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The Smell Test

January 17, 2017

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The Smell Test.

I’m not sure that the tale of the boy who cried wolf is oft repeated these days.  It was one of those fables told to children of another era to instill values and principles about the right way to conduct oneself—moral, yes, but really just plain, common-sense, good advice.

The tale involves a shepherd boy who repeatedly cried wolf when his sheep were not under threat of a wolf.  After a while, his cries were ignored and no one any longer responded.  Eventually, when the wolf did come, his cries for help went unheeded and many sheep were lost as a result. It’s a tale about the ultimate effects of repeated lying and how it discredits personal integrity and erodes trust.

Donald Trump is the extreme example, the epitome of the denial politician, a distillation of decades of evolved strategies of political denials protecting self-interest by requiring absolute proof to accept a belief in the opposing view.  As anyone familiar with the machinations of closed-door, back-room politics and dealmaking can tell you, no one knows for sure but the dealmakers themselves and proof in the legal sense is highly unlikely, if not impossible. As the voting public is left to make its own determination, it often must fall to the smell test, a rather unscientific method but often more accurate than the inconclusive legal test.

Regarding Russian hacking, Trump has repeatedly denied their involvement.  Only under pressure from every intelligence agency of the United States, seventeen in all, as well as nations worldwide, has he finally conceded that yes, we were hacked by the Russians.  He has cried and lied so many times that his current admission of the truth is being being given little attention while the real danger is being widely ignored.

We should be well familiar with this strategy by now.  The most recent and very best example may well be the issue of climate change.  In the face of years of exacting documentation, satellite imaging, scientific measurements and analysis and the confirmation by virtually every scientist worldwide save those on right wing political payroll, a few republican politicians from energy producing and environmental polluting states stand against the rest of the world as climate deniers, to hold the line on energy profits for the lobbyist companies that financed them into office. Meanwhile, the worst floods, the biggest hurricanes, the most tornadoes, forest fires, mudslides and  droughts and rising oceans continue to threaten and afflict our nation and it’s citizens and all the world unabated.  Do we need absolute legal proof, or is all this evidence, a simple smell test, enough?

So let’s look at a series of facts and subject the November election and the idea of Russian hacking to the smell test..

1. In 2012 Rex Tillerson then CEO of Exxon negotiated a 500 billion dollar oil exploration deal with Vladimir Putin between Exxon and the Russian government’s oil company Rosneft. Russia has 63.6 million acres of oil that it cannot access and only Exxon has the technology to make extraction possible.

2. In 2014, when Russia invaded the Ukraine and took Crimea, the Obama administration imposed sanctions that stopped the oil deal dead in its tracks.

3. Throughout his campaign Donald Trump repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin, even lying to say that he had met him and knew him.  Furthermore Trump has indicated that he has every intention of warming relations with Russia.

4. Tillerson owns 2.6 million shares of Exxon. Despite selling off his current shares, it seems that because of many complicated tax laws,  1.3 million shares will likely remain held until fully vested which occurs after he would leave office.  Even if put into a blind trust, any action taken by Tillerson as SOS to renew the Russian deal would line his pockets  to an extreme degree now and far into the future.

5. Trump has withheld all his financial information by denying access to his tax records.

6. Trump and Pence do not have to divest themselves of their financial assets.

7. Trump has repeatedly denied Russian involvement, even in the face of top secret briefings to the contrary.

8. Currently, in spite of CIA opinion to the contrary,  he challenges the assertion that the hacking was done to favor his election and deny Hillary a win.

One must task, “Then why did the Russians do it, if not for that?”

So there’s the smell test…

We know fore sure that the Russians hacked the Democrats and leaked harmful information regarding Hillary Clinton.  That much is a fact.  But the questions remain..”Why did they do that?  What did they expect to happen?  What did they want?  Who benefits?”

We also know that the Russians hold information on Trump that could be damaging whether true or not.  Most likely they have financial information that is accurate, attained through hacking.  But think about this… In the world of spies, disinformation is more useful than information.  The best way to obfuscate a fact is to tie it to a lie, one so preposterous that it is not likely to be believed by anyone, much less reported in mainstream media.  Perhaps a lie that could be disseminated by internet media like BuzzFeed regarding, say  “Golden Showers” in Moscow—nasty, outrageous, funny and virile—but ultimately the understated truth evaporates with the preposterous lie it is tied to and it all goes away.  It can never be proved in the legal sense.

So I ask you, which is the more likely scenario?

Candidate Trump, a multibillionaire who achieved wealth by screwing suppliers, skirting fraud, shipping jobs overseas, who is defending multiple charges regarding sexually assaulting women, (and not coincidentally admitted such on camera as a confessed pussy-grabber), has been caught repeatedly in lies, and who won his nomination by bullying a field of hapless Republican candidates to the cheers of angry mobs, who has incited violence at rallies, demeaned women, immigrants and the handicapped, publicly egged on Putin to hack Hillary and denied the intelligence of every Agency guarding the US cyber networks, that this same Candidate Trump who brags he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue without political consequence, boldly pushing the world record set by Dick Cheney, was an innocent babe in the woods, unaware of the consequences of his actions and ignorant of the facts and conclusions in the face of Russian hacking briefings by the CIA, FBI and others…  that  Candidate Trump,  has nothing to personally gain and is only acting in the interest of the American people?

OR…

The Russians hacked Hillary to help Trump win and Trump and his cronies, Exxon and the Russians will all soon be the richer for it.

Trump may defend his policies and appointments on the “letter of the law” but everything about Trump—his candidacy, his legitimacy, his right to govern, his choices—-all violate every principle regarding the “spirit of the law.”

And now the media falls into line asking us to unite behind Trump for the good of the nation.  No good can be had by such action.  Trump has been a divisive candidate from the start and continues his divisiveness to this day.  “Divide and conquer” is his strategy.  Yes, we must unite, but not behind Trump.  It begins with people of integrity refusing to acknowledge his legitimacy, people like representative John Lewis and more than 50 Democrats that are boycotting the inauguration.  These are today’s heroes, first in the battle lines drawn to stop this deplorable movement called “Trump Nation.”

After Trump was endorsed by hate groups like the KKK, Hillary almost got it right when she coined the “basket of deplorables” phrase referring to half of Trump’s supporters.  Of course that was just a figure of speech, like saying there was a “million ants.”  The other half being non-deplorable (by her own definition) rose up in protest, as if she had referred to them, and she caved.  Pity.  Moderate Democrat that she is, she chose to play by the old rulebook and she failed to pick up the banner and attack head on.  Today as Trump’s approval slips to about 41% he heads into the inauguration with the lowest approval rating of any modern-day  President Elect.  It’s not half of his supporters that are deplorable.  More accurately it’s 41% of the nation.

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