By Robert A. Vella

If the weight of circumstantial evidence can tell us anything, it tells us that something fishy is going on between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Republican Party leaders in the U.S.  And, it is precisely that stench Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating.  After scores of criminal convictions and guilty pleas, Mueller is now focusing on longtime GOP dirty trickster and former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone as a central figure in his deepening collusion probe.  President Trump vented his mounting anger towards Mueller again today because he fears the worst for himself, his family, and his closest associates.  Stone, who is also under investigation for witness tampering, is the subject of new damaging details regarding his prior knowledge of the WikiLeaks release of hacked Democratic National Committee (DNC) data before the 2016 presidential election.

Unless Trump can successfully stop the Mueller investigation, the factual evidence will come out and more high-profile individuals will be indicted and possibly convicted.  Trump’s recently appointed interim Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is key to his ability to stifle Mueller, but Whitaker himself is now under criminal investigation for his participation in a fraudulent business venture.  Also, retiring Republican senator Jeff Flake – who is rumored to be interested in running for president as an independent in 2020 – is threatening to hold up all GOP judicial appointments unless Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allows a vote on a bipartisan bill to protect the Mueller investigation from political interference.

Regardless, let’s get back to the fishy circumstantial evidence between Russia and Republicans.  Trump and GOP leaders have been making unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in Florida and in other tight races following last week’s midterm elections which were largely won by the Democratic Party.  And, such false allegations are not new.  Just before the 2016 election, Trump asserted that if he lost the presidential contest to Hillary Clinton it would be the result of voter fraud and a “rigged system.”  But, how does Russia fit into this?  It has since been discovered that Putin has been pursuing a strategy to undermine American democracy by instilling distrust among the populace.  If Americans can be made to question the integrity of the democratic process, then its people would be more amenable to the kind of authoritarian and oligarchical government Putin both favors and has implemented himself.  However, Putin’s plan could achieve little without political allies in the U.S.  Circumstantially, at  least, Trump and the GOP leadership appear to be fulfilling that need most eagerly.

Whether this constitutes a genuine conspiracy or simply a coincidence of like-minded interests is irrelevant as a practical matter because the outcome would still be the same.  And, to illustrate how encompassing this relationship between Russia and Republicans is, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are now involved (see also:  Facebook’s Zuckerberg denies company ignored signs of Russian meddling).

In Florida, where vote recounts met or didn’t meet a deadline today, controversy continues to surround the rejecting of ballots based on “mismatched” signatures including the ballot of former U.S. congressman Patrick Murphy who is – not surprisingly – a Democrat.

Remember all that news media coverage of the “invading” migrant caravan of asylum seekers before the midterms?  Well, now that the elections are over, coverage of that story has dwindled to a trickle even though the first few migrants have arrived at the U.S. border!

Finally, despite President Trump’s vicious attacks on California now suffering from the deadliest series of wildfires in its history, Governor Jerry Brown has acknowledged that federal aid has indeed been pledged.

10 thoughts on “Topic of the Day: Russia and the Republicans (and other news)

  1. John Zande; you are right, something is coming. 1. The cost of storms and fires is highly likely to increase in 2019 and every following year. 2. Migration is also very like to increase next year and every year thereafter. 3. Adding to climate change enhancement of 1. and 2. and rising sea-level, important natural resources (water, soil, timber) will soon peak and begin to decline. Of course, nothing new here, we’ve known what to expect for decades. Here’s a comment on an early analysis of global population, resources, and trends: https://garryrogers.com/2014/09/03/limits-to-growth.

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