My Family Fled Socialism. Let’s Not Give It a Try Here in the U.S.

Here’s my response to a Washington Post column calling for socialism in the U.S.

Socialism wasn’t implemented correctly in the 20th century, we’re told. Millions dying? “That wasn’t supposed to happen under Marxist-Leninism!”, leftists decry. We told, “If we’re given a second chance, we’ll do it correctly!”

Hogwash.

Global communism and its socialist variants have cumulatively killed over 100 million since 1917— following the ascension of the Bolshevik Revolution headed up by revolutionary terrorist Vladimir I. Lenin. This violent, bloody revolution propelled the rise of Hitler and National Socialism in Germany, Joseph Stalin in Soviet Russia, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Castro in Cuba, Mao Zhedong in China, and countless other dictators—including those oppressing Venezuela and North Korea today. Millions were brutalized, tortured, or killed in the name of socialism. Socialism and communism deserve to end up in the ashtray of history alongside National Socialism—its equally ugly cousin.

When I came across this column from one Elizabeth Bruenig up at the Washington Post, I couldn’t help but shrug. The WaPo opinion columnist seems to romanticize socialism like the rest of our generation—of which a staggering 50% of Millennials now favor. The romanticism of socialism, especially its economic policies, has long been regarded by many on the Left due to the influence of higher education. The equality socialism preaches sounds fine and dandy on paper—until it’s implemented or until people get jobs. Upon further examination and examining past historical mistakes, the equality rendered by socialism results in the equitable sharing of misery. Sadly, free enterprise gets scapegoated for the failures of socialism.

Ms. Bruenig writes this about capitalism, discounting the value of individuals in favor of collectivism:

“Capitalism is an ideology that is far more encompassing than it admits, and one that turns every relationship into a calculable exchange. Bodies, time, energy, creativity, love — all become commodities to be priced and sold. Alienation reigns. There is no room for sustained contemplation and little interest in public morality; everything collapses down to the level of the atomized individual.”

She goes on to call for a “new” socialism, one devoid of its totalitarian bent and one that breaks free enterprise’s “strangehold over politics and culture”:

Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture.

How is socialism democratic? How does reduce inequality? Given socialism’s track record across the globe, it’s resulted in more inequality and strained human conditions despite their so-called “humanitarian” intentions. Everything socialists or communists touch dies—from the human spirit to the human flesh.

The attacks on capitalism, or free enterprise (a phrase that better reflects this remarkable economic system), are unjustified. Usually these attacks come of a place of inexperience, poor attention to detail, or blatant naïveté. How many of these individuals who romanticize socialism have lived in those societies ? (Answer: very few to none.) Those calling for the destruction of free enterprise admonish wealth acquired by individuals, yet fail to surrender their iPhones, Starbucks gift cards, and similar luxuries afforded to them under American free enterprise.

If those calling for socialism or communism had it their way, barring exceptions of bureaucrats who’d implement such a system in this country, we’d all be equally poor and miserable at the behest of big government. That’s a scary thought.

Imperfect capitalism, or free enterprise, is far more preferable than perfect socialism. Human progress is made possible thanks to free enterpriseWhen socialism is perfected, chaos, bloodshed, and death follow.

In societies where free market policies reign supreme or exist, greater human freedom flourishes. Why else do people flee here? To experience more socialism or communism? No, they come here to pursue the American dream, to give their children a better future, and to enjoy freedoms denied to them in their homelands.

My family saw firsthand how ugly totalitarian socialism is when implemented. My maternal grandfather endured torture and survived 18 months in one of Stalin’s gulags on the Belomor Canal on the Russian-Finnish border for being a Catholic land owner. My maternal grandmother was similarly imprisoned in a German labor camp. My father’s side of the family faced institutionalized anti-Semitism.

Free enterprise, flaws and all, best uplifts people from nothing to something. My parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles came here in the 1980s virtually penniless. There was no future for them in the Soviet Union. Had my family not come here 30+ years ago, they wouldn’t have worked in corporate America or started their own businesses. Like countless other children of socialism’s survivors, I’m so grateful they came here.

