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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 63,309

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THE ATLANTIC: The Plot Against America

The Plot Against America
Decades before he ran the Trump campaign, Paul Manafortís pursuit of foreign cash and shady deals laid the groundwork for the corruption of Washington.

When Paul Manafort officially joined the Trump campaign, on March 28, 2016, he represented a danger not only to himself but to the political organization he would ultimately run. A lifetime of foreign adventures didnít just contain scandalous stories, it evinced the character of a man who would very likely commandeer the campaign to serve his own interests, with little concern for the collective consequences.


And while Manafort is alleged to have laundered cash for his own benefit, his long history of laundering reputations is what truly sets him apart. He helped persuade the American political elite to look past the atrocities and heists of kleptocrats and goons. He took figures who should have never been permitted influence in Washington and softened their image just enough to guide them past the moral barriers to entry. He weakened the capitalís ethical immune system.

Helping elect Donald Trump, in so many ways, represents the culmination of Paul Manafortís work. The president bears some likeness to the oligarchs Manafort long served: a businessman with a portfolio of shady deals, who benefited from a cozy relationship to government; a man whose urge to dominate, and to enrich himself, overwhelms any higher ideal. It wasnít so long ago that Trump would have been decisively rejected as an alien incursion into the realm of public service. And while the cynicism about government that enabled Trumpís rise results from many causes, one of them is the slow transformation of Washington, D.C., into something more like the New Britain, Connecticut, of Paul Manafortís youth.

Last year, a group of Manafortís longtime friends, led by an old Republican hand named Bill Greener, tried to organize a cadre of surrogates to defend Manafort from the allegations against him, including the worst one: that he collaborated with a hostile foreign power to subvert the American democratic process. Manafortís old partner Charlie Black even showed up for a meeting, though the two had largely fallen out of touch. A few of the wheel men from the old firm wanted to help too. Yet, when volunteers were needed to go on TV as character witnesses, nobody raised his hand. ďThere wasnít a lot to work with,Ē one person contacted by this group told me. ďAnd nobody could be sure that Paul didnít do it.Ē In fact, everything about the man and the life he chose suggests that he did.




Charles Pierce: "Do the editors of the NYT drink all day?"

Do the editors of the NYT op-ed page drink all day? Do they even exist? How do I know they exist? Not from the available evidence.


The Fresno Bee -largest newspaper in Rep Nunes's (R-CA) district-RIPS GOP lawmaker: "Trump's Stooge"

Rep. Devin Nunes, Trumpís stooge, attacks FBI

What, pray tell, does Rep. Devin Nunes think heís doing by waving around a secret memo attacking the FBI, the nationís premier law enforcement agency?

He certainly isnít representing his Central Valley constituents or Californians, who care much more about health care, jobs and, yes, protecting Dreamers than about the latest conspiracy theory.

Instead, heís doing dirty work for House Republican leaders trying to protect President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation.

Itís no accident that this latest attempt to discredit the FBI and distract the public is happening at the same time special counsel Robert Muellerís probe appears to be picking up steam Ė and focusing on possible obstruction of justice by the president.


"I know, I know..."


Mike Luckovich draws Trump's "Top advisers".


Ryan used Russian assistance to ensure Republicans held the House in 2016. Pelosi asked him to stop


I know it's early, but I am laughing my ass off re: this-

Asked why it took seven months for this to come out, @maggieNYT, who broke the story, says,
ďIím a little surprised at how effective people in the White House were at lying to us...Ē


Todays conveniently-timed New Yorker cartoon, by Brendan Loper.


Fussy seater: Trump will not be sitting in any seats that have built-in sides.

Fussy seater: Trump will not be sitting in any seats that have built-in sides. Trumpís advance team only wants seats with backs and open-sides for his meetings in the Congress Center. As befits a president with a body mass index of 29.9.

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