Don Jr. Told Russia Wanted to Help Father
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
The Russia Connection: Donald J. Trump Jr. was informed in an email before he met with a Russian lawyer that potentially damaging information he was to be given about Hillary Clinton was part of a Russian government effort to help his father get elected, the NY Times reports. The paper says its sources are three people “with knowledge of the email.”
The email came from Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped set up the June 2016 meeting, according to the Times.There’s no suggestion so far that Trump junior did anything illegal, but his father has previously sworn that his campaign had no dealings with Russian representatives trying to help him.
Air Crash: A Marine KC-130 transport plane caught fire in mid-air yesterday and crashed in the Mississippi Delta, killing all 16 people on board. Bodies were found as far as a mile from the crash site. The wreckage burned all night.
Dog Days of Summer: Congress is back in session this week under pressure to get on with its agenda of passing a healthcare bill and tax reform.
President Trump tweeted cheerfully, “I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!”
Well, nothing is certain, but imagine it. The Republicans need 50 votes plus the vice president to pass the replacement of Obamacare. Ten senators have announced their opposition.
The Senate is moving healthcare by a process called reconciliation, by which they can avoid a Democratic filibuster. But Senate rules allow for only one reconciliation bill at a time, which means tax reform has to wait.
They also have to see what kind of tax cuts survive in the healthcare bill so they can adjust cuts in their tax bill.
They have until August, when Congress likes to go on vacation. Then in September, they have other pressing business, like keeping the government running. They might produce a healthcare bill by the end of this month, but it’s possible to believe that they won’t.
Academia: The Washington Post reports that a banking fraud investigation into the activities of Jane Sanders, the wife of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is gathering momentum.
As president of the 160-student Burlington College, Sanders lined up a $6.7 million loan to buy land and a new campus for the college on 32 acres along Lake Champlain. She assured college trustees that she had lined up donors to help pay off the loan, but it was later found that the donors had not agreed to give the amounts Sanders listed in loan documents.
Sanders resigned and the college closed last year.
Sky Pilot: The defense Department announced that it is buying another 74 of the controversial F-35 fighters at a cost of $5.7 billion. An additional 141 planes will be built for sale to foreign governments.
It’s the most expensive warplane ever built. The pilot’s helmet alone costs $400,000.
The F-35 has lost in mock combat to the elderly F-16s, but in an exercise this past February, the F-35 had a 15-1 kill ratio.
Cult of Personality: President Trump recently tweeted a link to a video that can is nothing less than a propaganda message portraying the President as America’s savior. With a choir singing, “Make America great again/Make America great again,” the video is a montage of Trump meeting foreign leaders at the G-20 summit and looking commanding. Interestingly, the video also prominently features Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, as if she too is making America great again.
The rousing voices of the chorus sing, “Make America great again/ Lift the torch of freedom all across the land / Step into the future, joining hand in hand/Make America great again.”
The video is chilling.
The Obit Page: Rocky Carroll, the Houston craftsman who made elaborately decorated cowboy boots for presidents, movie stars, and regular cowpokes, died last month.
A pair of Rocky’s boots were considered a prize. Carroll decorated his boots with colorful flags, maps of Texas and for the appropriate customer, the presidential seal. He made boots for Ronald Reagan and both presidents Bush.
He was injured in an attempted robbery outside his shop at 4:30 one morning and George W. Bush called. Carroll told a reporter, “The nurse in I.C.U. she says, ‘Some damn joker called and said the president was calling. We hung up on him.’ They called back and said, ‘This is the Air Force One communication officer. Don’t hang up. President Bush wants to talk to Rocky.’”