Wait, Which One’s The Leader Of The Free World Again?

French President Macron Defends The Future Of The Planet To Cheers From U.S. Congress, While Trump Flirts With Kanye On Twitter…


We’ll leave commentary on the latter to mainstream media and your Twitter/Facebook/Medium friends, except for a quick response to those asking if they too can have “dragon energy”. Kanye makes it pretty clear that “dragon energy” is not something you can have; only something you can BE. So, no.

Meanwhile, Macron said this, in English, before a joint session of Congress, receiving huge positive reaction from both sides of the aisle (though not on everything).  And it’s pretty damn rousing. If you haven’t seen it yet, click on the photo to watch:



Compare and contrast…




Breaking News On Ronny Jackson Nomination: It’s Over.


Ronny Jackson this morning just withdrew his name from nomination to lead the Veterans Administration.

Democrats on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee produced a 2-page document asserting Trump’s personal physician and nominee to head the Veterans Administration has a history of alcohol abuse, including a drunken escapade in which he crashed a government vehicle (which he denies). The same document alleges Jackson was known as the “Candyman” for freely prescribing painkillers and sleep aids, including writing prescriptions to himself, and asking other people to write scrips for him. And it lists multiple complaints of fostering a hostile work environment.

The White House meanwhile, pushed back against charges they did not properly vet Jackson.

That’s left many asking why this is only coming out now, when Jackson also was personal physician to Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, and many of the activities alleged took place under their administrations?

While we can’t know for sure, we think the answer lies in the fact that this seems to be an example of what we call “the A-rod effect”. Part of the reason the former Yankees star was so harshly denounced for steroid use once he was busted compared to some other stars, was that he was generally not well liked by his peers. So when there was a chance to hand him his comeuppance, they did.

There’s huge potential for “collateral damage” here too: the ranking Democrat on Veterans’ Affairs is Montana’s Jon Tester, considered perhaps the most vulnerable of the Democratic Senators up for re-election this fall, so how this has played out could still have a significant impact on the balance of power in the Senate as well.




Senate Judiciary Committee Could Vote Today On A Plan To Protect Special Counsel Mueller


We told you about this late last week. And also that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had vowed not to bring it to the full Senate floor even if it passed the Committee (where it almost definitely has the votes).

But as the idea has been informally debated, it’s gained momentum, and is definitely being taken more seriously now. To the point at which Republican leaders are looking for alternatives to head it off. One idea that’s being floated: a non-binding resolution directed at the White House saying the Senate believes “Mueller should be left alone to do his job.”



North Korea Nuclear Test Site Might’ve Collapsed


We’ve reported on this before: scientists had questioned the structural integrity of the mountain under which North Korea conducted most of its nuclear tests. Now the South China Morning Post says the reason Kim Jong-un announced he was suspending further tests might be because he can’t do them anyway right now. There’s also now growing concern of radioactive material leaking into the air. The BBC reports the same, citing an upcoming paper by scientists in China.



EPA Chief Appears On Capitol Hill Today For “Regular” Briefings That Should Be Anything But


Scott Pruitt is scheduled to appear before 2 Congressional committees and subcommittees today, which are very likely to focus on the myriad of personal and political scandals he’s brought upon himself (and has avoided speaking about publicly, except to Fox). For those of you who haven’t been following closely, they include taking a sweet deal on a condo from a lobbyist, giving raises to employees he brought with him from Oklahoma after the White House said no, squandering taxpayer cash on First Class plane tickets, and firing just about anyone who’s “scientifically oriented” or pushes back against any of his decisions.

So far, Trump’s protecting him because he’s doing such a bang-up job dismantling the E.P.A. and loosening anti-pollution regulations.

And the New York Times reports Pruitt is rehearsing for the appearance with the aid of a “hot topics” list, which it says places most of the blame for almost everything on agency staff and not him. Will that work? As Trump would say, we’ll see