The Wall Street Journal’s influential editorial board is known for being hard on presidents … OK, just the even-numbered ones, in recent years. That would be Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The bible of American finance — whose conservative editorial writers never met a corporate tax cut they didn’t like, or a Democrat that they did — could be ruthless toward the 42nd and 44th presidents, even encouraging some of the loopier conspiracy theories of the Whitewater era.
That’s why it was so jarring last week to see the Rupert Murdoch-owned broadsheet publish an editorial stating, “We cannot recall a more absurd misstatement of history by an American President” — when that president is a Republican, Donald Trump. The WSJ — which maybe isn’t as pro-Trump as that diner in southern Ohio that the New York Times has reported from 6,784 times now, but which generally likes POTUS 45 as long as he’s reducing marginal tax rates or dropping napalm on the Environmental Protection Agency — ripped the current commander in chief in a piece headlined, “Trump’s Cracked Afghan History.”
Yes, it’s a little weird that an editorial board that was nonplussed (or sometimes mildly “concerned”) about Trump’s 7,000-plus other lies, firing of Jim Comey, shredding of the emoluments clause, etc., etc., would wig out about the president’s strange thoughts on an invasion exactly 40 years ago by a country, the USSR, that technically doesn’t exist. But anticommunism both was, and is, central to the Wall Street Journal brand. Let’s hear them out on this one.
The editorial bashed Trump for asserting that Leonid Brezhnev’s USSR was justified in 1979 when it invaded Afghanistan, a move that was so vehemently opposed by the U.S. government that Jimmy Carter imposed an Olympic boycott and reinstituted draft registration for 18-year-olds. That, the Journal argued, was “ridiculous, adding: “The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a defining event in the Cold War, making clear to all serious people the reality of the communist Kremlin’s threat.”
Here’s the thing. Trump says crazy stuff every day of his presidency. But the Journal was absolutely right to home in on the weirdness and disturbing nature of this particular statement. For one thing, it’s surprising that the usually assertively anti-intellectual Trump has deep — albeit historically incorrect — thoughts about foreign policy in the late ’70s and ’80s, the decade he was busy trying to promote Herschel Walker and bed Marla Maples. Second, not one other person on this side of the Atlantic Ocean holds that notion advanced by the president: that the USSR invasion of Afghanistan was justified or was about anything other than world domination.
But now here’s where it gets much, much weirder — and much more disturbing. Because it turns out there is one prominent set of voices who — just in the last few months — started making the argument that the USSR was right to send those troops into Afghanistan, an action that even Russian higher-ups have conceded even before the USSR’s 1991 collapse was a horrible mistake, politically and morally.
That would be Vladimir Putin and his allies in the Russian government.
It’s doubtful that either you or Donald J. Trump read this online Washington Post opinion piece from Dec. 4 that outlines an otherwise little-reported push by Russian lawmakers allied with Putin for a resolution that would justify their country’s 1979 invasion and reverse an 1989 vote backed by then-USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev that had condemned it. The Putinists’ goal is to pass the resolution by the 30th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal, in February.
OK, maybe it’s a coincidence that a babbling Trump — who certainly gives the appearance of saying whatever pops into his mind — just happened to make the same obscure argument as Putin’s minions halfway across the globe. But on Thursday night, I and a couple of other million folks saw a remarkable report by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that tied together some wild threads (for which she credited other journalists such as Vladimir Kara-Murza, author of that Post op-ed, and New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, as well as her own Steve Benen).
It turns out Trump’s bizarre, historically incorrect Afghanistan riff is part of a pattern in which either the president or his administration has mimicked obscure foreign-policy points linked directly to Putin and/or Russian intelligence ops, and to virtually no one else — certainly not anyone in the American diplomatic community.
The most bizarre such episode happened early in Trump’s presidency. When Mike Flynn — who would later plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his phone calls with Russia’s ambassador — was still Trump’s national security adviser in the first weeks of the new administration, there was this little noticed report from the AP.
“According to one U.S. official, national security aides have sought information about Polish incursions in Belarus, an eyebrow-raising request because little evidence of such activities appears to exist,” the AP reported. “Poland is among the Eastern European nations worried about Trump’s friendlier tone on Russia.” Meanwhile, Putin’s interest in swallowing up Belarus — possibly using the fake “Polish incursions” as a pretext — has only intensified in the two years since the 45th president was sworn in.
Then there’s the strange matter of U.S. policy toward the tiny Balkan nation of Montenegro, which in 2017 became the first new member of NATO in a decade. A few weeks later, Trump caused a lot of head-scratching when he went on Fox News with Tucker Carlson and the president (echoed by Carlson) lashed out at the idea of defending his new NATO ally. “You know, Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people. … They are very aggressive people,” Trump said. “They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in World War III.”
Actually, when it comes to Montenegro, Trump was arguably the “aggressive” one — with the viral clip of POTUS shoving aside the Montenegrin prime minister at a summit meeting two months earlier. Most viewers watched the clip for a laugh. What’s not so funny is that Russian intelligence officers had been involved in a 2016 plot to assassinate Montenegro’s leader — so determined was Putin to prevent the expansion of NATO. A goal that seems to have been shared by the current president of the United States.
