Each day I receive an Email from firstname.lastname@example.org. It contains ten paragraphs, each summarizing key world events from the previous day.
I was struck by the commonality of items in today’s edition. Here are excerpts:
(I’ve given the excerpts my own title:)
I call this one. “Gee Donald, what did you expect?”
Pompeo blames Iran for apparent tanker attacks
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers carrying petrochemicals in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway for oil shipments. Iran’s United Nations mission said it “categorically rejects” this “unfounded” claim.
Tensions have escalated in the Mideast as Iran appears poised to break the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, an accord that President Donald Trump repudiated last year.
In the deal, Tehran agreed to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of crippling sanction. Already, Iran says it quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.
Meanwhile, U.S. sanctions have cut off opportunities for Iran to trade its excess uranium and heavy water abroad, putting Tehran on course to violate terms of the nuclear deal regardless.
I call this next one, “Remind me again, what is the job of a press secretary?”
Trump says Sarah Huckabee Sanders leaving as press secretary
President Trump announced Thursday that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would leave her post next month. Trump called Sanders “a warrior,” and said she should run for governor back home in Arkansas.
Sanders is one of the few close Trump aides remaining from his campaign. Sanders said serving in the job was “the honor of a lifetime,” and that she would remain an “outspoken and loyal” Trump supporter.
Since Sanders succeeded Sean Spicer in the job in mid-2017, she has done away with regular White House press briefings and faced questions about her credibility.
[Her credibility took a serious blow after she admitted to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office that her public assertions that many FBI workers had expressed support for Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey were fabricated.]
This next one is, “What? A Trump appointee broke the law? Who could have predicted that?”
Watchdog recommends firing Kellyanne Conway
The Office of Special Counsel, a government watchdog, said Thursday that President Trump should fire senior adviser Kellyanne Conway for violating a federal ethics law against partisan comments by federal employees.
The office, which is unrelated to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, said in a letter accompanying a report that Conway was a “repeat offender” of the Hatch Act’s prohibition against campaign politics in the federal workplace.
The letter, signed by agency head Henry Kerner, said Conway’s flouting of the law, “if left unpunished,” sends the message that other federal employees can do the same. “Her actions erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law,” the letter said.
The White House rejected the assessment and demanded that Kerner withdraw the report.
[White House social media director Dan Scavino, former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, Melania Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, and at least another half dozen Trump White House staffers have also been reprimanded or warned by the special counsel’s office for Hatch Act violations.]
And this last one is, “Nothing wrong with my pals, despots like Putin, Kim, Salman, and Duterte, helping me win elections. Anyway, I’m the law.”
FEC chair stresses that accepting foreign election help is illegal
After President Trump said he would accept political dirt on opponents offered by foreign governments, Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub tweeted a statement Thursday clarifying that it is illegal to “solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”
She added: “This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation.”
She added that anyone failing to tell the FBI about any “prohibited donation” or who “accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong end of a federal investigation.”
Trump earlier defended his remarks, tweeting that it would be “ridiculous” for him to report every conversation he has with a world leader to the FBI.
Ah yes, it’s just another day in Trumpland, where the law is only what Trump says it is, and America slides further into corruption and disgrace.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
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