Open Thread

The story about Trump giving highly classified information to the Russians is illustrative of all that is freakishly bizarre these days. Now, keep in mind, the story comes via an anonymously-sourced MSM story and has been denied by named witnesses who were in the room. But, still, those who oppose Trump are going with the MSM story. We expect this from our Democrat friends because they are highly partisan and the MSM is, after all, a mere stenographer of the DNC…but supposed Conservatives are going along with the MSM story, as well. This just astonishes me. The MSM lies all the time – by omission and commission – about Republicans of all stripes. Remember, Romney – likely the most morally decent man to seek the Presidency since Calvin Coolidge – was accused of giving people cancer. It isn’t like Trump is getting hit with things that other Republicans would be spared from. True, Trump has many more questionable aspects about his past that Romney…but the treatment of both men is the same. Given the relentless lies the MSM spreads about Republicans, why on Earth would any Republican lend credence to an MSM story absent stand-up-in-court proof that it is true? To be sure, maybe the MSM will, one day, find some proof of some genuine official wrongdoing on the part of Trump…that happens, and it will be our moral duty to condemn Trump. But until there is proof, why play their game? Why help them destroy Trump? I just don’t get it. It’s just stupid – and I can only figure that the Conservatives who are going along with this simply prefer to have ultra-liberal Democrats in power…some so they can make money writing books an articles about said Democrats, others because they are simply cowards who are afraid of our side exercising power.

Anyone thinking that we should do anything which might help the Democrats back into power – pay heed to a warning:

I’m not saying to view the Republicans uncritically. However, I daresay that the IRS harassment of the Tea Parties shall have seemed like hugs and cupcakes compared to the peevish, punitive, discriminatory crap that the Deep State would inflict on Trump voters in general, and red states in particular, given another chance.

So maybe we don’t want to let them have that chance.

White House still coy about whether Trump/Comey tapes exist.

A look at the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist networks.

That Dakota pipeline Trump has pushed through is going to cost Buffett about a billion dollars per year – and that’s a good thing. In case you wonder where the real opposition to Trump comes from, look no further than things like this. Trump is messing with the Ruling Class, and they don’t like it one bit.

We do need a Special Prosecutor.

Senator Toomey wants the police to be able to obtain surplus military equipment. I disagree with this idea. Of course, my whole thing about the police is that we’re doing it wrong…there is a need for some SWAT-like police units, but 99% of policing should be a cop on the beat, keeping the neighborhood safe.


34 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Amazona May 16, 2017 / 10:32 am

    I think the traction gained by the wholly false claim that Trump gave classified information to Russians is really really scary—a lot more scary than if he really had done so.

    Remember the hysteria about the Muslims kicked off a plane for engaging in all sorts of odd behaviors that included constantly moving from one seat to another and requesting a seat belt extension for someone who didn’t need one? Several people thought that this was a trial run, a test to see how different behaviors would be perceived and treated, and it came out that some of those on the hijacked planes on 9/11 had reported that the hijackers had done the same kinds of things.. It was a test, to see what they could get away with, and more to the point to see how strongly people would react. It had what may or may not have been an unintended consequence, which was the Leftist hysteria over the treatment of the mullahs who had engaged in all this weird behavior—-it was clear that Leftists on a plane would ignore or even defend sinister behaviors because of their twisted worldview, which would only help to confuse things and aid the enemy.

    Anyway, I see this claim that Trump revealed classified information as a similar testing of the waters. They took a meeting in which many people were present and then simply invented something they claimed happened in this meeting. They knew it was all a lie, they didn’t even bother to try to name a source for the lie, and they knew that every person who had been in the meeting would come out immediately and brand it as a lie. But what they wanted to know is how many people would buy into it, in spite of the lack of confirmation, in spite of the denials by everyone there that it had ever happened. The sheer blatancy (is that a word?) of the claim is staggering—they didn’t even try to come up with a scenario that might have happened, one without a lot of witnesses, but went for one with lots and lots of witnesses.

    Their strategy is not only to test the waters to see how stupid the American public is. it is to taint every person who was in the meeting who has come out and said the claim is a bald-faced lie. Now merely by stating the truth, every one of these people can be and no doubt will be identified as someone who can’t be trusted—-probably someone who should be fired, impeached, replaced or even prosecuted. This is war, and I think that while the previous antics we have seen (ANTIFA, claims of Trump treason, the invented Russian interference in the election, etc.) have been preliminary skirmishes this is the Pearl Harbor of the real war.

    I want to be wrong. I want to be wrong or I want the tactic to fail. But I don’t have much faith in either wistful wish.

  2. Retired Spook May 16, 2017 / 10:35 am

    As someone who had a Top Secret SCI (sensitive compartmented information) clearance for most of my career, this smells like a very carefully crafted set up to me. In a brief statement yesterday, McMaster denied that any sources or methods were discussed. The WAPO article says the country where we got the intel is upset that it was divulged to the Russians, so SOMEONE has divulged sources. There are a number of explanations including, but not limited to the following: the Russian diplomats in the room (Foreign Minister and Ambassador) leaked the info to the WAPO; the WAPO has bugged the Oval Office; the 3 Americans in the room (not counting Trump) are lying; Trump himself leaked the info; someone in the White House received a briefing about what went on and, reading between the lines, made an educated guess and leaked it to the WAPO; OR the entire story is just a combination of conjecture and fabrication. I wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to which explanation or combination of explanations is accurate, but my sense is that crap like this is going to go on for the next 3-1/2 years.

