Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Why Trump?

One thing that just seems bizarre about the whole Trumpietsky Soyuz business is...why Trump?
I mean, let's not kid ourselves; the Росси́йская Федера́ция has, at the very least, regional geopolitical aspirations that an aggressive U.S. and Western alliance could, and probably would, be troublesome to deal with. Putin has stated his desire to restore the borders of the old Soviet Union. His ambitions may go even further:
"Andrej Illarionov, the President’s chief economic adviser from 2000 to 2005, Mr Putin seeks to create “historical justice” with a return to the days of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, and the Soviet Union under Stalin. Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Mr Illarionov warned that Russia will argue that the granting of independence to Finland in 1917 was an act of “treason against national interests”. “Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors...parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership."
A United States government that is willing to put military force on the line to keep Russia out of the Baltics, or Ukraine (Finland? Seriously? Didn't you fuckers learn the first time..?) would be big problems for that agenda.

So the notion that an autocratic kleptostate would be enthusiastic about reproducing its ways and means in other polities isn't exactly unbelievable.

But if you're a cunning ex-KGB officer (or an ambitious up-and-comer in the GRU or FSB...) why the hell would you pick a guy like Donald Freaking Trump?

I don't know how old you are or where you grew up, but I'm a child of the late Sixties and Seventies. I grew up in southern Jersey/southeastern Pennsylvania and was a young adult in the late Seventies and early Eighties when Trump was all over the goddamn place.

He was, not to mince words, a buffoon. What Bugs Bunny would call "an im-bessel". A joke. There was a glossy "humor" magazine called Spy that owned him constantly, making vicious mockery of his ridiculous boasting, his pretensions and vulgarity, his stupidity and egotism. Remember "short-fingered vulgarian"? Spy. But it didn't take other people mocking him - the dude was a total shitshow, everybody I knew thought he was a complete doofus. I mean...the guy went broke running casinos, a business where people give you money!

And, again, this was forty years ago when the guy was fairly lucid. Go listen to interviews with him in the Seventies. He was still a braying ass, but he could actually parse a sentence and pursue a fairly complex argument. Fairly...this WAS still Trump. Dude had never been a rocket scientist. Still.

Fast-forward thirty years, though?

Christ, you'd think the gomer had been hit repeatedly on the forehead with a brick. He's barely lucid, repeating monosyllables like a third-grader who's drunk a can of Sterno. I'm a Russian intelligence officer, why the hell would I trust this knucklehead? That's always been my problem trying to see Trump as Putin's sockpuppet. No matter how far you have your hand up Trump's ass, it's gotta be damn deadly difficult to make his mouth move the way you want it.

But for what it's worth, I came across something today that convinced me of how this fell out.

Here's my theory, courtesy of Ed Burmila at Gin and Tacos.

"I've never believed, and do not believe, that Russia gives a shit about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump per se. What they care about is creating as much of a shitshow out of America's increasingly feeble attempts to govern itself so that it, Russia, can present itself to the world as the safer, stabler economic and military protecting power.

Domestic chaos in the US also drastically reduces the chance of American attempts to limit Russian geographic expansion (and if you fail to understand that geographic security is the guiding force behind all Russian strategic thinking for the past five centuries, read up and get back to us). There was no Grand Scheme to "install" Trump. They just saw an opportunity and took it.

The U.S. would do exactly the same – and has repeatedly in the past – if we thought there was some opportunity to install a total assclown dictator type in Russia or another country."

So, yeah. That's pretty much it. It wasn't Trump, or, at least, not because of some particular virtue or value in Trump. He was just what they had - a weapons-grade moron who was deep in hock to Russian mob money - and they were fine with using it to help the goddamn U.S. public vote themselves a nice hole to fall in.

Somehow that just pisses me off more, though.

