Friday, December 30, 2016

Obama Administration’s attack on Russia

The Obama administration appears to be attempting to provoke the Russians into a confrontation.  This apparent attack on Russia is in reality an attack on Donald Trump.  Andrea Mitchell reported that the Obama administration is taking steps to “box in” President-elect Donald Trump so the sanctions are not easily reversible.   This provocation will include economic sanctions, 'diplomatic censure' and clandestine cyber attacks.  The excuse for this provocation is the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.  How can Donald Trump be sworn in as president if the Russians in effect chose him as our next president?  The campaign being waged suggests that Trump is not very intelligent, he ignores intelligence assets and he is a tool of Vladimir Putin.

The administration’s point man for the attack on Trump’s competence is Vice President Joseph Biden.  Biden has declared, "Trump is so stupid that he doesn’t understand,” and "He has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.”  After revealing that he was accompanied by a military aide carrying a briefcase containing the nuclear codes, Biden remarked, “Just imagine giving this guy access."  The Vice President also revealed the location of the secure bunker where he would go in the event of a terrorist attack or national security threat. 

Donald Trump is being accused of being indifferent to intelligence.  The media have enlisted academic “experts” to bolster their accusations.  Professor Joshus Rovner, the John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security, stated, “By ignoring intelligence, Trump risks policy tunnel vision.”  Rovner was critical Trump’s pick of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to head the CIA because Flynn called the CIA a political arm of the Obama administration.  Michael V. Hayden, former N.S.A. director, stated, “To have the president-elect of the United States simply reject the fact-based narrative that the intelligence community puts together because it conflicts with his a priori assumptions — wow.”  Politico has reported, “Trump's highly public rebukes of the U.S. intelligence apparatus will undermine morale in the spy agencies.” 

The government has released two reports on the email hacking and there have been numerous leaks by “reliable” anonymous sources.  The October 7, 2016 report was entitled, Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security.  This report stated the intelligence community was “confident” that the Russians were responsible for the hack because the methods and motivations were consistent with Russian efforts.  The report then stated, “we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.”

The December 27, 2016 report was entitled GRIZZLY STEPPE.  This report stated, “Actors likely associated with RIS (Russian civilian and military intelligence Services) are continuing to engage in spearphishing campaigns.”  Based on this the Washington Post reported, “the FBI has so far not gathered enough evidence that could be introduced in a criminal case.”

Based on these reports and the anonymous leaks it has been endlessly repeated that Russia has interfered in the U.S. election.  Based on the October 7 report Rep. Elijah Cummings claimed, "experts agree that there is overwhelming evidence that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election.  It has been reported that, “despite a publicly released report from the office of the director of National intelligence and the department of homeland security stating that Vladimir Putin’s state-sponsored hackers were behind those breaches.”  Neither report clearly states that Russia was responsible and certainly there is nothing “overwhelming” in them.  These allegations continuously repeated have convinced a large part of the public that there is no doubt about the origin on the hacking.

Is there any justification for Donald Trump’s skepticism about the intelligence he is receiving?  Rep. Peter King (R-NY) claimed CIA director John Brennan was orchestrating a “hit job” on Trump.  He claimed Brennan was leaking to The Washington Post information that he’s not giving the intelligence committee.  Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has also questioned the veracity of the intelligence.  Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee stated, ‘‘I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence – even now.  There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.’’  Julian Assange has stated the Russian government was not the source.  The Russians have also denied it.

The Obama appointees in the intelligence community can be expected to criticize the president-elect.  However, he might has substantial support among the rank and file.  Many of them are unhappy with the way their organizations are run.  50
intelligence analysts have formally complained that their reports on ISIS were being inappropriately altered.  The intelligence community has a long history of being surprised as far back as the fall of the Soviet Union.  A “massive “ cyberattack was revealed however.  The Georgia’s election agency linked to a Department of Homeland Security IP address.  According to WSB-TV in Atlanta West Virginia and Kentucky, confirmed that the same IP address accessed their election systems.

