Trump and Putin meet
President Trump is getting brickbats from all sides for his press conference with Vladimir Putin for not strongly confronting Putin over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election. Trump said he did confront Putin privately and at length, and Putin confirmed that. But Putin denied attempting to interfere in the US election. Trump also is under fire for saying that Putin made an “incredible offer “to have the people working on the case come and work with (Russia’s) investigators with respect to the 12 people” indicted by Robert Mueller. Trump also said he wants to know why the FBI didn’t get to examine the hacked DNC server these indictments are based on.
Trump is getting excoriated for being soft on Russia and criticizing American intelligence agencies, both by fellow Republicans and by Democrats who spent decades mocking anyone who criticized Russia as a Cold War troglodyte. They also used to hail Obama for his “smart diplomacy” in going around the world criticizing and apologizing for America.
Former Obama CIA Director John Brennan has made a reputation for ridiculous tweets, but even he outdid himself by ranting that Trump’s press conference was a “treasonous” offense. This is a man who seemingly was unperturbed by a President giving a sweetheart nuclear deal and a planeload of cash to a country whose parliament was chanting, “Death to America” on a daily basis. The fact that he was actually the head of the CIA sends a bigger chill through me than anything said at Monday’s press conference.
One reporter even set a new world “Dumb Question” record for actually asking Putin if Russia had gathered compromising information on Trump during a visit to Moscow several years ago. Putin denied that, saying he wasn’t even aware that Trump was in Moscow at the time. He also told Chris Wallace of Fox News that back then, Trump was just one of hundreds of business men who visited Russia; he built hotels and ran beauty pageants, and nobody imagined he’d become President or cared that he was there. But what did the reporter in Helsinki expect Putin’s answer to be? “Dah! Did you not hear about the icky videos in the Russian Dossier Hillary paid for?” He’s the former head of the KGB, not a moron.
As for the political and media outrage that Trump praised Putin and didn't attack him to his face, recall that every recent President has started out thinking he could deal with Putin before learning better, and nobody screamed that it was “TREASON!” George W. Bush looked into his eyes and read his soul. Obama kept the blinders on for years, offering Putin “more flexibility” after his reelection, basically turning Syria and Ukraine over to him, and mocking Mitt Romney for living in the ‘80s for warning that Russia was the biggest foreign policy challenge (and the same reporters who are now attacking Trump for his naivety toward Putin gleefully joined in the mockery of Mitt.) I also suspect that the way this issue dominated the media coverage, at a time where there are so many major issues for the US and Russia to address, was a sign of just how successful the timing of the announcement of those indictments was.
Would I prefer that Trump have taken a harder line in confronting Putin? Sure, and I hope he issues a strong clarification and condemnation. But this is his style. We saw it with Kim Jong-Un: he approaches these tyrants with ego-stroking and an open hand in person while maintaining steely opposition elsewhere, through sanctions, military build-ups and other means. It’s part of his deal-making strategy: make it very difficult to oppose him and publicly rewarding to compromise. You can agree or disagree with the style, but he’s the President and that’s his call.
Frankly, I think it’s better than bowing and capitulation. At least Trump always makes it clear that he’s giving foreign rivals the chance to change and cooperate, but if they don’t, the option of force remains on the table. Obama spent eight years dealing with despots like Putin, and left office bowing just as deeply to them as he did when he first came in.
Obama's former CIA Director attacked Congressional Republicans for expecting top FBI investigator Peter Strzok do his job properly by citing fake news from 1864. He got schooled by a high school student who knows how to use Google. The country’s in the very best of hands!
Feinstein a right-winger
California is so in the grip of leftists that, due to their jungle primary system, voters will have only two choices for Senate: left and lefter. And while polls show the majority of voters back longtime Democratic incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (she beat second-place finisher, far-left state Sen. Kevin de Leon, by 32 points in the primary), the state party’s executive committee voted overwhelmingly Saturday to endorse de Leon. That’s right: California state Democratic Party leaders have moved so far to the left that Dianne Feinstein looks like a right-winger to them.
De Leon released a statement reading, “The nation’s most accomplished Democratic Party is leading the call for a new generation of leadership who will fight to advance a bold agenda.” While the Democratic establishment is probably most terrified of the “new generation of leadership” part, the rest of us should be more concerned about that “fight to advance a bold agenda.” We’ve all seen their bold agenda: open borders, abolishing immigration enforcement, releasing criminal illegal aliens to prey on law-abiding citizens, economy-killing taxes to fund unsustainable big government giveaway programs, and all the other leftist ideas that have failed spectacularly for over a century, but they think they’re being “progressive” for still believing in them.