The next time someone calls for socialism in America, remind them of its failures across the globe. Remind them that however contorted and misguided their thinking is with respect to free enterprise, the freedoms afforded to them by the U.S. allow them to hold such views. Remind them that human progress and equality of opportunities best thrive in a society rooted in free enterprise, not socialism.

You Can Take a Bum to Dinner, But You Can’t Make Him Pay

Certain habits are hard to break. Longtime convicts, once released, still hover over their food as if it’s about to be taken away. Veterans of war go into fight-or-flight at loud noises. And Donald Trump still makes promises to write checks without a thought of actually doing it.

We don’t have to rehash all the times over the last 40 years Trump has made promises, walked on to platforms at charity events to which he was not invited, and lavishly pledged millions of dollars, which he never gave. At best, he’d make a few phone calls and get someone else to donate the money. Or he’d raise it through his family foundation and simply pass the money through. (The Clintons used the same ruse.)

But now the press is on to that schtick. David Fahrenthold has a legal pad full of examples, which won him a Pulitzer Prize, and forced Trump to actually fulfill his cash promises. But old habits are hard to break.

In June, Trump called the Gold Star father of Sgt. Dillon Baldbridge, who was killed by an Afghan police officer. The father explained that he was broke and his son’s ex-wife would get the death benefit check. Trump glibly told the dad he’d write a check for $25,000. Great day for a thankful dad.

Then a card, but no check.

Enter the Washington Post. On Wednesday, they reported that Chris Baldridge never got the promised money, prompting a phone call to the White House–which declined to discuss the subject. Then by Wednesday afternoon, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said “the check has been sent,” followed by a sound thrashing of the media.

The check was in the mail, because WaPo called the White House. It’s that simple.

To be fair, President Obama had a similar problem in 2015–which took ABC News 18 months to discover and report, although the amount wasn’t disclosed. I bet ABC was working on a hagiography of Obama’s miracles of light and grace, and wanted to include that story, only to find that it never happened. Obama said it was an oversight.

And Trump’s failure was probably an oversight. I mean after the heat he took from WaPo on his charitable donations going back decades, you’d think the president would be more on his game to fulfill cash donation promises.

But like I said, certain habits are hard to break.

Dean Baquet and Jeff Bezos are The Despicables; In Comparison, Hannity and Limbaugh are Positively Neutral

Many conservatives get up in arms because they think Hannity or Limbaugh are too quick to defend Trump, but those two are positively neutral compared to the the decades of liberal media interference in politics.

Let me tell you a howler, an absolute knee-slapper.

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet thinks James O’Keefe is “a despicable who runs a despicable operation” because his news desk got exposed for what it is. Retired giant of television journalism Bob Schieffer lamented that there are “too many choices” and a lack of “serious vetting” of journalists in media.

Then the NYT issued “an updated and expanded set of guidelines” for their journalists to be less partisan on social media.

And the punchline: The Washington Post sold a full page ad to pornographer Larry Flynt, who is offering $10 million to anyone who can supply information that leads to President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Ha ha ha ha. Oh please.

The mainstream media are and have been for decades tilted to the far left. They don’t just support Democrats, they are the thought leaders in the progressive movement. In the Obama administration, they represented a priesthood with a revolving door and a permanent invitation into the inner sanctums and halls of political power.

The only story of the 2016 election cycle and its outcome in 2017 is the all-out war between this liberal media establishment and its nemesis, Donald J. Trump. Practically everything else that has happened is simply collateral damage in that war.

(Given, there’s been precious little actual policy advanced in Trump’s term, but it is still early.)

Those who believed in Trump for the policy implications of having a GOP-controlled White House and Congress have been among the wounded in endless friendly-fire incidents. The president is focused on his media war first and foremost, and he rarely takes his eye off his enemy.

But the disgusting joke, like the one in the lede above, is on the media, because they pretend as if they’re objective. They pretend they’re not in a war, with smarmy subheads like “Democracy dies in darkness.” Many conservatives get up in arms because they think Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh are too quick to defend Trump, but really those two are positively neutral compared to the the decades of liberal media interference in politics.

