Jul 12 2017

Sorry for Fredo

Chiamo Andolini.

They’ve got Pentangeli. That’s all I can tell you. I didn’t know it was gonna be a hit, Mike. I swear to God, I didn’t know it was gonna be a hit. Johnny Ola bumped into me in Beverly Hills, and he said that he wanted to talk. He said that you and – and Roth were in on a – a big deal together and that there was something in it for me if I could help ’em out. He said that – He said that you were bein’ tough on the negotiations, but if they could get a little help and close the deal fast, it’d be good for the family.
You believed that story? You believed that?
He said there was somethin’ in it for me. On my own.
I’ve always taken care of you, Fredo.
Taken care of me?! You’re my kid brother, and you take care of me?! Did you ever think about that? Huh? Did you ever once think about that?! Send Fredo off to do this, send Fredo off to do that! Let Fredo take care of some Mickey Mouse nightclub somewhere! Send Fredo to pick somebody up at the airport! I’m your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!
That’s the way Pop wanted it.
It ain’t the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says! Like, dumb. I’m smart, and I want respect!
Is there anything you can tell me about this investigation? Anything more?
The Senate lawyer, Questadt, he belongs to Roth.
Fredo, you’re nothing to me now. You’re not a brother. You’re not a friend. I don’t wanna know you or what you do. I don’t wanna see you at the hotels. I don’t want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance, so I won’t be there. You understand?
I don’t want anything to happen to him while my mother’s alive.

Sigh. And Donnie Jr. is the smart one, not like Eric.

“Я Лучше Всех Живу” (Sex with a Car- In Russian)

C’mon, what do I know? I don’t speak Russian. This one is in admirable English and it’s Techno too.

Kato? Fire up the Black Beauty White Bronco for a slow speed chase. I have a fascination for the Johnny Fontanes of the World.

Which is why I pay attention to things like these-

A Conspiracy of Dunces
Ross Douthat, The New York Times
JULY 11, 2017

Here is a good rule of thumb for dealing with Donald Trump: Everyone who gives him the benefit of the doubt eventually regrets it.

This was true of clients and contractors and creditors throughout his business career. It was true of the sycophants and opportunists before whom he dangled cabinet appointments during the campaign and then, oh, never mind. It has been true of his cabinet members and spokesmen, whose attempts to defend and explain their boss’s conduct are gleefully undercut by the boss himself. And it should be true — for the sake of their souls, I sincerely hope it’s true — of the Republican leaders whose reputations for probity and principle he has stomped all over since winning their party’s nomination.

And now it’s true of me.

The benefit of the doubt I extended to Trump was limited, but on a rather important subject: I thought that direct collusion between his inner circle and Russian officialdom during the 2016 campaign was relatively unlikely and the odds of ever finding proof of such a conspiracy vanishingly low. A lot of weirdness around Trump and Russia, I argued, had a more normal explanation — he had made business deals with Russians, he still harbors a 1980s-era vision of superpower cooperation, and as a foreign-policy neophyte he clutched the idea of détente like a security blanket even as the Russians separately made moves to help him win.

You can read my argument in full here; it’s a mere six weeks old. It’s also no longer operative, because we know now that Donald Trump’s son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager all took a meeting in which it was explicitly promised that damaging information on Hillary Clinton would be supplied as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

I am not a particularly fierce Russia hawk, but the Russians are still a more-hostile-than-not power these days, with stronger incentives to subvert American democracy than the average foreign government. So taking their oppo has a gravity that should have stopped a more upright and patriotic campaign short.

Second, if the Russians had been dangling some of Hillary’s missing 30,000 emails, those, too, would had to have been hacked — that is, stolen — to end up in Moscow’s hands. So Don Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner should have known going in that if the offer was genuine, the oppo useful, it might involve stolen goods.

But on the basis of the emails, the younger Trump went in not skeptically but eagerly (“if it’s what you say I love it”), ignoring or simply accepting the weird formulation about Russian support for Trump’s campaign. And then of course everybody lied about or “forgot” about the meeting, repeatedly and consistently, right up until the emails themselves made their way to the press.

So while this is not direct evidence that the president of the United States was complicit in a virtual burglary perpetrated against the other party during an election season, it’s strong evidence that we should drop the presumption that such collusion is an extreme or implausible scenario.

Instead, the mix of inexperience, incaution and conspiratorial glee on display in the emails suggests that people in Trump’s immediate family — not just satellites like Roger Stone — would have been delighted to collude if the opportunity presented itself. Indeed, if the Russians didn’t approach the Trump circle about how to handle the D.N.C. email trove, it was probably because they recognized that anyone this naïve, giddy and “Burn After Reading”-level stupid would make a rather poor espionage partner.

Then keep in mind, too, that all of this has come out (relatively) easily, thanks to digging by this newspaper’s reporters and leaks from the various factions in and around the White House, without the subpoenas and immunity deals that the formal investigations have at their disposal. That means there is probably more and worse to come, and the more there is, the worse the president’s dealings with James Comey look. Even if the president himself is innocent of Russian collusion, protecting your family from exposure is a pretty strong motive for obstruction.

In the end, impeachment is political, not legal, and the House G.O.P. probably won’t impeach for anything short of a transcript of a call between Trump and Putin in which the words “yes, I want you to hack their servers big-league, Vladimir” appear in black-and-white. And even then ….

But right now, the 2018 congressional elections promise to be a de facto referendum on impeachment. There are enough sparks in the smoke; there will probably be fire for some of Trump’s intimates before another year is out.

And as for the president himself — well, to conclude where I began, anyone presuming his innocence at this point should have all the confidence of Chris Christie awaiting his cabinet appointment, or Sean Spicer reading over the day’s talking points. Keep an eye on that Trump-monogrammed rug under your feet; it may not be there for long.

Look, my chosen instrument is the Euphonium which I like because the music is written in Treble Clef and valves are much more reliable than slides (In tune? Tin Ear.). I can still crank out a convincing whaa, whaa, whaa, whaa…

And by the way, what’s with the eraser hair “Dead Intern” Joe?

When a plot against the Emperor failed… the plotters were always given a chance to let their families keep their fortunes. Right?
Yeah, but only the rich guys, Tom. The little guys got knocked off and all their estates went to the Emperors. Unless they went home and killed themselves, then nothing happened. And the families… the families were taken care of.
That was a good break. A nice deal.
Yeah… They went home… and sat in a hot bath… opened up their veins… and bled to death… and sometimes they had a little party before they did it.

1 comment

  1. ek hornbeck

    Vent Hole

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