“This here could be a real negative.”

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It has become tedious to write about how Trump lies more often than he goes to the bathroom or about his increasing mental instability. At this point, the far more interesting question is what will cause his supporters’ madness to break. And break, it will. Because great power combined with great irrationality leads to great policy fuckups. And great policy fuckups lead to great injury.

It could be the trade war that is just getting started. This from AP, via Greg Sargent:

The Associated Press talks to voters in Sioux County, Iowa (80 percent of which went for Trump) about Trump’s tariffs on China, and finds widespread worry about a trade war:

After standing with Trump through the many trials of his first year, some Sioux County Trump voters say they would be willing to walk away from the president if the fallout from the tariffs causes a lasting downturn in the farm economy. “I wouldn’t sit here today and say I will definitely support him again,” said 60-year-old hog farmer Marv Van Den Top. “This here could be a real negative for him.”

For Ann Coulter—and, according to her, lots of other likeminded wingnuts—it’s the failure to build the Wall. Speaking metaphorically about the wall, she recently observed, “Stormy says she and Trump had sex only once. I guess if you want the guy to screw you repeatedly you have to be one of his voters.”

And don’t forget the swamp.

Obviously, it won’t be the authoritarianism. Because they really, really want to live in a banana republic. banana republic

What a Wonderful Country!

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I refer, of course, to Costa Rica. Committed to democracy. National goals are promoting education and health. Abolished their army in 1948. Yesterday,

Costa Rican presidential candidate Carlos Alvarado Quesada defeated a challenger who ran on his opposition to same-sex marriage. From Joshua Partlow: “With about 90 percent of the votes counted, Alvarado, 38, a novelist and musician who had served in cabinet positions for the current president, Luis Guillermo Solís, had captured 60.6 percent, according to the country’s ­Supreme Electoral Tribunal. His opponent, Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, a TV journalist, pastor and singer who had been riding momentum based on his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion and his stance on other social issues, had received 39.3 percent of the vote.

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Don’t Think These Two Will Last Much Longer

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One Believes in Science

In emotional speech, CDC’s new leader vows to uphold science:

Robert Redfield Jr., the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave a deeply personal agencywide address Thursday in which he repeatedly underscored the importance of science and data and said the CDC’s most critical public health mission is to protect Americans “from that which we don’t expect.”

The 66-year-old Redfield, a longtime AIDS researcher appointed to the job a week ago, was overcome by emotion twice during his brief remarks and a question-and-answer session. The University of Maryland medical professor had sought the top job at the CDC and the National Institutes of Health for more than a decade.

About 30 seconds into his address, he choked up and then regained his composure. He spoke of the honor of leading the best “science-based, data-driven agency in the world. I’ve dreamed of doing this for a long time.”

One is a Jerk, But Not Enough of a Jerk to “Be on Trump’s Wavelength”

Kelly Loses White House Clout as Trump Blazes Own Path:

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has lost some of his clout following recent missteps and wasn’t at President Donald Trump’s side for crucial decisions on staffing and policy moves, according to several senior aides. …

Aides say Kelly mishandled Porter’s departure, first by revising a statement that praised the aide after news reports surfaced that he’d been accused of domestic violence, and then by giving reporters an inaccurate timeline of the events leading up to Porter’s dismissal.

Lately, Kelly is less aware of what’s on Trump’s mind and what he’s planning to do next, according to several aides, with one describing the men as sometimes on different wavelengths.