Let's Fix This Country
justice

Heavy Redaction Expected to Keep Mueller Report Secret

The attorney general is about to release a Mueller report to Congress that has undergone several layers of redaction. To get to where we are now, first the twists and turns of the three weeks since Mueller and cohort turned in their work, weeks in which "complete and total exoneration" has turned into something highly suspect and an attorney general accused of acting as President Trump's personal lawyer

Right off, the media was in for a drubbing. "A catastrophic media failure" by "the leading lights of journalism who managed to get the story so wrong, and for so long", wrote Federalist co-founder Sean Davis in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. "It wasn't merely an error here or there. America's blue-chip journalists botched the entire story, from its birth…to its final breath".

"It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD", wrote Matt Taibbi at the otherwise liberal Rolling Stone. "Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor [sic] Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media". Rich Lowry at National Review said, "Never has so little come of so many screaming chyrons. The last two years have been a disgrace".

Sean Hannity was "pissed off and so should the rest of the country be".

"The so-called mainstream media, so-called journalists, they should be embarrassed tonight, they should feel humiliated tonight, they should be apologizing tonight to the American people."

Even the The New York Times was contrite. An op-ed was headlined, "We Were All Seduced By Collusion". Columnist David Brooks' headline was "We've all just made fools of ourselves — again". Peter Baker, a lead reporter of the Trump administration, wrote on the front page that "It will be a reckoning…for the news media…Have journalists connected too many dots that do not really add up?”.



absolution

When Attorney General William Barr's summation letter was released, minimally quoting that Mueller's collected evidence "did not establish" that the Trump campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia, and that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime" of obstruction…

north korea

With North Korea, Are We Back at Square One?

When President Trump walked away from Kim Jong-un's offer, Democrats began breathing again after fearing he would give away too much and called the summit a failure. Republicans tried to make it a success, applauding Trump for toughness in turning down a deal that no fool would have accepted.

The summit failed for lack of preparation, for neither side knowing the other's demands, for not having worked out agreements well beforehand by each
country's negotiators, for not thereby following the usual protocol of the heads of state only then arriving to shake hands, sign the finished document, enjoy a fine dinner punctuated by flowery toasts, and go home.

But Mr. Trump wants to substitute his personal, one-on-one diplomacy, cutting the deals himself in the belief he is a master deal-maker who will charm foreign leaders into accepting his position. Instead, Mr. Kim offered only to dismantle an important nuclear facility, demanding in return that the U.S. lift sanctions in their entirety. All other weapons facilities would be left in place with the hermit country free to continue development of fissionable material…

trade

Something Tells Us the China Trade Deal Will Not End Well

March 1 was to have been the deadline on which President Trump intended to raise tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China from 10% to 25% if a trade agreement were not reached. It hasn't and the deadline has been put off. Mr. Trump
A recent Wall Street Journal article reports a wave of farm bankruptcies to which the lost
sales to China in retaliation< for tariffs play
the major role.

is claiming that the two sides are "very, very close" to a deal, but…

trade

Maybe Tariffs Aren’t All That Bad

We have become so immersed in free market doctrine since the debut of Reagan conservatism that "tariff" has become a dirty word. Between the simple-minded insistence by the right for unadulterated free trade unencumbered by regulation, and the go-along embrace of globalization by the left, we have succumbed to the belief that these mechanisms, left to their own devices, will result in an equitable sharing among peoples. Billions have been lifted out of poverty, yes, but jobs in the millions have been transferred across borders and serious imbalances in deficits and debt have arisen between nations.

Donald Trump, with an anger first aimed at Japan and then at China that dates from public declarations by him unchanged from three decades back, has waded in with a mission to engineer trade parity.…

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governance

The Void Between Today’s America and the Green New Deal

It's been two months since the odd couple, 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 72-year-old Edward Markey, changed the weather in Congress with their Green New Deal resolution. We thought we'd wait until the tornado passed and the dishes stopped rattling before assessing the fallout.

It's an extraordinary document. Their brash attempt — it came just days after Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was sworn in as a Congresswoman — follows the orderly paragraph numbering and lettering traditional to legislation, but at one point veers off on



tangents that have the earmarks of a college all-nighter when someone fired up a doobie. The premise is: Here's what must be done by 2030 to defeat climate change, but midway through the "whereas" clauses outlining the climate threat, the authors decided, while at it, why not go for broke (literally); why not call for all society's injustices to be remedied: the basic needs of clean air and water, healthy food, healthcare, housing; income distribution disparity, four decades of wage stagnation, gender inequities, the reduced bargaining power of workers, and so forth. Hence, their proclamation became a Roosevelt-style New Deal wrapped in Green.

It's easy to poke fun, but for all that, it is an uplifting call to action, beaming with can-do confidence. It lays out wildly ambitious goals against a preposterous timetable but it shakes America by the shoulders to say look how adrift we… Read More »

fact check

Trump Says Asking Russia to Find Clinton’s Email Was Just Good Fun

At CPAC, the annual gathering of conservatives in the first weekend of March, President Trump said about his request for Russia to find Hillary Clinton's 30,000 missing emails that the media can't take a joke:

If you tell a joke, if you're sarcastic, if you're having fun with the audience, if you're on live television with millions of people and 25,000 people in an arena and if you say something like 'Russia, please, if you can, get us Hillary Clinton's e-mail. Please, Russia, please. Please get us the e-mail! Please!'.
So everybody's laughing, we're all having good time, I'm laughing, we're all having fun and then that fake CNN and others say [Trump shifts to an announcer's deep voice] 'He asked Russia to go get the e-mails. Horrible!'"

There was no arena, there weren't 25,000, no one was laughing, no one was having a good time. It was July 27, 2016. Trump was in Florida standing at an indoor podium taking questions from the media:


Double-click to expand and play video. Press ESC to close.

MSNBC television reporter Katy Tur asked,

"Do you have any qualms about asking a foreign government, Russia, China, anybody -- to interfere, to hack into a system of… Read More »

slicing the pie

Welcome to the Roaring Teens

The 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the 150 million Americans who comprise the bottom 60% of the wealth pyramid. That was brought to light in a new study by University of California at Berkeley economists who say that U.S. wealth concentration has arrived at the levels of the Roaring Twenties Comment?

the presidency

Trump Will Not Go Gently

Signaling he'll fight leaving office

The last thing Michael Cohen said as a day of hearings before the House oversight committee ended was, "Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power". Far-fetched? In an interview with Breitbart last week, Trump said this:

"I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the toughest people, but they don't play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad".

Donny Deutsch, something of a New York fixture — he founded a marketing communications agency, became a business television personality, and now

often comments on left-wing talk shows — knows Donald Trump and is a good friend of Michael Cohen. He knows what Cohen knows about Trump. Deutsch has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the president. In January he said about impeachment:

"He's going to tell people to take to the streets. He owns 50-60 [million], how many voters, about 30%?. He's going to say 'They're trying to take your president away. Don't let them do it. We're going to the streets. We're going to create a civil war.'"

Reading this, one's reaction may be, that's not going to happen. Commentators branded it delusional and an insult by Trump to think that the police, the military, would forswear their allegiance to the country, their oath to uphold the Constitution, only to protect Donald Trump should he refuse to leave the White House.

But those clearly are factions that Trump thinks he can commandeer, given that he has said much the same before, however incoherently, on three occasions in… Read More »

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