Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dense networks

Guido Georgio Lombardi and friend, from his North Atlantic League website.
A truly bizarre profile in Saturday's Times by Jason Horowitz of a Trump friend, fellow resident of Trump Tower and Palm Beach, George Guido Lombardi, aka Guido George Lombardi, aka Count of Canevaro (he's got that one wrong—the Canevaro nobility was awarded to Giuseppe Canevaro, a 19th-century guano king, I'm not making this up, who was ennobled by King Victor Emmanuel II—conte di Zoagli e duca dei Castelvari—for his part in transporting Napoleon III's army to Genoa helping the Risorgimentisti conquer Lombardy from Austria), interviewed at Mar-a-Lago

as he sat next to a whirring Boca Freeze soft ice cream machine in the Mar-a-Lago beach house as Secret Service agents lounged outside, looking out over the Atlantic.
That's poetry!

Somebody's going to have to stop me from quoting the entire thing, which treats this guy as a sort of ambassador to all the rightwing nativist mobs of Europe, the Lega Nord and the Beppe Grillo movement, Viktor Orbán, Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen (“I told her right away, ‘Marine, dump your dad. He is just a dead weight. And anyway you have to make a choice. You are either with the Jews or you are with the Muslims. You can’t be with both.’” He's fond of Jews, “‘our curly friends,’ he said referring to the orthodox party that had rented Mar-a-Lago out that afternoon”). And the husband of the former Gianna Lahainer, who when her first husband died in 1993 at the outset of the Palm Beach social season had his body put into cold storage at the local funeral home instead of shipping it back to Italy so she wouldn't be compelled to miss any of the parties.

And he's also revealed to Mr. Horowitz that Trump believes his tweets saved Amanda Knox, the American former student and murder suspect in Perugia whose innocence is now established, from life in prison, and is really pissed off because he apparently heard she voted for Clinton last November, the ungrateful bitch.

But there was this one bit that rhymed with something else that stuck in my head:

Ms. Lahainer, a former office worker from Trieste who had married the real estate mogul Frank Lahainer, was already a friend and neighbor of Mr. Trump, having bought one of the first condos in Trump Tower. When Mr. Trump first considered buying Mar-a-Lago in 1985, she warned him about the noise pollution from plane traffic over the estate, prompting him to renegotiate the price.
It was that equally crazy and apparently coded story by Glenn Thrush on Paul Manafort, another Trump Tower resident, famous consultant to rightwing dictators Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko, and Viktor Yanukovych, who took his talents to Palm Beach if you know what I mean after his Ukraine gig fell apart in the Euromaidan revolution, in which we were told that Manafort couldn't recall any particular activities before 2016 with Trump, in spite of their mutual friendships going back 50 years with Roy Cohn and Roger Stone, except for this one odd little detail:
In one of his memos Mr. Manafort refers vaguely to work he performed, years ago, to clear noisy airspace over Mr. Trump’s Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago.
You see what I'm saying? This 1985 struggle to keep the obnoxious planes away from the billionaire's personal air looms ever larger in Trump's life, and it was something Manafort and the future Mrs. Lombardi, his Trump Tower neighbor, worked on together.

 It doesn't mean a thing! Unless, you see, it does. I don't know if you all remember, at the time of the Snowden revelations, what we learned about what can be done with communications metadata collection, but it was all about what we call "social network" analysis, a technique for establishing how a group of people are interrelated with one another by mapping their one-to-one pairwise interactions. I was hoping at the time that what the NSA was doing was establishing the interactions of international bad actors, terrorists, arms dealers, and money launderers—I wasn't thinking about Republican politicians like Rudolf Giuliani and Jeff Sessions—which it now seems to me is what they were in fact starting at least to do, and what we're now learning about the circles around Trump is that they were very densely interrelated, to a point where weird little details like this really intensify the impression.

Lombardi and "Supreme Court Judge A. Scala".
Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.

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