The 2018 Midterms- A Globally Critical Blue Wave.

The 2018 Midterms- A Globally Critical Blue Wave.

     The 2018 midterm elections were among the most anticipated races in history, and they did not fail to deliver dramatic results. Throughout the election cycle, word of a Democratic Blue Wave gained momentum, and a watershed voter turnout was the satisfying result. It was the highest for any election held in the United States since Watergate, which seemed suitable for such a high stakes contest. In many cases, the primary considerations of the voters seemed to counterbalance one another. These were the strong economy and the personal repugnance of Trump himself. The president has managed to snatch credit for the strength of the economy, but his low approval ratings pointed to Democratic gains (Washington Post). History has favored the minority party at the time of the president’s first midterm. This tendency, combined with American disgust for Trump himself as a man, to give Democrats control of the half of the Congress known as the House of Representatives by a wide margin.

     The achievement of the Democrats can hardly be overstated. Reporter Dan Balz of the Washington Post gave us a few statistics with which to illustrate this point. Democrats flipped about two-thirds of the competitive districts won by both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012 or by Clinton in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012. They also picked up one-third of districts won by Trump in 2016 and Obama in 2012. In districts where both Trump and Romney had won in the previous two elections, Democrats gained about a quarter of the competitive seats (Washington Post). Democrats even managed to break even in net seats in the Senate, though they had faced crushing electoral odds in that chamber. Twenty-five Democratic senators were up for reelection as opposed to only eight Republicans, and many were in states that went solidly red in 2016. Managing to hold the line places Democrats in a fantastic position to retake the Senate in 2020, when the shoe will be on the other foot. While immediate domestic concerns are likely to be given precedence, the effects of the Blue Wave in 2018 are sure to reverberate worldwide.

     This tremendous level of electoral enthusiasm was all the more remarkable in that midterm elections in general are not captivating to most voters. In a normal year, only the most ideologically driven and committed members of the electorate tend to turn out for them, and certainly overseas interest is not typically overwhelming. But in recent years, a radical polarization has gripped the global society’s political atmosphere. The specter of World War Two has risen and people are getting scared. A great acrimony and division has spread through America and the rest of the world. Some are calling it a civil cold war, and its battlefields can be found on many fronts. Trenches are being dug under national borders, in some cases, and along gerrymandered district lines in others. People in all corners of the globe had good reason to pay attention, as the struggles highlighted the dramatic and worldwide trouble the human race is having in getting along with itself.

     The quality of the candidates selected by the two parties speaks in volumes to the quality of those who did the selecting. Democrats elected eight new scientists. Republicans elected three felons and a dead pimp (Post-Tribune). Something has got to give here. Somebody is going to hold power in America, the world’s sole superpower. We have to look closely at whom. The moderate wing of the Republican Party used to have some allies in it. There were men like John McCain, who in spite of their party affiliation was sound and unselfish Americans. Some of them could be counted on for bipartisan dialogue concerning issues of paramount importance. McCain is now gone, however, and with him the moderate wing of the Republican Party. This type of candidate took serious damage in the midterm primaries. They were discarded in favor of candidates more in line with the views of Donald Trump. Many of these came from the ranks of the alt-right, though the elections also played an important role in illustrating a trend of worsening extremity taking root in the far left. Only center Democrats have reliably proven they can put themselves to the side enough to do what is best for the country.

     The 2018 election was in many ways a referendum on the 2016 election, and the events immediately surrounding it. The victory of Donald Trump combined with Brexit constituted significant blows to the American-led, liberal world order, and empowered the radical right. It also empowered Russian president Vladimir Putin, who had spent millions of dollars to defeat Hillary Clinton and get a guy in office he found more pliable. “Putin likes Trump because he supports this view of the world, that the big guys can carve it up,” explained former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in an interview for Gentlemen’s Quarterly. After Trump won, Kasparov, who is Putin’s former opponent in a Russian presidential election, wrote some predictions down in his new book on the future of the Western world order, Winter is Coming. He believed we had eighteen months in which to turn around the sequence of events that had been started, two years at the most. If we didn’t find a way by then, he felt, it would probably be too late. I thought of those words many times on the way to the voting booths this year. They perfectly summarized the reason it was so important for the Democrats to win the midterms in 2018. Only the full force of American conviction can activate its might enough to keep the world safe for democracy.

