Zhe *new* and *improved* Trump Administration

It’s blazing hot out there, all across California. Over the last few days I drove a thousand plus miles up and down the state, and there are only some coastal towns that aren’t over 100 degrees. I’ve been basted in sweat.

It’s nice to be back home. I am sitting here under the ceiling fan with a coke in my hand, skimming the latest political news and blog commentary. I see that very few people have been willing to applaud Trump for his Kabuki routine with Putin. Nice of the Russians to offer us their own review, or Cliff’s Notes: “Trump accepted Putin’s words about Russia’s non-interference in the US elections. He doesn’t want to be stuck in a position of anti-Russian hysteria.”

Thanks guys, just lovely. Did everybody memorize, or only read off three-by-five cards? This offer of complimentary mind reading would be more entertaining – in the bare-chested SNL sense – if it weren’t apparently true:

Top advisers to President Donald Trump declined three times on Saturday to rebut claims from Russian officials that Trump had accepted their denials of alleged Russian interference in the US election.

Aboard Air Force One, chief economist Gary Cohn, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin all declined to knock down those remarks when pressed by reporters, deferring instead to Trump himself.

Working for the government ain’t what it used to be. Gone are the days when senior officials could merely squinch their faces and laugh off such Pravda. I don’t think this is because the people in this administration are all that different. I doubt they really think their counterparts are somehow a trustworthy bunch. It’s more likely they think – or they know – that Trump is a conniving turd. There’s no telling what sort of relationship he has with these post-Soviet clowns. And they’re not about to risk their careers by taking what used to be the default U.S. position: the Russians are comical liars, they can’t be trusted, etc.

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