Next up is tax reform. It’s sure to be a popular plan, too, once people read it. Town halls will be crowded with legislators’ constituents demanding even more financial breaks for the well-to-do. It’s premature to say that tax reform is so dry no one will care two bits about it except for the experts and the real beneficiaries of the coming plan. House Speaker Paul Ryan should set a vote for the tax code revisions on June 3rd, Tax Freedom Day, the same way he set the vote for Obamacare’s repeal on its 7th anniversary.
The new, fairer, simpler, tax code that’s being proposed will return more of their hard earned dollars to working men and women. Trust a man to lead the charge who, critics say, stiffed contractors, self-served in Bankruptcy Court, harshly dealt with landowners, squeezed tenants, and extracted money from the naive at a fake vocational school. Look for that guy’s high regard for the little guy in the new legislation. It’ll be in the part they forget to print.
A Supreme Court nominee’s hearing is another good distraction from Russia. Judge Neil Gorsuch, from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Denver, is Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Anton Scalia. Gorsuch, though, is having a hard time explaining the source of the ten million dollars, or so, being used, inter alia, to run TV ads supporting his nomination. It’s wondrous how we, now, get to weigh in on future Supreme Court Justices the same way we pick cereal, soap, and beer.
Lost, the administration hopes, in all the bustling and hustling, is the House Intelligence Committee’s inquiry into Russian nesting dolls that’s being led by Republican Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. Nunes and his boss, Paul Ryan, however, will have voluntarily lined up behind the guys dragging sagebrush over their footprints if Nunes’ mad dash to Trump’s confessional, this past week, turns out to have been a ploy to help the White House with its Russia problem.
Chairman Nunes promised to reveal more information on last Friday, about what led him to scurry to the President but, somewhat predictably, nothing substantive on this score was forthcoming. Apropos of nothing, the committee is, now, in limbo since Nunes cancelled its Tuesday public hearing somewhat contemporaneously with the offer to talk extended by former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.
One thing Nunes can’t stop, though, is F.B.I. Director James Comey’s examination of the facts pertaining to Russia’s interloping across the frontiers of our basic rights. Only Trump can do that and he’s, possibly, setting the stage with tweets critical of Comey. In one of them, the President asserted "FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia." No one liked Flynn, anyway, so he’s a good fall guy and blaming Obama for everything is, merely, par for the course.
To protect his skin, President Richard Nixon got Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox fired. That termination, also, precipitated the resignation of Attorney General Elliot Richardson, and his top aide, both of whom refused to do the deed for Nixon. Sound familiar? Say Sally Yates. The lesson is that there’s precedent for Comey’s dismissal if the Director gets too annoying. Nixon, also, tried to squelch an F.B.I. investigation into his malfeasance but did so with less success.
The millions of dollars at least two Trump associates, former National Security Advisor Flynn, and Chairman Manafort, earned from foreign interests is shocking to people worried about what’s going to happen to the minimum wage. The Administration is, rapidly, exhausting whatever benefit of the doubt may remain about its former employee’s connections to places that don’t fly our flag. The scandal is becoming an even bigger iceberg for the White House than the one that sank the Titanic and it’s desperate to change the narrative by any means possible. Pick one, there are lots to choose from, starting with the immigration ban.
Not long after Trump instructed House Speaker Ryan to pull the healthcare bill, just before it was to be voted on, Minority Senate Leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, told an interviewer that Trump didn’t win the election because of the far right; it was centrists nervous about their futures who put him over the top. Many of the voters in that demographic cast their ballots for Trump and they’re the same people who would’ve had to say premature “goodbyes” to family members, friends, and acquaintances had Trumpcare passed. That’s going to be a hard thing for them to forget.
Worse than losing a legislative initiative, however painful, is the loss of trust that this Administration so assiduously courts. The Trump campaign was careless from the start and remains so to this day as it tries to wipe off the fingerprints it left on the whisky glasses in the saloon. Comes a time, though, when every floor needs to be mopped and that time is approaching so long as Big Jim keeps his badge.