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Late arrivals to the Anti-Putinist Prom (623 w)


Is it hokey pokey time yet?


While it has been heartening to read some of the imported Orange County commentators at this paper being vexed with Donald Trump and other American Putinists, I cannot help but think they are late arrivals to the prom.

For those concerned about the dangers Ukraine has been facing from way back before last Sunday, it almost smacks of results from an unhappy editorial meeting. "We cannot be perceived as countenancing Trump's praise for Mad Vlad after Ukraine!" Or something. It's what you'd think when suddenly finding yourself on the wrong side of history.

Alexander Vindman is the courageous Army Lt. Colonel who testified before Congress about Trump's attempts to withhold weapons from Ukraine until he got some faked-up hogwash out of an intransigent Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Needed to support Rudy Giuliani's deranged Burisma conspiracy theories. Vindman was later cashiered by the orange painted and - by then - impeached president. 

Vindman was right, of course. And not just about the need to impeach a turncoat president caught knifing a faithful ally. In an article first appearing in The Atlantic ("Alexander Vindman: Trump Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’"), the Lt. Colonel was later asked if he thought of Trump as being a Russian asset. 

"'President Trump should be considered to be a useful idiot and a fellow traveler, which makes him an unwitting agent of Putin,' he says. Useful idiot is a term commonly used to describe dupes of authoritarian regimes; fellow traveler, in Vindman’s description, is a person who shares Putin’s loathing for democratic norms."

Yes, we'd been warned. But not everyone properly processed what Vindman laid down at Trump's first impeachment trial. Writing in this newspaper ("The weak case for impeachment and why it might backfire"), Susan Shelley uttered this unfortunate passage in late 2019:

"Impeachment is politically risky, yet House Democrats are pursuing it at the frantic pace of a Keystone Kops chase. The Intelligence Committee’s 300-page impeachment report is a rush job that draws heavily on the opinions and impressions of bureaucratic specialists who clearly are appalled that the president isn’t relying on their advice."

I'm not sure how anyone can be that wrong. Sadly, if Trump had acted on the advice of Vindman and others, perhaps Putin would not be murdering innocent women and children in Ukraine now.

Anyway, in the spirit of unwanted full disclosure, I was at one time employed by a Russian Oligarch. I didn't want to be, and it isn't like I went out of my way to work for the guy. He just showed up.

In 2011 this Oligarch, named Len Blavatnik, assumed control of a then-financially ravaged Warner Music Group. He is often spoken of by those concerned about Russian billionaires propping up the blood-soaked Putin regime.
If you purchase entertainment products from WMG you're putting money into this guy's suit jacket. That includes anything by Neil Young, celebrated recently for removing his songs from Spotify over anti-vax crackpot Joe Rogan. 
Not coincidentally, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and more, have all gladly accepted millions from Blavatnik. 

How did the once mighty Warner Music Group become so needy it had to be salvaged by an Oligarch? I credit the worst deal in music business history. Interscope, once part of WMG's Atlantic Records, was sold off to a French water utility. TimeWarner corporate having caved in to pressure from Charlton Heston-led stockholders delirious over ISR's partnership with gangster rapping Death Row Records. Two years later Interscope was the largest music label in America.

Don't worry, you squares out there are hipped to Death Row Records already. If you watched the recent Super Bowl halftime show, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were two of its most celebrated stars. 

That's how stories end these days.
The Sierra Madre Tattler!



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