Amulets, White Noise, and Trump Reality
The left (I refuse to call regressives "progressives") is finding it hard to deal with a reality in which the markets are up, unemployment is down, household income is rising, ISIS is being crushed, and Kim Jong-un is being lassoed.
Former NYT editor Jill Abramson probably reflects the paper's Upper West Side of Manhattan when she reveals she carries as an amulet (against the reality of a Trump presidency) – a little Obama doll in her purse – to comfort herself. "It's easy to look at what's happening in Washington, DC, and despair. That's why I carry a little plastic Obama doll in my purse. I pull him out every now and then to remind myself that the United States had a progressive, African-American president until very recently. Some people find this strange, but you have to take comfort where you can find it in Donald Trump's America."
Somehow, her former paper scoured the earth to find a method-actor pig-farmer in Athens, Ohio who has found another way to shut out reality and keep his worldview intact – he plugged his ears with white noise to cut out all news.
Jeffrey Satinover observes: "'He is as ignorant as a contemporary citizen could ever hope to be' states the author. But, no, that's not so. For this gentleman simply knows nothing where there is something to be known. Believing readers of the Times, however, and authors for the Times, they are far more ignorant than the know-nothings for they are chock full of beliefs that more often than not, and mostly on matters of great importance, are flatly false. It's not nearly so bad to say, 'I don't know if the earth is round or flat' as it is to be arrogantly certain that it's flat."
For the rest of us, this week's news shows how transformational the president is. Abramson, I suppose, will just have to clutch her doll more often, and the pig-farmer, like Rip van Winkle, eventually will awake from his self-induced slumber – in his case, to a world he could hardly imagine: a far more prosperous, orderly, peaceful place than the left-wing globalists have imposed for a couple of decades.
Russiagate Falls, FBI/DOJgate Rises
Lee Smith, no Trump fan, explains why the media are blindsiding the public on a nonexistent Russian collusion fairy tale.
[T]here is a growing consensus among reporters and thinkers on the left and right – especially those who know anything about Russia, the surveillance apparatus, and intelligence bureaucracy – that the Russiagate-collusion theory that was supposed to end Trump's presidency within six months has sprung more than a few holes. Worse, it has proved to be a cover for U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement bureaucracies to break the law, with what's left of the press gleefully going along for the ride. Where Watergate was a story about a crime that came to define an entire generation's oppositional attitude toward politicians and the country's elite, Russiagate, they argue, has proved itself to be the reverse: It is a device that the American elite is using to define itself against its enemies – the rest of the country.
He describes how the intelligence agencies leaks to complaisant reporters like Jane Mayer and Adam Entous were used by the intel-leakers to further their aims of bringing down the president:
According to British court documents, The New Yorker was one of the publications that former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele briefed in September 2016 on the findings in his now-notorious dossier. In a New Yorker profile of Steele this week – portraying the spy-for-corporate-hire as a patriotic hero and laundering his possible criminal activities – Jane Mayer explains that she was personally briefed by Steele during that time period.
The New Yorker has produced tons of Russiagate stories, including a small anthology of takes on the Mueller indictments alone. Of course, there's one by the recently-hired Adam Entous, the former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the news that the Washington firm Fusion GPS, which produced the Steele dossier, had been hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee – a story that helped Fusion GPS relieve some of the pressure congressional inquiries had put on the firm to release its bank records. No doubt Entous will continue to use his sources, whoever they are, to break more such stories at The New Yorker.
The media-intel collaboration began under Obama, and Entous hawked it and their cover story. Why would he bite the hands that fed him by revealing an unwarranted governmental intrusion on the privacy of Americans?
Methodically, Smith unravels how Entous was repeatedly used to tar Russia and the attorney general with lies or improperly unmasked information.
I cannot argue with his conclusion:
If you think Russiagate is real, then you will probably conclude that Sessions, Prince, and Page are all part of a single, monstrous criminal conspiracy – and that Adam Entous is one of the most important journalists in American history, an indefatigable shoe-leather reporter who helped whistleblowers inside the federal government put the truth before the American public, like Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and Neil Sheehan combined. If you think the collusion story is nonsense, then Entous is just a political operative with a convenient byline. And if you think Russiagate is a campaign of political warfare waged in the shadows by bureaucrats who violated the privacy of American citizens in order to undo election results they disagreed with, then Entous is something worse – an asset whom sectors of the intelligence community have come to rely on in order to manipulate the public.
In any event, this past week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions dropped a bombshell on the leakers and their media handmaidens. He announced that he had already appointed an "outside Department of Justice official" to investigate the charges brought by the House Intelligence Committee and the matters revealed by the ongoing inspector general's investigation of wrongdoing by DOJ and FBI officials.
Sessions added: "Also, I am well aware we have a responsibility to insure the integrity of the FISA process. We're not afraid to look at that. The inspector general, some think that our inspector general is not very strong, but he has almost 500 employees, most of which are lawyers and prosecutors, and they are looking at the FISA process. We must make sure that it's done properly, and we're going to do that. And I'll consider their request."
