John Quincy Adams

By John Ruberry

“But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”
John Quincy Adams on America.

The United States has survived a Civil War and two world wars, and the Cold War.

But can it survive Russian bots? And a search for “monsters.”

Thirteen Russians were indicted on Friday–none were arrested because they don’t live here–for interfering in the 2016 presidential election by acting as “trolls” from St. Petersburg. These “bots” utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stir up controversy and discord. The group that the accused were associated with was appropriately known as “the Troll Farm.” The scheme was hatched in 2013, a year before Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president, which you’ll recall was initially viewed by nearly everyone as a sideshow and a stage for the real estate mogul to promote his businesses and his Celebrity Apprentice television franchise.

Last spring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced his appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and…any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

The Troll Farm issued such click-baity stories like this one, which I recall seeing, “Hillary Clinton has already committed voter fraud during the Democrat Iowa Caucus.”

As with the indictments of former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort, who briefly was Trump’s campaign manager, and Rick Gates, none of this has anything to do with so-called Russian collusion between Trump World and Russia. The same can be said of the plea deals between former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and low-lever staffer George Papadopolous. These four men clearly fall under “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” The last two pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials but not colluding with Russia. The first two have been charged for actions that predate Trump’s presidential run.

Which led the president to remark on Twitter a few hours ago, “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!”

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So far Rosenstein, remember he’s the man who appointed Mueller as special prosecutor, agrees.

“There is no allegation that any American is a knowing participant,” Rosenstein said when announcing the indictments of the 13 Russians. “There is no allegation that the charge altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

And the search for “monsters,” Trump calls it a witch hunt, goes on. While Mueller seems to be on to something with the bots, where was Barack Obama when the Troll Farm broke ground during his presidency? Obama famously and wrongly ridiculed Mitt Romney for calling Russia “our number one geopolitical foe” in a debate. Shortly before leaving office, Obama did tell Vladimir Putin, “cut it out.”

Grrr!

All the same, America will survive the bots.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. His wife, who was born in the Soviet Union, is not a Russian spy, she assures him.

By John Ruberry

“But… but maybe he’s only a little crazy like painters or composers or… or some of those men in Washington.”
Julian Shellhammer, Macy’s toy department head in Miracle on 34th Street.

“On 24 March 1943, Päts was sent to forced treatment in psychoneurotic hospitals first in Kazan, then in Chistopol in Tatar ASSR. His forced psychiatric hospitalization was justified by his ‘persistent claiming of being the president of Estonia.'”
Wikipedia biography of Konstantin Päts, the Estonian president who was deposed by the Red Army.

“I mean, psychiatry: it’s the latest religion. We decide what’s right and wrong. We decide who’s crazy or not.”
Dr. Kathryn Railly in Twelve Monkeys.

Last month during a two-day long private meeting with over a dozen members of Congress–all Democrats save one Republican senator–Dr. Bandy X. Lee, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Yale, said of President Trump, “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”

Lee is the editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a book where 27 mental health professionals–meaning, I assume, as professionals that they earn their living in that field–rant about the “dangerousness” of the 45th president.

Two days ago The Atlantic’s Elaine Godfrey reported that Lee says there are Washington DC-based shrinks and legal organization who are willing–and no, this is not from a 24 script–to work to commit Trump against his will if White House staff issues troubling reports about him.

President Trump meet Konstantin Päts.

Lee has also warned that Trump could lead to the extinction of the human race.

Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached a disturbing low, but no doubt the last. (Oh, I can make that diagnosis because I am not a mental health professional and TDS is not a clinical term.) Some people, with as many degrees slapped on them as you’ll find ads on hockey rink boards. just can’t accept the fact that Donald J. Trump is president. Are Lee and her cohorts intelligent? In a way, yes. On the other hand there is documentary about the fall of Enron entitled The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Ah, but there is some good news. The American Psychiatric Association reaffirmed its 1973 condemnation of what it calls “armchair psychiatry.”

From an APA press release:

Today, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reiterates its continued and unwavering commitment to the ethical principle known as “The Goldwater Rule.” We at the APA call for an end to psychiatrists providing professional opinions in the media about public figures whom they have not examined, whether it be on cable news appearances, books, or in social media. Armchair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the misuse of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical.

The Goldwater Rule, as Alan Dershowitz points out in the Washington Examiner–Dersh voted for Hillary Clinton by the way–goes back to the 1964 presidential election when a magazine, based on interviews with 1,100 psychiatrists, deemed that the Republican nominee, Barry Goldwater, was unstable and therefore mentally unfit to serve as president. None of these smartest guys in the room had examined the Arizona senator, who served in the upper chamber with distinction for two decades after his landslide defeat, nor had they even met him.

