Wiretap: If the Russians wanted Washington chaos, they’ve gotten all they could ask for

If the Russians’ plan was to sow political chaos in the nation’s capital by helping to get Donald Trump elected, you’d have to say that, thus far at least, the plan is working. The firing of James Comey is just the latest bit of Washington destabilization. Via The Washington Post.

We continue to overanalyze Trump’s every move. We can’t help ourselves because we can’t help thinking that there must be some grand design if only we were clever enough to spot it. But the truth is plain enough. Trump fired Comey for the simple reason that he was mad. Via Vox.

Donald Trump used Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memo as cover for firing FBI Director James Comey, and, what’s more, Rosenstein, who had a well-deserved reputation for integrity, knew it. Which is why he must resign. Via Lawfare.

From The National Review: We keep waiting to see how Trump will handle a real crisis. But the truth is he doesn’t so much face crises as he does manufacture them. Crisis is his brand.

Those saying that Trump’s firing of Comey is an abuse of power analogous to Richard Nixon’s abuses in Watergate wonder where the brave Republicans are this time who will challenge the president on that point. Via The New Yorker.

Did Trump really tape his conversations with Comey and others? That’s what some in Congress want to know. And if he did, they want to hear them. Does any of this sound familiar? Via The Washington Post.

David Frum writes in The Atlantic that you may think you want an independent prosecutor looking into possible Trumpian campaign ties with Russia, but you don’t. What you want is either a congressional select committee or an independent commission. Even if it sounds like much the same thing, it isn’t.

A Microsoft executive blasts NSA for its role in the ransomware cyber attack. Via The Los Angeles Times.

Just as we were reaching consensus that we had too many people in prison and needed to move away from mandatory minimums, Maximum Jeff Sessions became attorney general and moved to crush the consensus with just one speech. Via The New York Times.

It’s not hard to see one critical difference in America between those with money and those without. In this devastating Washington Post report, we see how income inequality plays out in people’s dental work. Among the more affluent, they spend more than a billion dollars to make their teeth a few shades white. Meanwhile,  many others can’t afford to go to a dentist to get their teeth fixed.

White national Richard Spencer leads torch-bearing protesters in Charlottesville, Va., rallying against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. And one of three candidates running for governor of Virginia in the GOP primary race has declined to condemn the action. Via The Washington Post.

If you think Washington, D.C., is the epicenter of partisanship in America, we’ve got news for you. Look to North Carolina instead. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, the Republican-controlled North Carolina Senate passed a bill at 3 a.m. cutting education funding — but only in Democratic districts. Seriously.

Photo by Dave Newman, via Flickr: Creative Commons