It would be one thing if the whole Trump nightmare was part of a deeply laid, brilliantly cunning plan concocted by a cabal of evil geniuses - Kochs and Waltons and Putin and Bannon and Miller and Trump - to destroy the New Deal America I grew up in and return us to the appalling depths of the Gilded Age as just another kleptocratic white nationalist shithole country.

But to be relegated to immiseration because some GRU captain got the goods on this ridiculous douchebro?

That's just insulting.


  1. Are you claiming that Russia's efforts to influence the election were decisive? i.e. without Putin's meddling, we would have President Clinton today?

  2. Re-read the post. I'll wait.

    Okay. Do you see it now? The point?

    No. What was decisive was a combination of 1) the culmination of 40 years of the GOP whelping morons, 2) accumulated Clinton trash-talk, 3) media incompetence, 4) and electoral mechanisms designed to keep wealthy white people in power working as designed.

    No. My question has always been - since back in 2016 when it was obvious the Russian ratfucking was happening - (and the Russians helped; we'll just never know how much. Did they tip the scales just enough?) - was...why THIS idiot? Was this some cunning plan? Was Trump The Siberian Candidate, expertly trained to just SEEM like a loudmouthed, pig-ignorant, pussy-grabbing, racist dimwit? Because if not...why him? Why not somebody less cracked? Ron Paul? Devin Nunez? I mean, it's not like there's a shortage of corporate whores in the GOP.

    So what irks me, and what generated the post, was the suspicion that Crock o Bile Dummee was just who they had the goods on. He was convenient, and stupid, and that he'd help destroy the social peace of the New Deal just meant he was a Republican. I think the chaos and stupidity are happy surprises.

    So the ratfucking helped this ass...just because it was a slam-dunk for Colonel Golishin...

  3. I see your point, however if you intend to destroy the GOP you are wasting your time on frippery.

    Economy of effort and all that stuff.

    The 4 point list of yours above gives ideas on where useful action could start.

    1. Don't kid yourself. Citizens United opened U.S. electoral politics to floods of money. The likelihood of extraterritorial powers acting in U.S. elections is no less likely than the way we fucked with elections in Latin America back in the 40s and 50s. I'm serious; U.S. citizens need to stop thinking of "foreign policy" as something that starts at the water's edge.

      Getting money, including foreign money, out of politics is critical. Too many Americans are indifferent to getting Koch money out. But if you convince them it's COMMIE money..? That might help work.

      I keep hearing about "economy of effort". Tying the GOP to foreign skulduggery is very economical; it digs deep into American hindbrains. Trying to get people pumped up about carried interest penalties? Now THAT's hard.

    2. And there's this - https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/poll-finds-70-percent-of-republicans-approve-of-trumps-handling-of-russia-even-after-helsinki.html

      "...rank-and-file Republicans not only continue to support President Trump but refuse to believe he’s doing anything wrong. The most galling number from the survey is: 71 percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s handling of Russia. (T)he failure of Republican voters to internalize Trump’s transgressions shows the effectiveness of his logic-scrambling statements and a refusal to be cowed by reality, buttressed by a compliant Congress."

      These people are lost. They're simply incapable of functioning self-government. The people we need to get are the "independents" and the nonvoters.

  4. Most American politicians weren't that vulnerable to let's say Russian hookers' pee-plays. The FSB probably already had all that it needed on Trump by the late 90's.
    Also, all those money laundering connections to Russians may have played a role.

    1. Yeah, like I said I in the post; it wasn't "Trump". Or, rather, it wasn't because Trump was such a sinister genius or a cunning politician, or had some other personal quality that made him a valuable asset to put in place.

      He was (and is) just a greedy, stupid, lecherous bastard who they had the goods on. It was an easy shot, the easiest shot they could make given the level of resources they had. Ael talked about "economy of force"; this was the most economy-of-force operation the GRU could run. Throw a little easy time and money helping this guy, hope the American public was that stupid and the flawed institutions of constitutional government were that flawed...if he loses, so what? Maybe we've thrown a little more sand in the gears and it was cheap and easy for us.

