And now a few words from Noam Chomsky on the subject of the alleged “Quid pro quo” between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump:
“(Quid pro quo)… Of what? The ‘quid pro quo’ is that he’s increased military action on the Russian border? He’s created a huge military expansion — of the military budget aimed at Russia. He’s pulled out of the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) treaty, which is a major threat to Russia. What’s the ‘quid pro quo?’”
“There’s been a focus on (what I believe are) marginalia… Take, say, the huge issue of interference in our pristine elections. Did the Russians interfere in our elections? An issue of overwhelming concern in the media. In most of the world, it’s almost a joke. First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts — weighs in the balance — as compared with what another state does… openly, brazenly, and with enormous support: Israeli intervention in U.S. elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done.”
“If you’re concerned with our elections and how they operate and how they relate to what’s happened to a democratic society, then taking a look at ‘Russian hacking’ is absolutely the wrong place to look.”
Chomsky, once more:
“For a long period, way back, U.S. elections have been pretty much bought. You can predict the outcome of a presidential or congressional election with remarkable precision simply by looking at campaign spending.”
* * * * *
Now, here’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Glenn Greenwald, debating David Cay Johnston on this morning’s DemocracyNow! program:
“And as for him being a Russian asset, it’s so irresponsible to say that, because the reality is that the conflict between the U.S. and the Russians are at a worse and higher level than they’ve been in many years, probably decades.
“How can you say Donald Trump is a stooge of the Kremlin when he’s right now trying to remove one of Vladimir Putin’s client regime states in Venezuela? Or when he’s trying to bully Angela Merkel out of buying Russian natural gas, probably the thing that’s most important to the Russian economy? Or when he sold lethal arms to the Ukrainians, something Obama refused to do on the grounds that it would be provocative to Russia? Or when he bombed Putin’s client state in Syria? Over and over, the Trump administration has taken actions far more adverse and aggressive and belligerent to the Russians than the Obama administration did. That’s why this whole narrative that Trump all along was being blackmailed by Putin, that he’s an asset of Russian intelligence, this is idiocy. It is completely irrational. It is contrary to all facts.
“And Bob Mueller’s investigation, who spent 22 months examining that core question—what is the relationship between Trump and the Russians?—concluded that there is no relationship. It’s time to stop these dangerous conspiracy theories that are ratcheting up tensions between the two most dangerous countries on the planet. The reality is, the Trump administration has been constantly belligerent to Putin, has constantly acted adverse to the Kremlin’s interests, and there’s zero basis for thinking or believing or finding evidence to assert that Trump in any way is beholden to Vladimir Putin and to Russia. The whole thing has been a joke and a fairy tale from the start.”
[I guess Trump must be one of those demon-possessed varieties of “puppet” -- like if “Lamb Chop” suddenly butchered Shari Lewis and covered her with mint jelly... or if “Howdy Doody” suddenly took a hacksaw to “Buffalo Bob” and roasted him on a spit. But one can never be belligerent enough for today’s xenophobic “liberals” -- everywhere they look, they see the bristly paw of the Russian Bear... and not even a shadow -- not ever -- of the domestic oligarchs who’ve degraded our elections to the point that they are the most corrupt in the Western world, per a 2016 Harvard University/University of Sydney study. (But what do those academic pinheads know? They don’t even mention the Russkies once! All they talk about is massive voter disenfranchisement, unaccountable dark money, and hackable, unauditable voting machines that produce results which would trigger an automatic recount in most of the civilized world... What a half-baked, peer-reviewed “conspiracy theory!”)]