American Elephants


A Fascinating Conversation With a Real Journalist by The Elephant's Child

The state of journalism today seems dire. Too many would-be journalists chasing too little real news. If you are scanning through the days news, there’s way too much ‘he said’, ‘she said’. It’s as if reporters are sitting at home scanning Twitter and trying to find something provacative that someone said. That is neither news, nor useful.

There are a few real journalists around, and one of them is Claudia Rosett. She was a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal for 17 years, and today writes a foreign affairs column for Forbes, and blogs for PJ Media. Her recent work has focused on North Korea, Iran, and the United Nations, but her interests roam worldwide.

Today The Daily Caller News Foundation features a video of an extensive conversation between Claudia Rosett and Ginny Thomas. She pointed out that the 2016 election had nothing to do with Russia, but everything to do with shrinking paychecks, vanishing jobs and over-regulation.

The Democrats’ rhetoric about Trump’s supposed Russian collusion does not match the degree of enthusiasm and flexibility that former President Barack Obama actually displayed to Russia for his entire two terms, Rosett says in this video interview.

She cites: when Obama was caught on a hot mic promising flexibility to Vladimir Putin, shelving missile defense for Europe in a phony “reset” with our dangerous adversary, inadequate pursuit of Edward Snowden who is still hiding in Russia, the imaginary “red line” with Syria that opened the door to Russia being emboldened in the Middle East, the Iran deal that advantaged Russia and their allies on the world scene and the weak response of the U.S. when Russia annexed Crimea, which belonged to Ukraine.

It’s a fascinating conversation, and well worth your time. Get comfortable, put your feet up and enjoy. You’ll feel more confident about your views of the world, and more knowledgeable.

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Foreign Policy At Work, Improving the World by The Elephant's Child

Russia has ample supplies of natural gas and oil, and has used that abundance as a political weapon. Poland wants to reduce its reliance on Russian energy and last week the Polish state-owned oil and gas company PGNIG, signed its first five-year deal to buy American liquefied natural gas. Our energy boom from the fracking revolution is serving American national interests and deterring the grasp of dictators abroad.

Gasprom. the Kremlin-owned energy company currently provides more than two-thirds of Poland’s gas, and other European nations also rely heavily on Russian energy. Putin has used that dependence as a weapon, and threatened to cut off supplies, and on some occasions he has cut them off.

In 2015, Moscow cut off gas supplies to the Ukraine. That year the United States surpassed Russia as the world’s top natural-gas producer and by February 2016, shipments of LNG from the US hit the export market. Poland announced that it did not intend to renew its long-term agreement with Gazprom.

Under the deal announced, Poland will receive as many as nine cargoes of LNG or roughly 30 billion cubic feet for their citizens consumption. It’s not a huge delivery, but is likely the first in a series of contracts. It will increase energy security in the region, and cuts back a little on Russian domination.

Sounds like a very good deal, that will benefit all concerned. It will even be good for Russia. Free market competition is good for everyone.



The Clinton Campaign and the DNC Funded the Trump Dossier by The Elephant's Child

It has been revealed by The Washington Post that the Clinton Campaign and the DNC paid for the research that produced the Russia dossier from which came the allegations that there were links between  President Trump and Russia and some kind of coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin. No wonder Hillary was so insistent about Trump’s Russian connections, her campaign had paid Fusion GPS to produce evidence.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer from Perkins Coie, who worked for the Clinton campaign and the DNC hired Fusion GPS in April, 2016 to investigate Trump. Fusion GPS hired former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to look into Trump’s activities and contacts in Russia. Steele had worked in Moscow during his time in British intelligence. He eventually produced a 35 page dossier consisting of 17 memos dated between June 20, 2016 and Dec. 13.

Fusion has refused requests from Congress and even in lawsuits to reveal the identities of its clients, and news reports had been vague. A Republican donor who was extremely opposed to Trump reportedly hired Fusion in September of 2015, to conduct routine opposition research, but his identity has not been revealed.

According to the Post, the Clinton Campaign and the DNC paid Fusion through the end of October 2016 just before the election, which they expected to win handily. Federal Election Commission records show the Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie a total of $5.6 million since November of 2015.

Democrats are weary of Hillary’s book tour, she’s been to England and Canada to sell the book and complain about the unfairness of it all. They wish she would quietly go away. Former candidates are usually not ready to give up, but the people have moved on. The Russia connection is over, but the rage against Trump in general (racist, sexist, fascist) continues even as the list of his accomplishments piles up.

And what was the part of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her aide who is under indictment? Former DNC chairman Schultz and current leaders of the DNC claim they have no knowledge that the national party was involved with funding a dossier compiled by a British spy which contained scandalous accusations about President Trump. Keith Ellison and Tom Perez claim no knowledge of any association with Perkins Coie. The mystery thickens. There is clearly much more that will and should come out. It’s not going to be pretty.

