Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Pam Bondi saves the day

Thank God for Pam Bondi. You would’ve thought the Trump defense team would’ve learned something from Adam Schiff and the Democrats droning on for 21 hours in their pursuit to overturn the 2016 election. I was excited that the Republicans would get their turn and we’d get some excitement injected into the impeachment trial.

Then came Ken Starr. Watching a hog sweat looked electrifying by comparison. Starr wasted time on the history of the special council. He bored us with backstory of how the special counsel replaced the independent counsel which was created after Watergate. That law was scrapped in 1999 for the special counsel law. And I’m sitting there thinking there was no special counsel in this impeachment. It appeared to me that Ken Starr was trying to tell everybody that the Whitewater investigation he headed against Bill Clinton wasn’t his fault. Who cares?

It wasn’t until late afternoon on the first full day of President Trump’s defense that we finally saw somebody with something to say. Pam Bondi, a former attorney general from Florida, at last explained to viewers at home what this impeachment trial was all about. It’s about Joe Biden. Democrats will tell you Biden has nothing to do with it. Biden has everything to do with it. Here’s why.

President Trump is being impeached for supposedly abusing his powers as president to investigate a political rival. President Trump contends he wanted Ukraine to investigate Biden because his actions appeared to be corrupt. In order for President Trump to exonerate himself he has to show there was probable cause to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Bondi laid out the case.

Hunter Biden took a position on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz, was a partner with Hunter Biden in an investment firm called Rosemont Seneca. When Hunter took the gig with Burisma, Heinz sent an e-mail to Kerry’s top aides letting them know he had nothing to do with Burisma or Biden’s decision to join them. Heinz severed his business ties with Hunter Biden. 

Burisma was a corrupt entity that everybody in the Obama administration knew was corrupt. At the time Hunter Biden joined them making 83 grand a month, the British Serious Fraud Office was investigating Burisma’s founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, for money laundering. The left will argue that Viktor Shokin, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, would not cooperate with the Brits on the money laundering investigation and thus allowed Zlochevsky to successfully move his ill-gotten booty out of the UK to Cyprus. That could very well be true. However, it’s difficult to understand how Joe Biden was coming to town to rid Ukraine of a corrupt prosecutor while his own son was working for the corrupt oligarch this prosecutor was supposedly helping.

Optics. They love to use that word in Washington. I can’t think of a situation with worse optics. And don’t tell me Joe didn’t know his son was working for Burisma. Everybody in the Obama administration knew. Obama himself should’ve pulled Joe aside and told him to get Hunter off the board of that corrupt company. If Joe didn’t then Obama should’ve sent someone else. He did neither.

That sets up the obvious question. If the chief prosecutor in Ukraine is investigating a corrupt company that the VP’s son works for, why is Joe trying to get the guy fired? That’s exactly what President Trump was asking, and it got him impeached. It’s doubtful the president will be removed, but now we know why they were so desperate to do it.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Doing the Greta

I don’t believe I ever seen such a freak-out over climate change like we’re seeing now. Fueled by the Australian wildfires, climate change is sweeping the world like, well, wildfire. Spain has declared a national climate emergency. What’s going on in Spain? Nothing. They’re just freaking out because everybody’s freaking out over Australia.

Australian bushfires are nothing new. The worst were the Black Saturday Bushfires in 2009. It was Australia’s worst natural disaster ever recorded. Second worst were the Ash Wednesday Bushfires of 1983, followed by the Black Tuesday Bushfires of 1967. See a pattern? Neither do I.

Early European explorers reported seeing huge bushfires. Most are set by lightning, but Aboriginal people routinely set wildfires to create better grass to fatten up kangaroos. Something called fire-stick farming was also used to grow things like bush potatoes. In fact, some plants require fires to survive.

What’s lost in all the reporting and hysteria about climate change is that global warming or climate change or whatever they’re calling it on any given day has never—and I repeat, never—caused a fire. Never. Fires are either caused by lightning, lava, or humans. Many of these current fires in Australia are the result of arson. The media say the number of people arrested for arson has been exaggerated. That could be, but it still doesn’t change the fact that global warming never set a fire.

Recent fires in Australia are the result of what they call dry lightning or electric power lines blown down by high winds. None of this is new. What’s new is the social media freak-out. Well, if global warming isn’t causing the fires it must be contributing to them. That depends on how you frame that argument. It would be a hard argument to sell. The record high for Australia is 123.3 degrees. That was set in 1960. The second highest was 122.9 set in 1998. Third is 121.8 set in 2019. See a pattern? Neither do I, but you can almost bet they weren’t freaking out in 1960. They were, however, in 2019.

It seems that we don’t have a climate change problem. We have a lemming problem. Too many people are more than willing to follow the crowd over the cliff without even an ounce of proof. That’s my argument-stopper when it comes to this issue. If you believe humans are causing the planet to warm, show me the proof. They can’t. They can’t because there’s not any proof.

