Monday Reads: The Drumpfmanovs

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

Yesterday, I read up on the proposed tariffs and trade war. I even endured listening to Golly Gee Wilikers Ross.  But, I have to save that and all the weirdness of Peter Navarro’s economics for later.  It’s ALL Russia today.

This is the article you must read. It’s long but reads like a Le Carre novel. Jane Mayer–writing for The New Yorker–has profiled Christopher Steele and outlined a pretty strong case for calling the entire Drumpofski family a Russian asset. We even get a callback of the pee tapes!

This pretty much sums up any thing having to do with the Russian Oligarchs and Putin’s attack on the West.

“It was as if all criminal roads led to Trump Tower,” Steele told friends.

This part really is a stunning description of the all the original findings.

One question particularly gnawed at Simpson. Why had Trump repeatedly gone to Russia in search of business, yet returned empty-handed? Steele was tantalized, and took the job, thinking that he’d find evidence of a few dodgy deals, and not much else. He evidently didn’t consider the danger of poking into a Presidential candidate’s darkest secrets. “He’s just got blinkers,” Steele’s longtime friend told me. “He doesn’t put his head in the oven so much as not see the oven.”

Within a few weeks, two or three of Steele’s long-standing collectors came back with reports drawn from Orbis’s larger network of sources. Steele looked at the material and, according to people familiar with the matter, asked himself, “Oh, my God—what is this?” He called in Burrows, who was normally unflappable. Burrows realized that they had a problem. As Simpson later put it, “We threw out a line in the water, and Moby-Dick came back.”

Steele’s sources claimed that the F.S.B. could easily blackmail Trump, in part because it had videos of him engaging in “perverted sexual acts” in Russia. The sources said that when Trump had stayed in the Presidential suite of Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, in 2013, he had paid “a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him,” thereby defiling a bed that Barack and Michelle Obama had slept in during a state visit. The allegation was attributed to four sources, but their reports were secondhand—nobody had witnessed the event or tracked down a prostitute, and one spoke generally about “embarrassing material.” Two sources were unconnected to the others, but the remaining two could have spoken to each other. In the reports Steele had collected, the names of the sources were omitted, but they were described as “a former top-level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin,” a “member of the staff at the hotel,” a “female staffer at the hotel when trump had stayed there,” and “a close associate of trump who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow.”

More significant, in hindsight, than the sexual details were claims that the Kremlin and Trump were politically colluding in the 2016 campaign. The Russians were described as having cultivated Trump and traded favors with him “for at least 5 years.” Putin was described as backing Trump in order to “sow discord and disunity both within the U.S.” and within the transatlantic alliance. The report claimed that, although Trump had not signed any real-estate-development deals, he and his top associates had repeatedly accepted intelligence from the Kremlin on Hillary Clinton and other political rivals. The allegations were astounding—and improbable. They could constitute treason even if they were only partly true.

If you’d like the cliff notes version, try this link to the Daily Beast which is headlined: “2nd Steele Memo: Russia ‘Blocked’ Mitt Romney as Secretary of State.”  This is the latest WTF?

According to the report, in late November 2016, Steele relayed information from his Russian sources that senior Kremlin officials had intervened to block Mitt Romney as President-elect Trump’s choice for secretary of State. Reporter Jane Mayer writes that Moscow had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be willing to lift sanctions related to Ukraine and cooperate with Russia’s involvement in Syria. Romney, long a vocal hawk on Russia, declined to comment for the report.

Mueller is like a heat seeking missile at this point.  The entire first family and a good deal of its associates are clearly in the path. The more we find out, the more obvious is that we’re under a hostile take over action akin to what happens on Wall Street. 

What Mueller is asking for: Mueller is subpoenaing all communications — meaning emails, texts, handwritten notes, etc. — that this witness sent and received regarding the following people:

  1. Carter Page
  2. Corey Lewandowski
  3. Donald J. Trump
  4. Hope Hicks
  5. Keith Schiller
  6. Michael Cohen
  7. Paul Manafort
  8. Rick Gates
  9. Roger Stone
  10. Steve Bannon

The subpoena asks for all communications from November 1, 2015, to the present. Notably, Trump announced his campaign for president five months earlier — on June 16, 2015.