ADDENDUM: According to a complaint filed today with the Federal Election Commission, the Clinton campaign violated election laws when they failed to report the campaign’s payments for the Russian Dossier.

The complaint from the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center said the Democrats effectively hid the payments from public scrutiny, contrary to the requirements of federal law. By law, campaign and party committees must disclose the reason money is spent and its recipient.

“By filing misleading reports, the DNC and Clinton campaign undermined the vital public information role of campaign disclosures,” said Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation and strategy at CLC and a former FEC official. “Voters need campaign disclosure laws to be enforced so they can hold candidates accountable for how they raise and spend money. The FEC must investigate this apparent violation and take appropriate action.”

Then there is this posted by Steven Hayward at Powerline. It’s both a don’t miss this, and too cringe inducing to bear. Do watch at least the small excerpt if you can, and the whole thing if you can stand it. Sad.



Ooops. The Russian Collusion Thing is Falling Apart by The Elephant's Child

The Left, still fuming at the election last November, has been depending on proof to emerge of Trump/Russian collaboration to show that the election of Donald Trump was a fraud. It was an article of faith. Everybody knew it was a fraud, they just had to prove it. Exactly what the Russians had done was a bit murky. It was thought that they published anti-Hillary stories on the RT.com website, and planted fake news on Facebook and Twitter. John Hinderaker at Powerline points out that “Facebook has now disclosed to Congress 470 accounts that have been traced back to Russian origins. It turns out that the Russians were trying to stir up race hatred by supporting BlackLivesMatter through an account called Blacktivist.”

“The Facebook Blacktivist account had 360,000 likes, compared with the verified Black Lives Matter account which currently has 301,000.” Follow the link to get an idea of what the Russians were up to:

At PJ Media, Debra Heine has a further account of the mischief:

The Black Lives Matter ad appeared on Facebook at some point in late 2015 or early 2016, the sources said. The sources said it appears the ad was meant to appear both as supporting Black Lives Matter but also could be seen as portraying the group as threatening to some residents of Baltimore and Ferguson.

New descriptions of the Russian-bought ads shared with CNN suggest that the apparent goal of the Russian buyers was to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos, though not necessarily to promote one candidate or cause over another. Facebook’s review of Russian efforts on its platform focused on a timeframe from June 2015 to May 2017.

These ranged from posts promoting Black Lives Matter to posts promoting gun rights and the Second Amendment to posts warning about what they said was the threat undocumented immigrants posed to American democracy. Beyond the election, Russians have sought to raise questions about western democracies.



Hillary has a new book in September “What Happened” by The Elephant's Child

Hillary has a new book coming out in September, clearly written in haste, to explain why she lost. It’s called “What Happened.” (ITS NOT FAIR) She will focus on Russian interference and James Comey’s interference.  Plus (ITS NOT FAIR) misogyny, and just why she lost in no uncertain terms, and counter to the messaging from Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer D-NY and former Vice President Joe Biden about the party’s message. A longtime ally said that people will be surprised at how much she reveals.

Unfortunately Hillary did not lose because of Russian interference, though it may be a sop to her pain. She lost because she is not very likeable. When Hillary first became First Lady, there was the scandal about the travel office, and there were innumerable scandals about her cattle futures when she was the governor’s wife in Arkansas, but we tried to ignore all that and give her a chance. She lost me when she taught her daughter to refer to the Secret Service as “the pigs.” It must be somewhat annoying to be unable to go out in public without protection from officers of the Secret Service who are sworn to lay down their lives to protect the President of the United State and his family.

But Hillary was so antagonistic to the Secret Service people that she became noted for unleashing vile attacks on their care. Hillary has always had a mouth like a sewer, which she only uses to underlings and those who can’t do anything about it. As Secretary of State, it was reported that she was so vulgar and rude to her protective staff that they had to send new hires, because none of their regular staff would agree to work with her. That is simply bad character.

As a senator from New York, she went for a guaranteed Democrat seat when Patrick Moynihan retired, and her only bill was to name a post office. She lost the Presidential primary to Barack Obama, but he named her Secretary of State. Her accomplishments in that office were the “Arab Spring,” and refusing help to her ambassador in Libya who begged over and over for more security. She was responsible for the death of her ambassador, his aide, and the death of two brave former Seals who were attempting to save the personnel from the embassy compound.

She failed to understand that although Qaddafi was a vicious dictator, he had given up any interest in nuclear weapons after seeing what happened to Saddam. He was a bad guy, but he was keeping the lid on in a violent country. She thought it time to get rid of him, and did, and Libya erupted and has become a terrorist hell hole. If there were any other accomplishments in that office, no one could identify any.

