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#SoMuchWinning Update

us-politics

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

military-seals-white-background

More evidence the president does not understand his job.

Tweeting at the Framers (Impeachment Edition)

us-politics

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

constitution-preamble-quill-pen

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

congress-healthcare

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

us-politics

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

us-politics

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

Spicer

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

ostrom-buchanan

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

congress-healthcare

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.

Trump And Putin Had Previously Undisclosed Meeting At G-20

Trump Putin G-20

Is there anyone in the Trump Administration or family who hasn’t held undisclosed meetings with Russians?

Donald Trump Fails The Leadership Test Again

trump-syria-strike

President Trump’s reaction to the failure of health care reform efforts in the Senate demonstrates yet again that he doesn’t know how to be President.

Senate GOP’s Plan C On Health Care Dies In Less Than A Day

congress-healthcare

What looks like it will be the Senate GOP’s last effort on the issue of health care reform died less than a day after being put on the table.

McConnell Pulls The Plug On Senate Health Care Reform Bill

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

With the defection of two more Senators, the latest effort to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act has gone down in flames.

It’s as if it isn’t a very Good Bill…

us-politics

…and that maybe the GOP leadership is showing their lack of seriousness or something. Via the NYT:  Health Care Overhaul Collapses as Two More Republican Senators Defect  Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas declared on Monday night that they would oppose the Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, killing […]

How not to be a Dean

academic-book-glasses

Via the LAT: An overdose, a young companion, drug-fueled parties: The secret life of USC med school dean During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. Puliafito, 66, and these much younger acquaintances […]

Americans Favor Obamacare Over GOP Replacements Two-To-One

congress-healthcare

New polling indicates that the Affordable Care Act has gained in popularity with the American public, while Republican reform efforts are viewed overwhelmingly negatively.

Speaking of the Pence-Kobach Commission…

us-politics

Rick Hasen points to a link to the agenda of this week’s first meeting of the Pence-Kobach Commission.  As someone who attends a ton of meeting these days, and who sets a fair share of agendas, this reads like a meeting set because they need to have a meeting, not because they really know what they […]

Rick Hasen on our Voting System

us-politics

A reading recommendation for anyone who missed it, Rick Hasen’s piece in the NYT:  Don’t Let Our Democracy Collapse. He concludes as follows, but I would very much encourage a read of the whole piece: The future is scary. Public confidence in the fairness of the election process is already largely driven by who wins and who loses. […]

Trump Continues To Slump In The Polls

Donald Trump

With the Administration’s six-month point approaching, Donald Trump continues to lag in the polls.

Another Poor Attempt at Illustrating the Scourge of Voter Fraud

election-voter-people

Another failed attempt to demonstrate the problems of voter fraud in the US.

Trump Reportedly Won’t Visit Britain Until He Gets Better Press Coverage

Donald Trump

President Trump is apparently saying that he will delay his expected state visit to the United Kingdom until he gets better coverage from the British press: Donald Trump reportedly told Theresa May he will not make a state visit to the UK until he is guaranteed a “better reception”. The US President asked the Prime Minister to […]

Senate Health Care Debate Delayed Due To McCain Surgery

congress-healthcare

With the fate of the Senate health care reform bill hanging in the balance, the Senate will delay consideration of the bill due to the unexpected absence of one Senator.

Krauthammer on Don Jr.

newsman

I tweeted this link out yesterday, but if you missed it, it is worth a read: Charles Krauthammer,  Bungled collusion is still collusion The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s […]

Brooks on Trump Amorality

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David Brook’s NYT column on Don Jr. is worth a read:  Moral Vacuum in the House of Trump He basic conclusion is as follows: That to me is the central takeaway of this week’s revelations. It’s not that the Russia scandal may bring down the administration. It’s that over the past few generations the Trump family […]

Shep Smith’s Days at Fox Numbered?

newsman

Granted, he has been critical of the administration before (for example, having strong words about the way the administration treats CNN), but something will have to give at some point, given the overall tenor of the station’s political coverage.  Via WaPo:  ‘Lie after lie after lie’: Fox News’s Shepard Smith has a Cronkite moment on Russia. […]

Challenges and Threats to Representative Government in the United States

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Thoughts on the quality of our democracy.

