In a series of tweets, the Trump administration has responded to allegations that Donald Trump himself colluded with the Russian government and Jamaican beer company, Red Stripe, to rig fraudulent karaoke competitions across America. First he called the allegations, “Fake News,” then he continued by lambasting the sources of the dossier surrounding Karaokegate.
In the tweet, President Trump claims that Red Stripe never gave him any information about karaoke competitions, and quickly deflects to his electoral opponent, as a strategy he often employs. However, considering the context of the quote provided, one could conclude that Trump is defending his ties to Red Stripe, if only the information he received from Red Stripe and Russia had been through an intermediary.
The most troubling response to the dossier was when Trump specifically referenced The Boundary-Bending Blog as a purveyor of fake news and labelled this very blog, “the enemy of the people.” Now that Trump has been caught red-handed working as a Russian operative to rig karaoke competitions across the nation, his only two strategies are to obfuscate and attack.
It’s unclear if Donald Trump is aware of the fact that my indictments are not legally binding, but at the very least, it’s pleasing to see that he is treating them as if they are, as I will continue to do until America’s faith in the democratic process of karaoke competitions is restored.
I have officially launched an investigation into Russia meddling in the karaoke competition which took place on August 23, 2018. Though I have zero legal authority, I have placed indictments on several Russian agents, who have ties with operatives within the karaoke bar, Finny’s Pub in Doylestown, PA. If any evidence should be required of my claims, the very fact that I have opened an investigation and placed indictments is evidence enough that Russia is guilty.
The winner of the competition was a shady figure who goes by the name of “Sam,” however, reliable sources within the karaoke bar later revealed that Sam’s full name is Saminski Popolovski. Many patrons of the bar that night noted that they “didn’t even remember hearing her sing.” A testimony from the karaoke DJ, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed that Popolovski had mumbled her song in fluent Russian.
The judges of the karaoke competition were unknown figures within the community, two females in their early-twenties, who vanished quickly after the winner of the competition was announced. However, a reliable source from the karaoke bar confirmed that the credit card used by the two judges was directly linked to a lawyer who is directly linked to the Kremlin. Furthermore, there are multiple witnesses who can confirm the fact that both judges were drinking White Russians.
Then I considered the prize of the karaoke competition: a beer cooler with attached bottle opener. My skeptics have already decried a lack of motivation for Russia to want the beer cooler. But I realized, it wasn’t about the beer cooler, it was about sowing discord among a local community. This shadow of doubt Russia has cast on our democratic process of karaoke competitions has destroyed America’s faith in karaoke competitions all together. So long as Russia is an acceptable scapegoat in polite society, I foresee that faith will never be restored.
The overarching trend in the Russiagate investigation has been to make sweeping gestures that fill headlines and then never follow up on those headlines, as key information is retracted or forgotten about. A prime example of this happening is when media outlets reported that all 17 U.S. Agencies had confirmed Russia meddled in our election; that number was later retracted to 4 Agencies. But people don’t remember the retraction; they remember the sensationalized headlines and will, to this day, repeat the lie that all 17 Agencies confirmed Russia “hacked our election.”
This pattern continues as Mueller announces indictments on 12 Russians for “hacking the DNC.” Since no evidence has been presented that Russia hacked the DNC emails, instead the indictments themselves are touted as ample evidence to support that claim; which is simply absurd. Additionally, the timing of these new indictments is suspicious, because of the other recent indictments made against Paul Manafort for criminal corruption charges. Now these Russiagate conspiracy-mongers can lump in these erroneous, baseless indictments with the valid corruption indictments, as if they’re all valid. And again, you’re not allowed to accurately point out that there is no evidence to back up these indictments, because the indictments themselves are somehow evidence that Russia hacked the DNC. Clearly, Mueller doesn’t actually want these indictments to reach any new truth; the only point is for this to litigate in court for years, so that they can leave the evidence in question and keep the truth in the dark. By the time they actually get around to revealing that their evidence won’t hold up in court, the Russiagate conspiracy-mongers will have moved onto a new target, meanwhile this grand, baseless headline will remain in the consciousness of those who buy into this Red Scare McCarthyist narrative.
Of course, while those in power withhold information from the public, we can assess the information discerned by professionals according to the metadata. With the metadata, they can see how much data was transferred from the DNC server, when the transfer started, and when the transfer ended. Using those three pieces of data it was deemed physically impossible, due to the speed of the transfer, for the data to be traveling to Russia. The quick speed of the transfer, instead, indicates that the data was stolen using a USB drive – meaning the emails were not “hacked” at all, they were leaked. So for those of us privy enough to understand the conclusions of the metadata, these paper tiger indictments are a show of how deeply Mueller and his team are willing to sully their names to cover for Hillary’s embarrassingly epic loss.
Yet for those of us with a political memory longer than a goldfish, we remember that Mueller has no integrity and is a full-throated liar. Mueller was one of the intelligence officials who testified that Iraq had WMDs and was an imminent threat and we had to invade, and now liberals hang on his every word as if he’s not a lying scumbag.
I’m not defending Trump or Russia, I’m just pointing out facts. The crimes between Trump and Russia will surmount to corruption; because Trump is a corrupt businessman – a fact we knew before he ever took office. But it’s inconvenient for Russiagate conspiracy-mongers to point out that Trump’s foreign collusion also applies to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the list goes on. During the campaign Trump registered 8 new businesses in Saudi Arabia, then got in power and gave them a massive weapons deal. Why is there no hysteria about Trump being a puppet for Saudi Arabia? Only Russia? The narrative makes no sense and reveals itself to be exactly that: a narrative. Clearly, they are using Russia as a scapegoat so that the establishment never has to have an introspective look as to the real reasons why Hillary lost.
