Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Caputo and more...

Overherd. During his recent Town Hall, Trump said that the way to combat Covid is to develop "herd mentality." Responded the internet: "Your followers did that a long time ago." The last time a president made such a lovely gaffe was when Reagan grandly announced "Facts are stupid things."

Is Trump trying to lose? I did not see the aforementioned Town Hall event, but online descriptions suggest that he sniffled like a coke head and offered gratuitous insults. He lied incessantly. Seriously: Lie after lie. It was bad even by Trumpian standards.

He didn't prepare.

Word has it that he won't prepare for the debate with Biden.

Trump probably sees himself as a jazz debater; notation cramps his style. But a jazz approach didn't get him through that Town Hall, did it? I don't think that his mad improvisations will look very good when he's on stage with Joe Biden -- if Biden sticks to the score, as he damned well ought to. 

Derek Thompson of the Atlantic asks "Why isn't Trump trying to win?" The president's unwillingness to press for a new stimulus bill is politically unfathomable. (I said politically, not financially.)

Either Trump is resigned to loss or -- more likely -- he's betting everything on an upcoming Big Smear. Maybe two or three smears. Maybe dozens. If the smears work, he's in. If the smears don't work, he's out. Nothing else matters.

Wendy Siegelman has it right.
Everyone is completely unprepared to counter the sleazy tactics Trump and his team use

Not to mention illegal tactics that are carefully outsourced or encouraged, with a nod and wink, or by a request at a campaign rally... Russia if you're listening
I'm still predicting a Trump victory in November, no matter how good the polls look right now. 

Michele Bachmann says that the Bible prophesied that America would fall to transgendered black Marxists. May I ask which translation she's using?

The divinely clueless Lindsey Graham asks his opponent (but not his president):
It’s now been 5 days, so I’ll ask again: Where are your tax returns, @HarrisonJaime? What are you hiding?
My response: Leah, Karen, Christy, Denise, Lori, Gabrielle, Janet. Seven women I've loved. Where's your list, Lindsey? What are you hiding?

Sarah Kendzior offers a superb observation:
"People need to understand that this is different than traditional fascism. Most dictators have as their goal keeping the state intact, embodying the state, and expanding the state. That is NOT the case here. They want the US to collapse."
I don't pretend to know Trump's post-apocalypse strategy, but he must have something in mind.

Some might argue that the goal is to see the current world collapse, hence the indefensible attitude toward climate change. That would be nihilism, not fascism. Of course, it was a Spanish fascist who first cried ¡Viva la Muerte!

Michael Caputo.
Yes, I know that I'm behind the curve on this one. You already know that this unqualified jackass -- a long-time Roger Stone ally -- was tasked with transforming the CDC into a Trumpian propaganda op. Then he more-or-less went nuts in public. He accused CDC scientists of seditious scheming. (Let's hear Biggus Dickus say that.) He called for armed revolution. He started babbling nonsense about "shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long." A day or so later, he decided to take some time off to get his head together. Call him Michael Kaput-o.

(His weird "shadow" remarks reminded me of a scene from the opera Nixon in China: "The rats begin to chew the sheets...the rats...the rats...There's murmuring down below...")

Caputo's mentor, Roger Stone, also called for martial law and/or armed rebellion. I think that dear old Rog knows what's in store for him if Trump loses.

Caputo played a big role in Russiagate. In fact, he lived in the country for seven years, when he advised Boris Yeltsin. Let's look at a key passage of Marcy's piece on Caputo:
Caputo did not just set Stone up for a meeting with a Russian offering dirt in May 2016. He’s Stone’s protégé. Multiple Mueller 302s describe that Stone got Caputo a job with the campaign. Manafort testified that he used Caputo to keep track of what Stone was up to — a damning description given that Manafort offered more details about Stone’s foreknowledge of the Podesta emails than other known witnesses. Caputo’s own 302–which was released in February– was heavily redacted because of ongoing investigations. One thing it revealed, however, is that Caputo ran a “Project Rasputin” for Trump in 2016 that remains unexplained.
Here's the Project Rasputin bit. Looks to me as though the censors neglected to strike out one reference to something that probably receives lengthy discussion in the unredacted document. As Marcy notes, the exemption is marked b7A, which means that we're probably dealing with a matter still under FBI investigation.