A Photo for Friday: Warp Speed

“Warp Speed” July 4, 2017 Pike Road, AL

Senate GOP Releases Revised Version Of Obamacare ‘Repeal And Replace’ Bill

congress-healthcare

Senate Republicans have introduced their latest version of a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Democrat Bill Murphy Holds Huge Lead In Race To Succeed Chris Christie In New Jersey

New Jersey Sign

A new poll shows the Democratic candidate for New Jersey Governor has a seemingly insurmountable lead over his Republican opponent, who just happens to be Chris Christie’s Lieutenant Governor: The latest poll in the race to succeed Chris Christie as New Jersey’s governor shows Democratic nominee Phil Murphy with a commanding 27-point lead over Republican […]

Justice Dept. Fails To Comply With Court Order To Release Details On Sessions Russia Contacts

Department Of Justice Seal

NPR is reporting that the Justice Department has failed to comply with a Federal District Court’s Order that it provide a list of the Attorney General’s contacts with Russian officials: In defiance of a court order, the Justice Department is refusing to release part of a security form dealing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ contacts […]

White House Under Siege As Russia Revelations Continue

White House Aerial View

Six months of revelations about ties to Russia is taking its toll on White House staffers.

Blocked Twitter Users Sue President Trump Alleging First Amendment Violation

Trump Twitter

Twitter users who have been blocked on the service by President Trump are suing him, claiming that their First Amendment rights have been violated.

McConnell Delays Senate’s Summer Recess Two Weeks

Mitch McConnell

In a sign that the ongoing health care reform debate inside the Senate GOP Caucus is not going well, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced this afternoon that the Senate’s August recess would be delayed two weeks: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that he would cut the chamber’s August recess in half, saying […]

That Donald Trump Jr. Meeting Is Looking More And More Like Collusion

Donald Trump Sr and Jr

The revelations about Donald Trump Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with someone represented as being a Russian government official just keep getting worse.

Senate GOP Faces Another Make Or Break Week On Health Care Reform

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

The Senate GOP’s effort to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act is headed for a bumpy ride.

A Quick Russian Translation

travel-suitcase

Via the NYT: When the Kremlin Says ‘Adoptions,’ It Means ‘Sanctions’  This is likely obvious to anyone who is even passingly familiar with the situation, but this piece is worth a read for a detailed discussion.  It also should take away any thought that a discussion about adoption policy is as innocent or low-wattage as it […]

It Just Keeps Getting Worse for Don Jr.

Two powers

Inching towards evidence of at least attempted collusion?

Senate Returns To Work No Closer To A Health Care Deal

congress-healthcare

The Senate is back from its recess, but no closer to a health care bill that has any realistic chance of passing.

Australian Journalist’s Trump Takedown Goes Viral

Donald Trump Shrug

An Australian television reporter’s comments about President Trump’s impact on the recently concluded G-20 summit have gone viral: In an Australian news broadcast that seems to have resonated with Americans, a political journalist delivered a scathing evaluation of President Trump’s performance last week at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany. The journalist, Chris Uhlmann, […]

More on the Trump Jr. Meeting (Updated)

Trump Russia

A report states that the meeting was set up on the predicate of information on the Clinton campaign.

Putin’s Big Win

travel-suitcase

Via an opinion column by Masha Gessen in the NYT:  Trump Gave Putin Exactly What He Wanted Mr. Putin has for years — 17 years, to be exact, for this is how long he has been in power — been clear about what he wanted from his relationship with the United States president: He wants to […]

On the Removal of CSA Symbols

us-politics

Symbols shape our views of the past.

OTB Caption Contest Winners

unleashed

The Avfefe Hands Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

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