The Boston Globe has pointed out that “the clock is ticking.”  These measures must be pit in place before Obama leaves office.  The expulsion of 35 Russian “spies” is merely an irritant.  The administration believes it will embarrass a Trump administration to, “let those spies back in the states.”  The more serious concern is, according to NBC News, “the Obama administration is now literally threatening a cyber war with Russia.” 

In an interview on December 30, cybersecurity tycoon John McAfee blasted claims Moscow was involved in hacking the US presidential election, insisting it was “not the Russians.”  McAfee stated, “When the FBI or when any other agency says the Russians did it or the Chinese did something or the Iranians did something – that's a fallacy,”  He further stated, “Any hacker capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks. If I were the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it I would use Russian language within the code.”  He attributed this to government manipulation. “This is what the FBI and other agencies want us to believe so that they can manipulate our opinions, but I can promise you – if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians.”

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Obamas’ parting shots

         In an article in the Toronto Sun entitled “The Obamas’ parting shots diminish them,” Lorrie Goldstein says, “his coat tails have always been short.”  His party losing more than 1,000 federal and state election races since he assumed the presidency is not exactly a “short coat tail.”  He thinks he would have won this past election. He would not be running against a McCain or a Romney.  They were afraid to attack him.  Trump would have asked, “Where were you on the night of Benghazi?”
         Michelle Obama was asked if Obama had delivered on his promise of hope.  She replied, “Yes, I do. Because we feel the difference now.”  Goldstein says, “The Obamas would have been better advised to thank Americans for giving them the honour of serving eight years in the White House, and left it at that.”  We have not heard the last from the Obamas.  As "no pardons" has said, “As time goes by, the verbal tantrums shall grow in size and insanity.”  When the economy improves Obama will be  there to claim credit.  This will be confirmed by his sycophants in the press and academia.

         Obama’s press coverage has been out of touch with reality.  Proof that their sycophants were delusional: they proclaimed a wide load a fashion icon.  His legacy: chaos in the Middle East and perverted males in ladies rooms.  If Trump governs  correctly a lot of people are going to jail.  Obama’s only hope is to provoke Russia, causing a conflict.  He will be sending surface to air missiles to ISIS and he has announced he will initiate a “covert” cyberattack on Russia.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Farewell President Obama

            President Obama and First Lady Michelle have brought the presidency to a new level.  This is now in jeopardy.  Michelle Obama says the American public will miss having a 'grown-up' in the White House.  She gave an interview with Oprah Winfrey in which she said “people will come to appreciate” her husband's presidency.  She lamented, "Now we're feeling what not having hope feels like.”  Her husband knew how to deal with a crisis.  "Having a grown-up in the White House, who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil, 'Hey, it's gonna be OK. Let's remember the good things that we have. Let's look at the future. Let's look at all the things that we're building."  I can envision him on the phone using those very words to the staff in Benghazi. 

            In spite of his genius for diplomacy, President Obama was a man of the people who was concerned with culture.  He explained, “In my first term, I sang Al Green; in my second term, I’m going with Young Jeezy.” My mother’s favorite Jeezy tune was "Ain't No Nigga.”  You probably know the words, but in case you don’t here are some: “I keep it fresher than the next bitch no need..for you to ever sweat the next bitch ..with speed.”  He also had time for interviews by such luminaries as Pimp with the Limp and GloZell.  Sometime the president lamented that he did not get enough rspect.  But perhaps his lasting will be the integration of restrooms.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Propaganda Technique Number 9

The headline will read “U.S. Officials: Putin Personally Involved in U.S. Election Hack” or something to that effect.  This is an NBC, CBS, or ABC EXCLUSIVE.  U.S. officials are stating that Vladimir Putin was involved in the hack of Democrat emails.  That is what will circulate in the media.  It is what people will talk about around the water cooler.  Mission accomplished.  However, what is this conclusion based upon? 

