools are available to get Trump out of the White House ASAP.

              He's sidling up to Turkey's Erdogan for a reason and we'd better find out what that reason is.

              Trump loves dictators.

              He is not good for America or the free world.

              As has been widely reported, pulling out of Syria puts the Kurds - the people we convinced to help us eradicate ISIS - in total jeopardy. Erdogan wants to eradicate them. If we pull out and Kurds are subjected to what would be genocide, this country never gets its "free world leader" status back. NO ONE will ever believe us again.

              Trump has messed with the nation's integrity.

              Get him out of there. NOW.

              https://www.apnews.com/ec2ed217357048ff998225a3153...

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              CNN's Don Lemon: “If You Are Worried Tonight, You Should Be.”

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                  CNN's Don Lemon:

                  “If you are worried tonight, you should be.”

                  "Are there any adults left in the Trump White House?"

                  Full text of General James Mattis' resignation letter:

                  "Dear Mr. President:

                    I have been privileged to serve as our country's 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.
                    I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department's business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.
                    One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO's 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
                    Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model - gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions - to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.
                    My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.
                    Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department's interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability Within the Department.
                      I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.
                      I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform."


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                      Pundit Post

                      Glee In Russia Over Trump’s Foreign Policy Largess

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                          For Russia, Trump's Foreign Policy is the Gift that Keeps on Giving

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                          For Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, President Trump is the foreign policy gift that keeps on giving.CreditCreditAlexander Zemlianichenko/Associated Press
                          .
                          Vladimer Putin, and for that matter all of Russia, can just sit back and cheer for Trump's foreign policies. He thumbed his nose at his aides and those who used to be American allies by yanking American troops out of Syria, which is a real gift to Putin; he then declared that America would be taking half of its forces from Afghanistan. Both actions are so appalling to General Jim Mattis, that he announced his resignation from his position were he has been the Leader of the Pentagon.

                          To some, it looks like the United States is totally in the hands of a mad man who intends to rule the world in concert with Russia, (or at some point maybe even by himself alone?). It remains to be seen how long his backers in the GOP stick with him.
                          .
                          By Neil MacFarquhar

                          Dec. 21, 2018

                          MOSCOW — A note of glee crept into Russian commentary and news coverage on Friday about the current turmoil in Washington around national security, with President Vladimir V. Putin seemingly checking off one item after another that he might have written on his wish list for Santa.

                          First, President Trump blindsided his aides and the rest of the world by deciding to pull the full contingent of some 2,000 American troops out of Syria, helping the Kremlin to confirm Mr. Putin’s gamble that intervening in Syria would revive Russian influence in the Middle East.

                          Mr. Trump followed that up by declaring that the United States would pull half its forces out of Afghanistan; the combined withdrawals prompted the resignation of Jim Mattis, the respected general who leads the Pentagon.

                          All that followed Mr. Trump’s already substantial effort to undermine NATO and the European Union by weakening the American commitment to its traditional alliances.

                          .

                          Image result for madman trump pictures

                          .

                          “Trump is God’s gift that keeps on giving,” said Vladimir Frolov, a Russian columnist and foreign affairs analyst. “Trump implements Russia’s negative agenda by default, undermining the U.S.–led world order, U.S. alliances, U.S. credibility as a partner and an ally. All of this on his own. Russia can just relax and watch and root for Trump, which Putin does at every TV appearance.”

                          One headline in a regional Russian newspaper trumpeted, “Trump Leaves the Dog Out in the Cold,” referring to Mr. Mattis’s nickname, Mad Dog, from his days in the Marines. Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the international affairs committee in the upper house of Russia’s Parliament, wrote on Facebook that the differences in Washington were “an interesting signal, and moreover, rather a positive one.”

                          There was also positive news for Russia on the economic front, with Washington announcing that it intended to lift sanctions on Rusal, the Russian company that dominates a large share of the world aluminum market. The firm is headed by Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch who is not only close to Mr. Putin, but also a one-time business partner of Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

                          If the perception in some quarters in the United States and on Twitter is that the Kremlin was blackmailing Mr. Trump into doing its bidding, that theory did not gain immediate traction in Russia. Instead, analysts and news articles more likely to suggest that Mr. Trump was fulfilling his campaign pledges.

                          “I am not of the idea that he is being blackmailed,” said Nina L. Khrushcheva, a professor of international affairs at the New School in New York, currently in Moscow. “Undermining NATO and undermining Europe is something that Putin would like to do, but Trump is doing it for different reasons.”

                          Still, even if convinced that Mr. Trump is not being blackmailed, analysts are still puzzled over why his actions so closely coincided with Russia’s foreign policy goals.

