Reading recommendations for the resistance (Books)


#122

Longtime journalist Craig Unger his new book, House of Trump, House of Putin looks full of well researched detail.

"Dear friends, respected colleagues!” Nikonov said. “Three minutes ago, Hillary Clinton admitted her defeat in US presidential elections, and a second ago Trump started his speech as an elected president of the United States of America, and I congratulate you on this.”

Nikonov is a leader in the pro-Putin United Russia Party and, incidentally, the grandson of Vyacheslav Molotov — after whom the “Molotov cocktail” was named. His announcement that day was a clear signal that Trump’s victory was, in fact, a victory for Putin’s Russia.

Longtime journalist Craig Unger opens his new book, House of Trump, House of Putin, with this anecdote. The book is an impressive attempt to gather up all the evidence we have of Trump’s numerous connections to the Russian mafia and government and lay it all out in a clear, comprehensive narrative.


#123

Coming from the front lines of the FBI, this book is hitting the news.

In McCabe’s new book, The Threat which is excerpted here is a full-throated response to how strange-acting, mercurial and revengeful T can be in the face of what kinds of threats and/or control the FBI would have on T’s tenure and the Russia investigation question.

Andrew McCabe, formerly head of FBI, who was fired by T within a day of his resigning was also the Acting head of FBI (May, 2017 - Aug 2017.) Christopher Wray followed as head of FBI, starting in Aug 2017) .

McCabe is a lifelong FBI man, who seems to work by the book, and knows his stuff. When T fires Comey, T also tries to influence and manipulate what the FBI felt about it, asserting that everyone at the FBI was glad. McCabe certainly felt the opposite, and saw that T was a threat (see title!)

Reading his discussions on then Deputy head of DOJ, Rod Rosenstein, who did plot to wear a wire and record T in an effort to make of record of how crazy T seemed (Rosenstein still refutes this for some reason) it was true that the 25th amendment was heavily considered.

So read this excerpt from his book…McCabe is scheduled to be interviewed on 60 minutes this Sunday.

And a tweet from Benjamin Wittes, referring to some kind of release of information or denial on McCabe’s part, not sure, but it was an untruth which McCabe said and they nailed him for it. (My best recollection of what happened.)


#124

Re: The Atlantic excerpt,

On the afternoon of May 17, Rosenstein and I sat at the end of a long conference table in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. We were there to brief the so-called Gang of Eight—the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Rosenstein had, I knew, made a decision to appoint a special counsel in the Russia case. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York, was to our right. Mitch McConnell, the Republican senator from Kentucky and the Senate majority leader, was to our left. The mood in the room was sober.

McConnell has known this whole time! Where’s the oversight Mitch? Where the fuck is it?!


#125

Mitch is blind in both eyes…he would no more let T take a hit than smile.

Mitch also knew when Obama pulled him in pre-election that there WAS Russian meddling and refused to let Obama announce this. Mitch wanted it quiet.

Mitch’s sins of omission are legion…he’s a tool of the Russians, the Koch’s, the Republican Alt Right…and he does not factor in ANY moral reasoning.

Atrocious.


#126

He didn’t read intelligence reports and mixed up classified material with what he had seen in newspaper clips. He seemed confused about the structure and purpose of organizations and became overwhelmed when meetings covered multiple subjects. He blamed immigrants for nearly every societal problem and uttered racist sentiments with shocking callousness.

This isn’t how President Trump is depicted in a new book by former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe. Instead, it’s McCabe’s account of what it was like to work for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The FBI was better off when “you all only hired Irishmen,” Sessions said in one diatribe about the bureau’s workforce. “They were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos — who knows what they’re doing?”

The description of Sessions is one of the most striking revelations in “The Threat,” a McCabe memoir that adds to a rapidly expanding collection of score-settling insider accounts of Trump-era Washington. McCabe’s is an important voice because of his position at the top of the bureau during a critical series of events, including the firing of FBI chief James Comey, the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller, and the ensuing scorched-earth effort by Trump and his Republican allies to discredit the Russia probe and destroy public confidence in the nation’s top law enforcement agency. The work is insightful and occasionally provocative. The subtitle, “How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” all but equates the danger posed by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State to that of the current president.

McCabe is a keen observer of detail, particularly when it comes to the president’s pettiness. He describes how Trump arranges Oval Office encounters so that his advisers are forced to sit before him in “little schoolboy chairs” across the Resolute Desk. Prior presidents met with aides on couches in the center of the room, but Trump is always angling to make others feel smaller.