❝…After interfering with military justice in the case of Eddie Gallagher, and issuing pardons to Clint Lorance and Matthew Golsteyn, the president has reportedly been suggesting to allies that he’d like all three to become a fixture of his 2020 campaign…critics, including some military members and veterans, have suggested the pardons are a slap in the face to those who have served honorably and give soldiers carte blanche to commit heinous acts…
Trump clearly believes that campaigning with people like Gallagher—whose own ranks accused him of gunning down civilians, threatening to shoot other SEALs if they reported him, and stabbing a detainee to death—will help his reelection prospects. In the case of his base, he might be right…
I expect nothing less than obedience to their master’s voice from repeat Trump voters. Honesty, historic American values, the rule of law – all mean nothing to Trump’s “little people”. Followers of a hero without merit, courage, intelligence or principle. I’m afraid what most of them want is soothing syrup to coat their bigotry and fear.
❝ Newly unsealed documents in a landmark civil case in Cleveland provide clues to one of the most enduring mysteries of the opioid epidemic: How were drug companies able to weaken the federal government’s most powerful enforcement weapon at the height of the crisis?
The industry enlisted members of Congress to limit the powers of the Drug Enforcement Administration. It devised “tactics” to push back against the agency. And it commissioned a “Crisis Playbook” to burnish its image and blame the federal government for not doing enough to stop the epidemic.
❝ The Post has twice investigated the industry’s battles with the DEA, first in 2016 and again in 2017 with “60 Minutes.” But the full story has never been told because so few of the people involved will talk about it. The list of people who have declined to be interviewed includes former congressman Tom Marino (R-Pa.), who first proposed the bill; former acting DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg, whose agency surrendered to the pressure; former attorney general Loretta E. Lynch, whose department did not stand in the way of the legislation; and, finally, then-President Barack Obama, who signed it into law.
What? Did you expect our gallant elected officials to stand up for freedom, civil liberties and The American Way? RTFA and reflect upon the phony inability of Congress or the White House to get anything done. I’d suggest you start with throwing 80/90% of officeholders out the damn door!
❝ It sounded like a historical moment was in the offing. For the first time, Europe’s finance ministers were seriously planning on publicly denouncing tax havens by presenting a black list of countries that lure companies through tax-saving schemes. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the countries on the list were “not doing enough to fight tax evasion.” Fellow Frenchman Pierre Moscovici, the European Union’s commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, called for vigorous sanctions…
❝ Internal documents from the European Council working group responsible for the issue suggest that the United States ignored a late June deadline to avoid being included on the list. DER SPIEGEL has seen the (“EU restricted”) internal documents…
❝ One reason for the Europeans’ restraint could be the growing economic conflicts with the Trump administration. The U.S. president is assiduously threatening to apply punitive tariffs on car imports from the EU, and he is particularly angry at the French, who recently and unilaterally introduced a digital tax on large internet companies. Trump sees it as a hostile act against U.S. internet giants like Amazon and Google.
“Neutral” Europeans prove to be as chickenshit about taxing the wealthy as “loyalist” Republicans and a helluva lot of “centrist” Democrats.
Tweedledee and Tweedledumb bookend their master — Nicholas Kamm/AFP
❝ …Trump retreated from his quest to add a question about US citizenship to the 2020 census on Thursday, declaring instead he would ask government agencies to provide records that could determine a head-count of citizens without polling census-takers directly.
The turnaround comes after Trump repeatedly said he would continue fighting to insert the question despite a Supreme Court ruling that dealt a blow to the effort last month. It reflects legal reality intersecting with Trump’s desire to bolster his image as an immigration hard-liner as he moves ahead with his 2020 reelection bid…
❝ In announcing the decision, Trump insisted he would be unrelenting in seeking out citizenship information from alternate sources. He said agencies would be required to provide the Commerce Department with documents and records of citizens and non-citizens, which he said would help provide an accurate picture of US citizenship…“We will leave no stone unturned,” Trump said.
Then, he crawled back under the rock where he sleeps most of the time…
Gives you an idea why some – but not many/enough – Republicans are leaving a sinking ship, capsizing even further to the Right on the way down. Still takes courage to leave a comfortable home even if it’s become a whorehouse.
Thanks, Barry Ritholtz