“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
* President Donald Trump: “They always said … nobody got treated worse than (Abraham) Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.”–Not yet.
* Imagine being in an FDR moment–and Trump is on the clock.
* Theme music: When Trump, sans mask, toured a Honeywell factory making masks, the noticeable–and notable–music playing in the background was a Guns N’ Roses version of “Live and Let Die.”
* Former President George W. Bush said what he should have said by calling for national unity during perilous times. “We are not partisan combatants,” stressed Bush on a three-minute Twitter video. “Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat.”
Current President Donald J. Trump typically said what he should not have said. The narcissist-in-chief dismissed a predecessor’s unity call and focused on self-serving, skewed priorities–not the nation. Bush, said Trump, didn’t push for “putting partisanship aside” during his impeachment trial. “He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest hoax in American history.”
Only this president would conflate impeachment and a pandemic. It’s part of the Trump plague.
* The White House has acknowledged that a Trump military valet has tested positive for the coronavirus. But Trump, who doesn’t do masks, remains negative. In fact, a WH spokesman confirmed that Trump also tested negative for integrity and empathy.
* Most people couldn’t tell you the name of the post-master general. (It’s Megan J. Brennan.) But that could soon change. That’s because the retiring Brennan is being replaced next month by Louis DeJoy, a political operative with no USPS experience. But he does have standing in the White House by virtue of being the national finance chairman for the Republican National Convention and a donor who has already coughed up more than $350,000 to the super PAC Trump Victory. The concern transcends the usual cronyism with Trump loyalists. Both Democrats and ethics watchdogs are worried that the USPS will be politicized–or weaponized–just as states mobilize their vote-by-mail efforts ahead of the November election.
* “I feel about vaccines like I feel about tests. This is going to go away without a vaccine. It’s going to go away, and we are not going to see it again, hopefully, after a period of time.” That was the science-deprecating, explainer-in-chief reminding us in his own ironic, inimitable way that no, neither this virus nor this president are going away soon enough.
* William “Belly up to the Trump” Barr keeps reminding us that he is an attorney general who favors White House fealty over the law. He’s the president’s lawyer, not the public’s. His Department of Justice dropping all criminal charges against Michael “The Fabulist” Flynn–in effect, throwing out a case after the defendant had already pleaded guilty–was a predictable extension of his Mueller Report misrepresentation from his first days on the job. No, we’re not nostalgic for Jeff Sessions, but we will be if there’s a second Trump term.
* SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, was hospitalized recently. Yet another reminder of all that rides on Trump losing in November.
* The involvement of Americans–former Green Berets–in that slapdash, Venezuelan freedom-fighter plot to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro: beyond bizarre. It makes the Bay of Pigs seem almost like a well-oiled plan. Almost. It’s also a reminder that we shouldn’t equate patriots and mercenaries. And it’s a reminder of the political implications of a failed attack–and how it helps a dictator play the us-against-them, nationalist card. For what it’s worth, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was not “directly involved.” Hardly an unequivocal denial.