Russia Monitor: Let The Country Burn Or Put Out The Fire?


By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (6/29/17)

Dear Fellow Readers,

The health care legislative process in the Senate has mostly pushed Trump Russia collusion off the front page – rightfully so and more resistance is required as ‘it will be back’.

Important Versus Urgent: Is That A Real Choice?

One comment I see in the media is that Russian involvement in our election doesn’t deserve the attention it gets and it pushes other important issues out of the limelight. This is wrong given the potential seriousness of the issue – up to and including had we ‘known’ we might we have a different outcome and an entirely different policy debate? Aren’t we capable of individually deciding what is urgent and what is important and making our choices as adults – why are we offered a false choice between these?

Calculating Keeping Trump In Office – Let The Country Burn Or Put Out The Fire?

If you agree at all with the sentiment of “too much Russia” be prepared for Keith Olbermann’s fiery Tuesday (6/27) commentary on ‘The Resistance to pin your ears back. Olbermann spare no one: Democrats; Republicans; office holders; media – complicit in a massive criminal effort. Olbermann warns, “the Russia thing threatened everything we hold dear.” And he is not kind about the presumption of false choice.

“Our democracy is in suspended animation, if not dead, because the republican party is now actively shielding this treasonous megalomaniac because he will sign whatever they put in front of him,” Olbermann declares. “And their actions should be identified for what they are: being accessories-after-the-fact to the worst set of crimes in American History.
“We are appeasing Trump!”

Watch the video, Olbermann’s denouncement is especially strong starting about the 2:15 or 2:30 minute mark. His view – “we are appeasing Trump” by not being forceful enough”.


Meanwhile Conservatives Tune Out Health Care And Escape To….Russia

While Democrats and some in the media might feel the Trump/Russia story gets too much attention, conservative media loses interest in health care to turn to Russia news. The Washington Post gave a run-down…

“The network’s prime-time shows, ratings kings of cable news, ignored the health-care story. Fox’s 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows began with stories about a sting video that caught a CNN producer dismissing his network’s coverage of Russia and the 2016 election. “The Five,” Fox’s 9 p.m. show, began with the “bombshell” news that President Barack Obama had said — in October 2016 — that it would be “impossible” to rig the election. Nine minutes were spent on the Senate bill before a segue way into the CNN story.”

Former Milwaukee conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes noted:

“It’s not that surprising. You look at the trajectory of conservative media and it’s not been policy-oriented for a long time. It’s about whether you get the win or not. There’s nothing for Rush Limbaugh to sex up about a bill that’s neither repeal nor reform.”

In a nutshell – it’s not about the facts, a summary of the article has conservative media summarizing the health care status as a failure of Congress. As Fox contributor Pete Hegseth framed the health-care fight as a battle between unhinged Democrats and a careful president asking one question: “Are Republican senators doing enough to have your back to get that health-care bill through?”

Meanwhile conservative media switches to an opportunity for the White House to push back against the Russia/Trump collusion narrative.

(Note: the article references a retracted CNN story that also led to the resignation of three senior editors. The story was about Trumpster investments in a Russian investment fund. CNN did not say the story was false, only that sound editorial process was not followed.)

Trump Struggling To Stay Calm On Russia

Not only do I feel that the Trump/Russia story gets the attention it deserves, I will offer that Trump’s emotional distraction over Russia is EXACTLY what we need.

Trump’s White House staff tries to ‘manage’ Trump to get him to focus on something NOT-Russia.

President Trump has a new morning ritual. Around 6:30 a.m. on many days — before all the network news shows have come on the air — he gets on the phone with a member of his outside legal team to chew over all things Russia.

And it’s not working. Don’t rely on me or the Washington Post, follow Trump on Twitter. Trump is angry, distracted and unfocused as a result.

Consider anything Trump denies about Russia in light of his choices to defend Flynn in spite of all warnings about his Russian contacts and likely compromise. Don’t believe Trump’s resistance for a minute – once he became the GOP candidate for president he was receiving security briefings. All Trump opinions are through a filter of  ‘how he is seen’ – Russia/Trump is not good for him and he resorts to classic Trump patterns.

The Art Of The Fight

Thanks to a Commoner Call reader who forwarded an article from Watergate key player John Dean entitled “Donald Trump: The Art of the Fight”.

 The best predictor of future behavior is past performance. Dean notes that Trump has 3,400 lawsuits to his name – his style of lies, confrontation and intimidation will not change; expect this to be his pattern as Trump/Russia unfolds.

Dean gives a detailed history of the Donald’s pugnacious persona:

“Today, we are watching a very frightened Donald Trump. He knows he is in a fight way above his league, but he does not know how to play above that league.

“Donald Trump’s tactics are conspicuous to anyone who follows his actions, and can be reduced to two overriding activities: (1) He lies consistently and persistently; (2) he cheats whenever the opportunity presents itself to do so, and (3) he tries to intimidate everyone with whom he deals. The lawsuits filed by the former students of Trump University revealed these tactics at work, where he lured them into taking courses, often beyond their means, with false statements and promises, then gave them hokum taught by people with no credentials whatsoever, constantly pushing them to take more expensive courses. All one need to do is read a few of the depositions of the students who joined in the action. Trump hires lawyers who act more like thugs than litigators to abuse those who filed against him, and forced several out of the case for they were not up for the expense of the endless fight, not to mention the nasty press leaks spread by team Trump. When Trump was elected this litigation was ready to go to trial. It was a class action RICO case accusing Trump of criminal fraud, albeit in a civil action. President-elect Trump broke his golden rule of fighting when he surrendered—settling the cases for $25 million.”

Trump and those involved in the Trump campaign and White House are ‘lawyering up’. There are now ten persons with lawyers including Trump, Pence, Kushner, Boris Epshteyn, Roger Stone, Michael Caputo and others. Carter Page spent ten hours with the FBI without a lawyer. The HuffPost reported Paul Manafort registered retroactively as a foreign agent for Ukraine. The requirement for registration is from the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) – a WWII requirement enacted to detect Nazi influence.

Trump alone has now engaged a legal group of seven lawyers. One of his lawyers is now accused of steering charitable donations to his own family while another Trump lawyer is getting his own lawyer? They fit right into Trump World.

Russian Motorcycle Gang And Trump Condos 

How does a Russian earning $75,000 afford $10,000,000 of Trump condos? And should we take notice for who they are and what they are up to? Just what this story needed to spice it up: a Russian motorcycle gang subplot.


Meanwhile, The Bodies Pile Up

Sadly, this latest is a senior Ukraine intelligence officer killed by a car bomb.

So many…

This Putin Critic Was Defiant in an Interview a Month Before He Was Assassinated

And one more death…

The Secrets Of The Spy In The Bag

Or maybe it’s all a coincidence. Right?