Bernie’s Soviet Honeymoon- Another Brick In The Wall.

Bernie's Soviet Honeymoon

It’s been a long road for Bernie Sanders, starting from Point A to B, and not a pleasant one. From his love for the Cuban Revolution to the time President John F. Kennedy made him “nauseous”, it is clear that this is not a man whose values are in line with that of most of America. Just the same, whenever you look at a person, you’ve got to take a whole lifetime’s worth of events into account. Nobody got where they were going overnight, and to an extent, fate takes us where it will, but one thing is for certain.

In the end, we all have to take responsibility for ourselves.

We’ve got to own our choices and their consequences too. If former judge Roy Moore of Kentucky, for example, molests a 14-year old girl, he has no one but himself to blame for his political prospects being dampened later and Democrat Doug Jones taking the Senate seat he wanted. People change, but rarely to that extent. We are who we are, as the old song goes. A leopard never changes his spots.

Where is all this going, you ask? Back in time to Moscow, on the honeymoon of Jane and Bernie Sanders.

There he is, folks. The man with no shirt, drunkenly bawling out “This Land Is Your Land” to the Soviets, is the same guy who wants to be our next president.

This cannot be allowed.

This is obviously not a recent video, but it’s important nonetheless. It is a foundational part of a career-long flirtation with socialism that has distorted people’s views of it all over the world and added a good deal of confusion to what is already one of the most muddled topics discussed by the human race, making it even more of a gigantic hodgepodge.

The Nordic countries, for example, according to Bernie are “Democratic Socialist” countries.

They are not. And for the record, they find it offensive to say that.

The social democracies of the Baltic states run their country according to free-market principles just the same as we American Democrats do, it’s just that they take care of their citizens also. This is what every liberal wants, and has since before the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. It’s called Social Democracy.

Before anyone tries chalking that up as semantics, please stop to consider among other things the five million people slaughtered in Russia during the first Five-Year Plan implemented by the Bolsheviks.

Consider also that the Nordics themselves, who managed to create a model for the rest of us, consider it offensive when Americans refer to their social democratic system as socialism.

The ex-president of Denmark wrote to Bernie in 2016, saying he was “Sick of his Socialist Slurs“, and asking him specifically to stop calling their governmental systems by the incorrect and politically loaded term socialism.

Here at Millennial Democrats, we certainly can understand and thoroughly agree with anyone who is advocating a closer study of the Nordic model. But we have to draw the line when it comes time to sling mud at it. It’s important to be respectful. Call people what they want to be called, call things by the correct names they are given by their creators. “Democratic” socialism is not the correct term. Social democracy is.

In Europe, socialism is another word for communism. Communism ravaged Europe. We can look at the twelve former Soviet satellite states for a model here. Every state that bought into Soviet thinking is doing horribly now, worse than any other region of the world. The innards of deep Africa are on an upward trajectory, economically speaking, but not Moldova or Belarus. In America, we say that the Soviets were “communist”, but this is not truly accurate. What they really had over there was centralized socialism, which Bernie praises all the way.

As he campaigns for president a second time, Bernie keeps trying to take credit for moving the party to the left. This is not really fair; it’s more of jumping on the bandwagon that real Democrats have been building up since before World War Two. Donald Trump also has a lot to do with the party’s leftward swing, if only because he is so utterly revolting; people want to be where he is not, regardless of where that is.

Either way, Bernie says he is the torchbearer, but he now is finding he has plenty of competition among his mostly-younger and more effective peers in the upcoming American 2020 presidential election. He is not the only one with a health care plan anymore. As a result, Sanders has been relying on personal history, where decades of past stubbornness do indeed prove that he’s been singing the same song all his life. His march with Martin Luther King Jr. is a standard; that one got him booed off the stage of the “She the People” event last week.