For Dean Baquet to actually say “To ding the NYT, [O’Keefe and Project Veritas] went after a kid, and they probably affected his career forever,” is the height of despicable.

Because Baquet thinks it’s okay for liberals to infiltrate any organization the NYT wants, and print any unattributed report they want, for an obvious political purpose to take down Trump (or any Republican, or conservative, or Sen. Ted Cruz).

Amazon owner Jeff Bezos thinks it’s okay to take Larry Flynt’s money–from a man whose entire career and fortune was made by sexually objectifying and oppressing women–while his own Amazon Studio chief Roy Price was ousted for sexually harassing producer Isa Hackett Dick.

I’d rather the leftist media simply admit that they’re the opposing team and drop any pretense of objectivity. The First Amendment still protects them from Trump, who is really the one constrained by the Constitution, regardless of his tweets or statements to the contrary. As long as they keep pretending that they play fair, the communist-loving media simply hands the president the advantage.

Baquet and Bezos are the liars and poseurs in this war, not conservatives, or even Trump himself (who simply speaks his mind, such as it is at the moment when he opens his unfiltered jaws or tweets).

They are both despicable.

Washington Post Offers Its Guide to ‘Being Presidential’




The ever-helpful Washington Post editorial board has come up with a handy guide for President Trump to use in deciding what’s “presidential” behavior.

A few excerpts:

Instead of saying “You know I’d  love it if the cameras could show this crowd, because it is rather incredible. It is incredible.” The Post suggests this:

As we begin, I just want to say on behalf of all Americans that our hearts go out to the 10 American sailors who are missing in the terrible accident involving our 7th Fleet on the other side of the world, and to their families. Our brave men and women serve far from home for months and years at a time and take grave risks every day to keep us free, and this should serve as a reminder of how much we owe them.

Instead of lifting up convicted former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, they have an alternate universe where Trump praises John McCain as “an inspiration,” offers heartfelt thoughts on McCain’s battle with brain cancer, and urges him to “get well and come back soon, John.”



Instead of “But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” they suggest:

So let’s not play games here. I’ve got priorities. The Democrats have priorities. I’m ready to sit down and talk and make a deal. But nobody — nobody — should ever threaten to shut down our government.

This inventive alternative to Trump’s actual comments ignores a key fact, that Trump is acting. He said as much in his response on Twitter.

“Enthusiastic, dynamic, and fun.” That’s a review of a Broadway show. It’s very clear that Trump considers his rallies to be entertainment, not presidential events. He uses them to fire up a crowd of supporters, and in turn they fire him up. Truth and statements of charity, thoughts and prayers, and clarity are not part of the fun package.

The president is simply demonstrating what they call in Hollywood his “range.” Look, he can play somber, respectful, strong; or dynamic and fun. He’s a man for all occasions.

The stuck-up know-it-alls at the Washington Post simply don’t like it when he changes roles too often. They’ve typecast him as The West Wing president, or The Joker. It confuses them when he’s both.

Funny thing is, his crowd totally gets it. Most of America totally gets it, though they’d prefer not to hear some of the rally rhetoric. Yet, the press incessantly covers it.

Why don’t they do themselves (and Trump) a favor, and simply turn off the cameras for real, let Trump rant, and report nothing from these rallies where Trump is simply blathering for his own benefit?

I’ll tell you why. He competes with them for entertainment, and they resent it. So they’ve given him a script, and ask that he kindly stick to it.

Good luck with that, WaPo.

This post is cross-posted at The New Americana.

The Media Is Pressing Its Perceived Advantage Too Far

The media thinks it has Trump on the ropes. My money is on Trump to beat them at their own game every time.

Beleaguered White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer conducted a press briefing today the media finds reminiscent of his first appearance behind the podium on January 21, albeit better attired. It was a short, terse, and quickly-ended affair that left most of the reporters in the room feeling rather smugly triumphant at having driven Spicer from the room.

They are pushing their perceived advantage too far.

“What I’m telling you is, is that the reason the president is frustrated is because there’s a perpetuation of false narratives, a use of unnamed sources over and over again about things that are happening that ultimately don’t happen, and I think that is troubling,” he added moments later. “Thank you guys very much. I appreciate it.”

With that, a visibly frustrated Spicer ended his first briefing in more than two weeks after just 30 minutes, cutting the session shorter than usual.

The anti-Trump press feels that they have the advantage. They feel that the momentum and the rhythm of news has changed, and that they are dropping 5:30 p.m. Friday bombshells now, not President Trump.

Instead of focusing on Trump’s first foreign trip and list of notable firsts, that Spicer covered in his comments (which the Washington Post mocked), when questions opened, they pounced right on the Kushner story that WaPo broke Friday.

Phil Rucker asked if Trump knew that Kushner was trying to set up a secret communication channel with Russia in December.

“You’re asking if he approves of an action that is not a confirmed action,” Spicer replied.

WaPo reacted with incredulousness.

The Post reported Kushner’s effort on Friday, and the White House did not deny the report or even cast doubt on it. In fact, surrogates including national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway seemed to validate the report by insisting publicly over the next few days that back channels are common, appropriate and good.

How many times has the establishment media, relying on unnamed sources “close to the White House,” or “familiar with the investigation” (any number of euphemisms for “anonymous” fit here) had to modify or retract its version of events? How many “bombshells” have turned out to be duds?

But they now assume that because the White House and the president has not responded to their report, or directly denied it, that it must be true.

Now Spicer is suggesting that the report might be inaccurate?

No. Spicer is suggesting that the media has in the past, and continues to do so, reported inaccurate, misleading, and even pernicious and damaging reports based on anonymous sources. An “unconfirmed action” means that the press is obligated to prove its claims before they go and ask for a reaction as if it’s fact.

Then WaPo had the gall to attack the Fox News report contradicting its version–claiming it wasn’t Kushner, but the Russians who suggested the use of a secure line for a back channel–because the Fox report “carried no byline” and “was based on a single, unnamed source.” Pots and kettles are laughing all the way to Tipperary on that howler.

“Can you give us an example of fake news, Sean?” asked CNN’s Jim Acosta. They were just goading him at that point. Spicer cited the example of Trump’s hidden earpiece being misreported as rudeness at the G-7. He didn’t have other examples.

(Note to Spicer: Carry a deck of index cards in your pocket with instances of inaccurate or totally fake media reporting. When asked to cite examples, pull it out, fan it dramatically, hold one to your head like Carnac the Magnificent, and then read it. They’ll never ask again.)

The media needs to be careful and look outside their bubble before they go “full frontal” attack on Trump. They need to realize how distrusted they really are in America where most liberals believe Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee and Bill Maher before they fully trust CNN, MSNBC, or the Washington Post. They also need to realize that those same media sources are completely mistrusted by most Trump fans, who would rely on Alex Jones or Breitbart before Fox News.

Trump’s enemy is, and has always been, the main stream media. He will not quit or acquiesce in any way, and each attack they make will bring a more powerful counterattack. The media thinks it has Trump on the ropes with all these “bombshells.” My money is on Trump to beat them at their own game every time.

BREAKING: President Trump Goes On Defense

Yesterday evening, the Washington Post released a bombshell story entitled “Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador” wherein they asserted that both current and former members of the intelligence community were telling them that, during their Oval Office visit last week, the President had provided the Russians with highly classified information regarding the Islamic State that could be putting the source of that key intelligence in grave danger. According to the article:

 

“In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” Trump said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange. Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States only learned through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence gathering method, but described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat. The Washington Post is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.”

 

Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz would call this “the most serious charge ever made against a sitting President”. And Lawfare Blog would state that: “Questions of criminality aside, we turn to the far more significant issues: If the President gave this information away through carelessness or neglect, he has arguably breached his oath of office.”

 

The key here, of course, is whether the Washington Post article is true or false. If true, then what President Trump did was fairly egregious. If false, then this is a case of true media malpractice.

 

President Trump’s National Security Advisor, General H.R. McMaster, would make a brief press statement in response yesterday evening: “A brief statement for the record. There is nothing that the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight as reported is false. The president of the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation. At no time, at no time, where intelligent sources or methods discussed. The president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. Two other senior officials who were present, including the secretary of the state, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. Going on the record should outweigh the anonymous sources. I was in the room. It didn’t happen. Thanks, everybody.”

 

He would not take any questions and so the controversy continued to churn overnight.

 

Now, this morning President Trump himself has responded in a series of tweets:

 

“As President, I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. Meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining…. to terrorism and airline safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS and terrorism.”

“I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community…..”

 

These tweets remain ambiguous enough that they seem to confirm that President Trump did reveal key national security information to the Russians (perhaps classified information) without the president directly coming out and saying so. Many questions remain, obviously, and the Washington Post stands by its reporting. As Jonah Goldberg of National Review put it: Trust but verify. It’s entirely plausible that President Trump might spout off about something like this, but it is also very tough to believe that H.R. McMaster would willfully lie about what happened. Ultimately, our elected leaders & indeed the American people will likely need to understand the exact nature of what was said in order to ascertain how bad this situation truly is. Today’s press conference should be interesting.

WaPo Publishes Liberal Hillbilly Porn

For lonely liberals looking for some political gratification, the Washington Post has a one-two combo. It’s hillbilly porn with a side of lube.

Shot:

Chaser:

Both of these pieces read like trashy paperbacks bought at the flea market, with the cover pages torn off because they’ve been returned to the publisher. Since “democracy dies in darkness,” (WaPo’s slogan, not mine!) let me take these hit pieces one by one and shine a little light on material liberals bring with them into dark corners to get their jollies.

Hillbillies in Ohio

I’ll start with the astonishingly dishonest piece by Ohio State assistant professor of political science Tom Wood.  Wood, whose title indicates he’s likely a grad student paid to teach a real professor’s classes  (but he’s not as I’ve been reminded, which only makes his sin less forgivable–Ed), displays a fetish with J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy,” because the day after the election he tweeted how “admirably” it did.

Searching for an explanation of why Trump took Ohio, Woods ignored the reasons he already knew: (a) it’s about healthcare, and (b) Clinton was an incredibly bad candidate.

Woods’ real dishonesty is in his analysis. First, he examined income inequality, but only for white voters.

To remove the effects of inflation and rising prosperity, I plot the percentage voting for the Republican presidential candidate relative to the overall sample, by where they rank in U.S. income, from the top to the bottom fifth. The dashed horizontal line shows the average likelihood of voting for the GOP presidential candidate that year; a point above that means an income cohort was more likely than the other groups to vote for the Republican. To most directly test the Donald Trump income hypothesis, I’ve restricted this analysis to white voters.

In other words: Woods massaged the data into incomprehensibility, and molded it until he obtained the desired results. His conclusion: “2016 was plainly an anomaly.”

That must have nothing to do with the fact that Democrats have increasingly pandered to the < 1 percent of America, the social justice crowd, young socialists and others fixated on race and gender identity politics. Nope, it’s hillbillies.

It’s racism!

Wood asks “Could the unusual 2016 race have further affected Americans’ racial attitudes?” Hmm…I wonder where he’s going with this?

To test this, I use what is called the “symbolic racism scale” to compare whites who voted for the Democratic presidential candidate with those who voted for the Republican.

This is what happens when a polysci grad student assistant professor gets to play expert. The “symbolic racism scale” is laughably wrong. New York Magazine ran a piece on it in January, writing “the implicit association test [IAT] has failed to deliver on its lofty promises.” Essentially, the IAT’s premise is “check your privilege, white boy,” you’re a racist even if you don’t know it.

I’ll save you all the technical stuff…with all the excitement surrounding the IAT and the “symbolic racism scale,” it’s all useless, question-begging liberal junk science.

Unfortunately, none of that is true. A pile of scholarly work, some of it published in top psychology journals and most of it ignored by the media, suggests that the IAT falls far short of the quality-control standards normally expected of psychological instruments. The IAT, this research suggests, is a noisy, unreliable measure that correlates far too weakly with any real-world outcomes to be used to predict individuals’ behavior — even the test’s creators have now admitted as such.

