Things To Ponder Before 9pm

If things go according to plan President Trump will unveil his Supreme Court nominee at 9pm tonight. This time I think he will stick to his word because the prime time unveiling, like a reality show, suits Trump’s ego. I’m certain I will have a lot to say about the nominee, but don’t expect me to stay up late writing for tomorrow’s column. I have some thoughts I’d like to share with you to ponder in the interim. Let’s explore.  

About 20% of the American agricultural output is exported. So is about 20% of Maine’s lobster haul. Trump has started a tariff war which is now affecting those products. Could your industry take a 20% hit to demand? How many American industries can?

Trump likes to brag about his negotiating skills. In his mind his latest achievement is the total denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and removal of the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. Immediately after the Kim Jung-un-Trump summit in Singapore I exposed it for what it was; a complete giveaway by Trump for which America received nothing in return. I was far from alone in my analysis and the right wing dismissed us all as just a bunch of Trump hating lefties. Some time has now elapsed and we are being proven to be correct.

American and allied intelligence agencies have determined that North Korea has accelerated their production of nuclear material. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assessed his two day meeting with North Korean officials as, “Good-faith negotiations”. The North Koreans called the American attitude, “Regrettable”. As all skilled diplomates warned (that definitely excludes Trump and Pompeo) the definition of denuclearization was the sticking point. The bottom line is that nothing was resolved other than a totalitarian leader and a wanna-be totalitarian leader, both with huge egos, got the photo-op they valued above all else.

With that “success” as a backdrop, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump are slated to meet in Helsinki on the 16th. As in the Singapore meeting the two leaders are slated to have a private one-on-one meeting. The lead in line for joke writers will be: two liars go into a room otherwise alone.

Trump is already signaling he may recognize Crimea as part of Russia. The reality, which the rest of the world realizes, is that Russia stole Crimea from Ukraine. One of the basic tenets of the city-state world is the sovereignty of territory. What if Russia annexed New York State? As in Crimea there are a lot of native Russian speakers in the New York City area.

A lot of catastrophes of late are being called Trump’s Katrina. In defense of George W. Bush at least he didn’t create Katrina; it was thrust upon him. (That may well be the only defense of W. I can provide with respect to Katrina.) As far as natural disasters go Trump already had a Katrina; his was called Maria.

For all those Trump defenders and enablers calling for an end to the Mueller investigation let’s put this in historical perspective. The Watergate investigation took 28 months (with the Democrats controlling Congress). Nixon was a man of much greater integrity than Trump. Nixon’s crimes were domestic; Trump’s (at this point alleged) crimes were international; and I’m not limiting it to the campaign events. Nixon made his tax returns public; Trump has not and I predict never will. Nixon’s cheating was unnecessary to secure victory; you complete that sentence.

If Trump-Pence is not the 2020 Republican ticket I thought of my nightmare ticket: Pence-Cruz. Two liars popular with the Republican base; don’t laugh, it could happen.

Another wild though was what would a publisher in pursuit of sales call a Trump autobiography?  My initial idea was Despicable Me. Then I came up with two reasons why that will never happen. I’m certain Universal owns the rights to the name and will never release it; or at least not without healthy compensation which Trump would never pay. More significant is that Trump lacks the attention span and writing ability to complete such a project.

That Pence-Cruz thing still bothers me! I hope Trump’s production doesn’t take too long; I’ll want to get back to watching regular programming on Dr. Maddow’s show.

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