Featuring essays by Elizabeth George on the future of our country

What we might want to consider

Here are facts that have been collected and researched by a man called Seth Abramson. He's an attorney, a professor, a former criminal investigator and a writer who has a twitter feed. He also writes for Newsweek Magazine. He refers to himself as "a curatorial journalist", and he defines this as someone who compiles and curates "reliable investigative reporting from around the world [emphasis mine] and going back decades." He doesn't report the news, he says, but what he writes often feels like news to the people who read it because he connects stories together that have been in the news. In plain sight, so to speak.

It's his twitter feed from today that I'd like to share with you. I encourage you to think about it--as I will do--and to pass this information along if you find it worthy. I'd like to add that I'm writing this not in an attempt to woo Donald Trump's "base" away from him. I believe those people are lost to all of us, much to my sorrow and undoubtedly to yours. Just like you, I know some of them. Just like you, I keep asking why and how with regard to their 2016 votes for Trump. But this message I'm sending you isn't and cannot be an answer to that. This message is just to give you some information. Everything I'm going to write here has been vetted more than once.

A question many people have asked in the last few years is "What does Putin have on Donald Trump?" The answer has always been in plain sight, in the oft-quoted words of Hal Holbrook playing Deep Throat in the film All the President's Men. "Follow the money."

In 2008, a Russian oligarch (for that read billionaire) named Dmitry Rybolovlev paid Donald Trump $54 million dollars for a Palm Beach property that Trump had been unable to sell. The $54 million was net profit. Trump, who does not have the amount of money he claims he has (which is more than likely one of the reasons he won't release his tax returns), believes that this $54 million actually came to him from Vladimir Putin and that it was a bribe to encourage him to run for President. At the time, Trump was considering a 2012 Presidential run and although he didn't make that run, the $54 million rescued him financially. Within 60 months Trump had made a decision to run for President and he informed his good friend Roger Stone that he was throwing his hat in the ring. Within 150 days of confiding this to Stone, another oligarch--this one named Agalarov-- emerged and offered a deal that would be the biggest of Trump's life: future nine- or ten-figure "payments" to him. The requirements were, first of all, to win the election and, afterwards, to develop a pro-Kremlin policy that would include his support of Putin as well as his slowing down or, preferably, his blocking of Russian sanctions. Thus, Donald Trump rode down the golden escalator in the summer of 2015 and made his announcement (with references to Mexican drug dealers and rapists invading our country as I recall). The rest, we can say, is history:

"Russia, if you're listening..." was the message to the Kremlin to dump their hacked DNC emails onto Wikileaks, secure in the knowledge that Wikileaks would know exactly what to do with them.

Essentially, then, Donald Trump sold out the United States for $54 million dollars (Rybololev) and the promise of more to come (Agalarov).

Personally, I never believed that Putin had "something" on Trump in the way we tend to think of such things, such as the rumored tapes of a prostitute relieving her bladder onto his naked chest or elsewhere upon his person. I never believed that Trump "had to do" what Putin ordered him to do in fear that Putin would release those tapes. It's my belief that even if one such tape exists, Trump is as concerned about it as he was concerned about the country hearing him talk about grabbing women's genitals, or the country learning he was putting children in cages on the border, or the country discovering he was separating those children from their parents without keeping any records as to where those children were being sent, or the country learning that Mexico was never going to pay for his "big beautiful wall", or the country learning that he'd attempted to extort from the newly elected President of Ukraine a guarantee that he would announce an investigation into Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, or--even now--the country learning that he knew COVID19 was deadly and did nothing to prepare the country to deal with. Indeed, he could get away with calling John McCain a loser for being a prisoner of war for five years and he could call the young men who died on Omaha Beach fools and, really, nothing would ever drive his supporters away. And all of us know that this is true. Those people are the lost souls of this time we've been living through. Those people are among Trump's victims.

For three bottom lines exist for Trump and he lives in service of them. They are money, the power to get more money, and celebrity in the form of adulation from a fawning public. He doesn't care about anything else and the real tragedy for America is that there are millions of people who do not care that he does not care.

If the stock market is being artificially boosted by the US government's pouring money into it, this does not matter to Trump's base.

If the police kill men and women of color while actually being filmed doing it, this does not matter to Trump's base.

If nearly 200,000 people die because Trump doesn't want to upset the stock market by acknowledging a deadly threat to their lives, this does not matter to Trump's base.

If he puts the US Postal Service into the hands of a donor to his campaign who broke the law, this does not matter to Trump's base.

If he fires people who blow the whistle on him or on his cronies, this does not matter to Trump's base.

What you and I will have to decide is what matters to us. What you and I will have to decide is what we're going to do about what matters to us.

Elizabeth George



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