Progressives got their FBI report on Judge Kavanaugh, but not the one they wanted. They are spinning like tops to delegitimize it.
Here is the report’s Executive Summary:
Right click and choose “Open in new tab” to enlarge.
Progressives got their FBI report on Judge Kavanaugh, but not the one they wanted. They are spinning like tops to delegitimize it.
Here is the report’s Executive Summary:
Right click and choose “Open in new tab” to enlarge.
The unproven calumnies aimed at Donald Trump’s head are a reminder that, when governments, corporations or mobs deal in false accusations, justice is dead.
Within the past few days, Bob Woodward dropped a book claiming to have first, or second, or third hand information from anonymous people who are, like, totally in the know, and thereby backing up Omarosa’s claim that Donald Trump is a crazy meanie. With perfect timing, an anonymous, but nevertheless really important person, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which s/he announced that Trump is a crazy meanie, so that the person has been forced to mount a seditious movement . . . er, sorry, a Deep State movement . . . er, sorry, a resistance . . . er, sorry, a “steady state” movement (yes, really — “steady state”) to undermine the will of those American people who just happened to elect Donald Trump.
From the moment Trump got the Republican nomination, and with increasing hysteria and ferocity after he won, he’s been called a traitor, a Hitler, an idiot, a drooling idiot, a madman, a sex-crazed madman, a Nazi, a fascist, a criminal — and those are the nice things that we’re hearing about him. Oh, and again, these accusations come with striking regularity from anonymous sources.
I don’t see any of those things when I look at Trump. Instead, I see someone like my dear departed client. My friend was brilliant, chaotic, irascible, and one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen, a man to whom vacations were anathema.
My friend also hated yes-men. Instead, he forced people, often rudely or brutally, to challenge his ideas. Sometimes he went his own way, but just as often he listened to other people’s positions and acted upon them. He was a difficult man to work for, but a strong and loyal friend. More than that, he sharpened my brain and elicited from me the best thinking I could offer anyone as a legal adviser. I was my best, smartest self when I worked for him. You can imagine how I miss him.
Trump is even more brilliant than my friend, and more persuasive and manipulative. I actually think he has as good a chance as any man on earth to bring the Deep State down rather than to be done-in by that same Deep State. Moreover, even as the media, Hollywood, and the Democrat Party (all heads of the same Leftist hydra) hurl non-stop, bizarre, anonymous, unfounded accusations at Trump, the American people are may possibly notice something interesting about this brilliant, difficult man: No matter the chaos leading to them (a stimulating, abrasive process), his actions are rational and, even better, really effective.
Leftists naturally insist that it was just another Obama miracle that, the very moment Trump stepped into office, all of Obama’s policies, which hitherto had failed, suddenly blossomed into effectiveness. Sane people, though, know there is no such magical coincidence.
Instead, Kurt Schlicter’s normals (that would be you and me) think that Trump’s policies are responsible for the bursting economy (which especially benefits minorities); the low jobless rate (especially benefiting minorities); the “tariff war” that resulted in Europe, China, and Mexico making huge concessions; the military demise of ISIS; the economic collapse in Iran; the long-awaited dismissal of Palestinian grievances and the end of subsidies for terror; the reinstatement of civil rights for college men; and North Korea’s willingness to engage with South Korea and give up its nukes. [Read more…]
If the FBI did not initiate its investigation into allegations of Trump until July, 2016, why did the FBI produce a document dated in February, 2016.
Over the weekend, the FBI produced 71 pages of documents (available as a pdf download from FBI Vault) regarding its relationship to Christopher Steele as pertains to the Russia investigation. Virtually every document is entirely redacted in relevant part — for which someone in the document production chain should be jailed, I might add. Be that as it may, the final document provided is not fully redacted. It memorializes an “admonishment” to Steele that, as I understand it, explains to him limits upon his actions while working as a confidential informant. The date on that document is 2 February 2016.
That date is inexplicable within the Trump-Russia timeline.
As I’ve previously pointed out on this blog, Glen Simpson testified (see Transcript, p. 77) that he was approached by DNC’s outside attorney, Marc Elias of Perkins Coie, to do opposition research on Donald Trump in “May or June” 2016. That is when Simpson has testified that he hired Steele.