The first sentence in the article will read, “U.S. intelligence officials believe with "a high level of confidence" that Vladimir Putin was personally involved in the effort to interfere in the U.S. presidential election.”  It does not read, “U.S. intelligence officials state,” or even “U.S. intelligence officials claim.”  It states “U.S. intelligence officials believe.”  Now I believe for every drop of rain that falls a flower grows.  Harry Reid believed the voices that told him about Mitt Romney’s taxes.  Dan Rather believed the memos about George Bush’s National Guard service that originated with the elusive "Lucy Ramirez" were genuine.  This belief cost him his job.

Of course these sources are always “highly placed” and “very reliable.”  Unfortunately they always insist on remaining anonymous.  The CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have refused to comment on the issue.  Why is that?  Vladimir Putin may have been responsible for this interference but the media’s proof is manufactured.  The establishment media’s credibility was severely damaged during this election cycle.  They are attempting to regain their credibility with an attack on “fake news.”  This will not work, especially if the campaign is waged with more fake news. 

The Hill publishes a screed denouncing Trump supporters

The Hill publishes a screed denouncing Trump supporters and my response

America is held hostage by flyover states

The predominant narrative coming out of the 2016 presidential post-election analysis is: The flyover states have spoken.
A flyover state is the huge region between the coasts. As opposed to the eastern seaboard, northern post-industrial states and Pacific Ocean states. They’re overwhelmingly Republican, stanchly conservative, regressive right wing, evangelical Christian and working class, well, the loudest, most ill-informed of them are. The term wasn’t commonly used in a political manner until recently with the emergence of the Tea Party and the election of Obama.

A visit to Wichita, Kan., isn’t on the bucket list of many Americans. Whereas most travelers fly over Fayetteville, Ark., and Springfield, Mo. They’re not destination spots. The flyover state gripe has nothing to do with the tourist industry of Oklahoma or Nebraska or Iowa. This is about their perceived feelings of abandonment and disrespect from their government. Never mind they’ve elected local, state and national representatives that should reflect their values and interests. 
Forsetti’s Justice writes:
“Government has not done enough to help them in many cases but their local and state governments are almost completely Republican and so too are their Representatives and Senators. Instead of holding them accountable, they vote them in over and over and over again.”

