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comment by FirebrandRoaring

If said dictator is stupid enough not to bribe Trump first — with compliments or otherwise.

It's like y'all don't know what Trump is about. He's narcissistic. People like that don't care about anything other than their image of themselves in their heads. If someone flatters them, they perceive that person or entity as "the real stuff", and those who don't (or even blame the narcissist) — as fallacious.

Like a god damn candy: one lick, and you're in for a treat.




ButterflyEffect  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Dude.

We're pretty aware of what Trump is and isn't.

If you doubt that, read through am_unitions comments history.

am_Unition  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not entirely sure I've ever used the term "narcissist" in my Hubski characterizations of Trump, but only for the reason that it crops up in almost 20%-ish of the articles written about him. So yeah, it doesn't need to be said, it's rampant in United States media. Sometimes even in conservative outlets.

The prudent point is that after normalizing for Trump's narcissism, Russia has made enough geopolitical transgressions against the U.S. in the last 5 years that the most logical conclusion as to why Trump continues to avoid (directly) saying almost ANYTHING bad about Vladimir Putin is because Putin has leverage over Trump. If that conclusion proves incorrect, the second "best case" scenario is that Trump admires Putin, and I can't be bothered to sort through which of those scenarios is the least fucked up. Edit: there is a third possibility, which is that Trump doesn't want to denounce someone who may have helped him land the title of POTUS, though this is essentially equally troubling.

I would wager a fair bit of whatever that one element of the latest nerve gas attack within the U.K. is Russia showing that it feels empowered with Trump at the helm here in the U.S., though another element is certainly the U.K. estranging itself from the E.U.

Ugh. And FirebrandRoaring, I want to declare once again that we citizens of the U.S. don't hold you citizens of Russia directly accountable. We would, however, like to see some changes within your government, but doubt whether or not the populace has the information or ability to affect those changes. Which, oddly enough, describes our own domestic situation fairly accurately!

TL;DR - the world is fucked, enjoy your time here.

FirebrandRoaring  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    but only for the reason that it crops up in almost 20%-ish of the articles written about him.

And here I am, talking about like nobody's heard it before. I get it now. See upper-level for a bit of clarification.

    I want to declare once again that we citizens of the U.S. don't hold you citizens of Russia directly accountable

I hear you. If I've ever assumed that anyone would, it was a mistake on my part.

    We would, however, like to see some changes within your government

Absolutely!

    but doubt whether or not the populace has the information or ability to affect those changes

Or the desire.

I've read somewhere that the quality of life is low enough to provoke popular displeasure, but not low enough to provoke an active desire to change (whether it's a revolution or a strong political movement). Even considering how people like to complain, there are certain points that Russians bring up often:

The prices are rising faster than the paychecks.

The police does nothing (or can do nothing).

The hospitals are overcrowded, the doctors are overbooked and pissed.

And yet there's stability (here's one of the staple words of the regime): no war, no troubles in the country, very little crime (as if) and the paychecks are actually being given out (which is big fear for older people, like my parents' generation, who have experienced it in the post-Soviet decade). Nothing's changing, and I feel like, in the position the Russian people are in, they're rather have that than gather what little strength they have and go out to fight the regime.

Then again, I might be wrong. I've heard of the protests in Russia that the local media never report on but have never observed just how strong or frequent they are. I hope I'm wrong. I hope people want change more than they want whatever we have now.

Here's to hoping.

b_b  ·  220 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    ...Trump continues to avoid (directly) saying almost ANYTHING bad about Vladimir Putin is because Putin has leverage over Trump.

I'm becoming less convinced it's leverage and moreso that it's an active partnership. It appears more and more as if Trump has made a business of money laundering for the Russian mafia since at least the early 90s. Trump Taj Mahal was repeatedly cited for violating anti-money laundering laws at Taj Mahal (but not his other casinos, interestingly), and one of the biggest launderers was a well known Russian gangster who oh so coincidentally happened to live in Trump Tower. Since 2000 all Russian mafia has run through Putin, so there's almost no doubt that Trump has been laundering money for him probably via condo sales. All this is to say I sort of no longer buy the narrative that Putin just has leverage. I think a simpler explanation (and thus a better one) is that all Trump really cars about is money, and the Russians (and therefore Putin directly or indirectly) provide him more money than anyone else. He is literally selling out the USA.

am_Unition  ·  220 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would argue that knowledge or proof of money laundering constitutes leverage for Putin over Trump. Putin knows that if he were to divulge the details of Trump's operations that it'd be game over for Trump's presidency. The question then becomes: Is there a way for Putin to get the info out without throwing a wrench in his own income/laundering?

    ...one of the biggest launderers was a well known Russian gangster who oh so coincidentally happened to live in Trump Tower.

Felix Sater? Dude, look at this piece on him from today:

    As questions have swirled about his supposed loyalty to Russia, Sater is speaking out, recasting himself as an unheralded protector of the United States.

    “I am a patriot,” Sater said. “Having the opportunity to serve my country and do anything in its defense was a no brainer. It was, ‘Where do I sign up?’”

    ...

    Sater says he made himself valuable to the U.S. government by knowing everything. When it comes to Trump, however, he says he knows next to nothing.

Pretty interesting little interview. He claims to have never known Manafort, which is especially strange, considering that Manafort also had a residence in Trump Tower.

I dunno, this shit is more consuming than a full-time job.

b_b  ·  220 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not sater, some other dude who's name is escaping me (God there are so many). Trump Inc. podcast did an excellent episode about it recently.

I guess my problem with "leverage" is what's implicit in the word. It suggests that Trump would behave differently were it not for this albatross in his neck. I don't think he would. I think that he is perfectly happy in how he has made his money and will continue to do so, because he can. It could become leverage if he decided to change course, but until then I think it's better to call it cooperative. He's a keptocrat, and apparently a good one.

OftenBen  ·  220 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The question then becomes: Is there a way for Putin to get the info out without throwing a wrench in his own income/laundering?

Have a new laundry already established and running?

b_b  ·  220 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well the difference between Putin and Trump is that Putin has way bigger fish to fry than money laundering. He may be a kleptocrat first and foremost, but he's also a KGB alumnus who cares deeply about statecraft. Having Trump in his pocket does way more for him than give him unrestricted access to his billions. It gives him a backstop for when he does shit like the recent chemical weapons attack in UK. Trump is so shallow that the money is all there is. For Putin, the money is just a means to an end. If he loses access to some overseas cash, he has a lot more elsewhere. Big deal.

FirebrandRoaring  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yet y'all still seem to act as if he can possibly be held to a higher standard. That's what seems odd to me every time.

I'm not saying you may be unaware of what's happening. Just reminding you, because sometimes people need to be reminded.

am_Unition  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Fair, but it hasn’t been easy to see the office of POTUS fall so far in such a short time.

At least Obama conducted himself with dignity and conviction. Sorry (nope, not really), but anyone who would dispute that is more than likely racist. I didn’t like all of his policies, but at least he wasn’t patently devoid of integrity.

Edit: even Bush had some sense of conduct. He could dodge shoes like a motherfucker, btw