Now that sentencing memos for Flynn and Cohen are floating around in public, the Left and the press, but I repeat myself, are having a good time explaining how those memos show that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the evidence to take down President Trump. One of the sanest summaries I’ve read was by Max Bergman and Sam Berger at The Daily Beast. As much as I dislike Donald Trump and wish a different person were President, I find the evidence of collusion presented thus far to be sketchy. Most of it doesn’t even qualify as circumstantial. A good deal of it doesn’t past the laugh test. I mean, who would think that Putin would accept a penthouse in a Trump building when he already has equal or better housing with much better security?
It may be that there is some there there, but those memos don’t make a good case for it.
We’ll have to wait and see.
Erick Erickson has a post up over at The Resurgent suggesting that the press have become addicted to Donald Trump.
Reporters are the addicts stealing money from their mom’s purse for a hit of their drug. It is an exotic one called Trump. … They need a twelve step program, but I fear the fix is too strong. And like meth addicts, even their faces are changing as they pick at their skin and more permanently scowl. This is unhealthy.
In order to begin working a twelve-step program of recovery, they’d have to admit that they are powerless over Trump and their lives have become unmanageable. They haven’t hit bottom yet.
Arthur W. Goodhart has a post over at Spectator|USA titled Donald Trump is playing poker. He compares Trump’s negotiating style with more conservative “chess players,” and notes Trump’s similarities to and differences from other poker-playing Presidents (such as Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman). A chess player is well equipped to deal with a single opponent. A poker player is better equipped to deal with several opponents at once.
For all Trump’s faults, and there are many, he does seem to be able to read situations as well if not better than many of his opponents. What isn’t so clear is whether he is actor or reactor. Clearly the chess analogy suited a bi-polar world. But maybe an increasingly multi-polar world is one where the game has changed. Trump’s inclination to poker rather than chess is perhaps purely fortuitous. ….
A loose aggressive poker-playing President may horrify some but the reality is that such a person is often more in control of events than the supposedly reassuring and conservative leader. The latter spends much time reacting, responding while the former sets the agenda, decides when to raise the stakes, will have enough wins to their name to be able to fold and move on when something doesn’t work out.
Read the whole thing.
Matthew Walther has a post over at The Week that begins this way—
Do you remember when the United States was about to have her constitutional order upended? If you printed out all the concern-trolling articles from the fall of 2016 about whether Donald Trump would “accept” the results of the presidential election and laid them end to end, they would stretch from China to Peru. As far as I recall, no one actually predicted that opioid-addicted out-of-work steelworkers in Carhartt jackets would roam the streets of Washington looting and burning and eventually installing an Alex Jones puppet government under the nominal leadership of the host of Celebrity Apprentice. The point, assuming there was one, was that the “credibility” of our election system would be undermined if one of the candidates and most of his supporters refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the next commander-in-chief.
Of course, one side did reject the legitimacy of the 2016 election, and they’ve been trying to do something about it. Hence, the “Russian collusion” investigation which, to date, has failed to turn up any solid evidence of collusion between any Russians and anyone associated with the Trump campaign.
At this point the most obvious fair-minded explanation of the Russia investigation is that it exists to paralyze the Trump administration. It certainly monopolizes the president’s attention. When he is abroad he broods over the latest media talking points from his suite. When he is in Washington, he fumes in front of the television and tweets his favorite tidbits from Fox News. The special counsel has taken his attention away from diplomacy and the other ordinary business of the presidency. Mueller has failed to deliver the goods not simply because there are no goods to deliver but because delivering them is not the point. The point is to hurt Trump.
Read the whole thing.
The federal Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is seen by many as a liberal court which has its decisions reversed quite often by the Supreme Court. Over the past few days, President Trump has taken a bit of flak (including some from the Chief Justice) about his comments concerning the 9th Circuit.
The President’s comments have a certain resonance for me. You see, his skepticism about the 9th Circuit is shared by many lawyers and some judges. This exchange between Brett Kimberlin and Judge Johnson occurred during first day of the Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. trial in 2014.
(Kimberlin failed to cite any case that would support the point he was trying to make to the judge.)
If a state court judge can express such skepticism of the 9th Circuit, why can’t the President?
F. H. Buckley has a post at the NY Post on how President Trump and the incoming Democrat-led House could work together for their mutual benefit. He points out that the last two Democrats in the White House faced Republican-led Houses. Clinton worked cooperatively and got results such as welfare reform. Obama didn’t and got gridlock.
Those are deals to be made, and the question is whether Democrats in Congress will go along. If they do, they’ll give voters a reason to re-elect both them and Trump in 2020.
If they don’t — if they, say, rush to impeach instead — they’ll prove that they’re not to be taken seriously and will give voters a reason to re-elect Trump in 2020. For Trump, it’s win-win.
I’m betting on gridlock—with comic relief from the likes of She Guevara.
Fasten your seat belts.
So the Democrats say that they’ll be using their new control of House committees to do some investigating. We’ll see how that works out. Meanwhile, Conrad Black makes this observation over at the National Post—
Now that the president has fired the attorney general and can confirm a replacement who is not emasculated on Russian matters, the administration can proceed to the indictment of all leading members of the Clinton campaign and the Obama justice department who appear to have incriminated themselves by lying to Congress or the FISA Court, including Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, and agency heads John Brennan, James Clapper, and James Comey. This may happen anyway, but it certainly will if the Waters-Nadler-Schiff faction is unleashed. Trump has been put to extreme inconvenience by these spurious investigations and he can, if he wishes, exact a terrible vengeance. His moderation should not be presumed.
I’d better buy some more popcorn futures.