Here is the full interview, as released last February. You'll see lots and lots of blank spaces. This guy was up to some damned thing.

The extant text references a "Russian" with the unlikely name of Henry Greenberg, who came to Caputo with oppo on Clinton. In Proof of Collusion, Seth Abramson says that Greenberg was also known as "Henry Oknyansky," and that he irked Team Trump by asking for too much money.
While the nature of the information Greenberg offered to Stone is as yet unknown, a clue about its topic can be gleaned from the man Greenberg showed up with when he met Stone: a Ukrainian named “Alexei” who claimed he had worked for the Clinton Foundation.
Hm. Wonder what that's all about.

This conservative site says that Greenberg is actually Gennadiy Vasilievich Vostretsov, and that he functioned for a while as an FBI informant. Naturally, the rightists have used that bit of background information to create a fantasia in which Caputo and Stone appear as the victims of an FBI/Deep State plot.

Yes. The victims.

Jesus. There is absolutely nothing these bastards can't twist around to serve their delusions.

A Russian tried to sell anti-Dem bullshit to the Trumpists. So -- naturally -- rightwing propagandists pretend to conclude that the FBI must be conspiring to aid those awful Dems-who-are-really-commies -- because, as everyone knows, the Bureau is run by a cabal of godless bolshies who spend their lunch hours burning American flags while whistling The Internationale. Heck, you can't walk down any given hallway in the J. Edgar Hoover building without tripping over one of those transgendered Black Marxists that Michele Bachmann keeps warning us about.

I'll say it again: If the FBI had truly wanted to forestall a Trump presidency, Comey need merely have revealed the fact that Trump was under investigation. If the Greenberg thing was an evil FBI conspiracy, why did Greenberg queer the deal by asking for way too much dough?

Let's get back to that FBI interview with Caputo. At one point, the document reads:
Caputo advised he lived in Russia for approximately seven years, thereby having more experience with Russia than Stone.
Following those words we get two whole pages of pure whiteness. Like newfallen snow. Wow. Wouldn't you love to know what's under that layer of white?

While reading the various stories on Caputo's breakdown, I kept flashing on an historical precedent: James Tilly Matthews. In the 18th century, he was a British tea merchant secretly asked by his government to spy on the French -- during the Revolution. As the Terror raged, Matthews spent three years in a French prison, convinced that his head might roll on any given morning. When he was finally repatriated to Britain, he accused his government of betraying him -- a charge which resulted in his committal to Bedlam asylum.

While in the madhouse, he became convinced that a gang of conspirators was using a device called an Air Loom to eavesdrop on his thoughts and to control his actions. In other words, he invented the delusion we now call "gangstalking." A classic book about Matthews bears one of the greatest titles ever: Illustrations of Madness: Exhibiting a Singular Case of Insanity, And a No Less Remarkable Difference in Medical Opinions: Developing the Nature of An Assailment, And the Manner of Working Events; with a Description of Tortures Experienced by Bomb-Bursting, Lobster-Cracking and Lengthening the Brain. 

Bottom line: Parapolitics can drive you crazy. That's the great lesson we glean from the Matthews case. It's also the lesson of the Caputo case -- and, arguably, the Trump case. Classic examples from previous decades would include James Forrestal and dear old Jim Angleton.

Even those considered tough and obdurate can crack like an egg. No amount of vetting can predict who will crumble and who will stay whole.

1 comment:

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I miss the Transgendered Black Marxists. They kicked MAJOR ass that time they opened for the Screaming Piss Monkeys. Unfortunately, the TBM drummer got hired away by Spinal Tap and, well, you know...