Republicans Feel Triumph, Fear Tragedy

Tax plan, Mueller’s Russia probe help produce two potential divergent paths

.. The Republican establishment’s bargain with Mr. Trump always has been essentially this: It is worth putting up with his excesses and an undercurrent of mutual mistrust because ultimately he would promote and then sign the Republicans’ long-sought tax cut.

..  Republican plans to make Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi rather than Mr. Trump the unpopular face of the election year succeed. 
.. Trump voters decide the party and the president they supported in 2016 don’t share their common-sense aversion to running up big bills and leaving them for the kids.
.. Meantime, a failure to agree on a new spending bill forces a government shutdown just before Christmas, and the GOP fails to put the blame off on Democrats. That instantly sullies Republicans’ newfound reputation for governing effectively.
.. Corporate leaders don’t make the kinds of job-creating investments Republicans predict. Meanwhile, the tax cut’s stimulative effect overheats an economy already near full employment, pumps up an overextended stock market and compels the Fed to keep raising interest rates. The bubble bursts.

The Obamacare infrastructure also collapses in 2018, and Republicans now are the party bearing the blame for health-market chaos.

.. Trump world financial entanglements with Russians gave the Kremlin leverage over the eventual president, and it’s shown Mr. Trump obstructed justice to stop investigators from finding out. 

When a Pillar of the Fourth Estate Rests on a Trump-Murdoch Axis

Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka was a trustee of the nearly $300 million fortune Mr. Murdoch set aside for the two children he had with his third wife, Wendi, who arranged the trusteeship.

Ms. Trump gave up that oversight role in December, before her father’s inauguration but well after Election Day.

.. That means the whole time that Mr. Murdoch’s highly influential news organizations were covering Mr. Trump’s campaign and transition, their executive chairman was entangled in a financial arrangement of the most personal sort — tied to his children’s financial (very) well being — along with the president’s daughter.

.. And she is married to a key presidential adviser, Jared Kushner, who, as it happens, is so close with Mr. Murdoch that he even helped Mr. Murdoch set up his bachelor pad after his last divorce

.. The latest news about the Murdoch-Trump axis is acutely problematic for the leadership at The Wall Street Journal — owned by News Corp. — as it seeks to quell a rebellion by a group of staff members who believe that the paper has held them back from more aggressively covering Mr. Trump, they suspect, under pressure from Mr. Murdoch.

.. In the George W. Bush years, when Fox News rallied for the president’s war efforts, Mr. Murdoch successfully pushed the Federal Communications Commission to block a proposed merger between DirecTV and EchoStar, clearing the way for Mr. Murdoch to buy control of DirecTV after an earlier attempt.

.. Stephen K. Bannon, a Trump adviser, made a similar observation in an interview with the media writer Michael Wolff shortly after the election, saying, “Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump.”

.. With the loss of the 9 p.m. host Megyn Kelly, the network’s prime time has become that much friendlier for Mr. Trump.

.. concerns among some — and certainly not all — members of the staff that the paper is tilting Mr. Trump’s way erupted anew two weeks ago when Mr. Baker wrote to editors asking them to avoid describing the countries affected by Mr. Trump’s immigration order as “majority Muslim,” which was in keeping with Mr. Trump’s talking points.