Wiretap: The national stories you should be reading

Mike Littwin's curated national news stories and analysis you should be reading
Branding by Mark Castillo

Donald Trump, who now apparently believes that tariffs are the answer to any problem, has stepped into it by threatening Mexico with tariffs if it can’t stop Central American asylum seekers and others from heading to the border with the United States. The Mexican government is rushing officials to Washington to try to bring reason to the threat. The markets are roiled. Even some Republicans in Congress are pushing back. The Washington Post reports on what Mexicans are doing — and not doing — to stop the flow. Between January and April, Mexico deported more than 37,000 migrants, according to its immigration agency. It has become more antagonistic toward migrant caravans, which last year traveled through Mexico with relative freedom. But tens of thousands still make it through Mexico each month. In Foreign Policy, Keith Johnson writes of the risks involved in a trade war with Mexico — that China will find an ally in its trade war with the United States.

Writing in The New Yorker, Susan Glasser says she was in Jerusalem when the Mueller speech and Trump explosion happened. You could feel the earth moving thousands of miles away. But it was hard to tell, she said, who had the worse week — Trump or Bibi Netanyahu, who was busily failing in his attempt to form a new government. Both are under investigation. Both are railing against their investigators.  If it was a toss-up as who was winning or losing, it was clear in both cases that the real loser was democracy. In the piece, Glasser studies the connection and whether the separate Trump-Bibi meltdowns portend a global meltdown. Yep, things can always get worse.

Two takes on Michael Bennet’s bid to become the Democratic nominee. In Vox, Matt Yglesias puts Bennet in what he calls the Laggard Nine, the nine Democrats who have failed to reach two percent in any poll. Yglesias says Bennet’s problem is not that he doesn’t have ideas, but he hasn’t been able to make the case that he needs to be president to implement them. In The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin praises Bennet, who is a favorite — as is John Hickenlooper — with many moderate anti-Trump Republican pundits. She cites Bennet’s performance in the CNN town hall in which, in her view, he became the first Democrat with the nerve to take on Bernie Sanders and his Medicare-for-all plan.

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.