     Today’s world, like today’s Republican Party, is busy coping with an uptick in reactionary far-right movements, movements that in many cases and nations border on fascism. Alt-right candidates were present in greater number than ever before in the 2018 midterms, and this too is part of a worldwide trend. From Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil to Norbert Hofer in Austria, adherents of racist nationalism have been growing increasingly violent and brazen. A man screams “Hail Trump!” in a movie theater; another during a performance of the Fiddler on the Roof. “Middle America is rallying to the flag of the alt-right,” said Kyle Bristow, a self-described member of the “alt-right” and the attorney of infamous white nationalist Richard Spencer. These candidates mostly lost, but their sheer proliferation is a terrible sign. It goes without saying that all of them were Republicans. The race was representative of the political atmosphere worldwide in that it was ideologically polarized. It saw its fair share of triumphs for liberals and progressives, but it also saw a rise of far-right, white nationalist candidates. Some of these were victorious. The low quality of the Republican candidates has negative consequences for every level of government.

     A Democratic retaking of the House of Representatives was a critical first step in containing and reversing this virulent problem. It is why the Resistance showed up in such numbers at the polls. For two years, liberals and progressives have been helpless to do anything but sit idle, as one travesty after another has rocked the global community. We have not had the power to protect our people, or even to get many others to listen or to understand our plight. But with the power to form committees of Congressional inquiry, we can finally start to put the bad guys under a microscope. The power of the House is, in this case, the power of defense.

     The elections were not completely without problems for the Democrats. It showed us that ideological faultline is still existent not only in the Republican Party but in the Democratic as well. The rift between the supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton has healed to an extent, and there have been improvements made in this area. Our shared victory in the midterms demonstrated that the progressive wing of the party is beginning to learn from the tremendous mistakes they made in 2016, where undercurrents of far left hard feelings allowed the Russians an easy way to turn the 2016 Democratic primaries into a zoo. The radical left’s extreme love for the Bern reached the levels of a cult by the end of the primary. From the day the Bernie or Bust petition began circulating, it was obvious we were in for trouble. If they couldn’t have Bernie, they said, they would rather have Trump. This attitude was allowed to get highly pervasive, and it killed us in the end.

     This time around, Democrats did a far better job of managing conflicts between the two wings of the party. They simmered at a low boil all the way through the midterm primaries but managed to keep from becoming a fight instead of a contest and ruining the Blue Wave. This is a positive sign, suggesting the far left might have learned from 2016, which is good. Most mainstream Democrats have been pushed to the left as far as we will go, and are starting to get ready to push back. Centrist groups like Third Way have been pushing candidates to read up on history and polling. “The party is not going to go in the direction of Sanders-style socialism, because it’s not winning on the issues and it doesn’t win politically except in a very, very limited number of places,” Third Way president Jonathan Cowan tells TIME. “It’s going to go in the direction that won it two presidencies” (Elliott). The last two two-term Democratic Presidents were mainstream Democrats. [That’s] what’s going to get the House back.” It’s important to emphasize here that mainstream Democrats do not seek reorientation of the party. We’ve been doing an excellent job under the worst possible conditions.

     Progressive Democrats from the Sanders wing were not without a few reasons to cheer in November’s elections. The upset primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over twenty year veteran Joe Crowley for New York’s 14th District stood out on a number of levels. Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest Representative ever elected, and her zealot’s love for socialism has given the Sanders wing a new face and voice to cheer for. My thoughts are that this is not the worst thing in the world, because we need them, and it appears that some healing has taken place. Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters used to very nearly hate each other, and that no longer feels as acutely so. It appears that the left has achieved a degree of unity for now, but it remains to be seen whether this newly placid status quo can survive another presidential primary.

     The immediate battles to be faced come January in the House of Representatives are only one part of a much larger problem. Democracy is under attack worldwide. It is being replaced one plank at a time like the proverbial Ship of Theseus. At what point in all this replacing does it become a different ship? Only one thing is certain, at least in the gut level instinct of this writer. Since Trump got elected, this country does not feel the same at all. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, America has been rated as being less than a full democracy for the last two years. The EIU produces an annual review ranking countries on their adherence to 60 distinct democratic values, including electoral processes and press freedom (“America Has Been Classified as a Flawed Democracy”). According to their standards, we’re not a free country anymore. America is now more like Viktor Orban’s Hungary, or Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The rich want to get into power and stay there, and quote the ideals of freedom as the reason they ought to be able to use any means to do so. The only way we can hope to turn this all around is to get the Democrats back into power and keep them there.