    • Amazona May 16, 2017 / 10:53 am

      Mark’s quote and associated link led me to another story on the same blog, and within that story I found this: I could have emphasized the entire quote but one sentence in particular relates to my earlier post.

      Identity politics must ultimately produce totalitarianism. The claim that oppression confers a special status upon members of the oppressed group, who are entitled to seek “social justice” by any means necessary has a blood-soaked pedigree as old as the French Revolution. Having once obtained power, the radicals do not mean to relinquish it, and so they must persecute their enemies (real or imagined), to make examples of them, in order to intimidate any rival who might depose them. Dissenters are denounced as “enemies of the people” — vrag naroda — and woe unto anyone who speaks in defense of the accused.

      Spook, as we don’t know exactly what information was allegedly revealed, I think your list of possible explanations is a good one, but I would add intentional sabotage of President Trump by someone with access to at least enough information to make, as you called it, an educated guess, and possibly with more access than that, which fits in between your “educated guess” and “complete fabrication” possibilities.

      First, we need to remember that prior to January 20, 2017, there was really no such thing as Top Secret or classified information—-we had people at all levels, in all departments, communicating sensitive material on unsecured email accounts, we had an administration packed with people sympathetic to our enemies, and we had a lot of people eager to sabotage Trump and anyone associated with him even at the cost of national security. The first two of those problems are, I believe, being addressed, but the third is still a major factor in anything that happens.

      War has been declared. Now any act is going to be identified as sinister, treasonous and deserving of prosecution, impeachment, etc. Any act. Now the simple act of a diplomat having a conversation with a foreign official, something that is part of his job description, is enough to get the pack baying for blood. It is ugly, and it is going to get uglier.

      I have no reason to believe that the Left will back off on this assault, but I have some hope, a tiny little frail thing, that over time the gullibility of so many Americans will start to erode and more people will start to see though this.

      Oh, if only we had a way to communicate with the people, a voice to balance the onslaught of Complicit Agenda Media participation in the battles.

  3. Retired Spook May 16, 2017 / 11:36 am

    I’ve read the WAPO article several times, and each time my level of anger has increased. The “officials” who provided the WAPO with the following information, whether it’s true or not, need to be identified, prosecuted and thrown in a dark hole in Leavenworth.

    The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

    And it seems to me that the Washington Post has done more to damage national security with this article than anything Trump may or may not have said to Russian diplomats in a scheduled meeting in the Oval Office.

    • Amazona May 16, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      I agree. From a Breitbart article:

      A “former senior U.S. official close to current administration officials” said Trump “seems to be very reckless, and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.”

      They also claimed that Trump seemed to be “boasting” about his inside knowledge of the threat.
      The officials said Trump “did not reveal the specific intelligence gathering method, but described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances.”

      “Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat,” it said.

      The officials then leaked the name of the city to the Post, which decided to withhold most of the plot details under the urging of current officials.

      So if we dissect this a little, the first thing we are told is that the source is “A FORMER U.S. OFFICIAL…” That is, someone from the Obama years. His (or her) claim to legitimacy and inside info is that he,or she, is “…close to current administration officials” . Note that there is a gap here, one where one might expect to be told that these “current administration officials” conveyed information to the “former U.S. official”. But that claim is not made. Rather, the information that Official 1 is “close to” current administration officials” is just left hanging there, with an implication that the relationship is somehow connected to the information. This is classic misdirection by implication, with built-in deniability: “I never SAID a current administration official told me anything—I just said I am close to some people, and “close” can mean anything.”

      Second, by the close association with the claim of being ” close to current administration officials” and the comment that Trump allegedly “seems to be very reckless, and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia….” it implies, without actually coming out and saying so, that these opinions come from those “current administration officials” in this “close” relationship with the former official.

      Here the narrative takes an important turn, shifting from one former official implying that current officials are saying negative things about Trump to an overt references to a “they”, or the “current administration officials”. Now the narrative is more specific, still implying that all the negatives are coming from current officials, but when you look closely at the article it seems that it all really goes back to the one FORMER official, who is offering up opinions in the guise of getting them from people in the current administration. Seriously, if his own people speak of him with such disdain and contempt, he must be a total loser, right? He’s reckless, he doesn’t understand things, he boasts, he has a “problem” with “Russia”. Funny how the people in his own administration are allegedly trumpeting the same toxic messages we hear from the opposition, isn’t it? But really, the implication that these nasty comments are coming from his own people is just that—an implication, planted by clever manipulation of words.

      When we peel away the layers of innuendo and implication, we get a former official who implies that he is merely quoting people in this administration—but the total impression made is that Trump’s own stupidity and incompetence scare his own people.

      But this is all just a lead-up to the meat of the story, hidden and buried in all the anti-Trump messaging. And that is that SOMEONE—-presumed to be those mysterious, unnamed ” current administration officials” but not quite officially identified as such, implicated solely by the use of the plural “officials” to distance them from the singular FORMER “official”—-leaked this allegedly top secret highly classified volatile dangerous scary oh-so-critical information TO A NEWSPAPER.

      It certainly appears that the leak was from the FORMER official, as it was “current officials” who prevailed upon the Post to not publish the leaked information.

      You want a crime? That is your crime. Not what Trump may or may not have said in the assumed privacy of his own office, in an official meeting with leaders of another country. Like it or not, whatever he decided to tell them was his legal right to tell them. But no one—NO ONE—had the legal right to leak this information, or any part of it, to a newspaper.

