Reason for a New Age

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    What you will expect to see here are discussions of politics and tangentially economics. This blog will do its best to present a rational look at the world of today, how the modern world came into place, and the issues that are currently being discussed in the public realm.
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Trump is Toast – Coming Soon to a Mueller Near You

Posted by publius2point0 on 2018/02/25


https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/view/articles/2017-06-23/hey-mueller-you-should-check-out-iceland

http://uti.is/2017/05/iceland-russia-and-bayrock-some-facts-less-fiction/

http://amp.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article152934589.html

I remember reading a news article a long time ago about the home of a professional thief that the police broke into, on a warrant, while no one was home. They were amused to find post-it notes in the kitchen, from the wife to the husband, with requests like, “Steal some size 14 blue jeans for little Timmy from Eddie Bauer.” And others like, “Conned a dinner at La Fontaine. 7pm, Thursday.” The family didn’t just lie, cheat, and steal in a Hollywood style, where they do a big gig ever few months or years and then lie low, pretending to be honest in the interim. This family, from an examination of their home, literally and truthfully lived their lives in all ways, big and small, by crime.

If you read up on Manafort, it becomes clear that he is just such a person. He cheated on his wife without shame; he stole money from his clients; he had three passports and a cache of cellphones from different countries, registered under different names; and even after being caught by Mueller, he continued to try and cheat and deceive his way out of the predicament.

Unlike most people, I have read works like The Big Con, The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading, and the Bansenshukai, besides the news article mentioned above, so I’m possibly more inclined to recognize that criminality is a way of life for some people and it doesn’t start and stop during work hours. You’re always on the lookout for the next mark and how to best sucker them.

In the case of con-artists in particular, I have seen noted in a couple places, by experts, that they’re all in it because of their gambling habits. They can’t work a regular job and maintain the habit.

Personally, I think that it’s more than that, it’s risk-excitement. They like gambling for the same reason that that enjoy the job; it’s a giant rush to risk everything. That’s exactly how Manafort is often described by those who knew him. He didn’t cheat on his wife or his business partners so much because it afforded him something he couldn’t have had honestly, but because of the rush of getting away with it.

And that’s why it’s not surprising that the criminality is in everything he does. He’s a risk seeker, looking to see what he can get away with.

And so when we look at Trump and all of the varied things that he is accused of – collusion, money laundering, cheating on Melania, groping women just to see if he can get away with it – and we see him using cold reading techniques in his speeches, and we note that he rose to fame in the 80s for overextending his finances in an overly risky manner and causing it to all cave in on itself, and the media reports all of these things; most of us are inclined to think that surely one person can’t be so very criminal! And surely a criminal wouldn’t be so stupid as to run for President. Why, he’d have Federal investigators on him in an instant! Only the world’s largest moron would do that!

(Or, a risk seeking narcissist who believes in his own ability to lie and con his way out of everything.)

The general public see the variety of charges and assumes that it’s unrealistic for all of that to be true of one person, and so they discount it.

I, personally, do not discount it. That is, in some exceptional cases, exactly how some people work. It’s certainly true of Manafort. And Trump and him have been buds for 30 years.

What are the odds that Trump never noticed that everyone he does business with is a big-time criminal?

What were the odds that Trump wouldn’t be under extreme investigation the instant he accepted the mantle of the Presidency?

I suspect that, despite everything to the contrary, he loves watching Mueller close in, and he’s already got plans under way to try and escape the net at the 11th hour.

I hope he’s as much a failure in that as he has been in most of his business ventures.

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Trump is Toast – Part 2

Posted by publius2point0 on 2018/02/23


Reported in November: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-25/behind-manafort-s-loans-chopper-pilot-who-flew-into-trump-orbit

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-chicago-banker-stephen-calk-paul-manafort-loans-20171128-story.html

Reported today, briefly after the superseding indictment: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/mueller-asking-if-manafort-promised-banker-white-house-job-return-n849916

And for the record: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/10/a_timeline_of_paul_manafort_s_relationship_with_the_trump_world.html

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Trump is Toast

Posted by publius2point0 on 2018/02/20


The indictment today of Alex Van Der Zwaan is, I’m willing to put money on, the preview of the smoking gun.

While the indictment is rather oblique, it is very pointedly discussing a whole bunch of meaningless nonsense that doesn’t seem like it should matter to anyone. In summary, here is what it alleges:

  1. Van Der Zwaan prepared a report on the criminal trial of Yulia Tymoshenko in 2012.
  2. In September 2016, he discussed this report with Gates and Gates asked him to discuss the report with Person A.
  3. Van Der Zwaan talked with Person A about their family.
  4. Van Der Zwaan deleted emails between himself and Person A.

The indictment states that Van Der Zwaan lied to the FBI on items 2-4 in the above, in early November of 2017.

Three things to note:

  1. Who in the world wants a 4 year old report on the trial of the President of the Ukraine? And why should that be a thing worth hiding?
  2. In September of 2016, a mail server owned by the Trump Organization was discovered to be sending and receiving something consistent with encrypted emails from Alfa Group (a Russian bank) and Erik Prince’s business.
  3. Van Der Zwaan is the son-in-law of the CEO of Alfa Bank.

Some further things to note:

    1. The principal allegation of the Steele Dossier is that the Trump Campaign offered the Ukraine to Russia in exchange for money and/or campaign support.
    2. Van Der Zwaan is a fairly young guy, so he’s most likely to be chatty and ask about the family of other youngish people.
    3. Kushner loves his intel.
    4. Kushner started shopping for a crisis management PR firm about a month after Van Der Zwaan was deposed by the FBI.
    5. The Trump-Alfa connection was probably shut down in October of 2016.
    6. Kushner had four separate meetings with Russia, including one with the express purpose of setting up a communications channel secure from American spies in December 2016.
    7. Erik Prince tried to set up another

secret backchannel to Russia

    in January 2017.The Trump campaign removed opposition to the Russian takeover of the Ukraine from the Republican party platform.The Republican party initiated all of the current investigations into Trump and Russia.The Republican party initiated and passed the laws requiring that Trump maintain and strengthen the sanctions on Ukraine. (Which has has ignored.)Kushner has been an equally busy-body in the Middle East. (And likely caused much of the current chaos in Syria, through overconfidence is his ability to get away with stuff.)

This is all ignoring Carter Page and his venture to Russia to meet with bankers, while the Republican party platform was being decided.

I think it’s reasonable to guess that Person A is Kushner, and that Mueller has him dead to rights with Van Der Zwaan.

Van Der Zwaan didn’t tell the FBI that he talked to Person A about his family rather than talking about nefarious things. It wasn’t a bluff. He fully denied that the conversation took place. There’s no reason for the indictment to mention that bit of information except to tell Person A that they’re coming for him, and to twist the knife a little.

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