Articles chosen with care. Comments welcomed. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Oddly, no new scandal today.
No terrible new allegations or fierce rebuttals.
No new leaks from the intelligence agencies.
Makes me wonder if the internet is down in Washington.
◆ House Intel Committee Issues Subpoenas to Unmask Obama’s Unmaskers (Real Clear Politics)
Some familiar names, but one new and important one: Samantha Power, Obama’s UN Ambassador who previously served on the National Security Council. No one had mentioned her before, though Trey Gowdy may have hinted at her in a cryptic question last week.
House investigators told [James Rosen at] Fox News they are now devoting more scrutiny to Power, and they have come to see her role in the unmasking as ‘larger than previously known.’ Allegedly eclipsing the others named. –Real Clear Politics
Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, was also named in the subpoenas.
The Democrats think of him as a White Knight, riding to the rescue.
Republicans think of him as the Knight Who Says Ni.
Comment: Comey thinks of himself a
- a white knight
- who has done absolutely everything right and nothing wrong in his public life, and
- is now in the fight to redeem his reputation, which, he thinks,
- will require him to destroy Trump
- without saying that he, Comey, failed to report obstruction of justice, as he was required to do.
This is going to be nasty, very nasty.
◆ Paris Climate Discord: Trump could pull US out of it this week, as he promised during the campaign.
The opposition is well framed in the op-ed in the WaPo: If Trump quits the Paris climate accord, he will lead the U.S. into the wilderness
If the United States withdraws from the accord, it would find itself in farcically lonely company. The pact was signed by 195 countries, with only Nicaragua and Syria bowing out. . . . Some climate experts actually suggest that, given Trump’s steady dismantling of environmental protections, it’s better for the United States to leave the pact altogether than to undermine it from within.
The other effect of a withdrawal: the disappearance of U.S. leadership on a fundamental issue affecting the future of the planet. –Washington Post op-ed
A pro-Trump take, from the Washington Examiner: “Trump could rally GOP, reward voters with Paris Agreement exit”
Comment: There has been a ferocious fight among Trump’s White House advisers, but it looks like the “pull out” side won.
India is also visiting Berlin.
Comment: Germany is playing a larger global role these days. But that role will be limited unless it can round up support from other Europeans for a collective effort.
Robert Lieber has just published a brief post on ZipDialog voicing skepticism that the Europeans really can come together. (Lieber post here.)
◆ Solar Energy Storage systems are getting smaller, cheaper, better, allowing some solar homes to begin disconnecting from the grid (Deutsche Welle)
Comment: Batteries and storage have been the bottleneck for a long time, and a major focus of research. Progress has been steady, but still far short of consumer needs.
Lots of Lebanese viewers want to see it but, as one upset potential customer puts it, “a vocal minority” was against.
Comment: Yep. The kind of vocal minority whose movie critic blows up the theater.