Now they’ve elected Donald Trump, the ultimate coastal elite. Trump pandered to their bigotry, and anger at Washington, D.C.
The more entrenched the flyover voting bloc becomes in their voting habits, the further they fall behind economically, by voting against their own interests, the more they blame Washington, D.C. and coastal "liberal elites" for their issues. 
They’re not silent or a majority 
This is a voter demographic fond of describing themselves as hard-working middle-class Americans. Which they are. They’re overwhelmingly middle-aged to senior, white, semi-rural, increasingly suburban and indignant. They seem to be perpetually enraged every election cycle, and after, according to the results.
They either want their country back or they’re tired of being ignored. They regularly blurt the latter as justification for electing right-wing theocrat/closed minds, austerity minded, cultural fascists to office. These are people that use more government subsidy than any segment of the country, but they hate "handouts" to anyone else. They are the largest consumers of SNAP benefits, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The flyover states are the main reason Congress is irreparably broken.
In the presidential election of 1968, Richard Nixon won 301 Electoral College votes, despite only receiving 43 percent of the popular vote. Third-party candidate George Wallace siphoned off 13 percent of the southern Democrats, which split from the Democratic Party altogether in 1972, via Nixon’s southern strategy. Virtually the same dynamic propelled Bill Clinton to office in 1992, albeit through different electoral politics. Clinton’s election was due less to racial/cultural issues, more economic.
Since the inception of the term silent majority almost 50 years ago, and all of its iterations since, this block of voters was hardly a majority and never silent. This group has been exceedingly adept at dominating the narrative in virtually every election cycle. They’re proficient at dog-whistle propaganda, and since the mid-1980s, they’ve created their own media echo-chamber which exponentially multiplies the sound of their own voices, with no interference from outside sources. This was accomplished mainly with coast to coast a.m. radio stations broadcasting 24/7 right-wing indoctrination, to conservative patriot and alt-right conspiracy theory websites of the last 15 years which disseminate tragic half-truths and whole fake news.  
The alleged silent majority is deafening and easily provoked. They reside in their own echo-chamber bubble of indignation about everything from "New York values" (urban, ethnic rights, LGBT, social justice), to the war on Christmas and Black Lives Matter. They mocked and derided all people’s protests from Occupy to #NoDAPL. Their old standbys are opposing a woman’s right to choose, reinstituting school prayer and eradicating "big government." They hate progress. Their idea of American values is straight from circa 1870.
Hillary Clinton garnered more votes than Trump, 2 million more votes. However, that doesn’t preclude flyover state Trump voters from claiming a landslide and mandate. In 2012 and 2008, Mitt Romney and John McCain received more votes while losing than Trump did in 2016. Yet American-values Trump voters still proclaim a “make America great again” Trump-style mandate. They’re delusional in their belief that their views are more important, more valid, more ethical, and more patriotic than any other groups. They claim American Christian values, home, God and country. White values. Any dissenting viewpoints are taken as literal acts of war.
Anyone who questions the narrow vision of Middle America Christian values, being forced on 325 million people of multiple cultures, religions, no religion, and a mosaic of ethnicities, is deemed ungodly and un-American.
It’s clear cultural fascism.
American cultural progress has gone regressive
The United States is in social and cultural check. The poor will get no practical relief. Living wages will remain a distant dream. Healthcare costs will remain the major source of bankruptcy. Environmental issues will intensify to unknown crisis proportions. Women’s reproductive rights will be under constant attack and eroded. Race relations will devolve to tribal levels of disdain and mistrust.
The American melting pot will become a cauldron boiling over with contempt.
There is a cultural war happening in America, it’s in the cold propaganda phase, going back to the 1990s. The election of Trump signals this cultural conflagration will heat up.
Yes, the country has been critically divided for two decades, I don’t know how we find treaty and consensus, while truth is so dishonored and mocked. 
To Trump voters: You allowed your bigotry and anger at the system to be cynically exploited yet again, by regressive, wealthy demagogues. I have little sympathy for you. I for one will not be contorting myself to "give Trump a chance" or seek common ground with you.
You need healing, not allies.
Duane Townsend is life-long resident of Detroit, Mich., and an experienced observer of the American social/political landscape.

Duane, First I want to warn you that I suspect I have quite a bit more education than you and probably a significant number of IQ points.  I also voted for Donald Trump.  I don’t usually point out my intellectual advantage, (it really is in poor taste) but your written Trigglypuff imitation provoked me.  You describe Trump voters as “perpetually enraged,” “delusional,” haters of progress.  We vote against our own interests and elect, “right-wing theocrat/closed minds, austerity minded, cultural fascists to office.”  Our values are “straight from circa 1870.”  They are “White values.”  (Is that some kind of “dog-whistle?”  I prefer to think that I have Oriental values.)  We get our information from, “a.m. radio stations broadcasting 24/7 right-wing indoctrination, to conservative patriot and alt-right conspiracy theory websites.”  The establishment media has totally discredited itself in an attempt to derail Donald Trump.  Establishment “experts” have been made fools of.  Duane, you claim to be a life-long resident of Detroit.  How many years have you lived there?  As an “experienced observer of the American social/political landscape” how do you rate the progress Detroit has made in the last 50 years?  I suppose any failures can be attributed to those “cultural fascists.”  

