I’m a never-Trump Republican. I didn’t vote for him the last time and I’m not going to vote for him the next time. I think, to steal a line from P.J. O’Rourke, that when the Donald Trump Monument is unveiled in Washington, DC, it will consist of a large pit with a donkey at the bottom. That said, here are my thoughts on “The Latest News.”(Name of an anti-Bolshevik Russian refugee newspaper published in Paris).
- Paul Manafort is convicted of stuff from 2014 and before in Ukraine and Trump is supposed to be worried about what he may say about Russian collusion in 2016? What if there was no collusion, as Trump has insisted? So far, but we’re waiting for Robert Mueller’s final report or charges before we know. We’re also waiting for the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on the origins of the Russia investigation. The last one excoriated James Comey in exactly the terms used by Rod Rosenstein to fire him back before Trump admitted that it was about Russia. The IG also came down hard on Andrew McCabe. So, he doesn’t look too marshmallow-like to me. Let’ wait on the reports. In the meantime, the suspicion might arise that Manafort would fabricate stuff to please Mueller. Or, if Manafort says “I don’t know anything about what you want to know,” does he get the book thrown at him?
- Michael Cohen pleaded to a bunch of stuff he did independently of Trump + he helped pay hush money to a couple of women with whom Trump had had sex. Similarly, HRC refused to release the text of her secret speech to Wall Street bankers for exactly the same reason as Trump tried to hide the revelations of “Stormy Daniels” and that other one. People might think less of them during the run-up to an elections. Did the lawyers and political operatives–if any–for HRC who counseled her on refusing to release the text of the secret speech also violate campaign finance laws? After all, they got paid money to keep the truth hidden. For that matter, how many of the Democrats who want to get Trump also said “OK” when Bill Clinton said “Well, we’ll just have to win it”?
- Turning to matters of substance, rather than froth and scum (see: Andie Tucher https://www.amazon.com/Froth-Scum-Beauty-Goodness-Americas/dp/0807844721 ), Mexico is willing to make concessions on NAFTA and Canada will soon join in. China has resumed talks with the US on tariffs and may yet open its markets to American goods. The NATO allies are finally starting to meet their long-standing commitments. North Korea has begun talks with South Korea and the US on nuclear disarmament. It seems that the North Koreans suddenly figured out how to make (or buy) ICBM rocket engines and the computer technology to prevent US cyber-attacks on missile tests. Could the CIA offer some insight on how this happened? Then, huge numbers of ordinary Iranians, according to the New York Times, want their government to talk to the US, given the collapse of the Iranian economy. The corporate tax is down to international norms. OK, spending is wayup above international norms. The unpredictable regulatory environment of the Obama administration has been reined-in.
- Yes, Trump identifies with “strong leaders.” What do people want? A continuation of the “Empire” as it operated under Clinton, Bush, and Obama? Bunch of weak elites of both parties are nostalgic for the era of the USA telling everyone else what they had otta do, while getting bent-over on trade and other stuff. Times up.
- Minor social stuff. A.) Wait, Asia Argento had sex with a 17 year-old boy and he was “traumatized”? As opposed to grateful? You ever see her in “La Reine Margot”? Was he fighting to keep his virginity? You know any 17 year old boys who are/were saving it for marriage? Me neither. America never was “Up With People.” Then, how did the stuff come to the NYT? And why were they in such a hurry to publish it? To bust on an immigrant woman who may or may not be a little kinky? Think about that one. B.) One little picture in the paper of the activists who pulled down the statue of “Silent Sam” at Chapel Hill. (S’OK by me. My great-great grandfather was killed at Nashville commanding the 35th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Picture of him getting knocked backward off his horse by a minie-ball to the head appeared on the front page of Harpers. Burn the whole place down.) In that picture, all but one of the people is white. In the story accompanying the picture, the black people who are interviewed are described as being at the back of the crowd. Was the crowd truly multi-racial, diverse, and inclusive, or was it a bunch of white activists who appropriated the justifiable anger of African-Americans for their own purposes? I would really appreciate it if people could give me some information or advice here.