      Yet the hyperactive Leftist War Machine has their claims of whatever Trump did say, in that private meeting with other world leaders, taking the headlines and stirring up all sorts of incoherent rage in the ignorant, while the true crime of leaking the same information to a newspaper is ignored.

      WHICH “officials” gave this information to the Post?

      • Retired Spook May 16, 2017 / 1:04 pm

        When we peel away the layers of innuendo and implication, we get a former official who implies that he is merely quoting people in this administration—but the total impression made is that Trump’s own stupidity and incompetence scare his own people.

        Excellent catch. A caller to Rush just said he listened to McMaster reiterating his remarks from yesterday, and stating that the premise of the WAPO article is false and that Trump did NOT say the name of the city where the intel originated and he was not sure that the President even knew the name of the city. I haven’t confirmed that yet, but I imagine McMaster’s comments will be an integral part of the news cycle for the next 24 – 48 hours. They’re going to have to identify the leakers and deal with them so severely that future potential leakers will think twice before continuing this strategy.

      • Amazona May 16, 2017 / 1:28 pm

        They’re going to have to identify the leakers and deal with them so severely that future potential leakers will think twice before continuing this strategy.

        I agree, but we need to realize that this will just feed the frenzy that Trump is trying to silence those who merely want to “speak truth to power”.

        Look at how the timeline on the Comey thing.

        1. Comey issues a huge indictment of Hillary crimes and mistakes and then shows either incompetence or dishonesty or both by declaring that no one would ever prosecute someone for repeatedly and knowingly breaking the law if they couldn’t prove that the person did it with malicious intent.
        2. Millions of people, including many Dems and Independents, are outraged and call for his firing.
        3. Comey then releases information showing additional Hillary crimes and/or mistakes
        4. Dems are outraged and call for his firing.
        5. Trump decides that Comey has to go, but can’t fire him if he is already investigating Trump.
        6. Trump asks Comey, on three different occasions, if he is under investigation. Every time, Comey says no, there is no investigation of Trump.
        7. Trump then decides there is no impediment to firing Comey, as it can’t be claimed he did it to quell an investigation, and fires Comey.
        8. Liberals shriek that Trump only fired Comey to head off an investigation.
        9. Complicit Agenda Media pick up the meme and repeat it
        10. It becomes part of the “knowledge” of millions that Trump only fired Comey to head off an investigation
        11. Dems who had called for Comey’s head on a platter defend him and claim there was no reason to fire him, other than to head off an investigation.
        12. The non-existent investigation then becomes not only an investigation, but an investigation into some nefarious, possibly illegal, possibly treasonous, interaction between Trump and “the Russians”

        And, as if by magic, out of a mist of general incompetence by a government official, rises a complete and vivid conspiracy theory of collusion with an enemy and abuse of power on the part of the presidency. It is fully fleshed out, in living color and with a soundtrack of the Dem Usual Suspects shrieking in ear-bleeding hissy fits.

        If the firing of an incompetent government official, who serves at the discretion of the president, whose firing had been demanded by political leaders on both sides of the aisle, can be so rapidly and effectively transformed into a sinister effort to silence an investigation, which never existed and the illusion of which was only manufactured to add to the narrative, we can predict that digging out the leakers who provided this information to an anti-Trump newspaper will be spun as a persecution of whistleblowers only trying to let the public know a terrible truth.

        Not saying we shouldn’t do it—we definitely should. We need to start doing this very aggressively, across the board, and imposing very serious penalties. We just need to realize how it will be spun to try to provide cover for leakers and at the same time slime the Right.

      • Retired Spook May 16, 2017 / 2:11 pm

        we can predict that digging out the leakers who provided this information to an anti-Trump newspaper will be spun as a persecution of whistleblowers only trying to let the public know a terrible truth.

        In my movie version of this, a retired Secret Service agent and former Delta Force operative reporting only to the President would ferret out the leakers and they would be “disappeared.”

        In all seriousness, knowing what we know about Trump, I can’t help but think that there are efforts going on behind the scenes to identify and stop the leaks.

      • Amazona May 16, 2017 / 4:10 pm

        … I can’t help but think that there are efforts going on behind the scenes to identify and stop the leaks.

        I think there probably are.

        When I was objecting to nominating Trump I commented on my opinion that he has an oppositional personality. I still think he does, though not to a pathological extent that will make him automatically oppose anyone on anything. There is such a thing as an “oppositional/defiant” disorder, that can be very self-destructive. But I could see his level of oppositional tendencies kicking in here, and reacting to attacks on him by saying “screw you” and digging in deeper and fighting back harder. He doesn’t strike me as someone who will be deflected by pressure and attacks, but as someone who will put his head down and keep bulling on through till he has accomplished what he needs to accomplish.

        My concern is not Trump or how he will handle things. It is not even so much with slimy RINOs trying to undermine him. We will deal with them the next election cycle. It is the lack of the will, and the ability, to articulate what is happening, to provide an alternate narrative to the one so skillfully laid out by the Left, to explain what the Left is doing.

        We can drain the swamp, power wash it, paint the walls and hang new curtains and fill it with bouquets of mountain wildflowers, but if the Left controls the narrative at least half the people in this country and many more around the world will think it was just persecution of the just and sprucing things up for a corrupt elite.

      • M. Noonan May 16, 2017 / 6:29 pm

        One thing I’ve noticed among the Never Trump right is that they are rapidly shifting left. It is first noticeable in their sudden, new-found respect for MSMers which, until recently, they had healthy doubts about…now, as long as what the MSMers write confirms their anti-Trump biases, it’s all good. I keep a clearer memory: while the Obama Admin was using the power of government to oppress my political allies, the MSM was helping to cover it up (when it wasn’t actively cheering it on).