The winner in that presidential election and the man Dershowitz voted for, Lyndon B. Johnson, got us entangled in the Vietnam War which led to the deaths of 58,000 Americans.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

The “experts” were wrong.

The Trump-is-crazy meme will probably fade away soon, but not completely, I fear. But the left will proceed with more plots to remove Trump from office, which so far have included the Hamilton Electors (before he was sworn-in), Russia, emoluments, tax returns, and of course Russia.

Here is my non-professional mental health advice for those of all you Trump Derangement Sufferers: Deal with the strong likelihood that Trump will be president for the next three years–and probably seven. Presidents who run for reelection usually win. Accept it and find a way to get on with your lives, without watching CNN or MSBNC during every waking hour. I cannot promise happiness, no one can. But I suspect you will be less miserable.

Oh, by the way, Trump is not crazy. Not even a little bit.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.

1 Samuel 12:12

One of the things that has confused me since the days following the election has been the MSM and the left’s 24/7 all hitting Trump all the time business.

I understood the shock but the simple fanaticism of the attacks non stop confused me in it’s idiocy.

Now I get it.

And why did the story break when it did? Credit the much-maligned Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The California Republican has been pursuing the dossier more aggressively than anyone else, and it was his Oct. 4 subpoena for the bank records of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that handled the dossier, that finally shook loose the information.

But knowing that the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and Perkins Coie supported the dossier is not the end of the story. The most important next step is the FBI.

Sometime in October 2016 — that is, at the height of the presidential campaign — Christopher Steele, the foreign agent hired by Fusion GPS to compile the Trump dossier, approached the FBI with information he had gleaned during the project. According to a February report in the Washington Post, Steele “reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work.”

It was an astonishing turn: the nation’s top federal law enforcement agency agreeing to fund an ongoing opposition research project being conducted by one of the candidates in the midst of a presidential election. “The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” wrote Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

This is why the left went all in the day after the election, why pressure was put on Jeff Sessions to recuse himself so a special prosecutor could be appointed and why Rep Nunes was target one from day one, because once if it was revealed that the FBI and other federal agencies were used by a Democrat administration to target their political foes at the highest level it (combined with the Weinstein revelation) has the potential to completely and utterly break these people both politically and legally. And even the MSM is starting to figure this out.

I knew the Obama/Clinton machine was corrupt but even I didn’t realize how bad it actually was

I think what we are going to find out over the next year is going to be amazing but there is one thing I’m now sure of.

Donald Trump may or may not make America great again but there is no question anymore that his election saved this country.

John Solomon and Alison Spann continue their reporting on the Clintons and Rosatom, the original Russia collusion story,
Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision

As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

Hillary was Secretary of State back then, but the State Department dragged its feet for a week or two, and apparently Bill decided to not meet with the 15 Russians on his list.

Rather, Bill cut to the chase (emphasis added),

Bill Clinton instead got together with Vladimir Putin at the Russian leader’s private homestead.

Back then Dmitri Medvedev was president of Russia, but

The head of Rosatom boasted in the report that the Uranium One deal was part of a larger Putin strategy to strengthen “Russia’s prestige as a leader of the world nuclear industry.”

Cornering one-fifth of the U.S.’s uranium supply fit nicely into that strategy, and with State Department approval, no less.

If that was not damning enough, Bill was allegedly wanting to use the trip for the $500,000 speech

to try to help a Clinton family relative “grow investments in their business with Russian oligarchs and other businesses,”

because apparently it wasn’t enough that the Clinton Foundation received $145 million in contributions from Uranium One shareholders. The Clinton relatives wanted in on Russia.

Never mind that being a Russian oligarch ain’t what it used to be,

Putin’s policy of “de-offshoring” has imposed such cumbersome controls on the business leaders of the 1990s that most have sold off their assets in Russia and decamped to London or Monaco. This trend has been accelerated by Russia’s lack of any real property rights, which has enabled the Kremlin to cut Russia’s wealthy down to size at will, often targeting the most law-abiding among them.

It makes you wonder if the emphasis would shift from “oligarchs,”  to  “other businesses,” whatever those may be.

I can’t figure out a reason for the Clintons’ boundless greed, other than perhaps they want to become the next George Soros.

They may get there yet.


Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

In case you missed it while people hashtag “#MeToo“, John Solomon and Alison Spann report that in 2009 the FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow, Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One.

Russia and the Clintons:

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
. . .
The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015.

That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer [sic] and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

How much? US$145 million.

Russian bribes and kickbacks endangering national security:

The case also exposed a serious national security breach: Mikerin had given a contract to an American trucking firm called Transport Logistics International that held the sensitive job of transporting Russia’s uranium around the United States in return for more than $2 million in kickbacks from some of its executives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s former employees told the FBI that Tenex officials in Russia specifically directed the scheme to “allow for padded pricing to include kickbacks,” agents testified in one court filing.

