Monday, July 16, 2018
Competition -- An American Specialty that President Trump Has Honed to Political Perfection
THE REAL FAKE NEWS TODAY IS ALL ABOUT THE WORDS 'FOE' AND 'COMPETITION,' AND THE TRUMP-PUTIN SUMMIT. The Trump-Putin press conference was formal. There was not the easy friendship on display between President Trump and British Prime Minister May. But, there ws a certain sense of cautious respect and the first steps of learning how to get along about issues where getting along is possible. Tomorrow, after the transcript is available, we'll discuss the Helsinki summit more fully. But, for now, we can sat that it seems to have started a process that can yield positive results for the world, if only the American media and its Progressive patrons in the Democrat Party and Deep State will let it happen. Trump and Putin seem to be determined. That in itself spells trouble for the mainstream media and the ProgDems. • But, the arrogance of NBC's Andrea Mitchell, who said this weekend : "There's never been a summit between a KGB Spymaster and POTUS who spent the weekend golfing" is beyond bias. it is sadistic hate for the President of the United States, and by extension, the majority of Americans, who elected him. • • • WE KNOW THE MEDIA HATES TRUMP. So, today, let's talk media bias and Fake news. Only two media outlets got it honestly and right in their headlines -- Bloomberg and The Star of Malaysia -- when they reported that Trump called the European Union a "foe" because of its trade policies toward the US. All the other outlets reported online variations of "Trump calls the EU a foe." That was how Reuters put it in its headline. But, we know all about the ProgDem propagandist media bias. So, why care what they say about President Trump, right?? Wrong. Those Fake headlines set the tone again and again for low-information readers who never bother to question the media's bias. When CBS News host Jeff Glor asked President Trump to identify his "biggest foe globally right now," Trump said the European Union, as well as Russia "in certain respects" and China "economically." Trump said : "I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe....China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitive. They want to do well and we want to do well....I respect the leaders of those countries. But, in a trade sense, they've really taken advantage of us and many of those countries are in NATO and they weren't paying their bills. They're going to be paying Russia billions and billions of dollars a year for energy, and I say that's not good, that's not fair. You're supposed to be fighting for someone and then that someone gives billions of dollars to the one you're, you know, guarding against. I think it's ridiculous." European Council President Donald Tusk hit back at the "foe" comments on Twitter, calling any mischaracterization of the US and EU's close relationship "Fake" news : “America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed back on his comments after the summit, telling reporters she had "experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union" while growing up in communist East Germany, and said her country made "independent" policies and decisions. • Has any media outlet ever actually asked either Merkel or Tusk -- his own country's government tried to remove him as European Council president because he warned that his native Poland's nationalist government could try to drive the country out of the European Union -- why they insist on trade barriers to US products or why they insist that they do not need a strong defense capability. Maybe because thay all think like Tusk, who posted a text saying : "Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many." It's easy to see why President Trump loses patience with this bumbling gaggle of defenseless, but supremely self-assured, European elites. • • • THE BUILD-UP TO THE TRUMP-PUTIN SUMMIT. President Trump and his aides worked hard through the weekend to soften expectations for tangible results from the Russia meeting. Trump told CBS : “I go in with low expectations." John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” that the United States would not be looking for “deliverables” and that the meeting would be “unstructured,” beginning with a one-on-one session between the two leaders. US Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, told NBC’S “Meet the Press” that the meeting was “an attempt to see if we can defuse and take some of the drama, and quite frankly some of the danger, out of the relationship right now.” Huntsman said that it was “highly unlikely” the United States would recognize Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, but would not rule it out. [Trump did not and Putin noted at the joint press conference that Trump considers it a violation of international law.] • For Trump, the formal meeting with Putin is an opportunity to develop a closer working relationship with the Russian president. They have met twice before on the sidelines of international summits. Last November, in Vietnam, they agreed to maintain open military channels of communications between their forces in Syria. US officials have said they hope to make progress during the talks persuading Russia to use its influence to get Iranian forces out of Syria, as part of a wider campaign to rein in Iran’s influence in the Middle East. They also expect Trump to bring up Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and the allegations of Russian meddling in the election. Other issues include the potential for nuclear arms talks and North Korea’s nuclear challenge, given that US officials have said Russia had worked in the past to help Pyongyang circumvent international sanctions. • But, the key word is 'work.' Despite MSM derision, President Trump obviously went into his summit with Putin fully prepared by his team of experts and diplomats. • • • WILL THE MUELLER "PROBE" EVER END? A special counsel probe over allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election has hounded Trump’s presidency, although the President has denied any collusion with the Russians by his campaign and Russia denies it meddled. However, the meeting comes just