Wednesday, July 25, 2018


I'll leave it to others to do a deep analysis of the newly released Donald Trump-Michael Cohen tape from 2016. I'll just say that I'm amused by the care Cohen takes to try to conceal what he's discussing from anyone who might be listening to his conversations or taping them -- even though he's the guy doing the taping.

From the Washington Post transcript (emphasis added):
COHEN: ... Um, I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David, you know, so that — I’m going to do that right away. I’ve actually come up and I’ve spoken —

TRUMP: Give it to me and get me a [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

COHEN: And, I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with ...

TRUMP: So, what do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?

COHEN: ... Funding ... Yes. Um, and it’s all the stuff.

TRUMP: Yeah, I was thinking about that.

COHEN: All the stuff.
I've heard it said that real-life gangsters often behave the way gangsters do in movies and books because they know those movies and books and are trying to model themselves on their fictional counterparts. I think Cohen is doing that here. The instruction manual of choice, especially for white would-be tough guys, is The Godfather, but Cohen's efforts here remind me of a scene from Jimmy Breslin's 1969 comic Mob novel The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight:

The conventional wisdom is that "our friend David" refers to David Pecker, the Trump pal whose company, American Media Inc., publishes the National Enquirer. But there's an alternate theory:

If it's the latter, please note that Cohen won't even say the fictional surname out loud for his own recording.

Years ago, the kids used to call guys like Cohen "wankstas" -- wannabe gangstas. I think Cohen was always more of a gangster in his own mind than he's ever been in real life.

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