21st Century Ergot

Tomorrow, the Lord’s Day, no Trump. I promise.

That may mean no blog, either, but no Trump.

1

Why the Hell are people taking the word of anyone in that meeting as proof of anything? Before this morning’s revelation, even members of the Trump-hostile press repeated that “nothing came of the meeting” or that “no information was given.” On the Trump Aqueduct, this was translated into the whole story being a “nothingburger.”

Where did the proof of this come from? From the people in the room! Jiminy Cricket, that’s stupid.

Who in that room do you think is above lying about what transpired there? Paul Manafort? Forget his deep Russian connections. The guy was a lobbyist for Mobutu Seske Seko. When he worked for the Pakistani intelligence service, he pretended to be a CNN reporter for a propaganda documentary he was making for them. The only way you could say “that man’s word is oak” is if Jell-O came out with a new oak-flavored pudding. (“Now with real bark!”)

Jared? The guy who initially “forgot” that meeting happened at all?

Don Jr.? We already know he’s capable of lying about the meeting because he’s already lied about the meeting.

Oh, maybe you’re taking the word of the sketchy Russian lawyer. That’s a great idea. It’s also kind of hilarious. Many of the people pushing back on this story are doing so by questioning Natalia Veselnitskaya’s credibility. But we should take her word that nothing happened? Cults of personality are a helluva drug.

(Jonah Goldberg)

2

Confronted with incontrovertible proof that his son leapt at the prospect of meeting with a “Russian government attorney” offering to dish dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support” for his candidacy, the president took the position that this was political business as usual.

We are at risk of suffering outrage overload here. So many troubling things have happened, and Trump continues to make so many beyond-the-pale statements, that we are losing our capacity to respond to all of it with appropriate concern.

(Ruth Marcus)

3

On the Donald Trump Jr. adventure in opposition research, which the author thinks mostly “farce”:

[R]eal trouble can flow even from a farce. Thinkers for whom Russia was just one problem in a world full of problems, who previously did not identify Moscow as the No. 1 enemy, now do so, vociferously, for fear of being lumped in with Mr. Trump as a traitor to America or some such.

A mob is a machine for mass-producing cowards and bullies …

Most U.S. reporters know they are overplaying the Trump-Russia connection, even as they revel in the Don Jr. gotcha moment, even as they play up the circus of legal and political jeopardy the administration has created for itself …

Scoops are overrated—the public is not worse for learning the news at 6:30 p.m. instead of 11:30 a.m., especially if somebody with a brain has had a chance to reflect on its presentation. At least scoops are overrated in every way except in the race for clicks, which we’re guessing played a bigger role in this week’s Don Jr. bacchanal than any news organization would be proud to admit.

(Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.)

4

Trump in our time is the ergot on the bread of our politics. And Russia is the witch.

(James Howard Kustler, hyperlink added)

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Fiat justitia ruat caelum

There is no epistemological Switzerland. (Via Mars Hill Audio Journal Volume 134)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.