Trump Demands

Back around August of 2016, I was talking over the election with the Mrs and, at that time, was figuring that Trump had a real chance of winning. But I was also thinking that the Establishment would pull out all the stops to prevent this. Not, by the way, because of the policies Trump proposed, nor even because of their false claims that he was a racist or any such thing. No, they were afraid of him winning simply because he would be the first President we’ve ever had who owed nothing to the Establishment. That is the key to understanding the amazing level of hatred directed Trump’s way. He doesn’t care what happens to the Establishment.

And the Establishment is corrupt to the bone – and gets away with it simply because no one does anything about it. They can’t – either they are personally compromised, or fearful that their closest allies will be caught up in an anti-corruption sweep. So, everyone just pretends its all good…with only the odd, egregious violator sent up the river, and even then only if such an action won’t harm the Masters of the Establishment, the Democrats. Trump comes rolling in and, being on the right side of the law, himself, sees no reason to worry about investigations…regardless of where they lead.

I don’t know why, exactly, Trump has allowed the Mueller fiasco to continue as long as it has – I can only assume he’s got his own plan, on his own timeline, and has made the calculation that it isn’t the right time to shut Mueller down. But his demand over the weekend that the DOJ look into Obama Administration spying is clearly a shot across the bow. We don’t know what Trump knows – what he has been able to obtain on his authority as President detailing just what happened. We can count on it that many bureaucrats would do all they can to thwart Trump in getting information…but at least some percentage of them still hold to the old, non-partisan ethic of the bureaucracy and so will obey Presidential orders. Trump likely knows a lot about who was doing what and under who’s orders.

But he can’t act precipitously on such information. It is going to be a lot harder to get convictions than most suspect. First off, Justice is riddled with people who will do all they can to blow cases. Secondly, any trials in the DC area would have a juries packed full of anti-Trump people who could easily be lead to saying “not guilty” no matter what. Also, when it all comes out, it has to come in a way very easy for the broad mass of the American people to understand. The MSM will just flat lie about it, of course…but if it is very obvious, even the most blatant lies won’t keep people from understanding the truth.

Big things are about to happen, I think – and what I think they’ll amount to is a full attack on a corrupt Ruling Class. Stay tuned.

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The Middle East is Changing

So, Iranian forces in Syria attacked Israeli targets and Israel, naturally, responded – a big thing and important in itself, but this struck me:

Bahrain has backed Israel’s right to “defend itself”, following dozens of Israeli airstrikes on Iranian military targets in Syria overnight.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid al-Khalifa said on Thursday that it backed Tel Aviv’s military response to attempted Iranian missile strikes on an Israeli army base, early Thursday morning, in the occupied Golan Heights.

“As long as Iran has breached the status quo in the region and invaded countries with its forces and missiles, so any state in the region, including Israel, is entitled to defend itself by destroying sources of danger,” the minister, whose country is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, said on his official Twitter account…

Bahrain is a tiny country and is allied with Saudi Arabia mostly for protection against Iran. So, no surprise that Bahrain would be pleased to see Iran harmed, but it is massively surprising that an official of the Bahrain government would publicly declare Israel – which, officially in most Muslim countries, doesn’t even exist – has a right to self-defense. This is a sea-change in Arab attitudes.

What I think has really broken the log-jam here is the fact that Trump pretty much dropped the Palestinian issue like a bad habit. As long as our actions in the Middle East were always tied to a theory that we had to remain somewhat neutral in the Arab-Israeli conflict – and thus had to pretend that the Palestinian leadership was a key element – we were tied to a false idea, and thus couldn’t really move. Trump moved; now, everyone is moving. Its been a couple decades since anyone in the Arab world really gave a darn about the Palestinians and while no one would object to a permanent peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everyone with any sense at all knows the Palestinian leadership has staked out an impossible position (return to the 1967 border, return of “refugees” to Israel and, of course, still rhetoric about marching on Tel Aviv one day), and so there’s no chance of it right now. So, let’s move on until the Palestinian leadership changes.

