However, as Hillary discovered...
Sometimes it´s too late to win.
But it´s never too late to lose.
As of today, November 1, the consensus is that in the midterm elections next week the Democrats will regain control of the House of Representatives. We hope so.
However, as Hillary discovered...
Sometimes it´s too late to win.
But it´s never too late to lose.
I strongly support the gigantic People´s Vote march that took place today in London.
* * *
Sorry, Prime Minister Theresa May, but the solution to the Brexit mess is an easy call. A reasonable one, too.
On June 23, 2016, a referendum was held to see if the U.K. should stay or leave the European Union. The actual wording: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” 51.9% voted for leave, 48.1% to remain. That wording is crucial; we will return to it in a moment.
Three things to consider:
(1) Contrary to what both the stay and leave proponents said/implied -- and are still saying/implying -- the referendum results were NOT legally binding. They had all the statutory power of a Gallup poll.
(2) Never confuse "majority" and "consensus." Exactly that is what May and her pro-Brexit group are doing. A majority is 50% plus 1. A consensus, on the other hand, by all standard definitions, e.g., Cambridge, is a generally accepted opinion; wide agreement.
Yes, a majority favored Brexit. However, by no stretch of the imagination does 51.9% constitute a consensus.
So, where exactly, in quantitative terms, does a consensus begin? It has to be more than a majority, but where?
The question cannot be settled once and for all because of cultural and historical differences. However, I would make an opening bid at 55%. Anything less decidedly is not a consensus anywhere.
The proverbial bottom line: the referendum showed there was no consensus in the U.K. about staying or leaving the European Union.
As a general policy, I believe change should be difficult to make, but not impossible. For starters, a change should always require a consensus. A tie (less that 55%) goes to the champion, in this case, the status quo.
(3) The wording of the 2016 referendum was simple: stay/leave. That is the equivalent of asking: "Do you like freedom of speech? Yes/no. " That is qualitatively a totally different statement than asking: "Do you think a fascist should be allowed to speak at your local high school. Yes/no." In the 2016 Brexit referendum, there was no concrete, observable, empirical, detailed proposal on the table. Today, there is one -- the Checkers Plan -- with all the surrounding debate.
And so, a new situation exists. The issue of Brexit is no longer a misty water-colored idea; it has been operationalized.
The proper thing to do, therefore, is to have a second referendum on the real, tangible Brexit plan. I lived in London. My common sense tells me that the U.K. would now vote to stay in the European Union. The pro-Brexit forces would have only Theresa May to thank for that outcome; she completely, totally, absolutely botched the negotiations with the EU regarding the conditions under which the U.K. would leave.
Mother, may I? became Mother, no way.
Could it have been otherwise?
* * *
"He´ll be leaving soon."
If you want to get rid of a guy at the office, there´s no better way to do it than to start that rumor. I watched it work countless times in both legislative and executive branch politics.
Authority is a time-related event. No time; no authority.
The United Kingdom will be leaving soon. That is what May announced to the world immediately after the Brexit referendum. Instead, she should have gone back to the EU with referendum results in hand and pointed to the widespread dissatisfaction. We don´t really want to leave but... and bargained for reforms. She did no such thing.
Forget reform; for May it was all or nothing. There are roughly six months to go before Britain leaves. Unless there is a drastic change, May and the U.K. will get to see up close and personal what nothing looks like.
Another recalcitrant, oh-so-sure-of-himself politico faced the leaving soon situation. The only difference was, he was too naive to know it.
Throughout the peace talks with North Vietnam, Henry Kissinger pranced and preened before the press in a Paris chateau: gosh, the fate of the entire world rested on his teeny-weeny Bavarian shoulders.
The reality was of course entirely different. What did he have to negotiate? Do we get out now or do we get out later?
The North Vietnamese weren´t the only ones to see through Kissinger´s slab-dab "negotiating." Five centuries ago, Shakespeare caught the drift:
A tale told by an idiot,
full of sound and fury.
Over the decades I worked with hundreds of elected officials. Only 2-3 understood what you are about to read:
Power must be exercised in order to exist.
The real problem with over 95% of politicians is this:
They are not politicians. They are petit business people in it for the contacts. Sure, some are out-and-out crooks and are there to steal from the public treasury, but those are minuscule in number. Nonetheless, contacts or theft, it comes down to the same thing: money. North Korea, public education, health care, Puerto Rico: as for anything else, not only are most elected officials not interested, they view non-how-to-make-money matters as intrusions. Nuisances.
