The alleged Russian crime is so complex it would take a rare genius to pull it off.

Robert Mercer, co-C.E.O. of Renaissance Technologies

I get dizzy listening to the details. Every night on TV, hours of news and lies and facts and twists and always with this growing sense — the entire investigation into ‘co-ordination’ (FBI Director Comey’s term) between Trump and Putin is going to explode and take the whole world down with it.

Some nights I listen, and I just don’t get it. What did Nunes say? Why would Spicer say that? Maddow has been talking for ten minutes, and she lost me ten paragraphs ago. It’s too much.

The first thing I do whenever a story crosses my news feed is check the source. WSJ? Okay. ABC News? Okay. The Red State Journal? I don’t bother opening that. I don’t open anything with even a whiff of bullshit, right or left. My brain can’t take it. I’m on an information diet. I want verified facts only. And that means ethical standards, editors, journalists, writers, real thinkers. They are in short supply.

So tonight I come across an article from the BBC. I dip my toe into this article because the headline promises headaches.

Trump Russia dossier key claim ‘verified.’

You can see how that draws you in. But as I said, my brain feels like a leftover slab of meat from a Rocky movie, so I tred lightly.

Until I get to this:

“Let me just tell you, the complexity of this case is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

“Watergate doesn’t even come close. That was a burglary in the Metro section of the Washington Post.

“It doesn’t have the international waypoints [of this]. Russia’s M.O. is to avoid attribution. This investigation is going to take time.”

Congressman Eric Swalwell, a Democrat who sits on the House Intelligence Committee.

That stops me in my tracks, the phrase ‘the complexity of this case is unlike anything we’ve seen.’

That’s when I stopped to think about Robert Mercer.

There is something about Robert Mercer that won’t stop haunting me. He’s odd. Very. He sued a model railroad company (and won) for $2.5 million. He believes the nuclear radiation that swept over Japan after the Fukushima accident actually made those exposed healthier. He believes there’s no such thing as white racism, only black racism, black people hating on white people. That’s only the tip of the iceberg of what this reclusive, mysterious, eccentric multi-billionaire believes. Don’t take my word for it, read this article in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer.

Robert Mercer’s life is a litany of weirdness, but he’s also a genius, a computer scientist of rare vintage, a one of a kind. He made billions analyzing and correctly forecasting stock markets. He eats data for breakfast. He’s a code hound that can dismantle your life and reassemble it, so you become a stranger to yourself.

He’s Citizen’s United wet dream.

“Suddenly, a random billionaire can change politics and public policy — to sweep everything else off the table — even if they don’t speak publicly, and even if there’s almost no public awareness of his or her views.”

Trevor Potter, Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan watchdog group, who formerly served as the chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

I’ve been wondering about this Russian story. We’ve all been wondering about this Russian story. Does it make sense? Does it add up? Look at the players. Putin. Asange. Farage. Manafort. Trump. It has the DNA of a perfect dramaturgy from Hell. But there might be a missing character.

Mercer bought a company called Cambridge Analytics, that claimed (unverified) they trolled social networks and analysed profiles for political leanings. They claimed they were in involved in the Brexit vote.

Can you imagine? How would that work in America?

Well, one way I imagine it working is this: Jane Smith lives in Youngstown, Ohio. She’s surrounded by empty factories, knows lots of people who have lost their jobs, but she still likes Hillary. She’s a lifelong Democrat. She doesn’t like Trump, the lies, the sexual philandering. She simply doesn't believe him.

All this information is trolled from her social feed on Facebook. She becomes a target.

She starts to see negative articles pass by about Hillary. A ton. Strangers start showing up in her comments section, arguing with her, upsetting her. Ads go by for the book Clinton Cash and links to articles in Breitbart with inflammatory headlines. (It’s all in the headlines.) It’s like she’s been dropped into a washer stuck on spin cycle. She still doesn’t like Trump, but she begins to doubt Hillary. She searches for more information. Search shows blogs about people who are like her, who don’t know what to do, people who say maybe they’ll sit this one out. There seems to be no good choice.

On Election Day Jane Smith stays home.

Take that scenario and multiply it by millions.

“The complexity of this case is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”

This may seem far-fetched to you, a voter suppression plot from a sci-fi B-movie. Is it possible? I really don’t know. From what I read, yes, it’s possible, but I’m no computer scientist. Such a wide-ranging, almost diabolical plot is almost beyond my imagination. Almost. What I do know is this story is unfolding faster than the bullet train we all wish we could take to LA. And I think the twist at the end of this plot is going to pin the brain seismic meter of citizens from sea to shining sea.



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