Tues Blogcast: Another corrupt FBI leader; US soft power; Debt limit fight

Just One Thing: Another corrupt senior FBI agent was directly involved in persecuting Trump

You don’t have to have loved Donald Trump to have thought, as I did, that the persecution of the man during the first half of his presidency on the basis of transparently bogus accusations about being a Russian pawn was wildly unjust. Now we know that it wasn’t only unjust but maybe also deeply corrupt. Yesterday we learned that a former senior FBI agent named Charles McGonigal, who ran the FBI’s New York counterintelligence unit and was likely involved in beginning the bogus investigation into Trump, has been indicted for taking $225,000 in bribes from a former Russian intelligence officer in order to facilitate the lifting of sanctions against a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. McGonigal’s lawyers say he’s innocent, but it doesn’t seem like the sort of thing the FBI would be making wild guesses about. Could it be that the bogus Mueller investigation was even MORE unjust than we already knew?

Here are three articles on the story, the first two from conservative outlets, the third from a liberal outlet:

Charles McGonigal: Ex-FBI Official Involved in Trump-Russia Probe Indicted for Working on Behalf of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch | National Review

Plot Twist: Ex-FBI Agent Involved in Trump-Russia Probe Indicted For Violating Russia Sanctions (freebeacon.com)

Former high-level FBI agent charged for aiding Russian oligarch : NPR


Today's Guests

Dan Runde is Senior Vice President of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His new book is "The American Imperative: Reclaiming Global Leadership through Soft Power."

Daniel F. Runde | Center for Strategic and International Studies (csis.org)

The American Imperative: Reclaiming Global Leadership through Soft Power: Runde, Daniel F.: 9781637582008: Amazon.com: Books

Runde makes the case for building a new global consensus through vigorous internationalism and judicious use of soft power. He maps out many of the steps that we need to take––primarily in the non-military sphere––to ensure an alliance of stable and secure, like-minded, self-reliant partner nations in order to prevent rising authoritarian powers such as China from running the world.


Peter Earle is an economist with The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), a former trader, and a West Point Grad. We'll discuss the politics of the upcoming debt ceiling fight. Here's a short version of part of Pete's take: At this point there are no good alternatives: either the US doesn't pay its obligations and our credit rating is wrecked, or we continue to expand spending , which means taxes and inflationary finance continue their upward march. The only positive that can be salvaged from all of this is that it serves to raise public awareness regarding the astronomical levels of spending that the American government is doing.

But what do Republicans REALLY want? https://thedispatch.com/newsletter/boilingfrogs/a-fight-about-nothing

RELATED: On their current path, Social Security will face insolvency at its projected levels of payouts in 10 years, leading to massive automatic cuts: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/58564

For some of Pete's analysis about the vaunted "soft landing" soon to be engineered by the Fed, we're told, see Today's Videos below


Other Stuff

Employers, including governments, rethinking the requirement to have a college degree in order to qualify for many jobs: Breaking the ‘Paper Ceiling’ - The Dispatch


Tom Brady has choice words when asked what he's going to do next season: https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/nfl-world-reacts-to-tom-brady-s-announcement-on-monday/ar-AA16F90M


Stupid criminals are funny: Burglary Suspect Leaves DNA Sample at the Scene


Is there ANYBODY in my audience who thinks that schools shouldn’t tell parents when kids ask to be addressed by different names and genders?

When Students Change Gender Identity, Should Schools Tell Their Parents? - The New York Times (nytimes.com)


I owe you this from yesterday, regarding union membership:

US union membership rate hits all-time low despite campaigns | AP News

Union's revival isn't translating into more members (axios.com)


When prices go up enough, someone will look for a way to supply the product: Egg smuggling up 108% at US-Mexico border as prices soar (nypost.com)


The most heroic military dogfight that you never heard of: A Tribute to a Real Top Gun - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics


This is how stupid our world is:

M&Ms Mascots Paused After Tucker Carlson Video, Maya Rudolph New Star - Variety

M&Ms: Tucker Carlson 'complains' that new character doesn't wear 'sexy boots' anymore | indy100

Today's Videos

First, for the econ nerds in the audience, an excellent discussion by today's show guest Pete Earle about the so-called "soft (economic) landing" that we've been told to expect.

I really REALLY need some of these: Finally! KFC Launches Fried Chicken Incense Sticks (odditycentral.com)

And because it's 2022, some people are culturally offended: KFC Thailand draws backlash over fried chicken incense sticks for Lunar New Year (yahoo.com)

If the embedded video below doesn't work, here's the link: (20+) Watch | Facebook

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