July 30, 2017

"President Vladimir V. Putin announced on Sunday that 755 American diplomats would be expelled from Russia by Sept. 1..."

"... in response to the new law passed in Congress last week expanding sanctions against Russia..." (NYT).
“We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better, had such hope that the situation will somehow change, but, judging by everything, if it changes, it will not be soon,” Mr. Putin said in the interview..."

95 comments:

mockturtle said...

The fewer wastrels on the federal payroll, the better.

mockturtle said...

Makes me wonder: How many 'diplomats' are over there?

David Begley said...

Great work Dems and MSM. Now we have a reduction of spies and diplomats in Russia; much harder to do our work. Let's just restart the Cold War.

madAsHell said...

Didn't Obama send the Russian diplomats home before he left office? There was really no good reason given. I figured he was just trying to poop in Trump's punch bowl.

buwaya said...

Seems to have upset the Germans, this.
Including, I believe, Mrs. Merkel.

There seems to be a possibility that this will drive the Euros and the Russians together vs the US. TBD.

Alternately, the Russians and the Chinese, likewise, though I dont know what the Russians have to offer to the Chinese anymore.

Whatever, this is the idiotic outcome of insane American domestic politics.

Lucien said...

All Trump has to do is sign the bill and say "congress made me do it -- veto proof majority".

James K said...

Great work Dems and MSM.

But the real villains are the Republicans who fell for this. Nothing can pass Congress without Republican votes, and in this case they gave the sanctions a veto-proof majority.

Michael K said...

"Whatever, this is the idiotic outcome of insane American domestic politics."

Yup, Clintons have punished us enough for voting the wrong way.

Etienne said...
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Diogenes of Sinope said...

Our dim witted politicians should be worrying about the insane people who want to kill us, North Korea and Iran.

Unknown said...

Trump has to sign the Sanctions Bill, or he'll look like he made some sort of quid pro quo deal with Russia. Trump can't veto the bill, as his position is shaky enough, so he caves to Congress. The Russians don't like being crossed. Serves Trump right for dealing with Putin.

David said...

The Reset, so promising under Obama and Clinton, has been destroyed by Trump.

Or something.

Birkel said...

Trump should pocket veto and hope cooler heads prevail a month from now.

Paco Wové said...

"There seems to be a possibility that this will drive the Euros and the Russians together vs the US."

E.g.:

'By unilaterally imposing tough new sanctions that could hobble European business interests, Congress paradoxically seems more likely to unite Europeans against Washington than against Moscow"

Michael K said...

Good column by on the idiots that passed this veto-proof bill that will push the Europeans and Russians together.

Nice work lefties and GOPes.

The Democrats along with the McCain Republicans, it will be remembered, accused Trump of undermining the Atlantic Alliance, of isolating the United States, and of handing a diplomatic victory to Russia. Not Trump, but his detractors have given Moscow a degree of leverage over Western Europe to which it has not aspired since the height of the Cold War in 1983, when Soviet premier Yuri Andropov considered a pre-emptive Russian attack in response to Western plans to deploy medium-range missiles in Germany.

You people are so stupid I wonder that you remember to breathe.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Remind me, again, how trustworthy you Trumpkinses think the Russkies are.

lweber said...

755?! How many do we in Russia in total? What the heck do they do?

Humperdink said...

TTR ...... projection personified. (I broke my TTR rule and will live to regret it.)

Etienne said...

Just remember Congress voted on sanctions against Japan, and that didn't work out too well.

Brookzene said...

Great work Dems and MSM. Now we have a reduction of spies and diplomats in Russia; much harder to do our work. Let's just restart the Cold War.

All we are saying is give appeasement a chance.

Humperdink said...

Just another example of how Trump is in bed with Vlad the Impaler. (Sarc alert for the uninitiated.)

buwaya said...

The Russians are as trustworthy as it is in their interest to be, that is, no less so than the Americans. Look at the US, honestly, through foreign eyes, and you will see what I mean. The only difference is in the nature of their interests.

Etienne said...
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Khesanh 0802 said...

@Iweber The WSJ says something in the neighborhood of 1100.

Brookzene said...

Our dim witted politicians should be worrying about the insane people who want to kill us, North Korea and Iran.

I'm pretty sure they are. Fortunately re NK the Trump admin has a well-formulated policy: we're done talking about it. It's up to China now.

buwaya said...

Roosevelts sanctions against Japan worked just as well as he hoped; he was trying to get the US into a world war, and he did.