The phenomenon is not new. In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
"Men living in democratic times have many passions, but most of their passions either end in the love of riches or proceed from it. The cause of this is not that their souls are narrower, but that the importance of money is really greater at such times. When all the members of a community are independent of or indifferent to each other, the co-operation of each of them can be obtained only by paying for it: this infinitely multiplies the purposes to which wealth may be applied and increases its value. When the reverence that belonged to what is old has vanished, birth, condition, and profession no longer distinguish men, or scarcely distinguish them; hardly anything but money remains to create strongly marked differences between them and to raise some of them above the common level. The distinction originating in wealth is increased by the disappearance or diminution of all other distinctions. Among aristocratic nations money reaches only to a few points on the vast circle of man's desires; in democracies it seems to lead to all.
The love of wealth is therefore to be traced, as either a principal or an accessory motive, at the bottom of all that the Americans do; this gives to all their passions a sort of family likeness and soon renders the survey of them exceedingly wearisome. This perpetual recurrence of the same passion is monotonous; the peculiar methods by which this passion seeks its own gratification are no less so."*
The head-long rush to make hay while the sun shines explains why the vast majority of politicians are politically tone-deaf.
We recently saw a classic case study of a politician who is not a politician.
Senator Susan Collins of Maine likes to claim she is a moderate Republican who is the key Senate swing vote. As last week´s Kavanaugh vote showed, when all is said and done (which it was), she cowards down real fine. After kewpie-pie flirting with a no vote, she gave a speech in which she performed the Blivet Trick -- trying to put 10 pounds of horse shit into a five-pound bag. To watch her explanation that didn´t explain anything, click here.
What would a real politician have done?
* * *
I had a client who was a House Representative and close personal friend who was one in a million -- a real politician.
He started out as a member of an endangered species: a liberal Republican. As time passed, he realized that the GOP superstructure would never let him advance in the House despite the prevailing seniority system.
He was out of step -- but never out of touch. A once-in-a-generation opportunity came up that proved it.
Following the general elections, the 70-member House was split between 35 Democrats and a coalition of 35 Conservative Democrats and Republicans. The legislative session was a week away, with the all-important vote for Speaker due the first day. The Speaker runs the place -- period. The Democrats offered my client a far better deal than anything the Republicans could conceive of, much less offer. The Democrats told him that if he cast his vote for their candidate for Speaker, in return they would make him Chairman of The House Appropriations Committee.
What happened next: in the course of the two-minute roll call vote for Speaker, my client went from a nobody to one of the five most powerful people in the state. He subsequently changed his party affiliation to Democrat and served with distinction for over 20 years. He faced re-election every two years; no opponent ever came close to beating him.
Susan Collins had a comparable opportunity last week. All she had to do was find an associate or two and vote no on Brett Kavanaugh. Presto -- Collins and friends would have become the swing factor of the United States Senate. But to have power she had to exercise power, and that is where she failed. Unlike my client who stood tall and voted for the Democrat candidate for Speaker, Collins stuck with the GOP establishment and voted for Kavanaugh. Sure, had she voted no her Republican colleagues and Trump would have been mad as hell -- whereupon she could have gently explained to them that if they didn´t change their tone they could expect more of the same. In fact, she and her friend were thinking of changing from Republicans to Independents; she would then smile and ask her Republican colleagues what they had to offer so that she and her friend would stay Republicans.
So it goes, on and on -- or rather could have gone.
Because Collins did not exercise power when she had the opportunity, it now does not exist for her. Her flirting with a no vote means that she will now fall through the cracks; neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will trust, much less respect her. Instead of controlling the United State Senate, she will politically make a swift trip in the service elevator to the basement where she will be consigned to the bottom of the bottom drawers -- that lower than lowly station in politics everywhere -- not of a traitor or crazy person or idiot, but a flake.
Before and after Kavanaugh. When you look at her, you won´t see any difference.
But it´s there.
Update: October 13. In case you are wondering, Public Policy Polling showed (August 21) that the percentage of Maine voters against confirming Kavanaugh was 49% with 42% in favor.
