So what is your over/under on how long before today’s shooting is politicized? You can give separate numbers for the right and the left.
How you Make America Great Again:
- Divulge classified information concerning ISIS to the Russian Foreign Minister;
- While in Israel, disclose – without prompting – that Israel was the source of the info, presumably pissing off Israeli intelligence;
- Be upbraided publicly by the UK’s Prime Minister for US’ disclosing information about the Manchester terror attack;
- Be ridiculed by France’s President in which, among other things, he groups you with authoritarian dictators Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan;
- Have Germany’s Chancellor publicly state that US cannot be counted on.
This is mostly from foreign trip that, needless to say, the Trump Administration characterized as a great success.
The famed Preakness Blue Ribbon Analysis is up on the “Horse Racing” page.
Why are these men laughing? The Russians, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, are probably saying “How did we luck into this fool?” (There was a time when when I spoke Russian, but cannot even follow the dialogue on The Americans, a program that I did not realize would have disturbing relevance in this day and age.)
Russian Foreign Ministry Photo (seriously) via AP
The photo is from the Oval Office during a meeting our President held the day after he fired the FBI Director because of the ongoing investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. It was at this meeting that Trump disclosed high-level classified information to our long-time global antagonist that compromised seriously a source of intelligence, according to The Washington Post.
The White House, of course, denied the report, sending out the once-credible NSA Advisor, H.R. McMaster, to deliver a response parsed so carefully that it would have made Bill Clinton – “it depends on what the meaning of “is” is – blush. Trump, of course, cut McMaster’s legs out from him by tweeting (of course) that he gave important facts to the Russians out of humanitarian (sic) concerns.
Now we have Vladimir Putin, formerly of the KGB, offering a transcript of the meeting to support the President’s position, whatever it is.
Now, if there truly was collusion between Trump and Putin, Putin would have been smart enough to realize that his endorsement would not only carry no weight in the US, but would indeed have been detrimental. And if Trump had a sentient advisor that he listened to, he would have been told the same thing.
The famed Blue Ribbon Kentucky Derby Analysis is up on the Horse Racing page.
To say that the nascent days of the Trump Administration have been marked by chaos and ineptitude would be a major understatement. In the more than two months between his election and inauguration, no significant work on policy priorities took place – or, if it did, it was completely incompetent. Thus, we had a hastily conceived policy on banning Muslims, and no leadership – unless you count bluster – on a health care bill.
Then there are the idiotic tweets. Anyone who was capable of thinking even one step ahead – let alone several steps – would have known that alleging wiretapping by your predecessor could not possibly survive even the first day of scrutiny. But this week brought two more instances that are simply staggering.
The first was the traditional Easter egg roll at the White House. Now I acknowledge that no President’s biography will ever mention this event, but it has been going on since the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes. Last year, 37,000 attended Barack Obama’s last one. It is an event with no down side. It is a feel-good, if meaningless, event that allows citizens to attend an event at the White House and walk away with good feelings and a souvenir wooden egg.
I could organize it, but the Trump Administration was in over its head on even this. The maker of the wooden eggs could not find anyone at the White House to order them, and had to resort to Twitter – what else? – to get attention. The event drew about half the crowd as the one last year.
There are some who suspect that one of Trump’s biggest concerns – after adoration – is size. Facing another debacle in which something he did was compared to Obama, Trump did what he always does in the face of possible embarrassment – find someone to blame. This time he nobly picked out his wife, Melania. While he ostensibly praised her for her work on the event, that was merely a hedge against the anticipated negative comparison with Obama.
As truly trivial as this matter is, the other event is on the opposite end of the spectrum – i.e., the risk of nuclear war. For days we read and heard about the Carl Vinson carrier group “steaming” toward the Korean peninsula in advance of an anticipated nuclear test by North Korea to mark the anniversary of the birth its founder. As the President of the United States said, “We are sending an armada, very powerful.” This occurred in the context of increasingly bellicose rhetoric and the United States’ bombing Syria and Afghanistan.
Tension was high. We are, after all, dealing with an unstable and unpredictable autocrat – and also there is Kim Jong-un.
It turns out that the much-hyped carrier fleet was actually sailing away from the Korean peninsula and was meeting up with the Australian Royal Navy to conduct exercises. As Charlie Pierce wrote in his blog, “Who among us has not misplaced an aircraft carrier?”
It was not until news reports surfaced – you know, what the President calls “fake news” – that officials at the White House acknowledged that, indeed, the Carl Vinson had not been deployed as a deterrent to North Korea.
Just what is going on here? Is there not a single person in the Trump Administration who might think it is not a good idea to ratchet up tensions in a volatile region over something that did not happen?