Sarah Kendzior ~ Bob Lefsetz

Sarah Kendzior ~ Bob Lefsetz

She’s nobody from nowhere.

You’ve got to listen to this podcast “The Big Steal”: It’s all about Putin’s kleptocracy.

A reader recommended it. It’s about the transition in Russia from communism to autocracy, with a bit of supposed democracy in between. We keep reading about Putin’s crimes, but they never get any traction. I remember “Vanity Fair” did a whole piece on graft in the creation of the infrastructure at Sochi, but it was too soon, it was pre-Trump, if you read it today…

Then again, despite having a moment, which actually lasted twenty years, the written word is fading again, being superseded by pictures on Instagram and audio on podcasts. Yes, the technology has gotten to the point where phones have better cameras than the ones you used to buy separately and if you stream at all, you have an unlimited plan, so why not listen to a podcast in the car?

Actually, if you’re pressed for time, you can get away with listening to just the first and seventh episodes of “The Big Steal.” The first sets the stage, tells you what is going on in Russia. The seventh covers Putin’s disinformation campaign, which he uses to upset democracy throughout the developed world.

If you listen to the entire podcast you’ll also learn that Russia has no money and Putin’s all bravado. He’s the world’s richest man, but he knows if he loses power he’ll be broke, but he’ll probably be killed first. So, he holds on to power with an iron fist.

“The Big Steal” is utterly fascinating. It covers Bill Browder, the Magnitsky Act and “Red Notice,” which I’ve written about before,, but the podcast gives more context, it’s not so personal, knowledge is power, and it’s also thrilling, you’ll listen to “The Big Steal” and pontificate about it and Russia to all your friends.



Sarah Kendzior calls Trump’s administration a kleptocracy.

Not that I knew who she was. I knew she wrote that book “The View From Flyover Country,” but that was it. Actually, I knew the book, not her name. But then my friend and webmaster Jeff told me to DVR her on Seth Myers. She was hyping her book, but late night shows are all about humor, ever since David Letterman, there’s no substance, and Jeff apologized for her the lack of protein in her appearance and sent me her new book “Hidden in Plain Sight” and…

I was intrigued.

It always happens this way. For all the hype in the media, we really only trust our friends. So I saw Sarah was appearing on last week’s L.A. Bookfest, and playing around on my phone in a funk, I decided to pull up the stream. Sarah was in conversation with Connie Schultz, who is married to Sherrod Brown. Now one thing you’ve got to know about the book business is it’s positively ancient. It’s still living in the last century. Not only is its goal to protect physical, believing price points are everything, despite music and streaming TV proving otherwise, but its marketing is positively lame, it doesn’t know how to get the word out. Watching a book event is like viewing an SNL skit. These people take themselves so seriously, what world are they living in?

That was the host, who threw it to Connie. And Connie and Sarah are acting so friendly. There’s been a bunch of stories recently how countries run by women have done much better in the coronavirus era. And one thing about women, they converse differently from men. For all the alpha females in TV dramas, for all the “Housewives” shows, most women are enthusiastic and want to get along and have no trouble being friendly and making conversation, whereas with men it’s all about climbing the totem pole, or you can see them being obsequious, kissing ass.

So, Connie asks Sarah questions and I’m intrigued. Because Sarah is so normal, she’s not media-trained, and she says things that are taboo. Like she has no hope. Didn’t Obama run on hope?

And she also said we’re all waiting for someone to save us, we believe there’s some bigger power that’s gonna stand up to the insanity, but that is patently untrue.

And I’m watching Sarah and I realize… She’s a rock star. Sarah has a Ph.D. In anthropology. Her thesis was all about autocracy in Uzbekistan.

“Hiding in Plain Sight.” And it’s hard to get into a book. Getting over the hump is the hardest part. But I was intrigued, I’m not much for non-fiction, but I kept going back to it.

And I wanted more. So I listened to her podcast, “Gaslit Nation.” And Sarah said she wasn’t worried about her reputation. HUH? Isn’t your reputation what you’re protecting, isn’t it everything?

Also, Sarah has death threats. Because if you speak the truth, those in power don’t like it. Believe me, I know.
That’s a big theme of “Hiding in Plain Sight.” How the elites control everything. It’s a club, and they protect each other, and you’re not in it.


“How Greenwich Republicans Learned to Love Trump” | Amanpour and Company

whatever “republican” words are used to describe the economy or politics what they are really saying is we are with Drumpf because he will protect our bottom line. OUR MONEY, OUR INCREDIBLE WEALTH, can’t be shared with anyone else, we are not interested in helping anyone, or the planet. These are naked selfish motives that have nothing to do with anyone who is a democrat. AND THEY WON’T ADMIT THAT THEY ARE WRONG ABOUT THIS.

pics courtesy of ECP


“Hiding in Plain Sight” is heavily researched, with footnotes. Sarah is constantly railing that despite facts, no one in mainstream media followed up on these stories. She posits writers don’t want to alienate their brethren. Yes, the privileged class, those with money who went to good schools, have now permeated everything…government, finance, media, entertainment.

Come on, you see the talking heads on TV. They’re all impeccably groomed, speaking in the same monotone. It’s all gravitas all the time.

Meanwhile, hell goes on all around them.

You want to believe someone is on your page. That there’s someone to listen to, to inspire you, who is not a product of plastic surgery made for consumer consumption. Someone real, just like you, who has a 3-D life, who just wants a better future for her kids.

That’s Sarah Kendzior.

P.S. Yes, that L.A. Bookfest video is down, so I recommend you listen to the episode of Gaslit Nation wherein Sarah talks about “Hiding in Plain Sight.” There’s some amateurish girl talk at first, and the interviewer can go on for too long at times, but the essence is there:

P.P.S. Or don’t do any of the above, don’t read her books, listen to her podcast, move on down the line. But now you know her name, you’ll be aware the next time you see or hear it. That’s how you build a career these days. By hacking away forever, being as great as you can be all the time, and waiting for word to spread. And believe me, if you’re great and telling the truth, people will notice.

“Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America”:

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