These obscure Putin-flavored U.S. maneuvers have happened amid the highly publicized probe by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is tasked with finding out if the Trump campaign somehow colluded with Russia’s spies as they sought to interfere with and alter the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Although arguably a strong case for collusion has already been revealed, we won’t know the full extent of what he’s uncovered until later this year. None of Team Trump’s arcane moves on Belarus, Montenegro or Afghanistan is conclusive proof of a vast Trump-Russia conspiracy, but …
There’s a famous scene in All the President’s Men where Robert Redford as Bob Woodward says: “If you go to bed at night and there is no snow on the ground, when you wake up there is snow on the ground, you can say it snowed during the night although you didn’t see it, right?” When it comes to U.S. policy toward Russia under Trump, we are waking up to find 6-foot snow drifts outside. Beyond the bizarre echoes of Belarus, Montenegro and Afghanistan, we’ve watched the White House kowtow to Team Putin every chance it gets, from leaving Syria to dropping sanctions on Paul Manafort’s favorite Russian oligarch.
Thursday’s Maddow report was so alarming because it revealed the deep extent to which Trump — at least on Russia policy — is acting as a kind of “Manchurian Candidate” inside America’s seat of power. We don’t know the mechanics of how the Trump administration is receiving and absorbing these ideas like “Polish incursions into Belarus” or “aggressive Montenegro,” but the fact that he’s parroting the Putin line should be alarming enough. It’s one more reason why the nightmare of the Trump presidency needs to end long before January 20, 2021.
Look, I don’t want to see another Cold War, nor do I believe that’s necessary. That said, even those of us who prefer peace to rampant militarism can see that Putin keeps testing the limits of European expansionism — the same kind of aggressive fantasies that brought disastrous consequences within the last century. Putin is also not as strong as he likes the world to think he is. His ambitions can be contained — but only with U.S. policies that support our democratic allies and not the Russian dictator. If we’re not careful on this one, America could wake up from a long slumber with snow up to the second-floor windows, and then congratulations, you’re in World War III.
Trump Admits He Killed Soleimani Because of Impeachment
Not that it comes as a surprise, but Donald Trump is admitting to his comrades that he killed Iranian General Soleimani because he felt pressure from GOP colleagues that would decide his impeachment trial.
The administration has made a slapdash case for why it chose to assassinate Soleimani, but the main arguments have been that he was planning to attack Americans within days, and that the US would always respond forcefully after US citizens were killed. In December, an Iranian-backed militia killed an American contractor in Iraq.
But the Wall Street Journal on Thursday night included an eye-popping tidbit in its story about how Trump came to green-light the Soleimani operation: “Mr. Trump, after the strike, told associates he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate, associates said.”
In a lengthy piece detailing how the president’s top advisers coalesced behind the strike on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Journal noted that Trump said he felt “under pressure” to satisfy senators who were pushing for stronger US action against Soleimani and who will run defense for him on impeachment.
One of Trump’s most outspoken supporters, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham was reportedly the only congressional lawmaker Trump briefed about his plan to assassinate Soleimani in the days leading up to the strike.
In other words, the president felt the need to shore up support from some unnamed Republican lawmakers ahead of his imminent Senate impeachment trial.
It’s important to note that the above passage is just a short paragraph in a much longer piece about the inner workings of the Trump administration’s Soleimani discussions. And so far there is no other evidence to suggest that Trump didn’t give the order mainly to deter Iran from threatening Americans, although it’s unclear just how “imminent” that threat truly was.
But if Trump did consider impeachment when opting to kill the Iranian general — even if for a moment — then this is quite the scandal. It would mean the president didn’t just have the interests of the nation or the world in mind when bringing the US and Iran to the brink of war, but also his own personal political interests.
More reporting is needed to see just how much impeachment weighed on Trump’s mind when he gave the order. At a minimum, though, the Wall Street Journal’s reporting calls into question the legality of Trump’s Soleimani strike and the true intention behind it. And at worst, Trump’s decision to kill a foreign leader — as much as he may have deserved his fate — partly for political gain, is arguably impeachable on its own.
What Drugs Are Donald Trump Taking and How Do They Affect Him?
New questions about Trump’s mental and physical health have been coming up lately in the mainstream news. Donald Trump isn’t known for having the healthiest eating habits. While we might not know everything about his health, his physician Dr. Harold N. Bornstein has revealed enough to guess how healthy the president might — or might not — really be.
From heart attack prevention pills to hair growth meds, these are the drugs Trump depends on daily — and what they might tell us about his health.
The problem with these drugs is that three of them have serious side effects on the brain: including creating confusion, memory loss and even issues with rage and anger.