The Japanese successes, and appetite for conquest, were just a bit more than were anticipated.

Btw, the Philippines were considered expendable, an anticipated loss, and had been for decades.

Unknown said...

Putin is the jilted lover and you know what jilted lovers are capable of, don't you? Trump wrongly thought that kissing Putin would be enough. Mommy and daddy caught them and put a stop to it. Neither Trump nor Putin are happy about it. They could've made beautiful music together.

buwaya said...

They are overstaffed over there.
The Russians seem to have done better in the US with far fewer personnel. The difference in efficiency is notable.
Perhaps they should outsource the job of spying on the Russians to the Russians.

Hari said...
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IgnatzEsq said...

You can find the complete list of principled U.S. Senators by noting who voted against the sanction bill.

Hari said...

Trump should say that he will sign the bill when and only when the heads of the CIA, NSA, and FBI each testify under oath that they are certain that the Russian government hacked or directed the hack of the DNC server. Not "quite certain" or that everyone in the intelligence community agrees, but that they are each individually certain and will resign if they are found to be wrong.

Or, better still, Trump should bypass congress and demand a classified memo be delivered to his desk by each of the intelligence agency heads stating whether their agency is willing to go on record as advising the president that the hack was the work of the Russians. (The classified details of how they know can be omitted, but the part of the memo stating the certainty of the agency head should be made a matter of public record, before Trump agrees to sign.

If these won't answer directly and congress chooses to override the president's veto, then at least we will know this is all BS.

Michael K said...

Btw, the Philippines were considered expendable, an anticipated loss, and had been for decades.

With Japan there was almost no chance of protecting the Philippines. If they had gone south against the East Indies, as most expected, there was a slight chance but it was not in the cards. Maybe it might have been a peaceful occupation but Japan was not known for those.

Had the Japanese gone south, they might have prevailed, as Roosevelt might have had a difficult time getting the Congress to go to war.

He had Burton K Wheeler, an influential Senator saying Roosevelt "would plow under every fourth American boy."

He was always more interested in Europe anyway,

Michael K said...

I think he has already signed it, or at least promised to do so.

This one is on Congress and the idiot Democrats.

I'm trying to think of another example of a fake conspiracy theory that led to war.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I have to go with the conclusions reached in the article referenced by Michael K. There is a good reason why those framing the Constitution gave the executive exclusive power over foreign affairs. This bill just reinforces the fact that 535 Congresscritters and 100 Senators are not equipped to conduct foreign affairs. I guess one of the critical questions that no one in Congress wanted to face was "what concrete evidence is there that Russia interfered with the US elections?". We have the very spurious report issued in January and that is about it. We have special counsels and innumerable Congressional committees looking into Russian interference for over a year and no concrete evidence.

Dealing with Putin is tough enough without having one's hands tied. Creating a situation that pushes the Europeans toward Russia is far from bright. Essentially what the Congress has done is create crisis where there was none. How long does McCain have to live?

Jim at said...

"Remind me, again, how trustworthy you Trumpkinses think the Russkies are."

That's rich ... coming from someone who supported the Soviet Union during the entire Cold War.

Brookzene said...

If these won't answer directly and congress chooses to override the president's veto, then at least we will know this is all BS.

I think Trump would have an embarrassing confrontation with his own cabinet should he try to implement your plan. Of course, he'd love to, except it wouldn't work out well for him.

Earnest Prole said...

What the heck do they do?

They're spies -- I thought everybody knew this.

Feste said...

“755 American diplomats would be expelled from Russia by Sept. 1...”

Putin dickin’ Trump.

More fresh meat for Mueller’s fireside chats.

Feste is an Aspiration. Colombo, a totem. Love taught me trust. Pain taught me wisdom. Recon, silence.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@Unknown at 2:02 There was always going to be an adversarial relationship between Trump and Putin regardless of your childish view of the matter.

Putin is just going to take advantage of this bill to strengthen his position at home. I am sure that privately he is thanking Congress for being such idiots. The people that are really concerned for economic, and security reasons, are the Europeans. How does this draconian measure help us in dealing with the Germans, or the Poles, or the Czechs etc., who have centuries old concerns about the Russians? It doesn't.

Congress has just removed the onus for bad things that happen in Europe from Trump and dumped it on themselves.

Joshua Barker said...

In case everyone missed it... I thought this was extremely eye-opening in regards to Putin and the type of corrupt mafioso he is...