As he stood on Soviet soil, Sanders at the age of 46 is seen criticizing the cost of housing and health care in the United States, while lauding the Soviet Union. There, at a banquet attended by about 100 people, “Sanders blasted the way the United States had intervened in other countries, stunning one of those who had accompanied him.” (2)

“I got really upset and walked out,” said David F. Kelley, who had helped arrange the trip and was the only Republican in Sanders’s entourage. “When you are a critic of your country, you can say anything you want on home soil. At that point, the Cold War wasn’t over, the arms race wasn’t over, and I just wasn’t comfortable with it.”

Well, Mr. Kelley, you are not alone.

Going forward, we’ve got to keep the pressure on, raising awareness about what kind of a guy the formerly unknown entity Bernie Sanders is. This guy and his crazy followers rioted in the streets of Philadelphia for no reason and at the behest of Russians back in 2016, as Hillary Clinton went to go accept her nomination. They will do it again as sure as you’re born. Letting people know why they need to stand against this left-wing demagogue is important.

That video really says it all.

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Russiagate and Donald Trump-What Mueller’s Report Means, and Why It Matters.

Russiagate-What It Means, and Why It Matters.

Now that the Russiagate investigation seems to be winding down, and a conviction for the illegitimate president Donald Trump is not certain to appear as the light at the end of the tunnel, Republicans are gloating and he is acting vindicated, even before the report comes out. That is their prerogative, of course. But the proof is right there in the pudding.

The right-wing gloaters who say stupid things like “Their (us Democrats) narrative is breaking down” are far from correct when they do. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him nailed to the wall, but that sure doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be. Trump both looks and is acting guilty and scared by the Russia investigation. A series of fresh disclosures on Tuesday showed that there is every reason for him to feel threatened by the shadow it has cast over his life, business and presidency. What we seek, solid information that Trump did indeed collude, probably sits in a deep crypt somewhere within the KGB building over there in Russia.

The truth has a way of coming out, though. Trump is too stupid and sloppy to hide forever. And when you are “Individual One” on the case of someone who’s already in prison and an international pariah, there’s a pretty good chance there are charges waiting for you somewhere. It’s against Justice Department regulations to indict a sitting president. But he won’t be in office forever.

Trump’s own conduct led to the investigation and has been the chief witness against him all the while. He’s deflected, minimized, rationalized, and flat out denied his role in all this, even as he called on Russia for help during the debates and got it. Robert Mueller will soon provide the voters with the information they need to decide what really happened, and even if Trump finds a way to block it, the damage is done already. It’s been done since the day James Comey was fired. We know who he is.

Even without a smoking gun, the cat is out of the bag.

The cat is out of the bag too on Putin’s blatantly anti-American plotting. His element of surprise is gone and with it his only chance to do more than giving us a bloody nose. Realigning the world to suit Russian interests will never happen for him now. The spotlight is on and it will stay on. We know now that they never considered the Cold War to really be over, and we’re watching for their next move. They will never do this to us again.

For more than three years now, we’ve been blowing the horn of alarm as to what the Russians and other foreign actors online have been doing to our politics. From the Macedonians running the Facebook groups of Bernie Sanders to Tad Devine, Bernie’s manager, having been Paul Manafort‘s old crony and Ukrainian election fixing buddy, all of it was more real than any of us wanted to believe. Public awareness has been thoroughly raised worldwide, and that means something.

Trump has been hooked up with the Russians since the 80s, and the Steele Dossier claimed the Russians have been cultivating Trump for at least five years.-which deceased American hero John McCain took seriously enough to pass on to the FBI. Trump recently reviled him for this yet again, even in the grave.

Say what you want about Putin, but he’s the single most powerful man on Earth. He’s not just some slob like Trump. He’s not going to put years into coming up with a plan just to blow it on something as basic as a written order delivered by hand- which is what it would have taken for Mueller to take down Trump directly. We never expected we’d be able to prove that.

What we can prove is bad enough, though. Three of the top strategists opposing Hillary Clinton in 2016 had been doing Putin’s bidding in this regard for over a decade, on both sides of our political spectrum. Calling that coincidence requires a suspension of belief so enormous that the average adult won’t be able to stomach it. The eyes of the world are on it now.

