Today’s Nooz

Item One: Marina Butina “pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring with a senior Russian official to infiltrate the conservative movement in the United States as an agent for the Kremlin from 2015 until her arrest in July 2017.”

Butina admitted to working with an American political operative and under the direction of a former Russian senator and deputy governor of Russia’s central bank to forge bonds with officials at the National Rifle Association, conservative leaders, and 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, whose rise to the Oval Office she presciently predicted to her Russian contact.

“Guilty,” Butina said with a light accent in entering her plea with U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan at a hearing Thursday morning in federal court in Washington.

As part of her plea, Butina admitted seeking to establish and use “unofficial lines of communication with Americans having influence over U.S. politics” for the benefit of the Russian government, through a person fitting the description of sanctioned Russian central banker Alexander Torshin, prosecutor Erik Kenerson said.

Item Two: The Daily Beast reports that Robert Mueller is looking at connections between Trump and the Middle East.  “In court filings that are set to drop in early 2019, prosecutors will begin to unveil Middle Eastern countries’ attempts to influence American politics, three sources familiar with this side of the probe told The Daily Beast.”

I think there’s a large probability that we’re going to learn Trump’s foreign policy is based entirely on being obsequitous to people (Russians, Saudis) to whom he personally owes money and favors, and being an asshole to everyone else.

Item Three: Speaking of asshole, Trump cancels White House holiday party for the press.

Item Four: Young people are bailing out of conservative evangelicalism. Evangelicalism may cease to be a political factor by 2024.

Item Five: How the National Enquirer broke up with President Trump.

10 thoughts on “Today’s Nooz

  1. Maria isn't going to give up anyone that the Kremlin doesn't authorize her to throw under the bus. The Kremlin has shown loyalty to their own spies historically. They want her back for her service and for the secrets she can tell BUT I sincerely doubt she will go rogue and tell all.

    The Kremlin has no reason to be loyal to the NRA people they subverted. I am reading hints (unconfirmed) that when the Russians paid to bring NRA executives to Russia, they developed compromat to later compel the NRA to do their bidding. There is also speculation that the record $30 million the NRA spent on Trump's election included currency that was formerly rubles. 

    The Russians have specialists who can read the tea leaves. Donnie-boy is not a real prospect – they barely got him elected the last time and Trump may not survive impeachment. The trick of funneling money to the election through the NRA (if it happened) can't be repeated. 

    The point being: the Russians want Maria back and if the price of her return is evidence which creates chaos in the next election, the Kremlin will gladly provide it. (or authorize Maria to sing.)

    There is documented evidence that the NRA coordinated with the Trump campaign. If the NRA is implicated in Russian collusion, so is Trump. 

  2. Item 6:

    If Middle Eastern terrorists rather than NRA white boy terrorists killed 40,000 Americans last year, anybody from the region would be rounded up like the Japanese in World War 2.

    Item 3: he heard they were going to embarrass him by buying him a tie that wasn’t a clip-on and asking him to try it on. Now, they can call their own party and not invite him. And have more fun.

    Item 4: God, I hope so! That was a request— you listen’in up there?

  3. Doug, 

    If I'm Butina, I'm not so sure I'd go back to Russia.

    I wouldn't trust Ol' Vlad.  He may throw a party for her after the interrogation, and put polonium in her punch.

    At least if he reaches out and poisons her here, someone will find her body.  Russia has a lot of land, so there's plenty of space for more  corpses.

  4. tRUMP not only probably "borrowed" money from Russia and Saudi Arabia, but also the Mafia.

    Maybe that's why Cohen clammed up to SDNY. 

    It's one thing to rat-out a putz like tRUMP.  It's another to turn on Vinnie "Da Clam" Tony  "Eyebrows," or whoever is controlling the NY /NJ mob nowaday's.

  5. There have been rumors about massive illicit election funds from the Middle East funneling to the Repubs for decades, especially for Bush 41 and 43. It would be great if Mueller can shed some daylight on this topic.

  6. Item Six – Martians landed near Winnepeg, Manitoba. 

    Actually they didn't, but we've just gotten so numb to enormous events hitting us, day after day, that anything is believable now. Any one of these Items is a big deal, all by itself.

    I love that when you have your own blog, you can use the word a – hole (appropriately) and nobody can stop you.

    • Tom_b — I am convinced that most of the people who are hugely successful on a global scale, the captains of industry types, including the ones that are mostly law-abiding, are not that intelligent. Or, at least, their intelligence is of a very narrow type. They are aggressive and shrewd but not necessarily insightful. Often they are one-trick ponies. If they can find a niche in which their particular trick really works well, the sky’s the limit, but if they are put into different circumstances in which the trick doesn’t work, they blunder into one mistake after another. And if they are too stupid to see that and refuse to adjust, you’ve got Paul Manafort and Donald Trump, too.

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