Only 35% approved of Collins´job performance, 48% disapproved. That finding spells disaster for Collins because everybody in Maine knows who Collins is: they either (i) like her or (ii) dislike her. With numbers like hers, all I can say is if the Maine Democrats can´t beat her, they have no business being in electoral politics. She is a dud ripe for dumping.
Nonpoliticians like Collins always poo-poo negative poll findings - "polls quickly change," they "don´t really mean anything," blah-blah-blah.
To fool others in order to fool themselves -- such is the mysterious inner essence of such people.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Volume 2, Section 3, chapter 17.
Freud is out of style -- which makes him all the more pertinent.
Most of us have heard the term "anal retentive." It means a person who is stingy, obsessed with details, order, precision, cleanliness. He is punctual and respectful of authority.
Freud found the cause in overly strict toilet training. The infant gets pleasure in holding his feces inside.
That is not Trump.
He is the exact opposite of anal retentive. Trump is anal expulsive.
Which calls for an explanation.
A new-born infant is boiling with libido energy that is totally unfocused. Freud´s theory of 5 stages of psychological development deal with how that energy becomes directed.
Freud thought the human personality is formed very early. The undirected libido develops through various fixations. If a stage is not psychologically completed and released, a person can become trapped in it. That may result in the creation of defense mechanisms to avoid the anxiety produced from the conflict in and leaving the stage in question.
Age Name Pleasure source
0-2 Oral Mouth: sucking, biting, swallowing
2-4 Anal Anus: defecating or retaining feces
4-5 Phallic Genitals Oedipus (boys), Electra (girls)
Puberty onward Genital
Conflict during each phase:
Weaning away from mother´s breast.
Sexual urges sublimated into sports and hobbies
Physical sexual changes reawaken repressed needs
Direct sexual feelings towards others led to sexual gratification
The anal phase is characterized by withholding/expelling feces. An anal-expulsive person, Freud thought, is the product of liberal toilet training. Unlike the anal-retentive, the anal-expulsive personality derives pleasure from releasing feces.
The key: if you have problems during any of the psychosexual stages which are not effectively resolved, you will become fixated on that earlier stage and when under stress you will regress to the characteristics of that stage.
You just saw how to manipulate Trump:
Pressure; unrelenting pressure.
Stress causes him to become more and more anally expulsive -- disorganized, cruel, rebellious, messy, careless, self-confident, full of emotional outbursts. He goes down the only path he knows -- regression to a 2-4 year-old.
Childhood regression creates static in rational decision-making. That is why and how Trump ends up making bad choices for himself and for America.
Stumbling, fumbling. Self- sabotage.
Trump trumps Trump.
We are constantly told we have no power. But no man lacks the power to destroy himself. That may be the ultimate lesson learned from the Trump experience.
* * *
Duress is how to manipulate Trump. Watch the nightly news; surf the Internet. I don´t think I am telling anything new to Russian, North Korean or Chinese intelligence agencies.
In fact, I have detected a tandem. Think of a tag team with three members. One after another after another they tease and taunt Trump who, left to his own devices, fights them alone.
More and more alone.
Duress... I´m not saying anything new to Bob Mueller either.
The long and the short of it:
If you elect an anally-expulsive person to public office, you´re going to have a mess on your hands.
The airwaves are stuffed to the gills with speculation about a possible "kompromat" -- compromising information -- which enabled Russia to turn Donald Trump into its trained poodle.
We think we know what Russia´s kompromat is:
Money laundering for Russia. For a comprehensive, rigorously documented article on this subject, click here. If true, then Trump is a criminal and Putin knows it and can prove it.
Nevertheless, blackmailers are easily handled.
Normally, blackmailers communicate orally. A written note would be concrete evidence of another crime -- blackmail:
"18 U.S. Code § 873 - Blackmail. Whoever, under a threat of informing, or as a consideration for not informing, against any violation of any law of the United States, demands or receives any money or other valuable thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."
The blackmailer faces a major obstacle. If he calls his victim, the call may be recorded. Forget emails. If he sends a message via a second or third person, that person may go to the police -- or threaten to do so and blackmail the blackmailer.
There is only one sure solution to the blackmailer´s dilemma: speak to the victim in private. Classic example: the two-hour closed meeting Putin held with Trump in Helsinki.
