S4 E26 — What Happens If No One Asks a Question?

In Peril, Woodward and Costa identify Boris Epshteyn as an associate of Rudy Giuliani who joins Rudy and Steve Bannon in the “War Room” at the Willard — owned jointly by Carr Companies and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the Willard InterContinental Washington.

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62; Stephan Patis, 53;  Stephen Hawking (1943 – 2018): “If no one asks a question, nothing gets done. And if people keep asking questions, nothing gets done. Progress is asking the right question at the right time and getting answers before you move on to the next question.” Capricorn

Hi and welcome to Friday’s 26th Episode in Season 4 of  Our Disruptively Resilient Year” on this 15th day of April in the spring of 2022.

We concluded the three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed — during the “normal” pre-pandemic year compared to the pandemic year, and more recently to the paradoxically normal year. 

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season Four continues now within domestic and global chaos.

Previously in Season Four, The Disruptively Resilient Year

S4 E25Accountability?; S4 E24Another Spooky Role to Play on the Outside; S4 E23When In Doubt, Follow the Money

Related from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E26Following Alice Down the Rabbit Hole; S3 E25 Art Lives Upon Discussion, Upon Experiment, Upon Curiosity …; S3 E24Reunion on the Edge of the Pacific Ocean near Legoland? Hell Yeah!; S3 E23Free from the Pile of Rubble in Your Brain

Related from Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E26Rethinking the N-Word ; S2 E25Are You an Innie or Outie Thinker?; S2 E24Working Remote from KnowWhere Atoll S2 E23Gaping Loss No Amount of Mourning Will Heal 

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E26Day 26  of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E25Day 25 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E24Day 24 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E23Day 23 of My 1-Year Experiment


In Peril, Woodward and Costa identify Boris Epshteyn as an associate of Rudy Giuliani who joins Rudy and Steve Bannon in the “War Room” at the Willard — Owned jointly by Carr Companies and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the Willard InterContinental Washington. 

It’s conveniently situated two blocks east of the White House  and two blocks west of the Metro Center station of the Washington Metro.

And did I fail to mention it sat next to Freedom Plaza, where the rally would be held as Boris Epshteyn, a friend of Eric Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon plotted next steps?

So, just who is Epshteyn?  Jamie Raskin didn’t mention him in my notes, nor did Joshua Green or “Anonymous” so I had to sleuth a little bit and here’s what I found.

Magnet for Shady Characters

Is it just me or does Trump attract shady characters like metal to a magnet? 

Boris joined Trump’s 2016 election campaign after a firm, he was the managing director of business and legal affairs at the boutique investment bank — West America Securities Corporation — was expelled from Financial Industry Regulatory Agency in 2013.

In October 2013, Epshteyn moderated a panel at the investment conference “Invest in Moscow!” The panel was composed mainly of Moscow city government officials, including Sergey Cheremin, a city minister who heads Moscow’s foreign economic and international relations department. — Wikipedia

Remember how Russian oligarchs managed to hide assets converted from rubles into valuable art?  As told in the book by Ben Lewis, and again in a documentary about the Leonardo da Vinci painting being sold by one such oligarch and stored in the booming freeport business?  

A Painting but not s Valuable as a Leonardo

Well, in September 2016, according to Wikipedia,  Epshteyn responded to a question from MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson by offering a new explanation for why a portrait of Trump – paid for by the Donald J. Trump Foundation – wound up on display at Trump National Doral Miami, a Trump-owned for-profit golf resort in Florida. Epshteyn said: 

“There are IRS rules which specifically state that when a foundation has an item, an individual can store those items – on behalf of the foundation – in order to help it with storage costs… And that’s absolutely proper.” 

Misuse of Funds while Self-Dealing

What was at stake was self-dealing. And misuse of a foundation. And the following facts didn’t support his explanation, according to Wikipedia sources:

  • Instead, Trump’s resort was helping the foundation – which has no employees or office space of its own – to store one of its possessions.
  • Epshteyn‘s explanation failed to account for why the storage services required that portrait be displayed in public, as opposed to being maintained in a storage space. 
  • Similarly, Epshteyn failed to explain why the Trump National Doral Miami provided such storage services only for the Trump Foundation and only for a portrait of Trump.