Steele’s first report generated out of that relationship was dated 20 June 2016, and Simpson has testified that Steele subsequently provided that to the FBI, initiating his relationship with the FBI as a confidential informant. If one reads the recently released — and itself highly redacted — FISA warrant for Carter Page, that timeline, at least by sequence of events, is attested to in the FISA warrant (page 16).
This is a huge issue. If the date on that admonishment is accurate, then it goes to whether the FBI had any justification for opening its investigation of Trump and whether or not this was, for lack of a better phrase, a Beriaesqe strike: “Show me the Republican candidate for President, I’ll find you the crime.” Moreover, it conflicts with the information the FBI provided the court in the FISA warrant.
The FBI needs to answer this mystery.
Update: At another site, they point out that the admonishment could be in relation to work Steele was doing on another case. The only prior case — at least as has been made public to date — wherein Steele, in his capacity as a private citizen, conducted an investigation and provided that information to the FBI was in the case brought by DOJ against FIFA in 2015. Presumably, Steele would have received the same “admonishment” in that case, thus there would not be a need to redo it. Or if regulations require such an admonishment in each new case where Steele is involved as a private citizen acting as an informant, then why not one in July, 2016, when supposedly the Trump investigation began?
There may well be a reasonable explanation for this 2 February 2016 “admonishment.” But at this point, is anyone besides Adam Schiff willing to take a bald assertion from FBI or DOJ as an answer?
Justice is supposed to be blind. That is not the case in America today and President Trump is partly to blame.
[Update: This today from the Daily Caller:
President Donald Trump chose to have the indictments of 12 Russian hackers announced before his Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Tuesday Bloomberg report.
Trump wanted the indictments announced ahead of the Monday summit to give him leverage over Putin, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Tuesday. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave Trump the option of having the indictments released before or after Helsinki, according to the report.
Rosenstein cited national security concerns to allow him to share details of grand jury proceedings with Trump.
A portion of this post was based on incomplete information and thus has been edited to reflect the above, that the timing of the indictments was at the behest of Pres. Trump. The thrust of the original argument remains.]
Whether or not Strzok is lying about his ability to be impartial (and I think he is), shouldn’t the appearance of impropriety be enough to end his farce?
I’ve watched bits and pieces of Peter Strzok’s appearance before the House. I’m disposed to dislike him, so I ran what he had to say through that filter. I didn’t like his self-servingly spotty memory and I didn’t like his wrapping himself in the flag when called to testify about facts that were easily within his purview. I also didn’t like how smug he was. I’m inclined to agree with those who say that this kind of smugness, rather than denoting a clear conscience, has a sociopathic edge.
Rather than comment on the whole hearing, though, I want to comment on a single issue, which is Strzok’s contention that, his texts notwithstanding, he was as impartial an investigator as one could find in the FBI. Let’s pretend that this is not a risible claim. Let’s pretend that one really can grossly insult Trump and Trump voters, and promise a lover that “we’ll stop” Trump, and still be sea-green incorruptible.
Even if Strzok is that amazing human being who is capable of rising above his prejudices, should that be the standard? I’d like to walk you through my history as a lawyer to explain the idea I’m trying to develop here. [Read more…]
The IG Report ignores that the Clinton investigation was completely and irreparably compromised by agents whose biases went to the heart of the case.
The IG Report is a strange beast. To begin with, it’s a rather ironic companion piece to Comey’s July 5, 2016 press conference. Back then, Comey laid out facts that ought to have sent Hillary to prison for 100 years. Just as we were all expecting him to say, “So we’re going to arrest her,” though, he abruptly announced a nonexistent legal standard, assured us that Hillary didn’t mean to do something naughty under this new standard, and gave her a get out of jail free.
What jumps out is that the IG Report does the same thing. Horowitz blandly dismisses any FBI actual wrongdoing affecting the outcome of the Hillary investigation, but lays out facts that ought to send all of the FBI’s upper management for 100 years. The only exception to that bland dismissal on those ugly facts is . . . Comey. There’s irony for you.