        It’s an odd thing – I do have Progressive “Twitter friends” – lefties I can interact with on a regular basis and neither I nor they get nasty about it (my favorite is this bright, young man who is an Anarcho-Communist – it gets weird, but we manage to treat each other with respect): but I’m getting nauseated by fellow Conservatives who are starting to actively help the left to win. I guess I just hate a traitor, while I can respect an honest foe. I did a couple Twitter jokes about it: starting a betting pool on which Never Trump Conservative would be first out with a book lauding Obama, and noting that the prime “tell” for a Conservative switching to Progressive would be, “I’m still personally opposed to abortion, but…”.

        And I don’t even particular like Trump! My goodness, my guys are people like Jindal and Walker. In any other year but 2016, I would have liked Jeb Bush (I just figured him a sure-loser in a Clinton-Bush re-match). But I understand that I have political opponents – and that these opponents, even when I can be personally friendly with them, would have me entirely shoved out of the public square if they were to triumph. It is what Progressives do! They can’t brook opposition – it is outside their mental world. As they hold themselves to be the repository of all that is good and beautiful in the world, it naturally follows that anyone who opposes them must be bad and ugly. Whether it’s through PC enforcement or a GULAG, one way or the other the Progressives will stifle dissent to the furthest extent possible. So, I can’t make common cause with them – I must necessarily be opposed to whatever it is they wish to do. Even though I’m opposed to the death penalty, I can’t join the left in this opposition because they will merely use me as a tool to advance their overall interests…which includes getting me out of the public square in the by and by. I don’t see how anyone on the right can fail to see this…but, plenty do.

      • Amazona May 16, 2017 / 10:23 pm

        One thing I’ve noticed among the Never Trump right is that they are rapidly shifting left. It is first noticeable in their sudden, new-found respect for MSMers which, until recently, they had healthy doubts about…now, as long as what the MSMers write confirms their anti-Trump biases, it’s all good.

        And here we come to the fatal flaw in Identity Politics. Just as alliances are based on who is liked, enmity is based on who is hated. And neither position is based on an objective analysis of the best political outcome—“political” in this case being governance, not attainment or preservation of power.

        Many who support what Trump is doing are not big fans of the man himself. Even when I find myself respecting some position he has taken, I think he is a train wreck in a lot of ways, primarily in his primitive grasp of speech. My position is based solely on governance, not on a fan club mentality, but the fan club mentality drives most of what we call politics.

  4. Retired Spook May 17, 2017 / 7:58 am

    Well, now I really don’t know what to believe.

    Even though Erick Erickson was one of the most vocal Never-Trumpers, I thought he was one of the people who could at least be trusted to tell the truth. How he is getting Top Secret Codeward information from WH “staffers” goes beyond the pale. I can’t imagine having staffers who believe they’re smarter than you leaking highly classified information to the press to try to get you to change your decision making process. What ever happened to the old suggestion box? And if this is the kind of people Trump has surrounded himself with, then he needs to clean house — fast.

    Now, on the flip side, if all these allegations are true, then the country is in deep poop, but my gut feeling is that what we’re witnessing is a carefully crafted narrative that has little basis in fact.

    • M. Noonan May 17, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      I find it exceptionally hard to believe that someone who was a Trump supporter in the campaign is so turned off by Trump that he would leak information damaging to Trump. Anything is possible, but I’d put this down as a 1% chance sort of thing.

    • Amazona May 17, 2017 / 8:02 pm

      It does sound fishy to me, as well.

      Let’s see if I understand this. Some people were strong Trump supporters because at the very least they believed that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be disastrous for the nation. They supported him even knowing his character quirks/defects/issues, such as extreme confidence in his own skills. Now these same people are saying (1) they are horrified because he is overly impressed with his skills and (2) because of this they are willing to break the law and put national security at risk in hopes the media will humiliate the president (3) because this will make him less confident about his own take on how to do things and more inclined to take advice. They are irked because he is not, in their opinion, giving this advice the respect they think it deserves. (This makes me wonder how much of this is sulking because what they thought was super wonderful brilliant advice was ignored.)

      Interesting theory.

      I suggest that a better response from Trump would be to find out who is doing this and kick them to the curb, hopefully after reporting them for violating whatever laws govern “leaking” of sensitive information.

      I am ambivalent about Trump. I think his instincts are pretty decent and his motives are very very good. As I think Hillary’s motives would always be suspect if not out-and-out malignant, that in itself is an improvement over Hillary. However, I think his brain works a lot better than his mouth, and I think he would do us all a favor if he would STFU.

      I think that either presidency, whether with Trump or with Hillary, would involve complex relationships with Russia. But the difference is, with a President Clinton the presidency would be bought and paid for and Russia would be calling the shots, while with a Trump presidency there will be give and take and the awareness on the part of Russia that they are not driving the bus.

      The fact is, Russia is part of the solution to international terrorism, and if Trump can cobble together a US/Russia coalition to hammer ISIS that would be highly beneficial to us. Does Russia do a lot of things we don’t like? You bet. Is Russia, in the long run, a potential danger to the US? Ditto. But right here, right now, in today’s reality, a strong working relationship with Russia is something we should strive for. And any strong relationship involves some give and take. We don’t know what information Russia shared with us. I haven’t even heard anyone ask that question. The hysterics act as if all the information-sharing was a one-way street.

