Trump and Russia, Sittin in a Tree…..

I don’t have time to write a full post on this right now – too much going on at the convention – so here are some bullets for you on what promises to become one of the weirdest and yet potentially most important subplots of the election:

If you don’t have time to read them all, go for the ones in bold.

UPDATE: And now POTUS has weighed in. Kevin Drum considers the implications and find Trump’s “I have ZERO investments in Russia” totally lacking. The point isn’t that Trump invests in Russia; its that Russia invests in Trump:

The evasiveness of this answer is pretty obvious. Nobody cares all that much if Trump has business in Russia, they care whether Russian money funds his business here—which might explain why he’s so friendly to Russian interests. He has very carefully avoided answering that question. That’s a bad sign since he would normally just lie about it. He must know that evidence of his reliance on Russian money is out there. Trump’s tax returns would tell us the answer, of course, but Trump has declined to release them, unlike every other presidential candidate of the past few decades. Maybe now we know why.  

UPDATE II: NYT just in: Spy Agency Consensus Grows That Russia Hacked DNC


We Don’t Win Anymore

It’s a few days old, but in case you missed it:

In the latest setbacks for the militants on Thursday, Syrian government troops entered the outskirts of the historic town of Palmyra after a weeks-old offensive aided by Russian airstrikes, and U.S. airstrikes helped Iraqi forces overrun a string of Islamic State villages in northern Iraq that had been threatening a U.S. base nearby.

These are just two of the many fronts in both countries where the militants are being squeezed, stretched and pushed back.­Nowhere are they on the attack. They have not embarked on a successful offensive in nearly nine months. Their leaders are dying in U.S. strikes at the rate of one every three days, inhibiting their ability to launch attacks, according to U.S. military officials.

Front-line commanders no longer speak of a scarily formidable foe but of Islamic State defenses that crumble within days and fighters who flee at the first sign they are under attack.