And as people are able to move on – as people no longer have to pretend that a few fanatics in Gaza have to be appeased in order to do anything – the political realities which have existed at least since the Iranian revolution are rising to the surface…and are being dealt with. I’m not saying they are being dealt with properly – there’s a lot of confusion and an outsider like me really can’t judge all that well – but they are being dealt with. Saudi Arabia is determined to check Iran (wise move, Saudi Arabia) and in that effort, ignoring a powerful Israel which is also determined to check Iran would be foolish. I think we’re still a ways away from an Israeli Embassy in Riyadh…but I don’t think that far away. The times, they are a-changing…and it is Trump, the Agent of Change on Steroids, who is making it happen.

The Never-Ending Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory

The House Intel committee came to it’s conclusion:

The House Intelligence Committee has released findings from its upcoming report on the Trump-Russia affair — and its main conclusion is that it has discovered no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” the committee said in a one-page summary of its findings released Monday afternoon.

In addition, the committee took issue with the intelligence community assessment of Russian motivations in the 2016 election. The committee agrees with the assessment that the Russians did, in fact, try to interfere — the findings cite “Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions in 2015-2016 and their use of social media to sow discord.” But the committee disagrees with the intelligence community judgment that Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically tried to help President Trump win the election.

Of course, we all knew this, already. These findings, though resulting from an exhaustive investigation, won’t convince our Progressives nor the Never Trumpers that there’s nothing to see here. They are all too invested in it, and they are invested in it because all of them were deeply invested in Hillary winning. Not just in the sense of her, personally, winning but in her winning proving conclusive that everyone who backed Trump was a complete idiot. Make no mistake about it: there is a lot of ego involved here.

You might recall that I predicted the 2006 mid-term elections not just wrong – but so incredibly, stupidly wrong that, in hindsight, I had to be a complete fool not to have seen it coming. I had, in that time, let the wish become the father of the thought. I didn’t want the Democrats to win, and so I went about for months finding reasons to justify my pre-conceived notion. Everyone can fall prey to this. But, for me, it was an excellent learning experience. I mostly learned that things can always go very different from what you expect. From that day to this, you might have noticed that I don’t make hard and fast political predictions. I always hedge my statements – “may”, “might”, “could be”, and so on. I made my mistake, took my lumps and moved on – because I’m not an egoist. The Progressives and the Never Trumpers very much are. And they are hanging on to Trump-Russia because as long as it exists, it explains away their mistake. They weren’t wrong, you see? Russia colluded with Trump! That’s how Trump won!

Now, to be sure, you can’t nail these guys down. As Ace points out, they are like the “soft” 9/11 Truthers…they won’t specifically state what they believe, but they’ll glide around hinting at this or that statement which backs up the main part of the theory (in 9/11 Trutherism, that Bush knew about and/or planned the 9/11 attacks). If you ask Trump-Russia theorists to fill in the blanks: “Putin did (blank) to help Trump win in return for (blank)”, you’ll never get them to fill them in. They can’t – they don’t dare because anything put into those blanks is going to be so clearly absurd as to be laughable. There was nothing Putin could do to alter the election and there was nothing Trump could do that would help Putin. Period. But the true believers keep at it – because it is their security blanket. Their assurance that they didn’t just get it wrong.

Getting it wrong is about the worst feeling you can have, after all. When you’ve done something bone-headed, you just feel the worst. You’d rather have been caught robbing a bank or something. Nothing is worse than looking like a fool – at least, for most of us. A few saints have risen above such things, but most of us are slaves to our dignity…to our pride. Not seeing the obvious in 2016 – that Trump was running a campaign tailor-made to pull in disaffected Democrats and thus would likely get him over 270 – is a bitter pill to swallow. Only one Never Trumper I know has really swallowed it – he freely admitted after the election that he simply refused to see the proof that Trump at least had a solid shot (what he missed, most egregiously, was the massive shift in voter registration to the GOP in Pennsylvania).

The longer anyone keeps with a mistake, the more invested they get in defending the mistake. So we can rely on it that the people who still believe in Trump-Russia will keep on believing it. Twenty years from now they’ll still bring it up from time to time. Just as we still have people mumbling about 9/11, so we’ll hear mumbles about Trump-Russia forever. Fortunately, most of us can ignore it, if we haven’t already. There’s nothing to find because there’s no possibility it can be true. And the really good news is that people who are lashed themselves to the mast of stupidity will keep on being stupid, thus making it more likely we’ll win in years to come.