      I'll bet somebody got some serious I-love-me-wall hardware when the doofus actually won.

  5. If the idea of the U.S. electoral system being so fucked up as to give us this joker isn't infuriating enough here's another scary thought.

    The increasing urbanization and (for lack of a better word) de-white-peopleification of the US is producing some very, very undemocratic outcomes.

    More and more Americans are concentrated in large cities in a handful of states. More and more states are nothing but empty space and old, white people...but have the same number of Senators as those burgeoning metropoli.

    Throw in the gerrymandered House and the wingnut packed courts..?

    In about 20-30 years something like 30% of the US public, and that group older, whiter, more reactionary (en masse) than the rest of us, will hold as much or more political power as the other 70%.

    That's a recipe for one of two things; a dictatorship, or an explosion.

  6. I think it’s pretty simple: Russia, particularly Putin, hates Clinton. The Russians “picked” Trump because the GOP did. The Russians probably would have preferred any othe the GoP alternatives to Clinton if Trump hadn’t won the nomination.

    It’s hard to underestimate the bad blood between the Clintons and Russia. From the Russian POV the Clintons never passed an opportunity to make strategic gains at Russia’s expense. Hillary’s tenure at SECSTATE is particularly bad due to Libya and Putin’s belief that we interfered in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Put in cake right out at the time and said the unrest following the election was Clinton’s doing, the first such unrest in Putin’s tenure.

  7. This is going to be a read.

    Seriously, it is.

    I debated making it post, but fuck me, if Chief can't sex his posts up and make them a honey-pot for me, so I'm going to totally ride on his coat-tails with this...

    Now, go get that drink, this is going to be a read and half.

    Sip, let it slide down...


    Start reading....

    Putin is not an idiot.

    Well, he is, but he at least is semi-conscious of his idiocy which kind of makes him a one eyed man in a land of blind people.

    And so, herein lies, my theory...

    Putin has ambitions, and visions of a grander, better, Union of Soviet Fascist Republics.

    I know, wait, Fascist? Sheer, I'm not even a quarter in my drink and you're going to drop that on me?

    Yes, yes I am.

    I came to the conclusion on Monday, July 16th, on my way home from work, sitting in 237 traffic, pondering the imponderable, "What the fuck is Putins end goal? I don't know, start with history, every fucking mental case leader his a history that tickles his motivations...what is Putins?"

    Cue Bill Browder, if you don't who he is, get on the ball and find out because you will discover Putin has a weakness.


    But if you think he's a bitch for money, eh...not exactly.

    Bill Browder realized that Putin wasn't going to rein in corruption in Russia, he was going to profit from it.

    But for what purpose?

    Well, Putin likes his fantasy...everyone likes their fantasy, sexual, money, vacation, significant other actually cleaning the shower stall, and unplugging their own goddamn toilet...uh...um...I digress...

    But Putin wants a fuck ton of money, and so instead of corralling his Russian "Capitalists" and that is what they are, he brought into the Kremlin, probably showed them the showers so they fully understood the dilemma he was about to put them in, and then demanded 50% of their take.

    I know, I know...chickenbutt says what?!?

    50%...now, if get one oligarch, who is raking a few hundred million bucks a year, and has to hand over half of that to Putin, times that by a few dozen Oligarchs...we're talking some serious fucking money.


    Leads me to the following...

    What is one man, Putin going to do with billions of dollars?

    :::Keep reading::::

    1. Let me take you back in time to a place called Rome, and to an old institution of Roman society called Patron and Patronage, and what money was for.

      As opposed to today, Roman Equestrians and Nobility did not hoard gold/silver/copper/gems/slaves/etc because they were in a Game of Attrition...no, the monies they possessed was used to further their goals.

      A patron would act as a benefactor to his community, often times strolling around the town, and city square either holding court or visiting his clients. He would ask about their family, their business, and the client would ask for advice, often times money for business adventure, and could the Patron help him and his family find a nice spouse for his son or daughter.

