Saturday, March 25, 2017

Follow The Rubles

Looking at Trump’s Russian history it begins to appear that Putin and his cronies saw Trump as a wonderful way to channel laundered money into real estate around the world.

Mother Jones offers a useful and complete chronology

The always reliable Associated Press breaks the story about Paul Manafort, the guy who helped Trump win the nomination last year, and how he was secretly on the payroll of a Putin lieutenant for the past ten years, earning $10 million a year to advance Putin’s interests in the US and the West.

In the Columbia Journalism Review Garry Kasparov describes how Trump’s hatred of the news media is Putinesque and tyrannical.

Trump’s favored news sources, InfoWars and Breitbart are under FBI investigation for conspiring with Russian intelligence. McClatchy is reporting this aggressively and well.

Trump hasn’t begun throwing disloyal people from high windows, not yet, but he does have government employees afraid. This rule by fear and loyalty model is a throwback to crony politics and the writings of Machiavelli. It’s been largely extinct in America for decades. Politico describes the rule of fear in Washington.

Andrea Mitchell said yesterday that she has one source who told her White House staffers are frantically purging their devices of anything incriminating. Which is itself a crime, if this is true. If true it may mean the White House staff prefers being imprisoned for obstruction of justice vs. hanging for treason.

There has been a spate of recent murders and attempted murders and mysterious deaths, by poisoning, bullets and by throwing them bodily from a great height. The targets were either critics of Putin or witnesses in court cases against him.

New York Magazine describes the latest street corner assassination.

Buzzfeed reports on the key witness thrown from a high window.

This kind of brutal brazen skullduggery is the stuff of spy thrillers. Notably Z by Costa Gavras. I recommend watching it. The plot is strangely similar to what is happening here and now, except that it’s set in a minor corrupt democracy with fascist leaders running the police and murdering opponents

Z is available from Criterion Collection.

One of Trump’s Russia deals went down at the Mayflower Hotel. The smell lingers.

Daily Kos has the scoop in a series of Tweets from national news columnist Seth Abramson.

The T-Word, Treason, is in the air, says Nicolas Kristof in the New York Times

Rachel Maddow continues to do great segments and interviews following the Rubles.

Trump’s truthfulness has never been debated because he is untruthful. That is his brand: untruthfulness, deceit, lies, falsehoods.

Here is the recent TIME interview where Trump did his best to explain how lies can be true if you just tap your heels together three times and say “There’s no place like home.”

Great quote “I must be doing all right because I’m president and you’re not.”

Which sounds eerily like when Nixon explained to David Frost that “When the president does something that means it’s not illegal.” Republicans have a problem with truth and legality. They dislike both.

Politifact factcheck the Trump interview.

Jezebel reprints the interview with the lies redacted.

In this interview former CIA director Woolsey describes Michael Flynn meeting where Flynn plotted or at least suggested kidnapping an inconvenient Muslim cleric that the Turkish dictator wanted eliminated.

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