Russia gets the uranium:

In 2011, the [Obama] administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

Regarding that 2011 approval, Ed Morrissey notes that there were two deals: Rosatom’s 2010 purchase of Uranium One, and the 2011 “approval for Rosatom to vastly expand its sales of uranium inside the US through its Tenex subsidiary.”

The DOJ did nothing for years (emphasis added):

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

Solomon and Spann point out that

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

That smells like a political cover-up of the first magnitude.

Indeed, today  Solomon and Spann report that

An American businessman who worked for years undercover as an FBI confidential witness was blocked by the Obama Justice Department from telling Congress about conversations and transactions he witnessed related to the Russian nuclear industry’s efforts to win favor with Bill and Hillary Clinton and influence Obama administration decisions, his lawyer tells The Hill.

John Hinderaker asks,

who supervised the Russia investigation? Rod Rosenstein. Who was the FBI director when the Russia probe began in 2009? Robert Mueller. Who was running the FBI when the case ended with a whimper and an apparent cover-up? James Comey.

Rosenstein and Muller should resign over conflict of interest, but I’m sure they will not.

And these are not the only players in the case. Last year I posted on the Clinton’s Colombian Fondo Acceso partner Frank Giustra, whose mining company merged with three Kazakhstan mining companies, after which it was acquired by Rosatom. Guess who authorized that,

Because uranium is a strategic asset, the sale required (and received) approval from multiple U.S. agencies, including the Department of State, then run by Hillary Clinton.

Last night in Sean Hannity’s show (35 minutes into the video) Peter Schweizer, author of Clinton Cash, explained that Hillary knew that the Russians were trying to corner the uranium market, that the donations to the Clinton Foundation were hidden, and, as if things weren’t bad enough, that “Uranium One, now owned by Rosatom, is actually exporting yellowcake from the United States,” when the uranium is supposed to stay in the U.S.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has launched a probe into the case.

Don’t hold your breath on this story making it to the front pages.

UPDATE

Two and a half years ago at Da Tech Guy: Oh look, the guy behind the Clinton uranium deal was also the guy behind the Clinton FTA deal

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

For fear of sounding like Pauline Kael, who apparently said,”I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon,” yesterday I did an informal survey of people I’ve known for years and all but one said that they’re “up-to-here” and fed up of hearing about Russia Russia Russia in the news. Some used less delicate words.

The only one who is interested in Russia Russia Russia/Trump campaign story at this point lives in Washington, D.C., is heavily involved in politics and despises our current President.

Perhaps “I live in a rather special world.” Perhaps Washington is the “rather special world.” But by now everybody, except for those in D.C., who has been hearing about this for over half a year is concerned about their well being and that of their families, health and personal problems as they may arise, paying their bills and solidifying a stable financial situation, and myriad other problems. That is, the same problems adults grapple with their entire lives consume their time.

Some are in terrible situations: Larry O’Connor’s radio show caller dramatically explains (emphasis added),

O’Connor: Allen in Southern Maryland, you’re on WMAL. Go Al.
Allen: I’m sick of the Donald Trump stuff, all the Trump stuff. I consider myself one of the forgotten men and women. I’m worried about job creation. I’m worried about tax cuts. I need more money. I’m living paycheck to paycheck. They just cut off my cable bill. I’m rubbing two nickles together. My girl can’t find a job to help me. We’re out here struggling and these people don’t get it. I mean they really don’t get it. [Inaudible] I don’t have money. I mean, I’m cutting back on my medicine, my groceries. She can’t find a job…
O’Connor: Do you feel like the President … Allen, do you feel like the President is keeping his head down and doing what he promised to do to try to help you and other Americans like you?
Allen: If they let him do it and give him a chance. They are fighting him every step of the way. We need help out here. We’ve been struggling for years under Obama and he had the right message. We voted him in because of that. We need tax cuts. I need a couple of extra dollars on my paycheck every week. We need jobs. We need Trump and these liberals, the press and all this to get off that and think about us that’s out here putting our boots on everyday, getting up at four o’clock in the morning, going to work and trying to provide for our families and it’s hard. I love you Larry.
O’Connor: Thank you Allen. Thanks for listening and keep the faith.

I’ve written at my blog about how this media obsession is obscuring coverage of whatever else is taking place around the world; when it comes to Latin America, our hemisphere has nearly vanished from American media.

We could spend days discussing the disconnect of the media and the Beltway from the average American, or speculating about who benefits from this Russia Russia Russia/Trump campaign story obsession. My colleague Snoopy at WoW! Magazine posits there’s someone laughing:

. . . the only man that is still laughing is the one in Kremlin. Watching the travesty of the ongoing witch hunts and the administration busy at counterattacking the media, instead of doing what the government is meant to do – how could the man not laugh?

Aye, there’s the rub.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog