Wednesday, October 02, 2019

A few things...

There has been an ongoing debate over the terms of impeachment: Should the Dems go wide or narrow? Should they concentrate on Ukraine, or should they include a long list of charges?

I favor a long, long list. Mueller already laid out the case for obstruction, and no amount of revisionism can erase the fact that obstruction did take place. Besides, this scandal -- in and of itself -- constitutes grounds for impeachment.
House investigators are looking into an allegation that groups — including at least one foreign government — tried to ingratiate themselves to President Donald Trump by booking rooms at his hotels but never staying in them.

It’s a previously unreported part of a broad examination by the House Oversight Committee, included in Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, into whether Trump broke the law by accepting money from U.S. or foreign governments at his properties.

“Now we’re looking at near raw bribery,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a House Oversight Committee member who chairs the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Trump’s hotel in Washington.
Would I find this charge grounds for impeachment of a Democratic president? Yes. Of course.

Ukraine. If you watched Rachel Maddow last night, you heard some surprising news: Ukraine is on the brink of surrendering to Russia.

Or rather: That news would have surprised everyone who doesn't read this humble blog.

For a while now, I've been trying to warn the world that Ukraine president Volodomir Zelensky was put into office by oligarch/arch-criminal Ihor Kolomoisky, the funder of the fascist Azov battalion. Kolomoisky's business interests in Crimea were hurt badly by the Russian takeover -- thus, Kolomoisky strongly supported the war against Russia. But before all of that unpleasantness, Kolomoisky was on relatively good terms with Putin. In fact, there was a branch of Kolomoisky's bank -- PrivatBank -- in Moscow.

(PrivatBank, by far Ukraine's most important bank, also has a branch in Cyprus, where corruption reigns supreme. I'm still not sure what that is all about.)

In previous posts, I've aired my suspicion that Kolomoisky and Putin have patched up their differences. Looks like I was right.

You know, I may be an eccentric, impoverished blogger who is no longer as widely read as he once was, but when it comes to predictions, my Trump-era track record has been pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good. Remember when the talking heads on CNN and MSNBC assured you that Barr was an "institutionalist"? I was the only blogger who bothered to write about that guy's actual record.

Marcy's theory of why Ukraine cried uncle derives from the fact that Trump froze the promised aid:
This lays out Trump's game:
1) Russian pressure raises stakes on military aid
2) He promises it but freezes it instead, raising desperation, forcing Zelensky to negotiate with a weak hand
3) After Congress forces the issue he quickly gets concessions
This is true, chronologically, but it still doesn't explain why Zelensky would basically wave the white flag, even though surrender would probably piss off the vast majority of his people. The Kolomoisky factor is, I think, the key to this mystery.

Right now, I seem to be the only American political blogger pointing to Ihor Kolomoisky. One of these days, others will talk about him.

While we're on the topic: Remember this section from the Trump/Zelensky call?
I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.
This business about Ukraine having the DNC server goes back to a bizarre conspiracy theory which, I've read, first appeared on the Qanon twitter feed.

I'd like to draw your attention to the phrase "I guess you have one of your wealthy people..." As it stands, the phrase makes no sense. Nothing connects those words with the sentence before or the sentence after. Perhaps Trump was having one of his senior moments, though it seems more likely that an important phrase or sentence was excised. After all, we were given only a rough transcript.

So just who is this wealthy person? Perhaps Kolomoisky. There are other candidates, of course: Dmitry Firtash seems a good possibility.

I wish to hell I knew what Trump was getting at here. Why did he mention an oligarch in such close proximity to the "server in Ukraine" conspiracy theory? That's troubling.

Rudy in Ukraine. Here's the mystery of the disappearing website.
The website of the consulting firm that forged business contacts for Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine and Russia for more than a decade vanished suddenly after his communications were subpoenaed.

Giuliani was dubbed “America’s Mayor” because of his New York City perch in the days after 9/11, but later he built a lucrative career in the private sector as a foreign security consultant.

The genesis of many of those foreign connections was TriGlobal Strategic Ventures. The firm was set up in the U.S. in 2003 by a group of Russians and emigres from the former Soviet Union.
First: Who the hell would pay Rudy Giuliani to be a "security consultant"? He's the dummy who insisted on putting New York's emergency management center in the World Trade Center, even though he knew that the World Trade Center had become a target for terrorism. I don't know what TriGlobal was really getting up to, but only a fool would rely on Rudy for security.

If you want to see captures of some of those missing pages, go here. In 2018, ProPublica offered a damning portrait of TriGlobal. A sample:
While in Armenia, Giuliani also attended a technology conference (one of his businesses advises on cybersecurity). The conference program listed him as appearing on a panel that also included a Russian currently on the U.S. sanctions list imposed after Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

There are many things we don’t know about Giuliani’s trips. We don’t know whether he’s being paid, and if so by whom. Giuliani declined to answer our questions.

One thing we do know is that a company called TriGlobal Strategic Ventures claims credit for organizing the trips. Abramyan is on TriGlobal’s board, as is a former Russian government minister.
All of which brings us back to Zelensky. Why was he meeting with Rudy, friend to friends of Putin?
I still say Giuliani's main job is to move the Overton window further in the direction of batshit crazy..
I keep thinking about the word patriotism. Is it a made up concept or is it actually exist. It seems to me it's made up. A lot of people feel patriotic when it's working for them,otherwise they don't give a shit. Just looking at who's in the WH, and the fact that there are enough people still want him to continue to there is telling. All through history all over the globe that human behavior was evident. Humans suck
Kolomoisky surfaces in the MSM in a NYT op-ed.

Please please please stop writing about Ukraine
You have almost zero understanding about the country, it’s politics, history, or what is happening
Just stop, please
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