Seeing Some Trees in the Forest of Babble

The hypnotic babble of the media beguiles otherwise intelligent people into believing that Russia colluded with President Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton, that Trump forced Ukraine into investigating Hunter Biden and did something, we can’t say what, to be impeached, and that thousands of poor Kurds are being displaced because we pulled some hundreds of our troops from the Syrian-Turkish border. Rational, fact-based analysis shows all this to be untrue, but breaking through this hazy thinking is not an easy task. Maybe because that’s the true aim: eradicating reason totally. In chaos the most nutty rule.

I’m far from home in Hawaii this week and worried how -- given the time difference and circumstances -- I’d be able to report on the inspector general’s report on the origins of the “Russian Collusion” fandango. News accounts earlier this week indicated it would finally be released this Friday. We are now told that it may be another two weeks before we see it. Most explanations are that the agencies involved in the illegal snooping are warring about the content. (As you may recall, they softened the summary findings in the first one, which were at times at variance with the Horowitz specific findings, particularly on the effect of the bias of the investigators.) I think otherwise. I think it was delayed because of newly acquired information obtained by Attorney General William Barr and Prosecutor John Durham.

Crossfire Hurricane

Most particularly, the two men recently returned from Italy where they met with the mysterious “Maltese professor” Joseph Mifsud and obtained from him two BlackBerrys. I believe that Mifsud was working with the coup plotters to set up a pretext for the spy operation and, if so, the BlackBerrys apparently given to him by them should prove the case. (We learned of their existence and the Justice Department’s obtaining them in a motion filed by Lt. General Michael Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, demanding the data in them in the discovery process.)

Mr. Mifsud, a university professor and well-traveled lecturer, told George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, in London in April 2016 that Moscow owned thousands of Hillary Clinton emails. When the news reached the FBI in July, agent Peter Strzok initiated the probe. The FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller have always contended that Mr. Mifsud was a Russian asset. Mr. Mueller’s final report made no mention of the numerous associations Mr. Mifsud maintained with Western diplomats and intelligence figures.

Mr. Papadopoulos contends Mr. Mifsud was a Western agent sent to entrap him.[snip] The motion says: “Michael T. Flynn requests the government be ordered to produce evidence that has only recently come into its possession… This information is material, exculpatory, and relevant to the defense of Mr. Flynn, and specifically to the “OCONUS LURES” and agents that western intelligence tasked against him likely as early as 2014 to arrange -- unbeknownst to him --‘connections’ with certain Russians that they would then use against him in their false claims. The phones were used by Mr. Joseph Mifsud.”

“OCONUS LURES” is an FBI acronym for an operation to lure a person back to the U.S.

Information from Ukraine

It is also possible that the report is weighing information from Ukraine, which the prior administration blocked from transmission to the Congress and Department of Justice.

Much fuss was made over White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s remarks to the effect that the administration (unknown to Ukraine) had been withholding funds (briefly) until persuaded that it was investigating possible interference in the 2016 presidential election.

After the press misreported that he’d conceded there had been a quid pro quo, he responded:  

“Once again the media has decided to misconstrue my comment to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump. Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election. The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server. The only reasons we were holding money was because of concern about lack of support from other nations and concerns over corruption. Multiple times during the more-than 30 minute briefing where I took over 25 questions, I referred to President Trump’s interest in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, and ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly and appropriately. There never was any connection between the funds and the Ukrainians doing anything with the server -- this was made explicitly obvious by the fact that the aid money was delivered without any action on the part of the Ukrainians regarding the server. There never was any condition on the flow of aid related to the matter of the DNC server.”

Memories are apparently short, in any event. In September, the House of Representatives passed a bill imposing restrictions on transactions with Russia until it had been cleared of election interference. (In other words, the Democratic majority House demanded a quid pro quo.)

Syria

We heard a lot of jaw-flapping this week about the withdrawal of troops from the Syrian-Turkish border in a deal with Erdogan, who represents a country still part of NATO with whom we cannot engage in war. I’m inclined to agree with Scott Adams who tweeted: “Lately the criticism of Trump have devolved into nothing but new ways to say ‘THIS IS NON-STANDARD! NON-STANDARD, I SAY!”

Not only were the consequences overstated in my view, but also the media broadcasts are certain to repeat fake images of destruction at that border.