                          “Once again we see a president who appears to be acting impulsively and erratically — except when it comes to Russia,” said Leslie Vinjamuri, professor of international relations at SOAS University of London. “Here, Trump has been eerily consistent in his willingness to adopt policies that enable Russia’s strategy while undermining ours.”

                          United States Army vehicles in Hajin, eastern Syria, last week. President Trump blindsided his aides and the rest of the world by deciding to pull the full contingent of American troops out of Syria.CreditDelil Souleiman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
                          .
                          “Trump’s announcement that they are leaving Syria is a gift, of course,” said Valery D. Solovei, a political-science professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. The Kremlin may use its success in Syria to forge on into Libya for similar reasons, he said.
                          Afghanistan was more complicated, however.

                          “On the one hand, the Russians are gleeful about the American withdrawal; there is this ‘We told you so’ feeling,” he said, referring to the Soviet Union’s disastrous invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. But “the Kremlin has always feared that destabilization in Afghanistan could increase the flow of drugs and extremists to Russia.”

                          In Syria, the American presence had proved to be a convenient excuse for Mr. Putin about why the Russian intervention was not bringing the conflict to as rapid a close as he had promised. In addition, fighting the remnants of the Islamic State will now become Russia’s problem, with any upsurge in violence likely to undermine the Kremlin position that Syria is stable enough for a postwar political process and reconstruction funds.

                          On the sanctions front, although the United States lifted penalties on Rusal, that came at the cost of diminishing Mr. Deripaska’s role with the company. And Mr. Deripaska himself remains under sanctions for his business practices.

                          The Russian government also continued to harbor reservations that what Mr. Trump says and what he does are not always the same thing — and are subject to reversal at the drop of a tweet. So senior Russian officials reacted cautiously to the withdrawal announcements, starting with Syria.
                          “We need to figure out how, when, to where and in which manner the Americans are leaving,” Dmitri S. Peskov, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, told reporters on Friday. “At this point, this is not clear.”

                          The foundry of the Rusal aluminum smelter in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Washington announced it intended to lift sanctions on the company.
                          .
                          “We need to figure out how, when, to where and in which manner the Americans are leaving,” Dmitri S. Peskov, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, told reporters on Friday. “At this point, this is not clear.”
                          Mr. Putin, at a news conference on Thursday, again praised Mr. Trump, suggesting that the change to a Democratic majority in the House would further undermine the American president’s attempts to improve relations with Russia.
                          Despite such praise, however, the Trump administration has taken positions — on issues like withdrawing from arms-control treaties and especially on Ukraine — that the Kremlin dislikes. Washington has not acquiesced to Russia’s efforts to exert control over Ukraine, with Moscow’s attempts to maintain influence throughout the former Soviet Union one of its main foreign policy goals.
                          Moscow conveniently accuses Washington of being the source of its tensions with Kiev, including the naval clash in the Kerch Strait late last month and the moves by the Orthodox Church in Ukraine to establish its independence from Moscow.
                          Over all, there is also concern that Mr. Trump is a little too erratic. For now, his decisions are tilting in Mr. Putin’s favor, but there is also concern that they also could move in the other direction with equal speed.

                          “Too unstable a world is something that Putin does not really want,” said Ms. Khrushcheva, pointing out that Russia did not have the same financial or other resources as the United States to address problems all over the globe. “If there is way too much chaos, Russia would have to act in too many directions.”

                          For the moment, however, Moscow is on board for some instability. Mr. Trump’s curbs on the United States’ international role and focus on domestic matters give room for countries like China and Russia to expand their influence, analysts said.

                          “We can tolerate some degree of unpredictability and mercurial policies on the tactical level — it’s worth it,” Mr. Frolov, the Russian foreign affairs analyst, wrote in response to written questions. “In Trump we trust … to do the right thing.”

                          https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/21/world/europe/ru...

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                          Pundit Post

                          Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Surgery

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                              Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg undergoes surgery to remove cancerous growth from her lung

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                              Washington (CNN)Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had two malignant nodules removed from her left lung Friday at a New York hospital, the Supreme Court announced.

                              There is no evidence of any remaining disease, says a court spokesperson, nor is there evidence of disease elsewhere in the body.
                              Read the full statement from the court:
                              Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a pulmonary lobectomy today at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered incidentally during tests performed at George Washington University Hospital to diagnose and treat rib fractures sustained in a fall on November 7. According to the thoracic surgeon, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation. Post-surgery, there was no evidence of any remaining disease. Scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Currently, no further treatment is planned. Justice Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days.
                              Updates will be provided as they become available.

                              https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/21/politics/ruth-bader...

                              .

                              Hang in there Judge Bader. We are pulling for you.


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