Saturday, August 04, 2018

The blind orange squirrel on Trump's scalp finds a nut

I share the same appalled reaction as the rest of the planet to Trump's dimunitive behavior when standing next to Putin. That isn't really what this post is about, but I can't entirely ignore it. I disagree with the claim that he made a Kinsley Gaffe when he said:

...they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be

A Kinsley Gaffe is when someone publicly says something they privately believe to be true and gets in trouble for it. That didn't happen here - Trump knew he was lying the first time around about there being no reason for Russian interference. He then lied again a few days later by claiming he meant to say he didn't see any reason why it "wouldn't" be Russia - he didn't mean to say that, he's just layering on another lie because he was in trouble from his previous lie. Saying there was literally no valid reason arguing against Russian involvement would be completely inconsistent with virtually everything that comes out of his mouth on the subject, constantly casting doubt on Russian involvement.

And none of that is what I want to talk about - which is the new gas pipeline, and Trump's Blind Squirrel is right to criticize it. However bad and dangerous Russian interference is in American elections, it's even worse in Europe. Why is Germany rewarding Russia when Germany and the rest of the democratic world is under attack?

I get the interdependence idea that Germany has advanced even during the Cold War, but this pipeline has the opposite effect - it reduces interdependence with Eastern European countries that are otherwise under the Russian thumb. Right now, if Russia cuts off supplies to Ukraine or other East European countries it's mad at, then it also loses sales to Western Europe. This new pipeline decreases integration and interdependence.

Trump's goal is for Europe to buy more American natural gas instead. A better goal and an achievable one is to further ramp up European renewables generation and storage capacity. It's not just an environmental issue, it's a national security one. Germany is missing the boat.


david lewis said...

Bumper Sticker on my back bumper:

Caption - VOTE PUTIN: SKIP THE MIDDLEMAN. This is beside a cartoon of Putin wearing a "Make Russia Great Again" hat.

David B. Benson said...

"Renewables and storage capacity" for Europe. Follow Energy Matters,, to begin to understand why that won't work.

Bernard J. said...

Trump's claim that he made a Kinsley Gaffe is most certainly a lie.

His syntax was not consistent with "wouldn't", quite aside from the context of his overall claim made during that speech. And his comments since are completely consistent with his long-repeated claim that it's a "hoax" and a "witch-hunt" and that there are other players besides the Russians.

Trump and his advisers are simply hoping that enough of his base are stupid enough to swallow the lie that Trump can get the political mileage that he wants. Their assumption is sound...

Fernando Leanme said...

You are going nuts. Russia didn't attack the US. And they aren't attacking Europe. Attacking means dropping bombs like the USA did Yugoslavia, or the Iraq invasion. Using spies, hackers, hookers, and agitprop is done all the time. Israel influences USA elections a lot more than any other nation, and that's not "attacking".

I suggest you go see my shrink and tell him you are seeing Russians under your bed, and he'll give you mind altering drugs which will eventually return you to a normal state of mind.

jrkrideau said...

@ Fernando
Americans are prone to panic and always try to shift the blame elsewhere. I mean, a corrupted, disfunctional, election system and huge amounts of money from American oligarchs the the GOP plus the most uninspiring Democratic in history cannot begin to explain why Trump won. It had to be THE RUSSIANS.

jrkrideau said...

That should read "the most uninspiring Democratic candidate".

Barton Paul Levenson said...

I love how LE, who constantly gripes about Communism, always defends Russia.

jrkrideau said...

@ Barton Paul Levenson
I love how LE, who constantly gripes about Communism, always defends Russia.

? LE

Perhaps you did not get the memo.

The USSR was a communist country. It collapsed and disintegrated. The largest remnant of the USSR is Russia. It is a capitalist country, partly thanks to Jeffery Sachs and Bill Clinton, and one that seems increasingly Christian-oriented.

Your comment is a bit like someone in 1815 deploring the British army's behaviour in New York City. Or, a real example, someone complaining that the British police were not properly investigating the murder of an Irish crime reporter in Dublin in 1996.

Bernard J. said...

"Russia didn't attack the US."

What, you've not heard of cyber warfare?!

Great, now if you would kindly oblige me by giving me all of your user names and passwords, we can move along not having any other "attacks"...

Barton Paul Levenson said...

rke, if you don't think Putin is building Soviet Union 2.0, you need to look again. I'm tired of hearing about "Russophobia" and how the US "always" blames Russia. In this case, it's blaming Russia because Russia is damn well guilty. Deal with it.

jrkrideau said...

@ Fernando
Where were those Iraqi weapons of mass distruction?

TransparencyCNP said...

jrkrideau said...
"huge amounts of money from American oligarchs"

And if the American oligarchs had $ in offshore tax havens and wanted to influence US elections, they might hire some shady "Internet Research Institute" in St. Petersburg.

John said...

1) A sizeable fraction of the "eastern European countries under Russia's thumb" have brand new US/NATO missile batteries pointed at Russia. The break up of Soviet Union was in significant part done on the "promise" of "the West" that NATO would not expand beyond its then-current borders. But NATO has expanded to Russia's border. See 6 & 7, below.

2) Indeed, Trump's base is stupid. The problem, however, is that the DNC, knowing it was facing "a fake populist and the least popular US presidential candidate," with a real populist and "most popular US presidential candidate ever," nominated instead, the handmaiden of Goldman Sachs and "the second-least US presidential candidate." It takes the breath away to ponder it but the the DNC super delegates are even more stupid that them "deplorables."

3) Yes, I have heard of cyber warfare. It is used all day every day by all the powers of the world. Apparently HRC hadn't heard about it, though, when she used a private unencrypted server as she started her tenure as Sec. State.
The culmination^^^ of the FBI investigation into this potential act(s) of sedition, at the climax of the 2016 campaign, had NO effect on the election?
^^^(Comey paraphrase: "HRC was clearly reckless but not criminal")

On a related but separate note: why did the DNC never give its allegedly hacked*** servers to the FBI but rather gave them to, essentially, a PR firm?
*** (did the DNC hire HRC's IT chief?)

4) Trump's actual election "meddling by a foreign entity" was performed Cambridge Analytica whose CEO admitted payment from the Trump campaign for "services" rendered.

5) Putin wants to make Russia great again? (After what the US did to it in the 90's its amazing it still exists much less can think about greatness. (See "Failed Crusade" by Stephen F. Cohen) Why can't other countries, which comprise 95% of the world's population have their OWN interests. Our presumed belief in our oft-proclaimed exceptionalism appears to be a bit unsubstantial and woefully brittle.

6) Here's a couple graphics showing US military bases in the vicinity of Russia. Presumably Rootin' Tootin' Putin plopped Russia down right in the middle of them because HE wants war with the US?

7) No, Rootin' Tootin' did not PUT Russian solders into the Crimea. The Russia-Ukraine treaty signed when Ukraine left the Soviet Union allowed Russia to keep its (only) war water base there, along with 25,000 troops. The treat was renewed in 2010 and was probably the impetus for the 2014 US engineered coup in Ukraine.

8) Re: meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations.
The US essentially ran the Yelsin re-election. (ref in °5, above)
The US has meddled in the affairs of countries all around the world, all day every day, for a great many decades now.

Apparently you folks turn off you cool, measured, insightful objectivity when you exit your labs?

TransparencyCNP said...

Some inconvenient facts the media mostly ignore:
"Do the Crimean people prefer to be with Russia than with Ukraine?"

Barton Paul Levenson said...

Say, John, how are office conditions at the Lubyanka? Good salary, nice benefits?