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Fantasy Politics: Donald Trump Betting Lines Recap for March 13th-23rd

I know I’m way late on this column; a five-day out-of-town bender can render even the best of us useless. But the world of President Trump is inescapable, meaning on my last morning in the Music City, I was glued to the television as FBI Director James Comey politely declined to answer many of the questions lobbed at him by the House Intelligence Committee about Russian officials’ contacts with the Trump campaign. (Being hungover and exhausted probably had the most to do with my mindless watching).

The nutshell over the last few days: No evidence President Obama tapped Trump Tower’s wires. The FBI is investigating the pesky allegations that Trump’s campaign was tied to the Russians. And then there’s that health care bill that is going nowhere fast. More on that in a bit.

First, let’s see how we did the week of March 13 – March 20.

Over/under tweetstorms from Trump = 2.5

Result: The under — 0

President Trump was very active on Twitter this past week, but didn’t stay on any one topic for long. The most glaring example of that in back-to-back tweets: He goes from claiming a reporter “who nobody ever heard of” couldn’t possibly have gotten his hands on his tax returns to bashing Snoop Dogg for a music video (where the rapper fires a fake pistol at a mock Trump clown). Yes, these are the times in which we live.

But, he did not fire off one tweetstorm, defined as four or more tweets posted in quick succession on a single topic.

Did we set the bar too high? Don’t think so. On Monday, Trump went on a tweetstorm about the House Intelligence hearing, telling us the “real story” is the leaking of classified information, not some of his surrogate’s alleged ties to the Kremlin.

Over/under Trump tweets that end with an adjective! = 7.5

  1. FAKE NEWS!
  2. Jail time! (referring to that DOGG)
  3. Already happening (on car manufacturing jobs ballooning)
  4. Enjoy! (on Trump’s upcoming appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show)
  5. Be nice, you will do much better! (advice to the media, of course)
  6. Will be fun! (on rally in Nashville. And, no, I arrived a day after)

Obviously, not all these tweet-enders are adjectives, but I think you get the point. They add nothing substantive to the tweet except for Trump to land a zinger, add some flare and – probably most importantly – use an exclamation point.

Who will have the worst week in the Beltway?

Sean Spicer was our favorite followed by Reince Priebus — two high-level Trump staffers. But this dubious distinction goes to Rachel Maddow. Two Tuesday ago, she went to Twitter and promised a YUUUUGE scoop: She would reveal Trump’s tax returns on her MSNBC show that night.

Twitter went aflame. After all, Trump has refused to release his returns, defying custom for presidential candidates. He says they remain under audit by the IRS.

Now we had them.

But Maddow buried the lede, making us wait through her first segment and then a commercial break before satiating our appetite. The reveal, though, didn’t live up to the hype.

She only had the barebones of one year of Trump’s tax returns and they showed he paid tens of millions to the IRS.

In an era when faith in the media is at an all-time low, they must show sound judgment in how they present new information, and that night, Maddow failed.

What to watch for:

Come Sunday, we’ll have some new betting lines for you.

In the meantime, let’s see if the Republicans can reach consensus on a replacement bill for Obamacare. The spending-haw wing of the party thinks the bill doesn’t go far enough, ruefully calling the proposal Obamacare Lite. More moderate Republicans are afraid the replacement would leave many of their constituents – older and lower-income Americans – without coverage.

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