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Mike 03

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Modesto California
Home country: United States
Current location: Arizona
Member since: Mon Oct 27, 2008, 05:14 PM
Number of posts: 15,150

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'Putin's People' Documents the Ruthless and Relentless Reach of Kremlin Corruption (NYT Book Review)

New York Times Book Reviews
Jennifer Szalai
July 16, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET


Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West
By Catherine Belton
Illustrated. 624 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $35.

In the years that it took the journalist Catherine Belton to research and write “Putin’s People,” her voluminous yet elegant account of money and power in the Kremlin, a number of her interview subjects tried various tactics to undermine her work. One of them, “a close Putin ally” apparently alarmed by her questions about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s activities as a K.G.B. agent in Dresden in the 1980s, emphatically insisted that any rumored links between the K.G.B. and terrorist organizations had never been proved: “And you should not try to do so!” he warned.

Another source, defending Putin’s tenure as the deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, took a cooler approach. Asked about a local politician named Marina Salye who found evidence of corruption in the so-called oil-for-food scheme that Putin oversaw in the early ’90s, he didn’t bother to deny her findings; he just rejected the very idea that her findings mattered. “This all happened,” he smugly acknowledged. “But this is absolutely normal trading operations. How can you explain this to a menopausal woman like that?”

Belton suggests that this is the kind of two-pronged strategy the Kremlin has used to pursue its interests at home and abroad: Deploy threats, disinformation and violence to prevent damaging secrets from getting out, or resort to a chilling cynicism that derides everything as meaningless anyway.


“Putin’s People” ends with a chapter on Donald Trump, and what Belton calls the “network of Russian intelligence operatives, tycoons and organized-crime associates” that has encircled him since the early ’90s. The fact that Trump was frequently overwhelmed by debt provided an opportunity to those who had the cash he desperately needed. Belton documents how the network used high-end real estate deals to launder money while evading stricter banking regulations after 9/11. She’s agnostic on whether Trump was a witting accomplice who was aware of how he was being used. As one former executive from the Trump Organization put it, “Donald doesn’t do due diligence.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/16/books/review-putins-people-kgb-catherine-belton.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage

"This is our wartime president today": Anderson Cooper incinerates Trump in opening monologue

Wonderful news.

I've ordered her book, but it might be worthwhile to hear her narrate her own work.

This is a great anecdote. Thanks for sharing.

The authors of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump theorized that it's Trump's unwillingness to experience emotions like humiliation and shame that led to his aberrant character development. So I find this fascinating.

What gets lost in the discussion of Trump's narcissism and psychopathology is that he also has a

lot of traits of Borderline Personality Disorder, like (as you are pointing out) building people up until they receive more attention, acclaim or respect than he receives, or realizing they are smarter than he is, and then proceeding to tear them down. Tillerson, Mattis, Kelly, Gary Cohn, Cohen, Scaramucci, Bannon, Sessions, Omarosa, etc...

I've been saying, The only thing more dangerous than being Trump's opponent is

being one of his supporters. By November, MAGAts are going to wish they'd never heard of Trump.

So unbelievable. Is THIS what Trump is paying Brad Parscale the big bucks for?

Brad "Death Star"/"We're just getting warmed up" Parscale in action.

Desperate hours.

I'm grateful for every single one of these books.

Now, we're getting to the pulp. Dr. Lance Dodes always said that Trump's personality was fixed at an extremely young age. Yes, this is territory already covered by Dr. Bandy Lee and the other authors of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump and a handful of other books, but considering the source this book will be more than simply validation of what is obvious to 70% of Americans.

Two, if they haven't already been mentioned:

1. Wilbur Ross is one of the biggest grifters in U.S. history, who according to a special report by Forbes magazine used his office time to meet with investment advisors about his portfolio.

2. One of the WORST: After an unmonitored phone conversation with Erdogan, Trump pulled our US troops out of Syria, condemning our allies the Kurds to slaughter at the hand of Turkish forces. After we pulled out, our abandoned bases were confiscated by Russian troops, who made videos of them exploring our bases and playing with the abandoned equipment of our troops.

I haven't seen anyone "blindly advocate" for Susan Rice

I've seen thoughtful, analytical posts pointing out her astonishing qualifications, her brilliance, her experience, and her ability to speak on nearly any topic at a moments notice, as well as her speaking abilities which are so advanced that were she to be the VP nominee, the V.P. debates would be something to anticipate with great joy.

One doesn't have to "blindly advocate" for someone with so many obvious qualifications and qualities.

I find that a very odd comment.

I'll bet Putin doesn't want her to be VP, for sure.

I know Trump lovers don't want her anywhere near this ticket.

Title Sequence: Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart (1982)

This entire sequence is shot using a combination of miniature models and a set built on a soundstage. Even the last shot in the title sequence, which appears to be filmed on an iconic intersection in Las Vegas. is in a studio. In some still photographs from One From the Heart you can actually see the ceiling of the sound stage.

Nearly the entire movie was shot on sound stages, including a climactic scene at the Las Vegas airport. Coppola here introduced a new method of filmmaking he claimed would substantially cut the cost of filmmaking; however, the budget for this film dramatically ballooned from $15 to $26 million, endangering Zoetrope Studios.

Coppola directed most of the film from inside a mobile trailer, rarely engaging his actors or crew face-to-face, but speaking to them through loudspeakers, so the entire cast and crew could hear even the most intimate directions to the actors.

The film was a commercial and critical failure, but remains a fascinating (and expensive) experiment.

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