Sunday, December 18, 2016
Obama Plays the Russian Card
One thing is clear, Democrats still can’t come to grips with the fact that Hillary Clinton lost because she was a lousy candidate with a bad message. Hence the latest attempt to stamp the “illegitimate” tag on President-elect Donald Trump came from none other than Barack Obama himself. In the guise of concern over both national security and the “integrity of our elections,” Obama, in an interview on National Public Radio, blamed Vladimir Putin for hacking the DNC. He warned, “I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action and we will at a time and place of our own choosing.”
And yet he offered no actual evidence to support his claims. As we noted yesterday, Congress has yet to be briefed by the National Intelligence community on its findings. Without verification of the leaked intelligence, the Leftmedia and now Obama are asserting it as unquestionable truth.
Meanwhile, Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest claimed Trump had prior knowledge of Russia’s hacking activity. As “evidence,” Earnest pointed to Trump’s mocking call for the Russians to release Hillary’s 30,000 missing emails. Earnest huffed, “I don’t think anybody at the White House thinks it’s funny that an adversary of the United States engaged in malicious cyber activity to destabilize our democracy. That’s not a joke.”
Evidently, the concept of contextualization is lost on Earnest. It wasn’t Trump who operated a private, unsecured email server that was open to hacking. But by all means, blame the Russians.
Fears of “destabilizing our democracy” are real, but it’s Democrats who are doing everything in their power to accomplish it. The American people have spoken, and Democrats are refusing to listen. Worse, it’s Democrats, along with the Leftmedia, who are actively seeking to instill distrust in the American electoral system and process, first by calling for the abolition of the Electoral College, and second by seeking to convince electors to switch their votes on account of Russian election interference. Failing these things, they hope to at least convince Americans that Trump’s election victory is questionable or illegitimate. Allegations without cooperative evidence are merely hearsay bordering on conspiracy theory.
WHY would Putin favour Trump?
When a court of law is called on to assess the truth of a claim, motivation is one of the first things they look at
We are supposed to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump have a budding bromance, as it is called, because Trump made a few off-hand comments during the campaign. And so the trope now is that Putin so preferred Trump that he may have even helped hack a salutary election outcome? If you want to ask our intelligence agencies what’s going on, let’s try an intelligent question. What single thing matters the most to Russia? It is money, not rhetoric. To imagine that any Russian leader, never mind Putin, would be swayed more by the appearance of conversational bonhomie than by hard cash is, to put it kindly, silly.
Four facts illuminate the realities of where Russia’s preferences reside. All of the salient information emerges from petroleum domains.
First, the price of oil matters to Russia. Half of Russia’s gross domestic product and more than 70 percent of its export revenues come from selling oil and natural gas. That money not only powers the Russian economy, it is key to that nation’s ability to finance expensive foreign adventurism from the Middle East to Ukraine. Today’s low prices are depriving Russia of more than $150 billion every year; even in Washington, that’s real money. But in equivalent terms, that would be like wiping $1.5 trillion from the U.S. economy.
Second, America’s private-sector shale industry was the direct and indisputable trigger for the global petroleum price collapse. Thousands of small and mid-sized companies — it was not “big oil” that created the shale revolution — added more oil (and natural gas) to global markets in a shorter period than at any time in the past half century, anywhere. American frackers came out of nowhere — i.e., they emerged out of private-sector innovation on private land, not from government subsidies and preferences — to go from near-zero revenues to $150 billion per year in sales in just a half dozen years or so. To put that in perspective, the global smartphone industry, which emerged around the same time, went from zero to $70 billion per year of sales over the same period.
Third, candidate Hillary Clinton made clear, repeatedly, her plans to throttle the shale industry when she said: “So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.” Clinton promoted the focus-group-created phrase of becoming a “clean energy super power.” Got it: message received. But Putin is not afraid of American windmills and (Chinese) solar panels robbing him of cold hard cash. Trump, on the other hand, not only boisterously supported shale, but a recent leaked transition-team memo makes clear that policy changes are likely to follow the bluster.