Thus, the IG Report fails for the same reason that the Comey report did, which is that there’s a gaping chasm between facts and conclusion. Only the media and Democrat party operatives (but I repeat myself) could look at that chasm and pronounce that it’s nothing more than a tiny hole in a smooth, coherent narrative.
The indispensable Andy McCarthy appropriately slams the IG Report for its weaseling approach to facts and conclusions:
The trick here is the premise the IG establishes from the start: It’s not my job to draw firm conclusions about why things happened the way they did. In fact, it’s not even my job to determine whether investigative decisions were right or wrong. The cop-out is that we are dealing here with “discretionary” calls; therefore, the IG rationalizes, the investigators must be given very broad latitude. Consequently, the IG says his job is not to determine whether any particular decision was correct; just whether, on some otherworldly scale of reasonableness, the decision was defensible. And he makes that determination by looking at every decision in isolation.
But is that the way we evaluate decisions in the real world?
For all his assiduous attention to detail, IG Horowitz has weaved a no-common-sense report.
How does the IG pull this off? Two ways.
The first, as mentioned above, is methodology. By disavowing any intention to pass judgment on the rightness of any particular investigative decision, by announcing upfront that he is confining himself to an assessment of whether the decisions were rational, Horowitz reads motivation out of the equation. If there were two investigative options — e.g., (1) give immunity to Paul Combetta (the service technician for Clinton’s server who lied to the FBI and destroyed evidence) or (2) prosecute him for false statements — the IG says his analysis is limited to whether the option chosen was objectively defensible.
The IG’s second tack involves the facts he chooses to present. The report is truly half-baked because it omits half the story — all Clinton emails, no Trump-Russia. Of course, that’s neither how the cases evolved, nor how the investigators looked at them.
When Ted Cruz dropped out of the GOP presidential race, making Trump the de facto nominee, the very first thing Strzok said upon hearing the news from Page was, “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE” — i.e., “Mid Year Exam,” the code name for the Clinton caper. The best way to “stop” Trump was to free Hillary to beat him. So, the bureau simultaneously labored to close the case on her and invent a case on him.
Everything McCarthy says is absolutely true. I’m going to add one point, which is that we don’t even need to analyze the facts as McCarthy does. [Read more…]
Following the release of the IG report, people are agog over the FBI’s oozing contempt for Trump and his supporters. You’ll see that “agog-ness” here.
It’s an old-fashioned Bookworm Beat with news from all over, much of it heartening, because we’re living in Trump’s America.
I’m enjoying living in Trump’s America. Good things are happening — and, with Wolf Howling’s help, I’ve got a collection of good things, interesting things, important things, silly things, and thought-provoking things for you to enjoy:
Leftists are panicking as the “Dark Web” threatens their hegemonic control over “victim” groups. Yesterday I wrote about what might be the deeper meaning behind the Jordan Peterson phenomenon, which cuts across all of the Left’s carefully drawn tribal and victim lines. I’m not the only one noticing that what’s happening goes beyond mere pop culture popularity. The Left is noticing it too — and is worried, as evidence by the panic surrounding reports of a “Dark Web” made up of free thinkers from across the political spectrum.
As Wolf Howling told me, “It is two parts proggie arrogance, two parts virtue signalling, and one part bemoaning the ludicrous idea that conservatives have that they are under attack. Oh, and woman are under attack from Trump and Jordan Peterson may not run a cult, but his following is ‘cultlike.'” And of course, because this is a Jew writing for the New York Times, their article opens with the obligatory “Israelis are evil colonizers,” without a thought for Israel’s historic and legal claims to the land or the Palestinians’ genocidal obsession to wipe Jews off the map around the world, starting with Israel.
No matter what the Left does, some people insistently retain their values. A huzzah for a mother with values.
And no matter what anyone does, you will always have the stupid people. So who rang the “it’s nine lives” dinner bell??? Amazing that this group did not become Darwin Award winners. They quite literally cheeta’d death. [rimshot]
Still, it will take a long time to erase race-hustling ideas from people’s brains.. The term “white privilege” has nothing to do with institutional (and racist) favorable treatment for whites, and everything about a certain segment of American blacks complaining about being held to color blind standards. Exhibit One – the lynching. Exhibit Two – Los Angeles and STD’s. [Read more…]
This Bookworm Beat has a hodge-podge of posters but the dominant theme seems to be that a big government that becomes a bad government is scary.
