Over at the Washington Post, opinion columnist Ruth Marcus reports something remarkable: Early in the Trump administration “senior White House staff members were asked to, and did, sign nondisclosure agreements vowing not to reveal confidential information and exposing them to damages for any violation.” “It would expose violators to penalties of $10 million, payable to the federal government, for each and any unauthorized revelation of ‘confidential’ information,” she writes. And not just during their government service, but afterwards, too.
Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, was fired on Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions had received a report from the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General following a probe into McCabe’s conduct while he served in the FBI. McCabe, who took over as acting FBI director after the dismissal of James Comey, stepped down as this investigation process began in January 2018.
McCabe stood accused of improper dealings with the media on the issue of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The OIG investigation found that McCabe “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under
If someone invented a television “raver filter” there would no doubt be national jubilation—until we realized that blocking the ravers would leave very little to watch. Everyone raves these days: sports announcers, politicians, airline executives, celebrities, cartoon characters, weather forecasters, dog trainers, and of course the growing army of what were once called “talking heads”—whose noggins have all gone nuclear in the Age of Trump.
Add to the raver list the current flock of flacks deployed by the National Rifle Association.
“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,” wrote Shakespeare. Although the odds that President Trump was reminded of that observation when re-reading The Tempest must be regarded as low, they are somewhat higher that he might at one time have stumbled across the modern variant, about politics making strange bedfellows. Trump’s misery stems not from any doubts about his policies. He believes that his bonfire of the regulations has released the animal spirits of investors and the business community, and that his tax cuts will take the economy’s growth rate to a level it never achieved in the Obama years. Alas, he is not getting the credit he craves and feels he deserves, which he attributes to poor
This is Peter Navarro’s moment. The gadfly economist, whose idée fixe is America’s capitulation to China on trade, joined the Trump administration on Day One, heading up the National Trade Council, a new office created by the new president. But for the first 13 months, Trump did little to advance his promised protectionist agenda, and Navarro had to keep quiet as free traders like Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, the chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC), held the reins.
But Trump’s announcement of new steel and aluminum tariffs on March 1, and Cohn’s subsequent resignation, suggest that protectionism’s time has come.
Rex Tillerson was fired because Trump didn’t listen to him. Tillerson was an adviser whose advice was rarely sought and even more rarely followed. His disputes with the president were widely known—often because Trump took them public—and they made it clear that Tillerson couldn’t effectively perform of his job. Mike Pompeo is the exact opposite.
It's been a while since we talked; have you caught up yet? The second season of Jessica Jones was bonkers; did you manage to make it through The Punisher and The Defenders? What about the new season of Black Mirror—that one episode where they warned against the dangers of technology outpacing our humanity was amazing, right?—or the latest run of Bojack Horseman? Never thought a cartoon could send me into an existential tailspin like it manages to do. It was a shame that the Stranger Things crew got shut out at the Golden Globes; they’re doing really innovative work in the 1980s homage space.
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