Trump knows the Russians are aware of his money-laundering adventure, assuming it took place; after all, they participated in it. The political leverage gained by Russia in having that knowledge would be rendered null and void, however, by never giving them the chance to present their kompromat to Trump in private.
If the Russian Ambassador requests an audience in the White House, for example, all Trump has to do is make sure there are 6-7 other people in the room, then demurely inquire.
"So, Mr. Ambassador, what is it you want to see me about?"
* * *
Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks, has been residing for 6 years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Rumors abound in Ecuador that President Rafael Correa granted him political asylum because he has kompromat on Correa.
Those same rumors now swirl around Correa´s successor, President Lenín Moreno.
If Assange is blackmailing the Ecuadorian government, the same tactic applies: never give him the occasion to present his kompromat.
No access; no blackmail.
No blackmail; no power.
We learned recently that Mike Pompeo´s fourth trip to North Korea was suddenly called off by Trump.
The cancellation is the best thing that could have happened. And not for the reason you´re being told -- that North Korea is not making sufficient progress in dismantling its nuclear program.
* * *
How do you flatten a kewpie-pie guy?
Answer: knock him off his game plan by out-kewpie-pieing him.
Here is Mike Pompeo´s biography. See for yourself: the man from Wichita hasn´t been anywhere or done anything that would qualify him to negotiate with North Korea.
He´s a mini-bantamweight fighter in a sport that has no mini- bantamweight class.
To see my point, watch this short video of Pompeo with the North Koreans.
An interpretation of what the North Korean chief negotiator was doing:
"It's a combination of Kim Yong Chol's unique sense of humor, typical Korean small talk about health especially when you reach the age of an ´elder,´ and trying to throw a jab, to posture, and give Pompeo a hard time," explained Duyeon Kim, a visiting senior research fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum in Seoul.
One good jab deserves another. Pompeo´s response, "I slept just fine," wasn´t it. Clumsy, naive.
We have said it before; we will say it again. He who sets the definitions of the situation controls the rules of the game. He who controls the rules of the game has the power and wins the game.
The man from Wichita doesn´t have a clue what you just read means. Neither does the man from Queens.
To the contrary, the North Koreans have shown time and again they understand and speak the language of power. They understand perfectly the crucial importance of definitions.
The first definition of the situation is of the agenda: What Will We Talk About?
North Korean #2 Man Kim Yong Chol dictated it and Pompeo fell into the trap.
So, how might Pompeo have responded to Kim´s puerile gamesmanship?
First stop: don´t let petty sniping from a congenital Yes Man pass for oriental wisdom. Forget Charlie Chan. Forget The Karate Kid. Forget the TV series Kung Fu.
Poor Mike Pompeo. Like his boss, he just doesn´t get it. The man from Wichita hasn´t been around self-styled communists; consequently he ends up mystifying them.
Their innermost secret essence is more banal than banal: nobody in the entire world is less revolutionary than a communist bureaucrat.
Suggested Response Number 1. Softline:
"I didn´t sleep at all. Not a single second. In fact, I regularly go 5-6 nights in a row without sleeping. How is that possible? Well, when one knows that he truly represents the people, human rights, world peace, freedom, justice and peace, he has incredible energy.
And you, Mr. Kim -- did you sleep well last night?"
Suggested Response Number 2. Hardline.
"I slept terribly. I had a recurring nightmare. It just wouldn´t stop! A top official somewhere was paraded before a crowd, then blown to bits by an anti-aircraft gun. Completely absurd. To top it off, in the crowd I swear I saw the laughing face of...ah...forget it. Utter nonsense! Kill a man with an anti-aircraft gun! Outrageous! Why, only a gangster would do such a thing.
Wouldn´t he, Mr. Kim."
The trick here is to throw Kim Yong Chol off his game plan. That is best accomplished by igniting his startle reflex. It is rooted in survival and is auditory in nature. If you´re walking in the woods and a lion suddenly roars nearby, you don´t have time to analyze it.
The startle reflex is entirely involuntary. It jumps up, seizes control.
It overwhelms reason.
Everybody -- even Donald Trump -- is trying to explain Trump´s craven press conference performance with Putin in Helsinki.
When in doubt, turn to Nature. Nature provides allegories that are as terrifying as they are enlightening.
Our prior post presented the thesis that Donald Trump laundered colossal sums of money for the Russian mafia. That criminal activity explains his behavior and statements in Helsinki and beyond.
