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Monday, January 2, 2017

Paul Krugman, "America Becomes a Stan": What About the Clintons, Rosatom and Uranium One?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "America Becomes a Stan," Paul Krugman would have us know that "America is rapidly turning into a stan." Claiming that James Comey's "intervention almost surely swung the election," Krugman writes (my emphasis in red):

"I know that many people are still trying to convince themselves that the incoming administration will govern normally, despite the obviously undemocratic instincts of the new commander in chief and the questionable legitimacy of the process that brought him to power.

. . . .

Everything we know suggests that we’re entering an era of epic corruption and contempt for the rule of law, with no restraint whatsoever.

. . . .

People tend to forget how much of the 2016 playbook had already been used in earlier years. Remember, the Clinton administration was besieged by constant accusations of corruption, dutifully hyped as major stories by the news media; not one of these alleged scandals turned out to involve any actual wrongdoing."

Give me a break! Obama was Mr. Clean? Have another look at his real estate deal with Tony Rezko.

"[T]he questionable legitimacy of the process that brought [Trump] to power"? Care to be more explicit, Paul? Comey? Russian hacking? The electoral system?

None of the Clinton administration's scandals "turned out to involve any actual wrongdoing"? Oh really? What about Monica Lewinsky, or was this just a "vast right-wing conspiracy," as Hillary told the nation. In fact, Bill was disbarred from practicing law before the Supreme Court.

Let's get real. Hillary was not elected because she was distrusted, and rightfully so. She lied about her emails, and the Clinton Foundation took donations from countries just as bad as the "stans." Moreover, as reported in an April 23, 2015 New York Times article entitled "Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal" concerning Rosatom's acquisition of Uranium One," Jo Becker and Mike McIntire wrote (my emphasis in red):

"At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

. . . .

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator.

. . . .

Amid this influx of Uranium One-connected money, Mr. Clinton was invited to speak in Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One.

The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that has invited world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its investor conferences."

Bottom line: Enough of the sour grapes, Paul.

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