Sunday, January 21, 2018

Notes from the Undrained Swamp

Domenico Remp (1620-99) Wunderkammer or Cabinet of Curiosities, via Wikimedia Commons.

Happened to look at the Axios front page, at a report on this evening's meeting between Schumer and McConnell, which sounds like progress since they were reported to be not speaking to each other at all this afternoon, but didn't get anywhere, and checking out the White House gossip there for just the last few hours, which is really something else, as it adds up:

1. Trump is pissed off with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, accused of "going rogue" when he was hanging out with Florida governor Rick Scott a couple of weeks ago and decided to make Florida exempt from Interior's program to force oil and gas drilling on all coastal states whether they like it or not, although Florida's Gulf Coast has the best reserves off any coast in the Lower 48, and although the way he did it is apparently illegal:
The department’s offshore leasing policies are guided by a strict process set by statute that can only take certain areas out of consideration gradually through a multi-year process that specifically weighs various factors, like environmental risks and oil and gas resource potential. By tweeting Florida would be removed just days after announcing the offshore leasing plan, and without considering any of those factors, Zinke didn’t follow the statute.
But he's not totally pissed off, because he really likes Zinke, who was a Navy Seal. I imagine it's somebody other than Trump who is truly pissed off with Zinke, and told Axios about his feelings as part of an effort to do something about this criminality. Good luck!

2. Trump is very pissed off with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, because he makes bad deals with China, like the one where he opened up US markets to Chinese cooked chicken, in return for China opening to beef, and Trump thought that was stupid—
“These trade deals, they’re terrible,” Trump said, according to a source in the room for one of the meetings. “Your understanding of trade is terrible. Your deals are no good. No good.”
And because he keeps falling asleep at meetings if they last beyond 11:00 AM.

Trump's known Ross for a long time (a Palm Beach neighbor, I believe, and a person with a terrific Bank of Cyprus background making him presumably familiar with industrial money laundering), and he seemed to be the richest guy in the cabinet, almost twice as rich as Betsy DeVos, who is probably richer than Trump, and Axios says Trump takes a good deal personal pride in having recruited such a wealthy person, but now it seems he's about $2 billion poorer than he said he was, and not even a billionaire, which "did not help", since, I suppose, how could a man like Trump have confidence in a fake billionaire? Axios shakes its head:
sources close to Trump say he’ll never again trust the 80-year-old to be his “killer” negotiator.
3. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions looks to be seriously pissed off with FBI director Christopher Wray, who has failed to respond to Sessions's urging that he should get rid of deputy director Andrew McCabe, for which Trump seemed to blame Sessions:

  • On July 26, Trump tweeted: "Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got...big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!"
  • Ironically, the White House chose McCabe to be acting director after Trump fired Comey.
(Although Jill McCabe, running for a seat in Virginia's State Senate in 2015, did receive campaign help of some $658,000 from then-governor Terry McAuliffe's PAC and the Virginia Democratic Party, while Andrew McCabe became deputy director of the FBI and thus tangentially involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation only some months later, in February 2016, and had nothing to do with the decision of whether or not to prosecute Clinton in any case—that was Comey—so that this whole story is virtually without content. But you knew that.)

Also, McCabe plans to retire in the next couple of months anyway.

I (and the Axios editors, apparently, though they don't exactly say so) can only imagine Sessions is doing this in the hope of impressing Trump, who has of course been lethally pissed off with him since forever, after Sessions insisted on recusing himself from matters related to the Russia investigation, as he was legally required to do, being implicated himself, after his repeated perjury with reference to meetings with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign. Trump thinks Sessions ought to ignore the legal requirements and "protect" Trump, as he believes previous attorneys general Robert Kennedy and Eric Holder did for John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

Time for another Democrats in Disarray story!

Update: I really can't stop myself from watching TV at night at the moment. A story being told that conforms with my assumptions is that as the McConnell-Schumer negotiations finally get serious, Trump is not invited to be part of the negotiations, because (from the Republican point of view at least) he is likely to make promises that can't be kept. Or (as I would prefer to put it) because he doesn't know what he's talking about and confuses things in every direction. It's not a good thing for Republicans or Democrats in particular as much as it's a good thing for America in general.

No comments:

Post a Comment