The Monday Morning Teaser

The portion of your time and energy that you have to devote to news and the larger world can easily get consumed by the day-to-day details of the Trump investigations. Every day, it seems, something has happened, or is about to happen, or might happen in the near future. There are legal experts to interview about what it means, or could mean, or could start to mean soon if some additional thing happens. Sometimes they argue with each other.

On this blog, I’ve been taking the attitude that this isn’t a good use of your time. It’s not the the investigations aren’t important — they definitely are. (My personal belief is that this is the most corrupt administration in living memory, and that most — but probably not all — of the investigations will turn up some serious wrongdoing.) But a chunk of time every day (or even every week), focused on whatever new thing came out that day or on speculation about what might happen soon, is just not an efficient way to follow the story. It’s better, I think, to maintain a loose day-to-day awareness of what’s happening, and then occasionally do a deeper dive: What’s been happening over the last month or two? Where have we gotten to in the process of figuring out what happened and what should be done about it?

Doing that, I think, allows you to maintain a sense of scale. Some days, the new thing that is being breathlessly discussed on MSNBC just isn’t that significant. Other days it is. You don’t want to get uniformly agitated about everything.

So anyway, this is my week to focus on the investigations. The featured post today will be “The Trials of Individual-1: a scorecard”. The “scorecard” aspect comes from the old baseball adage “You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.” Because there isn’t just one investigation any more; there are at least half a dozen more-or-less separate areas of concern, being pursued by at least three separate groups of investigators. Some are already sending people to jail. Others are just getting started, pursuing something that looks suspicious, but might not turn into much. Some have been going on for a while behind closed doors; there might be something back there, but whatever it is isn’t public knowledge yet. Maybe several of them will eventually coalesce into one big picture, or maybe they won’t.

I’ll try to get that out by 9 EST. In the weekly summary I plan to catch up on something else I’ve been paying too little attention to: other countries. Britain, France, Yemen, Brazil, Germany … important stuff has been happening in all those places while American attention has been absorbed in our own news. I plan to resist the temptation to pretend to understand more than I do, and instead find links to real experts who can catch you up.

In addition to that, there’s the court ruling that ObamaCare is unconstitutional (which doesn’t take effect soon and probably will be overruled before it does). The Democratic Congress is getting ready to take over after New Years. The Interior Secretary resigned under a cloud of scandals that would have been the top story almost any time during the Obama years. And, oh yeah, the government — or at least a quarter of it — is scheduled to shut down on Saturday.

The summary should come out by noon or so.

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  • Jeff R.  On December 17, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I’d like to add that a notable and newsworthy development is in Wisconsin. One of the most important norms that at nominally has been maintained is the transition of power. This is under threat.

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