Scripted 2020 Election Conspiracy

Now fast forward to Trump’s next election campaign.

After Trump lost the 2020 election, Epshteyn was a member of a team that gathered at a “command center” in the Willard Hotel one block from the White House days before Biden’s victory was to be certified by vice president Mike Pence in the Senate chamber on January 6. 

The team’s objective was to prevent Biden’s victory from being certified.  — Wikipedia

Desperation had set in among Trump’s inner circle.  John Eastman participated in the attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election.

They were following a script hatched by Orange County’s finest “legal scholar” once serving on the Chapman University faculty and former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

During President Donald Trump’s last efforts before the certification of Joe Biden‘s Electoral College victory, Eastman incorrectly told Vice President Mike Pence in an Oval Office meeting on January 5, 2021, that Pence had the constitutional authority to block the certification. — Wikipedia

Constitution’s 12th Amendment

Woodward and Costa explained that while the Democrats held the current House majority, the 12th Amendment of the Constitution stated the voting on a contested election would not be done by a simple majority vote.

Instead, the amendment states that the election vote would be counted in blocs of state delegations, with one vote per state: Republicans now controlled more delegations in the House of Representatives, meaning Trump would likely win if the chamber ended up deciding the victor.

Vice President Pence and former Vice President Dan Quale both hailed from Indiana. So, it was natural that Pence picked up the phone and sought his advice.

“Mike, I live in Arizona,” Quayle said. “There’s nothing out here.

Preposterous and Dangerous

Woodward and Costa described how Quayle thought Trump’s suggestion was preposterous and dangerous.

All he had to do was count the votes. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall

Trump’s effort to cajole Pence was a dark, Rube Goldberg–like fantasy,

“I do know the position you’re in,” Quayle said. “I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That’s all you do. You have no power. So just forget it.”

Quayle assured Pence that things would be fine. They were conservatives. Just follow the Constitution.

During that same period in December, Senator Mike Lee of Utah spoke with Leader McConnell telling his colleagues for weeks about attempts to not certify the election results: “We have no more authority than the Queen of England. None.” 

6-Point Action Plan

Lee and Lindsay Graham saw the writing on the wall — it was over.  But Lee was directed to John Eastman, another Trump lawyer. 

The two spoke with each other. “There’s a memo about to be developed,” Eastman said. “I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.” Graham’s strategy was now not to try to convince Trump he lost—he had lost that battle—but to convince him he could not change the outcome.

Eastman did send to Mike Lee the six-point plan of action for Pence to throw out the electors from seven states to keep Trump in power, which Lee rejected.

And, Pence did not accept Eastman’s argument either. 

On January 2, Trump, Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman held a conference call with some 300 Republican state legislators in battleground states Biden won to provide them with false allegations of widespread voting fraud they might use to convene special sessions of their legislatures to rescind Biden’s winning slates of electors and replace them with slates of Trump electors for Pence to certify. — Wikipedia

But like Trump, Eastman wasn’t deterred either.

On January 6, 2021, Eastman presented a speech at the White House Trump rally that preceded the 2021 United States Capitol attack and subsequently implored Vice President Pence, via his legal counsel, to violate the Electoral Count Act to delay certification of the election. — Wikipedia

Retired, but not Forgotten

On January 13, 2021, Eastman retired from the Chapman University faculty after the controversy created by his speech at the Trump rally.

More than a year later, on March 28, 2022, federal judge David Carter ruled Eastman, along with Trump, was likely to have conspired to block the January 6, 2021 vote count, according to Wikipedia’s sources.


Holiday Theme for The Day: 

warns us of the ego’s tendency to keep us working for its vision. As soon as it gets what it wants, it comes up with a new list of demands. Happiness and freedom depend on restricting the ego’s power with modesty and service. Give the ego just enough to exist, but not enough to take over and run the show.

