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Tea Pot Dome era cartoon

As revelations of foreign interference in American politics intensify, the question is becoming urgent: Who do they work for? Many Americans have asked when will Republicans turn on President Donald Trump? What more needs to be said? It’s not like the president did not admit to asking for foreign help. Oh wait, he has, on the White House lawn in front of the press corps. it was the modern-day version of Russia if you are listening. He embroiled both Ukraine and China.

However, Republican Party leadership has yet to break ranks. While a few fractures are emerging, they are not enough. It’s early in the scandal, however today some of our suspicions were answered. First, Senator Linsey Graham got a prank call from two Russians. He believed them to be a Turkish minister.

The question rises, does the Senator get these calls, prank or not, often? Does he get lobbied by foreign actors often? Then there is the content of the call. Senator Graham has been an open critic of the pullout from northern Syria. Yet, according to Politico he offered this:

But Graham also expressed sympathy for Turkey’s “Kurdish problem” and described the Kurds as a “threat.” Those private comments appear to contradict his public statements this week, in which he criticized Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria because it’s “wrong to abandon the Kurds, who have been strong allies against” the Islamic State.

”Your YPG Kurdish problem is a big problem,” Graham told the pranksters. He was referring to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, a group that began fighting ISIS as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces in 2015 — with support from the U.S. — but is considered a terrorist group by Turkey because of its push to establish an autonomous state for the Kurds on the Turkish-Syrian border.

”I told President Trump that Obama made a huge mistake in relying on the YPG Kurds,” Graham continued. “Everything I worried about has come true, and now we have to make sure Turkey is protected from this threat in Syria. I’m sympathetic to the YPG problem, and so is the president, quite frankly.”

So what exactly does he believe? What does he tell us in public? What he constantly tweets? Or what he says in private? Incidentally, the Kurdish problem is code for genocide. It is revealing as to what he actually believes. So is this opposition to the president an act? And should we assume that suspicions that he is compromised are real?

I am not just asking for the sake of asking. Many of us noticed an obvious change in the Senator. There is plenty of tape on this. There is the before Trump land and after. These days the Senator is a golfing buddy of the president and among his strongest allies. (Be careful Senator, Trump is only loyal to one person, that be Donald Trump. Soon you may find yourself under the bus.)

Speaking of buses, enter Rudy Giuliani and his friends from Kiev: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. In case you were asleep under a rock, you may have missed these two were arrested for campaign violations. According to the New York Times:

The two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who had been helping Giuliani investigate Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden, were arrested Wednesday evening at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, where they had one-way tickets on a flight out of the country, officials said.

Parnas and Fruman have been under investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan. After a court appearance Thursday in Alexandria, Va., the pair were approved for release on $1 million bond each, under the condition they remain at their Florida homes with GPS monitoring and third-party custodians. They will remain in jail until those conditions are met. They did not enter a plea to the charges.

Then we found out that Rudy was going to leave the country about twenty-four hours after they were supposed to go. Oh, and no, he was not going to meet with these two. I guess he was in need of some Viennese coffee. One never knows. Will he include some Strudel with his coffee?

Parnas and Fruman are behind the dismissal of the former US Ambassador to the Ukraine. They also were involved in getting funds to politicians through straw donors. Two of those caught in this are Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Florida. Governor Ron de Santis. Both have pledged to return ir donate these funds to charity.

So this raises this question. Who do they work for? And while other politicians who got straw funds (in the Republican world) lost in 2018, fact is not all did. Oh and there are photos of these two men at a dinner in the White House with the president. So the excuse given by the president does not fly. It was not a random photo with supporters at a money raising event. It was dinner at the executive mansion.

So what is the bigger picture? Why should we care? Well, first off Giuliani is already under a very crowded bus. This surprises no one who has observed trump world. Trump is hardly loyal. One wonders if Michael Cohen is laughing right about now? Told you so does not start to describe it.

But the much larger question is about the Republican Party and the corruption they will go to in order to win elections. When Leader McCarthy complains about Democrats and accuses them of corruption, he’s projecting. McCarthy at one point accused another Congressman and the president of being in Vladimir Putin’s pocket. That was a case of a stuck close being accurate twice a day. Then Speaker Paul Ryan swore him to secrecy. Now he accepts funds from foreign provenance and gives them back when caught.

When districts are heavily gerrymandered, and politicians are willing to do anything, they stop serving the people. They become corrupt and corruptible. They can be bought by special interests. One solution to this problem is to remove the vast amounts of cash from American elections.

And there is another indicator that perhaps more Americans are waking up to this corruption. Some reporters took photos of people bussed in to Minneapolis. Incidentally, there were seats available in the hall. But bussing in people speaks to very shallow support. It also makes this reporter wonder what sweeteners were offered? Where I grew up they were either cash, or gift cards. Desperate people will feign support for a bag of beans…or rice, or cash.

We are at that point.

I also know many people in the commentariat like to allude to Watergate. In this respect, I would like to bring your attention to Teapot Dome, the greatest scandal of the early 20th century. Like today, some of the components for that involved energy deals. Speaking of that, Rick Perry seems to be embroiled in something like that.

Incidentally, Dems want to speak to him. He has already announced his resignation, and Trump threw him under the bus. So what else is new? Expect things to continue to accelerate. And for trump to try to regain control of the news cycle. If you think things are crazy, buckle up. We just got started.

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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