We had about eight inches of snow yesterday and overnight, which explains my scarceness around here. Nothing like having to push these packets out under a heavy snowpack to slow you down. Now that net neutrality’s been repealed, it’s only going to get harder, you know.
And, as usual, everything has been overtaken by events. But I want to bring some links to your attention:
This Washington Post piece on the very perplexing situation the White House staff find themselves in – dealing with a chief executive who doesn’t believe his own intelligence services, but does believe the president of Russia. It is, frankly, terrifying:
Current and former officials said that his daily intelligence update — known as the president’s daily brief, or PDB — is often structured to avoid upsetting him.
Russia-related intelligence that might draw Trump’s ire is in some cases included only in the written assessment and not raised orally, said a former senior intelligence official familiar with the matter. In other cases, Trump’s main briefer — a veteran CIA analyst — adjusts the order of his presentation and text, aiming to soften the impact.
“If you talk about Russia, meddling, interference — that takes the PDB off the rails,” said a second former senior U.S. intelligence official.
There’s also the old keep-talking-I’m-listening scene, when Trump walks into the adjacent bathroom and out of a conversation about Angela Merkel. Jim Rhodes, the former governor of Ohio, pulled that trick on the president of Kent State not long after the shootings there. Or so I was told once.
One of my old Fort Wayne colleagues is the lead byline on this piece on the popularity of the AR-15, on the five-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. Haven’t read yet, but will.
Finally, I saw some people posting clips to a morning-show interview with Omarosa what’s-her-name, who was frogmarched out of the White House in the course of her firing, but of course denies it. I couldn’t watch more than 30 seconds, because my brain begins to boil at the thought of this profoundly unqualified individual being employed by the country I love for even one day, let alone nearly a year. There’s talk of a book coming down the road from her. I know the president ties up his private-sector employees with NDAs, but is that even possible once they’ve gone to the public payroll? I don’t think so, but I don’t know everything. Anyone?