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White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci Out At White House

White House Aerial View

Just one week after taking over as White House Communications Director, tech investor Anthony Scaramucci has been removed from his position on what also happens to be the first day on the job for new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: WASHINGTON — President Trump has decided to remove Anthony Scaramucci from his position […]

Baby Boomers No Longer The Majority Of U.S. Voters

Vote Mouse

A new study shows that Baby Boomers no longer account for the largest segment of voters in the United States.

Majority Of Americans Oppose Trump’s Proposed Ban On Transgender Military Service

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A new poll indicates that a majority of Americans oppose President Trump’s apparent decision to ban transgender service members from the U.S. military: NEW YORK (Reuters) – A majority of Americans believe that transgender individuals should be allowed to serve in the military, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday. The July […]

Can Kelly Fix the White House?

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(I suspect the reader already knows the answer to the question). Jonathan Swan at Axios: West Wing wonders, can Kelly fix ‘culture problem’? One key questions asked is this: Does Trump let Kelly be a true gatekeeper, in the tradition of effective chiefs of staff? I.e. does all information flow through Kelly, or do certain officials, such […]

The President’s Understanding of Insurance

From a recent sit-down with the NYT: TRUMP: But what it does, Maggie, it means it gets tougher and tougher. As they get something, it gets tougher. Because politically, you can’t give it away. So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal. Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you […]

SpaceX Now One Of The World’s Most Valuable Privately-Held Companies

SpaceX Launch

In a short period of time, SpaceX has become a huge success, as has the commercial space launch industry.

Shot, Chaser (Russia And Trump Edition)

Trump Russia

These two stories were posted by The Hill six minutes apart Shot: Putin expels 755 U.S. diplomats from Russia Chaser: Pence: Trump hopes Russia will behave better

Americans Want Congress To Move On From Trying To ‘Repeal And Replace’ Obamacare

United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. Aerial

A new poll shows that most Americans want Republicans want to move on from their failed effort to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act.

Kenneth Starr has Advice for Trump

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Really, it is more of a plea (as published in WaPo): Mr. President, please cut it out. Tweet to your heart’s content, but stop the wildly inappropriate attacks on the attorney general. […] The attorney general is not — and cannot be — the president’s “hockey goalie,” as new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci described […]

Kobach and Voter Fraud

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Via Politico (back in May): ’Kris Kobach Came After Me for an Honest Mistake’ When Kris Kobach, Kansas’ aggressive secretary of state, convinced the state legislature to give him prosecutorial power to pursue voter fraud, he said it was necessary to root out tens of thousands of undocumented aliens who were voting as well as tens of […]

Trump’s Degradation of Justice

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Via Lawfare: Since assuming office, he has continued this assault. He fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend in court an order she believed to be illegal (a judgment that, as the acting attorney general, was literally her job to make). He fired the FBI director for not subverting an ongoing law […]

Headline Reaction (New Chief of Staff Edition)

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Headline (via WaPo):  John Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff, ‘won’t suffer idiots and fools’ Reaction:  This will end well.

Gary Cooper, Woody Allen, and Trump (Oh My!)

Donald Trump Shrug

Wherein Noonan writes an odd column that reaches the right conclusion.

Trump’s Travels On Pace To Cost Taxpayers More In One Year Than Obama Did In Eight

Trump Golfing

It’s not the time away from the White House that matters, it’s the hypocrisy.

Federal Judge: Official Violated First Amendment By Blocking User From Her Facebook Page

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A Federal Judge has ruled against an elected official who blocked a constituent from accessing her Facebook page.

An Informative Read on the Pardon Power

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From Andrew Rudalevige at The Monkey Cage:  Here’s what you need to know about the presidential power to pardon.

Reince Priebus Is Out As White House Chief Of Staff, But The Chaos Is Likely To Continue

Donald Trump Oval Office

In another major change announced via Twitter, late yesterday President Trump announced he’d hired a new Chief of Staff, but changes at the staff level aren’t going to fix what’s really wrong with the Trump Administration.

A Photo for Friday: Red Glare

“Red Glare” July 4, 2017 Pike Road, AL

North Korea Launches Another Ballistic Missile Test

Kim Jong Un North Korean Flag

Another escalation on the Korean peninsula.

Rep. John Delaney — Who? — Running For President In 2020

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We’re roughly two and a half years away from the start of the 2020 Presidential campaign, but we’ve already got our first candidate: Maryland Rep. John Delaney on Friday became the first Democrat to announce he would run for president in 2020. The 54-year-old three-term congressman revealed his plans in a Washington Post op-ed. He won’t […]

Second Quarter Sees Modest Economic Growth In Initial Estimate

Economy Heartbeat

According to initial estimates, the economy grew at faster pace in the second quarter than at the beginning of the year, but it was hardly anything to write home about.

Senate Once Again Fails On Health Care Reform

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Seven years of rhetoric on health care reform ended early this morning with a narrow vote on a bill that even Republicans didn’t really support.

Boy Scouts Apologize For Trump’s Speech At Jamboree

Donald Trump Shrug

“I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. “

Not So Fast On That Transgender Ban, Joint Chiefs Say

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The Joint Chiefs of Staff are making clear that President Trump’s tweets are not official policy. At least not yet.