According to retired Harvard Law Professor, Alan Dershowitz, the DOJ’s early morning raid, approved by Rod Rosenstein among others, to execute a no-knock warrant on Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen violates the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments. This from the Daily Mail:
Among the scooped-up papers, and lurking on phones and hard drives, is likely to be a cache of material that’s covered by attorney-client privilege.
Prosecutors are not permitted access to those files, and the DOJ’s standard practice is to set up a ‘taint team’ – a group of agents and lawyers not connected to the Cohen case or the special counsel probe into all things Russia – to decide what they can see.
But ‘taint teams don’t work,’ Alan Dershowitz told DailyMail.com on Tuesday, because seizing the material in the first place was a violation of Cohen’s constitutional rights – even if it’s never used in court. . . .
Rare? A no-knock warrant taking privileged communications between a sitting President and his attorney? Try unprecedented in American history. Even in the effort to burn Nixon at the stake, no one went as far. There, documents subject to executive privilege were subpoenaed and Nixon and his lawyers had the opportunity to contest the warrants in an open, public forum. Here, we are being asked to trust in the honest and trustworthiness of a host of people who have proven themselves anything but trustworthy.
The Daily Mail quotes from a second law professor who talks about the trustworthiness of the “taint teams” employed by the FBI. Talk about living in a bubble. That would be the same FBI that refused to enforce Congressional subpoenas for eight years against the Obama administration, the same FBI that executed a whitewash of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the same FBI that ignored unlawful email communications between the President and his Secretary of State on her private email address, the same FBI that executed the political assassination of Michael Flynn, the same FBI that used unverified Clinton generated opposition research in an effort to destroy Trump’s presidency and in which Rod Rosenstein was personally involved, . . . and we are supposed to trust their “taint teams?” Bullshit.
Having heard the news about the raid on Michael Cohen, Scott Adams says “Fire ’em all,” and explains why.
BREAKING: Trump’s personal attorney’s office raided. Now Trump can do some firing. https://t.co/ClXRfxhIkF
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) April 9, 2018
[If the above video won’t play, you can find the content here.]
We have a few fixed data points about today’s raid on Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, but not much else. I’m interested in your thoughts on the matter.
Robert Mueller is supposed to be probing whether Trump colluded with the Russians in the lead-up to the November 2016 election.
Trump had an affair a decade ago with an adult film actress.
Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen paid the actress money to keep her mouth shut.
Trump claims not to have known about this payment. (I can actually believe this. Trump has always boasted about his conquests and we know he cheated on all of his wives. Why would he become coy now?)
Despite accepting money to keep her mouth shut, the actress has revitalized her career by talking non-stop.
Mueller, with Deputy A.G. Rosenstein’s agreement, gave some information to the FBI’s Southern District of New York office.
Based on that information, the FBI got warrants to raid Cohen’s home and office.
Leftists are thrilled, believing that this is the prelude to criminals charges against Trump and impeachment.
Trump is furious.
That’s what we know. (At least, since this is off the top of my head, I think it’s what we know.) I haven’t formulated any conclusions or ideas yet. In part, I think it’s premature to have any real idea what’s going on. Still, I’m interested in what your thoughts are, even at this early stage.
John Pavlovitz is a hugely popular Progressive preacher. He also exemplifies everything that’s wrong with how Progressives approach Trump’s presidency.
Have you ever heard of John Pavlovitz?
Right. I hadn’t heard of him either. Still, thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can quickly learn about him.
According to Pavlovitz’s online bio, he’s a “ministry veteran,” which is his weird way of saying that he’s been a practicing minister for a while. He says that he is “trying to figure out how to love people well and to live-out the red letters of Jesus.” Get that? He’s about “lov[ing] people well.” He’s also a Leftist darling:
Pavlovitz, forty-eight, is a Wake Forest resident, minister at North Raleigh Community Church, and father of two young kids. He’s also the writer behind Stuff that Needs to be Said, a blog that calls out hypocrisy in plain language, with the president and his ardent followers within the religious right earning particular scorn.
