The Monday Morning Teaser

Just about the only thing pundits have been talking about this week is the firing of Jim Comey on Tuesday. Initially, the Trump administration claimed the firing had nothing to do with the FBI’s Russia investigation. But their story kept changing, until by Thursday’s interview with Lester Holt, Trump’s attitude seemed more like: Yeah, I obstructed justice. So what?

So what? is a question for Congress, which so far seems unwilling to answer it, as it has been unwilling to confront Trump about any of his other assaults on our nation’s small-R republican traditions. I think we’re at the point where this has stopped being an issue of partisanship and has become an issue of patriotism: As Trump, in typical bully fashion, keeps pushing towards a Putin-style authoritarian kleptocracy, is Congress ever going to start defending the Republic? Is there a line somewhere that Ryan and McConnell won’t let Trump cross? Where might it be, and will Congress itself still have any power by the time we get there?

I think it’s time to stop being polite about these questions, so that’s what I’ll do in this week’s featured post: “Are Congressional Republicans Patriotic or Not?” That should be out between 8 and 9 EDT.

In the weekly summary, I’ll list questions that I think the Russia investigation still needs to answer, call your attention to the voter-suppression task force Trump just created (that may yet split out into its own article), note that something strange is going on at the Census Bureau, discuss an insightful column about Confederate monuments, and cover a bunch of other stuff, before closing with the answer to a question no one was asking: What do you get when you cross Stars Wars with Sgt. Pepper?

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