The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Someday we'll find it, the Putin connection...

    The AP drew another line in Trump's connect-the-dots puzzle today. We already knew that former campaign chair Paul Manafort had worked for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians. Now we know that he secretly worked on behalf of the Putin regime as well.

    Manafort's intermediary was Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who was "among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis," according to U.S. diplomatic cables. In 2005, Manafort pitched Deripaska on an audacious plan to "greatly benefit the Putin Government." Building on his work for Ukraine, he proposed to expand Russian influence in other former Soviet Republics by lobbying "the highest levels of the U.S. government — the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department." Deripaska ultimately awarded Manafort a $10 million contract, paid not to his public consulting firm but to an obscure corporation registered out of Manafort's home.

    In short, Trump's campaign manager was a paid foreign agent who secretly represented Russia's interests. Yet there was no contact, we have been told, between the Trump campaign and Putin regime. Right.

    Let's look back at the timeframe, specifically March 2016 when Manafort joined the Trump campaign...

    3/19/16: State-backed Russian hackers penetrated the email account of John Podesta, chair of the Clinton campaign.

    3/28/16: Nine days after the hack, Trump confirmed to the New York Times that he had hired Paul Manafort, who became the unpaid chair of the Trump campaign.

    3/31/16: Twelve days after the hack, Trump met with foreign policy advisors at the new Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., where they discussed the Republican Party's position on arming Ukraine against pro-Russian rebels. According to advisor J.D. Gordon, Trump personally opposed this language in the RNC platform because "he didn't want to go to 'World War Three' over Ukraine."

    Perhaps this is all just coincidence. Perhaps Manafort cut ties to Putin before joining the Trump campaign. Perhaps Trump's sudden specific interest in the GOP's Ukraine position was just the whim of a mercurial mind. Perhaps former MI6 agent Christopher Steele's allegations that "the Trump team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue" and that "This was managed on the TRUMP side by the Republican candidate's campaign manager, Paul MANAFORT," are fabrications.

    It's possible that Manafort and Trump are perfectly innocent. But is it plausible?


    Lines still to be drawn include the interesting details from Manafort's daughter's hacked text messages, and Manafort's unusual home improvement loan activities.


    And a secret account in Cyprus, perhaps

    "The" connection? Sounds like 1000.

    I am watching Dave Chappell.

    He is speaking about the innocence of OJ.






    Or something in between.  Manafort may be deeply  involved and Trump less so. Or  vice versa.

    Right now Trump´s accusation (of Obama´s spying on him ) demonstrates the wrong way of handling charges of misuse of  ¨secure¨ information. Or more broadly chargesof any sort.

    At least for the time being let´s keep it that way. And not in effect bail  out Trump by making our own accusations.

    Manafort and Trump are innocent as of this moment.

    My theory: with the  Obama repeal supposedly teetering ( I think it will pass)  somewhere in Donald´s Court it was decided to today play the  Nunes card  to create personal sympathy for Trump in the freedom caucus by providing this ¨evidence¨ that the ¨permanent government had been mean to our Donald and therefore frecaus  should support his legislation even though it's not as mean spirited    ¨ Are there no work houses? ¨ as they would prefer.

    The majority of Americans are against repealing Obamacare. Trumpcare is not a winner.

    Trump and his minions were picked up on surveillance because they were talking to targeted Russians. 

    Manafort was working for the Russians and did not file as an agent of a foreign power

    Flynn was working for Turkey and did not file as an agent of a foreign power.

    Trump hired Manafort and Flynn. His judgment is in question.

    Nunes made any investigation involving Republicans appear tainted.

    Only Trumpkins are all in with Trump at this point.

    Republicans are experiencing self-inflicted wounds.

    You always default to why Democrats are wrong or why Democrats should just shut up.

    If Democrats move to shut down the Gorsuch nomination, then you can say they are taking some action.

    Yeah, I do discuss cases where  the Democrats are wrong . Because I want them to win.

    Consider ¨Occupy¨. It was fairly popular here but I know 2008 Obama voters who stayed home in 2012 because of Occupy. 

    I could say that Occupy was a vote winnerl. Trouble is ,it wasn.t.






    Occupy wasn't a Democratic Party operation. Factions of OWS directly targeted Obama

    Black Lives Matter is not a Democratic Party operation either. They protested against Obama

    The worse thing Democratic legislators can do is stop requesting an independent investigation and trying to slow down the Supreme Court nominee. 

    Edit to add:

    How is Ivanka doing on protecting the environment?

    No one has been found guilty in a court of law (as of this moment), but that doesn't make these folks innocent. I suspect they're both guilty, but obviously, I can't prove this suspicion.

    If Manafort is guilty, I think it's unlikely that Trump was unaware. Why did he hire Manafort and other Russophiles like Carter Page? What did they bring to the table? And why did Trump develop such an interest in the Republican platform's Ukraine position so soon after the Podesta hack? Occam's Razor suggests a quid pro quo and that Trump knew about it.

    It doesn´t make them innocent. Our laws do.

    Until found guilty. That´s as true for Trump and his merry men as it was -or should have been-for Hillary.

     I disagree with you on what makes a person guilty or innocent. For purposes of punishment for a crime, yes it is up to a court to decide. But we in the hoi palloi can use our brains to come to a conclusion. We can even change our minds when we get more information.

    But actual guilt or innocence is a fact regardless of whether we figure it out or not. 

    Well it wasn't for Hillary and it never ever was for HIllary.

    So since I don't live in coulda-shoulda-woulda fantasyland expecting proper justice on earth, hoist them from their own petard and make them walk that same plank, so they can feed on the plankton and sleep with the fishes.

    That's a semantic quibble. If by "innocent" you mean "not convicted," then I grant you that Trump and Manafort are "innocent" or more precisely, they are innocent under the law. But in ordinary parlance, innocent doesn't mean "not convicted;" it means "did not commit a crime." For instance, when a convict declares, "I'm innocent," he is not claiming that he wasn't convicted but that his conviction was unjust because he committed no crime.

    If it pleases you, I will restate without the semantically-loaded "innocent" and "guilty" language. I believe that Trump and Manafort probably struck a deal with Russian authorities to ease off on Ukraine in return for the Russians leaking hacked emails. If so, it is my hope that they will indicted and convicted.

    Nixon was never indicted nor tried nor convicted, and Ford's pardon made sure that he wasn't. I'd sure love to see this second national nightmare end similarly. (Since those days,the way things move and develop in general have sped up considerably, to say the least, so I left out the "long" adjective from "national nightmare." wink)

    On the other hand, I would like to see this motherfucker go to prison, and all of his conspirational culprits as well.  Why not?  They have done far more harm to our country than Nixon.

    Talk about a race to the bottom!

    Here you go, the journos not giving up, keeping at it, all no doubt to please you:

    The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin

    Where Trump's real estate world meets a top religious ally of the Kremlin.

    By @ April 09

    Man, it's like Elders of Zion vs My Cousin Vinnie. I'm worn out, this is intense.

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