Oh, they point to the so-called 97 percent consensus. The irony is that debunked talking point started in Australia with a guy named John Cook of the University of Queensland. Cook has no expertise in climate science. He studies the human brain. I guess he figured out what that brain needed to be convinced of manmade climate change when there’s no evidence. He invented the 97 scientific consensus talking point. He took a bunch of climate change studies, threw out two-thirds that didn’t give an opinion (red flag right there) then tortured the rest of the data to come up with a 97 percent consensus. And it’s been used by everybody pushing the global warming theory ever since.

Problem is there’s no truth to it. But don’t tell the folks in Spain. It might ruin their little “climate emergency.” And don’t tell Greta Thunberg. She might have to dock her plastic boat she’s sailing around the world, a boat that took untold petroleum to make. But you’re still skeptical about manmade global warming even with all this hype? How dare you. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

CrowdStrike strikes again

I smelled a rat from the second the New York Times story broke. ‘Russians Hacked Ukrainian Gas Company at Center of Impeachment’ their headline blared. It seemed all too convenient. Just before the impeachment trial begins that will most certainly explore Joe Biden’s role in getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired who was looking into corruption at a company where his son was raking in $50,000 a month, the Russians magically hack that same company looking for dirt on Biden. The insinuation is, of course, that the Russians are working in league with Donald Trump to spring him from the impeachment trap and nail Joe Biden at the same time.

“Cybersecurity officials” told the New York Times about the hacking. I wondered immediately if these “cybersecurity officials” had anything to do with CrowdStrike. Remember CrowdStrike? They were the IT company for the DNC that claimed Russians had hacked their e-mails. The only problem is they wouldn’t turn over the servers to the FBI. The FBI, according to James Comey’s own testimony, simply relied on the investigation done by CrowdStrike. Odd isn’t it? It’s like you have a bank robbery and the FBI shows up but a private investigator has already done the investigation, so you just take his report and file it as fact.

This whole thing reeks of a set-up. No doubt Trump’s attorneys, if they’re any good, will make Hunter Biden’s deal with Ukrainian gas company Burisma the centerpiece of their defense. After all, the president was impeached for allegedly using his office to investigate a political opponent. Trump’s defense is he was asking the Ukrainians to investigate a legitimate appearance of corruption. So, just as we begin the trial the Russians hack into Burisma looking for dirt on Joe? All too convenient, isn’t it?

Well, you don’t know the half of it.

I began researching my suspicions about the “cybersecurity officials” that supposedly tipped off the Times. It’s a company called Area 1 Security. One of the co-founders is a guy named Blake Darché. Guess where Blake used to work. That’s right. CrowdStrike. Oh, he didn’t just work there. He helped found CrowdStrike.

I’m sure the scheme of claiming the Russians hacked Burisma was designed to not only taint any real dirt Trump’s lawyers may have on Biden, but to further bolster the story that the Russians hacked the DNC. To learn now that CrowdStrike people are involved in both does just the opposite. Again, I’m sure, no one will be able to independently confirm Area 1’s assertion that the Russians hacked Burisma. And, again, authorities will take their word for it. Three of the founders, including Darché, were hackers for the NSA. These kinds of people are invaluable if they’re working on your side. They’re extremely dangerous if they’re not.

It took me all of about five minutes to uncover Area 1’s connection to CrowdStrike. You can’t tell me a New York Times reporter couldn’t do the same thing. Which leads us to only one conclusion. They knew but they didn’t report it.

Oren Falkowitz, co-founder of Area 1, laid it on thick for the Times. He said, “The timing of the Russian campaign mirrors the GRU hacks we saw in 2016 against the DNC and John Podesta.” He added, “Once again, they are stealing email credentials, in what we can only assume is a repeat of Russian interference in the last election.” Oh, it’s a repeat, all right. It’s a repeat of the same charade they pulled before. I hope and pray that we’re smarter now than we were then.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hollywood will even back a mass murderer over Trump

People don’t want another war. I get that. I don’t want another war either. I think we can achieve what we need to achieve with Iran without putting boots on the ground. What I don’t understand is the lionizing of Qasem Soleimani. When I read the list of atrocities this guy is responsible for I was stunned we hadn’t killed him before now.

Pamela Geller compiled a list of atrocities that include the 2005 assassination of Lebanese President Rafik Hariri, the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, even the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks slaughter. Soleimanin’s Quds force created the terrorist group Hezbollah. 

This guy was a terrorist of the worst kind (like there’s a good kind of terrorist). He was behind the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. The U.S. government estimates that over 600 U.S. troops lost their lives under his orders. He was an innovator in IEDs, land mines, and chemical warfare. He was responsible for raining rockets on Israel. He was responsible for the killing of more than 100 civilians in the AMIA Jewish Center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994.

