- *Wherein I seize a tour bus and charge off with the terrified passengers and I proceed to tell them about the sites I am taking them to see. Naturally, I know nothing about what I speak.
Saturday, January 28, 2023.
Lawrence O’Donnell had Timothy Snyder on his show a few nights ago. It was a short piece, but it was the best analysis I have heard about anything. Snyder is a history professor at Yale. His area of expertise is Central and Eastern Europe. He has written a number of books. One is entitled “On Tyranny – Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.”
He was asked about the recent arrest of an FBI agent.
The agent was arrested for taking money from Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. He took money from Deripaska while working for the FBI and after he left. The agent was in charge of investigating the Russian attempts to influence our elections.
Let’s backup. Paul Manafort was Trump’s 2016 campaign manager. He was passing information (internal polling information, etc.) to Deripaska via an intermediary. Manafort had worked for Deripaska before the Trump campaign. In fact, one might suspect and conclude that it was Deripaska that wanted Manafort to be campaign manager for Trump.
Let’s not forget that a woman aboard Deripaska’s yacht recounted Deripaska discussing with three English speaking people the 2016 election. She was in Thailand and tried to flee via a stop in Moscow where officials boarded the plane and roughly took her off. Nothing much has been heard from her since.
Now Deripaska is linked to an FBI agent who was supposed to be investigating him.
All this is a re-enactment of what happened in Eastern Europe a decade earlier with the former Russian backed president of the Ukraine. I can’t remember all the details and I wasn’t able to find the clip.
The second part of the interview O’Donnell asked about Margorie Taylor-Green’s comments about our giving aid to Ukraine. Her stand is we need to keep our forces strong here and that it’s gotten way too expensive.
Snyder’s answer was very informative. Actually, he said, it’s been cheap. If you look at our defense budget it hasn’t cost much. What do we get out of it? Well, if Ukraine wins then Russia is no longer a threat and this puts the Chinese on notice if they have any intentions toward Taiwan.
Lastly, for folks who have read the headlines about the layoffs at places like Amazon and think the economy is in trouble. It has been pointed out by economists that this is the fastest recovery in our nation’s history. Unemployment is low. Wages are up. And if you look at the job growth before and after Covid it is a steadfast increasing line. While the layoffs at some tech companies sounds like a lot, the over all numbers are good and growing.
And for those who think the help during Covid was a mistake or too much. One thing economists point to is the number of people defaulting on their credit card bills. It stayed steady. It didn’t go up. The economists’ analysis is that the government bailouts gave money to people and they were able to keep paying their bills because of it.
Finally, on another show there was a black Republican congressman. He seemed to have all the answers. Until you listened to them. He said that if we taxed the rich we’d collect less money. Figure that one out.
Okay. Back to work. As you were.