The McResistance can continue clutching their pearls over imagined Russian hacking, as if that is the straw that will break Trump’s back. They could already impeach Trump on the Emoluments Clause alone (because of his business dealings with foreign governments), so searching for another reason to impeach is pointless, because this Congress clearly will never impeach. The truth is, most Americans don’t care about or believe this Russiagate narrative, and those who do vote Democrat anyway; thus continuing this pointless narrative will actually empower Trump’s second presidential run, when it turns up that there is no evidence to back up the Russiagate claims and all of this has been for naught, just like all nine Benghazi hearings. And meanwhile, you could have been fighting for policies that people actually care about and that actually help people; those of us who actually care about defeating Trump in 2020 will be doing just that: fighting for Medicare-for-All, tuition-free education, Net Neutrality, abolishing ICE, ending our foreign wars, ending the drug war, and starting a Green New Deal to transition off of fossil fuels. Remember: the same people who want us to focus on Russia are the same people who lost to Trump the first time.
If you talk to a conservative about Socialism, they’re favorite strawman is to bring up the economic crisis in Venezuela and suggest that any amount of Socialism will plummet our economy into the same over-inflated mess. But there is actually a way that the United States could face the same consequences being felt in Venezuela, and one of those ways is to stay on the same course we are currently on.
The reason Venezuela is having an economic crisis has nothing to do with the “ist” or “ism” attached to their economic model; it has to do with the fact that 96% of Venezuela’s exports and 40% of their GDP is petrol. For a decades, Venezuela was one of the wealthiest countries in the region due to their massive reserves of petrol. When the price of petrol drops, Venezuela’s economy will undoubtedly suffer. Conservatives claim that if we adopt policies in America meant to serve the people, we will end up like Venezuela, but to compare their economy to the United State’s economy is where they will make their first mistake, because America’s economy is not reliant upon the price of petrol.
Their second mistake is to suggest that Venezuela is Socialist or Communist; 500 different U.S. corporations operate within Venezuela, so by definition, they are Capitalist. Differentiating their petrol companies from American oil companies because they are “state-owned” is metaphorically slicing hairs. In 2015 alone, the United States subsidized fossil fuels for a total of $600 billion. Re-read that fact again a couple times and then tell me American fossil fuel companies are not “state-owned.” America’s government is no less invested in its fossil fuel companies than Venezuela’s government is invested in theirs.
The reason that Venezuela has strong social protections is because they have five branches of government, as opposed to our three, one of which is the Citizen’s Branch; meaning that the people have more of a voice in which legislation is passed. The consequence being that the state subsidizes products for their poorest citizens and takes a net loss, because they feel it’s worth it to take care of their most vulnerable citizens. Of course, with that ideology (which comes from an inherently good place), comes more subsequent problems, such a black market for government-sold items, which become increasingly rare for those who need them. But it should be emphasized, that this net loss suffered by the state has nothing to do with the current economic turmoil, which, again, has everything to do with the price of petrol dropping.
If conservatives were at all interested in understanding why the price of petrol is dropping, they might actually come closer to understanding the real reason why Venezuela’s economy is in crisis. To do that, is to look at our own foreign and economic policies, in tandem to Saudi Arabia’s. The main goal for Saudi Arabia is to create a global monopoly on oil by first destroying the markets of their main competitor’s, Russia and Iran. Their strategy for doing so is to over-produce oil, so that the market is saturated and the price drops; their goal being that this price drop will hurt Russia and Iran. At this point, the only countries that have actually been hurt by this change are those which rely on petrol for economic growth, such as Libya, Angola, Nigeria, and Venezuela.
So what is the real lesson the United States can learn from Venezuela, since we know the lesson is not that policies designed to help the poor will destroy our country. To do that, we need to understand the other reason why the price of fossil fuels is dropping: The price of oil, as with any other commodity, is regulated through supply and demand. When there is an oil surplus, or a reduction in demand, the price will fall. Saudi Arabia’s actions demonstrate what happens in an oil surplus, but what happens when there is a reduction of demand are very similar and the brunt impact of that could be faced by the United States. This is what is called the “Carbon Bubble.” (Hint: the word “Bubble” should be an indicator that it has potential to pop and cause havoc.) Currently, China is leading the world in investments into renewable energy. This trend will only increase around the world, as manufacturing renewable technology becomes cheaper than digging dinosaurs out of the ground. Maybe now is a good time to revisit that number of $600 billion the United States taxpayers paid in 2015 to subsidize the fossil fuel industry.
We are investing billions of dollars of taxpayer money to subsidize pipelines sprawling across our country; trillions to secure global oil reserves for American corporations – what happens if we never see a return on that investment, because in 20 years the price of oil has halved because of China’s booming renewable industry. The United States could be on the forefront of that new manufacturing industry, instead we are stuck in the past, digging in the dirt; trying to force everyone to watch VHS instead of leading the switch to DVD, or digital. Right now there is a profit in ignoring the growing renewable market, but once that profit disappears, so will the investors, and so will a large portion of our economy. Venezuela’s mistake was assuming petrol prices would remain high and our current mistake is the assumption that the price of fossil fuels will remain high. With our current course of action, it is inevitable that the global demand of fossil fuels will continue to reduce until the Carbon Bubble pops, at which point, it will be far more accurate to compare the United States to Venezuela.