Before getting into the heart of this blog, I wanted to share a couple of pretty pictures with you. Looking at some of the beauty around us can help us keep the stress levels down.
When I go for a walk here in the city where I now live, I don’t see nearly as many of the wildflowers I used to when I lived in a rural area, but I was lucky to see these two the other day.
When I was in high school, we were given an assignment in a social studies class to write something related to current events. This was the time of the Cold War when Russia was an open enemy of the United States, and we all were all-too aware of the threat of nuclear attack. For some reason, maybe because this was also at the very beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement, I decided that Russia would not have to bomb the U.S. Russian leaders could just wait for us to implode and then come in and pick up the pieces.
I remember my teacher was a little alarmed at my premise, but she did give me an A for the writing and the reading I’d done to support my claims.
Move ahead about 60 years – okay, I am really old – and here we are imploding.
Even if you voted for our current president, I hope you can put your party loyalty aside long enough to consider what a disaster the meeting in Helsinki on Monday was. To truly know what transpired between the two world leaders we have to hope that the call for transparency is heeded.
According to a story by Jen Hayden in Daily Kos, there is now an effort to compel the United States translator to reveal what was said between the two men.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has now suggested the translator meet with Congress to report directly to them about what was said in this private meeting between Trump and Putin. After all, the security and interests of the United States and our western allies are at-risk.
That is the best suggestion I’ve heard in all the responses to the meeting. The president and the translator are both public servants, and we the people have a right to know what transpired during those hours the two world leaders talked. From what I gleaned from 45’s comments to reporters at a press conference following the meeting, it all went favorably for Putin. He has been cleared of any connection to the interference in the 2016 election, and 45 had the gall to second Putin’s assertion that the tensions between the two countries is all the fault of the United States and its agencies that falsely accused Russia of cyber attacks.
This just three days after the indictment of 12 Russian operatives for interfering in the 2016 presidential election by hacking Democratic political organizations and releasing stolen files. (Read the full indictment HERE)
During his campaign, 45 denied ever knowing Putin, or ever having contact with any Russian government leaders, but questions arose about possible connections. Was he doing business in Russia? Had his son, Donald Trump Jr., met with Russian officials? Who was brokering the deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow?
According to another report by Jen Heyden at Daily Kos, it is possible that Russia has been “playing” the Trumps for years.
The Russians don’t act impulsively, they play the long game. Is it a coincidence that Russians started throwing money at Donald Trump years before he ran for president? In 2013, Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov and his son Emin entered into a business relationship to host a beauty pageant with Trump in Moscow. Reuters reports Russians have spent at least $100 million buying Trump condos.
They so successfully penetrated the inner circle that even as Donald Trump was close to securing the Republican nomination, Don Jr. hosted a very special guest at a private NRA dinner, Alexander Torshin, governor of Russia’s central bank and boss of the recently arrested Russian spy, Maria Butina.
Butina is a Russian gun advocate who is charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation. Ms. Butina was arrested on Sunday in Washington and accused of being an unregistered foreign agent of Russia. On Wednesday, a judge ordered her held without bond during an appearance in federal court in Washington.
Sad, sad, times for our country, and I am dismayed at all the verbal juggling that has gone on all week to try to put bandages on the wounds 45 inflicted.
So as not to leave you with a totally dismal feeling, here is a joke to make you smile.
I went down the street to a 24-hour grocery store. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, “Hey! The sign says you’re open 24 hours.”
He Said, “Yes, but not in a row!”
That’s it for me folks. I hope you have a great weekend. Be safe. Be happy. Disconnect from the news, which is what I plan to do. I do welcome comments about what I’ve posted here, whether you agree or not, but please be respectful and civil on both sides.