I Did Some Reporting on the Big Stuff (UPDATE)

Voice Dropping Knowledge in the Wilderness

by baldilocks

As we know, when a so-called whistle-blower initiated the uproar about President Trump’s telephone conversation with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky it seemed to be a signal to Democrats that it was time to begin the impeachment process that most of them have longed for since Election Day in 2016.

President Trump declassified and released the transcript of the conversation, which refuted characterizations or “parodies” of it from major Democratic Party players like Rep. Adam Schiff. Nonetheless, the hue and cry of “Impeach the MotherFather” – to paraphrase Rep. Rashida Tlaib – was heard throughout the land. Why? Because surely it is illegal for a sitting POTUS to ask a foreign head of state to investigate to see if a crime has been committed in the latter’s country. Right?

The outrage got even more shrill when it was presumed that president Trump asked the same thing of Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help investigate the origins of the Russia hoax. (The presumption was in error. It turns out that the Australians reached out to us first on the matter.)

A day or so after this whirlwind started, one of my friends shared a link which pointed to the fact that the United States has a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with Ukraine and, a few seconds later, I discovered that we also have one with Australia – naturally, since Australia is part of the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance — and with many other countries.

Of course, I shared this information with my 6000+ followers on Twitter and my 3000+ followers on Facebook. It took a while for other Trump supporters with larger followings to pick up on it, but some did.

I even shared the information with Hillary Clinton, for what it’s worth.

It’s fun to troll and to be telling truth at the same time.

The fact that it was her husband who signed the Ukraine MLAT into law back in 1998 was a bonus that I didn’t hesitate to point out to her.

By the way, other than my friend, I saw no other commentator point out the existence of these treaties before I did.

Just wanted to point that out.

Here’s what I’m doing now: reading John Solomon’s Ukraine papers on Scribd. I think it’s very important for each of us – every interested voter – to see what type of beast we are dealing with. And it’s a rough beast. I’ve been saying some variation of the following of late.

To me, this was instinctive, but, as it turns out, one Glenn Beck seems to have connected all the players in the Ukraine game using his signature blackboard. Well worth your time.

President Trump is poised to spill the gravy.

HECK I FORGOT: Like Hunter Biden, Paul Pelosi, Jr., the son of Speaker Pelosi sits/sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. The video is a promo featuring the Speaker herself.

I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Somalia and a coming Africa boom

US Embassy in Somalia in 1992, from Wikipedia

While everyone was busy talking about impeachment, the re-establishment of the US Embassy in Somalia popped into my Facebook feed. It will probably garner no real headlines or much fanfare. It is really important, because it might mark a culmination of investment into Africa, and perhaps a turning point in how we view that continent.

Africa has been left behind by most of the industrialized world. Although it was critical for trading, it just never industrialized like North America, Europe or Asia has. It’s been left in the dark and had its share of crime, dictators and poor rule. This despite its critical location, abundance of resources and a people that have proven they can accomplish a lot when not held back by corruption and crime.

Africa, if done right, is important. China figured this out and is trying to buy up Africa through debt-diplomacy, hoping to secure a future for itself. The US has mainly viewed Africa as a place to practice killing terrorists. That isn’t a long term strategy though.

Since we’re already in Somalia, let’s have a long term plan. Somalia has a ton of advantages. It’s right near the Bab-el-Mandeb Straits, a critical choke point for maritime trade. Somalia reaches to the equator and has a large expanse of ocean, which is preferable for launching satellites. Somalia has some pretty significant untapped oil reserves. It also has good beaches, game reserves and plenty of archaeological ruins that would attract tourism.

The United States should be taking our focus out of Syria, where we will only ever pour more money and get nothing, and into Somalia. Encouraging companies to invest in Somalia and using some of the revenue to rebuild the security a government needs to survive is a start. Building a Somali Navy that is dedicated to stopping piracy would prevent us from wasting US Navy ships on a relatively low-combat mission. Pushing academic institutions to invest in Somali education and archaeology will begin the process of building an educated society that won’t tolerate high levels of crime in the future.

Somalia, given a better start, should be a thriving long-term partner with the United States. Let’s hope we can treat them as such and walk down that path before China beats us to the punch.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

An Elizabeth Warren Hit is best the “Hillary is Running” Test

The sudden appearance of Hillary Clinton on the political scene coupled with the latest verse of the Trump Song latest failed Trump hit that boomeranged onto Joe Biden has led some to speculate that Hillary is considering a late entry into the election 2020 race.

While I must confess this is the type of dream scenario for the GOP that would akin to Lynda Carter suddenly deciding that she simply can’t live another day without me there is an actual thing to watch for to decide if this has a basis in reality of if the GOP will wake up and find yourself with the less entertaining prospect of being perfectly happy in destroying the current Democrat field in 2020.

You see if Hillary is just trying to bait people and perhaps cause folks with power and influence to think she’s coming back in, she would do what she’s doing and hope that enough people decide it is worth throwing a few tens of thousands the way of the Clinton foundation as a cheap form of insurance.

But with Bernie on the ropes due to heart issues and Biden being hit by the latest attempt to target Trump the person left in the race that would have to be taken out for Hillary to have a clear field is Elizabeth Warren.

So keep an eye out over the next few weeks to see if any kids of “surprise” news comes out concerning the Senator form Massachusetts of if yet another attempted attack on Trump happens to backfire on Elizabeth Warren particularly if the source is known to be Clinton friendly.

Because if any of that happens, odds are she’s in.