Gail Collins: Bret, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to give you the gift of deciding what current event we should start off with. Virginia? Jeff Bezos? Trump investigations? Supreme Court? Rapidly exploding population of Democratic presidential candidates?
Bret Stephens: Oh, Gail — that’s the most wonkishly romantic gesture I’ve ever heard. Maybe we should talk about Bezos, because it involves a lot of double entendres and it reads like the next installment in the E.L. James series. Let’s call it “50 Shades Richer.” Billionaires! Sex! Political intrigue! Allegations of blackmail! And a storybook villain named David Pecker, which is a name worthy of a Charles Dickens character.
Gail: The Bezos story does have everything, including Donald Trump, whose great pals at The National Enquirer got hold of, um, embarrassing pictures Bezos exchanged with his girlfriend. Then according to Bezos — who’s the owner of The Washington Post — Pecker’s team threatened to make them public unless he said the National Enquirer’s stories about his sex life weren’t politically motivated.
Several thoughts here. One is that even if you’re a super-billionaire, texting a “below the belt selfie” is a bad plan. But that aside, it seems as if Bezos has been handling the whole thing well. And third: Everything sleazy always seems to wind up with a Trump connection.
Bret: Yes, Bezos has dealt with it brilliantly. It helps — how shall I put this delicately? — that his pride got the better of his embarrassment, and that there was nothing embarrassing about his pride.
Gail: O.K., that’s a quote to remember.
Bret: It also helps that Bezos has the financial means and journalistic tools to get to the bottom of the hacking. I don’t know if the government did the hacking — the truth is probably prosaic, but Pecker’s friendship with Trump raises an eyebrow — but if it did it would be a scandal for the ages.
Gail: In an age when it’s hard to ignore any big political scandal, we’re going to be reminded of this one every time we see a package from Amazon, which is approximately every three waking minutes of the day.
Bret: Even now the connections are tantalizing. Why is Pecker “apoplectic” about Bezos’ investigation into who leaked the story to the Enquirer and whether the leak was politically motivated? And how might the potential withdrawal of legal immunity that Pecker obtained last year in connection with his handling of Trump’s hush money payments to his mistresses affect the Southern District’s investigation of Trump’s probable violations of campaign-finance laws?
Going forward, I think we need to start describing all of these ties as the Axis of Pecker. Just saying.
Gail: Pecker politics definitely tops anything else we can possibly talk about. Still, I have to ask you about Virginia. You wrote a very powerful column taking the governor’s side. I wonder if that’s what convinced him to refuse to resign.
Bret: Thanks, though I think he had made up his mind before my column appeared.
Gail: But we may differ on this blackface thing. I came from a pretty conservative background but I can’t think of ever seeing anybody at my college putting shoe polish on their face or a sheet over their head under the theory that it would make them look cool. And Ralph Northam was in medical school! I know medical students aren’t all the omni-dedicated healers we saw on “E.R.” But good grief.
Bret: I don’t know if we really differ. But I think context and intention matter. Billy Crystal did “blackface” for a Sammy Davis Jr. impression, and I don’t think Crystal is racist in any respect. Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman, to name a few boldface names, have all done blackface. If we’re going to start excommunicating people from public life for this, we’re going to destroy a lot of people who almost surely intended no harm.
Gail: Yeah, but I don’t remember Billy Crystal doing his act with a guy wearing a sheet.
Bret: That’s true. And I think that’s in a different league in terms of offensiveness. But again, I think we need to better understand the context, whether it was connected to a pattern of behavior, and whether it was ever repeated. And again, we are talking about an incident from 35 years ago followed by an admirable life without any hint of racial bias.
Right now, Northam’s real moral jeopardy is that he has contradicted himself and is doing a duck-and-cover move. He has a good opportunity to rise above it, first by clarifying how exactly that photo ended up on his yearbook page — and whether he’s one of the people in the picture, as he now claims he isn’t — and then by explaining why the casual racism of a past generation mustn’t be communicated to the present.
Gail: I do find it hard to believe he looked at that picture and said: “Who are these people? How did they get in my yearbook?” He’d be a gone goose now if the Legislature wasn’t busy talking about trying to impeach the lieutenant governor over some terrible allegations of sexual assault.
Did you know Virginia has, for all practical purposes, a one-term limit for governors? I’m wondering if that has anything to do with all these crises.
There was a time when I thought term limits were a great idea. But I’ve cooled on it. When you’ve got a politician who isn’t going to be able to run for re-election, you’ve got a politician spending a whole lot of time planning how to get the next job. Plus you get a lot of … strange people. Rest my case.