His style—compassion paired with a no-bullshit, emperor-wears-no-clothes attitude, all informed by an inclusive brand of Christianity—has endeared him to millions of readers. This year alone, twenty-three million people have viewed his blog, and he has over sixty thousand Twitter followers. His words have been featured in Slate, Cosmopolitan, and Quartz.
Pavlovitz has written a book: A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community. According to his website, it “shares a bit of John’s story and a vision for spiritual community that allows everyone a place.” In it, he explains that “we don’t have to share someone’s experience to respect their road. As we move beyond the lazy theology and easy caricatures that seek to remove any gray from people’s lives, we can meet them in that grayness, right where they are without demanding that they become something else in order to earn proximity to us or to a God who loves them dearly.”
Did you get all that? He’s selling his vision of love, fellowship, understanding, and oneness with God. Isn’t that beautiful? What a nice man. Anyone with that kind of commitment to love, community, and respect must be the kind of person who would reach across the political aisle using mutual respect as a basis for developing a common polity that serves all of America, right?
Wrong! Forget about it! Pavlovitz is a true Progressive and that trumps faith any time. He hates you and everything you stand for.
And here’s the really funny thing about his hypocrisy and his hatred: If you work your way down the list of all the things he says are wrong with you, the evil conservative, you will discover an absence of actual facts and lots of psychological projection. (For those unversed in therapy speak, psychological projection happens when someone tries to deny the ugliness within by projecting it upon innocent others.)
With that introduction, allow me to fisk Pavlovitz’s most recent post, entitled “Trump-Supporting Friend — This Really isn’t About Donald Trump.” Or, as I call it, “When It Comes To The Incredible Hatred And Bile Built Up Inside Of Me, It’s Not Me, It’s You.” I’ll quote Pavlovitz and follow each quotation with my comments:
What we’ve got here is, failure to communicate…
I know you think I’m preoccupied with this President; that he is the reason I’m so angry and bitter and frustrated these days—but you’re wrong.
He’s not lying. As you will see, Pavlovitz is indeed angry, bitter, and frustrated — and it’s all your fault.
This isn’t about Donald Trump.
It’s never been about him.
Well, it may not be about Trump, but prepare yourself for a catalog of Trump’s alleged wrongdoings, all based upon misstated facts, irrelevancies, or opinion in lieu of facts.
It wasn’t about him during the campaign or on Election Day.
Well, thank Heavens for small mercies. Pavlovitz at least forgives Trump for his temerity in campaigning and winning against Pavlovitz’s express wishes.
It wasn’t about him when recordings of him boasting about sexual assaults surfaced.
In common with all Progressives (and NeverTrumpers), Pavlovitz is incapable of listening to what Trump said. What Trump said is that he made moves on one woman and backed off immediately when she said “no.” What he also said, speaking in the abstract, is that when you’re a rich, famous billionaire, you can do anything you want with women and they’ll let you. Bruce Bialosky, who was on the road with ELO during the height of their fame, agrees: [Read more…]
Available facts indicate that the Progressives’ Russia Collusion narrative is fake — and time is running out to investigate the true Clinton/FBI collusion.
With questions swirling around the Trump-Russian collusion narrative, we seem to be living in a John le Carré novel. It is one full of spies where the truth is hidden deep beneath disinformation and, ironically enough, behind security protocols. And just like a le Carré novel, it seems that there are many people in this mix determined that the truth should never see the light of day.
Is Trump a Russian intelligence asset with a taste for Russian prostitutes and golden showers who stole the 2016 election with help from Russia? Perhaps. But given the dearth of evidence supporting that contention after twenty months of investigation, another, better question arises: Is the Trump Russia collusion narrative the single most dirty — and criminal — trick in the history of American politics? It would be intellectually dishonest in the extreme to say that only one of those questions deserves investigation.