     The biggest net effect of the midterms is the Democratic retaking of the House because it gives the sane center of the country back the power of defense. Democrats can now protect our country from anymore disastrous Trump ideas. This also sets back Putin’s plan of attaching more of his tendrils and creepers to the grand old castle walls that hold up our country. Proactive measures are more limited. Democrats can form investigative committees, and hold hearings for the purposes of questioning and gathering information. Resources are certain to focus on raising awareness about the Russiagate scandal and other serious challenges facing our democracy. The conduct of Trump and his allies can be highlighted and brought to the forefront of public consciousness everywhere. It should be understood that even with a legislative chamber in blue hands, Republicans still hold the White House and the Senate, and the cooperation of all three is needed to pass a law. Nothing in recent history suggests hope for bipartisan cooperation on any issue, regardless of the issue’s importance. People will see once again how obstructionist and unfair the opposition is, and afterward, it will be easier to help people understand the truth- everything we hold sacred is in danger. If things keep on as they are, the days of American supremacy will be numbered.

     A close look at the playing field this election has left us with will prove useful as we step into the future. Blue Wave 2018 hit home for the midterms, and it gave us a great start. But the world remains beneath the dark shadow of a large-scale hatefulness and mayhem. The potential for danger and disorder is so great that it seems almost redundant to say so. As someone who has lived through all this, and read not just eight articles about it but hundreds, I feel that this narrative is being neglected and understated. This is due to responsible journalists not wanting to sound alarmist, in some cases, and it’s comforting to tell ourselves we’re in less trouble than we are. But the country’s divisions have been highlighted and exacerbated by hostile foreign powers such as Russia, who also targeted the 2018 midterms. This has added urgency to the issue and made them even more difficult to ignore. Going forward, it will be incumbent on the Democratic leadership, under the new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to use their regained power dexterously. To show the people of the country that there is a reasonable alternative to the bedlam created by the current administration, resources must be channeled wisely and well. Good thing we’ve got a professional headed for the Speaker’s Chair. We’re really going to need her.

     In studying the political history of America, the scholar will note along with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who wrote in his Age of Roosevelt that foreign radicalism has never taken deep root here. From the visceral horror felt by the Founding Fathers toward the bloodbath going on in France to the resolute pursuance of seeing an end to the Nazis, America has always managed to resist being taken in by extremism from left or right. The source of our strength as a nation’s people has always lain in our ability to value compromise and moderation, which are necessary if we wish in times of crisis to be able to pull together with the full force of American conviction behind us, like when we fought World War Two. When these values are abandoned, democratic nations start to fall. If we lose our ability to communicate, we clearly can’t coordinate strategy. Only the full force of America’s people can activate its might enough to keep the world safe for democracy.  Our ability to hold the center is why we have become and remained so strong. 

       After looking at all this, a simple question remains. Has America ever faced a midterm election like 2018? In considering its potential impact of it on the country and its global standing, many would argue that the answer lies in the negative. The Trump administration has been a disaster of colossal proportion. Every day that America is represented in its highest office by a man who many would argue is both corrupt and deeply incompetent is a day in which we are vulnerable in the eyes of the world. Resisting his demented policies has taken everything we have, but we managed it even though we held so little power. After two years of that, holding the House of Representatives feels like a tremendous luxury of strength. We can assure the Trump presidency will be a lame duck from this point on. We can’t start setting things to rights just yet, but we can stop the current Oval Office occupant when he tries to do further damage. We can block his cruel new policies, and removing his ability to hamstring our future with corrupt appointees like the Supreme Court’s Brett Kavanaugh. This is why it was so crucial for the Democratic “Blue Wave” to sweep America.

Works Cited

Agerholm, Harriet, 2018. “America falls short of being a full democracy for second year running, report finds.”

