I went to bed last night not actually feeling content or positive, but confess to experiencing some “warm fuzzies” over Trump’s bigly, very very bad day on the legal front yesterday. Only to this morning wake up to the news that charismatic Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny had been ordered MURDERED in prison by Putin. Make no mistake. Navalny was murdered. Pootie and Russia can lie and spin all they want but Navalny was in court yesterday and by all appearances was in as good health as someone who’d been in the gulag for years might look. Articulate and even joking a bit. And hours later he’s dead?

I call bullshit. Not even Trump can unload the level of foul smelling excrement coming out of the Kremlin. You can read a bit more about this breaking news in this article by The Independent. Supposedly, in the middle of winter in SIBERIA Navalny decided to go for a walk (in thirty degree below zero weather) during which he “felt unwell” and then collapsed:

The prison service said Mr Navalny felt unwell after a walk on Friday, and “almost immediately lost consciousness”. It said medical staff had been called, but that they were unable to resuscitate him. It said the reason of death was being established.

Sure Pootie, you despicable murderous son of a bitch. I thought the part about “unable to resuscitate him” particularly outrageous. Let’s be real here. After getting the call from Putin saying “It’s time. Kill him” the thought that after going to the trouble of beating him to the point where he was dying (and probably injecting him with something that would on its own cause excruciating pain) you’d actually try to save him! The brief article notes the initial reaction of world leaders and general outrage that’s building outside Russia. However, neither it or the pundit class I’ve listened to this morning delve into what I believe is the key question:

Why NOW?

Navalny has been locked away in as far away a place as it gets in Russia and Russia is one big-ass country. In many ways it served Putin’s interests to have Russians (and others) see that he had Navalny locked up in a miserable place. That he could do the same thing to anyone. A reminder to Russians in particular not to go getting big ideas about opposing him. Something changed the calculus.

I’m thinking it was like what happens that causes an airline to crash. An “event cascade” of things happening so rapidly one after the other it not only can’t be overcome, but to non-experts seems like one big event. However, it takes time for the NTSB to do a thorough investigation and the final report in the typical dry language takes so long it seldom gets more than a day’s time in the news. If that much. Such might well be the case here.

However, I can’t help but think “why now?” and for me it’s not all that hard a question to answer. The free world’s leaders are in Munich for a global security summit. Putin has, through Trump gotten the GOP to hold up aid for Ukraine to give him time to both shore up his defensive line in Ukrainian territory he’s occupied and to rain down missiles on civilians to try and create a sense of hopelessness – and infighting amongst Ukrainians. But the Senate has passed an aid bill AND there are enough House Republicans to do so IF the package can be forced to the floor for a vote.

That matters and a lot. Ukraine is in stalemate and literally rationing bullets and artillery shells on the front lines. Aid would mean they can regain the initiative and Putin hopes come November he can have a new puppet in the WH. He didn’t even have to make contact with Trump. Trump knew to issue orders to kill that aid package. And there’s enough of the right people in the right positions in the House to maybe do that. More importantly the large number of rank and file members who would vote for the bill are too afraid of Trump to speak up/cross him. They already were of course but with the news Trump’s about to take over the RNC even if they stay off his enemies list they are in trouble come November because he will take and keep all the money for himself!

There’s a final piece to the puzzle. We still don’t know about whether SCOTUS will deny Trump (and quickly) and let judge Chutkan restart the Jan. 6 trial in DC. But there’s a good chance of it. Then there’s Engoron’s ruling expected this week. The best Trump can hope for is getting hit with several hundred million in fines, which he can’t pay! Worse, if Engoron sticks with preventing Trump and his evil spawn from doing business in New York no more Trump Org. That kind of financial collapse might Putin fears cause MAGAs to finally start having the scales fall from their eyes.

Still, Putin had reason for optimism. Somehow money could be funneled to Trump to put up bond for his appeals of the Carroll and New York state verdicts. And if SCOTUS decides to weigh in on the “Immunity” appeal after all (with Trump’s Florida lawyers openly saying they will file their own immunity motions with Trump’s pet judge who might say “Wow. Okay guys” they might not have a choice. There’s still a chance Trump might have avoided standing trial in criminal court before the election given the Georgia case was in doubt yesterday morning. Against this backdrop we have Trump’s pronouncement about NATO that in effect gave Putin a green light to attack someplace other than Ukraine. And instead of universal condemnation from MAGAs and elected GOPers there was at best tepid criticism.