Appeals Court Strikes Down District Of Columbia Restrictions On Concealed Carry Of Guns

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A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down the District of Columbia’s restrictive concealed-carry law.

Trump Announces Ban On Transgender Military Service

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A step backward on civil rights from a President who claimed he would be a friend to the LGBT community.

Senate Votes To Proceed On Health Care Bill That Doesn’t Exist Yet

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In a vote close enough to require the Vice-President to cast a tie-breaking vote, the Senate voted to proceed to debate on a health care bill even though nobody seems to know what bill they’ll ultimately be voting on.

Trump’s Speech To Boy Scouts Is Just Another Example Of His Outrageous Narcissism

Donald Trump Shrug

President Trump delivered a wholly inappropriate political speech to the Boy Scout Jamboree, but that should surprise nobody.

Donald Trump Continues To Attack His Own Attorney General

Donald Trump Jeff Sessions

President Trump’s weeklong effort to undermine his own Attorney General continues.

Recommended Reading: Exum on Civil-Military Affairs

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On the topic of President Trump’s norm-busting regarding the military I would recommend the following from Andrew Exum in The Atlantic:  The Dangerous Politicization of the Military. He notes Trump’s transgression, but also the broader context in which his words and actions exist.  It is worth a read.  

One More Observation on the Self-Pardon Issue

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It occurred to me after my post this morning:  the thing about the constitutionality of the self-pardon is that the only way to know with certainty if it is constitutional or not is for the SCOTUS to rule after the action is undertaken and challenged.  As such, the only way to have a definitive answer […]

Trump Looking To Replace Jeff Sessions With Rudy Giuliani?

Trump Giuliani

Reports are indicating that Donald Trump may be looking to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Rudy Giuliani.

Trump Is Unlikely To Ever Be A Popular President

Trump Cabinet

Donald Trump is unlikely to ever be a popular President, but that may not matter.

More on Self-Pardoning

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Lawrence Tribe, Richard Painter and Norman Eisen argue in WaPo:  No, Trump can’t pardon himself. The Constitution tells us so. They bases their position mostly on the following: The Constitution specifically bars the president from using the pardon power to prevent his own impeachment and removal. It adds that any official removed through impeachment remains fully […]

#SoMuchWinning Update

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Via the NYT, Trump’s ‘Great National Infrastructure Program’? Stalled Infrastructure remains stuck near the rear of the legislative line, according to two dozen administration officials, legislators and labor leaders involved in coming up with a concrete proposal. It awaits the resolution of tough negotiations over the budget, the debt ceiling, a tax overhaul, a new push to toughen […]

More Norm-Busting by the President

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More evidence the president does not understand his job.

Tweeting at the Framers (Impeachment Edition)

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Political Science Professor Paul Musgrave tweets: That it’s not clear if the president can pardon himself is just another datum showing that The Founders Were Bad At Constitution-Making. — Paul Musgrave🗀 (@profmusgrave) July 22, 2017 At a minimum, it certainly is an example that despite popular conception, the document is not perfect.

Potential Pardons = Potential Constitutional Crisis

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The pardon issue could be a serious inflection point.

White House Communications Director Sends Past Criticism Of Trump Down The Memory Hole

Trump Twitter

Donald Trump’s new Communications Director has spent the weekend deleting all his old tweets criticizing Donald Trump: President Trump’s new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci went on a Twitter purge Friday, deleting years-old tweets bashing his new boss and supporting positions like gun control. One of the deleted tweets referred to the Trump campaign […]

Senate Parliamentarian Deals GOP Repeal-Only Plan A Blow

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The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that the Senate’s bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act without providing for a replacement cannot proceed under the Senate’s reconciliation rules, making it even less likely that the body will be able to pass any health care form bill before the beginning of the summer recess: Several key […]

Leaks: Truth is the Main Issue, not Legality

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POTUS tweets: While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017 What is striking about this (and all past rantings about leaks) is that there is rarely a claim […]

An Appropriate Assessment of the Spicer Era

Spicer

Don’t cry for Spicer.

Back When the Bush Administration Investigated Voter Fraud

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The Trump administration is not the first to investigate the question of voter fraud.  The Bush administration did so as well and a little over ten years ago it reported findings: Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to […]

Sean Spicer Out As White House Press Secretary

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A big but not unexpected personnel change at the White House.

Trump Administration Seeking To Undermine Robert Mueller’s Investigation

Donald Trump Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller seems to be getting closer to the President, and the Administration is responding by seeking to undermine his investigation.

A Photo for Friday: Prattville in the Distance

“Prattville in the Distance” June 24, 2017 Prattville, AL

The Incoherent Nature of Nancy MacLean’s Narrative

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A Duke history professor uncovers “stealth plan” by “fifth columnists” who are seeking to overthrow democracy in the U.S. for their plutocrat masters.

Senate To Move Ahead On Health Care Reform Votes That Seem Unlikely To Succeed

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The Senate isn’t giving up in its efforts to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that it seems clear that the votes aren’t there.

John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer

John McCain

Sad news about a Washington stalwart.

Jon Huntsman Nominated To Be Ambassador To Russia

Jon Huntsman

A good choice for an important position.

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