      80 years ago the president of the United States and the Prime Minister of England (or the soon-to-be Prime Minister, as I don’t remember when Churchill was elected) realized that Russia was a dangerous nation. But they also realized that alliance with Russia was necessary to achieve the immediate goal of defeating Hitler, and in the process of this uneasy alliance I am sure a lot of “secrets” were shared with Russia. And I am sure if anyone were to report on what Roosevelt or Churchill told Stalin in private, many would have been horrified and had hissy fits.

      Since when do people outside the loop, with limited knowledge of all the moving parts, have the authority to decide what is and what is not appropriate for discussion between those who are in charge? And since when does disagreeing with the way the president is doing things justify going to the press to try to humiliate him, to undermine his authority, to undermine the confidence of other world leaders when it comes to sharing information with him, and violating the law?

      • M. Noonan May 17, 2017 / 11:01 pm

        Justice announced today that they will be going after leakers. There is some worry to be had in that – but Spook and I both know that there are also proper channels for any subordinate to let people know that fishy things are going on. You don’t actually have to leak stuff to the press…and, most of the time, the people doing the leaking are just trying to knife someone while having no risk to their jobs, at all. I also note, with great care, that for all the Sources our MSMers claim to have, they’ve missed all the actual big stories…the missile attack, the Gorsuch pick, the Comey firing, the Mueller appointment…all came out without the MSM being able to say, “we can confirm from sources that Trump will, etc…”. Methinks that for the real aspects of Trump’s Administration, the MSM has no real sources…and that makes sense because the more ardent the Trumpster – the closer he is to Trump, that is – the more contempt such a person has for the MSM. Now, someone could feel they’ve been done wrong and go tattling…but that usually takes a long time to happen. So, I really doubt the linked story.

      • Amazona May 18, 2017 / 6:08 pm

        You may have been in the position of someone offering you advice and then becoming irate because you didn’t take it. I know I have. It always seems to be unsolicited advice, too.

        I once went to a lawyer for help with one specific problem, and he started asking me about my business. I thought he was just interested in the horse business—a lot of people are. He started suggesting that I could do this, or I could do that, but I took it as conversation, as he knew nothing about my business, I had only given him superficial information because I thought of it as a social conversation and nothing he suggested made any sense. So I was polite. When I went back to see him to finalize the first issue, he was very upset that I had not acted on any of the things he had advised me to do. And billed me for the time spent in what I thought was just showing an interest in a different kind of endeavor than the law. He was very insulted that I had not rushed to do what he had told me I “should” do. I was completely taken aback.

        It can be big things, or small things. I once had a friend inform me that I should put rocks under my galvanized water tanks to keep them up off the ground. When she came back to the ranch she was really irritated and insulted because I hadn’t, so then I had to explain that the tank had to sit on smooth flat ground, or on a platform, because if it were sitting on something like rocks the weight of the water on the relatively thin bottom of the tank would push the protrusions through the bottom. Her unsolicited advice was not based on experience or even much thought, but she really took it seriously. I didn’t argue with her when she made the suggestion and I didn’t agree to do things her way, but she evidently expected me to act on it, and she was pretty unhappy that I hadn’t.

        This kind of thing happens all the time. People offer their opinions and their egos become bruised when those opinions are not acted upon. And of course it is never, in their minds, that they were wrong, or that someone else had a better idea, or that they didn’t have enough relevant information to second-guess what was going on. No, it is because the person who ignored the advice is stubborn, etc.

        No one has an obligation to explain to anyone why he didn’t act on advice or suggestions, and in the case of the president he probably can’t explain even if he wants to, as so many of his decisions involve highly sensitive information. Not to mention that his job is not to baby sit his staff and hand out participation trophies for offering “advice”.

  5. Retired Spook May 18, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    If global warming alarmists deny the benefits of warming, does that make them climate deniers?

    Recent global analysis of the Earth’s drylands has discovered 467 million hectares of unreported forested areas — or roughly seven times the size of Texas — located in drylands across the world. The discovery has lent more credence to the theory that increasing levels of man-made CO2 emissions are actually helping to increase global greening.

    The study, conducted by biologists Andrew Lowe and Ben Sparrow as well as 28 other co-authors, used modern high-resolution satellite imagery via Google Earth Engine to map 210,000 drylands. This high-resolution imagery allowed biologists to discover that forests cover a whopping 9 percent more of the world than previously thought.

  6. Amazona May 18, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    You gotta gotta gotta love Matt Walsh. The man has his finger on the pulse of the nation, and he’s a problem solver.

    His solution to Donald Trump’s problems is to simply “come out” as a woman. And his arguments are solid.

    ”…. there is a hierarchy of victimization on the Left. At the moment, Trump is at the bottom — that is, the least victimized, thus the most subject to criticism — because he identifies as a cisgendered, heterosexual, white, Republican, Christian male. “ But by coming out as a woman Don/Donna would, according to Walsh, .. rise to the top of liberalism’s Victim Pyramid…”

    He even suggests that by staying with Melania, Donna would be ”… racking up another Victim Point. She’d not only be a transgender woman, but a gay transgender woman.”

    In response to an objection that Donna Trump is still a Republican, Walsh suggests ”Perhaps, in consideration of that ….. objection, Mrs. Trump may consider adding a few additional Victim Points, just to provide herself with some extra cover. She could also come out as Muslim. And — who knows? — Native American. Maybe she’s from the same tribe as Elizabeth Warren. Who would dare criticize a gay transgendered gender-nonconforming Muslim Native American woman? Has she not faced enough intolerance and prejudice in her life?”