Then, yesterday came the scheduled motions hearing in NYC, which started off (literally) with a no-nonsense judge saying come March 25 Trump’s criminal trial was starting! Then he slapped around Trump’s lawyers with their motions. A criminal conviction of Trump by late April or early May will REALLY eff up the GOP’s chances of getting Trump or another tool back in the WH. The only person who took the judge’s pronouncement as bad as Trump was Putin. And hours later Navalny was dead.

An “event cascade”

Add it all up and Putin deployed a Weapon of Mass Distraction. The murder of Navalny which will, headed into what in the U.S. is a holiday weekend eat of a lot of news media oxygen. Desperate times call for desperate measures. But what’s really galling me is that if GOPers had guts, had principles and cared about their country the way Navalny cared about his we and the free world wouldn’t be in this mess. It’s not a stretch to say given how badly things went with the Ukraine invasion Putin would be dead and buried in an umarked grave. Ukraine would be rebuilding, and with conditions even Russia would get help climbing out of the Putin dug hole. And maybe Navalny, a freed one might have become a force to make that happen.

Instead he’s dead. Murdered on Putin’s orders. And if his wife/children go back to bury him they’ll be arrested and if not right away at some point murdered too! All because Republicans won’t stand up to Trump. Again, add it all up and Navalny’s blood is on Trump’s hands too. And the entire GOP’s for giving him power in the first place, and now being so COWARDLY as to be unwilling to dump him. To help put him in prison where be belongs.

Goddamn them all. Useless, spineless self-serving cowardly f**kwads.  You might hear some of them offer “thoughts and prayers” and see them cry crocodile tears over the murder of Navalny. Don’t believe them. Not for a second.

If they don’t loudly and explicitly denounce Trump for kissing Putin’s ass, and then get louder and more insistent every freaking day it means THEY  DON’T   CARE!!!!

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  1. I was thinking that they didn’t have to lay a hand on Navalny. All they had to do was lock him outside with only his indoor clothing on for a few hours. He could have frozen to death.

  2. Traitor tot and his MAGAs have killed more than 500,000 Americans (at least that many or more would be alive if not for their lack of appropriate response to Covid!), why should they care about one more?

  3. Not to mention the traitorous weasel and trust fund baby who assisted the attempted coup from his tv show who goes over to throw support behind this fascist murderer, tucker, who should be sitting in jail or hung for treason. I still believe in the vote. That being said, if this pampered, shallow, intellectually lazy population doesn’t step up to vote in November, I’ll start believing in bullets…they don’t lie. We didn’t send boys to their death at Normandy and elsewhere with a good argument to turn evil killers away from their madness. WE SENT THEM WITH GUNS! There are those who still seem to believe facts, goodwill and truth matters…prove it assholes! We’ll find out next November. I promise myself I will face the facts no matter how much I wish it was otherwise, and I will not go gentle into that good night if these nazis steal our government. I WILL NOT GO QUIETLY IN PUTIN’S AMERICA! If I had been black in the deep south, knowing the Klan was coming for me, my wife, and children, I would have shot as many as I could, and would have told others to do the same. You maybe believe we can depend on the kindness of strangers…anyone who depends on the kindness of nazis IS A GODDAMN FOOL! Putin, Trump and the gop remind us of that daily.

  4. There’s no question that one way or another, Navalny’s blood is on Putin’s hands. But having read your piece, in which you try to place it within the confluence of events right now, I still don’t understand why Putin would consider this the moment to get rid of him. Yes, there are a lot of things happening just now, and Putin sees some possibilities that he might be able to strengthen his hand internationally. But in many ways it seems a particularly bad moment for Navalny to die. You point out that it will get a lot of news coverage. True, but all of that coverage will be strongly negative for Putin, and it’s certainly not good for Trump either, so what’s the advantage?