It's certainly likely that such familiar names to us as "Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Baker, Bill Priestap, Bruce Ohr and likely Nellie Ohr, have cut some kind of deal with the outside prosecutor for process leniency in exchange for cooperation with the IG and DOJ prosecutor," says my friend Rattler Gator. And I find that most probable.
If they are, the persons who pulled their strings are not likely to get a pass.
Speculation mounts online that this unprecedented corruption of the intel apparatus has a hidden motive: the Obama administration's collusion with the Iranian mullahs. Time will tell if that proves true. After all, as Lee Smith noted, the first evidence we have of this arose in connection with spying on those in Congress who opposed the Iranian deal.
It got worse when the Obama administration started spying on its domestic opponents during the Iran deal, when the Obama administration learned how far it could go in manipulating the foreign-intelligence surveillance apparatus for domestic political advantage. As Adam Entous, then of The Wall Street Journal, wrote in a December 2015 article, "the National Security Agency's targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.
I suspect that some evidence now in the hands of the I.G. and Sessions's appointed attorney has come from a friendly intel service (no – not the U.K., of course) that has the goods on Iranian collusion and is more than willing to share it.
Kim Jong-un Moves Away from Threats to Talks
If the Sessions announcement weren't enough, the report later in the week that Kim Jong-un and the president will meet to discuss denuclearization of North Korea caused, in Thomas Lipscomb's words, "a lot of wet floors in DC."
The usual news parrots grabbed their rolodexes to interview those responsible for Kim's nuclearization to warn the president that he is in dangerous waters and needs their expert advice to handle this.
The Obama administration's designated liar, Susan Rice, met with the Democrats' favorite TV propagandist, Andrea Mitchell, to issue – from her vast experience – a warning:
Former Obama administration official Susan Rice on Friday questioned President Donald Trump's ability to successfully execute a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and she warned an unsuccessful meeting could increase the risk of conflict.
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell – in response to an announcement that Trump will meet with Kim in the coming months – said to Rice that while the United States doesn't necessarily have a strategy for negotiations for an upcoming meeting, North Korea does.
"What is the downside, if there is this big-flags-waving, red carpet summit and then no results?" Mitchell asked the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser.
"I think it's very risky," Rice said. "It risks the president's credibility, the credibility of the United States, and worse still, I think it increases the risk of conflict if they go into something with very high expectations, poor preparation, and the president acting in his typically mercurial way."
"We could end up in a much worse place then we are today," Rice warned.
"Dilbert" creator Scott Adams had a lot of fun with CNN's response: "More Wolf Blitzer just called the North Korean breakthrough 'the other major story we're following.' #StormyCNN"
"If you aren't watching CNN pundits trying to explain how the worst president of all time is about to denuclearize North Korea in his sophomore year, you're missing the show of the year. #POTUS"
I agree with Stelian Onufrei, who tweeted the history of these savants on foreign affairs:
-Withdraws from TPP
-Virtually destroys ISIS
-Talks with NK to denuclearize
-Covertly gave Iran $1.7 billion
-Gave Russia control over US uranium production with Uranium One deal
-Gave up key US internet infrastructure to international body
...and Hale Razor on the Democrats' foreign establishment's demonstrated failure in reining in North Korea:
2009: ignoring N Korea is working
2010: " "
2011: " "
2012: " "
2013: underground test of 10 kiloton bomb
2014: ignoring is working
2015: " "
2016: underground test of 25 kiloton bomb
2017: ENGAGING N KOREA WILL KILL US ALL!
2018: Disarmament meeting
In fact, Trump has handled this masterfully, pressuring countries and companies not to deal with North Korea, strengthening Japan's will, bringing our forces into the area, encouraging the interdiction of supply ships to North Korea, and placing an already basket-case nation on the verge of collapse and its leader increasingly likely to be assassinated by his starving people.
The president tweeted: "The deal with North Korea is very much in the making and will be, if completed, a very good one for the World. Time and place to be determined." I believe him. Contrary to the claim that he goes into these things without careful planning and strategy, he seems to always scope out everything step by step to achieve his aims.
They laughed and said he couldn't get the nomination. He did. They never believed he would be elected. He was. They said his election would tank the market. It's risen substantially. They said his blunderbuss style would cause the world to blow up. Obama said the lost jobs would never come back. They have. It's more likely that the president will bring peace to the Middle East and Asia. (I hope you noticed Crown Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia sitting with Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Church in Egypt, under a painting of Christ – signaling that Christians in that part of the world were under his protection. Could you have ever imagined this under Clinton or Obama? Seriously?)
After ISIS and North Korea, I expect that the Iranians are next on the neuter list, and that has to scare the bejeebers out of those who've been peddling the Russiagate nonsense, which I think is in large part to hide their own collusion with the ayatollahs.
Trump and Tariffs
As for the claim that the tariff impositions on aluminum and steel will create more than an extra incentive for China to help rein in Kim, Mexico and Canada are already negotiating for exemptions from the tariff, and steelworkers and the AFL-CIO are hailing the move.
Lest you think the Democrats have no real plan to secure a blue wave at the midterms, they announced that if they win, they want to raise taxes when they retake Congress.
I suppose they also could steal another idea from the South African minister of finance, who says he'll end poverty by just printing more money. It worked so well in Zimbabwe and Venezuela.