As for California having the “nation’s most accomplished Democratic Party,” I suppose that’s true if you consider it to be an accomplishment when your policies result in the middle class and small business owners fleeing the state, the highest income inequality in America (the gap between rich and poor is now greater in California than even in Mexico or Guatemala), the highest poverty rate, and rankings as the worst state in which to do business (Chief Executive Magazine) and the lowest quality of life (Business Insider.) And all this in a state whose nickname was “The Golden State” before they got hold of it. Further proof that leftist policies tarnish everything they touch, even gold – and California’s Democratic leaders think the solution is to move even further left.
They do realize that if they move any further left, they’ll fall into the ocean, right? That would probably be a great blessing to the citizens.
Here’s today’s “Drop Whatever You’re Doing And Read This” article. It’s called “I Was the Mob Before the Mob Came for Me,” and it’s by an author who prefers not to reveal his name, for reasons that will soon become apparent.
He confesses that he was once a “a self-righteous social justice crusader,” making good money in what he calls the “social justice industry.” He worked in online media, using Facebook and Twitter feeds to attack and shame people who ran afoul of the unforgiving moral standards of the leftist PC mob, branding them as racist or sexist without a thought for the damage and pain he was causing them and their families, and gleefully racking up lots of clicks and “likes” and retweets. It was a culture of meanness, surveillance and snitching, but it gave him a rush, as if heroin were distilled from self-righteousness.
And then one day, it all came crashing down when someone accused him of one of those toxic masculinity thought crimes. Of course, he was immediately judged guilty, because due process doesn’t exist in the SJW world. His colleagues starting combing through all his old posts, hunting for non-PC microagressions – which, of course, they found because the standards are constantly changing, and the past is always condemned under the standards of the present moment. He was shunned, shamed, ostracized, fired – and now, he’s delivering pizzas and sushi to try to support his family.
In the article, he looks back at how he fell into that narrow-minded, judgmental mindset; why it’s so seductive to close yourself off into a morally-superior bubble and so exhilarating to demonize and destroy people you never meet face to face; and why so many people just quietly go along with it out of fear of the online bullies turning on them. He also notes that there are never any apologies or amends for destroying people's lives; the best you can hope for is that the mob moves along quickly to its next target/victim.
It’s well worth reading the whole thing, and it’s great that he’s learned his lesson, although I’m sorry his wisdom had to come at such a high price. I’m also sorry that he still feels the need to pay lip service to the arrogant leftists by adding that “many of the opinions I held then are still opinions that I hold today” about his “wokeness on topics such as LGBT rights, rape culture, and racial injustice.” True freedom of thought, maturity and self-awareness will only come when you can’t hear the word “wokeness” without openly and unapologetically falling over laughing.
I’ll also add that one of the commenters on the story named SJ provided some interesting links to studies on why moral outrage and moral grandstanding are so addictive, and why they’ve become so much worse in the Internet age. One of the articles cites another study that found that less than 5% of people’s reported daily experiences involved directly witnessing or experiencing acts they would deem “immoral,” and they’re also not likely to see such things covered in regular media. But they see them all the time on the Internet, where things that used to remain just local gossip go viral and become worldwide “outrages” in minutes.
The study also notes that the creators of social media platforms accept no responsibility. They claim they merely provide a neutral platform for sharing comments and don't change anyone’s behavior . That’s sort of like saying that if you build a hotel out of kindling, it’s not your fault if it burns down, it’s the fault of the irresponsible people who lit matches inside it. That might be somewhat defensible intellectually, but still: Why would you be dumb enough to build a hotel out of kindling?!
Crime does not pay
Crime Does Not Pay: A would-be robber in Arizona learned the hard way that you don’t try to rob a restaurant whose staff seems to be about 90% large guys with no sense of humor. Warning: this video shows him getting pounded like a cheap flank steak until he’s handed over to the police thoroughly tenderized.
Tweet of the day
Hillary tweeted, “Q for Trump as he meets Putin: Do U know which team you play for?” @POTUS never accepted $500K dollars for 1 speech from Russian bank, taken $140m for his foundation from Russian sources, or sold Russia 1/5 of US uranium supply. Which team are YOU on, Hillary?— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) July 16, 2018