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/07-26-17%20Browder%20Testimony.pdf?platform=hootsuite

Big Mike said...

Near the end of his administration I honestly believed that Barack Obama was trying to restart the Cold War. Looks like he succeeded in something after all.

Rigelsen said...

I'm among those who think that Trump was far too optimistic, and cavalier, about how Russian (and Putin's personal) interests could align with those of America. However, this sanctions regime is absolutely the wrong way to go about it. It pretty much means that we no longer have any leverage on Putin, as he will know that anything Trump might negotiate can have no benefit for him.

(Considering Senate rules, and longstanding Democratic Senatorial practice, how likely is it that Trump will be able to get 8-10 Democratic Senators to put the interests of the country above their partisan interests? More importantly, how likely would Putin think this to be the case to risk giving in on anything?)

This also tells most of Western Europe, who admittedly rely far too much on Russian natural gas, to go f**k themselves. Amazing two-fer, am I right?

Bay Area Guy said...

@ Buwuya,

"Roosevelt's sanctions against Japan worked just as well as he hoped; he was trying to get the US into a world war, and he did.

The Japanese successes, and appetite for conquest, were just a bit more than were anticipated.

Btw, the Philippines were considered expendable, an anticipated loss, and had been for decades."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I buy this. People forget that in 1939, the Soviets had a major skirmish against the Japanese at Khalkhin Gol. If that skirmish goes sideways, Japan fights West against the Commies, not East against us at Pearl Harbor.

The Soviets dreaded a two-front war (Germany & Japan) too.

All the death and destruction in the Pacific Theater was a ruse to for us to join the fray in Europe.

Unknown said...

The Russians are as trustworthy as it is in their interest to be, that is, no less so than the Americans. Look at the US, honestly, through foreign eyes, and you will see what I mean. The only difference is in the nature of their interests.

Lord Palmerston to the contrary, I think France is the only Western nation that still attempts to defend its interests. And even *that* doesn't work because the French elite has completely mis-identified those interests for a generation or more.

Sebastian said...

The Russians aren't any worse now than they were 9 years ago, when O and Hill screwed the Poles to hit the reset, or than they were 5 years ago when O ridiculed Mitt for treating them as an adversary, or just last fall, when the O admin "set about redrawing its relationship with Russia." The only thing that has changed is absurd hysteria about election hacking.

Look, I am a barely reconstructed neocon who thinks we should stand up agains the bad guys and help the good guys, and even use a little pressure to persuade bad guys to be better, but this is ridiculous. While the sanctions will annoy the Russians, the bankruptcy of US policymaking must hearten them: the way the establishment goes crazy over phantom collusion, the way it pursues domestic political interest without any concern for the country's longterm well-being, and the way Congress undermines the president so that no one will have reason to deal seriously with the US, regardless of what the administration wants to do.

Feste said...

Putin’s got it figured. Gaming. Numbers.

Memo to The Don:

“Suck my Koch. Enjoy your Sleepytime Tea. Don’t let your bone spurs flare, because you're already hobbled enough.”

Done with this bipartite show - little bit of Donny and a little bit Marie (Antionette).

Let Bloomberg channel his inner Perot. He doesn’t need to win. Just drain the current swamp.

Feste said...
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tcrosse said...

We need the Brilliant Diplomacy of John Kerry in these troubled times. I'm told he can sing Kumbaya without consulting a song-sheet.

Birkel said...

A pocket veto would serve Trump best.
This fiasco can assert itself but Trump should have no ownership of this catastrophe.

Big Mike said...

I agree with Birkel.

David said...

Putin is interfering in elections again. This is a message to American and European voters. For the Euros, tell your leaders that they should not support sanctions. Otherwise I do stuff to you too. Bad stuff. For the Americans, it's that we don't respect you. We don't respect your leaders, executive and congressional, and we do not fear you. You are so disorganized and contentious internally that you can not oppose us.

The final step is going to be to try to destroy the credibility of Nato by making a military move that Nato will not oppose, and the European governments will acquiesce in. It .won't be that the Americans will not step up to oppose whatever action Putin decides on. It will be that the Europeans will not want the Americans to act.

Putin is a thug. But geopolitically he is quite a clever thug.

The strongest country in the world is in a weak position. It takes a long series of fuck ups to get to that spot.

David said...

Feste, when do you have to select a major? Do you have any idea what subject you will chose?

Feste said...

