by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
1. I have known Donald Trump since 1987. Like everyone else who knows him well, before he became a politician, I know he is liar, a narcissist, and eventually I knew he was mentally ill. At that time, he professed to be a democrat. This had nothing to do with politics….
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) January 13, 2019
I worked with Kurt at Newsweek. He’s super plugged-in. Read the whole thread on his timeline.
1. Agent Orange?
The problem with investigating whether a father is molesting his daughter or a mother beating her children is that once the accusation is leveled it cannot be retracted. And unless there’s sufficient evidence, that potential victim has to return to live with the parent and face even harsher music. At least for awhile. This is why Child Protective Services always try to separate the children from the parents, especially during the investigation.
The problem with the FBI investigating whether the President of the United States is in league with a foreign adversary is somewhat analogous. The Director of the FBI works for the President, hence to launch such an investigation is to betray your boss. Which puts you in sort of a Catch-22 situation: If you’re wrong, you’re done. And if you’re right, you may also be done because he’ll do everything in his power to discredit you and call YOU the traitor as a means of playing the last card in his hand. The….um….Trump card.
What we do know now, via Greg Miller of the Washington Post: “U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years.”
We also know that “President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials.”
Fishy, at best.
Then there’s this. It was a “Yes” or “No” question, and he was unwilling to provide a definitive answer:
JEANINE PIRRO: “Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia?”
TRUMP: [spends two minutes tossing an alphabet salad that doesn’t include the word “no”] pic.twitter.com/KJGVLgYgYk
— shauna (@goldengateblond) January 13, 2019
The New York Times piece about how the FBI initiated its investigation into Trump and a possible Russian compromise ends with these two paragraphs:
F.B.I. officials viewed their decision to move quickly as validated when a comment the president made to visiting Russian officials in the Oval Office shortly after he fired Mr. Comey was revealed days later.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to a document summarizing the meeting. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Donald Trump isn’t as smart, nowhere near, as Richard Nixon was. And he’s even sloppier. As far as we’re concerned, it’s only a matter of time before Robert Mueller’s investigation is released and, given how thoroughly this has likely been done, given how many accomplices of Trump’s have already copped to plea deals, the evidence will be overwhelming. After that it’s just a matter of whether Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham want to do their jobs or if they choose to go out like the warden in The Shawshank Redemption.
But it’s going to happen. And the stain of the Trump name will last for a long, long time. Barron, we suggest changing your name and perhaps moving to Saudi Arabia.
Kansas City. Los Angeles. New England. New Orleans. All four home teams won. The AFC teams won by blowouts, the NFC games were closer. But all were mostly a snooze. Now we get conference championship games that were sequels of two of the better games played all season (Pats 43, Chiefs 40; Saints 45, Rams 35) and a potential KC-LA Super Bowl that would be a leftover from the most exciting game of this or most any season (54-51, Rams).
The most intriguing potential non-2018 wrinkle would be a New England-New Orleans Super Bowl pitting a pair of legendary 40-something QBs who are among the most prolific passers in NFL history: Tom Brady, 41 and gunning for his sixth Super Bowl ring, is No. 3 all-time in passing touchdowns and No. 4 in passing yards and pass completions. Drew Brees, 40, is No. 2 in passing TDs and No. 1 all-time in passing yards and pass completions.
— Guy on Sports (@guyonsports) January 12, 2019
The Colts lost, but this was the highlight of the divisional round.
Hosts next Sunday: K.C. and New Orleans.
3. Wall War I
This was Donald Trump’s words of advice to the graduates at Wagner in 2004. You don’t say, Donald…
Interesting. Here’s what sort of escapes our understanding. Democrats and Republicans seem to agree that we need to do a better job of border security. An effective president, one who understands that this nation operates under the rule of law, could simply appeal to the electorate by saying, “We need a wall in order to effectively fight the rampant breaking of the law that is illegal immigration.”
