Did you see Roger Cohen in the New York Times last week, r-if-fing on Rudyard Kipling? “If this is America, with a cabinet of terrorized toadies genuflecting to the Great Leader . . .

A must read.

Thursday I offered The DEMOCRATIC Tax Plan and Friday, The Spirit of Christmas.  That one, otherwise filled with tinsel and sugar plums, ended on a somewhat sober note.

. . . My faith in that spirit, and in America, lead me to believe “this too shall pass” and we will regain our footing.  But it’s not guaranteed.  Democracy did not last forever in Greece or Rome; nor in parts of Europe in the first half of the last century.  And it lasted in Russia for about five minutes, subverted by Putin, who is now well on his way to successfully subverting ours.

Yet like the honey badger, Trump — he don’t care.

You will be forgiven if you didn’t click all 11 links in that column (though I trust you at least wept at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol?).

But that last link, to the Washington Post — about Russia’s attack and Trump not caring — is worth expanding:

Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked

By Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe and Philip Rucker
Dec. 14, 2017

. . . Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House.

The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president — and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality — have impaired the government’s response to a national security threat. . . .

Rather than search for ways to deter Kremlin attacks or safeguard U.S. elections, Trump has waged his own campaign to discredit the case that Russia poses any threat and he has resisted or attempted to roll back efforts to hold Moscow to account.

. . . This account of the Trump administration’s reaction to Russia’s interference and policies toward Moscow is based on interviews with more than 50 current and former U.S. officials, many of whom had senior roles in the Trump campaign and transition team or have been in high-level positions at the White House or at national security agencies. Most agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the subject. . . .

. . . Michael V. Hayden, who served as CIA director under President George W. Bush, has described the Russian interference as the political equivalent of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, an event that exposed a previously unimagined vulnerability and required a unified American response.

. . . The feeble American response has registered with the Kremlin.

. . . “Putin has to believe this was the most successful intelligence operation in the history of Russian or Soviet intelligence,” said Andrew Weiss, a former adviser on Russia in the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations who is now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “It has driven the American political system into a crisis that will last years.”

. . . U.S. officials declined to discuss whether the stream of recent intelligence on Russia has been shared with Trump. Current and former officials said that his daily intelligence update — known as the president’s daily brief, or PDB — is often structured to avoid upsetting him.

There’s so much more to it.  If this thus-far successful threat to our way of life interests you, I urge you to read the whole thing.



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