Using this flawed, massaged-to-meaninglessness data, Woods concluded that “racial attitudes made a bigger difference in electing Trump than authoritarianism.” I think he concluded that hillbillies were racist, then he made the data fit.

Hillbillies in Iowa

Stephanie McCrummen’s bio says she was the East Africa bureau chief for WaPo, having “also reported from Egypt, Iraq, and Mexico, among other places.” This time, she wrote about Russell Paulson and and Dwain Swensen, who happen to live in Kiron, Iowa, which happens to be Rep. Steve King’s hometown.

What a coincidence that a seasoned WaPo reporter spent time there talking to the locals!

Russell listened; he had known Walt. At the age of 80, he knew almost everyone in Kiron, a town of 229 people, one of whom is U.S. Rep. Steve King, who has a house on the edge of town. Russell knew King, too, knew that he was the sort of person always stirring controversy, often by raging against what he called “cultural suicide by demographic transformation.” More recently, King had said that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” a comment embraced by prominent white supremacists and widely condemned around the country as demonizing Latino and other non-European immigrants.

Except that King never said that. He tweeted a post by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. It was stupid because it was out of context. but not the kind of raw white supremacist stuff that’s been connected to it.

McCrummen used nearly 3,000 words portraying a bunch of older farmers and factory workers in Iowa as unsophisticated hillbillies with typical midwestern Nordic-sounding names.

“This is Steve King’s house here,” he said, looking at it.

He had known King a long time and saw no reason to be bothered by something or other he said. He supported King — “I have no reason in the world to dislike the man” — but wasn’t one to rant about politics. He had no computer, no smartphone. His television had no cable. He watched a half-hour of national news, a half-hour of local, followed by “Wheel of Fortune” and Lawrence Welk. He ate chicken tenders and food he described as “American.”

Reading this, I kept looking for the point, like Noah Rothman remarked in a tweet, but there was none.

Then I realized that the point of the story was the story itself. It’s a bunch of hillbillies from flyover country talking about what’s “American.” It’s just more lube for the bicoastal liberal jet set to reinforce their stereotypes and reasons why Trump won. I suppose to McCrummen it was like writing about the hustlers in Festac, Nigeria–or searching for Hillary Clinton in the Chappaqua woods.

Oh, yes, did I forget to mention that McCrummen is a Democratic political hack who specializes in framing Trump supporters as white trash, Jesus-loving, smoking, cussing, hillbillies?

The Iowa piece was a hit job.

Liberals and Democrats will never accept that it was failed Democratic policies, the lack of any coattails for Obama’s cult of personality, and Hillary Clinton’s total lack of charisma or ideas that lost them the election. They feel entitled to it, and therefore something has to be wrong with America, or more particular, the racist hillbillies who elected Trump.

These two pieces are typical of liberal bias–they don’t even realize their incredible prejudice. So Washington and New York journalists keep churning out the lube and cheap dimestore novels on hillbilly porn for their own pleasure.

(This post has been updated to reflect the now well-known fact that Tom Wood is a real assistant professor and not a grad student. The ink on his 2014 Ph.D. will soon be dry. I apologize for the trolling )

The Smelliest Story You’ll Hear Today

Oh, and it does stink.

This is being treated as some kind of smoking gun blockbuster revelation. In January, Erik Prince, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ brother and founder of Blackwater, reportedly met with “a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin.” The Washington Post breathlessly reported this as a “secret meeting”  in the Seychelles arranged by the United Arab Emirates.

They reported that the purpose of the meeting was “part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump.” This is all, of course, backed up by unnamed “U.S., European, and Arab officials.” (That means, nobody on record, ICYDK.)

These “officials” were really busy feeding this story to an all-too-willing WaPo, and now it’s been picked up by the usual suspects (NBC News, Slate, et al). It’s like leaving a stinking pile of garbage on a hot New York City street. The flies will gather and feast.

Let’s break it down.

Prince, a former Navy SEAL, founded Blackwater, the security firm, in 1997. Blackwater is synonymous with atrocities in the Iraq War, having four of its employees convicted by U.S. courts for killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007. The company renamed itself XE Services in 2009, and sold to a group of private investors in 2011 who renamed it Academi.

Prince has not been involved in day-to-day management of the company since 2009 when he resigned as CEO. The company has always had close ties to high-profile military and GOP figures. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft currently serves on its board of directors along with Red McCombs, a Texas businessman and well-known Trump donor.

The WaPo story makes a big deal of the fact that Prince is a Trump donor. My reaction to that is simple: Well duh! They also bring up that Prince was “seen in the Trump transition offices in New York in December.” Trump Tower in December was like a circus and a reception line filled with visitors. Prince is a well-known supporter, donor, and brother to DeVos–of course he’d visit.

Prince had no role in the Trump transition. WaPo would have us believe that Betsy DeVos, whom Trump announced as his pick for Education on Nov. 23, asked her brother to be a go-between for the Trump campaign and the Russians. Or maybe that Prince, who appeared on radio interviews with Steve Bannon, and was acquianted with Michael Flynn, agreed to set up this “back channel.” Am I reading a major newspaper or Alex Jones’ Infowars here?

This is simply garbage reporting. It’s nearly as bad as Buzzfeed’s publishing of the “Russian dossier” and golden showers.

Read this little nugget for the key to unlock a planned attack from inside the Obama-infested DOJ.

U.S. officials said the FBI has been scrutinizing the Seychelles meeting as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged contacts between associates of Putin and Trump.

Yep, the FBI looked at the meeting, and now it’s been anonymously leaked to the press. When has that happened before? (Don’t answer that.)

The Seychelles encounter, which one official said spanned two days, adds to an expanding web of connections between Russia and Americans with ties to Trump — contacts that the White House has been reluctant to acknowledge or explain until they have been exposed by news organizations.

Can’t you just smell the intrigue dripping from that sentence?

The meeting was reportedly set up by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Officials said Zayed and his brother, the UAE’s national security adviser, coordinated the Seychelles meeting with Russian government officials with the goal of establishing an unofficial back channel between Trump and Putin.

Again with “officials.” Are they the same “U.S. officials” who reported on the FBI investigation? Are they Arab officials? Are they Russians? All we know is that they are unnamed. The “officials” story isn’t backed up by the UAE ambassador in Washington either.

The Seychelles sit in the middle of the Indian Ocean, about 750 miles northeast of Madagascar. Nobody there knows anything either.

Government officials in the Seychelles said they were not aware of any meetings between Trump and Putin associates in the country around Jan. 11. But they said luxury resorts on the island are ideal for clandestine gatherings like the one described by the U.S., European and Arab officials.

“I wouldn’t be surprised at all,” said Barry Faure, the Seychelles secretary of state for foreign affairs. “The Seychelles is the kind of place where you can have a good time away from the eyes of the media. That’s even printed in our tourism marketing. But I guess this time you smelled something.

Oh, I smell something all right. It’s what leaks from the bottom of a rusted garbage can on a hot day.

And the connection with UAE? How about the fact that Erik Prince now primarily resides in Abu Dhabi, and works for Zayed? In the WaPo story, one paragraph mentioned the fact that Prince “has had lucrative contracts” with UAE. In 2015, the New York Times reported that Prince was hired by Zayed to assemble an 800-member “foreign legion” for the Emirates. Apparently the Obama administration was just peachy with that deal.

“The gulf countries, and the U.A.E. in particular, don’t have a lot of military experience. It would make sense if they looked outside their borders for help,” said one Obama administration official who knew of the operation. “They might want to show that they are not to be messed with.”

This entire ball of speculation and guilt-by-association accusation by nameless “officials” is likely nothing more than some inside leaker’s attempt to make something out of nothing. WaPo can’t even prove that a meeting even took place. They don’t have a single solitary named source who was willing to go on the record about this.

Either it never happened, or it’s not what they are reporting it to be, or everyone is so scared of being disappeared by Putin or Prince that they can’t possibly reveal themselves. I’ll bet on the first two options, and a healthy dose of confirmation bias. This story stinks like yesterday’s diapers left in the sun under a layer of spoiled hamburger.