This is not a photoshop, but a genuine pix released by the Saudi Press Agency, memorializing the moment when Donald Trump joined Egyptian dictator Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz at the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology. Video, if you care.
One of the hazards of living in Miami is that it attracts a certain class of person. Like Matt Drudge. Or the guys who made porn videos in the back of a bus. And now it seems we get to have the second act of Milo Yiannopoulos.
Why did he have to pick Miami? Not that there are ton of places you can rent a mansion, throw a party, descend a staircase with a python wrapped around you, and then arrange to be surrounded by half-naked women you have imported to add tone to your event and attract photographers. But still, why not LA?
So much of what I read about Trump is same-y: This is Not Normal; Is he past his use-by date?; Comey; GOP will never do what is needed; Comey; Cabinet will never do what is needed; GOP wavers; Is this the beginning of the end? and so on. I don’t myself feel any need to add to this buzz, necessary precondition though it may be before the nation leaps into the acid vat of division that is an impeachment. I don’t even feel much need to link to it, it’s so readily available everywhere.
The ordinary way to minimize the damage from Trump’s leak would have been to quarantine knowledge that it had happened at all. This is for a variety of reasons. First, while there’s a fear the Russians will help ISIS track down the source of the information, there’s no certainty they will do so. Telling the whole world what happened almost assures that the informant’s life is at risk. Second, intelligence officers don’t want possible sources to know that the president can’t be trusted not to leak to our adversaries because it makes it difficult to recruit them. Advertising this makes their jobs immeasurably harder. Third, by telling the Israeli public what happened, it makes it more challenging for the Israeli government to share information with us. It would have been easier to patch things up with the Israelis if we had limited knowledge of what happened to a few key, reliable figures in their intelligence services and their cabinet. Yet, the intelligence community immediately revealed what Trump had done, and that the Israelis were the aggrieved party.
Another way of putting this is that the damage control plan from the beginning showed no signs of being an ordinary kind of plan. Every step is counterproductive. None of it makes any sense unless the real damage control plan is to remove Trump from power. If the conclusion is that the problem isn’t limited to a single blunder, but is systemic, any damage control plan that goes no further than triage and cleanup won’t be adequate.
I’ve been writing about this slow-moving coup in various ways for months now because its not well understood and it’s the most consequential thing going on in this country and the world right now.
Strange doings at Duke Divinity School, with intimations of Political Correctness and threats to academic freedom? That’s what the American Conservative says. And if this is in fact a fair rendering of the facts (not utterly obvious as there’s hints of a two-year back story), they seem to have something of a case. Brian Leiter is on it.