Connecting dots
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Connecting dots

The Trumpian Chronicles — week 9— where Trump&GOP show the world they’re uninterested in governing&there thanks to special interest $

A pessimist-realist’s take on our changing world

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Special edition Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8

This 9th week of the Trumpian presidency can be summed up around 2 major events:

1- the confirmation by FBI Comey that his agency has been investigating — since July — the links with Russian intelligence

2- the sad spectacle of 2 fantasists — Paul Ryan and Donald Trump — who got a yuge dose of reality slammed in their face with the abandonment of the ACA’s repeal

Let’s break down both events:

1- the confirmation by FBI Comey that his agency has been investigating — since July — the links with Russian intelligence

Director Comey has been coming to brief lawmakers in private sessions since the start of the Trump presidency a mere 9 weeks ago. On Monday this week he was called in front of a public hearing and acknowledged what had been whispered — that the FBI was indeed conducting an investigation on links between Trump campaign associates and Russian interests&intelligence services.

my take: The unpacking of all of this is massive so let’s stick to major items:

1/ Paul Manafort has been the US mouthpiece and lobbyist for oligarch Deripaska (a close Putin ally). A good recap in The Atlantic: “Deripaska probably has similar stories — and a reputation to match. One very sanguine Russia expert in Washington once told me he was actively afraid when he was left in a room with him, saying, “He looks like he’s killed people with piano wires.” If that’s your reputation in the West, it’s hard to take your company public or raise funds. You need all the image consulting you can get. And Manafort provided it while, reportedly, also providing consulting to the Kremlin on Deripaska’s tab. (This is what’s known in Russia as an informal tax on the oligarchs, who are oligarchs at Putin’s pleasure. To allow them to keep and develop their vast wealth, he periodically asks them to pay for things he needs, like a stadium for the Olympics in Sochi, say, or perhaps a couple years of Manafort’s very expensive services.)”

2/ Roger Stone who admitted to speaking with Wikileaks and with known hackers, was thrown under the bus by Sean Spicer who basically said that Trump didn’t really know him or work with him. This of course is pure fantasy, here’s Stone’s take:

3/ Congressman Devin Nunes put on a ridiculous faux bumbling show “i’m running to the WH to tell Trump the FBI is on to him”, complete with babbling on tv that a WH staffer is being investigated by multiple US intelligence services. His credibility is shot in Congress, watch for the Democrats mounting a campaign to unseat him in 2018.

4/ The Mercers are finally getting the media coverage their nefarious role in funding the “populist” war on DC warrants: the New Yorker, Chicago Tribune, Vanity Fair, Washington Post add to the earlier stories by the Guardian and The Atlantic. Their role and links to Russia will also come out and soon.

Overall we’re seeing a rare spectacle: a sitting US President, nominally supported by a major party in Congress, is seeing his campaign aides investigated by the FBI and multiple US intelligence for collusion with a known US frenemy. Under other Administrations (read Democrats) the GOP Congress would have started impeachment proceedings on the 2nd day, but doofuses that they are, the GOP has hitched its wagon to him. The comeuppance will be especially brutal and could lead to a political re-alignment common in the US.

2- the sad spectacle of 2 fantasists — Paul Ryan and Donald Trump — who got a yuge dose of reality slammed in their face with the abandonment of the ACA’s repeal

the facts: Trump campaigned on a cheaper, better, spiffier healthcare for all.

the reality: 9 weeks in, Trump shows the extent of his inept populist “insurgency” and Bannon/Mercers surely looking for another “blunt instrument”.

my take: this is one for the history books. A sitting President, with control of virtually ALL branches of government, elected BECAUSE of his supposed sales acumen IS UNABLE TO SELL HIS OWN PARTY. This is where the wheels come off and as I posited in a special edition of these chronicles, Trump could very well usher in the end of the US hyperpresidency. Can you name a President in the 19th century between Andrew Jackson and Lincoln ? After Grant, can you name one before Teddy Roosevelt ? The US could be going back to a primacy of Congress — should it grow a pair and actually WANT to govern.

This unprecedented failure is born of 2 fathers, equal fantasists, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump. Speaker Ryan has been a supposed wonk in DC conservative circles since he was a pup politico — his disastrous press conference where he showed he doesn’t even understand the basic concepts of insurance, in place since the Mesopotamians, is troubling but shows that you can fake it till you make it. His Ayn Rand-infested mind is that of a young man groomed by the Heritage Foundation types, who prefer automatons vs actual politicians with instincts. Donald Trump has convinced himself — and a slim majority of Rust Belt voters who put him over the top- that he is the ultimate salesman, capable of turning people’s head on a whim. The spectacle of the GOP Nos showing up at the White House and Trump boasting that he had gotten them ALL to YES and those very same lawmakers spitting in his face should be sobering. The Emperor has been buck naked as aptly summed up by Rick Wilson last night on MSNBC and this could be a good thing for the US and the world, counterintuitively. I will write a special edition on this very topic.



Voices to listen to/follow:

Anil Dash

Justin Hendrix

umair haque

Simon Constable



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