What does Trump do all day?

Does anyone remember Bob Woodward’s Fear? Or the anonymous New York Times op-ed signaling an internal “resistance” inside the freewheeling Trump administration? It was just a month ago! But it might as well be ancient history.

We must fight the inclination to forget and move on. America has a lazy, half-crazy ignoramus at the helm of our nation-state. An alarming vacuum still exists at the center of American power.

Really. You still should be alarmed.

But lately, at campaign rallies and in an unusually frequent number of press avails, the president appears brimming with confidence. As the kids say these days, he’s got the swag back.

Why?

It appears likely, though far from inevitable, that Republicans will lose control of the House of Representatives. Any hope of moving significant legislation through Congress next year would vanish (unless Trump plans on cutting deals with Democrats). Both his administration and his family-run business would be scrutinized and investigated like never before. Special Counsel Robert Mueller could eventually drop the hammer. If Trump is sweating any of these possibilities, it doesn’t show.

One clue to Trump’s newfound serenity can be found in his recent 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl. The economy is good. He’s had a streak of “wins” on trade policy. He has delivered to conservatives their dream of a Supreme Court majority. More important than those momentary victories, I think, was Trump’s description of his overall demeanor on the job. “I very much feel like POTUS,” he said. “I feel very comfortable, yeah.”

Translation: He’s got this thing licked. Being president, while intimidating at first, isn’t so hard.

Now, it’s long been central to the ethos of conservative intellectuals that presidents shouldn’t work too hard at the job. That’s for tryhard liberal presidents — those earnest pretentious professorial busybodies who scheme and dream, day and night, of new and ever-more-intrusive ways of running your life and enlarging the state. George Will’s January 1989 column celebrating Ronald Reagan’s eight years in office is paradigmatic:

Reagan is not only upright at the final bell, he is bouncing on the balls of his feet. He has proven that the presidency is not such a destroyer after all. … The most common, indeed jejune criticism of Reagan is that he did not properly allow the presidency to fill his days, let alone his nights. His immediate predecessor, Jimmy Carter, proudly, even ostentatiously, made the presidency seem crushing. It was …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics

      

The Press Gallery interview: Stephen Mandel

Fans of our Press Gallery podcast will be excited to learn that we now have even more Press Gallery to share.

In addition to our regular panel discussion on Fridays, we plan to a have mid-week episode called the Press Galley Interview, in which we will talk with political pundits and personalities from around Alberta.

Tune in to hear party leaders, cabinet ministers, MLA, political scientists, pollsters and others with a role to play in the crazy world of Alberta politics.

For our first ever episode of this new segment, legislature columnist Keith Gerein sits down for a discussion with Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel.

The two talk about the Alberta Party’s upcoming policy convention, the party’s prospects for the next provincial election and the disqualification of an Edmonton candidate.

…read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Politics

      

Nevada Brothel Owner and GOP Candidate Dennis Hof Found Dead After Party

(PAHRUMP, Nev.) — Dennis Hof, a pimp who gained notoriety for an HBO series about his brothel business and who fashioned himself as a Donald Trump-style Republican candidate for the state Legislature, was found dead hours after his extended-weekend 72nd birthday bash, authorities said Tuesday.

Hof was pronounced dead in his private residence at his Love Ranch brothel west of Las Vegas, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said.

Ron Jeremy, a pornographic movie star who attended Hof’s party on Monday night, told The Associated Press that he and a woman found Hof’s body after Hof failed to meet them.

Hof’s eyes “were not full” and his skin felt cold, said Jeremy. “He was totally stiff. And I’m saying ‘Honey, we really have a problem here.’”

A group that included sheriff’s employees and several women watched several hours later as Hof’s body was removed on a stretcher beneath a red shroud, past lawn furniture, Grecian-style statutes and signs advertising the bordello as, “Always Open, Always Tasty, No sex required.”

Wehrly, who also serves as county coroner, said she saw Hof at his birthday party late Monday at a local casino-hotel reception room with more than 100 of his friends, including former Phoenix-area sheriff Joe Arpaio. Other birthday celebrations were held throughout the weekend, according to Chuck Muth, a campaign consultant to Hof.

“He was sitting on a stool talking with people when I left about 10,” Wehrly said of Hof, who she said had celebrated at another party during the weekend in northern Nevada. “I guess that’s partying at 72.”

The sheriff said there was no preliminary indication of foul play but her office was investigating. An autopsy will be conducted by the Clark County coroner in Las Vegas. Wehrly said results of the medical examination could take six weeks.

Hof, who turned 72 on Sunday, was the Republican candidate in a heavily GOP state legislative district.

Arpaio, the former six-term sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix known nationally for his positions on illegal immigration, said Hof was in good spirits when Arpaio left the party around 10 p.m. Monday.

“Boy, that’s shocking,” Arpaio said of Hof’s death.

Arpaio, who lost a Senate GOP primary in Arizona in August, said he had taken part in some of Hof’s campaign efforts and was asked by Hof to speak at the party. The lawman said he delivered his comments to the crowd, wished Hof well and ate birthday cake.

“The thing I liked about him: …read more

Source:: Time – Politics