Monday, December 12, 2016

More “Fake News” - The Russian Stole The Election

More “Fake News” - The Russian Stole The Election

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” - Joseph Goebbels

Paul Roderick Gregory wrote in Forbes, “The Kremlin knows that repeated lies are eventually taken as truth, so that an unsourced narrative, repeated, will eventually become the ‘truth.’”  Of course Joseph Goebbels said it more concisely.  The public is now being subjected to a barrage of reports that the Russians are in effect responsible for Donald Trump being elected president.  Naturally Donald Trump is denying this.  California Rep. Eric Swalwell claims that Trump’s denials are ridiculous.  He claims, "He (Trump) is denying that the sun sets in the West."  Rep. Elijah Cummings claims, "experts agree that there is overwhelming evidence that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. Overwhelming. It is not disputed, it's overwhelming."  If you disagree with this you are crazy.
The congressmen and media are basing their opinions on the October 07, 2016 “Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security” issued by the Director of National Intelligence.  The various accounts of the meeting of the CIA with House and Senate leaders do not appear to support the claim that there was overwhelming evidence of Russian interference.  The Washington Post quoted one official saying, "It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia's goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected."  The article claims that the CIA has “high confidence” and that it “believes” the Russian were responsible several items.  It also states, “we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.”  This does not sound overwhelming.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell questioned the veracity of the intelligence.  Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee stated, ‘‘I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence - even now.  There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.’’  Julian Assange has stated the Russian government is not the source.  The Russians have also denied it.  Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, and a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims “bullshit,” stating, “They are absolutely making it up.”

Naturally Donald Trump does not believe the Russians interfered in his favor.  He criticized the CIA saying, “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”  He pointed out that the hacking, ‘‘could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.’’  The guy from New Jersey is a real possibility.  During congressional hearings on the Clinton emails Congressman Chaffetz asked Director Comey, “are you implying in that statement that the private email servers of Secretary Clinton were perhaps less secure than a Gmail account?”  Comey responded, “Yes.”   During the same hearing Congressman Blum claimed that, “the going rate to hack into somebody’s Gmail account; $129.

Donald Trump is being portrayed as not very bright and indifferent to intelligence matters.  He is “a man known to have a very short attention span and a dislike of reading.”  Michael V. Hayden, former N.S.A. director, stated, “To have the president-elect of the United States simply reject the fact-based narrative that the intelligence community puts together because it conflicts with his a priori assumptions — wow.”  Politico reported, “Trump's highly public rebukes of the U.S. intelligence apparatus will undermine morale in the spy agencies.”  They state, “if the U.S. president doesn't believe his own intelligence officials, why should anyone else?” and “There is nothing more sacred to intelligence officers than their professionalism, honesty and non-partisanship.”

Is there a problem with intelligence being misused?  50 intelligence analysts formally complained that their reports on ISIS were being inappropriately altered.  The FBI went through 650,000 emails In 8 days and they failed to recommend prosecution for Clinton’s misuse of classified material.  Trumps critics on the left have been joined by John McCain and Lindsey Graham who issued a joint statement with Chuck Schumer.  It read, "This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country."

McCain seems to have a particular problem with Trump’s relationship with Putin, who McCain calls “a thug and a murderer and a killer and a KGB agent.”  What did Senator McCain say when President Obama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, “Tell Vald that I’ll have more flexibility once I am re-elected.” Senator McCain appears to have his own problems with intelligence.  When he proclaims someone his hero they turn out to be ISIS or Al-Qaeda.

What is the purpose of this elaborate scheme?  White House spokesman Eric Schultz announced,  “This is not an effort to challenge the outcome of the election.”  Senator Angus King commented, “I’m not trying to relitigate the election.  I’m just trying to prevent this from happening again.”  These comments will be repeated endlessly and they should concern us all.  It should remind us of Otto von Bismarck’s remark, "Nothing is proven until it is officially denied."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Continuing Attack on "Fake News."