days after 12 Russian intelligence officers were charged by a US federal grand jury for hacking the Democrats ahead of the 2016 election, the most detailed US accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the election to help Trump. BUT, the latest Mueller indictment does not allege any collusion or state that the Russians were in any way operating with the Trump campaign. The indictments are really Fake lawsuits meant to highlight the Deep State's efforts to prove that it alone is the keeper capable of protecting America. • And, in the lowest, most Swampy, dishonest ProgDem lie yet, Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was worried about Trump being alone in the room with Putin, without his national-security aides. Warner told NBC : “We know that Trump doesn’t do a lot of prep work for these meetings. He kind of goes in and wings it. I really would feel much better if there were other Americans in the room.” BUT, we know who Senator Mark Warner is -- he's the guy who was caught using text messages to bargain with a lobbyist for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in an effort to set up direct communications with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the controversial anti-Trump Russia Dossier. They communicated back and forth for several months in 2017 about establishing communication with Steele. However, while Warner pressed for a chance to talk and meet with Steele directly, the lobbyist said Steele would prefer to have a bipartisan letter to be sent from Warner and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, Republican Richard Burr, requesting that Steele appear before the panel. It never happened because Warner kept Burr in the dark until the story was revealed by conservative media. • The President has repeatedly said the investigation into Russian election meddling is a “rigged witch hunt” that makes it hard for him to have a substantive repationship with Russia. • American Thinker's Ed Straker wrote on Monday : "Many of you remember the 1980's. Ronald Reagan became President in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis, the Soviet placement of nuclear missiles in Eastern Europe, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Reagan's response was to call the Soviet Union an 'evil empire' and to begin a major buildup of our conventional and military forces, as well as placing medium range nuclear missiles in Europe to drive Russia to the negotiating table. And how did the liberal (now Progressive) media respond? They called Reagan a 'hardliner' and a 'warmonger.' They urged him repeatedly to engage in detente with the Soviet Union." Straker says the media showed no interest in investigating Soviet involvement in the US anti-nuclear movement, which might have uncovered allegations like the fact that the Russian GRU defector Stanislav Lunev said in his autobiography that "the GRU and the KGB helped to fund just about every anti-war movement and organization in America and abroad." Straker points out that in the 1980s the liberal media rejected Reagan's hardline and thought engagement with the Soviet Union was progressive and opposition to it, even rhetorically, was "hardline." • Today, Russia is much less of a threat than the Soviet Union ever was. It has a much smaller army. It has a smaller economy. It occupies less territory. It's still a dictatorship even though Putin calls it a democracy, and it still has nuclear missiles pointed at the West, and seems to like poisoning people in Britain. But, from a rational viewpoint, it's impossible to see how the Progressive media could believe that engagement with a strong Soviet Union was good but engagement with today's weaker Russia is bad. The only way it makes sense is to look at what is good for Progressives. They, being socialist marxists, had a not-so-secret kinship with the Soviet Union because it was a communist country. Liberals loved, and their Progressive progeny still love, communism. Straker says : "But liberals hate Russia because Russia tried to interfere in our elections against Hillary. Liberals feel that a bunch of Twitter and Facebook bots tossed the election to Donald Trump. They really believe this. Perhaps they felt that all the Russian-originated Facebook posts somehow counteracted the legions of illegal aliens who voted for Hillary. So liberals hate Russia because they think that Russia tried to stop Hillary from winning the election. Their partisan hatred is what is driving national policy now. If the Russians had tried to help Hillary, they'd love Russia." • • • TRUMP CALLS PUTIN A COMPETITOR. The United States is rapidly catching up with the petro-world, including Russia, regarding oil production. Estimates state that America will become the world's largest oil producer in less than a year. The US is already the global leader in natural gas production. So, we should expect that the US will soon become not only the world leader in oil and gas production but also the world leader in energy exports. • This must worry Putin greatly because Russia's only serious hard-currency-generating industry is the export of oil and gas -- and he now faces the US and President Trump across Europe and the world. President Trump's arm-twisting performance in Brussels with America's NATO partners, and his berating of Germany and Cahncellor Merkel for building a gas pipeline that will make Europe dependent on Russia for energy, paved the way for the Helsinki summit. EU countries which for 75 years have been under the protection of American taxpayers will finally -- at the risk of the US withdrawing from NATO -- begin to allocate 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) for military needs. On average, NATO countries -- except the United States, with approximately 4% of GDP -- spend about 1% of their GDP on defense, and as a rule, the farther away a country is from Russia, the smaller that percentage is. On a world scale, the United States accounts for about 40% of worldwide military spending, and the combined share of the remaining 28 NATO countries is only 15%. Under the pressure of President Trump, their contribution may double. As a result, NATO would account for more than two-thirds