Bret: Well, we agree on term limits. Let’s switch topics to oversight and investigations. I’m as eager as anyone to see what’s in Trump’s tax returns. But how do Democrats handle this to make sure it doesn’t redound to Trump’s political benefit?
Gail: You mean how do they avoid having so many people investigating him the public begins to feel sorry for him?
Bret: I mean, going down every rabbit hole means that you are going to come up empty many times. That can do as much to obscure criminal behavior as it can to expose it, and to desensitize the public to the significance of truly scandalous disclosures when they are merely bobbing in the sea with not-so-scandalous ones.
It doesn’t help when cable TV is obsessing about this stuff 24/7. I think the investigations would be better helped if news about them came out only once every other week, with Representative Adam Schiff or someone like him saying: Here’s the stuff we’ve learned, here’s why it matters, here’s what we’re going to look into next and here’s why.
Gail: Well, cable TV does cover other stuff — I’m just sitting here watching CNN cover climate change in Louisiana. But the producers know what the public is obsessing about, and so do politicians. When they see their constituents these days, the first question a lot of them get isn’t “How’s the infrastructure bill doing?” It’s “What are you going to do about Trump?”
Not that I’m demeaning the poor infrastructure bill.
Bret: I long for the days when we could debate the merits of, say, the Davis-Bacon Act, and not the emoluments clause and how Trump is probably violating it. That said, I do think people will ultimately judge Congress by whether it’s working for them and not on political score-settling.
In the meantime, it looks like we may be heading for another government shutdown. Is this really happening? I didn’t realize it was possible for an administration to commit suicide twice.
Gail: This administration? Hahahahahaha.
I have hope we won’t smash into another shutdown, but it’s hard to tell. Right this second it looks like it’s not happening, but it’s complicated because Trump would have to accept what’s basically a face-saver on the wall issue. And give a little bit to the Democrats, who want to reform his mean, miserable border detention policies. In a normal world, that would happen. I miss the normal world.
What do you think?
Bret: I think Trump’s calculation is that he can do a Groundhog’s Day in reverse: That is, shut down the government again and again, and behave worse with each successive iteration. This rallies his base while, at some point a majority of Americans will say, “Just give him his darn wall.” Or so he figures. But we’ll have to see how he reacts to the “agreement in principle” that the House and Senate seem to have reached.
Gail: Don’t think Bill Murray would like us turning over his “Groundhog Day” role to Donald Trump.
Bret: The alternative narrative, and the more convincing one, is that Trump has continued to play games with the livelihoods of American workers for the sake of a bit of fencing that solves nothing except his own political problems. One thing that is becoming clear is the G.O.P. campaign theme for 2020. They are going to claim Democrats are the party of socialism, open borders, nationalized health care, and an environmentalist agenda that will wind up outlawing air travel and steaks and maybe even milk, too.
Gail: The Republicans are indeed ranting now about the Green New Deal, which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats put forward. A.O.C. did mention eliminating “emissions from cows or air travel,” but — contrary to Trump’s swipes — that was a rather lighthearted description of a perfect future rather than a part of the plan.
And Trump has been playing the socialism card, but I don’t think it’s going to work. There are a number of Democrats who’d like to move toward a society that offers health care for everyone, free college tuition for those who can’t afford to pay, and federal work programs for the unemployed — paid for by much higher taxes on the rich. Most Americans want the same things. If the Democrats are smart about the way they present the programs, things should be fine.
I am aware, Bret, that this sort of talk causes you great pain. That’s why we’re in different political camps.
Bret: It causes me great pain because I’m attached to no party: I can’t support the Trumpian G.O.P. but I can’t support the Democrats, either, as long as they’re repudiating their belief in traditional liberalism for the sake of an anticapitalist, ruinously expensive policy agenda. I would love to hear a Democrat say, as Hillary Clinton did, we are not Denmark! And I fear the Democrats’ new progressivism will so turn off voters that they’ll re-elect Trump as the better of two bad alternatives.
All of which is to say, we’ll have plenty to converse about in the months ahead. And maybe we might even disagree a bit more.
