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    A report from the United States of Insanity

    If chaos were a valued commodity, this would be the time to buy big.

    IF CHAOS were a valued commodity, this would be the time to buy big.

    And not just on the American exchanges. No indeed. President Trump, that masterly merchant of mercurial madness, is opening worldwide markets for mayhem.

    Fresh off his Twitter feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions — Trump is angry at Sessions for prioritizing the rule of law over the rule of Trump — the president threatened a trade war with the world. Such a shock was the Great Trumpkin’s announcement that he’ll be slapping tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum that it even jolted House Speaker Paul Ryan out of his docile doze.


    This latest cyclone cloud did have a silver lining for Mexico, though: That regular target of Trump’s racial ire isn’t his only North American steel-producing scapegoat. So too is that vast snowy remove that Abigail Adams used to call “Canady,” but which we’ve since learned is actually named Canada. Let’s grant that Canada, to paraphrase Neville Chamberlain, is a far-away country of which we know little. Still, despite their curious locutions, the Canadians are said to be a polite and rule-abiding bunch, eh? So much so that, with the exception of Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, few GOP xenophobes even feel the need for a northern border wall.

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    If they did, surely former-Trumpkin-gone-rogue Sam Nunberg would be proposing one. After all, in his marathon Monday round of TV interviews, he again claimed to be the idea daddy for Trump’s southern border wall.

    But let’s not bury the lede. Nunberg’s big news was that he won’t (or maybe will) comply with a grand jury subpoena issued as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

    “If you want to arrest me, arrest me,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. (One’s sense is that comment was directed at Mueller, not Tapper, but given Nunberg’s tenuous grasp of the US legal system, it’s hard to say for certain.)

    Complying with Mueller’s demand for e-mails and the like is apparently just too much of a time suck. Besides, said Nunberg, all this talk of Trump aides colluding with the Russians is ridiculous. Except when it comes to former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, who, Nunberg allowed, may very well have done so.


    Page fired back, throwing shade at Nunberg’s sobriety from the set of Fox News, where Pretend Special Prosecutor Sean Hannity is running his own parallel universal probe of everyone investigating Trump. And let’s be fair: A night like Monday, when participants on another cable network sound nuttier than Fox’s own guests, is a victory indeed for the conservative outlet.

    If we are ever to get the full picture, it may require the intervention of a certain sultry associate of portly panjandrums. No, no, not Stormy Daniels, though she was back in the headlines with the news that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen had complained to friends that Trump hadn’t reimbursed the $130,000 in hush money he gave her on the eve of the election. (Memo to Michael: Always insist that clients establish a porn-star-payment escrow account up front.)

    We’re talking here about Belarusian sexpert Anastasia Vashukevich, who plausibly claims a dalliance with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. That name sound familiar? He is the Vladimir Putin associate whom then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a former Deripaska business partner, offered to brief about the inner workings of the Trump campaign.

    Poor Anastasia, now in jail in Thailand for teaching sex without a permit , is reportedly willing to supply “all the missing puzzle pieces,” supported with videos and audios, about the Russian connections with “Trump, Manafort and the rest,” in exchange for US help escaping Thai detention and Russian retaliation.

    I wouldn’t look for the Trump State Department to take up her cause.


    That’s only the latest here in the United States of Insanity.

    If you could just invest in crazy, we’d all be rich.

    Scot Lehigh can be reached at lehigh@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeScotLehigh.