In believing Putin on Russia collusion, Trump sides with enemy

first_imgIt is a striking declaration, a betrayal of American trust and interests that is almost treasonous in its own right.On Saturday aboard Air Force One, en route to Hanoi, Vietnam, Trump said of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s assault on our elections:“He just — every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe — I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he’s very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth.”Trump went on to call the fact that Russia interfered in our election an “artificial Democratic hit job” that would cause people to die in Syria because Putin’s hurt feelings about being called on his crimes would prevent him from making a deal to end the bloody conflict in that country.And he called former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John O. Brennan and former FBI Director James Comey “political hacks.”Trump was grasping at straws and throwing all of them into the air. Believe Putin. Care about his feelings. Blame domestic enemies. Undercut the investigation. Use helpless Syrians as a shield.This kind of turn-the-other-cheek diplomacy depends on American submission and an eventual Russian awakening to the moral failing of their assault, neither of which is going to happen. It depends on Putin having a heart and a guiding sense of morality, both of which are in question.John McCain rightly issued a blistering rebuke of Trump, writing in a statement:“There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community. … Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart.“To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”The truth here is that we are seeing in real time how the president’s personal paranoia impedes our national policy and our national interests.The uncomfortable fact here is that Trump is pursuing his own interest, not American interests.And, on the question of Russia attacking our elections, Trump and Putin’s interest align against the facts and against America. Again, like Neo dodging bullets in “The Matrix,” Trump bends over backward to dodge making this simple, factual statement: Russia attacked our elections when he was elected, and they must pay for their crime so that this never happens again.Trump won’t acknowledge the crime because Trump was the beneficiary of the crime.Trump won’t insult Russia because it may well be that he was installed by Russia. Trump is as much a Russian project as an American president.This means that he is compromised, in capacity and function, and that means that Trump’s fear of dishonor places the rest of us in danger of future attacks and exploitation. Trump is Putin’s dupe.Charles M. Blow is a columnist with The New York Times.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Editorial, OpinionConsider the strategic and historical magnitude of what “President” Donald Trump said last week:He said that he believed the intelligence conclusions of a nation hostile to this country — Russia — over the intelligence conclusions drawn by American agencies. That alone is beyond inexcusable. Trump is betraying this country by trying to curry favor with his new comrade.They both have an interest in casting doubt on whether Russia attacked our elections.Putin wants to be seen as innocent and Trump wants to be seen as legitimate, and neither is completely true.Let’s say this again, as a clear declaration: Russia attacked our elections. They stole emails that were published and broadcast ad nauseam. They created and distributed propaganda on social media designed to exacerbate our divisions, content that was seen by nearly half the country.We may never know precisely how all the Russian efforts influenced our elections — which of these might have influenced the vote of individuals or conversely turned other voters off of the process altogether so that they just stayed home — but saying that it had no effect defies logic and is indeed laughable.We don’t know if the Russian election meddling was dispositive, but we know that it was disruptive.On Sunday, Trump tried, pathetically, to take back the slap in the face he had delivered to this country and its intelligence agencies, saying of Putin: “I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I am with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with the leadership.”last_img read more

Choice for Alabama Senate seat is clear

first_imgThere’s quite a controversy over the upcoming elections in Alabama. We have a candidate who prosecuted the KKK. He is behind in the polls. We have another candidate whose stand against abortions seems to be outweighing the other issues.He has been removed from the bench twice and he pulled out a gun at a rally. However, nobody is all bad. Even Roy Moore has been publicly recognized for his strict adherence to driving really, really slow in a school zone.I may have omitted one “really.” Glenn GrayRotterdam  Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

New York needs to continue land bank support

first_imgA few weeks back in Schenectady, the Land Bank demolished Chubby’s, a blight on the Mont Pleasant neighborhood.This demolition will pave the way for a new county library branch.Just last week in the city of Amsterdam, three unsafe buildings that were a symbol of decay along the eastern gateway to downtown were demolished as well. Since 2012, the Capital Region Land Bank has worked to eliminate some of the worst examples of blight to help revitalize the neighborhoods we serve. We still have much work ahead of us. There are now 23 land banks throughout New York strengthening communities, revitalizing neighborhoods, supporting local economic development, creating more affordable housing, and improving the environment. To date, land banks have not cost taxpayers a dime. Categories: Editorial, OpinionEarlier this week, the Daily Gazette wrote about a long-vacant property in the Eastern Avenue neighborhood that the Capital Region Land Bank helped stabilize for a new life as an Italian bistro. All funding has been provided through the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who successfully won lawsuits and obtained settlements against financial institutions during the housing crisis.This funding was then deployed via a competitive process across the state to fight blight and help energize neighborhoods.This funding will run out at the end of 2018.   Other states have found ways to help their land banks continue to fight blight.Land banks across New York need ongoing support to address the vacant and abandoned property problem in our state.Plenty of work needs to be done to reverse decades of decline, restore communities, combat blight and improve neighborhoods.   Gov. Andrew Cuomo and our state legislators have all embraced the need to revitalize urban centers in upstate New York.center_img Land banks should be part of the answer in concert with other effective state policies and programs designed to support smart-growth cities.   Living next to a vacant or abandoned property — dealing with squatters, rodents and increased risk of fires — is emotionally draining and often results in surrounding homeowners delaying investments in their homes and neighborhoods. We have seen how positive land bank projects can be in Schenectady and Amsterdam.Neighbors greet us and often decide to make upgrades to their properties in concert with nearby land bank upgrades. This change in attitude is what has driven our progress. With the continued support of New York state we can continue to move forward.  Richard Ruzzo is the Chairman of the Capital Region Land Bank.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

America has a history of backing despots

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIn Vice President Pence’s address to one of the most right leaning organizations in this country, CPAC, one of the others being the NRA, he claimed, rightfully so, that the United States doesn’t stand with murderous dictatorships; we stand up to them, referring to North Korea. That’s certainly an admirable position. But by feeding these organizations the “red meat,” the Trump administration feels it needs to placate the base. We have neglected our history in dealing with and supporting despotic, tyrannical and murderous regimes. I don’t expect Donald Trump to have much interest or knowledge of history, so let me give a few examples of the rogue nations we have supported or turned a blind eye to because it suited our needs. First and foremost is Russia under Stalin, who had millions of his citizens sent to the gulag. How about Chile, where we had a democratically elected leader, Salvador Allende, removed in favor of a military dictator, Gen. Pinochet? Next, I might mention Iran, where we and the British installed Shah Pahlavi in support of our and their oil needs. We all know how that turned out. I could go on, but on the chance Mr. Trump reads The Gazette, I wanted to keep this within his intellectual capacity to absorb.James BrodieSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcySchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musiclast_img read more

C&C to pull out of Australia

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Planning: need for new, sustainable communities

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When the West was One

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Developers to pounce as RBS offloads properties

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A dog’s life in Hackney

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Journey to outer space

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