1. Rosuvastatin for high cholesterol
As its name implies, the drug Rosuvastatin belongs to a specific class of medications called statins, which lower total and LDL blood cholesterol. It’s likely Trump takes this medication to reduce his cholesterol and prevent possible complications that might result from living with high cholesterol levels in his blood because of his addiction to fast food, including eating McDonalds almost daily. Side effects may include constipation, headache, nausea, stomach pain, weakness, Selenium and Coenzyme Q deficiency and muscle aches and pains. Other side effects may include memory loss or confusion, kidney or liver problems or very rarely a deadly breakdown of muscle.
2. An antibiotic for rosacea
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disorder. Some antibiotics (including tetracyclines) have both anti-inflammatory and antibiotic capacities. Low doses are normally used to provide more of an anti-inflammatory effect than an antibiotic (antibacterial) effect. Maximum anti-inflammatory effects appear to be achieved with doxycycline 40 mg capsules once daily. Tetracyclines (doxycycline and minocycline) have been the mainstay of treatment since the 1950s. Side effects of antibiotics may include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, bloating and indigestion, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. Some antibiotics may cause dysfunction in the kidney and result in mineral imbalances. It may be necessary to monitor mineral levels if antibiotic therapy is prescribed long term.
Aspirin (81 mg) is widely used to reduce heart attack risk. But how does it work? Simply, aspirin interferes with the body’s blood-clotting action. It reduces the clumping action of platelets (blood-clotting cells), thus preventing a heart attack. Aspirin may cause minor side effects. Side effects may include acid or sour stomach, anxiety, belching, dizziness, dry mouth, hyperventilation, irritability, shaking, stomach discomfort, trouble sleeping, unusual drowsiness, tiredness, weakness or feeling sluggish.
4. Propecia is used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. The condition is characterized by thinning of the hair on the scalp, which results in a receding hairline and/or balding on top of the head. The medication prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT may be responsible for the shrinking of the hair follicle and may inhibit a hormone called IGF-1 that helps with hair growth.
Side effects of Propecia may include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. The drug may also cause breast lumps, pain, nipple discharge and other breast changes, which may be signs of male breast cancer. Other side effects may include depression, impotence, loss of interest in sex, trouble having an orgasm, abnormal ejaculation, syncope, dizziness, weakness and headache.
Should note that he used to, and may still, be taking amphetamines, according to this report.
Are Stimulant Drugs Messing Up Trump’s Mind and Speech? Doctor Claims He’s on Drugs
I got a weird phone call after the Trump speech ended announcing the US Embasy Moving to Jerusalem, from a Psychiatrist in New York, who claimed that Donald Trump was taking Adderall and other psycho-stimulants. He didn’t want to have his name used, but he checked out as a Psychiatrist who had been working in Manhattan for over 20 years. He said that Trump had been taking all types of stimulants for years and it was one of the reasons that Trump was, according to him, suffering from Dementia, as it causes permanent brain damage.
He also claims this is why Trump slurred, “God Blesshh the United Shtakes” in his speech.
Well, according to the doctor, he was a “friend of” one of the Doctors who prescribed drugs to Donald Trump until he started to run for President.
This isn’t the first time someone had made this accusation. According to SpyMagazine “Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump has acted so erratically at times, full of manic energy, paranoid, garrulous? Well, he was a patient of Dr. [Joseph] Greenberg’s from 1982 to 1985.”
Dr. Joseph Greenberg treated Trump from 1982 to 1985 for “metabolic imbalances‚” which is not a real medical disorder‚ but rather a fancy way of saying Trump wanted to burn fat.
The thing about Tenuate Dospan is that‚ due to its side effects‚ which include insomnia‚ confusion‚ and nervousness‚ it’s only supposed to be used for short time periods. So this makes what was written about Trump’s use of the drug seem alarming.
The diet drugs‚ which he took in pill form‚ not only curbed his appetite but gave him a feeling of euphoria and unlimited energy. The medical literature warned that some potentially dangerous side effects could result from long-term usage; they included anxiety‚ insomnia‚ and delusions of grandeur. According to several Trump Organization insiders‚ Donald exhibited all these ominous symptoms of diet drug abuse‚ and then some.
The brain damage caused by amphetamine use is still noticeable years later, say many experts.
In fact, users undergo similar brain chemical changes to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke or brain tumors.
The Doctor said that it was “obvious” that Trump has been popping speed of some sort, and this would explain his weird speech patterns, and even the “crashes” he seems to have where he starts slurring his words suddenly and has severe dry mouth.
When you watch Trump speak to a crowd, and pay attention to his mannerisms and speech patterns, he certainly fits the bill for what you would expect from someone who is consuming pharmaceuticals.
- Trump Admits He Killed Soleimani Because of Impeachment
- What Drugs Are Donald Trump Taking and How Do They Affect Him?
- Are Stimulant Drugs Messing Up Trump’s Mind and Speech? Doctor Claims He’s on Drugs
- Twitter Removes 88,000 Fake Accounts Tied to Saudi Intelligence Service
- Trump Attacks Largest Christian Publication in USA as “Radical Left.”