Nobody can have just one. True majors select us. Love intrinsically pays attentions.

Achilles said...

7/30/17, 4:00 PM
Blogger Birkel said...
"A pocket veto would serve Trump best.
This fiasco can assert itself but Trump should have no ownership of this catastrophe."

Agreed.

He should let this hang around the uniparty's kneck just like Obamacare.

Remember when Trump was going to be stupid and start all those trade wars? The uniparty is acting like petulant little shitheads. They need to be wiped out.

TWW said...

"Coincidentally, the CIA announced today that it is laying off 755 agents based primarily in Eastern Europe."

Fabi said...

TWW for a thread winner!

Trumpit said...

Trump should tweet, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

http://brothersjuddblog.com/archives/2005/08/it_still_goes_over_their_heads_1.html

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

That's rich ... coming from someone who supported the Soviet Union during the entire Cold War.

I wasn't even 18 when it and that country and non-conflict ended, you treasonous desperate McCarthyite piece of shit, but feel free to keep throwing stuff at the wall and seeing how much of it won't stick. You're a worse scattershot than Mr. Fuckin' Magoo. Adjust your glasses, you blind Kremlin-based COCK-SUCKER.

Robert Cook said...

"Blogger Diogenes of Sinope said...
Our dim witted politicians should be worrying about the insane people who want to kill us, North Korea and Iran."


What indication has Iran given (ever) that it wants to kill us?

Robert Cook said...

"755?! How many do we in Russia in total? What the heck do they do?"

A lot of them are probably CIA spies.

EDH said...

Robert Cook said...

What indication has Iran given (ever) that it wants to kill us?

The chants of "Death to America"?

Fabi said...

Some poor customer is going to get some "special sauce" on their Big Mac tonight!

Big Mike said...

Cookie needs to go see the movie "Argo."

Michael K said...

"What indication has Iran given (ever) that it wants to kill us?"

Too late EDH has it,.

Poor Cookie. The world is a mystery.

Gk1 said...

Its funny how the liberals are always so solicitous of Euro concerns when it comes to criticizing republican presidents but don't seem to give a flip that to a country the Euros think these sanctions are a terrible idea. What is the constant in this equation again?

Drago said...

TTR: "...you treasonous desperate McCarthyite piece of shit..."

That little bit right there is funny on so many levels.

eric said...

Does anyone remember how I've been saying that Trump will be blamed for the coming stock market crash?

This thread is more evidence of that. The house voted overwhelmingly to pass sanctions against Russia. There were only 3 no votes! And yet this is being blamed on Trump.

Unbelievable.

Drago said...

GK1: "What is the constant in this equation again?"

The constant is that for the left history begins anew each day. Nothing that happened before matters. All that does matter is what must happen today and tomorrow to advance the lefts interests.

If that means applauding Chavez for insulting Bush at the United Nations, so be it. If it means a few years later when Venezuela is suffering under the "full Chavez" that the left pretend it doesn't exist or that they ever supported a regime that is literally murdering its own citizens in the streets, so be it.

The Soviets used to airbrush their photos and revise their texts almost daily, all to the applause of the international left. It was only a matter of time before the left and their tactics reached full flower on our shores.

Birkel said...

TTR thinks his youth and inexperience excuse his incomprehension. Is TTR the reincarnation of Walter Mondale?

Achilles said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...

"What indication has Iran given (ever) that it wants to kill us?"

One of my friends was a striker driver. He has a slug from an EFP made in Iran that went right behind him, cut his SAW in half, and lodged itself in the engine block.

I have another friend who is missing a leg and a soldier next to him died from another.

Other than that they have several elected officials that have made it clear they want to nuke the US at the first opportunity and destroy the great satan

FullMoon said...
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Birkel said...
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buwaya said...

Ritmo, you are over 40?

!!!!!

You have so much to fix, and so little time.

Big Mike said...

@Birkel, with respect my friend. Since "Pravda" is the he Russian word for truth and "Isvestia" is the Russian word for news, the joke is normally told that there is no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia.

Biotrekker said...

Why do we need 755 diplomats in Russia?

Achilles said...

Blogger eric said...
"Does anyone remember how I've been saying that Trump will be blamed for the coming stock market crash?"

Trump needs to get out in front of that. This has been teed up for years.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Ritmo, you are over 40?

!!!!!

You have so much to fix, and so little time.


Focus on your own kids instead of trying to parent adults.

I realize you want someone to control you and that you want to control others, but Americans are not like that.