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2017年买马生肖表号码对照【这】【个】【家】【伙】，【刚】【才】【被】【他】【骂】【的】【还】【不】【够】，【又】【想】【找】【骂】？ 【问】【候】【族】【谱】【这】【种】【事】【情】，【虽】【然】【是】【梅】【见】【擅】【长】【的】，【但】【不】【代】【表】【他】【不】【会】【啊】。 【对】【决】【大】【舞】【台】，【有】【妈】【你】【就】【来】。 【初】【空】【开】【口】【讥】【讽】【道】，“【不】【过】【是】【倚】【仗】【绝】【世】【法】【器】【之】【力】【罢】【了】，【若】【不】【是】【此】【物】，【我】【要】【杀】【你】，【易】【如】【反】【掌】！” “【能】【够】【拥】【有】【绝】【世】【法】【器】，【本】【身】【便】【是】【实】【力】【的】【象】【征】，【即】【便】【你】【是】【魂】【武】【宗】【九】【段】，
【玄】【都】【点】【了】【点】【头】，【稽】【首】【道】：“【弟】【子】【受】【教】。” 【他】【又】【看】【着】【老】【子】【道】：“【巫】【族】？【老】【师】，【巫】【族】【如】【何】？” 【老】【子】【见】【徒】【弟】【问】【了】，【也】【不】【隐】【瞒】【道】：“【巫】【族】【不】【在】【轮】【回】【之】【中】，【故】，【不】【受】【轮】【回】【之】【厄】，【不】【受】【轮】【回】【之】【厄】，【故】，【不】【在】**【之】【中】，【不】【在】**【中】，【故】【无】【忧】，【无】【损】。” 【玄】【都】【愣】【了】【一】【下】，【喃】【喃】【道】：“【如】【此】【说】【来】，【巫】【族】【岂】【不】【是】【不】【惧】【此】【劫】【了】，【巫】
“【老】【大】【跟】【嫂】【子】【他】【们】【两】【个】【去】【哪】【里】【了】？”【一】【群】【人】【围】【着】【他】【们】【自】【己】【打】【回】【来】【的】【猎】【物】，【突】【然】【发】【现】【他】【们】【的】【老】【大】【跟】【嫂】【子】【还】【没】【有】【回】【来】。 【就】【在】【这】【时】，【有】【人】【突】【然】【大】【喊】【了】【一】【声】，“【你】【们】【快】【点】【看】【前】【面】，【老】【大】【和】【嫂】【子】【他】【们】【回】【来】【了】。” “【我】，【我】【没】【有】【看】【错】【吧】，【老】【大】【跟】【嫂】【子】【他】【们】，【他】【们】【打】【回】【来】【了】【两】【头】【野】【猪】！” “【嫂】【子】【我】【们】【过】【来】【帮】【你】。” 【还】【不】
“【冯】【时】【啊】，【那】【就】【这】【么】【说】【定】【了】【啊】。【你】【带】【着】【阿】【东】【出】【去】。【有】【事】，【就】【回】【来】【找】【我】【们】。【王】【妈】【一】【定】【在】【这】【帮】【你】【看】【着】【无】【欢】！【做】【你】【们】【坚】【强】【的】【后】【盾】！” “【这】【好】【吧】。” 【看】【着】【阿】【东】，【冯】【时】【很】【是】【无】【奈】【的】【点】【点】【头】。 【这】【段】【时】【间】【的】【接】【触】【下】【来】，【他】【已】【经】【了】【解】【了】【阿】【东】【的】【为】【人】。【并】【不】【是】【一】【开】【始】【见】【到】【的】【那】【么】【拒】【人】【于】【千】【里】【之】【外】。【相】【反】，【阿】【东】【很】【是】【热】【情】，
【太】【上】【闻】【言】【微】【微】【一】【惊】，【他】【有】【些】【意】【外】【于】【时】【光】【北】【的】【回】【答】。 【然】【如】【此】【一】【来】，【自】【己】【似】【乎】【并】【没】【有】【什】【么】【理】【由】【可】【以】【拒】【绝】【了】【呢】。 “【既】【想】【去】，【那】【便】【走】【吧】！”【他】【道】。 “【还】【请】【稍】【等】【一】【下】，【我】【还】【要】【回】【去】【带】【一】【本】【书】。” “【那】【是】【一】【本】【怎】【样】【的】【书】？”【太】【上】【问】。 【他】【不】【太】【理】【解】，【心】【想】【都】【这】【个】【时】【候】【了】，【你】【丫】【的】【还】【有】【心】【情】【看】【书】？ 【时】【光】【北】【却】【道】。