Here’s a gem from 538’s Significant Digits email.
$12 million parade
President Trump’s military parade through D.C., scheduled for November 10, is now estimated to cost $12 million. This is nearly as much, CNN reports, as the military exercise with South Korea that Trump canceled following his summit with Kim Jong Un. “We save a fortune by not doing war games,” Trump said at the time. [CNN]
I wonder how many supposedly fiscally conservative Republicans will take action to stop this corruption. Read on to get the answer.
Leonard Pitts Jr. pleads Spare me your shock over Trump’s sellout in Helsinki.
"Lawmakers in both major parties and former intelligence officials appeared shocked …”
—The Chicago Tribune
“U.S. lawmakers of both political parties reacted with shock …”
—Voice of America
“Some of Mr. Trump’s own advisers privately said they were shocked …”
—The New York Times
After almost two years of unending chaos, the only shocking thing about Donald Trump’s disastrous Helsinki press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin is that some people were apparently shocked. That suggests they expected better, which, in turn, suggests they still don’t understand what we’re dealing with.
They don’t get that there’s no pivot coming, no magic moment when Trump becomes thoughtful, intelligent, presidential. He will not grow into the job, or change, or improve.What you see is what you get. What you see is what there is.
His nation under attack and the head of the attacking regime standing next to him, Trump was everything he professes to despise. Weak. Feeble. Impotent.
It was appalling, yes. But it was also predictable. And that’s an important point, because if we are to survive this existential emergency, it starts with being clear-eyed about the clear and present danger we face. This is not a good man, not a patriotic man, not a moral, smart or brave man. All of us should know that by now.
So yes, let us be angry, be determined, be resilient, but let us not be shocked by Trump. That’s a waste of time. November is coming.
Let him be shocked by us.
You most likely know the evidence giving rise to this these conclusions, but, if you are shocked, go read Pitts’ column.
George Will, also in this morning’s Daily Star, concludes that This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man, “America’s child president had a play date with a KGB alumnus, who surely enjoyed providing day care. It was a useful, because illuminating, event: Now we shall see how many Republicans retain a capacity for embarrassment.” The answer, I am afraid, is not many - if any.
Americans elected a president who — this is a safe surmise — knew that he had more to fear from making his tax returns public than from keeping them secret. The most innocent inference is that for decades he has depended on an American weakness, susceptibility to the tacky charisma of wealth, which would evaporate when his tax returns revealed that he has always lied about his wealth, too. A more ominous explanation might be that his redundantly demonstrated incompetence as a businessman tumbled him into unsavory financial dependencies on Russians. A still more sinister explanation might be that the Russians have something else, something worse, to keep him compliant.
The explanation is in doubt; what needs to be explained — his compliance — is not. Granted, Trump has a weak man’s banal fascination with strong men whose disdain for him is evidently unimaginable to him. And, yes, he only perfunctorily pretends to have priorities beyond personal aggrandizement. But just as astronomers inferred, from anomalies in the orbits of the planet Uranus, the existence of Neptune before actually seeing it, Mueller might infer, and then find, still-hidden sources of the behavior of this sad, embarrassing wreck of a man.
Finally, for now, David Fitzsimmons provides an illustrated version of “the behavior of this sad, embarrassing wreck of a man.”