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Shared creativity is a bond. Writing can unite people. Art can flirt with your eyeballs. A song can pierce you straight through and connect you with invisible thread to the others who hear and love it.” Scorpio

Who wouldn’t appreciate a sentence about art flirting with your eyeballs? But, I really love the invisible thread a song plucks on a thread in the “hear (here) and now.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “Your fantasy life is going strong. As for these castles in the air — maybe you can’t live in them, but some of the ideas are practical enough to apply once you touch back down to earth.” Taurus 

Not so much.  I’m no rocket man today, but I do love me some associative thinking.  We’ll have to wait until later for any practical evidence.

“3”  Steve Smith, 30, Stevie Nicks, 72: “Your mood: ambitious. You’ll push yourself. Because going after the larger experiences of life takes a great deal of focus and energy, it will require you to cut out distractions and bring your lower appetites into control.” Gemini

Maybe you can appreciate the premise, it just doesn’t fit for me today —except for the need to cut out distractions.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72: “New projects gather steam. The work is really just beginning, but encouraging early results are a glimpse of what you’ll get if you keep this up for the long haul.” Virgo

So, this series of episodes I feel compelled to unpack.  Which in turn take the steam out of anything gathering just yet.  Maybe a glimpse here and there shines a little sparkle, but I’m about a week away from turning up the heat on my newer projects identified.  

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62; Stephan Patis, 53;  Stephen Hawking (1943 – 2018): “If no one asks a question, nothing gets done. And if people keep asking questions, nothing gets done. Progress is asking the right question at the right time and getting answers before you move on to the next question.” Capricorn

And, this observation is really what’s driving me so far in this fourth season in the midst of chaos.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll

    • @KnowLabs suite of 36 digital magazines, according to my analytics, grew from 12559 this week to 12654 organically grown followers.
    • Orange County Beach Towns 216 viewers stopped by the week before.




    • “Here, Right Matters: An American Story” by Alexander Vindman. “We’d long been confused by the president’s policy of accommodation and appeasement of Russia, the United States’ most pressing major adversary. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, seizing the Crimean Peninsula, attacking its industrial heartland, the Donbass, from the capital, Kyiv. By 2019, little had changed, Russian military and security forces and their proxy separatists continued to occupy the Donbass. The biggest change was to Ukraine’s importance as a bulwark against Russian aggression weeks earlier, the White House had abruptly put a hold on nearly four hundred million dollars.” 
    • David Enrich begins his book with a suicide in “Deutsche Bank Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction” and then meticulously details the bank’s Russian money laundering operations. Deutsche’s Russian business surged after revenues had fallen 50% due to the 2008 financial crisis. Putin’s Russia, poured in to Deutsche from deals it did with VTB Bank, linked to the Kremlin’s intelligence apparatus. Deutsche positioned itself as a crucial cog in “The Laundromat” by doing what couldn’t be done — processing cross-border transactions for banks that were too small  and didn’t have offices outside their home countries.
    • “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy” by Jamie Raskin recalls one tragedy no parent should endure — the suicide of his son — and then a second tragedy at almost the same time — the insurrection on January 6th 2021, that terrified he and his congressional peers who were tasked by the Constitution to routinely oversee the orderly transfer of power from one former president to the duly elected new President. 
    • “A Warning” by Anonymous (Miles Taylor) written prior to the January 6th Insurrection as an insider’s account documenting how frequently the former President’s behavior and rage without any “guard rails” showed just how far he would go to win the next election at any cost while spinning lies and misinformation on top of each other.  
    • “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa provides anecdotes, stories and inside reporting documenting the controversial last days of Donald Trump’s presidency, as well as the presidential transition and early presidency of Joe Biden. 
    • “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising,” by Joshua Green tracks the money behind the scenes leading up to the 2016 presidential election and the growing influence of Steve Bannon’s network of extreme nationalists.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate


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