Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt” just cornered the leader of the coven when Donald Trump’s former lawyer-fixer, Michael Cohen, flipped for a second time and blew the whistle on what he claims is his long-time benefactor’s financial lying and manipulation regarding Russia. Cohen’s Thursday revelations in a Manhattan federal court opened the door to further scrutiny of Trump purported commingling of personal and political affairs. If proven, Trump will be deprived of further ability to maintain that his organization had nothing to do with Russia, where official action serves to enhance private enterprise.
Assuming the truth of Cohen’s revelations, which are contested by Trump and his now personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, there was a long-standing relationship between the president and the original red state. Another Trump associate, Felix Sater, has claimed that Russian election meddling had a nexus to a proposed Trump tower in Moscow that included a fifty-million-dollar, in-kind, inducement to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
There has been no shortage of Damon Runyon-like characters in Trump’s orbit, going back to his earliest days in business. The notorious lawyer, Roy Cohen, who played a large part in Senator Joseph McCarthy’s 1950’s hearings into purported communist infiltration of Hollywood, was one of them. Cohen, who mentored Trump, is likely the source of his lifetime obsession with giving no quarter.
Most international real estate tycoons would salivate over the prospect of penetrating the Russian market. With oligarchs galore, who operate under the aegis of officialdom, the potential for enormous profits is tempting. Trump may have succumbed. His offspring, Don Jr. and Eric, have spoken lovingly about beaucoup Russian money flowing to the family enterprise.
Deutsche Bank, a prodigious Trump lender, has been under investigation that peaked this week when the bank’s headquarters were raided by German authorities who seized records they believe will reveal the extent of Deutsche’s alleged money laundering. Trump would’ve gone under without the bank’s help on more than one occasion.
Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, replaced himself as top official at the Bank of Cyprus with a former Deutsche Bank chairman when he left to head Commerce. Due to the bankruptcy of the 2nd largest Cypriot bank, (then headed by Ross), and forced merger with the Bank of Cyprus, Russian depositors wound up with huge shares of the newly combined financial institution that, effectively, controls Cyprus, a valued tax haven.
These issues will come into clearer focus if Mueller’s investigation links Russian endeavors to put a favorite sun behind the Resolute Desk with desires to further enhance that country’s favored citizens. Cohen’s revelations point the way. Trump, who lies easily, particularly about his business connections to Russia, may be close to getting tagged with an insufficient funds penalty.
The land of the free and the home of the brave under Donald Trump has become a fearsome place for outsiders. When the first tear gas canister was fired towards refugees at the San Ysidro, CA, border crossing, the administration lost whatever remaining moral authority it had. The action could be construed unfavorably under the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified seventy years ago, in 1948, and the photos of barefoot children in diapers running from tear gas will accompany Trump’s history, forever.
Federalist Society members, led by George Conway III, husband of presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, have condemned Donald Trump’s, purported, assault on the rule of law. It’s a reversal more stunning, even, than the midterm rejection of GOP candidates. Trump, now, finds himself surrounded by predators, the House, the special counsel, wary world leaders, women, youth and, add to the list, conservative intellectuals.
“You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last, but whatever you wish to keep you better grab it fast.”The lyric from Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue,” aptly describes Donald Trump’s position now that the House has flipped blue. The president is in trouble, and his friends know it. They’ve even created a new disease, Presidential Harassment Syndrome, to describe the psychosomatic contagion Republicans are fearing after Tuesday.
It's beyond the capacity of most people to be shocked by violence anymore. I once lived in a neighborhood where my grandfather built a house in 1915. Though the neighborhood was still charming, the area became violent in the 1990's, and you could hear gunfire most nights. In the day, it'd been a showbiz place with studio workers, and where Mary Pickford maintained a cottage with eight smallish bedrooms for intimate, private parties. The entire upstairs of that house, a Craftsman like ours, was composed of a ballroom with a lovely dance floor. We lived there for a period of time and, eventually, the shots blended into the neighborhood's ambience so that, instead of shock, it got to be a guessing game about how far away the noise was, and how many retorts were coming, followed by sirens and the noise of choppers, though not always. Sometimes, no one came, probably more often than not.
The killing of president John F. Kennedy, and later his brother Robert F. Kennedy, changed America forever. “What if” is the question that’ll never be answered with clarity. The bomber who sent devices to not less than two dozen critics of the present administration, if successful, would’ve plunged the country into an even greater traumatic despair than the Kennedy killings provoked. The attempted violence of the past few days was an attack on each and every American, one that commends temperance by all, especially at the top.
They’re b-a-c-k, the Russians that is, messing around with the midterms, practicing for the big show in 2020. Social media is the target, again, of course, and to prove it’s doing something meaningful Facebook has set aside a broom closet with fewer people than it takes to run a shift at Starbucks to catch the trolls. That’ll work, and if you can’t trust Facebook who can you trust? Turns out, shock of shocks, it’s Vladimir Putin.
The profound polarizing of America, encouraged by the cult of Donald Trump, is the sign of a nation afraid of the shadow of responsible self-governance. Evidence is found in the phenomenon that sees every outrageous comment Trump makes, especially at boisterous rallies, met with enthusiastic applause. It’s why the country is bitterly divided between red and blue, where the twain shall never meet. It’s why civility has disappeared from our discourse, and honest differences have been replaced by thoughtless hate and distrust. This didn’t start with Democrats; it started with Trump.
Prep the Emmy campaign now! There’s no way around it, Donald Trump gives good T.V., providing a clue as to his next paid gig when his freebie presidency schtick is over. Colbert is going to be in real trouble. Consider Thursday’s planned-spontaneous press conference with Kanye West in the Oval Office as the pilot. It was better than Boffo!
There’s a bevy of fun, entertaining, guests who can be on the new show. Mitch McConnell is gifted at stand-up. Book Paul Ryan for the puppet show. Even Susan Collins can do a “Dear Susan,” segment and answer questions from audience members suffering from nervous afflictions while Lindsey leads the band.
The biggest whodunit in Washington returns to the Mueller probe after a respite consisting of recriminations over Supreme Court nominee, Brett M. Kavanaugh. Senators Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, and Joe Manchin will be remembered, in particular, for their roles in placing Kavanaugh on a court that’s predicted to cost lives by rolling back environmental protection, workplace safety, and reproductive health.