Perhaps it is primarily a combination of my accent and poor phonics background, but the word “ketchup” and the phrase “catch up” sound almost alike to me. As happens too many Thursdays today’s article is an attempt to catch up on some recent news I have not had the opportunity to cover. Let’s explore.
If Andrew McCabe is to be believed, we received the most compelling evidence that Donald Trump is an agent of Russia acting in their best interest and succumbing to his greed. For the record, I find McCabe to be substantially credible; certainly much more credible than Trump.
Tuesday night the new broke that Trump would nominate Jeffrey Rosen to take the soon departing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s place. There are several disturbing dots in this. The Deputy AG is basically the chief operations officer of the Justice Department. Rosen has no experience whatsoever at Justice. Attorney General Bill Barr is in his first week on the job. (This is a return engagement. He was the AG under George H.W. Bush. His best known “accomplishment” in his previous tenure was to advise Bush to pardon a bunch of people criminally caught up in the Iran-Contra scandal.) Rosen and Barr both are alums of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis. Perhaps most disturbing dot is that Rosen is currently a Deputy Secretary of Transportation. The sitting Secretary of Transportation is Elaine Chao, a/k/a Mrs. Mitch McConnell. Lots of dots there!
One last thought on this front, (the scandals do intersect). Politico reported at least ten emails coordinating efforts between Chao’s and McConnell’s offices. I have often criticized McConnell as evil and still have that overall view of him, but I have never called him stupid. In fact I think he is very smart. It is possible to be simultaneously evil and smart. Why is McConnell falling into the trap so many in Washington do of putting incriminating things in writing? Couldn’t he just talk to his wife at home?
The award for stupid move of the week has to go to Roger Stone. He actually posted a picture of the federal judge hearing his case with a crosshairs to his Instagram account. This matter is unresolved as of this writing but I can’t see it ending well for Stone. This is like “greeting” a traffic cop who just pulled you over by rolling down your window and asking them what the (expletive deleted) they think they are doing. The only thing I can think Stone is doing is playing some sort of long game where he wants the right wing to see him as a martyr. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me but then again I’m not trying to ride Ricard Nixon’s coattails.
The almost unheralded Wilbur Ross scandals continued with a report by the Office of Government Ethics that the Commerce Secretary’s financial disclosures were less than totally accurate. In plain English Ross lied. In most administrations that would be a front page scandal concluding in a swift termination. In the Trump administration it is simply par for the course.
The Mike Flynn scandal resurfaced again this week. It appears that Flynn’s plot to sell nuclear secrets to Saudi Arabia is still alive. Trump administration officials are still trying to make it happen. The deal would almost certainly be a violation of both American and international law. Just to throw out a few more dots for my readers to play with: the Saudis have a ton of money, Trump loves money (and doesn’t have nearly as much of it as he likes to brag that he does), his first foreign trip was to Saudi Arabia and son-in-law Jared Kushner entered the Senior Advisor job property rich and increasingly cash poor. It was also revealed that Trump never really fired Flynn (even 18 days after the White House was informed that Flynn was almost undoubtedly compromised), Flynn resigned on his own. A lot of things there don’t pass the smell test.
The New York Times broke a story of Trump’s attempt to interfere with Michael Cohen’s prosecution. Trump didn’t do this to benefit his old attorney and pal. To Trump loyalty is a one way street – his way. Trump’s motivation was to save himself. Remember after Trump saw he could no longer effectively interfere he abandoned Cohen.
For those who like to judge people by the company they keep I have a tidbit for you. In the crowd behind Trump during a Monday appearance in Miami was the Chairman of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio. Tarrio was decked out in a “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong” t-shirt. For those of you unfamiliar with the Proud Boys they are a violent white supremacist group. For those of you unfamiliar with major league political rallies the people sitting behind the main speaker don’t get there by accident; the “crowd” is well staged to present a desired image. It doesn’t take a very stable genius to figure out who Trump was appealing to.
FEMA Director Brock Long is resigning. It seems the matters of over $150,000 of unauthorized spending finally caught up with him. Where have we heard similar tales in Trump’s drained swamp?
In another apparent pay to play affair the Justice Department issued a ruling on Internet gambling that just happened to have been long sought by and benefited mega-Trump donor Sheldon Adelson. The opinion was posted during the government shutdown, (must have been essential to our national security). I have to wonder if the $20 million Adelson donated to the 2016 Trump campaign had anything to do with it.
I’m running much longer than I expected to but I would be remiss not to make one last observation. On February 14th The Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Alabama ran an editorial by Goodloe Sutton entitled “Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again.” In it Sutton called on the Klan to ride up into Washington and lynch most of the Democrats and a few Republicans. That is the outrage of the year to date in my opinion. Here is the scary part: A lot of people, and not just in backwoods Alabama, agree with Sutton. With Trump in the White House they feel comfortable and protected coming forward with their views.
The truth be told I’m not a big condiment guy. That said I like the taste ketchup leaves in my mouth a whole lot more than the taste most Trump administration actions do!
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