Sheinkopf Speaks: Putin, Trump, Ukraine & Bragg

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Hank Sheinkopf

Vladimir Putin made the big news. The tabloid headline should have been: “Vlad To World: Drop Dead.”

Let’s be clear. Putin is testing the ability of the sane world to survive. MAD means mutually assured destruction. You throw a nuke, we throw a nuke. Never mind global warming. We don’t have to wait 30 years until the climate kills us. We can just end it now. Mutually Assured Destruction used to be the rational way to keep people rational. Vladimir Putin ended that assumption forever.

On the night Putin ordered his army to annex parts of a sovereign nation and then to invade that nation, the local news hardly mattered. A guy half the world away is threatening nuclear war so who cares what Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was doing in his lower Manhattan Leonard Street office.

News reports says Bragg the DA ended what some have probably called Manhattan’s longest running show: the Trump family finances investigation. And that two long term prosecutors on that case resigned.

Those in the know say that case has been going on for seven years. Bragg cannot be blamed for what his predecessor might not have completed. 

It is ironic that Donald Trump himself commented on Putin, a man he said he knew well. He said that Putin’s original annexation threat was brilliant. Quite the pair. One breaks international law. Gets ready to kill people. The other says he’s brilliant. This is like calling Lucca Brazzi handsome.

Bragg’s timing then has improved. The last time he received great amounts of attention was when a memo circulating in his office became public. The memo outlined his policies which included giving accused criminals the benefit of a doubt and not charming them with resisting arrest ever. The famous memo also encouraged Bragg assistants to charge those arrested whenever possible with lowest levels of offenses. Many thought the document should have included a section to be labled clearly: “When in Doubt Blame the Cops.” He was going to use the law as he saw fit with interpretations he saw fit to rectify that which he deemed unfair. How nice of him.

Donald Trump will likely feel a sense of joy. His brilliant friend has invaded a nation, Ukraine. Among its crimes was to have free elections resulting in a democratic government headed by a former comedian who apparently received high approval ratings whenever he appeared on neighboring Russian television. 

So there you have it all. In one night. A successful comedian gets his country into war by refusing to surrender to an angry neighbor with nuclear weapons who is threatening to kill all of us. Maybe Putin’s motivation is that he wants to punish the comedian for having higher ratings.

Donald Trump might be saying again how smart that Putin is and that the Ukraine president Zelensky was never funny at all. 

But we have the best laugh of all. Alvin Bragg seems to have ended the investigation of Donald Trump.

We have the famous Bragg memo to remind us what it means when public officials decide to tell us what they intend to do to alter the law as they see fit. That wasn’t in the job specs. But so what. They’re all doing it these days.