Odds and Ends: Incompetence and Infighting

The Trump administration will suppress the Senate Intelligence Committee’s comprehensive report on torture during the Bush presidency, somehow thinking that this will be beneficial to mankind.

White House Economic Advisor Gary Cohn has now told the world not to expect a tax reform plan until the end of summer.

They probably won’t be able to agree on any health care bill this year, either, at least if Senator Richard Burr is correct in this predictions.

Relatedly, the White House is also refusing to cooperate or comply with any Democratic requests for information to help them in their oversight responsibilities.

Of course, the Republicans won’t be able to avoid the need to raise the debt ceiling, but…

The answer to that appears to be ‘yes.’

[Treasury Secretary Steve] Mnuchin told lawmakers last week that his “preference” would be for the debt ceiling to be increased without any spending cuts. Many Democrats have said they will not support a debt-ceiling increase if spending cuts are attached.

But White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, in an interview Wednesday with the Washington Examiner, said he would “like to see things attached to [a debt-ceiling increase] that drive certain spending reforms and debt reforms in the future.”

On Thursday, however, White House officials stressed that Mulvaney was not endorsing a specific White House position and was simply referring to the principle he followed when he was in the House.

I often forget that The Drudge Report exists, but it’s hyping a story that Steve Bannon is the source who leaked about Jared Kushner’s plan to hole up in the Russian Embassy and chit-chat with Russian generals, or whatever that was. Apparently, it’s Priebus pushing the Bannon story about Kushner to Drudge, which squares the triangle, I guess.

Are we still waiting to hear if Trump will block James Comey from testifying? That seems like a real Catch-22. Except, it’s not clear that blocking Comey is being seriously considered. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.

Kathy Griffin is doing pretty much everything wrong. If she wants to be a left-wing Ann Coulter then she should act like one. There’s no crying in partisan knife-fighting for fame and profit. If, on the other hand, she wants to be considered either funny or a somewhat decent human being, well, it’s far too late for that.

If you try to keep up with all the connections between Trump and the former Soviet Union, you’ll never find time to do anything else.

Have a nice weekend. Go outside.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.