      AND...in return...the Patron would give advice, give money, either through gifting or investment, and would find a beneficial arrangement for both his client, and possible new client.

      The quid pro quo is that the Client would support his patron in political and economic ambitions.

      Putin, I feel, is doing the same thing...Trump isn't so much a sock puppet, but rather a client.

      Lets go back in time...Trump is a fucktard with money. His father handed him an established business empire, and lil'donny fucked it right into the ground.


      Not only did lil'donny fuck his business "empire" into the ground, he fucked every business relationship someone like him could have into the ground as well.

      I mean, he literally fucked over banks, contractors, sub-contractors, "investors," his own wives, his current wife, his mistresses...Trump literally can't help himself...it's like destroys everything he touches.

      But he's got a fuckton of pride...and that pride center's around the value of his name.

      "I'm worth a billion dollars!"

      Well, no...probably less than three hundred million liquidatable assets.

      Rich...yeah, kind of.

      But, his empire was failing, no American bank with a pico-ounce of self-respect would even allow Trump to take a loan application from the premises much less consider him for a load, and the European Union banks were all on to him...but there was one bank who would loan to him...Deutsche...don't ask me why, they did. It doesn't help that the Russian Oligarchs were helping donny, as well.

      Lets face, donny had problems, and he was solving them the old fashion way...money laundering.

      The trail is so easy to follow, it's not even funny, and the reason why you don't see much of it being spoken of now is that it's...all part of the investigation.

      :::keep reading:::

  8. WHICH brings us back to Putin...why would Putin be using lil'donny to destroy the US?

    What is the US to Putin?

    Well, for starters, the US is the center citadel holding the line on Sanctions against Putin's oligarchs who owe him money.
    Putin can't further his own fantasy until he deals with the US, gets the sanctions rescinded, and can finally get his money.
    The problem for Putin is this guy named...

    Bill Browder

    Mr. Browder has made it his life mission to so fuck over Putin that Putin excuses himself to go masturbate to the image of him shoving a pistol into the back of Mr. Browder's head in the shower and puts one in the brain pan everytime Browder, Magnitsky, and Magnitsky Act is mentioned in his presence.

    Putin can't let Browder go...just can't.

    And herein is where his client, Trump, can deliver the goods.

    1) Overturn the Magnitsky Act
    2) Deliver Browder and McFaul to Putin
    3) Bring the US into Russia's orbit (more on this)
    4) in return, Putin will influence directly and indirectly the US elections to keep the GOP in power.

    I'm sure there are some other items that Putin has laid out, but the aforementioned one's are the ones that I can see.

    So, in short, Putin is a Patron to lil'donny, who is a client to Putin.
    Putin will use/fund/protect donny to the best of his ability, and donny will follow Putin's "advice" and directions.

    1. Back...had to gather my thoughts some...

      So, back to the Russia and the US...

      What is the US?

      No, seriously, when you think of the US, what do you think of?

      Now, hold that thought you had, put it in a glass jar, and place it on the shelf...


      How do you think the world see's the US?

      Think about it...what does the US project through both it's news, entertainment, business, and vacationers?

      If you said, "Unfuckingbelievable wealth!" you'd be right.

      Our poorest, pan-handling, haven't taken a shower in a decade, box-dweller, median-walker is a veritable daddy-warbucks in many parts of the world.

      We reek of wealth.

      What does Putin want?

      He wants money to bring in the US closer to the Russian sphere as butt-buddies so they can have a parabiotic (I don't recommend you looking that up) relationship.
      What he would get out of that is a stable, wealth driven nation, but also delivering an impression to the world that the US and the USFR are the bestest butt-buddies e'vah.
      The US also has a much better military than the Soviet...er...Russia could ever field. They only thing they have on par with the US is that their Nuclear Missiles maybe are functional enough to actually launch (there is some suspicion that the engineering is less than ideal)

      But...the US has a an amazingly powerful military, and worse, loaded with combat veterans...oooh...Russia's military is a demoralized collective of people who don't get paid, and if they do get paid, they're under-paid, their motivation, discipline...it's bad.