Fourth, consider a relevant off-hand comment earlier this year from Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, who, most people know, was a vigorous Trump campaign supporter and advisor. Noting that frackers had single-handedly doubled America’s total oil production, Hamm said: “We can double it again.” This may be the single most frightening set of words Putin saw in 2016. There are no technical or resource constraints to doubling it again. Indeed, while little-noticed in the general media (you can bet Putin’s advisors know), progress in shale tech has doubled cost-efficiency and practically promises a shale 2.0 resurgence — provided regulators don’t stifle the industry. Imagine, quelle horreur, that our government might actually streamline procedures to accelerate a second boom. In this context, consider that Scott Pruitt is Trump’s nominee for chief of the Environmental Protection Agency. This prospect has alarmed extreme environmentalists since Pruitt, the shale-friendly attorney general of the great state of Oklahoma, is a fierce opponent of EPA overreach and exactly the kind of person that Russia’s oil oligarchs would prefer not to see in control of the regulatory brakes.
The geopolitical implications (never mind the domestic economic benefits) of expanding U.S. shale capabilities should be obvious. Not only would increasing shale output keep downward pressure on prices, but as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, earlier observed: “Many U.S. allies and trading partners are interested in purchasing American oil to diversify away from Russia, Iran, and other problematic sources.”
As my lawyer friends say, I rest my case.
Clinton’s People Not Russia Provided Hacked Email
And the intelligence agencies are not willing to explain or justify their Russia claims. How suspicious is that?
It seems the bumbling Central Intelligence Agency, which recently leaked its “assessment” that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had been hacked by evil Russian boss Vlad Putin, neglected to do even a minimum of leg work around their explosive claim.
Because if they had, they might have found out that the leaks from Hillary’s doomed campaign were internal not Russian.
"Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, said in the report by the Daily Mail that he flew to Washington for a clandestine handoff with one of the email sources in September.
He said he received a package in a wooded area near American University. “Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,” Mr. Murray told the British newspaper. “The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.”
Despite the fact that Murray’s assertions exactly match the claims put forward by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange during the campaign, the CIA and other intelligence offices run by President Obama have tried to blame the hacks on Russia.
Now, these agencies are being called on to the carpet by Congress but while they were willing to run their mouths at length to the Washington Post and the New York Times, they have clammed up when it comes to testifying before Congress:
"Meanwhile on Wednesday, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence had to cancel a closed-door classified briefing on the issue of suspected Russian interference after U.S. intelligence agencies refused to cooperate.
Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican and committee chairman, requested that the FBI, CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and National Security Agency provide witnesses, in part in response to reports last week in The Washington Post and The New York Times that intelligence agencies think the Kremlin deliberately tried to push the election to Mr. Trump, something not supported by postelection testimony to the panel"
But according to Fox News, “agencies refused to provide representatives for the session.”
“It is unacceptable that the Intelligence Community directors would not fulfill the House Intelligence Committee’s request to be briefed tomorrow on the cyber-attacks that occurred during the presidential campaign,” Mr. Nunes said in a statement. “The Committee is deeply concerned that intransigence in sharing intelligence with Congress can enable the manipulation of intelligence for political purposes.”
It looks increasingly likely that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have manufactured the entire Russia-influenced-the-election story out of whole cloth. They were assisted in their endeavor by a compliant news media and by a politicized intelligence network.
Jill Stein’s Michigan recount exposes voter fraud in Democrat-controlled Detroit
Jill Stein and her puppet master Hillary Clinton’s effort to stop the certification of enough Trump delegates to disrupt the Electoral College has run aground in the most delightful way.
In Michigan, where Trump has been certified the winner in spite of Stein’s efforts, Wayne County (Detroit), where Clinton overwhelmingly won, has come under fire explicitly due to the recount. Turns out in 37 percent of the Detroit precincts more votes were cast than the number of people who showed up to the polls to vote. No one would have noticed if not for the personal enrichment recall scheme of the former Green Party presidential candidate.
The Detroit News quotes Krista Haroutunian, the chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers as saying, “There’s always going to be small problems to some degree, but we didn’t expect the degree of problem we saw in Detroit. This isn’t normal.”
Now Wayne County officials will be subjected to an audit by the Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office, the exact kind of electoral proctology exam that every local official fears.
To make matters worse for Democrats in the state, Stein’s broad claims of voter fraud convinced the GOP majority in the state legislature to respond by passing voter identification legislation. The exact type of legislation that the left has vehemently opposed. Talk about open mouth, insert foot.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.
Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 1:26 AM