* The tax bill that the Senate finally sneaked through the legislative transom has led to predictable takeaways. It’s an end zone-celebrating “win” for the Trump Administration and the do-something-anything Senate. A big tax cut for the wealthy. Hardly the case for the lower-priority middle -and lower-classes. Much more added to an obscene deficit.
And how do you square all of this? The economy will be supply-sided and energized and corporate tax breaks will trickle down to the masses.
Somewhere Arthur Laffer is rearranging his napkins.
* We know–for obvious reasons–that Trump doesn’t exactly surround himself with the best and the brightest. And obviously that has carried over to personal attorney John Dowd. We now know that it was Dowd who drafted the president’s tweet acknowledging that he had fired Michael Flynn because he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence–but also to the FBI. Oops. Dowd has since apologized for not being more careful with his language and, presumably, the truth.
Say what? You are the personal attorney to a president who is temperamentally unhinged, ham-handed linguistically and a serial tweeter and you can’t be more precise with your language?
But this is beyond mere embarrassment and chaos, which would normally be just another day at the Oval Office. This edges Trump ever closer to the Robert Mueller inquiry. When you include the FBI, you pave the way for obstruction of justice scenarios–let alone the big collusion piñata.
* Call it Karma. There was Michael Flynn leaving court, having pled guilty to lying to the FBI about Russian contacts. He was swiftly escorted to a black perp SUV–but not before awaiting activists could break out into a “Lock him up” chorus.
* At some point soon, we’ll likely be hearing that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is, uh, “stepping down.” A White House statement will say the president accepted the resignation with regret and gratitude for T Rex’s patriotic service. It will note that Tillerson was great in a demanding job, and that the American people and American interests were well served. Whatever. And that CIA Director Mike Pompeo–remember his Hillary-hammering prosecution at the House Select Committee Benghazi Hearings?–will take over.
The following day, White House spokes-harlot Sarah Huckabee-Sanders will deny that Tillerson was fired, but that he really, really wanted to spend more time with his family as well as all those folks at ExxonMobil who used to treat him like a really, really, important, smart person. And Steve Bannon will weigh in with hard-line approval of Pompeo’s appointment.
However it’s couched–including how Tillerson and Trump differed on North Korea, Iran and the Saudi Arabia-Qatar feud–the real reason will be obvious. The Narcissist-in-chief never got over the “moron” remark attributed to–and not denied by–Tillerson. Rather than stop behaving as a moron, Trump effectively fired the guy who pointed it out.
* Here’s a disingenuous quote, more revealing than intended, from a new book, “Let Trump Be Trump,” by Corey Lewandowski, former Trump campaign manager, and David Bossie, former top Trump aide. “Sooner or later, everybody who works for Donald Trump will see a side of him that makes you wonder why you took a job with him in the first place,” they wrote. Mainly they were referring to his wrathful temperament. As in loud, insulting, expletive-filled tirades. What a guy.
They wanted to convey insider gravitas and a provide an attention-getting, publicist’s pull quote. It obviously worked. They also wanted to exploit the insider experience. We get all that. But Trump traits that make you “wonder why” you came on board? As if.
Lewandowski and Bossie were hardly A-listers among the political-operative community. They were marginal characters sniffing around the political gravy train hoping for a career break. Had this not been such a deplorably flawed candidate, they would not have been considered. But this was Trump; better people weren’t interested. In the case of Lewandowski, he whored out until he was ultimately fired. And CNN brought him on for panel opining.
That’s how it works. If it requires the enabling of the candidacy of someone who will be an existential threat, it doesn’t matter. You’re a player. You can even write about it later.