    I see no flaws in this analysis. Walsh admits ”… my solution would not usher in some kind of Utopia” but goes on to explain ” Only socialism can do that. “

  7. Amazona May 18, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    Never thought I would be in agreement with Dennis Kucinich, but he earned some of my respect when he said (emphasis mine) ““Our first allegiance is to our country. This isn’t about one president. This is about the political process of the United States of America being under attack by intelligence agencies and individuals in those agencies,” Kucinich continued.

    “Yes, as you said, there might be some good people in there but there are certain individuals, or the ‘lifers,’ who want to be able to direct the policy of the country, and if the president stands in their way, whether it’s a Democrat or Republican, they’ll just try to run that person out…”

    I will point out that the Blaze, whether intentionally due to anti-Trump bias or simply because its writers are not the best, has a tendency to parrot Leftist themes. Early in this article, the author refers to ”Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Kremlin.”

    No, Blaze dummy parroting Leftist lies, the special counsel’s job is to determine IF THERE WAS Russian “meddling” and/or “collusion”.

    We have met the enemy and it is us. Or at least some of us.

    • M. Noonan May 18, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      When Kucinich is the voice of reason on the Democrat side, you know we’ve got some problems.

      I’m seeing this more and more as a litmus test – it isn’t about Trump: it is about whether we, the people, are allowed to choose our own leaders. Essentially, the forces against Trump are against him simply because he isn’t acceptable to them as a person. If Trump is forced from office, it might prove a breaking point – a time when 65 million Americans suddenly realize that they are not allowed to have a say in their government.

      • Amazona May 19, 2017 / 1:19 am

        The irrationality of the Left baffles me. I’m not talking about the hard-core ideological Left, but the mainstream clueless Left. I remember asking a Lefty once why he hated, and I mean HATED, George W. Bush, and his response—which made complete sense to him—-was that it was only fair given the way Bill Clinton had been treated.

        Clinton got called out on what he DID, not who he was, and even then he got a pass on a whole lot of shenanigans, like Chinese campaign contributions. (BTW, note that the Left never called for a special prosecutor to look into collusion with the Chinese.)

        But there is a vast pool of Americans which sees politics as nothing more than a big cage match, picking sides based on identity and personality and then calling for the destruction of the other side. Literally, destruction. Annihilation. And I’m pretty comfortable in stating that most of these people are on the Left, immersed in absolute consuming toxic HATRED of people on the Right. Because they are on the Right. That’s all they need to know.

        This hatred is carefully nurtured, constantly pumped up and fed by the puppet masters, and these seething masses seem quite happy with that arrangement. They mill around waiting to get their marching orders and then erupt, on cue, with spittle-flying vitriol and loathing.

        While I think Dennis Kucinich’s politics are misguided, at least he is driven by a coherent POLITICAL belief system, unlike the mindless mobs who blindly howl for the heads of people without the slightest understanding of the political system they are supporting and enabling. I can’t think of many Dems I can say that about, as most of them seem to fall into the slavering mindless mob category.

        The Brits have a phrase for a certain level of insanity—“barking mad”—-and I am finally seeing people whose behavior illustrates how that phrase might have come about. Barbara Boxer and Maxine Waters come to mind, with Nan Pelosi right in there next to Chuckie Schumer.

  8. Retired Spook May 19, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    I was curious to see if there is a reliable timeline of conflicting testimony and anonymous source reporting WRT the Trump/Russia investigation. The first four articles resulting from such a Google search are from the NYT, WAPO, Think Progress and Mother Jones. Anyone want to read those articles and report back?

    • Amazona May 19, 2017 / 6:36 pm

      Spook, I followed up on some of this. There is a “timeline” by Bill Moyers that is so biased it isn’t even worth looking at, and another: that really tries to spin everything into something meaningful if not sinister.

      For example, this claims “In a public press conference, Trump calls for Russia to hack and disseminate Hillary Clinton’s emails” and then quotes this nefarious instruction to Russia: The damning quote?
      Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. ”
      Well, we all remember this, and know that it was a joking comment—and wasn’t it in a debate, not a press conference? I’m not sure about that.

      And here is something else that is presented as if it means something:
      “The Associated Press reports the U.S. government investigation of Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, crossed the Atlantic earlier this year to the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, once known as a haven for money laundering by Russian billionaires”

      Well, we obviously need to get a rope! Someone fired by Trump visited an island (though it is noted that to do so he “crossed the Atlantic”—-don’t want anyone to think this didn’t take some effort!) that was ONCE—that is, in the past—“known as” which is code for rumored to be, a place where Russian billionaires “laundered” money. This is so shameless, it doesn’t even try to make a connection here.

      Well, I once crossed the United States to New York City, once known as a haven for organized crime!

      I didn’t look for the conflicting testimony and anonymous source reporting you mention. I will note that the above link depends very VERY heavily on the purported “dossier” put together by someone hired to defeat Trump—“dossier” trying to make it sound official and James Bond-ish, as opposed to “file folder put together by a hired gun which references alleged sources never named”.

    • Amazona May 19, 2017 / 7:34 pm

      Let’s look at the Post story.

      Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe write:

      The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said. The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trump’s decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.”

      So, according to the Post, Trump talked with high-ranking foreign officials about a problem that concerns both nations. Remember, this allegedly took place in a secure and private meeting. Let me repeat that—this alleged sharing of information was among only the most high ranking officials of both countries.