Yet after the killing of this monster, Colin Kaepernick tweeted, “There is nothing new about American terrorist attacks against Black and Brown people for the expansion of American imperialism.” Actress Rose McGowan tweeted, “Dear #Iran, The USA has disrespected your country, your flag, your people. 52% of us humbly apologize.” Nice, Rose. You’re apologizing for taking out a mass murderer.

Others like Sen. Rand Paul expressed concern that killing Soleimani may be, as he put it, “the death of diplomacy.” Perhaps. I think diplomacy has been dead a long time with Iran. If pallets of cash are diplomacy then we’re going down the wrong road. Trading cash for hostages is not diplomacy. It’s bowing to terrorists. I’m not suggesting Rand Paul is for that either. I think what concerns him—and me—is the prospect of another long war. This is different. Or, at least, it should be.

There is absolutely no reason for boots on the ground in Iran. None. If regime change is what we’re after then it will happen organically if we just leave them to their own devices. What we must do is end their spread of terrorism around the world. Killing Soleimani was a huge step in that direction. Iran need to be on notice that wherever we find them killing people outside of their own country we’re going to hit them and hit them hard. We have a distinct advantage in that regard. We’re over here and they’re over there. We’re also over there and around the world. It’s much easier for us to strike them than for them to strike us.

But if it is easy for them to strike us elsewhere in the world we need to evaluate if we really need to be there. I think that’s what will separate Trump from other presidents when it comes to fighting terrorism. Yes, we need to protect ourselves and our allies, but are we meddling in places we have no business meddling? I’m not saying that excuses attacks against Americans. I’m just saying if we find ourselves taking fire somewhere we need to do some soul-searching and determine if we should really be there in the first place.

As I’ve said in this space before, Iran cannot win a tit for tat conflict. But we need to seriously reflect on our influence around the world and make sure it’s a force for good. I think both Paul and Trump would agree.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Baghdad is no Benghazi

No sooner had protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad than libs took to social media to call it Trump’s Benghazi. The funny part is, unlike Benghazi in 2012, this actually was a protest that got out of hand. President Trump didn’t blame it on some video of Mohammed. He placed the blame squarely where it belongs, in Tehran.

I love the fact that the Trump-haters are comparing this to Benghazi. It gives us a chance to compare and contrast. The comparison is both compounds were attacked. The contrast is in Baghdad we fought back against the attack while in Benghazi President Obama left our people to die. Benghazi was never a protest that got out of hand. It was a planned terrorist attack. Baghdad appears to be a protest in response to our airstrikes on a militia group in Iraq backed by Iran. Benghazi was simply a terrorist attack by Muslim extremists. Muslim extremists appear to be at work in Baghdad, but there’s no indication that it was a concerted terrorist attack. If that information changes it’s doubtful you’ll see Trump’s national security advisor make the Sunday news show rounds to blame it on a video.

Right after the attack, I was on NewsmaxTV to talk about the political ramifications for President Trump. Some, including Pat Buchanan, have posited that Trump could lose the election over Iran. With all due respect to Mr. Buchanan, that’s not likely. You see, Donald Trump understands foreign policy better most any other president in modern times. He knows full well that putting boots on the ground in Iran is not an option. Remember when he told Syria we were going to make them pay for any chemical attacks and people screamed that Trump was going to get us into another war? What did he do? He hit ‘em hard.

For those of you who complain about Trump’s tweets, you can pretty much sum up his foreign policy by how he manages his Twitter account. Remember the line delivered by Sean Connery in ‘The Untouchables?’ “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.” That’s the Trump way!

In this tit for tat we’ve got more tat than Iran has…well, you know what I mean. They can’t possibly win. An escalating back and forth will ultimately leave their country in ruins. Unless they manage to get a terrorist into the United States, it’s not likely they can inflict much damage on us.

That goes to Trump’s point that we need to secure the border. If an Iranian terrorist does hit us and we find out he came across our porous southern border then it’s going to be hell to pay. The left will, predictably, blame it on Trump, but what are we supposed to do? Send them more pallets of cash? I don’t think so. Those days are over.

You wanna compare Baghdad to Benghazi? Great. Reinforcements of Marines were sent into the embassy in Baghdad. Apache helicopters buzzed the protesters in a show of force. In Benghazi Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ignored the frantic cries for help from Americans on the ground. Trump will never leave our people to die, this I can tell you.

Iran has picked a fight with the wrong dude. This ain’t Obama’s America. We don’t trade hostages for pallets of cash. We don’t hesitate to call Islamic terrorism Islamic terrorism. And we don’t back down from a fight. 

Anybody still think the Iran nuke deal was a good idea?

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.