Was the Russian collusion narrative started, then spoon fed to the FBI and the media, as a way to make Hillary seem less corrupt in comparison to Trump during the 2016 election campaign? Was the narrative then pushed as hard as possible after the election as a way to delegitimize the Trump presidency; to serve as a vehicle to overturn the 2016 election results, and to protect people in government who had acted unethically, and perhaps criminally, as regards all things Hillary — i.e., those responsible for the criminal travesty that was the FBI/DOJ investigation and exoneration of Hillary for her email scandal, those who allowed the Uranium One deal to be approved without notifying Congress of related Russian corruption, and those DOJ officials who defied the recommendations of FBI field agents to open an investigation of the Clinton Foundation?
Let me note here, before you start measuring me for a tin-foil hat, I am not alleging some grand conspiracy involving the FBI, CIA, ODNI, and others. If this was a political dirty trick, then the truth is likely being held in a death-grip of secrecy among a handful of conspirators, they most likely being no more than one or two people in the leadership of the DNC and Clinton Campaigns, perhaps CIA Director John Brennan and/or Glen Simpson of Fusion GPS, and/or Christopher Steele. As to everyone else who then picked up this narrative and ran with it, sometimes unlawfully, that was not a conspiracy. Far more likely it simply grew out of the partisan culture created throughout the government agencies by the Obama administration. That culture, as Ms. BWR has fairly described it, is one of bias, entitlement, arrogance, and corruption, at least to the extent that ideological ends have at times justified patently unlawful means. I believe Ms. BWR’s description also covers about 90% of the mainstream media as well.
Just to review, there are precious few factual allegations regarding the Trump Russia collusion narrative beyond the bald allegation that Trump was a Russian asset, a narrative Fusion’s Glen Simpson claims was known all over Moscow and was just there for the picking in June 2016. People were “talking about it freely.” (Sen. p87-88). Amazing that Simpson and Steele were able to uncover that in a week whereas the CIA and NSA were blissfully ignorant during the eight years that Trump is alleged to have acted as a Russian agent, eh?
The people Steele names as active in the Russia Trump collusion are Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. Steele mentions Michael Flynn, but only in passing as someone the Kremlin was cultivating. Steele alludes to two others, someone in the Trump campaign who “admitt[ed that the] Kremlin [was] behind [the] recent appearance of DNC emails on Wikileaks,” later claimed to be George Papadopoulos, and someone “close” to Trump who knew of his intelligence relationship with Russia, later asserted to be Sergei Millian.
As to specific acts alleged by Steele, there are only four that directly relate to Trump (at least by my count, ten by count of the Washington Times). The first specific act alleged is that Trump engaged Russian hookers to do a golden shower in his Moscow hotel room in 2013. The second is that Carter Page traveled to Russia in order to meet Igor Sechin, President of Rosneft, and a Russian political official, Diveykin. The third is that George Papadopoulos admitted to knowing that Russia was behind the DNC Wikileaks affair. And the fourth is that Michael Cohen met in Prague with Russian officials in the last week of August or first week of September. [Read more…]
The real Russia collusion — Obama and Clinton team with Russia against Trump — makes sense if you look at the motives driving the various actors.
Da Vinci once said that “Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.” Motive is certainly a helpful tool when it comes to bringing an organizing principle to the sprawling, chaotic Russia collusion — the real Russia collusion. The real one isn’t the fake claim that Trump, who had no contacts in Russia, partnered with Putin, who had no reason to root for Trump, during the 2016 election cycle. Instead, I’m talking about the real Russia collusion, one that sees more evidence every day to support it. This is the one that says that Obama and Hillary, along with all their high level minions, conspired with Russia to keep Trump out of the White House.
You might not believe it from my blog silence about the unfolding Russian collusion, but I am paying attention. I daily read multiple articles analyzing the Nunes Memo, and the Grassley-Graham letter. I try to keep track of the cast of players: (1) the various swamp crawlers, from Hillary to Blumenthal to Brennan to Simpson to Shearer; (2) the surprise guest appearances from Obama administration players such as Rice, Lynch, and (3) the rotating cast of regular players at the FBI and the DOJ, from Comey to Strzok to Mueller. Looking at it this way, it’s pretty clear that one of the things that’s truly Russian about this whole scandal is that it has the complexity and character count you’d find in War and Peace or some other epic Russian novel.