            At an event honoring outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Hillary Clinton claimed that “fake news” represents a “danger” that must be “addressed quickly.”  She stated the, “epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda” could have “real-world consequences,” and  “Lives are at risk.”  She informed us that bipartisan legislation is working its way through Congress and Silicon Valley is starting to “grapple” with fake news.  Many in the media have suggested that “fake news” may have swayed voters in the recent election.
            The irony of criticizing “fake news” at an event honoring Harry Reid was lost on the former Secretary of State.  Harry Reid is possibly the biggest purveyor of “fake news” in the entire Congress.  He takes pride in this distinction.  He routinely hears voices that tell his disparaging things about his opponents.  They are of course anonymous.  When questioned about his false claim that Mitt Romney failed to pay taxes for ten years, Reid stated, “I don't regret that at all.”  When it was suggested that his smear of Romney echoed the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Reid responded with a smile, "Romney didn't win, did he?"
            Clinton is correct when she says, “Lives are at risk.”  How many people have died as a result of the media’s distorted portrayal of the Trayvon Martin case?  The liberal media has made an art form of “fake news.”   Some of its stories border on the surreal. In 1989 when John Tower was nominated to be Secretary of Defense rumors about his drinking and sexual affairs were common.  One story involved Tower dancing on a piano with a Russian ballerina while they disrobed.  This was reported by Leslie Stahl on CBS even though the FBI had reported they had reason to believe it was not true.  A day prior to the hearings Bob Woodward reported that Tower had been drunk at Bergstrom Air Force Base.  Tower was not confirmed and the next day it turned out that Woodward’s source was discharged from the Air Force for psychiatric reasons.  
            The “fake news” story of the day surrounds the charges of child molestation or pizzagate.  The charges are so outrageous that they cannot possibly be true.  However, the panicked reaction of politicians and media raise questions.  Otto von Bismarck once said, "Nothing is proven until it is officially denied."  Stranger things have happened.  Who would have believed that Dennis Hastert or Larry Craig had such sordid pasts.

Additions to the MP - Black Market Activity

        This financial situation naturally led to a high level of corruption.  Harold Zink reported, “Not every American engaged in black-market activities of one kind and another during his stay in Germany, but this sort of activity was so general that there was very little criticism of it and indeed those who did not take advantage were often regarded as ‘peculiar’ or ‘freaks.’”  (Democracy Imposed p. 253)  The military had a very permissive attitude toward black market transactions.  One officer remarked, "nobody who sold a few cartons was considered a criminal.  It was the big wheeler-dealers who dealt in cars, diamonds and tens of thousands of dollars that the CID [Criminal Investigations Division] was after.  This army organization might call on you if you ordered 100 cartons a week from the US (at one dollar a carton), and enquire politely whether you were really such a heavy smoker.” The New York Times reported that a number of high-ranking army officers were involved in gross black-marketing operations. 
        Naturally, there would be a whistleblower in such an environment.  Colonel Francis P. Miller, the executive officer and plans and policy officer with the Office of the Director of Intelligence (ODI) at OMGUS headquarters in Berlin, eventually testified before Congress at the expense of his career.  Under threat of a congressional investigation General Clay threatened to resign. When the military inspected itself, it found Miller’s complaints were, “a figment of his own imagination, and not a true reflection of conditions as actually extant."  It also raised questions as to Miller’s "integrity as an officer."  Miller commented that, “As victors in the defeated land, many Americans assumed the role as a sort of imperial Raj.”  He did not endear himself to the Congress by remarking that it was his "considered judgment that the German troops occupying France had a better record in their personal contact with the population than the American troops occupying Germany."

Lindsey Graham, Democrats plan probes of Russia hacking

            CNN published an article entitled, “Lindsey Graham, Democrats plan probes of Russia hacking.”  In it they accuse Russia of interfering with the presidential election.  They claim this is the “unanimous assessment of all 17 US federal intelligence agencies.”  It is a fact.  It is more obvious than global warming.  California Rep. Eric Swalwell claims that Trump’s denials are ridiculous.  "He (Trump) is denying that the sun sets in the West."  Rep. Elijah Cummings claims, "experts agree that there is overwhelming evidence that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. Overwhelming. It is not disputed, it's overwhelming."  This is reminiscent of a quote attributed to Joseph Goebbels: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”

            On October 07, 2016 the Director of National Intelligence issued a Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security.  In it they claimed the hacked e-mails, “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”  They maintained that, “we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.”  This does not sound like “overwhelming evidence.”  Any foreign intelligence service or teenager with a budget over $129 could have access to many of these emails. Also why do we have 17 federal intelligence agencies?  17 intelligence agencies means a lot of duplication and infighting.  These agencies probably protect their information more zealously from other agencies than from foreign powers.  It is a sad fact that a large number of Americans have more confidence in the credibility of the Russians than their own politicians and media.