/www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/america-democracy-rated-donald- trump-not-fully-democratic-us- president-report-the-economist- a8195121.html

Balz, Dan, and Scherer, Michael, 2018. Washington Post, Washington Post. “For Democrats, A Midterm Election That Keeps On Giving.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-democrats-a-midterm-election-that-keeps-on- giving/2018/11/09/b4075ef2-e456-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html? utm_term=.754bc43973ad

Beauchamp, Zack, 2018. “The midterm elections revealed that America is in a cold civil war.”

https://www.vox.com/midterm-elections/2018/11/7/18068486/midterm-election- 2018-results-race-surburb Campbell, Alaistair, 2018. “Garry Kasparov on Putin, Trump, and their deal to carve up Europe.” https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/garry-kasparov-alastair-campbell-interview

Elliott, Philip. Time, Time, 2018. “The Middle Road.”

time.com/5428157/democrats-centrist-midterms/.

Frier, Nancy, 2018. Time, Time, 2018. Facebook Discovers an Ongoing Effort to Influence the 2018 Midterm Elections.

Grand Magazine, 2018. “Urgent: The United States Has Been Classed As A Flawed Democracy.”

www.grandmagazine.com/2018/09/urgent-the-united-states-has-been-classed-as-a-flawed-democracy/.




		
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Julian Assange Indicted! Cyber-Terrorist To Face American Justice.

Assange Indicted!

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been indicted by the United States! It’s a beautiful day for a neighbor.

This story’s release was not destined for the front page- at least, not right away. It was found in an unsealed court filing in an unrelated case. The document contained the phrase “Assange has already been charged”. What is thought to be a simple copy/paste error has got the entire world talking.

Assange is and has been a criminal and a digital terrorist worldwide. He also is a suspected rapist. Assange has now been hiding out in his Ecuadorian embassy home for two years. He is said to live in slovenly conditions and recently had to be ordered by the courts of Ecuador to feed his cat. Animal abuse, no less! It’s time to bring this man to justice.
Wikileaks, under his direction, has attempted to cut the throat of American intelligence time and time again. He has disrupted the functioning of our country in every way he’s been able to think up.
He was involved in helping Edward Snowden. He leaked Chelsea Manning’s documents. He leaked the DNC emails in 2016 that led to the rioting of Bernie Sanders supporters, an event that is said to have astounded the Russians with glee.
He is an enemy of America, and he made himself that way, for no real reason. He did this to himself for fame and glory. Still, American law has been hesitant to condemn him, for fear of setting a precedent of discouraging investigative journalism. It’s important to be decent, even when the guy you’re up against is not.
Assange claims to be neutral, both in general and in regard to our 2016 election, but every single leak ever released by his outlet was designed to hurt Hillary Clinton and no one else. He claimed that was because no data was ever sent to WikiLeaks, about the Sanders or Trump campaigns.
However, the decidedly non-neutral Roger Stone had what he called a “Perfectly Legal” back channel to Assange, who got the electronic documents from the entity known as Guccifer 2.0, who was later proven to be a Russian intelligence officer working for the GRU.
He “gave excuse after excuse” for refusing to publish a trove of documents related to corruption within the Russian government, according to chat logs obtained by Foreign Policy.
Assange has been in this position before, when he was younger, and he failed to learn from the experiences he had. He was a member of the Chaos Computer Club, a European collective infamous for stealing secrets from governments and selling them to the KGB for drugs and money.
Around this same time, in the 1980’s, Vladimir Putin was a young(and according to his old boss, extremely mediocre) lieutenant in the KGB. It is likely these two have known each other for a while.
Wikileaks, underneath the strategic command of Julian Assange, is an important part of a consistent and growing sequence of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States.
His involvement in Brexit, and in the French elections between Macron and Le Pen parallel his efforts in our election. He has also been active in attempting to undermine and hamstring Angela Merkel. He is a willing and active participant in the worldwide far-right conspiracy being headed by Putin.
 Lawfare’s Nicholas Weaver calls this whole process the weaponization of Wikileaks.
“Wikileaks doesn’t seem to care that they are being used as a weapon by unknown parties, instead calling themselves a ‘library of mass education’. But the rest of us should,” Weaver writes.

The evidence so far suggests it’s a weapon that Putin has used to great effect.

There is nothing more important than a free press, an independent press like the one Putin destroyed in Russia. That is not in question. But there is a big difference between journalism and doxing, and the difference is that one is edifying and one is malicious. One seeks to educate and enlighten, and the other seeks only to destroy. In the last analysis, intent speaks for itself, and you get what’s coming to you.

