Thursday, February 15, 2018

#Russiagate: The Second Time as Farce... or Tragedy?

The more we learn about #Russiagate, or what we might now call #Dossiergate, the more the whole affair comes to resemble a Ken Kesey novel.
Indeed, the more one considers all the players in this unbelievably bizarre saga, including Sid "Vicious" Blumenthal,  Cody "The Hatchet" Shearer, James "Reinhold Niebuhr" Comey, text-messaging "Pyramus"  Peter Strzok and "Thisbe" Lisa Page, Andrew "The Vanisher" McCabe, Mark "Big Leaks" Warner, Christopher "Get Smart" Steele, Adam "Mendacity" Schiff, and Bruce and Nellie "Ratched" Ohr, not to mention the half-dozen or so other nameless people who mysteriously disappeared from the DOJ in recent days, the more it seems the only sane person in the entire demented charade -- taking the Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) role in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" -- is  Devin Nunes.
Want to know why there are so many redactions in all those FBI/DOJ documents, the ones whose contents you can't make heads or tails of while the indelible ink spills off the pages and stains your best flokati rug black forever?  It's only 1% security but 99% humiliation.  Forget "sources and methods." They are so ashamed of themselves they don't dare tell the truth.  They should put a shroud over the Hoover Building and do penance until the next millennium.  It's that embarrassing.  (And maybe they should change the name of the building while they're at it.  No more Robert E. Lee?  No more J. Edgar Hoover. Fair's fair.)
Consider the latest entry in this ship of fools.  We learn today from Lee Smith -- who is actually doing some journalistic work, as opposed to the NYT, WaPo, and all the networks squared -- of a fellow named Adam Waldman.
A release last week of texts showed that Christopher Steele, the former British spy whose memos regarding the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia are referred to as the Steele dossier, reached out to Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, through a Russian-linked Washington, D.C.,  lobbyist named Adam Waldman. Among Waldman’s clients is Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a text dated Mar. 16, 2017, Waldman texted Warner, “Chris Steele asked me to call you.”
In 2009, Waldman filed papers with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) registering himself as an agent for Deripaska in order to provide “legal advice on issues involving his U.S. visa as well as commercial transactions” at a retainer of $40,000 a month. In 2010, Waldman additionally registered as an agent for Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, “gathering information and providing advice and analysis as it relates to the U.S. policy towards the visa status of Oleg Deripaska,” including meetings with U.S. policymakers. Based on the information in his FARA filings, Waldman has received at least $2.36 million for his work with Deripaska.
As the man said, "When they say it's not about the money, it's about the money." But that's not all we know of Waldman.  He also has close ties to, wait for it, Cher.  And his wife, a former girlfriend of George Hamilton's before she left him for Waldman, is in the "blood as makeup" business. (I know -- it sounds like a joke but it isn't.) From the New York Post Nov. 15, 2016 - "The hottest new beauty trend is your blood":
Still, the results are enough to keep Sturm’s [Mrs. Waldman's] global clients, who include Hollywood producers, models and actors, flying to Germany to have their blood drawn, as well as for more traditional facials and injections.
“They come [to Europe] and combine it with a bike tour through France or a boat in Capri,” Sturm says. “Lots of celebrities are posting about it.”
Cher, for instance, is a close personal friend — Sturm and her husband were married at the singer’s house — and a massive fan of the MC1 cream and Sturm’s pricey line of additional products. Huntington-Whiteley and fiancé Statham use the cream, as well as Sturm’s entire line of products, which includes anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, blood-free products such as serums ($350) and face creams ($215). Huntington-Whiteley regularly Instagrams and Snapchats her routine.
Sturm’s Hollywood prevalence is partly thanks to her husband, Adam Waldman, a lawyer who counts Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as clients, and who has turned his contacts into Sturm customers. “All of them” are fans of the cream and the line, he tells The Post.
Yes, this seems like a live version of Marx's famous remark about history repeating itself  "the second time as farce."  But the problem is it's on the edge of reverting to tragedy. It's the Eighteenth Brumaire in reverse.  So many people are on the brink of being humiliated -- the Democratic Party, the Department of Justice, the FBI and, most of all, the mainstream media -- that they will not take it even close to lying down and certainly not with a laugh.  Not a single one of them appears to have anything close to the self-knowledge required or the faintest sense of humor. They're going to fight to the bitter end -- all of ours.
And now it seems that Michael Flynn, the one supposed "admitted" liar actually inthe Trump administration, may have been hung out to dry by Mueller. After all this time, we're learning maybe Flynn didn't lie after all.  How much more creepy can it get?
We are closer than we have been in our country to an all-out cultural civil war. In fact, we're already living in one.  Let's pray it doesn't escalate even more.  The entire nauseating, disingenuous Russia investigation, instigated from the start by sleazy hypocrites who had been appeasing the Soviet Union and then Russia itself for decades, is one of the great disgraces of American history.  It is partisanship at the level of mental illness and has nothing whatsoever to do with what it purports to be about.  Russia has been up to mischief since the czars' Okhrana and anyone with an IQ in the proverbial triple digits knows that. This investigation was about hate and vengeance against fellow Americans, smearing your opponent by any means necessary, not Russkies, and it has created more divisiveness than anything since the actual Civil War.  But in this instance, I am more skeptical that it can be repaired.

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