B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Archive for the ‘Mitt_Romney’ tag

Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier

with 2 comments

Forgive Yourself Trump Tower

Jane Mayer has written a deep dive into Christopher Steele and infamous dossier. We should all study it. I trust someone on Mueller’s team has a subscription to The New Yorker…

The dossier painted a damning picture of collusion between Trump and Russia, suggesting that his campaign had “accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” It also alleged that Russian officials had been “cultivating” Trump as an asset for five years, and had obtained leverage over him, in part by recording videos of him while he engaged in compromising sexual acts, including consorting with Moscow prostitutes who, at his request, urinated on a bed.

In the spring of 2016, Orbis Business Intelligence—a small investigative-research firm that Steele and a partner had founded, in 2009, after leaving M.I.6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service—had agreed to do opposition research on Trump’s murky relationship with Russia. Under the arrangement, Orbis was a subcontractor working for Fusion GPS, a private research firm in Washington. Fusion, in turn, had been contracted by a law firm, Perkins Coie, which represented both Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Several months after Steele signed the deal, he learned that, through this chain, his research was being jointly subsidized by the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. In all, Steele was paid a hundred and sixty-eight thousand dollars for his work.

Steele had spent more than twenty years in M.I.6, most of it focussing on Russia. For three years, in the nineties, he spied in Moscow under diplomatic cover. Between 2006 and 2009, he ran the service’s Russia desk, at its headquarters, in London. He was fluent in Russian, and widely considered to be an expert on the country. He’d also advised on nation-building in Iraq. As a British citizen, however, he was not especially knowledgeable about American politics. Peter Fritsch, a co-founder at Fusion who has worked closely with Steele, said of him, “He’s a career public-service officer, and in England civil servants haven’t been drawn into politics in quite the same way they have here. He’s a little naïve about the public square.”

And so Steele, on that January night, was stunned to learn that U.S. politicians were calling him a criminal. He told Christopher Burrows, with whom he co-founded Orbis, that the sensation was “a feeling like vertigo.” Burrows, in his first public interview on the dossier controversy, recalled Steele telling him, “You have this thudding headache—you can’t think straight, you have no appetite, you feel ill.” Steele compared it to the disorientation that he had felt in 2009, when his first wife, Laura, had died, after a long illness, leaving him to care for their three young children.

(click here to continue reading Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier | The New Yorker.)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 5th, 2018 at 9:30 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Frank Rich on Mitt Romney

without comments

Empty Spaces
Empty Spaces

A Frank Rich article worth reading, especially since odds are that Mitt Robot will be the GOP candidate for president, even if his own party is not enthusiastic about him.

Or as Frank Rich puts it, His greatest passion is something he’s determined to keep secret.

As this narrative has it, Americans are at least comfortable with old, familiar Mitt—heaven knows he’s been running long enough. He may be a bore and a flip-­flopper, but he doesn’t frighten the ­horses. His steady sobriety will win the day once the lunatic Newt has finished blowing himself up. As one prominent Romney surrogate, the Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz, has it, Romney is “the most vetted candidate out there.” Maybe—if you assume there will be no more questions about Bain, the Cayman Islands, the expunged internal records from Romney’s term as governor, or his pre-2010 tax returns. Or about the big dog that has yet to bark, and surely will by October: Romney’s long career as a donor to and lay official of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But you can also construct an alternative narrative—that the vetting has barely even begun, and that the “Mitt Romney” we’ve been sold since 2008 is a lazy media construct, a fictional creation, or maybe even a hoax.

To escape the twin taints of Bain and his one-percenter’s under–15 percent tax rate, some Republican elders are urging Romney to “stake his campaign on something larger and far more important than his own business expertise” (The Wall Street Journal editorial page) or, as Fred Barnes suggested more baldly, to find “a bigger idea to deflect attention from Bain.” But even Mitt’s own spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, once described him (to the Des Moines Register) as “not a very notional leader.” Romney is incapable of an arresting turn of phrase, let alone a fresh idea. Running on empty, he resorts to filling out his canned campaign orations with lengthy recitations of the lyrics from patriotic anthems. (“Believe in America” is his campaign slogan.) Take away the bogus boasts about “job creation” at Bain and the disowned Romneycare, and what else is there to Mitt Romney? Mainly, his unspecified service to his church and his perfect marriage. That reduces him to the stature of the Republican presidential candidate he most resembles, Thomas Dewey—in both his smug and wooden campaign style and in the overrating of his prospects by the political culture. Even the famously dismissive description of Dewey popularized by the Washington socialite Alice Roosevelt Longworth—as “the little man on the wedding cake”—seems to fit Mitt.

No Republican has ever won the nomination after losing the South Carolina primary. No incumbent president since FDR has won reelection with an unemployment rate higher than 7.2 percent on Election Day, and ours currently stands at 8.5 percent. No candidate with a 58 percent disapproval rating—especially Newt—is likely to win a national election, even for dogcatcher. But surely someone has to be nominated by the Republicans, and someone has to win in November.

“This race is getting to be even more interesting,” said Romney when conceding to Gingrich in South Carolina. As always, it’s impossible to know whether he really meant what he said or not, but this much is certain: He will continue to be the least interesting thing about it.

(click here to continue reading Frank Rich on Mitt Romney — New York Magazine.)

Or the whole article on one page, here

Written by Seth Anderson

February 5th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

Mitt Speaks. Oh, No!

without comments

Hollow Within
Hollow Within

Ms. Collins keeps her Dog Mittens Romney streak alive:

Does anybody truly believe that Romney is planning to spend any presidential time dreaming up ways to fix the safety net for the benefit of the very poor? Be real. This is the guy who drove to Canada with the family dog strapped on the roof.

(click here to continue reading Mitt Speaks. Oh, No! – NYTimes.com.)

in a discussion of Mitt Romney’s latest gaffe — gaffe as defined by articulating what is actually on his mind:

On the morning after the Florida primary, Mitt Romney bounded out of bed, inhaled the sweet air of victory, donned his new cloak of invulnerability… and went on CNN to announce that he doesn’t care about poor people.

“I’m not concerned about the very poor,” he told a slightly stunned-looking Soledad O’Brien.

Whenever the topic turns to wealth, or the lack thereof, some inner demon seems to make Romney say something that sounds ridiculous, offensive or ridiculously offensive.

Written by Seth Anderson

February 2nd, 2012 at 8:41 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,