Humanitarian concerns keep us from wishing physical harm on the man. The death penalty is wrong, and torture is wrong, regardless of the circumstances, no matter how egregious the criminal. We don’t feel he should be waterboarded at Guantanamo- the hole at United States Penitentiary-Leavenworth is hard enough. And even though the slipup was actually revealed in a pedophilia case, it is important to note that Assange has only allegedly raped two women in Sweden. Those are two more of the reasons why he needs to be taken somewhere and tried.

When Ecuador first gave asylum to Assange, he was still a hero to many on the left, and to many opponents of “US imperialism”. This sentiment runs deep in South America, and not unjustly so. So he was given asylum; a very decent act on the part of Ecuador.

But that was before he started using their place to hack our elections and do harm to everyone who’s breathing. What a guy. If I were Assange, I would start a GoFundMe for commissary.

And I would feed my cat.

Incoherent and Inconsistent- G7 Summit Ends in Chaos.

G7-SUMMIT-CANADA

The G7 summit was held in Canada over the weekend, and America had to suffer the indignity of being represented there by its president.

Trump was at his very finest this weekend. He blew it every chance he got. His conduct was so awful that Putin could have scripted it.

This annual summit, to say the very least, is a big deal.

It involves the bringing together of seven major industrialized nations, nations who represent more than 60% of global net worth between them, to discuss economic conditions and other major global issues. It’s something that is best not taken lightly for anyone who happens to be the president of one of those countries.

Trump arrived late, left early, and used the opportunity to start a petty fight with his peers. In doing so, he showed everyone exactly how seriously he takes major global issues.

In so doing, he has thrown the international trading order into chaos, and most likely put the US on the path to a trade war.

The city of Quebec hosted the event, which was quite a miserable place to be, by all accounts.

Theresa May of Britain referred to the summit as a “difficult occasion”.

Angela Merkel of Germany used the term “sobering experience”.

And French President Emmanuel Macron criticised Trump’s “fits of anger”.

The fight started after Trump pulled the US out of a newly arranged agreement, blaming the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau whom he derided as “dishonest and weak”.

A sort of agreement called a summit communique was finally reached, thanks to an all-night negotiating session by officials from all sides. For a few brief hours, it started to look like the nightmare was ending.

But after leaving for Singapore, Trump tweeted personal attacks on the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and said that he had told his representatives not to sign, turning what had already been a tense meeting of the world’s leading industrialized democracies into a fiasco.

“PM Justin Trudeau acted so meek and mild,” he tweeted. “Only to give a news conference after I left saying that ‘US tariffs were kind of insulting’ and ‘he will not be pushed around’.

“Very dishonest and weak” he claimed, adding in a separate tweet: “I have instructed our US reps not to endorse the communique.”

Trump was very unhappy with the likes of Trudeau and Merkel, our time-honored and trusted allies. But he wasn’t so unhappy with the G7’s missing partner Russia, which was suspended from the group – then called the G8 – in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

On Friday, Trump called for Moscow to be readmitted to the group, making it the G8 once more.

This is no longer unbelievable. Recently retired four-star general Barry McCafferty recently commented sadly that he believes Trump to be a “threat to national security” because Putin has something on Trump.

This seems clear to us, and if he’s not being actively directed, it’s because he’s too predictably destructive to require that type of micromanaging. Better to just let him sling his feces as he will.

It’s usually a point with Trump not to pay his bills, but this time he seems determined to keep his promise to pay off for the Russian dictator. He accepted the job of busting up American alliances at Putin’s behest.

Ruining our relationships with our closest European allies is what Putin’s Russia wants. They hope to create complete and total chaos, enough to bring down the entire world order so that they can realign it as subordinate to Russian interests. It is why they put so much time and money into getting him elected.

It’s as if Littlefinger crawled out of Game of Thrones and off the TV screen. I can see him now with his little ratty face, saying “Chaos is a ladder.”

As this goes down, we’ve got to raise awareness. We have to continue to let people know what’s going on because our president is lying to us with a zeal that would have impressed Joseph Goebbels. Regardless of what he may say, the other countries of G7 deserve our love and support.

We’ve all been in this together for a very long time, long enough for history to show many times over that internal discord and disunity in the Western world give openings to extremist enemies. We who live in the G7 nations need each other.

The era of isolationism is over, for better or for worse. It’s never coming back. America can either live up to its international obligations or watch the world order that it’s holding up collapse. It is a disastrous disgrace that so much can be decided by one awful and incompetent man.