Money laundering is what Putin has on Trump. It is the source of Putin´s leverage.
Let´s call it what it is:
The blackmailing of Trump is the blackmailing of America.
The Justice Department´s Special Counsel Robert Mueller expanded his investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election to include Donald Trump´s financial affairs with Russians. Mueller has impaneled a grand jury and issued subpoenas.
If the Mueller investigation corroborates Trump´s ties with the Russian mafia, a nature story told by Sir David Attenborough in the BBC´s “The Story of Life” will have presented the entire denouement better than any CNN article, courtroom, or history book. It is a story acted out countless times far from human eyes.
To watch Attenborough´s report, click here.
I suspect we are witnessing a truly extraordinary phenomenon: the birth of a new Aesop´s fable.
Gosh, what is it?
Putin obviously has something on Trump, but what?
Exactly like American politicians of both parties, the mainstream media are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. CNN, for example, after appearing to hit Trump hard, ends up pulling its punches. "At the heart of it," we are told, "the story is really a mystery." Sorry, Mr. CNN Editor -- as profound as flushing the toilet.
Sorry, mass media and distinguished members of Congress. It´s time to put on your plastic beanies. This time, try to spin the propellers in the right direction.
There is no mystery whatsoever about what Putin has on Trump.
* * *
Very seldom do I find an article so exhaustively researched and well-reasoned as the following piece by Ricken Patel. He is the Canadian/English President and Executive Director and also founder of Avaaz, a global civic organization with the world’s largest online activist community. Avaaz has over 43 million subscribers.
The only thing I would add are Trump´s ties to the American mafia. It is absurd to think the Russian and American mobs are not connected. See our post "How To Knock Out Donald Trump" written almost three years ago -- September 20, 2015.
Nobody listened then.
I wonder if they are listening now.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ricken Patel - Avaaz <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 21, 2018 at 11:24 PM
Subject: REVEALED - Here's What Russia 'Has' On Trump
It’s now shockingly clear that Donald Trump is Putin’s poodle.
The Shocking Truth about Trump
But we need the world to understand why, before it’s too late…
Trump's businesses went bankrupt so many times in the 1990s that many legitimate banks wouldn’t lend to him anymore. He turned to Russian oligarchs -- Putin’s ruling clique -- to bankroll his projects, and launder their dirty money for them. This was, and continues to be, a huge part of his business. He’s a Russian money launderer.
"We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia."
Donald Trump JR, 2014
This isn’t speculation or hyperbole. There's mountains of evidence. Trump’s former election campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, has deep ties to Russian oligarchs, and is currently in jail awaiting trial on, among other charges, money laundering!
Here are 5 more top facts everyone should know about Trump's long collusion with Russian organised criminals:
Trump’s main financial backer for the Trump Tower Toronto was a Russian-Canadian billionaire who got the money by selling a massive steel mill in Ukraine for nearly a billion dollars. $100 million of that money was paid to a Kremlin-backed fixer, likely as a bribe to VERY high Russian officials. The Chairman of the Bank who financed the deal? Vladimir Putin.
Trump bought his home in Palm Beach, Florida for $41 million. A few years later, with no real increase in the value -- he sold it for $95 million -- the most expensive home in America at the time! Why? A major Russian oligarch bought it -- we don’t know yet why he effectively ‘gave’ Trump $54 million. But it’s classic money laundering practice.
Trump's real estate deals were often fuelled by Russian money, typically passed through shady shell companies. 77% of Trump Soho apartments were bought with cash by such mysterious companies. At least 13 people with links to Russian oligarchs or mobsters lived in Trump properties, including one of Russia's top mobsters. One even ran a high-stakes illegal gambling ring in the apartment right below Trump's!
"Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
Donald Trump JR, 2008
Trump’s financial broker and “Senior Advisor” was a Russian convicted felon named Felix Sater, widely known as a mafia figure who once stabbed someone in the face with a broken margarita glass, requiring over 100 stitches. Sater helped set up shell companies, and arranged funding for Trump’s projects, including plans for Trump Tower Moscow. He’s also part of Putin’s inner circle. Here’s one email he wrote to Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen in November, 2015:
"Michael I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin. I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected. We both know no one else knows how to pull this off without stupidity or greed getting in the way. I know how to play it and we will get this done. Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will."