In response to one actual breach of the ceasefire at the border, the president in a series of tweets acknowledged it along with Erdogan’s apology:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Just spoke to President @RTErdogan of Turkey. He told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated. He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen. Too bad there wasn’t....

....this thinking years ago. Instead, it was always held together with very weak bandaids, & in an artificial manner. There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success. The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey....

....I have just been notified that some European Nations are now willing, for the first time, to take the ISIS Fighters that came from their nations. This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them. Anyway, big progress being made!!!!

Of course, there is some blatant hypocrisy in some critics’ responses. Our editor nailed Mitt Romney’s:

"Politician Mitt Romney has joined journalists like Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin in contradicting his previously-espoused positions when President Trump acts on them. Back in 2007 when he was running for president, Romney took to the pages of Foreign Affairs, the journal published by the Council on Foreign Relations, aka Globalism Central, to warn against the danger presented by unthinking American adherence to Kurdish nationalism."

I’m inclined to agree with Conrad Black’s take on the murky mess on the border, brought to us by the foreign-policy bumbling of Obama. He’s written a fine article, which I urge you to read in its entirety. Here’s his conclusion:

“Establishing sustainable local balances of power with comparatively modest contributions to maintain them has been the U.S. foreign-policy goal since shortly after World War II. It has been achieved in Western and Central Europe and is close at hand in the Far East and now, perhaps, in the Middle East as well. It is from this perspective that the president’s actions with the Kurds should be seen, not with shamed and breathless hand-wringing every time there is a casualty on the Syrian–Turkish border.”

Impeachment Inquiry Fumbling Along

In December 2017, January 2018, and July 2019, the House voted on whether to open an impeachment inquiry under the rubric “privileged resolutions.” All failed miserably. Pelosi won’t hold a fourth because the results are unlikely to be changed. Still, Adam Schiff’s impeachment fun house continues with no apparent evidence of Trump wrongdoing. Having found nothing on collusion, he appears to be contending that failing to cooperate with this nonsense is “obstruction” with his secret star chamber proceedings.

With candidates whose platform is socialism, unrestricted abortion, higher taxes, nationalized medicine, open borders, ridiculous restrictions on energy production and use and such, it's questionable how this sideshow will serve them at all in 2020.

The hypnotic babble of the media beguiles otherwise intelligent people into believing that Russia colluded with President Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton, that Trump forced Ukraine into investigating Hunter Biden and did something, we can’t say what, to be impeached, and that thousands of poor Kurds are being displaced because we pulled some hundreds of our troops from the Syrian-Turkish border. Rational, fact-based analysis shows all this to be untrue, but breaking through this hazy thinking is not an easy task. Maybe because that’s the true aim: eradicating reason totally. In chaos the most nutty rule.

I’m far from home in Hawaii this week and worried how -- given the time difference and circumstances -- I’d be able to report on the inspector general’s report on the origins of the “Russian Collusion” fandango. News accounts earlier this week indicated it would finally be released this Friday. We are now told that it may be another two weeks before we see it. Most explanations are that the agencies involved in the illegal snooping are warring about the content. (As you may recall, they softened the summary findings in the first one, which were at times at variance with the Horowitz specific findings, particularly on the effect of the bias of the investigators.) I think otherwise. I think it was delayed because of newly acquired information obtained by Attorney General William Barr and Prosecutor John Durham.

Crossfire Hurricane

Most particularly, the two men recently returned from Italy where they met with the mysterious “Maltese professor” Joseph Mifsud and obtained from him two BlackBerrys. I believe that Mifsud was working with the coup plotters to set up a pretext for the spy operation and, if so, the BlackBerrys apparently given to him by them should prove the case. (We learned of their existence and the Justice Department’s obtaining them in a motion filed by Lt. General Michael Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, demanding the data in them in the discovery process.)

Mr. Mifsud, a university professor and well-traveled lecturer, told George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, in London in April 2016 that Moscow owned thousands of Hillary Clinton emails. When the news reached the FBI in July, agent Peter Strzok initiated the probe. The FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller have always contended that Mr. Mifsud was a Russian asset. Mr. Mueller’s final report made no mention of the numerous associations Mr. Mifsud maintained with Western diplomats and intelligence figures.

