* “We … believe there exists compelling prima facie evidence that President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses.”–No, that’s not partisan-speak from Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, “Squad” members or Democratic presidential candidates. It’s part of a sobering, pro-impeachment statement, co-signed by 17 former members, Dems and GOPsters, of the special prosecutor team that investigated Watergate.
* “Tell the truth, I think, for a change.”–Former President Jimmy Carter, when asked what advice he would give President Donald Trump. Not normally the way a former president would talk about one of his successors. But nothing is normal now.
* Trump nuance update: “They didn’t help us in the Second World War. They didn’t help us with Normandy.” That’s vintage Trump on how he ignorantly rationalized America’s abandonment of the Kurds, our erstwhile Middle East ally. In so doing, he made the elimination of ISIS less than a fait accompli and sent an un-nuanced signal that the U.S. is not to be relied on unless you’re Vlad Putin. Even Bibi Netanyahu must be concerned.
* Trump nuance update II : “From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their pollster is, they suck.”
* Trump nuance update III: “(Democrats) want to raid Medicare to fund a thing called socialism.”
* Most GOPsters fear being “primaried” if they go off the Trump reservation, but there is an uptick against Trump over the Kurds and what’s unraveling in Syria. Even supplicant Sen. Lindsey Graham is willing to jeopardize his golf rounds with Trump with high-profile criticism.
* Would that the (YouTube-available) video featuring a fake President Trump brutally assaulting political opponents and members of the media inside the “Church of Fake News” were as shocking as it was disgusting and disturbing. Nothing, no matter how inflammatory and dangerous, is a shock anymore.
* We are reminded daily of two constitutional phrasings that have caused endless, unintended consequences as well as food for thoughtless partisans. “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state …” still hovers ambiguously over 21st century, Second Amendment right-to-bear-arms context like some grammatically awkward artifact. Then there’s “high crimes and misdemeanors.” It was meant to accord Congress impeachment discretion. In addition, it accords Congress, as we are being reminded, a partisan rationale.
As we know, presidential impeachments are rare, and actual convictions nonexistent. But over the years, about half of Senate impeachment trials have resulted in a federal official being convicted and removed from office.
* Note to President Trump on sending an additional 3,000 American troops to Saudi Arabia. Read the minutes of previous meetings. A key motivator for Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers was the U.S. troop presence that remained in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War. To the most radical elements, this was considered an “occupation” of Islam’s holiest land, home to Mecca, and further fueled the rage against Western “infidels.”
* The next “Cold War” would be with China. From intellectual-property connivance and currency manipulation to South China Sea aggressiveness and self-serving, global-infrastructure scenarios, it’s been game on for a while. But this is not like dealing with the old Soviet Union–or even contemporary Islamic militarism. We’ve got stuff in common with China besides pragmatic trade synergy. For all of our ideological differences, including censorship and protest rights, we both have a special place for billionaires and basketball.