Bernie And Bloomer Optics

 * “A republic, if you can keep it.”

* “Congratulations, Bernie, & don’t let them take it away from you.” That was the Dissembler-in-Chief  “congratulating” the one he wants most to run against. The Joe McCarthy playbook could make a comeback if the democratic socialist caricature and author of “Our Revolution” goes mano a mano with this democracy-demeaning, pathologically lying autocrat.

* Donald Trump, of course, has pushed back against U.S. intelligence reports that Russia is working to help re-elect him–but kind of finds it credible that the Russkies would help nominate the fellow-traveling Bernie Sanders. He trashed the re-election-related reports and then summarily replaced Director of National Intelligence Joseph McGuire–who had been overseeing the nation’s 17 spy agencies–with Richard Grenell, a Trump superfan and former Fox News regular.

This goes to the core of Trump’s outsized ego; it calls into doubt his legitimacy. As if it’s a “witch hunt” scenario that the Russians would really want to sew more political chaos in America, help position Trump for re-election and further alienate America’s European allies.

* “I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country.”–President Donald Trump’s response when asked if he had crossed a line by interfering at the Justice Department. The answer is still “yes.”

* “Not political or in any way intended to help bolster Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s response when asked if his busy domestic schedule had anything to do with presidential politics. The answer is still “yes.”

* The Trump Administration got a favorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on the government’s implementation of a new “wealth test” rule making it easier to deny immigrants residency or admission to the U.S. if they might depend on public assistance programs. The ruling was 5-4 and another reminder that the re-election of Trump will likely lock in a conservative, Federalist Society-fawning Supreme Court for another decade or two. Nobody lives with that sobering scenario more than Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth–you go, RBG–Bader Ginsburg, 81 and 86, respectively.

* So Trump has been endorsed by Irish UFC champion Conor McGregor. No surprise. Nobody plays to the Trump base quite like a punk, Mick brawler.

* “Barack Hussein Obama.”–How Trump referenced his predecessor at his Vegas rally.

* America loves the lore of the “Miracle on Ice” Olympic hockey team that upset the Soviet Union on the way to winning a gold medal in 1980. A number of those players, sporting MAGA caps, joined Trump–on stage–at his recent Las Vegas rally. Nothing will change that memorable “Miracle,” but being an enabling prop for this authoritarian menace will diminish their patriotic renown forever.

* Yes, Hope Hicks, Ivanka Trump’s former fashion-brand adviser who became Donald Trump’s communications director, has returned to the White House. She’ll be serving as a counselor to the president. Prior to this, she had been the chief communications officer at, yes, Fox. Talk about a seamless transition.

* A man recently won a lawsuit against the state of Kentucky over his “IM GOD” vanity license plate. A federal judge ruled that vanity plates are private speech protected by the First Amendment, no less, presumably, than a Mitch McConnell “IM GOP” plate.

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