So what’s it all been for? If it’s not going to end with Trump in handcuffs, was it really worth it? What comes next? These are all the questions Americans are asking themselves right now, and for once and all time, we say yes. To protect the sanctity of elections is to safeguard democracy itself.

Thirty-two people found themselves behind bars for the part they played in this, with more to come. The next time some trash can of a slob decides to get in bed with America’s worst enemy, they’ll have this to refer to when considering the consequences and weighing the cost. Most will turn back, and there will be a strong precedent to smash into bits the would-be traitors who decide to cross the line.

Paul Manafort may well die in prison, and he earned the right to. Nobody can take that away from him. Not even Donald Trump.

In the last analysis, we fought this battle for the noblest of reasons- pure patriotism. We had to be sure that Putin’s puppets couldn’t run away with the White House. The last thing we needed was a fragile, easily manipulated president allied with one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes in the world. Taking that on was the true goal, and we did it.

So be proud, Democrats! You stood up when the going was hard, you fought through some of the worst conditions anyone has ever seen, and the United States of America is better for it. In order to safeguard our rights and our democracy, the most vigorous political action has been and will be necessary. The Russiagate investigation showed the world just how vigorous we can be once we’ve decided to fight.

That alone makes the struggle worthwhile.

North Korean Nukes- 45th Boasts Of Imaginary Deal.

#NeverTrump

As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the United States President Donald Trump prepare to meet, the world is feeling the tension. It is not clear that either of the two fully understands what is at stake.

Trump went around last month tweeting that North Korea had agreed to denuclearization. “Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed…Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”

“We should all root for a diplomatic solution to the decades’ long North Korean conflict,” Chuck Schumer said April 18 on the Senate floor. “That’s why the United States should pursue a diplomatic opening, including through direct diplomacy with Pyongyang. But thus far we’ve not seen any indication that North Korea is willing to take concrete measures towards denuclearization.”

Nor will we, in the opinion of this Millennial Democrats contributor.

The only place that smooth meeting happened was in Trump’s mind. North Korea agreed to no such thing. They talked about it. That’s all. A conversation is a long way from a signed agreement.

For decades, the international community has tried to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile development. It has failed. The thought of Trump pulling it off is absurd.

Kim is never giving up his nukes. He will nuke himself before he gives up his nukes. He nuked his own backyard and ruined the mountain above the facility where he makes his nukes, rather than stop testing.

Nuclear weapons are the one sure insurance plan that a small power can have against a great one. The world was watching when George W. Bush kicked down the door of Saddam Hussein’s palace.

Kim knows we’ll do the same to him anytime we get a chance. He’ll never let that happen.

In related news, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew home from North Korea yesterday with three U.S. citizens who had been detained there. We welcome them home and are grateful for their safety; Kim snatched them under dubious circumstances and gave them back like bargaining chips.

To the unpleasant occupant of the Oval Office, who has been going around boasting that he’s cut the big deal of a lifetime, that must pass for a denuclearization agreement.

“People never thought you were going to have a situation where we’re having serious and positive communications with North Korea. And we are,” Donald Trump told reporters yesterday morning.

On the contrary, this has been tried again and again. We have engaged in on-and-off nuclear negotiations with North Korea since the end of the Cold War. They failed to prevent Pyongyang from developing nuclear weapons. We have not established diplomatic relations, and a peace treaty ending the Korean War has not been signed.

We did have a serious, positive denuclearization deal with Iran, though. Trump scuttled it earlier this month. So much for bargaining skill.

Kim gave those people back because it put on a good show. His goal here is to get us to relieve the sanctions that are crippling his economy again for a while. His father did the same to Bill Clinton and to George W. Bush after him. It is not the brilliance of Trump diplomacy that has suddenly brought them to the table.

This reticent and peculiar country has promised disarmament more than once, only to backtrack on its commitments. It has duped multiple U.S. presidential administrations, each of which has passed the North Korea problem onto the next.

That pattern is likely being repeated.