She became noted as a compulsive liar, lying even when it was entirely unnecessary, as her claim about being under sniper fire when she arrived in Bosnia, even inventing the plane having to spiral in. Videos of her arrival with children on the landing field with flowers to welcome her, did lead her to admit “misspeaking.”

She has long bragged about being a spokesperson for women and women’s rights, but no evidence of any accomplishment there. I absolutely voted against her, as did many who pay attention to the news. It would not occur to us to be influenced by the Russians, though if Putin had a choice, I would assume he would be more opposed to Trump who seemed to be dangerously unpredictable.



Who Hacked Whom? And When? And Why? Developing… by The Elephant's Child

Remember when the media was all a-flutter with the news that the Democratic National Committee had been hacked? All those Hillary emails, John Podesta’s computer. As they say…developing.

The FBI has arrested the top technology aide to Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL former Democratic Party chairwoman. Imwan Awan, a Pakistani born aide, was arrested on Monday as he attempted to board a flight to Pakistan, after wiring $283,000 from the Congressional Credit Union to that country. Credit union officials permitted the wire to go through.

Imran Awan had access to all emails and files of dozens of members of Congress, as well as the password to the iPad that Wasserman Schultz used for Democrat National Committee business before she resigned from that post in July 2016.

Imran Iwan’s wife, Hina Alvi, was also on the House payroll. She withdrew her children from school and left the county in March. Police confronted her at the airport, found $12,000 in cash hidden in her luggage, but did not stop her from boarding a flight Pakistan via Qatar. House authorities told members in February that Imran and his relatives were suspects in a criminal investigation into theft and IT abuses, and they were banned from the Capitol network.

Wasserman Schultz refused to fire Imran, and has blocked Capitol Police from searching a laptop they confiscated because it was tied to him. The FBI has joined the search and seized smashed harddrives from Imran’s home. Soon after Imran began working for Schultz in 2005, four of his relatives appeared on the payroll of other Democrats at inflated salaries. The Awans own numerous rental properties with questionable multiple mortgages, told renters they want payments in untraceable ways. His wife made $165,000 working for House Democrats, took out a second mortgage against a house from the Congressional Federal Credit Union by claiming that it was her “principal residence,” said that she will “occupy” the property, which she did not, but also fraudulently reported no rental income on her taxes.

Awan has also worked for at least 25 other Democrat House members as an “information technology director.” He is now under arrest for bank fraud, released on bail under constraint of a GPS locator and a limited area in which he can move, while the FBI investigates further.

John Podesta’s computer was also hacked, supposedly because he used “password” as his password, but perhaps it is not that simple. Mr. Podesta, Hillary’s campaign chairman, seems to have his own interesting Russian connections.

Russian interest in American electoral campaigns is hardly anything new. Former president Barack Obama interfered in a number of political campaigns — in Israel, England, France and Egypt. Ted Kennedy once went to Russia to beg them to interfere. Obama’s promise to Medvedev of having “more flexibility” in his dealings with Russia “after the election” was interesting as well. Eventually, the truth will out.

 



The Trump-Putin Meeting Is the Most Important Summit Since World War II by The Elephant's Child

This is turning out to be a very interesting day, as we digest the news from Poland and the Hamburg G20 meeting.

Stephen F. Cohen PhD is an American scholar and emeritus professor of Russian studies at Princeton and New York University. He is 78, an unabashed liberal, a contributing editor to the far left The Nation where his wife Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor. Dr Cohen appeared on the Tucker Carlson show:

Tucker Carlson: Professor, the first thing you notice is just how much the press is rooting for this meeting between our president and the Russian president to fail. Why would they want it to fail?

Stephen Cohen: It’s a kind of pornography. Just as there is no love in pornography, there is no national interest in this bashing of Trump and Putin. As a historian, let me tell you the headline I would write instead, about what we witnessed today in Hamburg. “Potentially New Historic Detente Anti-Cold War Partnership Begun by Trump and Putin but Meanwhile Attempts to Sabotage It Escalate.”

You said I was an expert. I actually do have one expertise. I’ve seen a lot of summits, as we call meetings between American and Russian presidents. I was present at some, and even participated in the first George Bush’s summit preparation. When he met with Gorbachev, he invited me to Camp David to debate before his team.

In that context, I think what we saw today was potentially the most fateful meeting between an American and Russian president since the war time [WW II]. The reason is, is that the relationship with Russia is so dangerous and yet we have a president who might have been crippled or cowed by these Russiagate attacks on him, and yet he was not. He was, I think, politically courageous. It went well. They did important things. And this will be astonishing to be said, I know, but I think maybe today we witnessed President Trump emerging as an American statesman. I think it was a very good day for everybody.

Do read the whole thing. Just as most of the left is demonstrating just how far gone they are in political insanity, an informed voice of reason emerges. How welcome an actual conversation is, and how troubling the excess of the left that has left Steve Scalise back in intensive care.




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