of world military expenditures. • How that fits the story line of the ProgDems and their media that Donald Trump is the "Kremlin marionette in the White House" is impossible to imagine. As American Thinker put it on Monday : "Years ago, when Putin looked into Bush's eyes, he saw the victor, who nobly extended a helping hand to the defeated. When Putin looked into Obama's eyes, he saw a narcissistic "useful idiot." When Putin arrived in Helsinki and looked into Trump's smiling eyes, he saw his political death." • That is what competition is all about. And, Donald Trump is the past master when it comes to competition. When NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg told President Trump at the NATO meeting that the pipeline was okay "because we understand that when we stand together, also in dealing with Russia, we are stronger. I think what we have seen is that..." President Trump simply replied : "No, you're just making Russia richer, You're not dealing with Russia, You're making Russia richer." Pragmatic and right. • • • DEAR READERS, Senator Rand Paul got it right about Russia. Senator Paul told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday : "“I think really we mistake our response if we think it’s about accountability from the Russians. They are going to spy on us, do spy on us. They are going to interfere in our elections, we also do the same.” The Senator's comments show a realism that neither Republicans nor Democrats will discuss, which is that Russia attempted various hacking and disinformation campaigns surrounding the 2016 election to discredit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “I would say it’s not morally equivalent,” Paul said of Russia’s election meddling relating to America’s campaigns to influence foreign elections. “But I think in [Russia’s] mind it is. It’s important to know in your adversary’s mind the way they perceive a thing. They react to our interference in their elections and one of the reasons they didn’t like Hillary Clinton, they found her responsible for some of the activity by the US in their elections under the Obama administration,” Paul said, adding : “We all do it. We need to make sure or electoral process is protected.” Paul said that because the Russia issue has become intensely partisan, “we’ve forgotten the most important thing is the integrity of the election." Paul advocated on CNN for making sure electronic records are “decentralized and we don’t store all of the data in one place even for a state.” Paul also advocated for a backup system. Senator Paul sked : “Can we restrict the Russians? We might be able to in some ways. We’ve wanted Russians to admit it. They are not going to admit it, the same way we’re not going to admit we were involved in the Ukrainian elections or in the Russian elections. So all countries that can spy and interfere, do. All countries that want to interfere in elections and have the ability to, they try.” • That may not be the preferred answer. It doesn't support the idea of a white-hat America and a black-hat Russia. But, it rings true. • It sure beats John Kerry's idiotic spouting on Twitter, where he described Trump's comments at a NATO breakfast meeting in Brussels as "counterproductive," "disgraceful," and "destructive." He also said Trump is "[setting] America back" and "destroying America's reputation in the world." • Just before the scheduled meeting between Trump and Putin, when special counsel Mueller indicted 12 people he claims are Russian military officers who reportedly hacked the DNC's unsecured servers, he was actually announcing that he didn't learn his lesson the first time he pulled such a publicity stunt aiming for a propaganda victory against defendants he had no jurisdiction over, one of whom wasn't even in existence during the period in question. He never anticipated one would hire very competent counsel who entered an appearance and demanded in discovery proceedings to see the evidence. Will one of the defendents in this second Fake case hire counsel who use discovery procedures to demand to see the DNC server, which the DNC has refused to turn over to Comey, Mueller, or anyone else. President Trump mentioned the DNC server, as well as Hillary's 33,000 emails, at the Putin press conference on Monday. Even Mueller's boss, DAG Rod Rosenstein, says : "There is no allegation in this indictment that Americans knew that they were corresponding with Russians...there is no allegation that any American committed a crime." • American Thinker calls it "Alice in Wonderland" stuff....Democrats and anti-Trumpers think it's perfectly fine for European leaders to put their own national interests first while criticizing the President for promoting and defending ours while calling out our allies' hypocrisy. For them, it's fine for the special counsel to waste time and money by indicting foreign nationals, over whom he lacks jurisdiction, for hacking unsecured communications made in violation of national security regulations, while he's never going after the perpetrators here, including Hillary Clinton, who made such hacking possible and likely." • President Trump tends to view foreign countries like contractors trying to scam him in a development deal. This may seem counter to history and certainly to diplomacy, but as a geo-strategy it is thus far working. His calling on the national pride of other countries and leaders works -- Kim, Xi, Putin. Germany’s defense spending is a disgrace. We would have thought that Germany would have been embarrassed into following a different defense expense trajectory after German troops of Panzergrenadierbataillon 371 had to use broomsticks instead of guns in a NATO exercise in 2014. But Germany apparently doesn’t embarrass easily. • So, on to the competition card. If Germany won't respond based on national pride, maybe it will see its self-touted place as the second most important country in the world challenged and rise to the occasion. • Vladimir Putin seems to understand. He was deferential to Trump, but assertive about Russia's role and position in the world, at the Helsinki press conference on Monday. Competition -- it's an American specialty that Trump has honed to perfection.