It’s Friday and the Trump Tornado’s EF Scale (enhanced Fujita scale if you have to know) has blown through 100 mph and is heading towards 150 mph, indicating considerable damage ahead. At least to certain careers. And possibly much more damage than that, but that assessment will have to wait until November.

It’s literally impossible to keep up, but some of the main events these past 48 hours are:

  • McMaster is out as National Security Adviser and John Bolton is in. Here’s an interesting quote from Naomi Lim’s piece in the Washington Examiner: A White House spokesperson said the timing of McMaster’s exit had been discussed by the pair for some time, and was unrelated to the recent leak of briefing materials for Trump’s phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Russian leader won re-election. So. They’re saying: yeah McMaster leaked but we were going to fire him anyway?
  • Good morning Mr. Speaker! Did you read Trump’s tweet this Friday morning? The one that goes: I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded. That one?
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
  • Why did the President threaten a VETO? No DACA legislation (as part of an omnibus bill that would seem to be a tough ask to say the least) and also, almost no money (in D.C. terms one billion dollars is spare change) for the border wall. The latter complaint is much more understandable, but given SCOTUS’ refusal to bypass the 9th Circuit, DACA remains in place until next year likely.
  • Good afternoon Mr. Speaker! Relax, The President signed the bill.
  • John Dowd, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, has resigned and is to be replaced by the recently announced arrival to his team: Slugger Joe DiGenova. It is rumored that Dowd was not a fan of President Trump appearing personally before Mueller’s probe to answer questions. On Thursday the President said that he “would like to” appear before special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
  • Bob Goodlatte, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, has subpoenaed the DOJ to pry more information out of the department regarding the investigation into Hillary’s use of a private server and possible hacking of the former Secretary of State’s emails while she was in charge at State. They are also seeking documentation on possible FISA Court abuses, which would likely indicate the search warrants obtained on Carter Page starting in the fall of 2016.
  • Senate Republicans want to go nuclear on most appointments that are currently being held up in the Senate by Democratic Party opposition. Here’s a look into the detailed, obtuse rules of the upper chamber and how they are played to obtain maximum partisan advantage. Consider this from a story in The Hill: Under current rules, 30 hours must elapse on the floor every time the Senate votes to end dilatory debate and advance a nominee — unless there’s unanimous consent to yield back floor time.This forces GOP leaders to perform triage by making tough choices about what executive branch positions are important enough to deserve floor time, leaving some nominees in limbo for months. When procedural rules are abused by both sides to impede the party in power from executing on their agenda – especially in an area like nominees to key government posts – then maybe a house-cleaning of Senate rules is in order. Good luck with that.
  • The President signed a Presidential Memorandum that opens up the way for tariffs on up to 60 billion worth of China’s imports into America, in retaliation for China’s trade practices which have produced accusations of theft of intellectual property and unfair trade. China has vowed retaliation, but on a much smaller amount of American goods shipped to China. A trade war is not impossible at this point.

President Trump has ripped the complex negotiations between states (and even companies in the case of Qualcomm and Broadcom) out of the hands of the wonks and experts of the administrative state to instead handle them himself – at least in several key high-profile cases. Like trade with China. Or Sunday’s election in Russia which would have in normal times produced carefully worded responses by the President and the Secretary of State. Responses which would have been put together by the wonks and experts that Trump delights in overruling, ignoring, and belittling.

At some point, one would have thought that some sort of balance would have been struck between Trump’s administration and the sprawling administrative state; even one that involves reducing the power of the bureaucrats and handing it back to the Executive and Congress. That balance has yet to be established, and it’s not clear what it would take for President Trump to seek to establish that new balance. We can only observe , wait, and hope.

Meanwhile the new equilibrium under Trump is chaos. Even if solid work gets done behind the chaos. All we see is the chaos. Is that what we want?

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