Going forward, the usual task of raising awareness will fall on us, since conservative talk radio is already gloating and spinning this up as a Trump win. Regardless of his boasting, Trump did not accomplish anything here. He’s spinning his wheels like every single other American president has done.

The difference is that during the tenure of past presidents, North Korea did not have the hydrogen bomb. Those presidents were not maniacs, hanging around on Twitter deriding the size of the North Korean leader’s buttons and calling him Little Rocket Man.

It’s a complex situation, and a lot of different things might happen, but at least one thing is for sure. If anything good does happen here, it won’t be the fault of Donald Trump.

Cold War Two- The West Is Not Anti-Russia. Just Anti-Putin.

#NeverTrump

Cold War Two is heating up, as the diplomatic conflict between Britain and Vladimir Putin, caused by the murder by poison of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal is reaching a fevered pitch. Moscow’s embassy in London has been urging Russians against traveling to the UK or sending children to school there.

Putin’s orders to the embassy were to tell their citizens that British authorities may single out Russians for various persecutions, citing “the anti-Russian policies and an escalation of the British side’s threatening rhetoric”.

The Russian embassy even urged fans of football team CSKA Moscow flying to London for Thursday’s Europa match with Arsenal to exercise “extra vigilance” because of Britain’s “anti-Russian campaign”.

Britain does not even have an anti- Russia campaign.

It doesn’t even have an official anti-Putin campaign, although it needs one.

Everything everywhere needs to have an anti-Putin campaign. Not anti-Russia. Anti-Putin.

The two are not synonymous. Russia produced Stalin and Putin, it’s true, but it gave us Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Alexei Navalny as well. Russian people are not our foes unless they’re here on Putin’s orders to disrupt and destroy our countries. And even then, they’re just extensions of Putin.

Millennial Democrats would like to extend our sympathy and solidarity with Russia’s people, and with all good people everywhere who are stuck beneath the heel of that tyrant, or any other tyrant.

Putin has continuously kept pushing this matter. He’s not going to just let it go. He’s angry because he’s finally met resistance where there didn’t use to be any.

Next, Putin ordered the summoning of British ambassador Laurie Bristow on Friday. He wanted to tell her that London is being given a month to cut the number of diplomatic staff in Russia to the same number Russia has in Britain.

The measure came after Russia expelled 23 British diplomats, closed a British consulate in Saint Petersburg and halted the activities of the British Council educational and cultural organization last month.

Bristow was evicted by Putin along with the heads of missions from 23 other countries, almost all of whom are EU member states.

Russia suggested parity. The British side has more than 50 more people,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told AFP.

Parity? Did we come into your lands, and poison anyone you granted asylum, Vladimir? It probably wouldn’t be too hard to get at Julian Assange, the pet rat you keep in that Ecuadorian embassy cage(they just shut off his Internet! LOL!), but we don’t, out of respect for the rule of law.

There’s no parity in Putin expelling a single one of those diplomats. We didn’t do anything to him. We’re not the ones extending tentacles of chaos all throughout the world, encouraging ethnic violence and poisoning people we disagree with. We are also not the ones who keep on with continuous escalation.

The Pentagon’s concern this whole time has been not that Putin is strong, or fearsome, but rather that he’s getting old and sloppy.

They fear that he’s finally deluded himself into thinking he’s rebuilt the Soviet Union- Russia’s economy is a sixth of what the Soviets enjoyed- and will make a gross miscalculation that leads us all into war, as Hitler eventually did.

The way in which Putin is encouraging distrust among his people against any outsiders is also Hitleresque. A tyrant needs to have his country’s population scared and angry so that they will fight like desperate men, if he wants to try and conquer the world by force.

But he had better realize he will never have enough power. You cannot kill the human desire for freedom. And you cannot push us into giving up what we hold sacred. Donald Trump will not be in power forever.

Hitler found this out, too, once upon a time. The Western powers are goodhearted and kind and will give you the benefit of the doubt. But don’t be fool enough to delude yourself into thinking that means you can push us past a certain point. Or sooner or later, you will find two things out the hard way.