Maybe you can apply for a position in Duterte's government. Kill whoever disappoints you, or whatever.

FullMoon said...
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Dude1394 said...

Good lord our political class are absolutely clueless. Trump is such fresh air that it's unbelievable.

Hagar said...

I think I remenber reading that we built an embassy compound to house 16,000 in Baghdad.

Drago said...

Achilles: "Trump needs to get out in front of that. This has been teed up for years."

Indeed.

3 interest rate raises by Yellen in just 8 months (and all after Trump was elected) and never over .5% under obama's entire tenure (even though the dems are screaming that obama "saved" us all).

Already at 1.25% under Trump with Yellen saying more on the way, despite inflation being under control. I would expect Yellen to squeeze further up to 2% before the year is out since pulling a "Volcker" might help ensure the economy slows down enough for the dems to use it in 2018.

So, to review, the economy under obama just 9 months ago (and for the previous 8 years) required an interest rate near zero.

Just 14 months later we will be at 2% 'cuz "reasons" (wink wink).

Crazy Jane said...

And we are supposed that all the Russian attaches at embassies in the US are just a bunch of high-minded public servants?

Let the Kabuki theater proceed. Send some apparatchiks back to Moscow.

Big deal.

Gk1 said...

Remember this old nugget from the 2004 presidential race?

HAMPTON, N.H. — Sen. John Kerry yesterday stood by the global test for pre-emptive action he described in last week’s presidential debate, and called President Bush’s attack on it a “pathetic” distortion.
“The test I was talking about is a test of legitimacy — not just in the globe, but elsewhere,” he said. “If you do things that are illegitimate in the eyes of other people, it’s very hard to get them to share the burden and risk with you."

So, do these unilateral sanctions against Russia meet this "global test"?

320Busdriver said...

Here's Putins bud Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic in his latest HBO interview(real sports).

"America is not really a strong enough state for us to regard it as an enemy of Russia. We have a strong government and are a nuclear superpower. Even if they completely destroy our government, our nuclear missiles will launch automatically. We will turn the whole world over to screw it from behind."

His people even tested the makeup that the journalist wore to make sure it was not a threat. I think he likes us. Gays, not so much.

TwoAndAHalfCents said...

755? Didn't realize Putin was a Hank Aaron fan.

Birkel said...

Big Mike,
I knew the joke and flubbed it. Guilty, am I.

Birkel said...

Drago,
The interest rate increases are necessary. They will be painful. But we cannot maintain zero percent rates and get any real economic growth. The current situation demands higher interest rates.

The fact is, the rates should have been higher throughout the entire Obama presidency.

Friedrich Engels' Barber said...

Blogger Biotrekker said...
Why do we need 755 diplomats in Russia?

Someone has to staff our 17 intelligence agencies spying on Russia.

Achilles said...

TTR Said...

"I realize you want someone to control you and that you want to control others, but Americans are not like that. "

TTR finally realizes that most Americans don't want the government in control of everything?

Amen.

mockturtle said...

Birkel says: The interest rate increases are necessary. They will be painful. But we cannot maintain zero percent rates and get any real economic growth. The current situation demands higher interest rates.

And it might be nice to make a little interest for a change. Remember CDs? What encouragement do people have nowadays to save?

Birkel said...

mockturtle,
Equally important for deciding which investments to undertake. How is risk allocated efficiently without interest rates above zero?

The Japanese List Decade that is 28 years old should not be our future.

Ray said...

Inflation is above 2%, it's a number that is highly politicized. Same with the unemployment rate. Housing prices are in a bubble. And lots of scary things going on with autos.

http://www.shadowstats.com/article/no-438-public-comment-on-inflation-measurement

I'm very happy that Trump's administration is focusing in positive ways on the economy, but has a lot of nasty challenges.

Achilles said...

Ray said...

"I'm very happy that Trump's administration is focusing in positive ways on the economy, but has a lot of nasty challenges."

Obama printed 1 trillion dollars a year and borrowed over 1 trillion dollars a year. 2 trillion dollars borrowed and printed every year is over 10% of GDP. Growth was under 2%.

Obama baked in a massive correction. They are going to try to blame it on Trump.

Joe said...

Does the 755 number include secretaries, assistants, clerks, etc.?

Bob Loblaw said...

Remind me, again, how trustworthy you Trumpkinses think the Russkies are.

We're not the ones trying to gin up Red Scare Part II, if that's what you're getting at.