The reason I cannot watch network news anymore is that they are obsessed over whether Secretary of State Tillerson called Trump a moron or not. It is a huge story.
Yesterday, Tillerson called a news conference. They carried on and on about how unusual it was for a Secretary of State to do such a thing. He called it mostly to scold them, yet they were too stupid to realize it. Despite media reports that the two do nothing but squabble and that he has had it up to here with the President's dumb ways, Tillerson said he has never even once thought about quitting, that he and the President get along just fine, that he regards him as smart and demanding of results, that he envisions foreign policy possibilities that no one else does.
(yeah but, yeah but...did you call him a moron or not?) 'Look, I don't come from this town [Washington], but where I come from we don't have time for such petty nonsense,' he answered. YEAH!
Incredibly, they are not chastened by this rebuke. ...'well...he didn't actually say that he didn't call him a moron, did he?'
He probably did, is my best guess. It is the realization that they think this is meaningful that takes your breath away. I cannot watch anymore, it has steadily decreased over the past few months. When you work closely with someone, he will do or say things that will nettle you sometimes, and you say in passing 'what did that moron do now?' for Trump does speak impulsively at times - sometimes I think it is by design to see these characters fall all over themselves 'fact-checking' things that everyone else realizes doesn't amount to a hill of beans. They truly think those things are significant in news-land? I have to go someplace where there are grown-ups.
For crying out loud, he used to run Exxon! He put that aside for what is the role of a lifetime for him, an area in which he thinks he can best bring his talents to bear - and he probably never imagined there would be such a role other than Exxon. How could anyone possibly be so juvenile as to imagine that he spends his days in cat-fights with the President? I've never seen anyone with less political ambition in my life.
You can't even watch the networks for disaster coverage anymore, something at which they were arguably good. All they can talk about is who did comforting and relief better: this President or the one before.
This piece is more political than I like to get, but it is not really political at all. It is a commentary on the media. What a bunch of children they have become.
By Guest Kurt
Rex Tillerson alongside Sergei Lavrov at the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bonn in February © Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images
11 Apr 2017
Reported abduction of 100 men in ‘gay purge’ in Chechnya and moves to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses are just latest in long line of abuses
Though recent developments in Syria are set to dominate US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first official visit to Moscow this week, Amnesty International is calling on him to use the opportunity to highlight the dire human rights situation inside Russia.
Secretary Tillerson is due to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for talks later today and tomorrow.
Amnesty pointed out that Russia has recently seen a disturbing new surge in political repression resulting from a raft of laws passed last year which further limit the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
More than 1,000 peaceful demonstrators were arrested in Moscow alone and hundreds were arrested in other cities on 26 March, following one of the largest protests held in Russia in recent years. Many protesters were fined by the courts or sentenced to several days of administrative detention. At least 14 journalists were arbitrarily detained during the rallies. Police also raided the offices of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, a civil society group, on the same day, and 12 staff members were later put behind bars by a court on spurious charges. At the end of last month, dozens of protesters were also jailed or fined by courts following a nationwide strike by Russian truck drivers.
Meanwhile, according to credible sources, over a hundred purportedly gay men in Russia’s Chechnya region have been rounded up, detained, tortured and even murdered in an apparently coordinated purge-like operation. These alarming abductions and killings follow a similar pattern to enforced disappearances which have been documented in hundreds of cases over the years in Chechnya and other republics in Russia’s North Caucasus. Virtually none of these have been effectively investigated.
More widely, many NGOs right across Russia which have been labelled as “foreign agents” have been facing harassment, and Valentina Cherevatenko, the founder and Chair of the Women of the Don Union, became the first person to be criminally prosecuted for violation of the “foreign agents law”. Meanwhile, following changes to the law last year banning any form of missionary activity outside of specially-designated places, the Ministry of Justice has requested that the national headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as all 395 of their regional organisations, should be declared an “extremist organisation” and shut down.
Sergei Nikitin, Director of Amnesty International’s Moscow office, said:
Mr Nikitin also voiced concern that Rex Tillerson may be unwilling to criticise Russia’s human rights record. He added: