* So, Mick Mulvaney is now acting chief of staff for President Donald Trump. So much for those Eric Trump, Joe Arpaio and Roy Moore rumors. But, really, who else would want this job–after what we’ve seen the last two years–and more recently from Trump’s border wall sit-down with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Those were the optics from hell, as well as a “Saturday Night Live”cold opening. No credible chief of staff would have signed off on such a sure-fire fiasco. But Trump, in effect, is his own, credibility-be-damned, narcissistic chief of staff–and that’s not changing.
Mulvaney, who came to the House in the Tea Party surge of 2010, has been the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He’s a fiscal conservative ideologue. But if he can adjust to presiding over the de facto Office of Deficit and Budget, perhaps he can find a compromised accommodation with Trump whose only ideology is his brand.
And perhaps Trump can overlook the fact that Mulvaney referred to him as a “terrible human being” during a South Carolina congressional debate in November 2016. Perhaps he can overlook it because he’s been called worse by those he’s hired or has campaigned for–and now plays golf with.
* That was a telling letter sent by those 44 ex-senators, including Florida’s Bob Graham, on defending our democracy. It was notable that they represented both parties. “We are at an inflection point in which the foundational principles of our democracy and our national security interests are at stake, and the rule of law and the ability of our institutions to function freely and independently must be upheld,” it read in part. “Whatever united or divided us, we did not veer from our unwavering and shared commitment to placing our country, democracy and national interest above all else.”
No less notable, they are all FORMER senators. Sure, it was a reminder of what’s at stake and what our priorities must be, but it was also a foremost reminder that these same principles must be the priorities of those STILL SERVING in Washington. We need senators who aren’t retired or retiring–to step up, speak out and take one for their country–not their party or their career. We need, in short, a show of senatorial guts, especially among Republicans, whose fealty must be to patriotism–not POTUS.
* How do you have a personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is your “fixer” for more than a dozen years and, yet, he only did “low level work” that was “more public relations than law”? Moreover, he’s a “liar.” Only in Trump world, where prevarication is a job requirement.
* No, Time’s “Person of the Year” wasn’t Trump. It was, however, Trump-related. It was journalists: “Guardians of the Truth,” including those whose calling cost them their lives. Call it a rebuke against fake-news and “enemy-of-the-people” demonization by the pathological Liar-in-Chief.
*New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker has already been to 24 states this mid-terms year. You don’t do that without serious 2020 presidential plans. And it’s hardly coincidental that New Jersey just changed a law that would allow Booker to seek both the presidency and senate re-election in 2020.
* So, could Robert Mueller interview Donald Trump? Rudy Giuliani: “Over my dead body.” Non-Trump consensus: “Offer accepted.”
* The popularity ratings of First Lady Melania Trump continue to head south. But how fair is that? What has Lady MAGA done in what has to be an awkward, no-win FLOTUS role? Well, it started with actually marrying someone so unconscionably unethical and immoral as Donald Trump. You don’t leverage a modeling career and whore out and expect credit for a hypocritical “anti-bullying” campaign.
*This just in on the roiling stock market that never reacts well to uncertainty, let alone chaos: So far, this has been the market’s worst December since, well, 1931.