            Senator Graham thinks, "Trump should take a real tough tone with Russia.”  He stated, “I think they're one of the most destabilizing influences on the world stage."  He does not consider his own role as destabilizing.  He played a significant role in creating the present Libyan chaos.  He is doing his best to duplicate this in Syria.  Graham has adopted a very belligerent stance.  He stated, "I'm going after Russia in every way you can go after Russia."  He also stated, "I want Putin personally to pay a price."  Fortunately the President-Elect has nothing but contempt for the Senator.  Donald Trump will turn away from the path that would have led to war with Russia.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Criticism of the Carrier Deal

During a June 2016 town hall meeting President Obama told a Carrier employee there was nothing that could be done about the trend of jobs leaving America.  He explained, “What we have to do is to make sure that folks are trained for the jobs that are coming in now because some of those jobs of the past are just not going to come back.” He then took the opportunity to criticize Donald Trump who claimed he would prevent jobs from leaving.  Obama proclaimed, “ … when somebody says, like the person you just mentioned who I’m not going to advertise for, that he’s going to bring all these jobs back, well how exactly are you going to do that? What are you going to do?  There’s — there’s no answer to it.  He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, how — what — how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually, the answer is he doesn’t have an answer.”

Progressives are scrambling to discredit the Carrier negotiations.  MSNBC refers to them as “Trump’s alleged triumph.”  They stress that Carrier “still plans to move 600 jobs from the Carrier plant to Mexico,” plus another 700 jobs when they close a separate plant in Huntington, Ind.  They complain about the $7 million in financial incentives.  MSNBC described this as “a ton of taxpayer money.”  They worry about the “moral hazard” of “paying off companies that threaten to ship jobs out of the country.”  They are consulting academics.  Robert Reich has given Trump a C- or a D for his deal.  This is an improvement over Reich’s July 2015 evaluation, “ Well I’d kick him out of the class.  He’s a class clown.  We don’t need him.”

When complaining about the $7 million in financial incentives over a ten year period they conveniently forget about the $535 million federal loan guarantee given to Solyndra.  There is no mention of what the current president has done to save these jobs.  They do not have one positive thing to say about saving these jobs.  For these Carrier employees and workers who may believe that they might be in a similar situation in the future, the liberal media’s evaluation is not helpful.  This may be one reason that they are losing in the ratings.

Donald Trump is talking about creating a business friendly environment.  This is far different than what David Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric Co., calls a government “doing everything possible to destroy jobs."  Bloomberg reported that Farr commented that companies will continue adding jobs in China and India because they are "places where people want the products and where the governments welcome you to actually do something. I am not going to hire anybody in the United States. I'm moving. They are doing everything possible to destroy jobs."  Farr would be more than happy to remain in the U.S.  However, in order to do business he needs a business friendly environment.  Of course this type of environment does not provide the free benefits (health care, education, etc.) that people receive in places like Cuba and North Korea.

Donald Trump’s negotiations with Carrier have humiliated Obama and his sycophants.  There is no certainty that Trump’s policies will continue to be successful.  However, if they are, the United States should prepare for a Wirtschaftswunder of over 4% annual growth.  Reich calls this “wishful thinking.”  Lower taxes, deregulation and import taxes quite possibly will lead to an economic explosion.  If this happens the humiliation of Obama and academics like Robert Reich will be complete.  Trump can then give a speech where he declares. “I have a pen.  I have a phone, and I have a magic wand.”