2017年买马生肖表号码对照【这】【个】【家】【伙】，【刚】【才】【被】【他】【骂】【的】【还】【不】【够】，【又】【想】【找】【骂】？ 【问】【候】【族】【谱】【这】【种】【事】【情】，【虽】【然】【是】【梅】【见】【擅】【长】【的】，【但】【不】【代】【表】【他】【不】【会】【啊】。 【对】【决】【大】【舞】【台】，【有】【妈】【你】【就】【来】。 【初】【空】【开】【口】【讥】【讽】【道】，“【不】【过】【是】【倚】【仗】【绝】【世】【法】【器】【之】【力】【罢】【了】，【若】【不】【是】【此】【物】，【我】【要】【杀】【你】，【易】【如】【反】【掌】！” “【能】【够】【拥】【有】【绝】【世】【法】【器】，【本】【身】【便】【是】【实】【力】【的】【象】【征】，【即】【便】【你】【是】【魂】【武】【宗】【九】【段】，
“【有】【的】。”【贞】【妈】【把】【书】【包】【搁】【到】【酆】【程】【程】【旁】【边】【的】【座】【位】【上】，“【小】【姐】，【你】【快】【迟】【到】【了】。” 【酆】【程】【程】【不】【能】【说】【自】【己】【在】【前】【世】【中】【上】【过】【大】【学】，【只】【能】【拎】【着】【书】【包】，【往】【外】【面】【走】【去】。 【贞】【妈】【跟】【在】【她】【后】【面】，【极】【自】【然】【地】【问】【道】：“【小】【姐】，【邱】【少】【爷】【早】【晨】【打】【电】【话】【过】【来】【问】【你】【要】【不】【要】【跟】【他】【一】【起】【去】【补】【习】【班】。” “【谁】？” “【邱】【少】【爷】【啊】。”【贞】【妈】【以】【为】【自】【家】【小】【姐】【是】【没】【听】
【在】【这】【场】CBA【联】【赛】【中】，XX【队】【主】【场】【迎】【战】【实】【力】【强】【劲】【的】【广】【东】【宏】【远】【队】，【现】【场】【非】【常】【激】【烈】，**【然】【时】【不】【时】【地】【站】【起】【身】【来】【兴】【奋】【地】【鼓】【掌】【助】【威】，【偶】【尔】【还】【会】【不】【断】【叹】【气】，【来】【上】【几】【句】“【京】【骂】”。 【这】【样】【的】**【然】【让】【方】【婷】【婷】【看】【着】【痴】【迷】，【觉】【得】【连】【他】【骂】【人】【的】【样】【子】【都】【那】【么】【好】【看】，【那】【么】【吸】【引】【人】。 “【潇】【然】，【你】【说】【你】【篮】【球】【打】【得】【那】【么】【好】，【没】【有】【机】【会】【上】【场】【真】【可】【惜】，
【咚】！ 【一】【道】【气】【攻】【波】【喷】【射】【而】【出】，【直】【中】【蓝】【犽】【老】【大】，【直】【接】【把】【他】【给】【轰】【飞】【了】【出】【去】。 “【呵】【呵】？【蓝】【犽】【老】【大】【啊】，【您】【似】【乎】【身】【体】【伤】【了】【个】【不】【清】【啊】。”**【冷】【冷】【的】【嘲】【讽】【蓝】【犽】【老】【大】【一】【句】，【而】【后】【一】【手】【抬】【起】，【使】【用】【破】【灭】【君】【主】【结】【界】【的】【力】【量】【把】【他】【给】【逮】【了】【回】【来】。 【一】【击】【气】【劲】【打】【在】【蓝】【犽】【老】【大】【身】【体】【上】，【别】【提】【让】【他】【多】【难】【受】【了】，【只】【感】【觉】【自】【己】【脑】【子】【里】【嗡】【作】【响】，【而】【后】【身】
【本】【文】【已】【正】【式】【向】【编】【辑】【申】【请】【了】【无】【限】【期】【停】【更】，【原】【因】【我】【也】【不】【想】【说】【好】【听】【话】【骗】【你】【们】，【就】【是】【拿】【限】【免】【卷】，【免】【费】【币】【看】【书】【的】【人】【太】【多】【了】，【没】【有】【真】【实】【订】【阅】，【没】【有】【钱】。 【幸】【幸】【苦】【苦】【上】【几】【个】【月】【班】，【连】【一】【盒】【面】【膜】【都】【买】【不】【起】，【我】【实】【在】【坚】【持】【不】【下】【去】【了】，【要】【把】【写】【它】【的】【时】【间】【拿】【去】【写】【新】【文】，【望】【理】【解】。 【理】【解】【不】【了】【也】【没】【关】【系】，【反】【正】【就】【是】【暂】【时】【不】【会】【再】【集】【中】【写】【它】【了】，【大】【结】