NBC connects the dots. The people and their actions in the White House and during the campaign are a target rich environment.

NBC News reported last week that Mueller’s team is asking pointed questions about whether Trump knew about hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign before the public found out. The subpoena indicates that Mueller may be focused not just on what Trump campaign aides knew and when they knew it, but also on what Trump himself knew.

Here’s a few more disturbing headlines.

From Gardiner Harris writing for the New York Times:’State Dept. Was Granted $120 Million to Fight Russian Meddling.  It Has Spent $0.’

From Richard C. Paddock also writing for the New York Times:’ Escort Says Audio Recordings Prove Russian Meddling in U.S. Election. ‘

Does every bit of Trump Russia news come with hookers, escorts, and weird fetishes?  How come White Evangelicals still think they’ve elected the second coming?

Meanwhile, the Republicans appear to be okay with all of this.  All they can see is their upcoming primaries and the popularity of KKKremlin Caligula with their horrid base.  This is from a profile of the incoming Senate Foreign Relations Chair Idaho Republican Jim Risch.

In a way, this sums up the current politics of Trump on Capitol Hill very well: They can’t change him, they have to nod to the enduring political appeal he holds to their Republican voters, and they can’t risk openly disputing with their thin-skinned leader without facing the very real prospect of losing their access, enraging their supporters or driving the president toward policies they disagree with even more strongly.

 Then, here’s more Cold war fun: Critically ill man ‘former Russian spy’ from the BBC. Betcha this is Steele Dossier stuff right here.

A man who is critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance in Wiltshire is a Russian national convicted of spying for Britain, the BBC understands.

Sergei Skripal, who is 66, was granted refuge in the UK following a “spy swap” between the US and Russia in 2010.

Police declared a major incident on Sunday after a man and a woman were reported ill at a shopping centre in Salisbury.

The substance has not been identified.

A number of locations in the city centre were cordoned off and the A&E department was closed.

Welcome to where the symbols of the USA become the royal seal.

 It’s really difficult these days to accept that we’re not even achieving Banana Republic status. We’re a failing oligarchy with a crime syndicate in charge blessed by people that want to live in a Margaret Atwood Handmaid’s reality.

In one of many inimitable utterances that Michael Wolff reports, Donald Trump seems to come close to achieving what might almost be described as self-awareness:

Once, coming back on his plane with a millionaire friend who had brought along a foreign model, Trump, trying to move in on his friend’s date, urged a stop in Atlantic City. He would provide a tour of his casino. His friend assured the model that there was nothing to recommend Atlantic City. It was a place overrun by white trash.

“What is this ‘white trash?’” asked the model.

“They’re people just like me”, said Trump, “only they’re poor.”

Fire and Fury contains many such scenes. When asked with whom he talks before he decides to act, Trump responds: “Me. I talk to myself.” When pressed by Steve Bannon and others early on to fire James Comey, the president said: “Don’t worry, I’ve got him” – meaning he was confident he could charm the formidable FBI chief into supporting him. Women, Trump believes, understand and get on with him better than men; at the same time he can refer casually to his female employees as “tail” or “cunt”.

When they meet in Saudi Arabia, the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi tells him: “You are a unique personality capable of doing the impossible.” Trump replies: “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes. Man…” Settling reluctantly into the White House, he reproves housekeeping for picking his shirt up from the floor – “If my shirt is on the floor, it’s because I want it on the floor”–  and instructs them not to touch anything, especially his toothbrush. Wolff cites a report in the New York Times that had the president, two weeks into his term, wandering around the White House at night in his bathrobe, unable to work the light switches – an image former chief strategist Bannon suggested was reminiscent of the ageing, near-senile movie star Norma Desmond in the film Sunset Boulevard.

i don’t know what we want to call this all but it’s sure not good old American Democracy.

What’s on your reading and blogging list these days?

Advertisements

43 Comments on “Monday Reads: The Drumpfmanovs”

  1. Enheduanna says:

    Happy Monday and thanks for the New Yorker link, Dak. I will have to read later – it looks juicy!