    Navalny was moved to an Arctic penal colony in December. Why was he moved and why at that moment?. If we knew that, we might understand why he died now. But as of now I don’t see how it would help in any way to get Putin out of the hole he’s dug for himself. If anything it just makes it worse.

    What about the domestic reaction? If Putin was seriously worried about domestic opposition or even rebellion, and if Navalny was the figurehead or inspirer of it, then it might make some sense — as a warning. Because the election is coming up in mid-March. Even though Putin cannot possibly win that election, it would be some sort of rationale. Maybe the underground opposition is planning something, and Putin got wind of it. There may be some such movement, but it’s hard to believe it could represent an actual danger to Putin. Yes, he offed Prygozhin, but that really was a threat, or at least that was the perception.

    As I said, whatever the answer, Putin is responsible for it. He has wanted Navalny gone for years, and could have killed him at any time. But he didn’t do it. I’m not even convinced that Putin wanted him dead at this moment. This is no way to defend Putin, but we do not really know what happened. To repeat, the reason he was moved to the gulag would be a clue. But I don’t know the reason.

    • In one important respect I agree with you. Why Navalny was transferred to a prison in Siberia might provide important clues to the “why now?” question. I’ve posited the confluence of events I think are, given what we know a plausible explanation. Having said that I won’t back down from a couple of key points. If Putin wasn’t (still) in power Navalny would still be alive and more importantly free. The second is that for too many years Putin has managed to hold onto power because Trump helped him. And enough GOPers were like Trump to allow that to continue to the point where acceptance leading to admiration for Putin developed in rank and file MAGA World. That filtered up to more and more GOPers on the Hill. And it’s grown to a dangerous level.

      Because of THAT, even though I still believe the majority of elected Republicans want Putin gone as much as you or I they are too afraid of Trump to toss his fat orange ass into the political wood chipper. If not for the combination of growing, open support of GOP elected officials and the cowardice from the rest Trump would have been dealt with long ago. Now he’s more powerful than ever with the GOP and in their minds he’s already Dictator Trump so they are just plain fucking scared. It might not be a straight line, but the line is there from the GOP to Trump to Putin still being in power. That’s why I say blood is on all their hands

      • I agree with all these key points. I just don’t understand how that makes Putin think now is a good idea to off Navalny. Despite the chaos they have created, this is far from a triumphal moment for either Putin or Trump, and getting rid of Navalny seems beside the point from that perspective.

      • On Fox News, Cavuto Live, Feb.17, talking about the death of Navalny, there was an exchange between Neil Cavuto and Gen. Petraeus, where Petraeus made the same point you did, and Cavuto responded with the same question as I had. It’s interesting to see Petraeus’s answer:

        Petraeus: And of course the timing of this is very suspicious, where right at the Munich Security Conference, it was announced, the buzz, literally a gasp, went up in the hall. When the word spread, Navalny’s wife actually then took the stage after vice-president Harris made a very powerful statement, noting that she was undecided whether to go to her children immediately or to go on stage. And she decided that HE would have gone on stage and so that’s what she did as well. But again …
        Cavuto: What does that tell you in an of itself, General? What does that tell you? That, um, he chose — If Vladimir Putin were behind this — this time to do it? Wouldn’t he invite a lot more controversy and wrath doing this now when you could have just, you know, had Navalny stewing in a Siberian jail cell. So why now? Why upset the apple cart now?

        Petraeus: I think literally to inject, again, controversy into this session that is here if you will, again, to be on the, again, to be on the– in the conversation on everyone’s mind. Again, I think it could colossally backfire.

        At 3:18

        Petraeus’s answer sounded like he was extemporizing, with a little hemming and hawing. Then, as if reconsidering, he added: “Again, I think it could colossally backfire.” I mean, what kind of controversy could there possibly be about this at the Munich session? And yes there was some kind of “controversy” in the House, with a few MAGA idiots claiming this was Biden’s fault, but who takes that seriously? The people who said it only made themselves look bad. — And that’s just my point. How could it not backfire, and how could Putin not realize that it would? Something doesn’t add up.


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