First, that the West has a very hard core.

And second, that we do not like being cheated.

Praying for a Peaceful Winter Olympics- Put Away The Nukes!

Put down the nukes!

The Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea this year, a fact that has caused anxiety to a great deal of the world.  The Korean peninsula has been a troubled place for a long time. It is the site of both the first and last active conflict of the Cold War.

North Korea has urged the U.S. to end international calls for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to instead support ongoing peace talks geared toward ending the long-running hostilities. To that end, they’ve been going out of their way to be reasonable.

At one point it was feared that North Korea would use the opportunity to try for a hack or an attack or a disruption of some other kind, but it doesn’t really look like that would be necessary.

Kim has his nukes. It’s a fait accompli. He’s got no more real reason to worry, as long as he doesn’t nuke anyone else first. Even the sloppy drunk Steve Bannon had to concede this. There’s no military solution here.

To forget Kim’s nukes, and try peace, like one headline I saw today said, is the only choice we have. It’s that or be ashes. We can’t nuke another country, just because they made more nukes.
If we were going to go that route, we’d have had to nuke the Soviets back in the 50’s.
These days, forget it. You’re nuking half the world, and hoping not one of their nukes will hit you back. Good luck wiping China, Russia, and India off the map. 
Nuke. What a stupid sounding word. Can’t we get past this? Do we really want to live in a world, where our leaders go around like baboons, growling and threatening one another while comparing the size of their…buttons? Haven’t we learned anything at all?
It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that living constantly under the shadow of nuclear annihilation is very boring, but we recognize that is not the opinion of Donald Trump. It’s another one of those 1980’s Glory Days kinds of things, that he and Putin both so love.
I mean, we miss the Go-Go’s, too. Just because we were little kids, doesn’t mean we didn’t love the 80’s. Sadly, however, all good things must come to an end. Like She-Ra. Or the Satanic Panic.
Most of us do not miss the Cold War, or any other war, because we know that war is bad. For human beings, it really is that simple. We don’t want to be smouldering ashes, as Mr. Kim promised we would be, and we think it sensible to imagine that the North Koreans felt much the same when Trump made them a similar promise.
We don’t need to have this fight anymore. It’s pointless and it’s stupid. Everyone knows that. So why does it keep going on? Who benefits? If America were to reopen hostilities with North Korea, who would stand to gain?
When North Korea did its first missile test, on May 19th of this year, the move drew worldwide condemnation. In an all-but-unanimous rejection of any more nukes, the world made known its mind.
Still, all-but-unanimous is still not the same as unanimous. There were a few lone voices of dissent from the wilderness. One of them should not surprise us. That name is Vladimir Putin.
Putin immediately spoke up for Pyongyang, warning the international community against thoughts of military action, and posing as the leader of the world.
One might expect Moscow to show some concern about North Korea’s missile tests. Russia, after all, is one of only three countries to border with North Korea by land. It also wants to keep the nuclear club small. And the missile even landed in Russia’s territorial waters. But Putin did not seem to mind. The casual observer might be tempted to conclude that he is up to something.
In what ways and to what degree does Russia have leverage over North Korea? What outcome would best advance the interests of the Kremlin?

The key to the problem most likely begins and ends with oil. Russia has long been suspected of supplying North Korea with oil, even though international sanctions limit such activity.

However, recent reports from a collective of journalists called Asia Press International claim that the price of oil there has fallen by 40 percent.

We do not know the exact amount of oil Russia has exported to North Korea, but it’s easy to see why Russia would want to help Pyongyang. Keeping the North Koreans dependant could help keep them compliant, which creates leverage that Russia could use in future negotiations with China or the United States.

In addition, Putin’s personal fortune and control of Russia are both completely dependant on Russian oil reserves. His ability to manipulate those markets is the backbone of his empire.

At any rate, it will all have to wait until after the Winter Olympics- an event at which millennials are the bulk of the competitors. The South announced on Thursday its president would meet the North’s Olympics delegation on Saturday. The games will soon be on, and we’d like to send our best wishes and hopes to South Korea along with the American competitors.

