Trumpster Diving

* Talk the walk? “There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.” That was President Donald Trump last June in Singapore. The upshot is this: When America’s president breaks with his predecessors and actually meets one-on-one with the North Korean leader, in this case Kim Jong-un, and no deal results–now what? No, it’s not likely that John Bolton will become Trump’s “fixer.”

* It’s worth noting the appointment of former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman by the House Intelligence Committee. During his decade in the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, he oversaw prosecution of Russian-organized crime networks. Goldman is a serious hire who is already up to speed–and handles the media well.

* “We believe in the American dream, not the socialist nightmare.”–That, of course, was the Demonizer-in-Chief disingenuously oversimplifying and targeting Democrats as only he can. Too bad that mendacious reference is as credible with his base as is his guarantee about a certain wall that “Mexico will pay for.” 

* Does Mike Pompeo realize that Marco Rubio is secretary of state for Latin America?

* The sentencing guidelines that were notably disregarded in the “white-collar” Paul Manafort case also contained a gobsmacking, cringe-worthy rationale by U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III. He referred to Manafort’s “otherwise blameless life.” We’re talking about a consummate schemer who had carved out a lucrative, living-high career on the felonious dark side. Moreover, his country was worse off for his self-serving agenda. This is like saying that Al Capone, convicted of tax evasion, had led an “otherwise blameless” life. 

* When it comes to impeachment, the Dems’ strategy must be: Rein in the double-edged-sword impeachment talk until a stop-the-presses smoking gun is revealed. Nancy Pelosi would obviously agree. That’s because such a necessarily high-profile, emotionally partisan effort would be room-service, pep-rally material for Trump’s “witch hunt” rants. It would further energize a base that needs no further innervation. That smoking gotcha gun, whether from the Mueller Report or the Southern District of New York, is the only chance of Senate galvanization and ultimate conviction.   

* England is scheduled to leave the European Union at the end of this month. The divorce-deal terms are, to say the least, uncertain and controversial. They are also, increasingly, the root of anxieties and bitter partisanship among Brits. While the issues are sovereign, economic and political, the Brexit debate has viscerally devolved into an emotional clash between the “leave” crowd and its “remain” counterpart. It has resulted in friendships lost and relationships ruined. It’s about Brits talking past each other because of “values” rifts. It’s about an uptick in business for psychotherapists. And, yes, it’s about a number of anti-EU Brexiteers wanting to make the UK great again. America, alas, understands.

* You get to a certain point in life, with more life lived than yet to play out, and you can understandably yearn for the calendar to decelerate. But this is the era of Trump–and all the worry, embarrassment and frustration that comes with it–and now you perversely want time to speed up to a nightmare-ending 2020 reboot.

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