Monday, December 25, 2017

Last Call For Putin On A Puppet Show

Meanwhile, Trump's good friend Vladimir is making sure there are no surprises in store for him just in case the US decides to return the favor from 2016 as far as election meddling goes: it's hard to lose an election when you're basically the only candidate.

Russian election officials on Monday formally barred Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running for president
, prompting calls from him for a boycott of next year’s vote.

The Central Election Commission decided unanimously that the anti-corruption crusader isn’t eligible to run.

Navalny is implicitly barred from running for office because of a conviction in a fraud case which has been viewed as political retribution. He could have run if he was given a special dispensation or if his conviction was cancelled.

Incumbent Vladimir Putin is running for a fourth term in office and is widely expected to win the March 18 election.

Over the past year, Navalny has mounted a grassroots campaign which reached out to the most remote corners of Putin’s heartland.

Navalny is the most serious challenger that Putin has faced in all his years in power, and the court cases against him have been viewed as a tool to keep him from running for office.

In a pre-recorded messaged that was released minutes after the Election Commission handed down the decision, Navalny called on his supporters to boycott the vote.

“The procedure that we’re invited to take part is not an election,” he said. “Only Putin and the candidates he has hand-picked are taking part in it.”

“Going to the polls right now is to vote for lies and corruption.”

You'd better believe Trump is taking notes.  Putin convicted and jailed Navalny on a bogus "fraud" charge and now all the guesswork has been taken out of the elevtion in March.  I guarantee you that Trump is asking if "his" Justice Department can't find a charge to hang on some Democrats to keep them from running.

Those "Lock her up!" chants aren't just for show, guys.

Heart Of Coal

The Trump regime is cutting the UN budget by $300 million for 2018 because really, Trump is a terrible landlord.

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations announced Sunday that it negotiated a major reduction in the U.N.’s budget for the upcoming fiscal years.

According to a statement from the mission, the 2018-2019 U.N. budget will have a $285 million reduction from the previous two years.

“In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U.S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system,” the statement reads.

One of the Trump administration’s goals has been to reduce the amount of contributions that the U.S. makes to the U.N. The U.S. currently provides for about 22 percent of the annual budget, or about $3.3 billion per year, according to PolitiFact.

The U.N. General Assembly previously approved a $5.4 billion operating budget for 2016 and 2017. The regular budget is separate from the body's budget for its sprawling peacekeeping operations, which totaled $7.8 billion for 2017 alone.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the budget cut announced Sunday is a “big step in the right direction” for the U.S., and that she will continue to pursue “ways to increase the UN’s efficiency‎ while protecting our interests."

“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known,” Haley said. “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked. This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN – is a big step in the right direction.”
Conservatives have long criticized the U.N. as not being in the U.S.’s interests, and many have amplified their concerns after the global body overwhelmingly voted for a resolution last week to oppose President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

No doubt in my mind that this happened in retaliation for last week's vote, but this is the American leadership this country chose to elect out of racism, hatred, and fear. And note Haley's words that this is only a step: more cuts are coming, I guarantee it.

Merry Christmas!

I have the flu unfortunately, but I have some time to take care of myself.

Limited posting this week, but I'll have my predictions for 2018 up soon.

Have a good holiday season and thanks for being with me another year!
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