Wednesday, October 23, 2019

You Really Believe That?

     Overriding the fact that Rep. Stefanik sees “no quid pro quo” in the president’s statement is that she seems to believe the nonsense Ukraine server conspiracy theory. She says,“Whether Ukraine had any part in 2016, I think we still haven’t gotten to the bottom fully of the complexity of the meddling in our election in 2016.” Yes, as far as that country goes, we have. Tom Bossert, President Trump’s former national security adviser, says the idea Ukraine was involved in the hack, “Has no validity” and "It’s not only a conspiracy theory, it’s completely debunked.”
     In the call to President Zelensky, Trump says, “ I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it… The server, they say Ukraine has it.” This refers to the theory Bossert spoke of. It goes that the DNC hacked itself and fabricated the evidence that blames Russia for it. Needless to say, Russian trolls and bots are keen to push this idea. Why the president or a representative on House Intelligence is open to it is a mystery. Those who believe in this alternate reality posit the server is in Ukraine. The founder of Crowdstrike that investigated the hack, who is a Russian-born American citizen, becomes Ukrainian. Seth Rich, a DNC staffer killed by random violence, makes an appearance in some iterations.
     I’d really love to see Rep. Stefanik clarify what she meant by meddling vis a vis Ukraine. We’ve come to expect the president to take the word of foreign governments over the intelligence community. I give our congresswoman credit for not taking this nonsense seriously. Is she just doing a shout out to those who do? 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019

In Defense of Marie Yovanovich, God Bless Her

I'm writing to recommend the "Opening Statement of Marie Yovanovitch." She started in Foreign Service in 1986 under Ronald Reagan. That's four Republican and two Democratic presidents. She was fired by President Trump to serve the interests of Rudy Guiliani's two recently indicted associates. From her statement, "Individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Guiliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy." She was stymieing the ambitions of Russia in Ukraine, as well. It's a disgrace she isn't still.

Russia is run by Vladimir Putin. He has robbed, with his partners, that economy blind. Elections are a sham. There's no succession and Putin will serve as long as he lives. We hear Trump talking of not stepping down at the end of his presidency, so he seems openly envious of the situation extant in a failed state like Russia. The media there exists only to spread lies and propaganda approved by the government. Mr. Trump says he welcomes the help of foreigners in his campaigns. From Ms. Yovanovitch, "The harm will come when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system. In such circumstances, the only interests that will be served are those of our strategic adversaries, like Russia, that spread chaos and attack the institutions and norms that the U.S. helped create and which we have benefited from." Yovanovitch, George Kent, Fiona Hill and Michael McKinley are all patriots and defenders of democracy. They care deeply about this country and Ukraine both of which continue to be under attack from Russia.  

Monday, October 7, 2019

In Defense of Chairman Schiff, God Bless Him

Responding to Rep. Stefanik's campaign to get Rep. Schiff replaced as chair of the Intelligence Committee. Regarding the whistleblower complaint she says, "(Schiff) manipulated this information and played partisan political games." What exactly does that mean? Does it mean he helped write it, as the president claims? There's a word he used recently that I probably can't repeat in this forum. Concerning the paraphrase of the president's call, Schiff's first sentence reads: "Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the president communicates." Clearly he wasn't quoting. Another question for our congresswoman, given the opportunity, would be if there was anything in the chairman's statement that was inaccurate. It seemed to properly convey the gist of the call.

Ukraine is in a war against Russian revanchism with over 13,000 killed. President Trump needs a more believable explanation than "concern over corruption" for holding up aid to them. His campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, helped install that corruption. Despite the cyber disinformation efforts of Russia there, they have elected a president dedicated to "draining the swamp," for real. Electorally, their resistance may have been better than ours. It's recently come to light that the president told the two Russian officials he met, the day after firing James Comey, that he was unconcerned about their interference in our elections. Has Rep. Stefanik commented on that? I know she says she's committed to protecting our elections. That seems more important than Rep. Schiff's attempts at parody.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

I See You've Got a Brand-New Leopard-Skin Tinfoil Hat

We could've seen our congresswoman was going full Trump with the juvenile nickname she defamed Tedra Cobb with. Wednesday, she retweeted Kevin McCarthy's comment, "Chairman Schiff just got caught orchestrating with the whistleblower before the complaint was ever filed. Democrats have rigged this process from the start," in response to a NY Times article. Ms. Stefanik's tweet read, "I'm glad that the question I asked last week has been answered. As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I'm extremely concerned with our Chairman's increasingly reckless behavior." We recently learned the president told two Russian officials, in the Oval Office, he didn't care about their interference in our election. That something a Republican politician would've at least called "reckless behavior" in the past. Not today.

The president's comment on the NYT article was, "(Schiff) knew long before and helped write it, too." So, he's accusing Mr. Schiff of helping write the complaint. From the NYT, "The CIA officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump only after he had had a colleague first convey them to the CIA's top lawyer. Concerned about how that initial avenue was unfolding, the officer then approached the House aide." Quoting Mr. Schiff's spokesman, "At no point did the committee review or receive the complaint in advance."

Schiff's parody of the president's call was wrong, but it was clearly parody. The scurrilous charges against him are not and display the same conspiratorial thinking and dishonesty that led the president to send Rudy Guiliani to Ukraine in the first place.