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Et tu, Mulvaney?

White House Acting Chief of Staff Mulvaney has had a major oopsie.

He told reporters that President Trump withheld aid from Ukraine, among other reasons, until that nation helped him prove that they, and not the Russians, interfered in the 2016 election on his behalf. He admitted that there was, in fact, a quid pro quo involved in the president's conversation with the Ukrainian president: you do the investigation involving Joe Biden's son, and we'll give you that military aid.

That, of course, was nothing more or less than suborning Ukraine's interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.

Then he reversed course and tried to "unsay" it. Too late.

The stubborn blindness of those who simply refuse to see how corrupt, unstable, incompetent, and generally unfit this president is truly astounding. But their number is diminishing. It shouldn't be hard for anybody- even those who have been in willful denial all this time- to see that in seeking the interference…
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Rorschach test

This video from Trump supporters is a kind of Rorschach test.

Normal people will find it shocking and revolting. Hard-core Trumpers will enjoy it.

And that well illustrates the difference between normal people and hard-core Trumpers. It also illustrates why the movement led by Donald Trump is the greatest threat to the Republic since the Civil War.

Jonathan V. Last of The Bulwark puts it bluntly: this kind of thing is not just disturbing in that it appeals to so many Trump supporters and was not only produced by them but shown at a meeting of high-level Trump donors. 

This sort of thing illustrates eloquently exactly what appeals to a large percentage of his hard-core supporters about Donald Trump.

This is not a healthy movement comprised of healthy people. These are in many cases seriously unhealthy people drawn to Mr. Trump precisely because he is one of them, and they understand that.

I don't see how much plainer the problem can be, either with the video or with the people who don…

Our new national motto: 'See no evil, hear no evil- but talk all the trash you can, even if it's obvious nonsense.'

It seems that a new poll shows that only four in ten Republicans believe that President Trump talked to Ukranian President Zelensky about investigating Joe Biden's son despite the fact that President Trump him acknowledges that he did exactly that.

This brilliantly illustrates how a man like Donald Trump, who was known far and wide to be- well, everything that he so obviously is but his supporters still deny- all along could ever have become president in the first place or continue to retain the support of intelligent and by all previous evidence honest people long after even the most basic intellectual honesty would seem to preclude their doing so. Stipulating, of course, that those in the echo chamber of the left are just as closed-minded and selectively clueless as those in the echo chamber of the right, I don't think I've yet come across a factoid that sums up the American body politic at this particular moment in history so well.

Are we capable of governing ourselves…

Either Donald Trump has never read the Constitution or he just doesn't care

Leaving aside questions about his personal stability and lack of a moral compass as exhibited pretty much throughout his entire adult life, probably the most disturbing thing about Donald John Trump is his lack of commitment to- or apparently even knowledge of- the basics of the American system or the values and beliefs on which it's based.

To put it bluntly, it seems patent that the President of the United States has either never read the Constitution he swore at his inauguration to "preserve, protect, and defend," or doesn't take it seriously.

We're all familiar with his promise during the campaign to pay the legal expenses of supporters who beat up demonstrators exercising their First Amendment rights at his rallies. I simply cannot understand how his repeated suggestions throughout his thankfully brief political career that there should be laws against "intentionally misleading" news stories haven't been a red flag to anyone with the rudimentary…

It had to happen sooner or later

You don't nominate and elect a president who for decades has manifestly lacked a moral compass and who has been caught repeatedly throughout his career breaking the law and cutting ethical corners without a substantial risk that he's not only going to continue to do it but eventually get caught sooner rather than later.

When he lacks personal judgment and filters, is incredibly ill-informed in almost every aspect of his job, and is not politically savvy, all the salesmanship and cunning in self-promotion in the world isn't going to save him.

I feel guilty about this, frankly, but while am not completely happy about saying "I told you so" about Donald Trump, I'm petty enough to feel at least a little satisfaction. Yes, it's outweighed by my wish that the Republican President was named Rubio or Bush or Romney or even Cruz, although I wouldn't be absolutely delighted with that last option, and my regret that Donald Trump has done the long-term damage to …

Maybe I was right after all.

Like most people, I never thought that a habitual and well-known con-man and crook, an admitted and unrepentant serial sexual harasser, an erratic conspiracy theorist with no filters apt to say or do almost anything, a habitual and quite accomplished liar, a man whose narcissism was so obvious that even William F. Buckley openly used that word in describing him, an inarticulate blowhard whose public statements were often incomprehensible and nearly always so fraught with clear and obvious misstatements of fact that it was difficult to take anything he said seriously, a man with the emotional maturity of an eighth-grader whose ignorance of economics, international politics, history, and the Constitution were not only obvious but so profound as to be more apt to inspire laughter than thought among any marginally informed citizen, a businessman so inept that investing his inheritance in the stock market would have made him far wealthier today than has his career as an unethical real-est…

Elegy for a wasted baseball season

Like most Cub fans, I am disgusted. The 2016 World Champions have turned out not to be a dynasty after all.  They have played ever since that magical night in Cleveland like nothing more than a good team. Not even a very good team.

Cinderella's slipper has turned out to be not only a croc but a crock. In 2017, at least we lost in the NLCS. But last year, when we should have run away with the division, we tied with Milwaukee- and then lost the one-game playoff.

We should have run away with it again this year. After Theo Epstein's disgusted rant following the Cubs' elimination by the Brewers last year, I was comforted; surely, I thought, the Cubs would do what was needed to fix so many things that were so obviously broken. But the Ricketts family pled poverty, and virtually nothing was done. It took until late in the season for us to pony up for Craig Kimbrel even though we lacked a closer, with Brandon Morrow hurt; as it turned out, the Red Sox knew what they were doing wh…