Fredd_jes / Flickr Donald Trump y Kim Jong un...
Fredd_jes / Flickr

No apologies to Bulwer-Lytton. He still owes us one.

The Hill:

Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels has recorded an interview for CBS’s “60 Minutes” after filing a civil suit against President Trump this week in an attempt to void a nondisclosure agreement between the pair.

A source familiar with the program told The Hill that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, will appear on “60 Minutes” on a future date but won’t be on the program this coming Sunday.

Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Daniels, tweeted a photo of himself Thursday along with the actress and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, a contributor to “60 Minutes.”

The thing about the Stormy Daniels case is that the suit forces journalists to address the fact that Trump is lying about the affair and the cover-up. He’s lied about his previous accusers.  He lies about almost everything, but they prefer to pretend to believe him as a default. Here, they can’t anymore.

Thing is, Trump can lie to the press but you can’t lie to the courts. So Trump is stuck.

Trump will negotiate a yuge deal with Kim Jong-un, but because of Michael Cohen’s NDA we won’t know what it is (or why L.A. got hit with a nuke.)  But don’t worry. In case of first use nuclear strike, DPRK pays the Trump Org. $130K and three Stormy Daniels movies.

NY Times:

The moment touches several crosscurrents of the Trump age: an administration defined largely by its chaos; the #MeToo movement; and a news media still grappling, nearly three years after Mr. Trump declared his candidacy, with how to cover his excess of excesses.

“Scandals run on shame. Trump is completely exempt from any shame,” Mr. Murphy said. “So instead of talking about the crime, we just score-keep.”

Whether the scandal breaks through broadly and whether it concerns the most loyal Trump voters are different questions.

Steve Benen/MSNBC:

On North Korea, Trump gambles from a position of weakness

Or put another way, Trump has agreed to give Kim Jong-un exactly what he wants. North Korean leaders have sought this kind of meeting for decades because it would necessarily elevate the rogue state: it would show the world that North Korea’s leader can be treated as an equal by the Leader of the Free World. Previous American presidents – from both parties – have left open the possibility of such engagement, but only as a reward for meaningful and tangible results.

Trump, however, tends to assume his modern predecessors were fools who lacked his awesomeness. Why would this president take the one step other presidents would not? The question practically answers itself: Trump agreed to the talks precisely because other presidents didn’t. Politico had a good piece on this overnight, highlighting Trump’s “taboo-breaking instinct.”:

[Last night’s announcement] spotlighted an instinct that has defined Trump’s early foreign policy: say the things others wouldn’t say; do the things they didn’t dare.

“He likes to be the first. He likes doing things no one has ever done before,” one senior Trump official said.

It doesn’t seem to occur to Trump to ask why others haven’t taken such actions. Worse, the president apparently hasn’t thought through the scope of the risk he’s taking.


Rex Tillerson said talking to Kim Jong Un wouldn’t be ‘realistic’ or prudent yet. Hours later, Trump said he’d do it.

This would hardly be the first time Trump launched into something without much apparent diligence and with an apparent disregard for the complicated details of bureaucracy. Just last week, Trump pretty clearly got out ahead of a planned announcement on new steel and aluminum tariffs, sending everyone around him scrambling over the controversial decision. Earlier in his presidency, he did this with banning transgender soldiers, his travel ban and declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency.

Tom Nichols/USa Today:

North Korea sets a dangerous trap for Trump. Disaster is far more likely than a Nobel.

President Trump’s decision to participate in a summitwith North Korean despot Kim Jong Un is a dangerous idea. If it works, and Trump actually succeeds in beginning the denuclearization of North Korea, he will be far worthier of the Nobel Peace Prize than Barack Obama ever was. The chances of this are roughly zero, but it’s not impossible. More likely is that this will all end in diplomatic disaster.

Before thinking about all the ways this summit could go wrong, the president’s critics owe it to him to try and consider the few ways it could go right. At the least, this decision forestalls war for the moment. Another day of peace on the Korean peninsula is a worthy goal and a far better approach than the childish taunts that have characterized the president’s approach so far…

Most likely, however, is that the White House is about to walk right into a trap the North Koreans have been laying for American presidents since the 1990s. A one-on-one summit between a U.S. president and one of the world’s weirdest and most irresponsible leaders would be a huge reward for a regime that has long chided other rogues and dictators for their weakness in dealing with the United States. (When Moammar Gadhafi of Libya was torn to pieces by his own people after NATO weakened his army, Kim taunted the world by noting that Gadhafi should have kept his nuclear program.)