    Now if I were one of tRump’s abused housekeepers, just what would I do with that toothbrush? hahahahahahaha Probably clean the sink drain with it.

  2. dakinikat says:

    I saw this meltdown and between him and Trump, never want to hear about women being too emotional for leadership

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    I can’t keep up!!

    I fell asleep after lunch, woke up and turned on the tv and there was Katy Tur (love her!) conducting a phone interview with Sam Nunberg!

    Holy crap! This guy is nuts! I have promised myself to never fall asleep again during the course of the day.

    This stuff is spinning off the rails at warp speed!

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Why isn’t Kushner on that Mueller list??

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    That New Yorker piece by Jane Mayer is definitely worth the reading.

    Apparently Putin had a “say” in the non selection of Mittens as SoS.

    I wonder if we aren’t looking at another holiday being a celebration of “Putin’s Birthday” coming up on Trump’s agenda.

    Christ, he may as well move into Blair House.

  6. dakinikat says:

  7. NW Luna says:

    I’m saying “Luv My Guv!” often these days!

  8. NW Luna says:

  9. bostonboomer says:

    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  10. bostonboomer says:

    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    • quixote says:

      Moon, Kim, some Korea or other, what difference does it make?

      (Buy Dump-with-the-bumpercar-brain a golf course in one of them. Stat. Then he’ll see a diff: 1) have golf course, 2) no golf course.)

    • NW Luna says:

      Another reason he should never, ever have access to the nuclear button.

      JFC, and the Electors and the Republicans are enabling this dangerous nincompoop.

  11. Sweet Sue says:

    Oh, please do not compare the Trumps with Nicholas, Alexandra and their five beautiful children. The Trumps are more like the Duvaliers of Haiti.

    • NW Luna says:

      Agree.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m not sure comparison is the right word.

      • NW Luna says:

        The Romanovs were gilded leeches on the Russian people and rulers for life, but they weren’t tools for a hostile foreign state. I am excepting the underage children although who knows how the tsarevich(?) would have turned out.

      • dakinikat says:

        I was thinking more of a contrast actually … Trumps are definitely white trash wanna be royalty and like the Cardasians they all come off as Jersey Shore goombas. Entirely different class of leeches.

    • quixote says:

      Sue is right. The Romanovs are really not in the same universe of awful.

      They (even the adults, certainly the children) didn’t do anything active to be leeches. It was handed to them by heredity and the social system.

      Almost everyone takes what they’re given and moves on. When I looked it up, I have 21 slaves working for me somewhere on the planet, given my level and type of consumption. Almost all Americans have slaves, most aren’t aware.

      *That’s* the mentality of the Romanovs, although they took it further, no question about that.

      The Dump clan is much more actively screwing people. That takes a much more horrible mind.

      The other thing we have to desperately hope is that we, the opposition, don’t end up like the Bolsheviks. I *really* want the whole crime family in jail with their assets taken away. But please god let’s not end up putting bullets in kids’ heads.

  12. NW Luna says:

    Herr Juncker has a deliciously sharp sense of humor, and I sure hope Trumpf hears his comments.

    Why Europe and Canada may retaliate against bourbon, Harleys and Levi jeans

    Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said that if Trump goes ahead with the proposed tariffs of 25 percent on U.S. imports of steel and 10 percent on aluminum, the European Union will respond by imposing tariffs on American products such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Kentucky bourbon and Levi’s blue jeans.

    “We can also do stupid,” Juncker said, speaking on German television.

  13. NW Luna says:

  14. NW Luna says:

    Ethics violation? We just won’t tell the public about it. Problem solved!

  15. NW Luna says:

    Roger Bannister, barrier-busting miler who broke four-minute mark, dies at 88

    His milestone resonated with millions of people for its seeming simplicity: four laps, four minutes, the universal endeavor of running made into a sublime feat.

    “It was amateurism’s last hurrah,” Christopher Chataway, one of Dr. Bannister’s training partners and pacesetters, told The Washington Post in 2004. Chataway died in 2014. “Roger and our group were the last generation who were lucky enough just to be at the top of the sport while having it only as a recreation.”