White House announces Russian sanctions.

Can he do that without Congress? Cause I’m pretty sure Congress, including most Republicans–okay, some Republicans–wouldn’t go along with it.

Dunno about this one, creating huge new national monuments seems to be pretty much SOP for lame-duck presidents these days.

Clinton did the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and the Agua Fria National Monument in Arizona and the California Coastal National Monument in January 2000. Bush designated the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (largest marine reserve in the world) in June 2006.

Sure, he can. Obama put the sanctions on without Congress. Trump can take them off without Congress.

Unfortunately, credibility is not meaningful anymore.

in two years time, after Trump’s “policies” have led to a complete clusterfuck, Trump will merely have to spew out a tweet that blames Obama, and his people will eat it up with a spoon.

It does not have to have an iota of truth, or any factual basis whatsoever; Fox news will repeat it verbatim as if it is completely true, Republican sycophants will fall over themselves to agree with it, and the usual suspects here will twist themselves in knots to give the tweet a covering of “truthiness”.

I do think that Obama and the intelligence community were also concerned about the reported lack of preparation Trump is showing by not attending the security briefings.

I see the latest as a “Mr. Trump, you better RTFM!!”

We are so fucked. Thank Og he has Kellyanne Conway to provide clear and unambiguous counsel to him. Nothing like one dippy blonde counseling another about things they don’t comprehend.

Democracy benefits from an informed populace. Keeping people in the dark about the dodgy bullshit being done by the front-runner is not helpful, and neither is the effort to mislead people with lines like “Russia’s hacking the election”.

Obama sternly announces sanctions. Trump says it’s time to move on. Really what is the point of Obama’s posturings in the dying days of his Presidency? He must know that Trump can, and probably will, reverse them all. Obama is simply humiliating himself. It’s embarrassing to watch.

It’s news to me that America’s intelligence agencies are misleading people. Where did you get that notion?

I think your assessment is incorrect,.

Obama has put sanctions on Russia. When Trump reverses them while Russia is being investigated for manipulating our election, it will cost him political capital.

When Trump reverses the overtime provisions (assuming they get around the judge’s block) that causes him political capital.

When Trump craters the peace talks, it costs him capital.

Every little thing Obama can do that Trump has to undo makes Trump flake off supporters, and makes those on the edge about him teeter to dislike. It’s smart.

Why is that “almost certain”? What does Trump care?

Even if he did, why would anything Russia did suddenly be Trump’s fault? Besides, Russia is more likely to take action against US interests while the sanctions are in place than when they are not.

More to the point, though, if Obama is using sanctions against Russia in order to play a political gam against Trump, then that makes Obama worse than Trump in this instance. I, for one, don’t think Obama is worse than Trump. YMMV.

cos you know, he is President of the USA and it’s his job.

Are you in favour of leaders of other countries running amok because an 8-year President is leaving office soon?

Riiiigt: paging Colin Powell.
Has any evidence come forth in relation to this “hacking” or is it one of those GWB situations where they’d like to show you but just can’t?

Eh. Political tripwire for Trump.

The more stuff Trump ignores in favour of cultivating US - Russian relations (or Trump-Rubel relations) the deeper in it Trump’s going to be if Putin decides to emasculate him by pulling another stunt. Like another Crimea. Transnistria, maybe. (Moldova’s UN, but not NATO. So another middle finger to the international community while still not actually crossing any thick red lines.)

Since bizarrely the Dems are now the anti-Russia party in the US (when did that happen?), the deeper “Trump luuuvs Russia” is engrained in the electorate the greater the potential fall. It might not stick. There may be no fall. But there’s really no cost to Obama in heaping it on real thick so Trump can’t wiggle out of it, while he still can. So what the hell, right?

I expect the real deterrents are happening on another wavelength.

Inaguration Day is going to be embarrasing to watch. Trump is now open to being “updated on the facts”.

"President-elect Donald J. Trump edged away on Thursday from his dismissive stance on American assessments of Russian hacking, saying he would meet with intelligence officials next week “to be updated on the facts” after the Obama administration announced sanctions against Moscow. "


Russia doesn’t want to rule the world; however, it does want to feel secure in its ability to defend its political and economic interests. America’s behavior, with its meddling in the elections and political affairs of numerous other countries, its invasions or “interventions” in various parts of the world, and putting heavy military machinery on Russia’s doorstep has done little to allay Russia’s post-Cold War concerns that the US wants to dominate Russia the way it has attempted to dominate its other adversaries.

The United States foreign policy playbook has become pretty predictable – America encircles Russia and attempts to take control of Arab oil and Afghanistan pipelines while trying to break Iran and cut them out of the oil game altogether until they completely lay prostrate before the US. This situation will escalate and become dire until there is meaningful dialogue and discussion about what Russia really wants, which is not global empire, as you say, but absolute protection of its political and other interests.


I’m with Bo.
I think Obama is trolling Trump with this move. (And it’s awesome)

I love that Putin’s reaction is ‘yeah,whatever’.

IIRC, the Bush administration did the misleading, not the CIA, which you seem to acknowledge by mentioning Powell and not the CIA.

If you think Obama is deliberately misleading everyone, there’s this from WaPo:

“FBI in agreement with CIA that Russia aimed to help Trump win White House”