In future days to come, when millennials hold the majority of the seats of power, it will be our responsibility to see that a failsafe mechanism against a repeat of this situation is installed. In the meantime, however, we’ve got little choice but to watch as Trump makes his mess. This is how a teacher of preschool must feel.

Israel and the Iran Deal Pullout- 45th Upends Middle Eastern Balance.

Trump ruins all he touches.

Donald Trump has dealt a severe blow to the global order with his decision to pull the United States out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, causing a major rift with European allies and raising tensions in the Middle East.

Concerns are growing daily that the recent decisions made by Donald Trump will do much to destabilize a region that has long been unstable anyway.

Israel and Iran, both of whom seemed emboldened in the face of the new situation, fired missiles at each other Wednesday across the Syrian border. They followed up with bristling threats in a steep escalation of tensions.

In days, we’re set to make the Israeli embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something other US presidents have held off on, due to their reasonable belief that it would not help us keep the peace down there.

The merits and flaws of the embassy move itself are not our points of focus here. It’s a separate issue.

We’d like to give our best wishes to the people of Israel and Iran, and all other people, for that matter. If everybody there is cool with the embassy being in Jerusalem, then we’re happy for them. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Our issue is the haphazard and ill-thought out manner in which the current executive administration made this decision. There is no sign at all that Trump fully understands just how serious his decisions have become. He’s not a reality TV star anymore.

We have also seen this recently in North Korea, as Trump boasts of his ability to “bring the North Koreans to the table”. The North Koreans bring themselves to the table, every time they need a few bucks. But Trump doesn’t get it. He seems to really think that Kim is giving up his nukes.

Kim is never giving up his nukes, of course, and neither will anybody else who manages to get them, now that they’ve seen how Trump reneged on the nuclear arrangement we had with Iran. What a mess. It’s been quite a while since Iranians were burning American flags in the streets, and screaming “Death to America!” But they sure are doing it now.

Former Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross, speaking on NPR, said Trump’s decision to abrogate the terms of the nuclear deal is likely spurring Iran to show the US that it will pay a price, which most likely led to the missile launches Wednesday.

Dr. Alina Polyakova of the Atlantic Council gave a talk on the world order last year, in which she illustrated its fracture points, meaning geographical locations that constitute stressors upon it. Ukraine was one, Syria was another. We can now add Iran and Israel to that list.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe could no longer depend on the United States, comments that were echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron. Both leaders had made eleventh-hour trips to Washington to try and talk Trump out of the leaving the Iran pact.

“It’s another blow to the trans-Atlantic alliance,” said Sen. Bob Menendez(D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Europeans don’t know what to make anymore about how strong and how deep our alliance is with them. And we need them. We critically need them to achieve many of our goals, both as it relates to Iran and other things.”

Everyone in the world seems to get this, except for our 45th president.

Perhaps the situation was summed up worst by the National Security Council’s senior director for strategic assessment, Victoria Coates.

“I think it shows you that the President is absolutely doing the right thing here,” Coates said to reporters during a press conference held Friday. “It is not upsetting any regional balance; in fact, his leadership is what’s bringing the region together.”

Good thing Iran doesn’t have any nukes. In a few years, though, hold on to your hats.

Theresa May, Show Us the Way! TOUGHER RUSSIAN SANCTIONS.

Great Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the poisoning of former Russian spy Nikolai Glushkov on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. In a speech, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.

GOOD.

We have been wondering all year: When are we going to get sick of this? We’ve been getting walked all over by Putin, for years now. The stories fill many volumes of books. Now they come into Britain and they kill a man given exile by the British. Not for the first time, either. We all remember the Alexander Litvinenko case. Turns out those men were directly tied; Glushkov was a witness in the Litvinenko trial.

This is not the first time history has seen the Russians do something this ugly. Far from it. This is exactly what Stalin did to Trotsky. He sent a task force, under a general, onto foreign soil and in blatant contravention of the Monroe Doctrine, to murder a private citizen under the legal protection of a sovereign power. That general sent a man named Ramon Mercader to bury a claw hammer in the back of Trotsky’s brain.

That was bad enough in 1940. It’s 2018. When are we going to get fed up?

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is also an exile living in Britain, has been trying to tell the world for years what it’s like to live in fear of being assassinated by Putin. Putin is a dictator and if he isn’t stopped he will get worse. He used to be a local problem. Now he’s everywhere.

