Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The T Word

Reporter James Risen has done some excellent work, and he has also gotten some things wrong. (Wen Ho Lee, for example.) But in this column in The Intercept, he is not doing original reporting but rather pulling together what we know and can fairly suspect about the relationship between the current white house Resident and Vladimir Putin. It's a bit surprising to see this in a publication overseen by Glenn Greenwald, who is consistently hostile to the suggestion that Russia had anything to do with our 2016 election or could conceivably be blackmailing its ostensible winner. But Greenwald is allowing this, so credit where it's due.

Risen, like a lot of us, has a pre-existing opinion about the state of the presidency:

 It is not that he is a complicated subject. Quite the opposite. It is that everything about him is so painfully obvious. He is a low-rent racist, a shameless misogynist, and an unbalanced narcissist. He is an unrelenting liar and a two-bit white identity demagogue. . . . Unfortunately, another word also describes him: president. The fact that such an unstable egomaniac occupies the White House is the greatest threat to the national security of the United States in modern history. Which brings me to the only question about Donald Trump that I find really interesting: Is he a traitor?
Risen proposes a four-part test. 1) Did Russia intervene in the 2016 election to help Trump? 2) Did Trump or his associates collaborate in this effort? 3) Did they obstruct justice by attempting to block or undermine the investigation into (1) and (2); 4) Are Republican leaders now engaged in a criminal conspiracy to further (3)?

Actually, the Trump is a traitor question stops at (2). The other items are additional. In the linked column, Risen addresses item (1) and, consistent with what is basically common knowledge, finds it true. He says his analysis of item (2) is coming shortly. We'll see if he knows more than the rest of us about this.

What I will say for now, however, is that it is astonishing how few people are taking this question seriously, or at least are willing to do so in public. It is certainly a fair one.


Don Quixote said...

Trump is a disgusting human being--and I use the term "human being" extremely loosely, as I would for another traitor, Dick Cheney--and he is certainly a traitor and an utterly execrable organism. The sooner he is gone, the better.

Trump is also a completely sick human being. We can have a bit of compassion for him. In a sane country, uncorrupted by soulless Republican congressmen and -women, Trump would be laughed out of political contention. May he be sentenced to an island from which he will never return. Put Cheney there with him and leave them plenty of supplies, including guns and vaseline.

Gay Boy Bob said...

What I will say for now, however, is that it is astonishing how few people are taking this question seriously...

It's only astonishing if you listen only to the media. If you ask the people themselves why they voted for Donald Trump and why they support him, you will get a different story.

The reason why few people are taking this "chicken little" story seriously is because few people think it's the story you think it is. If they did, we'd all be up in arms.

They're not