      And then the Post proceeds to print an article about this, claiming to have heard it from some unnamed source—and then goes on to print that these unnamed “officials” making the claim are fretting that the shared information “…risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.”

      In other words, while what Trump did or did not say, in a private meeting, might have given enough information to allow the foreign officials to deduct the source of the intelligence. But then the Post, in its eagerness to slime Trump, tells the world. Just how many allies of the United States have “…access to the inner workings of the Islamic State….”? Did this ally give the Post permission to spread this information even more widely?

      I didn’t hear about Russian officials running out and telling everyone that the US has an ally with “access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.” No, even if Trump HAD said things he should not have said—-a claim that has not been proved—-this ally would not have known about it, if not told by “leakers” and then published in the Washington Post. Therefore, any “risk” to any “cooperation” from this ally can be laid at the feet of the opportunists who leaked the claim and the paper which published it, in such explicit detail.

      • Retired Spook May 19, 2017 / 10:03 pm

        It is kinda cathartic to dissect some of this garbage, isn’t it? I guess we’ll find out at some point whether enough people are swayed by it to make a difference, or whether it’s just so much spittin’ into the wind.

      • Amazona May 20, 2017 / 12:04 pm

        The thing is, if you just read it, it seems to make sense and make a strong case against Trump. These people are really really good at what they do, and they are masters of innuendo and implication.

        We have asked the question here and I ask it again—if you learn that someone has lied to you, will you still trust him? The answer for me is no, or at least only after confirming everything else he says. But it seems that an alarmingly large number of Americans don’t care if they are lied to, and when lies are pointed out they shrug that off and then buy into the next series of lies.

        The other question is, why would someone lie? The most obvious answer is because the truth will hurt him. The next answer is to get something he wants—your vote, your money, your help in taking someone down. But again, this alarmingly large segment of Americans either never asks that question or just finds the answers immaterial.

        We saw proofs of the second question/answer in the election—–Hillary and her minions lied, because (1) they knew the truth would hurt her and (2) to try to get something they all wanted. And we saw that their fears were well founded, because enough people cared about the truth when it came out to let it affect their votes.

        But during the election there were people making the lies public and explaining them. Now, not so much. As in “not at all”.

  9. Retired Spook May 20, 2017 / 11:58 am

    By most accounts Trump is beginning the process of repairing the damage done by Barack Obama in the area of foreign policy, which the NYT acknowledges in its headline and throughout the article. but they just couldn’t resist getting in one dig after another beginning with the very first sentence.

    President Trump touched down in this Middle Eastern kingdom on Saturday morning as he sought to escape, if just briefly, the scandals and the chaos that have engulfed his administration back home.

    One of their paragraphs required some repair of its own:

    For Mr. Trump, the warm embrace by the Saudi monarchy is a welcome break from the cascade of bad fake news in Washington. Even as Air Force One took off from a Maryland air base on Friday afternoon, headlines revealed new details about the swiftly expanding investigation into ties between Russia and Mr. Trump’s advisers.

    • Amazona May 20, 2017 / 1:55 pm

      “…sought to escape…” the avalanche of ginned-up hysteria?

      How about acting like the adult in the room, like the Executive Officer of the nation, and going about the nation’s business while hysterics howl at the moon back home?

    • M. Noonan May 20, 2017 / 10:45 pm

      I don’t think anyone was quite expecting the treatment he got from Saudi Arabia. To be sure, I still have plenty of complaints to lodge against that kingdom, but if we’ve got to be involved in the Middle East, it means we’ve got to have some sort of workable relationship with Saudi Arabia.

      Here’s some things I’ve thought on:

      With the boom in American oil and natural gas production, we no longer need Saudi Arabia – but they still need us. So, naturally, they will want to present themselves in the most favorable light to the President. That explains rolling out the Special Delux Red Carpet.

      From what I understand – though I haven’t confirmed it – the Saudi women present weren’t head-to-toe covered. If so, then this is a very loud signal to the world that Saudi Arabia might be willing to shift away from the most strict interpretation of Wahabism.

      I’ve read that Saudi Arabia paid for Pakistan’s nuclear program and has an option to buy a certain number of warheads at need – the need would be, of course, when they feel that Iran is close to deploying nuclear weapons. But having a deterrence isn’t really what you want – you want protection. The Iranians would never nuke Mecca and Medina, of course, but Riyadh would be on the target list. Saudi Arabia will be wanting a missile defense system…and that means they’ll need the help of the two nations most advanced in this area: the United States and Israel.

      It’s long been a known-secret that Israel and Saudi Arabia get along and cooperate in various ways. Could we see a public thaw in Israeli-Saudi relations? If we do, then the Palestinian radicals are left in the lurch and Iran is in deep trouble.

      • Amazona May 21, 2017 / 12:21 pm

        Clearly we need a special prosecutor—is Fitzgerald still available?—to prove collusion between Trump and the Saudis to steal the election from its rightful anointed victor, Hillary Clinton. This cordial relationship between Trump and the Saudis is all we need to prove that they rigged the election to put him in office. Unnamed sources in the administration, according to a former administration official who also chooses to remain anonymous, state that this was far from the first meeting between Trump and Saudi officials, who routinely received large boxes of Godiva chocolates from Trump during the campaign with its truffles wrapped in coded messages promising them concessions for helping defeat Hillary. This is obviously enough to result in impeachment, erasing the entire election, and skipping over the silly voting thing to simply appoint Hillary as president.

      • M. Noonan May 21, 2017 / 9:31 pm

        LOL – I’m expecting Louise Mensch to have something on this soon!

