It is nearly 3 months since Notes 25 and starting draft with items 1 and 2 below. Gap due to both not seeing much changing and other preoccupations (which are actually an improved situation but still don’t leave much time for following this stuff). My expectations remain pretty much as they were then so I dont have much to add.
1. Full transcript of entire ABC interview of Comey (more than the 1 hour broadcast)
About 50 pages (157pp in .pdf file but only one third of each page was actual transcript).
Not sure what to make of it or whether it was worth reading but would certainly be better than watching full hour on video.
Comey’s book (zero day release):
2. From Rassmussen April 12 to 15 survey of likely voters:
Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters believe a special prosecutor should be named to investigate whether senior FBI officials handled the investigations of Hillary Clinton and Trump in a legal and unbiased fashion. Comey was head of the FBI during much of this time.…
Forty-six percent (46%) of all voters believe Comey should be prosecuted for leaking information to the media at the time he was director of the FBI. That’s up from 41% last June following Comey’s admission under oath to a U.S. Senate committee that he leaked memos of his private meetings with Trump as FBI director to The New York Times through a friend.
Just 34% disagree and say Comey should not be prosecuted, down 13 points from 47% in the previous survey. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure.
Sixty-six percent (66%) of Republicans – and 50% of all voters – believe senior federal law enforcement officials at the FBI and Justice Department broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the presidency in 2016.
Most Republicans (55%) believe the FBI is more likely than Russia to have meddled in the 2016 election.
Book and TV interview will no doubt reassure the voters that Comey is a model of integrity and not a slimeball at all. If not, rinse and repeat.
3. Still have masses of open windows but no time to post about them. No big shift in media or polls. Some increased disapproval from separating immigrant families. This was reversed MUCH quicker than previous blunders like Scaramouchi, and Flynn appointments. Not fully recovered yet but still indicates unlikely to implode from inability to change course.
Perhaps one item worth mentioning is this follow up to Notes 25 discussion of liberals falling for delusional fantasies about Trump v Sessions.
Only a straw in the wind but I said very early after Trump’s election win that somebody should be imprisoned for the coup mongering from his opponents in the “intelligence community”.
4. Korea outcome was pretty much as predicted ( by Scott “Dilbert” Adams as well as me). Syria and Middle East policy still unclear to me.
5. Trade protectionism appears to be happening earlier and harder than I expected. But I cannot follow closely enough to tell how much of the appearance is also real. Certainly it will as expected be a very live issue in both mid-terms and 2020 and one that will split Democrats while consolidating GOP as Trump’s party with previously dominant GOP globalists as ineffective internal opposition. External business opposition has started to mobilize but they have left it very late and still show little sign of being able to get their act together before there is real damage.
6. Brexit and Italy confirm possibility of real damage. Brexit is currently falling to bits with expected most likely outcomes being:
6.1 Most likely outcome is a second referendum to stay in provided EU holds firm on no offering no concessions to UK not already provided to Norway (ie free movement required for customs union) and die hards dont succeed in mobilizing resentment.
6.2 Meaningless exit to same situation as Norway which does far less damage. Even less likely now.
But the levels of incoherence on display still leave open third possibility with real damage that sets things back a few years.
6.3 Continued blundering around till deadlines expire with no agreement.
Given what is going on in USA, Italy, Poland and Hungary and the unanimous inaction over Syria one should not understimate the levels of sheer irrationality. (Which makes it especially hard for me to get my bearings as I generally analyse with greater expectations of rational malevolence and less attention to irrational possibilities).
7. I still expect Democrat majority in House from 2019 with resulting paralysis, focus on impeachment, Democrat splits, media escalation from merely frenzied to outright insurrectionary irrelevance and increased deficits all working to Trump’s advantage for 2020. Economy too unpredictable for two year forecasts though I would expect a crash to become more predictable during any second term even though economy is also too unpredictable for 6 year forecasts.
8. On a lighter note there is an amusing article on Brexit from Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor, in The Australian, Tuesday July 10, 2018. Sheridan is usually an utterly predictable and vacuous name dropping “Little Sir Echo” for the US foreign policy establishment. But the implosive disestablishment of that establishment has left has him an Editor who remains “Foreign” but with no identifiable foreign homeland. His complaint against the hapless British government is that they should have made plans to walk away from the EU with no deal rather than make it so obvious that the EU has no incentive to offer them anything.
But the whole referendum “victory” was based on Brexiteers promising the voters that they could have their cake and eat it. Now all they, and Sheridan, can do is express outrage at their own stupidity having become as evident to themselves as it was to others.
This is very similar to Sheridan’s echo of US foreign policy establishment worries that Asian “allies” will stop believing in US “guarantees” now that Trump has made it obvious the US cannot be relied on against anybody that has nuclear weapons that can hit the US. After 8 years of Obama what was there left to pretend with? What was there left for Brexiteers to pretend with?
What is there left for Sheridan to pretend with? He stayed loyal for half a century after Kissinger explained:
Is there nobody left who can brief him on an actual current declaratory policy with some “plausible deniability”?
9. On a happier note the Thai cave rescue was an uplifting success story.
10. And the Elon Musk show arrived in time to be told to piss off and sell batteries to Australian power grids.
Forgot to mention the flurry over Melania Trump wearing a jacket with slogan “I really don’t care. Do you.”
Media line was that it was an expression of callousness about separation of immigrant children (which in fact she was opposed to).
Donald Trump baited a trap saying she was referring to not believing “fake news”.
Unusually media did not fall into the trap. Instead of the usual detailed rebuttal of every ambiguity as a monstrous lie as far as I noticed they just dropped the subject.
Did not see ANY comment on the rather obvious explicit reference to the response on “Stormy Daniels” I quoted in Notes 25:
“Stormy Daniels? Read our lips: we don’t care.
Tonight’s the night that the former porn “star” will be appearing on “60 Minutes” to reveal what we already knew, that she had a, gasp, consensual extramarital affair with Donald J. Trump more than a decade before he became president.
Stop the presses!”
How explicit could she get, “read my jacket”.
I guess they just could not bring theselves to spell it out.
Quite unusual for them to restrain themselves from getting outraged about her lack of outrage. Is this a first sign of insight?
Nah, must be just ongoing befuddlement. They are too far gone to be capable of deliberately avoiding a trap rather than just accidentally missing the opportunity to fall into it.
Russia has been less of a focus recently.
But it isn’t the sort of delusion that can just fade away.
Chaitin’s case is quite fascinating. Here’s what I thought was just a throw away line expressing the usual impotent rage.
“Trump Insists No Other Americans Allowed Into His Putin Meeting
Huh, that’s weird. It’s almost as if Trump has some kind of secret relationship involving money or blackmail with Russia he wants to discuss without fear of being revealed to his own country!”
But the previous link elaborates on that theme in great detail.
All Trump needs to do now is publicly exchange blinks with Putin in morse code.
In item 6 I listed 3 potential outcomes of Brexit.
Just saw this which expains a 6.4 similar to 6.2 in short term but potentially worse as well as more likely than 6.2 and 6.3 and perhaps even 6.1.
6.4 Leave and pay agreed exit payment while effectively remaining under EU during longer term extended negotiations for future arrangements.