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(51,827 posts)
Wed May 15, 2024, 02:08 AM May 15

David Corn: Paul Manafort and the Metrics of Shamelessness


The Trump Era has marked the death of shame. Twenty-six years ago, conservatives claimed that Bill Clinton, by surviving his White House sex scandal, murdered the notion of public shaming. And George W. Bush never paid a price when the public discovered he had used lies and false assertions to launch a catastrophic war that caused the deaths of thousands of American service members and 200,000 or more Iraqi civilians. Yet Trump has shown his predecessors to be pikers in the shamelessness department. Though for decades he had demonstrated his imperviousness to shame, the Access Hollywood episode was a breakthrough moment for him and the nation. His ability to survive the emergence of the grab-’em-by-the-pussy video—and the GOP’s collective decision to stand by their misogynistic man—marked a new low for shamelessness. Ever since then, there’s been a race to a bottom that seems bottomless.

The continuing loss of shame during the Trump years has been steady—and we may have become inured to it. The day-by-day decline might be hard to discern. But I’d like to propose a metric to capture the fullness of this fall: Paul Manafort.

Manafort, the Washington insider who served as Trump’s campaign chairman for a stretch in 2016, was much on my mind last week. On Friday, I broke a story about his recent involvement in a venture that was seeking to set up a streaming service in China that, according to a confidential memo Manafort wrote, was in cahoots with China’s tyrannical regime and partnering with a Chinese telecom company that the US government had declared a national security threat. What a sordid picture: A former Trump adviser who is currently in talks with the current Trump campaign to join its ranks had tried to enrich himself through a deal involving the Chinese government so often demonized by Trump and MAGA-ites. (Manafort declared in this memo the enterprise could rake in close to $3 billion in its first year.)

To be fair, I should say that the Washington Post published an article on this a couple of hours before my piece was posted. So it gets credit for the scoop. (And that truly pissed me off. Apparently WaPo reporters got their mitts on the same set of emails and documents I had.) But, modestly, I believe that my article put a sharper cast on this deal, and I published that Manafort memo in full, which the Post opted not to do. In any event, what’s important is that both our reports showed Manafort, who was sent to prison in 2019 for an assortment of financial crimes related to his work earlier that decade for a pro-Putin political party in Ukraine and who was then pardoned by Trump, was back to his anything-for-a-buck ways.


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David Corn: Paul Manafort and the Metrics of Shamelessness (Original Post) Nevilledog May 15 OP
America has lost its way Skittles May 15 #1


(153,918 posts)
1. America has lost its way
Wed May 15, 2024, 04:37 AM
May 15

the antiquated Electoral College is allowing GOP hacks for presidents, who in turn nominate hacks for the Supreme Court.......and it will only get worse

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