Today it is only other Russians he orders dead for speaking out against him. If we don’t speak up and fight for them, tomorrow it will be foreign critics too.

The writer of this article will admit to feeling fear, just for writing this. Russian hackers are probing this blog all day long, trying to get in and hack it and do God knows what. To our work, and to us. Our entire email inbox is filled with notifications our Sucuri plugin gives us of these people trying to hack us.

Creepy.
Lviv is a very famous place, world renowned for the quality of its IT experts. 
Bored, uncreative loser who tried to hack me
An example of one stinky turd who tried to hack us.

Nor is it just Russians. It’s also the entire, vast, right-wing network of thugs that have linked hands all across the world. It’s actually quite interesting to note where the hacking attempts come from. It shows you exactly where their enclaves and strongholds are. It illuminates who is making this thing with Donald Trump their fight.

Had it not been for the fact that they tried to hack our site, we would probably not have discovered, for example, that there is a rabid Chinese support for Donald Trump in many circles. They’ve even got their own version of the word “libtard”. They call us the “White Left”.

Adelaide, Australia. Beauharnois, Quebec. Here’s one from London itself, speaking of which; this could have been Glushkov or Litvinenko or Sergei Skripal’s poisoner, for all we know. A fresh one from Ukraine, that’s really nice there. Provo, Utah, a whole bunch from Chicago.

All for what? For telling the truth, and for raising awareness.

The struggle that is taking form here is a very old one. The West, vs. the East. It’s Greece attacked by Xerxes again. It’s Rome being sacked by the Huns. We have been here before.

The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their big obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized. So has that of the British. So also France, whose new president, Emmanuel Macron, was to have been assassinated on the same day they held a parade in Donald Trump’s honor.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, we have been marched down the road to war piece by piece, and it’s so much like Hitler and the Nazis that it’s really uncanny. Russia and England fought a war once before, over the Crimea.

As this article was being written, Putin went to visit the Crimea, on his way to the elections. It looks like the Cold War goalposts have been dragged out of the closet, so this guy can rattle his saber.

Everyone thought that everyone was happy about the end of the Cold War. It used to be not so hot, living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Putin, however, values Russian control and power over world peace and stability.

Putin has expressed the unkind and ungrateful view that the West “would like Russia to be down at the heels”. He said, “I sometimes get the impression that they love it when they need to send us humanitarian aid. These so-called ruling circles, elites — political and economic — of those countries, they love it when we are impoverished, poor and when we come hat in hand. As soon as we start declaring some interests of our own, they feel that there is some element of geopolitical rivalry.” This is mostly unfair, considering that much of the over $22.6 billion dollars raised by the International Monetary Fund created to aid the Russians in their post-Soviet reconstruction was raised by the United States, who never got any of it back.

Mighty Russia, for all its cyber-terror and nuclear weaponry, still has only around the economic strength of little Italy. Every thought Putin has, every strategy that motivates him is how he can continue to assert strategic control over all those resources.

We are constantly being told that Putin is popular in Russia, and we’ve been hearing it a great deal lately.

Perhaps George W. Bush, for once in his life, summed it up best. “People say, ‘He’s the most popular guy in Russia.’ I say, ‘Yeah, I’d be popular too if I owned NBC,’” not to mention all the other networks.

The main opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, is not available to run. He got murdered within sight of the Kremlin three years ago. Today’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, is not available to run either. He’s not dead yet. He has suffered various physical attacks, but he’s still above ground. He is simply barred from running. He’s also usually in prison.

Putin’s actual opponent is known as the Paris Hilton of Russia. I’d take Perez Hilton, over Putin.

Putin’s ultimate goal is to reassert Russian international power with himself at the helm. To Make Russia Great Again. He wants it to resume what he considers its rightful place as a respected world power- which it already is- although he will settle for being merely feared.

To secure this world power, he must first shore up and be in firm control of Russia’s domestic power. An understanding of all of this is where U.S. policy must begin, as British policy has. Millennial Democrats would like to thank and support the people of Great Britain for drawing a line in the sand. We stand with you.

A Betrayal of Justice- No Pardon For Assange

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is reportedly being considered for a pardon by President Donald Trump.

On April 20, 2017, CNN revealed that US authorities have prepared charges and will seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for intelligence leaks dating all the way back to 2010. There’s a grocery list of charges, but the big one is espionage, for which he could receive the death penalty.