Now, some of us may not agree with him that a wall is a necessary strategy, but it’s impossible to dispute that the border is porous and that a large number of people illegally cross it each month. You or I may not consider that unethical or even harmful in any way (or you may), but the facts show that there are laws and they are broken daily. And liberals supposedly love the whole “rule of law” deal, so to deny this is to be a hypocrite.
The problem with Trump, and the Republican Party, is that it cannot stop there. He and, by its complicit silence, the GOP, needs to make these people your bogeyman. Rapists. Cold-blooded killers. Drug dealers. Those types are by far the aberration.
Trump defends border wall: “Human trafficking is a horrible thing…They just make a left into the U.S. & they come in & they have women tied up. They have tape over their mouths. Electrical tape. Usually blue tape, as they call it. It is powerful stuff.” https://t.co/QW6OHwq4v8 pic.twitter.com/XOWNpjdOHw
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 10, 2019
Consider: Using this logic we should be eradicating Catholic priests and Christian pastors because a good number of them are pedophiles or child molesters or perverts or adulterers. Now, you may argue, but those are the aberrations. Bingo. So is the MS-13 gang member.
The wall is not an effective weapon, it is a large waste of money, and the reason Trump is using to trumpet it–NATIONAL SECURITY—is a canard. The worst thing you can say about 90% of illegal immigrants, if not greater, is that they are technically breaking a law.
What the wall represents, for most of its supporters, is a stopgap between white, Christian chauvinist America and the future (if not the present). There’s no wall big enough to prevent the inevitable. Get over it.
4. Travel 2019
Tahiti and Wyoming, Costalegre and the Paparoa Track, Gambia and Uzbekistan…
Every year we look forward to the New York Times telling us where we should travel across the globe, even if we haven’t had the opportunity to use our passport since 2010. True. Sad. That changes this year, hopefully.
Here are the paper’s 52 Places To Go in 2019 and we’re already ahead of the game because we live in one of them (31). One down, 51 to go. Can’t wait to see ya, Gambia. We have you on our radar, Zadar.
Two more things: You could take a good three months, if not an entire year, just to visit places west of the Texas-Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska-Dakotas western borders here in these United States, plus Alaska and Hawaii, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. I could easily come up with a “52 Places To Go” in just that admittedly large region.
Two, here’s the lucky schlub whom the Times is giving the gig to travel to all these places this year. As we happen to be a straight white middle-aged male with a senatorial-type name and no disturbing back story or religious cult affiliation, we highly doubt we will ever be selected for this duty. Alas…
Did you have Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Seinfeld cast member who would graduate to the most successful post-Seinfeld comedy career (with maybe Bryan Cranston going on to the most overall success)? We missed this when it happened, but here JLD, who is not a stand-up comic per se, delivers an address both heartfelt and hilarious. The dig she gets in on Veep co-star Tony Hale may be our favorite moment.
Second favorite? When she points out just how hard Jerry Seinfeld, and Larry David, worked on his eponymous show as her voice cracks a little. I don’t think people ever appreciated just how much effort went into that. Half, if not most, of being a genius is just putting in the overtime.
We’ll admit we’re mostly bored with the NBA (blame us, that’s fine) but it was a bizarre weekend: On Friday or Saturday—we forget—the Phoenix Suns, the worst team in the West and missing their top player, Devin Booker, beat the Denver Nuggets, the top team (by record) in the West. On Sunday the Cleveland Cavs, the worst team in the NBA, abetted by all five starters scoring between 15-20 points, beat the Los Angeles Lakers (minus LeBron) at Staples.
In high school there were bands we loved, we liked, we didn’t think twice about and then, a couple that we actively despised. Put Calgary-based Loverboy in that final group (the headband, the scarf, the 2-sizes-too-tight red pants: What were you thinking, or hiding, Mike Reno?). This was their most redeeming effort, even if it was the second-best tune with this title released during our those years.
Syracuse at No. 1 Duke
8 p.m. ESPN
Okay, the Cuse isn’t all that good this season, but here are the numbers combined for coaches Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski: 80-plus seasons, three schools, 1,978 victories and six national championships. This will almost certainly be their last meeting at Cameron Indoor.