New York Times, August 27, 2017
Trump’s other main business is casinos -- which are classic money laundering vehicles. One of his casinos was 100 times found in violation of federal rules protecting against money laundering, and paid the largest fine ever levied against a casino for having “willfully violated” anti-money laundering rules. Trump has a legal obligation to do “due diligence” for all his businesses to prevent laundering. His senior executive’s comment on this was “Donald doesn’t do diligence”.
The Big Picture
Putin is a former KGB officer who has used chemical weapons, assassinated people in other countries, invaded the Ukraine, occupied Crimea, shot down the MH17 airliner with almost 300 passengers on board, aided a murderous regime in Syria, condoned the beating and torture of gays, stolen up to $200 billion from his own people, hacked foreign elections and launched what NATO calls the largest hybrid warfare campaign in history to undermine western liberal democracies. He is also widely believed to have ordered the murder of Russian journalists and critics, and bombed hundreds of Russian civilians to fake a terrorist attack and justify a war in Chechnya.
Yet when asked at their press conference if Trump had any criticism of Putin, he had none, and ridiculed US law enforcement for investigating Russian attacks on US democracy!
Why? Trump has been working for Putin's corrupt inner circle for almost 20 years. And it's that corrupt circle that promises to make him rich for the next 20 (he's refused, in violation of all ethics, to divest from his businesses as President).
Trump may be a Russian intelligence asset, he may have colluded with Putin to sabotage the US election. But what is clear is that he is a corrupt Russian money launderer, in the pocket of a KGB dictator. The whole world needs to know this, and rally together to prevent the damage this corrupt alliance threatens. Share this email with everyone…
Ricken, Emma, Rewan, Joseph, Morgan, Spyro, Flora and the whole Avaaz team
PS -- scroll down for a TON of credible, trustworthy, fact-checked sources for everything in this email. Avaaz isn't one of those absurd troll publications that slings lies for profit -- we're a nonprofit, and every time we make an error anywhere, we publish the correction on our accuracy page, linked from the front of our website.
PPS -- if Trump the 'organized criminal money launderer' sounds like a stretch to you, consider it just the tip of the iceberg of Trump's known corruption:
His 'charitable foundation' is likely to be shut down for multiple examples of fraud.
Trump 'University' scammed legions of vulnerable people out of their money.
He had an affair with a pornstar and paid her to keep quiet -- she says she was also threatened with physical violence.
His ex-wife attested in court documents that he brutally raped her while tearing out her hair after he didn't like the hair replacement doctor she recommended.
He bragged, on tape, about sexually assaulting multiple women.
Hundreds of people hired by Trump say he simply decided not to pay them for their work -- including dishwashers, painters and waiters, some of whom were making minimum wage.
He has been sued, and forced to pay out settlements, over a hundred times.
Trump is not a devil -- he's a human being, and like all people he has positive qualities and legitimate views. But anyone who denies that he is deeply corrupt, isn't looking at the facts. To understand Trump, and protect our world from him, we need to understand his corruption.
Trump’s Russian Laundromat (The New Republic)
Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump (Committee to Investigate Russia)
Secret Money: How Trump Made Millions Selling Condos To Unknown Buyers (Buzzfeed News)
Trump’s Russian connections (Financial Times)
Dirty money: Trump and the Kazakh connection (Financial Times)
Trump's oldest son said a decade ago that a lot of the family's assets came from Russia (Business Insider)
Sales of Trump properties suggestive of money-laundering - researcher (Reuters)
Tower of secrets: the Russian money behind a Donald Trump skyscraper (Financial Times)
Trump Tower Toronto Was 'Investment Scheme And Conspiracy': Lawsuit (Huffington Post)
If Trump Is Laundering Russian Money, Here’s How It Works (Wired)
Trump's casino was a money laundering concern shortly after it opened (CNN)
Donald Trump and the mansion that no one wanted. Then came a Russian fertilizer king (Miami Herald)
Everything you want to know about Donald Trump's bankruptcies (CNN)
Canada's highest court upholds ruling that Donald Trump did mislead investors (The Independent)
Russian elite invested nearly $100 million in Trump buildings (Reuters)
Why did a Russian pay $95M to buy Trump’s Palm Beach mansion? (The Seattle Times)
The Russia investigation and Donald Trump: a timeline from on-the-record sources (updated) (Politifact)
Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways (Washington Post)
A Brief History of Attempted Russian Assassinations by Poison (Foreign Policy)
International Criminal Court: Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine Is A 'Crime,' Not A Civil War (Forbes)
Donald Trump’s Worst Deal: The President helped build a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (The New Yorker)
Trump’s Business of Corruption (The New Yorker)
Trump lawyer 'paid by Ukraine' to arrange White House talks (BBC)
After becoming President, Trump has sold millions in real estate in secret deals (Newsweek)
Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob? (Politico)
Russian lawyer from infamous Trump Tower meeting admits to being an informant for the Kremlin: Report (CNBC)
#RickenPatel #Avaaz #ComandanteChispas #whatPutinhasonTrump
How to make chicken salad out of chicken shit:
Such is Trump ´s self-imposed challenge.