  10. Amazona May 20, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    Just curious—did the Left have hissy fits when President Bill Clinton buddied up with Russian president Boris Yeltsin? Did they fear Russian influence because of the “Bill and Boris” show? emphasis mine

    Clinton was strongly inclined not only to like Yeltsin but also to support his policies, in particular, his commitment to Russian democracy. During the seven years both were in office, “Bill and Boris” met eighteen times, nearly as often as their predecessors had met throughout the entire Cold War.

    “Of course, we have also had our differences,” Clinton observed, “but the starting point for our relationship has always been how Russia and America can work together to advance our common interests.”

    Former President Bill Clinton once praised Vladimir Putin’s “enormous potential” in a phone call with then-Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, according to new transcripts of their phone conversations released by Clinton’s presidential library.

    “Putin has enormous potential, I think,” Clinton continued. “I think he’s very smart and thoughtful. I think we can do a lot of good with him.”

    From the beginning of his administration, Clinton held out the hand of friendship to Russia
    (Deputy Secretary of State) Talbott extols the vital importance of “an effective channel between the Pentagon and the Russian Ministry of Defence”
    …. it can be argued that Clinton was frequently successful in terms of direct policy results, most notably during the first five years of his administration. Three important post-Cold War defence issues – involving India, Ukraine and the Baltic states – were resolved with Russian co-operation over 1993-94; the two sides managed to find agreement on the problem of intervention in Bosnia in 1995; and the crucial, complex question of NATO enlargement was tactfully played out over several years before becoming reality in 1997. High-level Clinton-Yeltsin meetings often produced decisive outcomes, but other diplomatic channels also played a central role

    Rarely had an American and a Russian leader been so chummy. Clinton and Yeltsin were buddies, two lovable rascals with big appetites.
    What kind of uproar did we hear from the Left when Former President Bill Clinton met directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015? Are we to believe that Hillary’s run for the presidency was never discussed? What else could Bill have to discuss with Vladimir? Russian President Vladimir Putin and former US President Bill Clinton, who engineered what Putin and Russian leaders consider the NATO encirclement of Russia, held a low-profile meeting last year in Moscow.

    A central tenet of Talbott’s is that “government-to-government relations often succeeded or failed on the basis of personal relations.” Nowhere was this truer than in Clinton’s close relationship with President Boris Yeltsin — which Talbott hints may have prevented Washington from pursuing a tougher policy toward Moscow in such sensitive areas as human rights abuses in Chechnya and Russia’s shaky democratic transition.
    ….personalities clearly help drive the U.S.-Russian relationship. Yeltsin benefited greatly from Clinton’s loyalty, whereas organizations such as the G-7 and agencies such as the U.S. Treasury Department had no chance of winning an argument that clashed with Clinton’s devotion to Yeltsin. When Clinton wanted Russia to be included in the G-7 meetings, for example, he got it done — despite the fact that Russia was neither a robust market economy nor a liberal democracy.

    In other words, when it was a Clinton pursuing and developing personal relationships with Russian officials, that was fine—even when a former US president met privately with the Russian president in the year his wife declared her intent to run for the presidency. (Though this may not have done any good…..see next post.)

  11. Amazona May 20, 2017 / 1:16 pm

    Another angle I ran across in looking for examples of Clintons being buddies with Russians, etc. That is a possible motive for Putin wanting to interfere with Hillary’s run for the presidency.

    An interesting perspective on what Russia may have done, and why, goes back to Bill Clinton’s support of Boris Yeltsin during a period when Vladimir Putin was seething at what he saw as the disintegration of Russian honor and dignity. (emphasis mine)

    Clinton even did his best to influence Russian politics, throwing his support to a deeply unpopular Yeltsin, who used his ties to the U.S.—and its economic aid—to narrowly escape political defeat in 1996.

    Today, as the U.S. grapples with a Russia with resurgent global ambitions, with a Kremlin that hacks our emails, manipulates our news—and, according to the CIA, actively worked to elect Donald Trump—it’s important to realize that for Putin, it’s not just a constant move for advantage. Yes, Putin is pressing Russia’s current interests. But in scheming to defeat Hillary Clinton, and by subjecting American democracy itself to Russian influence, he is also closing a loop opened in part by the Clintons 20 years ago. Putin can’t undo Russia’s Cold War defeat by America. But he can avenge it. And in Donald Trump—the man who defeated Hillary Clinton and seems ready to deal with Putin on terms that few other American politicians would countenance—he hopes he has found a willing partner.

    in Putin’s view, Clinton piled on. She offered supportive words about the protests, expressing “concerns” about the parliamentary elections and saying the U.S. “supports the rights and aspirations of the Russian people.” To Western ears, it was boilerplate pro-democracy talk, not exactly a call to arms against the government in Moscow. But Putin treated it that way. He fumed that Clinton had “sent a signal” to the protesters and accused the U.S. of backing election observers who, he said, had a subversive agenda. “We need to safeguard ourselves from this interference in our internal affairs and defend our sovereignty,” Putin said.

    So Bill Clinton interfered openly and directly in a Russian election, publicly supporting the reelection of his buddy Boris Yeltsin, the man Putin blamed for humiliating Russia and dragging it down, and also was the architect of policies Putin saw as damaging to Russia while yukking it up with Yeltsin. Then Hillary interfered, in Putin’s eyes, in Russian affairs and an election.

    Clintons poked the bear when it was weak, and now that it has power they may have been bitten by it. And Trump didn’t have to have anything to do with it.

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