But first: “A lawyer, a spy, a mob boss, and a money launderer walk into a bar. The bartender says: you guys must be here to talk about adoption.” — Dr. A on Twitter
And why did Deutsche Bank loan him all that money? Was there a Russian connection?
Why was the Vice Chair of a famous Russian money-laundering bank in Cyprus chosen to be our Secretary of Commerce?
And why was a guy Trump had not previously known — paid $10 million a year to help Putin — chosen to head Trump’s campaign? Whose idea was that?
And why was the guy chosen to run — and gut — the State Department the only one of those being considered whom Putin awarded the Order of Friendship?
And why did Trump’s Attorney General lie about his contact with Russians?
And why did his National Security Advisor lie about his contact with Russians?
And why did his son Donald lie about his contact with Russians?
And why did son-in-law Jared attempt to set up a back-channel connection with the Russians that US intelligence would be unable to detect?
And why did Jared omit his Russia contacts from from his SF-86 disclosure form? (And why does he still have security clearance?)
And why does Trump seem so happy whenever he’s with the Russians, inviting them and their photographer, but no American photographer, into the Oval Office; switching seats to seek out Putin for an hour’s chat at the G20 dinner?
And why does Trump still not accept the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia worked to influence our election?
When Trump fires Sessions to install someone to fire Mueller, he will explain that all this nothing-burger stuff is detracting from his (unparalleled) ability to get us all GREAT health care at a tiny fraction of the cost . . . make America safe again by getting Mexico to build a beautiful wall . . . and boost our economy by negotiating great trade deals.
Which brings us to . . .
John Mauldin’s report on the trade war that Trump is teeing up. (By pulling out of the TPP, Trump’s already ceded American leadership in the Pacific to China.)
. . . Candidate Trump talked about renegotiating trade agreements to help American workers. I support that goal. The problem is that President Trump seems intent on starting a trade war that will hurt those same workers. We are on a very dangerous course. Worse, if a report I saw last week is accurate, that course is already locked in.
Read the whole letter, but the gist of the Axios report was that “One official estimated the sentiment in the room as 22 against [imposing 20% steel tariffs] and 3 in favor — but since one of the three is named Donald Trump, it was case closed.”
Apparently, our president has created a National Trade Council and put a discredited economics professor at its helm — someone who understands trade in the same way Trump’s EPA chief “understands” climate change or Trump himself “understands” health care — which is why we all now have GREAT health care at not just a fraction of the price (which would have been amazing) but at a “tiny” fraction of the price. It was so easy!
Make no mistake: Putin is winning.
As I wrote earlier this month . . .
My fantasy — and it is only that — is that some crisis a month or three down the road triggers a lawsuit that can only be decided by the Supreme Court. And that that Court, though captured by the right, somehow finds the fundamental patriotism and fairness to say something like this:
Seventeen years ago this Court faced a national crisis and — in a ruling it went out of its way to brand as non-precedential — made a tough and widely criticized call that, in effect, gave George W. Bush the Presidency and, as it happened, the opportunity to appoint two of us to this body.
Last year, the Senate made the unprecedented decision not to allow the President to fill a vacancy on this Court, on the grounds that the will of the people as expressed in 2008 and 2012 did not give him that authority — the Senate needed to see how the people leaned in 2016. As we now know, the people — not the Electoral College, the people — leaned toward the Democratic candidate.
Today we face a new crisis. In developments that have been building all year, it has become clear that the 2016 election results were interfered with by a massive Putin-directed thumb on the electoral scale — a thumb the existence of which the Trump team long denied knowledge of but of which we now know they were well aware. In that context, we have been called upon to overturn the 2016 result as tainted, and to order a workable mechanism by which the country can move forward and regain its footing.
We hereby direct former presidents Obama and Bush, acting in concert, to recommend to this Court, in the shortest time possible, an interim president and vice president to serve out the remainder of this presidential term — or a shorter term if a majority of the House and Senate shall call for an earlier election.
Or something like that. And Barack and George, very different people but both sane patriots, would perhaps recommend to the Court Joe Biden and Mitt Romney; the Court would approve; and most of the nation — not having attained anything like great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost — nor remotely to have tired of “winning so much they got tired of winning” — would breathe a huge sigh of relief. As would the world.
Or they could just give it to Hillary, who did get more votes despite it all. But Putin/Trump have been so effective at getting people to misperceive her (she is wonderful and would have made a great president), it could fail to give the same sense of closure.