You cannot make this stuff up.
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.
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.
Then there is Martin Longman’s Trump is Being Taken Apart, Step By Step; I’m not sure I agree with it, but it is at least different from the pack. Here’s a taste:
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.
Worth a look.
Note that the poll was taken before the Comey firing, which may explain why neither “Russia” nor “impeachment” make the list.
Photo via Kevin Drum, The White House Story On Comey Just Gets Worse and Worse, citing Quinnipiac polling.
I have to agree with almost everything in the letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Comey botched the Clinton email disclosures and deserves to be fired for it.
Of course, this being Trump’s World, and given the suggestive timing of the firing, one cannot help but suspect an ulterior motive. Unwillingness to share raw investigatory data relating to counter-intelligence regarding Russia?
Update: Of course the whole world has known about the issues about Comey’s treatment of Clinton. It is hard to believe it took over 100 days to decide to fire him over that. CNN says Trump decided Comey had to go a week ago and told Justice to come up with a reason. What was happening a week ago? Why, this. Sounds like enough to set Trump off, doesn’t it?
And, of course, it’s the coverup (or appearance of one) that gets you more than the crime. People in DC are already seeing a rerun of the Saturday Night Massacre, and calling for a special prosecutor. The law is different these days, so special prosecutors have less formal independence than they did in the post-Nixon reforms. Indeed, their independence is just about what it was in the Nixon years: not enough to prevent their firing, but enough to cause a crisis if it happens.
Ros-Lehtinen Statement on Her Intention To Vote NO on Revised AHCA.
Yes, she’d be one of the most right-wing members of the caucus especially on foreign policy (“Cuba”), but surely her sanity would take less of a beating. She’s already a leader on gay and trans-gender rights. Changing parties would let her vote for the childcare and medical funds her district needs.
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has been a leader in opposing destruction of Obamacare. Others followed. She has a chance to be a leader on party-switching too.