For those of you who prefer your information presented in a more, shall we say, narrative fashion, Josh Marshall’s superlative overview of what is currently known about Felix Sater, as well as his links to American intelligence agencies, the Russian criminal underworld, and a variety of business swindles with intimate links to the Trump organization is a must read.

For an indication of how this is all going to turn out for Trump and his administration, we have to follow the trail of crumbs up to the point where it turns into a trail of ankle-deep pools of Russian operatives’ blood.

Allow me to explain.

With every passing day, I can’t help but be reminded of something that happened in my own adoptive city of Toronto, Canada, just a few short years ago… a series of events that could be seen as a preview in miniature of what the United States is going through today.

I refer, of course, to the many scandals of Mayor Robert Ford.

In these times of supremely heightened tensions, of “alternative facts”, and a great world power’s rapid slide into the twin catastrophes of unchecked demagoguery and narcissistic score-settling, it’s easy to forget that Canada’s most populous city had to endure the rise and rule of its own pig-eyed populist incompetent, to the great delight of its own basket of under-contributing sub-and-ex-urban deplorables, in the not so distant past.

The constant bizarre public behavior, the ranting and raving, the non-stop lies about the city’s finances, the constant bragging about his non-existent achievements, the petulant whining about the media being out to get him, and then, the purported existence of an incriminating video… are you starting to feel it yet? That tingle of deja vu?

Looking back on it now, one could easily get the impression that it was all giggles and schadenfreude, the stuff of late night TV jokes and juvenile alternative weekly tabloid covers. What people seem to have forgotten is that mayor Ford’s scandals had a body count, with one of the three men photographed with him in this infamous image ending up dead. Another was shot, and both survivors ended up in jail. Another person allegedly involved with the sale of the video to Gawker ended up barely surviving a still unexplained five story fall from an Edmonton apartment building window.

Back to the present day, in the USofA, it already appears as though the similarly infamous Steele Dossier (and the “golden shower party” video discussed therein) has already cost the lives of seven Russian operatives.

If we’re scaling the Trump scandals up from the Ford scandals using relative populations and political power levels… I’d say upwards of a few hundred thousand more will have to die before this all ends with a pale and groggy Trump giving a double thumbs up from a hospital bed, wearing a smock and a shower cap, before the world can finally breath a sorrow-filled sigh of post-apocalyptic relief.

In his work The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, Karl Marx first intoned that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Although finding documentary evidence is difficult, Mark Twain is reputed to have disagreed, arguing that history doesn’t repeat, but that often, “it rhymes.”

In any case, we obviously pissed off some Chinese people somewhere along the way, because friends, we are living in some damned interesting times.

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