Mr. Papadopoulos contends Mr. Mifsud was a Western agent sent to entrap him.[snip] The motion says: “Michael T. Flynn requests the government be ordered to produce evidence that has only recently come into its possession… This information is material, exculpatory, and relevant to the defense of Mr. Flynn, and specifically to the “OCONUS LURES” and agents that western intelligence tasked against him likely as early as 2014 to arrange -- unbeknownst to him --‘connections’ with certain Russians that they would then use against him in their false claims. The phones were used by Mr. Joseph Mifsud.”

“OCONUS LURES” is an FBI acronym for an operation to lure a person back to the U.S.

Information from Ukraine

It is also possible that the report is weighing information from Ukraine, which the prior administration blocked from transmission to the Congress and Department of Justice.

Much fuss was made over White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s remarks to the effect that the administration (unknown to Ukraine) had been withholding funds (briefly) until persuaded that it was investigating possible interference in the 2016 presidential election.

After the press misreported that he’d conceded there had been a quid pro quo, he responded:  

“Once again the media has decided to misconstrue my comment to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump. Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election. The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server. The only reasons we were holding money was because of concern about lack of support from other nations and concerns over corruption. Multiple times during the more-than 30 minute briefing where I took over 25 questions, I referred to President Trump’s interest in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, and ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly and appropriately. There never was any connection between the funds and the Ukrainians doing anything with the server -- this was made explicitly obvious by the fact that the aid money was delivered without any action on the part of the Ukrainians regarding the server. There never was any condition on the flow of aid related to the matter of the DNC server.”

Memories are apparently short, in any event. In September, the House of Representatives passed a bill imposing restrictions on transactions with Russia until it had been cleared of election interference. (In other words, the Democratic majority House demanded a quid pro quo.)

Syria

We heard a lot of jaw-flapping this week about the withdrawal of troops from the Syrian-Turkish border in a deal with Erdogan, who represents a country still part of NATO with whom we cannot engage in war. I’m inclined to agree with Scott Adams who tweeted: “Lately the criticism of Trump have devolved into nothing but new ways to say ‘THIS IS NON-STANDARD! NON-STANDARD, I SAY!”

Not only were the consequences overstated in my view, but also the media broadcasts are certain to repeat fake images of destruction at that border.

In response to one actual breach of the ceasefire at the border, the president in a series of tweets acknowledged it along with Erdogan’s apology:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Just spoke to President @RTErdogan of Turkey. He told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated. He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen. Too bad there wasn’t....

....this thinking years ago. Instead, it was always held together with very weak bandaids, & in an artificial manner. There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success. The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey....

....I have just been notified that some European Nations are now willing, for the first time, to take the ISIS Fighters that came from their nations. This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them. Anyway, big progress being made!!!!

Of course, there is some blatant hypocrisy in some critics’ responses. Our editor nailed Mitt Romney’s:

"Politician Mitt Romney has joined journalists like Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin in contradicting his previously-espoused positions when President Trump acts on them. Back in 2007 when he was running for president, Romney took to the pages of Foreign Affairs, the journal published by the Council on Foreign Relations, aka Globalism Central, to warn against the danger presented by unthinking American adherence to Kurdish nationalism."

I’m inclined to agree with Conrad Black’s take on the murky mess on the border, brought to us by the foreign-policy bumbling of Obama. He’s written a fine article, which I urge you to read in its entirety. Here’s his conclusion:

“Establishing sustainable local balances of power with comparatively modest contributions to maintain them has been the U.S. foreign-policy goal since shortly after World War II. It has been achieved in Western and Central Europe and is close at hand in the Far East and now, perhaps, in the Middle East as well. It is from this perspective that the president’s actions with the Kurds should be seen, not with shamed and breathless hand-wringing every time there is a casualty on the Syrian–Turkish border.”

Impeachment Inquiry Fumbling Along

In December 2017, January 2018, and July 2019, the House voted on whether to open an impeachment inquiry under the rubric “privileged resolutions.” All failed miserably. Pelosi won’t hold a fourth because the results are unlikely to be changed. Still, Adam Schiff’s impeachment fun house continues with no apparent evidence of Trump wrongdoing. Having found nothing on collusion, he appears to be contending that failing to cooperate with this nonsense is “obstruction” with his secret star chamber proceedings.

With candidates whose platform is socialism, unrestricted abortion, higher taxes, nationalized medicine, open borders, ridiculous restrictions on energy production and use and such, it's questionable how this sideshow will serve them at all in 2020.