How to use Trump Tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House. by
In 1984, a Russian émigré named David Bogatin went shopping for apartments in New York City. The 38-year-old had arrived in America seven years before, with just $3 in his pocket. But for a former pilot in the Soviet Army—his specialty had been shooting down Americans over North Vietnam—he had clearly done quite well for himself. Bogatin wasn’t hunting for a place in Brighton Beach, the Brooklyn enclave known as “Little Odessa” for its large population of immigrants from the Soviet Union. Instead, he was fixated on the glitziest apartment building on Fifth Avenue, a gaudy, 58-story edifice with gold-plated fixtures and a pink-marble atrium: Trump Tower.
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Link to New Republic
By DAVID ROTHKOP
This is not to minimize the damage Watergate did to America. Richard Nixon oversaw an illegal effort to gain electoral advantage and then covered it up. He placed himself above the law and sought to shut down those entrusted with the responsibility of bringing him and his team to justice. Watergate was, undoubtedly, the gravest constitutional crisis America had faced in the modern era, until President Trump's shenanigans began.
At its heart, though, Watergate was also just "a third-rate burglary," as then-White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler termed it. It turned truly ruinous because of all that happened next. Today's situation is rooted in something considerably darker — an effort by a hostile power to undermine American democracy.
What's more, regardless of what we may learn about efforts within Trump's campaign to collude with the Russians, we can be certain our enemies have already benefited from his presidency.
Just last week, the White House announced that it would not be enforcing congressionally mandated sanctions against Russia. In Moscow, an anchor on Russian State TV celebrated the decision: "Trump is ours again," she told her viewers. Trump remains reluctant to accept the unanimous verdict of the intelligence community that the 2016 election was beset by Russian-sponsored attacks. Instead of recognizing an ongoing threat, he has offered Russian officials photo ops and dished out classified intelligence in private meetings.
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Please Don’t Call Him Presidential
JAN. 29, 2018
After a tumultuous and divisive year in office, Donald Trump has the opportunity for a fresh start with his first State of the Union address on Tuesday. The president can surprise those who think the worst of him, and prove that he’s been underestimated. All he has to do is apologize to his fellow Americans for the shame he’s brought upon this country, and resign effective immediately.
Since that’s not going to happen, I’m begging my fellow pundits not to get too excited should Trump manage to read from a teleprompter without foaming at the mouth or saying anything overtly racist. No matter how well Trump delivers the lines in his State of the Union — announced theme: “Building a safe, strong and proud America” — he will not become presidential. Continue Reading
Trump’s Volk und Vaterland
by Roger Cohen
“This, in fact, is our new American moment,” President Trump declared in his State of the Union speech. “There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.”
But which American Dream? Trump portrayed a dark and menacing world in which immigrants, who stand at the heart of the American idea, were equated with gangs, murderous criminals and “horrible people.”
In his 80-minute speech, the word “woman” did not come up once. Other words or phrases never mentioned included “peace,” “human rights,” “equality,” “Europe,” “multilateral,” “civil rights” and “alliance.” The Constitution flitted onto Trump’s radar chiefly in the context of appointing his kind of judges.
If there was a theme, it was the demonization of immigrants and of the rest of the world, combined with an exaltation of American might. . Continue Reading