Pro-Trump observers see him playing three-dimensional chess. As do chess masters, we see him playing zero-dimensional chess.
Sorry, Donald, nobody but nobody - not even Julia Child - ever won the chicken salad challenge.
The Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki is not the first time Trump betrayed America.
He gave aid and comfort to the enemy ISIS by escorting 3,000 of them to safety with their arms and families from Raqqa, Iraq, United States and its allies had completely surrounded. See out post "Donald Trump: Je T´Accuse" of December 1, 2017.
Putin uses over and over again the same strategy. And why not -- it works. The basic rules of chess are well known...
Control the center before attacking, pawns are the foundation of strategy, don´t check if not necessary, dominate as much territory as possible, avoid trading a developed piece for a not developed one, etc., They are all here, "101 Essential Chess Tips."
Read ´em and weep.
Tell me what a man wants and I´ll tell you his weakness.
-- A 50-Year Legislative Veteran --
Flashback: 1959. The earth was still warm.
TV was wide open for talent. Writers could write. Actors could act.
The secret: the power of TV was still unknown.
The powers-that-be, however, quickly figured it out, pulled down the shades and barred the doors and shrunk the medium to what you see today:
Exciting-as-a-wet-tortilla ads punctuated by retinal junk food.
In 1959, NBC Sunday Showcase broadcast a two-part series, "What Makes Sammy Run?" Based on a Budd Schulberg novel, the story is about a maximum hustler, Sammy Glick. By deception, betrayal, stealing -- you name it -- Sammy´s boundless ambition drives him from copy boy to New York columnist to Hollywood mogul. The title refers to running other people down; running toward death; running; running. Always running.
In the same vein (vain), what makes Donny Trump run?
To know the answer is to know his weakness.
To know his weakness is to know how to manipulate him.
In their face-to-fact meeting in Singapore, Kim Jong-un and his seasoned advisers sized Donny up and, figured him out. In his recent private letter to Trump, Kim Jong-un referred to Donny as "Your Excellency." That term sometimes is applied to presidents, always to royalty.
Look Mom! Trump could not hold his twits and trumpeted the letter worldwide.
True to form, Manhattan remained moonrock-silent.
* * *
The elite? The elite? Why are they elite?
I have a much better apartment than they do.
I´m smarter than they are. I´m richer than they are.
I became president and they didn´t.
-- Donald Trump, June 20, 2018 --
There it is -- the soft spot.
I asked a New Yorker friend what the deal was.
Here´s her answer:
"An aspect of Trump will elude most people....he's a New Yorker, but he's from QUEENS. For Manhattanites, that's of Great Significance. No borough is quite equal to Manhattan. Trump knows that....it´s part of his need to be biggest and loudest. He's nouveau riche and he's from Queens. In New York circles, that's definitely something to overcome! (But probably impossible to overcome.)
I am a NY snob, you see. From the suburbs, but all the city contacts & relatives were upper East side Manhattan. Never anything to do with THOSE people in Queens. Not because my people were riche of any sort, but were of Old Roots...and that's one basis of snobbery. So, even if Trump amasses ALL the money on the planet, he won't get the respect he wants from all New Yorkers."
Now you know why Trump is condemned to keep running; lying; cheating; bragging; back-stabbing; running and lying some more; stealing; twittering.
He will never get where he wants to go. Never. It will always be in sight and out of reach.
He is lobotomized from success because at birth he made a colossal mistake.
He picked the wrong parents.