Wednesday Open Thread

“Things gained through unjust fraud are never secure.”

–Sophocles

4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Trump stinks.  Pass it on.

  2. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Matthew Iglesias at Vox "Trump is not an Idiot"

    The whole article is really good, cutting through the bullshit inertia of self-appointed political pundits.

    Paul Manafort left his job working as the Kremlin’s favorite expat political consultant in Ukraine in the Spring of 2016 to go run his old acquaintance Donald Trump’s longshot presidential campaign on a volunteer basis. 

    Soon after, Moscow-backed hackers transmitted thousands of stolen Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks, whose release was artfully timed to make trouble for Trump’s Democratic opponents. They became the basis of Trump campaign rhetoric in the months before Election Day. 

    Emerging conventional wisdom in Washington, however, remains that there’s little reason to believe that Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation will end up proving much of interest. Politico magazine editor-in-chief Blake Hounshell this weekend wrote one of the buzziest pieces advocating a skeptical approach to Mueller’s ongoing inquiry, titled “Confessions of a Russiagate Skeptic,” throwing cold water on the notion of high-level cooperation between Trumpworld and the Russians. 

    But to believe this, frankly, requires a much greater suspension of disbelief than to posit that the president colluded with Russia. You have to believe that after a decade of paying Manafort millions for his expertise to help pro-Russian candidates win elections in Ukraine, no one from Moscow thought to consult with him about how to help a pro-Russia candidate win an election in the United States. 

    And we have to believe that even though we know Trump’s son was both in touch with WikiLeaks and openly enthusiastic about the idea of collaborating with Russia on obtaining and disseminating anti-Hillary Clinton dirt, when he met with Russians on this very topic, they didn’t talk about it. And, of course, we have to believe that Trump’s specific — and quite public — call for Putin to hack more Clinton emails was completely random.

     

    • JohnInDenver says:

      The notion that Donald Trump Jr. has ever had an original idea or done anything without asking "what would Daddy do?" is a stretch. The notion he independently reached out to Assange is a reach — they don't have a great deal in common.

      I just keep wondering how he managed a year by himself in Aspen, "working" as a bartender. Has anyone gone digging for stories of that year?

  3. ParkHill says:

    WOTD2 from Josh Marshall at TPM: "Why The Trump/Russia ‘Skeptics’ Are Wrong"

    First, the manifest disorganization of the Trump operation and whether they had their shit together enough to conspire with anyone. This has always struck me as a basic misunderstanding of how spy work operates. Perhaps also human nature. Spies looking to infiltrate, compromise and direct a foreign organization look precisely for chaotic and disorganized contexts. They look for gullible people. They look for pleasers. They look for people who are desperate, broke, blackmail-able. These are all features, not bugs. This must have made the Trump campaign an irresistible target for Russia. Because it had all the key vulnerability points in spades. I think anyone who makes this argument really doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    But none of these are the key thing. That is this: For the second half of 2016 Donald Trump himself and his campaign knew that Russia was engaged in a wide ranging effort to subvert the 2016 campaign and to work to get him elected. Yet despite this knowledge he and his campaign continued to approve numerous contacts with Russian government officials, clandestine meetings, receive offers of assistance. He also continued to push a decidedly Russia friendly policy agenda, even to the point of threatening to short-circuit or abandon the NATO alliance – probably Russia’s principal foreign policy goal not only today but decades back into the Cold War. They continued to authorize all of this, continued to feel out the possible dimensions of the relationship and, critically, made no effort to contact the FBI or other relevant federal agencies about a plot they knew these agencies were tracking and trying to combat.

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