Such a meeting would legitimize not only Kim’s regime, but his methods. No matter how the White House spins it, the North Koreans will claim a huge victory in getting Trump to bend to their will.

Vanity Fair:


The president will meet with potential chief-of-staff candidates at Mar-a-Lago next weekend. McMaster is likely next to go. Then Jivanka.

tl;dr? Trump is unrestrained, will fire McMaster and Kelly, and bring in the likes of John Bolton. Uhm… maybe you should read it.

Daniel Griswold:

Trump’s effort to redefine “reciprocal” trade threatens U.S. leadership

Now consider the alternative world that the president’s reciprocal demands would create. The United States in 2016 exported more than $10 billion a year to 29 non-FTA, MFN countries and at least $1 billion a year to 68 more. If the United States insists on conditional reciprocity with each of them, the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule could conceivably have nearly 100 different rates on an imported widget, depending on the source country.

As a result, where Americans source their imported widgets would no longer be driven by who makes the best widget for the best price, but by the random complexities of foreign tariff schedules. And those rates will be a moving target as foreign nations adjust their own tariff schedules. The U.S. tariff code, already too complex and arbitrary, would become exponentially more so. Managing global supply chains and administering U.S. Customs duty collection would become a nightmare.

More ominously for U.S. exporters, President Trump’s approach of conditional reciprocity would virtually guarantee retaliation by our trading partners. The retaliation may be direct, as a result of the United States having violated a core commitment of the WTO membership. And those same countries could also understandably feel free to apply the same approach to imposing duties on imports to their country from the United States.

Oskar Górzyński/Daily Beast:

Forbidden meetings, unanswered phone calls and thinly veiled threats. What was supposed to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship turned into the most serious diplomatic crisis in decades.

When Donald Trump came to Poland in July last year, it was a veritable love fest. The U.S. president praised the country effusively, its “so fantastic” people, and its history, which he highlighted as a shining example for all of the Western world on how to persevere, prevail, and fight for its identity. He even seemed to overcome his natural inclinations and criticized Russia. Needless to say, the illiberal Polish government—and even the liberal opposition—was ecstatic. Witold Waszczykowski, at that time still the foreign minister, even quoted Casablanca’s famous last line: “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Eight months later, the friendship—which in living memory goes back over a quarter century—is at its lowest point in post-Cold-War history.

Vanity Fair:

But a high-profile, Alabama-style loss, particularly in a pro-Trump region, will only contribute to the growing sense that the president is toxic to the Republican party. The fact that Lamb has proven unexpectedly adept at fundraising, out-raising Saccone nearly five to one, only underscores that perception, fueling the so-called “blue wave” that Republicans fear will decimate their majorities in Congress. “If he wins, you’re going to see probably another half a dozen Republicans say they’re not running again,” former V.P. Joe Biden told The New York Times while visiting the district.


There’s been plenty of gun polling in the aftermath of last month’s Parkland, Florida, shooting, but most has looked only at opinions among adults. The results provide a new set of information on the generation coming of age amid seemingly-endless headlines about mass shootings.

More than a third of teenagers, but just 16 percent of adults, said they worried a lot about becoming the victim of a mass shooting. The majority of teens, but fewer than three in 10 adults, said they’d gone through an active-shooter drill.

Teens were 8 points likelier than adults to say that they’d prioritize federal action on gun policy, rather than mental health, to prevent future mass shootings. They were also notably more confident that the student rallies for stricter gun control might have an effect. Nearly 60 percent of the teens, compared to fewer than half of the adults polled, believed that the rallies would lead to a meaningful change in society.

The Fix/WaPo:
Is GOP Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s support for gun control a savvy political move or a big mistake?

We don’t know.

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  1. CONGRESS SHOULD: ……….. ……….. ……… ……… but probably won’t until hell freezes over. oh, i forgot they’re climate deniers.


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