Birds Of A Feather

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You know what? God help me, but I believe Lev Parnas. Not about everything, oh, no. But if you watched the two nights of Rachel Maddow’s interview with Parnas, he came across as nothing but believable.

There were several reasons for this, at least for me. For one, he seemed at rest, sitting back with hands crossed, comfortable in his own skin, yet leaning forward earnestly when he wanted to make a point. Also, he was self deprecating. His line on night one of Why would these people in the Ukraine government want to talk to me? Because they were ordered to, was a perfect explanation as to why he could move so easily in and out. And also, so much of what he said could be backed up, not only with data and documents that he provided, but also it was buttressed by documents and testimony that had already been produced by others.

But when I watched part two of Rachel’s interview with Parnas last night, I was suddenly struck with an almost overwhelming feeling of deja vu. For the second time in just over a year, I was listening to a man who was considered a privileged insider, moving freely throughout the shadowy world of all things Trump, and for the second time in a year, he was spilling the beans.

I am speaking of course, about Michael Cohen. When you put aside the surface differences of the different scandals that they spoke of, the similarities of their testimony  is striking. Both men, while speaking of radically different subjects, nonetheless came together on many common points. And those points will be the eventual downfall of Trump, whether through impeachment, or after he leaves office.

Both men spoke at length about a feeling of community, and sense of purpose when working with and for Trump, although they used different examples. Parnas spoke of his time with Trump as being a part of a cult, in which the feeling of the invincibility of Trump made everybody work towards the common goal of his vision. Cohen compared his life with Trump as more of a mob family mentality, The Boss didn’t have to give actual orders for his underlings to know what was wanted and expected for them.

Both men spoke of Trump’s tendency to be hands on, and to micro manage, Parnas spoke at length of Trump’s multiple attempts to fire Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, only to be frustrated by his inability to get it done. Cohen provided an audio tape of Trump getting down into the weeds on the payments to McDougle and Daniels, gong so far as to debate the benefits of a cash payment.

Both men spoke about Trump’s rampant stupidity. Cohen was able to give to the House committee checks signed personally by both Donald Trump as well as Donald Trump Jr in repayment for Cohen’s hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. And Parnas And Parnas was able to provide proof of Trump’s latest personal lawyer, Rudy Ghouliani, talking over a speaker phone to confirm that Parnas was speaking officially as a representative of the President of the United States.

And both men showed the blatant, and almost flagrant stupidity that is going to land His Lowness in prison for the rest of his days, once he leaves office. Trump felt that as long as he kept no printed record of his moronic double dealings, as long as he made no audio tapes of his conversations, as long as he couldn’t understand and decipher the math, nobody else would be able to either. And yet, both Parnas and Cohen were able to provide voluminous mountains of evidence of all of their underhanded dealings with Trump.

This has been a long and winding road, with a multitude of players, and many convolutions. And yet, when you take a moment to just sit back, clear your head for a moment, and free associate, you’ll find that what Snake Plissken said in Escape From New York is true, The more things change, the more they stay the same.

To know the future, look to the past. before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of  President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange  are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen

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26 Comments on "Birds Of A Feather"

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pwhitten
Member

Stupid – the giit that keeps on giving.

Bareshark
Guest

Or in Trump’s case, the gift that keeps on taking…from him.

Bareshark
Guest

The one thing Parnas said that stayed with Hoarse Whisperer was the cult comparison. That’s telling from Parnas when you remember that he’s been around actual mobsters for quite a while, scary, brutally efficient people who’d never have something like impeachment get this far. Barr obviously scares him for that reason.

Cherl Harrell
Guest

I think Parnas’ ability to be self-deprecating shows that he is smarter than most in Trump’s orbit. His description of it being a cult seems to indicate his ability to step back and think what it looks like from the outside. I always thought Michael Cohen was a good man. I believe people’s eyes tell a lot about their inside thoughts.

brakester
Member
Murf, All of those points make sense. Well-written. A small alarm bell tinkled in my head when you referred to their parallel stories. Now it seems obvious to me. They are both very talented thespians! Notice how both of them presented themselves to the world as bumbling and a tad slow. Then, when testifing this metamorphosis takes place and they are Perfect Witnesses. Almost like this was a well-practiced skill. I can see them and their fellow criminals watching every mobster movie to pick up tricks on how to be The Best Mobsters. There is probably a good-natured competition to… Read more »
Bareshark
Guest

Cynicism noted…but one need not completely buy their stories to sympathize a little with them. They expected the bare minimum loyalty any competent mob boss gives his subordinates, which isn’t too much to ask. Gotti pulled that same disloyalty play on his Number 2, Sammy The Bull, and we know what happened to the former.

p j evans
Member

Cohen should have known that with Himself loyalty only goes up, never down. Going down, Himself’s calculation is “is this person still useful?”

Bareshark
Guest

In that aspect, Himself, as you call him, is hardly a unique example. The loyalty only flows one way schtick is actually quite common in the business world Trump failed at. So small wonder he’d imitate people he thinks are what he believes he should be.

bwolofsky
Guest

Ha! You know what, Joe? Me too. He seems like the most honest of that entire lot. Yeah, I actually DO believe him. Whoda thunk?

Bareshark
Guest

If a lie were useful, he’d use it. Only the truth has a snowball’s chance in Hell of saving him now. At minimum, he won’t wind up like Epstein, a privileged, sloppy baby-raper who never planned for the bottom to fall out from underneath him. Pro crooks like Parnas are MUCH better prepared in that department; jail time is just a temporary change of address.

Carroll Ann Robinson
Member

One pick up I had was chilling–this soft-spoken tough guy actually seemed to be scared. He talked about his wife, his kids, and himself as well. And we have to remember the land of his birth: Russia (at the time, it was the USSR and as efficient then as it is now under Putin at disappearing folks). I think he believes that putting out the information just might save his skin; and if it doesn’t, well what a treasure trove he will leave us with.

brakester
Member
Itsazoo, It’s comforting to know there are people less cynical than I am! I have no idea whether he is lying about any of it, but duplicitous people like that can turn on the charm and convince ordinary critters like ourselves that they are basically good fellas. He’s been practicing this act in front of a mirror all his life. Presenting the facade of the “Honorable” Truth-teller when caught is an essential skill for mobsters staying out of jail. On the other hand, look who he is exposing….even more cold-blooded liars than himself. So I commend him, but it would… Read more »
walthp
Member

Every time I see that picture of Guiliani that you lead off with, my first reaction is how much better he looks with that extra, blonde, hair. 🙂
I don’t want to see them ending up in cushy jail cells. I want to see them all staked out (as in with a ankle chain and a length of rebar driven in) in Wilderness Areas or the Border lands, each with their personal teaspoon, made to restore the landscapes to what they were prior to 2016.

p j evans
Member

emptywheel pointed out the many times where Parnas was shading the truth or lying in the interview with Maddow. He’s still crooked; he’s trying to get a lighter sentence for his own crimes, by turning in others involved, even peripherally. (And the Ukraine thing just keeps getting bigger.)

Bareshark
Guest

And if he takes down as many of Trump’s underlings as possible, I could care less. The real prize he brought to the table was the extensive documentation, after all, which is being verified one text at a time.