Onward to victory!

 

Cold War Two-US Helps Ukraine With Anti-Tank Missiles.

The battle continues.

The United States has authorized the sale of lethal Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, to deter the Russians from attempting further aggression there.

This is the only smart thing we have seen this administration do since bringing retired four-star general John Kelly on board as Chief of Staff. Someone had a good idea and saw that it was successfully carried out.

One wonders who’s responsible.

Senator John McCain, for one, made it clear that he supported this plan, and urged Trump “to fully utilise security assistance funds provided by the Congress to enable Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

This is unfortunately necessary. It’s all part of what has turned into the largest military buildup between Russia and NATO since the end of the Cold War.

Several months ago, two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles entered the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark.

In response, a defence ministers meeting in Brussels was held later the same day. Germany, Canada and other NATO allies pledged to commit forces to Eastern Europe and the defence of Ukraine.

This current bout of trouble got started in earnest after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. That move destabilized the whole region badly and has made it one of the weakest points in the global order ever since. The violence there has killed more than 10,000 people since then.

In order to understand the context of this struggle, it is necessary first to examine Russia’s strained relationships with most of its former satellite states, particularly Ukraine.

The Kremlin has always had a vested interest in controlling Ukraine. It is an important territorial asset. It allows them a highly profitable pipeline route to Europe. It is home to one of Russia’s few warm-water ports. And it presents a strategic buffer zone between Russia and the powers of NATO.

For all those reasons, Moscow has worked for generations to keep Ukraine in the position of a submissive younger sibling. It was the largest of their satellite states, and the one it took most effort to control. A great deal of bad blood on both sides remains.

Ukraine’s nearly three-year battle against Kremlin-backed separatists in the east erupted into the worst fighting in two years in late January. Exactly why the fighting intensified right then remains unclear. But they started right as Trump took power.

There’s concern this will worsen Russo-American relations, but it doesn’t seem likely given the subservience of Trump to Putin. It’s surprising Trump’s administration allowed this deal to go through, however. Not many saw it coming, including this contributor to Millennial Democrats.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto summed it up best. “So far, whenever we tried to work, we had to face American pressure not to do it and European pressure not to do it.
Now … there will be no American pressure.

Unfortunately for the lovable Mr Szijjarto, Trump got caught and his influence neutered.

A sovereign nation has every right to prevent foreign tanks from constantly rolling through their lands. And Ukraine has been given the means to defend itself.

The new American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles they have just been equipped with will cut through Russian tanks like a hot knife through butter.

Perhaps now the Russians will decide to go home.

One can only imagine what it must be like for these people, living as they are directly under the cleaver. The current war was started when the Russians came into these people’s town, gave money and guns to the local Mafia, and told them to go start fights around town, which they did. When the police showed up to pacify the situation, the Kremlin pounced.

Citing Ukrainian suppression of the Russian-speaking minority, the Kremlin used the domestic grievances of a sovereign nation as a cheap excuse to have at their robbery and slaughter.They wanted that Crimean port, and so they took it.

It’s sickening, and it forces us to ask a question, as we think back on the early days of Hitler- If we leave Ukraine to its fate, do we deserve better? Who will rescue our children, if we let theirs be fed to the beast?

By this logic, the Pentagon laid its plans.

 State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US had decided to provide “enhanced defensive capabilities” to help Ukraine build its military long-term, defend its sovereignty and “deter further aggression”

The time after Communism collapsed was a hopeful one for humanity, and it’s really too bad Putin ruined that, but nevertheless it is a fait accompli. It’s best to be realistic about it and prepare the necessary restraints.

It’s crucial to remember that what happened to us was the latest in a ten-year timeline of Russian aggression, and not only cyber, as the Ukrainian example proves. This is an international struggle. Putin has his tentacles in every European country’s radical fringe groups, and he’s been causing trouble for everyone, not just us. This long-awaited show of solidarity is a good start.