Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Hunter Biden story

 Like most of you I had never heard of Hunter Biden until Donald Trump decided to target Hunter's father, Joe Biden before his office announcement. A heavy and prolonged criticism got global attention.  It certainly seemed incriminating for his father and Barrack Obama.  On the other hand anyone criticized by Donald Trump could not be all bad, in fact most of them are commendable.  At one point Trump mocked Hunter so severely and his campaign offered a T shirt "Where's Hunter" for $25.00.  Trump kept up attacks on Hunter and never apologized.

What does Hunter have to say about this unwanted attention?  Hunter is quite open about it.  The Ukrainians wanted a name with international clout and offered him a lot of money to insure that.  Underlying their effort was fear of the Russians who had seen one of their picks for President, Viktor Yankovych forced to a Russian exile.  Trump's later campaign manager, Paul Manafort was heavily mixed up for Russian interests in Ukraine.  The Ukrainians were well aware of corruption that enabled the Russian intimidation and wanted to clean it up.  Hunter was not just a name.  Among other things he advocated for a geo thermal project in Italy and  helped make a connection for Burisma with Pemex,  the Mexican energy company.  Earlier taking advantage of his name Hunter was able to help persuade King Abdullah to accept more Syrians despite an awkward political dilemma for Jordan.

Trump was certainly in league with Putin.  It is possible he just admired how Putin used power, but the links are many over the years.  Check out:   At about this time Putin was planning a sneak attack on Crimea and attempted to take more territory from Ukraine.  From my viewpoint it is hard to understand how Trump escaped with his job.  His actions were treasonous and he was trying to distract by attacking a likely rival's son.  It also fit well with Putin's strategy who wanted to take Ukraine back.  Joe Biden helped expedite the firing of a corrupt official.  Trump threatened to with hold military supplies to Ukraine that was being besieged by Russia.

The first part of the story seemed very saccharine where Hunter was trying to establish that he loved his older brother Beau.  He did lean on him a lot, even to helping with his alcoholism.  After Beau's death Hunter, already having gone through addiction drifted back to a relapse.

Most of the book is taken up with Hunter's addiction.  It covers periods of madness and efforts to rehabilitate.  For much of the time he was able to be functional and actually make a large amount of money that allowed him to maintain his dangerous habits with alcohol and cocaine.  At one point told us that writing about his addiction actually stimulated cravings.  He finished the book acknowledged that he will be under threat all his life.

At one time he had an relationship with Hallie, the widow of Beau and his sister-in-law but that was difficult.  The two shared a love of Beau, but in the end it only led to Hunter's divorce, scandal and awkwardness.

At one point after the Trump attacks, Hunter was approached by Adam Beck, a journalist with the New Yorker magazine who wanted to get the other side of the story.  They hit it off and Hunter found it a cathartic experience.  Some casual acquaintances gave him the number of someone they thought he should meet, but after leaving a message he threw away the phone number.  In the end he was saved by the love of a good woman.  Melissa Cohen was understanding, but tough.  She seemed attracted by Hunter's underlying humanness.  

Now Hunter has gone back to a love of painting.   Many critics point out that his paintings are over priced and likely bought by people who want to make an impression on President Joe Biden.  Hunter acknowledges he owes a lot to his father who not only brought him up, giving him lots of breaks and supporting him through some pretty rough times.  Hunter is well educated and above average in intelligence, but had trouble accepting various disappointments.  

If anything this story only enhances the respect some people give to President Joe Biden.  He is a man of love and understanding, a dramatic swing from his predecessor. 

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