After reading and reading and reading, I have to admit that I’m still confused about the specifics (timing, facts, lies, laws lying in smoking ruins, etc.). Nevertheless, the overarching picture emerges clearly from this welter of data: Trump did not collude with the Russians to win the election or betray America, although there were people who were temporarily on the very periphery of Trump’s campaign who would have liked to have seen Trump be even more friendly to Russia than Obama and Hillary already were. Instead, it was the Hillary team, with help from the Obama administration, that either colluded with Russia or were Russia’s patsies in trying to set up Trump.
Understanding which is the real Russian conspiracy has the unexpected byproduct of bringing people’s obvious or known motives into alignment with the emerging facts. The original story, the one that had Trump as the conspirator, never made sense, because neither he nor Putin had a motive to do what they were alleged to have done. Thus, it never made sense that Putin would collude against a Hillary presidency. Indeed, the last thing Russia wanted was for Trump to win. After all, despite his stated willingness to work with Putin, Trump was shaping up to be a nightmare for Putin for one very specific reason: Drill, baby, drill.
Under Putin’s corrupt oligarchy, the Russian economy is a wasteland. Its main reliable source of wealth is oil. The Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to destroy America’s oil-producing abilities were a boon to the Russians. Trump’s stated desire to bring America’s oil back on-line was something Putin would have wanted to avoid at all costs. It was also unclear whether Trump would continue to follow Obama’s lead when it came to Ukraine, Central Europe generally, Syria, and Iran — in all of which locales Obama had withdrawn from traditional American friends or funded foes and, when possible, handed power to Russia.
That’s why, when Steele and others (Brennan? Shearer?) came sniffing around seeking dirt on Trump, Putin and his spymasters must have been beyond thrilled. They knew Hillary could be bought; they knew Hillary would continue Obama’s effort to handicap America’s energy industry; they assumed that Hillary would follow Obama’s disreputable patterns towards traditional American friends and foes; and they probably had enough blackmail material on Hillary to last for six terms, not just one or two. (Not the least of which, as Trump pointedly joked during the campaign, would have been those 30,000 emails Hillary erased from her unprotected server, but which the Russians had probably hacked years before. Even without that, the Russians almost certainly had information about Bill’s myriad indiscretions, Benghazi, and the whole Clinton Foundation.)
Motive is even easier to find with Obama and Hillary. Obama had a legacy to preserve. Obama, who has never been a fool although he is a knave, understood that his legacy was built on sand. Except for Obamacare, he had no major legislation. All he had were executive orders, regulations, “Dear colleague” letters, and a host of other ephemeral directives that would become embedded in America culture only if a subsequent administration made it clear to true believers in government and education that these legal simulacra needed to stay to complete America’s fundamental transformation.
As for Hillary — well, heck, Hillary understands that, if you want to win, you have to cheat. She didn’t cheat hard enough in 2008, but in 2016, by God! She was going to cheat and she was going to cheat big, thanks in large part to the Obama administration’s willingness to support her win at all costs philosophy.
So, if you want motive for collusion, you have it with the Obama administration, the Hillary campaign, and the Putin administration. All of them had a vested interested in ensuring that Trump lost.
But one still has to ask why would career civil servants be so willing to join in? Sure, Trump talked about trimming back the civil service, but everyone talked about it and nobody did anything about it. I think there must have been more than mere job security at issue for same many upper ranking members of the FBI and the DOJ willingly to jettison laws, procedures, and their own past histories of relatively upright behavior.
Before I go on, let me say that I’m not talking about people such as Brennan, whom I believe to be completely corrupt, or truly evil hangers-on such as Blumenthal and Shearer. I’m talking about the others, including people like Comey and Mueller. They were always political and played hard ball to advance their careers, and they were unethical in a “cut-throat office politics” sort of way, but no matter how one points out their viciousness and failures of intelligence, before now, they’d never crossed the line. Had they walked right up to it and put their toes on it? You bet. But cross it ? No.
So what happened? [Read more…]