With his background in real estate, Donald J. Trump is doubtless aware of the concept of a “balloon payment”, a one-time last-minute huge increase in disbursement before a contract term expires. If the President’s outrageous remarks at the breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on July 11th, and his subsequent trashing of British Prime Minister Theresa May in a tabloid interview on July 12th, didn’t constitute just such a payment immediately before his annual performance review with his boss Vladimir Putin, then I don’t know what would.
July 17, 2018 is the centennial anniversary of the assassination of Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia, his wife Empress Alexandra, and their five children. Forced to abdicate in March 1917 in the aftermath of a disastrous Russian defeat in World War I, the family was held in captivity in various locations for almost 18 months, prisoners of one or another faction in the civil war which followed revolution, ending their lives in the basement of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, before an impromptu firing squad.
On Monday evening, 9 July 2018, the Reality TV President presented the “big reveal” of his second pick for the United States Supreme Court. Judge Brett Kavanaugh, 53, currently sitting on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has an Ivy League education, a broad range of experience, and almost 300 opinions amassed during his time on the Federal bench.
For those of you who may not be familiar, I’m not just a space rock junkie. I also manage a stray and feral cat colony in West Philadelphia; since 2007 we’ve found homes for about seventy cats, and have provided food, shelter, medical intervention and affection for several dozen more.