Recommended reading in The Atlantic


Franklin Foer at The Atlantic has a must-read lengthy biography of the shady career of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, the now indicted Paul Manafort. The Plot Against America.

This article is far too dense in rich detail to try to highlight key points, so here is just a snippet from the article to encourage you to read it — you can bet someone on the Special Counsel’s team already has:

By the early months of 2016, Manafort was back in greater Washington, his main residence and the place where he’d begun his career as a political consultant and lobbyist. But his attempts at rehabilitation—of his family life, his career, his sense of self-worth—continued. He began to make a different set of calls. As he watched the U.S. presidential campaign take an unlikely turn, he saw an opportunity, and he badly wanted in. He wrote Donald Trump a crisp memo listing all the reasons he would be an ideal campaign consigliere—and then implored mutual friends to tout his skills to the ascendant candidate.

Shortly before the announcement of his job inside Trump’s campaign, Manafort touched base with former colleagues to let them know of his professional return. He exuded his characteristic confidence, but they surprised him with doubts and worries. Throughout his long career, Manafort had advised powerful men—U.S. senators and foreign supreme commanders, imposing generals and presidents-for-life. He’d learned how to soothe them, how to bend their intransigent wills with his calmly delivered, diligently researched arguments. But Manafort simply couldn’t accept the wisdom of his friends, advice that he surely would have dispensed to anyone with a history like his own—the imperative to shy away from unnecessary attention.

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 didn’t 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.

Over the decades, Manafort had cut a trail of foreign money and influence into Washington, then built that trail into a superhighway. When it comes to serving the interests of the world’s autocrats, he’s been a great innovator. His indictment in October after investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller alleges money laundering, false statements, and other acts of personal corruption. (He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.) But Manafort’s role in Mueller’s broader narrative remains carefully guarded, and unknown to the public. And his personal corruption is less significant, ultimately, than his lifetime role as a corrupter of the American system. That he would be accused of helping a foreign power subvert American democracy is a fitting coda to his life’s story.

Paul Manafort was a member of the infamous GOP ratfuckers who came out of the College Young Republicans in the 1970’s. Fellow alumnus Karl Rove is not pictured in this photo.

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  1. OMG, y’all. I just trolled Martha McSally on Twitter and she has posted SEVENTEEN tweets praising Trump’s speech last night. That’s overkill, Martha, and I doubt Trump will actually read them.

    Good Lord, what possessed her?

    • Oh, sorry, lost my train of thought.

      Read Larry Bodine’s post about Democratic CD2 candidate Billy Kovacs. Then read Martha’s tweets from today.

      See the difference?

      Billy Kovacs is talking about us, our district, our state, our quality of life here in Arizona.

      Interesting, isn’t it? I haven’t heard anyone speak to that in awhile.

    • Okay, I’m sufficiently recovered to post Martha’s must read Trump tweets.

      Take a deep breath…

      Martha McSally
      ‏Verified account

      15h15 hours ago
      By relocating our embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump fulfilled a promise our country made two decades ago to our ally: formally recognize the Jewish State of Israel’s undivided capital #SOTU

      15h15 hours ago
      Jerusalem is the eternal, undivided capital of Israel. The United States has a sovereign right to determine where we place our US Embassy. #SOTU

      15h15 hours ago
      Under President @realdonaldtrump we are destroying ISIS safe havens in Iraq and Syria, and finally standing up to North Korea–as well as revisionist powers like China and Russia. #SOTU

      15h15 hours ago
      Only 5 of the Army’s 58 brigades are combat ready. Less than half of the Navy’s aircraft can fly. 80% of the Marine Corps aviation units lack ready basic aircraft. The Air Force is short 2,000 pilots. We MUST rebuild our military! The #NDAA authorizes the biggest boost in years.

      15h15 hours ago
      The Opioids epidemic is a nationwide crisis that continues to ravage communities and claim lives in Arizona. Thankful that #POTUS understands we need to crack down on cartels trafficking drugs across the border, and support recovery in our communities.

      15h15 hours ago
      Both of the recent New York terrorist attackers entered the country as a result of our failed immigration system that favors family connections and randomized selection over merit based values. We have to end #ChainMigration and the #LotteryProgram.

      15h15 hours ago
      America accepts 1 million immigrants annually, and most are low or unskilled. In fact, right now only 1 out of every 15 U.S. immigrants enter because of their skills. We must move towards a merit-based immigration system so America can be safe and prosperous. #SOTU

      15h15 hours ago
      #POTUS is right ➡️ We MUST close loopholes in our immigration system, or else we’ll face the same problems again, even if we 100% secure the border. #SOTU

      (to be continued)

      • @RepMcSally
        15h15 hours ago
        Working w/ #POTUS Congress must get funding & regulatory certainty to expedite the completion of projects like the Sonoran Corridor ($32.2BIL annual impact on our AZ regional economy) & I-11 to enhance transportation & cross border commerce w/Mexico & Canada markets.

        16h16 hours ago
        In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is “in God we trust.” #SOTU

        16h16 hours ago
        #RealNews: Thanks to the #TaxCutsandJobsAct at least 273 companies have announced wage increases, bonuses, or 401(k) match increases–including FedEx, Starbucks, Disney, Verizon & JPMorgan Chase to name a few. #SOTU

        16h16 hours ago
        #RealNews: Since we passed tax cuts, at least 3 million workers have already received tax cut bonuses – many of them thousands of dollars per worker. 90% of Americans will see their paychecks rise next month. #SOTU

        16h16 hours ago
        #Realnews: A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half, thanks to the #TaxCutsandJobsAct #SOTU

        16h16 hours ago
        Real news: The state of our union is STRONG. Our economy is in afterburner. Wages are rising. Unemployment is at at 45 yr low. The stock market is smashing through record highs. Millions of Americans got tax cut bonuses. #SOTU

        • Good lord? Where to start? Someone needs to tell McSally that:

          Moving the embassy to Jerusalem removed the biggest bargaining chip from the game and makes mid-East peace all but impossible.

          Trump continued Obama’s game plan for ISIS, and while he is on watch now, most of the damage to ISIS was underway before he got there.

          If the military is not prepared, we should ask the Pentagon where to spend military dollars, that would wipe out billions in pork people like her force on them. If the military is not prepared it’s not because they don’t have enough money, it’s because Congresscritters force them to spend money on things they don’t want, and because we allow defense contractors (the Military Industrial Complex) to rob us blind.

          The opioid epidemic was caused by and continues to be supported by Big Pharma. Big Pharma is also one of the biggest political donors. The drug dealers pushing opioids are American CEOs. They get people hooked and they lied about addiction for their pain pills back in the 80’s. Until we lock up American Corporate Pharma CEO’s we will not solve the opioid crisis.

          Her call to end chain migration is anti-family. It will also limit the number of the “good” people Trump claims to want, since many of them will opt for family over job, leaving countries like India and China to swoop in and pick up the brightest folks in the world, leaving US tech at a disadvantage.

          Trump’s entire immigration plan is racist, and it will hurt the American economy. It already is, see the 40,000 jobs lost in the tourism industry because people don’t want to visit the US with Trump in the White House. Capitalism requires growth, and well to do white folks ain’t making many babies. Trent Franks not included.

          Damning millions of good immigrants because of the actions of a few is racist. The end. It makes no logical sense. Immigrants are more law abiding than natural born citizens.

          She does not support “faith AND family”, see above. Chain migration is pro-family.

          Limiting low skilled immigrants will raise prices. Ask Alabama and Georgia after they copied SB1070. Mexican’s said “screw this” and crops were left to rot in the fields. We need a mix of educated and low skilled workers to make the economy grow.

          Half of the new homes in Arizona built in the last decade or two were built by immigrants, so home prices will rise, too.

          And who worships government? What does that mean? It’s nonsense. This is the most brain dead talking point fake conservatives use.

          Before Trump, I got a raise and a bonus every year, my company claiming it’s because of Trump is kissing up, because we’re a TOO BIG TO FAIL company and looking at billions in fines because we do bad things to Americans. Same for most of the companies she listed, they had bonuses and raises planned long ago. She does not understand how business works if she thinks decisions like that are made in a day.

          90,000 jobs moved overseas last year, including the 700 Carrier jobs that Trump “saved” during the campaign. Carrier played Trump, got an 8 million dollar tax break from Pence, and moved the jobs out anyway. What a great deal maker.

          The economy slowed slightly last year compared to 2016, including a slow down in job creation. Trump’s blamed hurricanes, which is more nonsense, because we have major natural disasters every year.

          The tax cuts are not giving anyone any new money, they are debt/deficit funded, so we are borrowing from tomorrow for a few extra dollars now. That is the exact opposite of what every Republican has been saying for 30 years and, at least according the 30 years of Republican talking points, will kill the economy.

          It really bothers me that my fellow Arizonan’s don’t think things through and fall for fake conservatives like Lyin’ Martha.

  2. Former Manafort partner Roger Stone loves the kinky, he’s actually famous for it. He’s been written up in articles going back to the 90’s, him and his wife liked to attend sex parties at The Vault, among other places.

    I don’t actually care what Roger and Mrs. Stone do, I just think it’s funny the party of Family Values and Defense of Marriage and Pray Away the Gay supports these kinds of guys.

    “”Regardless of his status in politics, Roger never came to the club in disguise,” Marini recalls. “He looked like a Ken doll. He was tall, blond, handsome and muscular and his wife was curvaceous and very sexy. She would wear leather bras and tantalizing outfits and he would wear collars, chaps and a leather vest with no shirt underneath.””

    Leather chaps and dog collars! Ruff!

    OT, but have a quiet moment with Paul Gosar’s Twitter feed sometime, he wants to arrest dreamers at the SOTU address tonight.

    More family values from the GOP. Gosar is the new face of hate in Arizona.

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