      Putin need's America's military...if not on his side, at least neutralized enough that should things fall apart between the two countries, the US will not be in a position to "interfere" with Putin's other plans.

      I'm now looking at that incident in Syria as a...test...and the results were predictable...and I think Putin realizes that he really, really needs the US out of his side of the world, or...on his side.

    2. Reminds me of the "CoDominium" Jerry Pournelle projected in his military-SF books, back in the 70s and 80s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CoDominium

  9. I think you're both right on the basic outline of this. Putin is an old-school Roman "great man" in that he thinks in terms of patrons and clients (or a more modern equivalent, a mob boss, with underbosses and made guys working for him).

    AND he has ambitions to remake his beloved USSR.

    The US, as a potential rival/competitor, is a potential threat. So like any good Roman/mob-boss, he wants to eliminate that threat. It's too powerful to confront directly, but if he can weaken and suborn it? That's the ticket!

    So, as Andy noted above, he used what he had. He had Trump, because the dumb bastard couldn't make money running a casino (WTF?) and was deeply in hock to Putin's oligarch pals' dirty money.

    Frankly, that's neither shocking nor surprising to me.

    What IS, though, is the apparent willingness of about 30-40% of my "fellow Americans" to not just accept this but welcome it.

    Given what Putin has done to his own country I'm baffled as to who the hell would think that he would have any intentions toward THIS country that would be in your and my and Joe-and-Mary-Lunchpail-American's best interests?

    But then I look at the joy at which the Trumpkins have greeted the GOP's vicious drive towards the New Gilded Age (only with more toxic air, land, and water...) and can only marvel at the willingness of so many people to put their own heads in the noose and pull the trap-lever themselves.


    1. A sad universal truth is that where one stands often depends on where one sits. I never cease to be amazed at how people are able to flip flop when it's expedient to do so.

      But part of it is that most Americans just aren't into this stuff - they have their own lives and concerns and don't spend time following these issues. They rely on proxies to inform their thinking and don't seem to mind (or even notice) when their proxies do a 180. Unfortunately our proxies generally operate based on political expediency and partisan advantage instead of core first principles. I think our domestic situation would be much improved if we had better thought leaders, but that's not something we can create.

      Social media really exacerbates this problem IMO. I have relatives who share every one-sided spin/propaganda piece as if it were the absolute truth. There's a constant back-and-forth between my mother-in-law, who only reads left-wing websites, and her brother, who only reads right-wing websites. It's a daily meme and battle of half-truths on Facebook. They are still mostly civil and loving, but it doesn't give me much hope when people outsource their thinking so readily and then defend those acquired positions so absolutely.

      The whole situation just makes me want to tune out. I used to be a news junkie but now I rely on a few trusted bloggers, foreign media, and my by beloved NPR (which, sadly, I think is heading downhill) to stay focused on current events. And I try to avoid political "news" which has been reduced to the worst aspects of horserace and social media reporting.


    2. I can no longer watch network or cable news because they make me want to throw things at the screen.

      And it's no so much the "horserace", but the false equivalence/"both sides do it".

      Rep. Lunchmeat (D) will say something like "We need to think about solutions to the problem of underemployment and wage stagnation" and Rep. Popcan (R) will reply "We're being invaded my rapist MS-13 gangstas who will rape you AND take your job, so the solution is BUILD THAT WALL!" and the evening news will report it as "Opinions differ on jobs!"

      So it's no wonder to me that we've managed to get to a place where something like 40% of the U.S. public adamantly defend policies that are designed to appeal to a Gould, a Rockefeller, or a Frick, or trust in a guy who lies something like 75% of the time.

      You can't run a representative democracy with that kind of citizenry.

      Yep - WASSSSSSF