There’s a lot of evidence against him. In 2015 Google notified representatives of Wikileaks that they had handed over all their emails and metadata to the United States government. These notifications included a list of the charges that originated the warrant to Google, as well as that the secret grand jury intends to use them against WikiLeaks and likely Assange too.

Obviously, the very idea of a presidential pardon being granted to anyone who committed a series of crimes this serious, is being taken seriously in intelligence quarters, where it has caused a great deal of concern. This seems logical, since Trump has proven time and again that whether or not somebody likes him is the fundamental principle by which he evaluates their worth.

For example, Joe Arpaio was one of Trump’s campaign buddies, and he helped Trump get in. So when he got in trouble, Trump gave his buddy a pardon, in an offhand and cavalier manner that gives us every indication that he might do the same thing again.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that it is very possible Assange may be pardoned as well, and for the same reason. In this case that would be unbelievably dangerous. Joe Arpaio is a deeply unpleasant man, but for all his flaws, he is not a spy or a traitor. Assange is a criminal of an entirely different order, the very worst kind. Dante reserved the lowest level of hell for traitors.

Trump has repeatedly offered praise for WikiLeaks, which recently requested a seat at the daily White House press briefings. He held up Assange as a source of higher value than our own intelligence community‘s efforts, when he cited his attempts to question their conclusion that Russia sought to influence last year’s presidential election.
What moral are people supposed to draw from that? Why on Earth would you believe Julian Assange before the intelligence community?”, asked Robert Deitz, a former senior counselor to the director of the CIA, and currently a professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

The initiative behind the Assange pardon concept comes from another man who has come under scrutiny for his ties to Russia, Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif). On Sean Hannity’s radio show Monday afternoon, Rohrabacher said he wanted to brief Trump about the contents of a meeting he recently had with Assange regarding the hacking of our election. The California congressman said that meeting was in the process of being set up.

Assange has been a criminal and a digital terrorist worldwide, of course, and for many years. He also is a suspected rapist who’s probably got plenty of STD’s.  Undoubtedly he has burned many. But it’s America who has been burned by him the worst.
Wikileaks, under his direction, has attempted to cut the throat of American intelligence time and time again. He has disrupted the functioning of our country in every way he’s been able to think up. He was involved in helping Edward Snowden, he leaked Chelsea Manning’s documents, he leaked the DNC emails last summer that led to the rioting of Bernie Sanders supporters and the resignation of Debbie Wasserman- Schultz– an event that is said to have astounded the Russians with glee. In short, he is an enemy.
Assange claims to be neutral, both in general and in regard to our 2016 election, but every single leak ever released by his outlet was designed to hurt Hillary Clinton and no one else. They would like us to believe in the absurd idea that is because no data was ever sent to WikiLeaks, about the Sanders, Trump, Stein, or Johnson’s campaign.
He recently “gave excuse after excuse” for refusing to publish a trove of documents related to corruption within the Russian government, according to chat logs obtained by Foreign Policy. That is little wonder. Assange has paid off for the Russians many times.
He was a member of the Chaos Computer Club, a European collective infamous for stealing secrets from governments and selling them to the KGB for drugs and money. Around this same time, in the 1980’s, Vladimir Putin was a young(and according to his old boss, extremely mediocre) lieutenant in the KGB. It is likely these two have known each other for a while.
Wikileaks, underneath the strategic command of Julian Assange, is an important part of a consistent and growing sequence of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States. His involvement in Brexit, and in the French elections between Macron and Le Pen last year parallel his efforts in our election. He has also been active in attempting to undermine and hamstring Angela Merkel in Germany’s election this month. He is a willing and active participant in the worldwide far-right conspiracy being headed by Putin.
 Lawfare’s Nicholas Weaver calls this whole process the weaponization of Wikileaks.
“Wikileaks doesn’t seem to care that they are being used as a weapon by unknown parties, instead calling themselves a ‘library of mass education’. But the rest of us should,” Weaver writes.

The evidence so far suggests it’s a weapon that Putin has used to great effect.

Moving forward, Democrats will learn from the crimes perpetrated against us, and become stronger because of them. But it’s going to be important to keep our eyes out for the vipers that have struck at our heel in the past. There is none more venomous or wicked than Julian Assange, the man that our President may reward with a pardon, for subverting our entire democracy. By raising our voices and making this known, we can make sure it never happens.