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Montana’s GOP House Candidate Charged with Assault

us-politics

Via the NYT:  Greg Gianforte, Montana G.O.P. Candidate, Is Charged in Attack on Reporter The Republican candidate in a hotly contested special House election in Montana was charged with assaulting a journalist on Wednesday at what was to be a final rally in Bozeman on the eve of the vote. The attack brought police officers to […]

Max Boot on Fox News

newsman

Max Boot has a scathing, but on point, essay on the state of Fox News at Foreign Policy that is worth a read:  The Seth Rich ‘Scandal’ Shows That Fox News Is Morally Bankrupt. If you are unfamiliar with the Seth Rich story, I recommend Dave Weigel’s The Seth Rich conspiracy shows how fake news still works. […]

Blaming “The Elites” is Simplistic and Misses the Real Problems

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#RulesMatter

The (non-)State of Syria

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A piece from Foreign Policy notes: Syria, after all, is today divided into no less than seven enclaves: the territory controlled by the regime, three separate areas of rebel control, two Kurdish cantons, and the Islamic State area. What is the government’s strategy to reverse this fragmentation, I ask? ”We have absolute faith that this is a […]

Noonan on Trump

us-politics

Peggy Noonan on the President’s staff: It is absurd to think the president can solve his problems by firing his staff. They are not the problem. He is the problem. They’re not the A-Team, they’re not the counselors you’d want, experienced and wise. They’re the island of misfit toys. But they could function adequately if […]

The Personnel Math that Gets us to Mueller

robert-mueller

If you have to have an acting attorney general as it relates to one of the biggest issues of the moment, you may have picked the wrong AG.

But, He was Such a Successful Businessman…

us-politics

Setting aside the legitimately debatable notion that Trump was successful in business, it should be becoming clear, for anyone who is being objective, that there are good reasons why electing someone with zero governmental experience is a bad idea.  Throw in not only inexperience but incompetence, ignorance, and immaturity and we get what we are […]

A Photo for Friday: Eye

Peering into the future? (Or something peering at you?). “Eye” June 23, 2015 Pike Road, AL This is really more a Halloween shot, but still seems approach for the times.

Putin Offers Transcripts of Trump-Lavrov Meeting

us-politics

The surreality of this week’s news continues to spiral, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to provided transcripts of the Oval Office meeting President Trump had with Russians Foreign Minister Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak. WaPo reports: Putin offers to provide Congress with details of Trump disclosures to Russian envoys : Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday […]

Trump’s Tweets on Russian Revelations Appear to Confirm Story

Trump Twitter

Tweets this morning from POTUS seem to confirm the WaPo story about sharing info.

Report: Trump Revealed Classified Intel to Russian Visitors to Oval Office

us-politics

Via WaPo:  Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said that Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. […] […]

Today in Juxtapositions (Falwell v. Jesus Edition)

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Extolling an “eye for an eye” kind of justice is not in keeping with the ethics of Jesus.

Trump’s Law Firm and Russia

Trump Russia

Everywhere one turns, it seems, there’s Russia.

Trump’s Request for Comey’s Loyalty

us-politics

Via the NYT: In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred. As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him. Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. […]

A Photo for Friday: Reflective

“Reflective” Pike Road, AL April 7, 2017

Some Really Good Questions about the Comey Firing

us-politics

First, wow (via WaPo): the private accounts of more than 30 officials at the White House, the Justice Department, the FBI and on Capitol Hill, as well as Trump confidants and other senior Republicans, paint a conflicting narrative centered on the president’s brewing personal animus toward Comey. To have that many person willing is pretty […]

Today in Poor Arguments (Health Care Edition)

us-politics

From a column in the NYT, What the Republican Health Plan Gets Right I learn from my patients every day about the benefits, limitations and contradictions of their health insurance. One charming 60-year-old with severe seasonal allergies insists on seeing me every few weeks this time of year, even though I tell her she doesn’t need to […]

Polling and the French Election

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Since a lot of people have had their faith in polling shaken by Brexit and the Trump win (which was not the error some have made it out to be, btw), I recommend the following from Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight: Le Pen Is Just A Gargantuan Polling Error Behind Macron. Macron’s advantage over Le Pen has been […]

Today in “You Don’t Say?” (AHCA Edition)

us-politics

Ross Douthat: But if the A.H.C.A. stands as the chief policy distillation of Trumpism, then the central Democratic argument in 2018 and 2020 should be entirely clear: Trump is not a populist but just another pro-plutocracy Republican, and everything his party promised you on health care was a sham. You don’t say? Snark aside, a […]

Today in “Please, No” (HRC 2020 Edition)

The headline of Michael Goodwin’s NY Post column is: Hillary’s election loss excuse means one thing — She’s running in 2020. Since I have seen this a couple of places, let me say:  no thanks.  Time to move on.  Perhaps in 2020 we could be spared form political dynasties altogether? (Truth be told, I cannot imagine her making another […]

Perhaps the Best Explanation of the AHCA

us-politics

Perhaps the best column I have read that attempts to explain the behavior of House Republicans is the following in the NYT by Peter Suderman:  The House Health Care Disaster Is Really About Taxes. Suderman writes: It’s unclear what health policy problem this bill would solve. Even for an opponent of Obamacare, it is difficult to […]

Today in “Asked and Answered” (NPV Edition)

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How close to success is the National Popular Vote initiative? (Spoiler alert: not close).

The Power of Primaries

election-voter-people

As usual, an attempt to explain congressional behavior brings us back to the issue of our basic institutions. The way we elect congress matters.

Loyalty Day

us-politics

Loyalty Day, as many have pointed out, is not some weird thing Donald Trump thought up.  It is an artifact of the weird things we used to do during the Cold War (and even before–it dates to the Red Scare of the 1920s) when we were scared of communism.  To me it is the kind […]

Today in “Asked and Answered” (French Election Edition)

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Ross Douthat asks:  Is There a Case for Le Pen? I answer:  no, no there isn’t. That concludes today’s edition of “Asked and Answered.” Side note:  because one can tease out things a politician has said that might be reasonable, or that one could see raising legitimate issues worthy of debate is not the same […]

“America’s Greatest Domestic Threats”

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Wayne LaPierre’s perverted view of the world in two sentences.

Least Credible Story of the Day

us-politics

Via The Hill:  Trump: ‘I couldn’t care less about golf’ “It would be much better if people would understand that I could go other places that I have. But then they hit me for relaxing. And I don’t want to be known as a person that relaxes because I am working hard and I am working […]

Least Shocking News of the Day

us-politics

Via Politico:  Democrats give up hope on striking a deal with Trump. The only semi-shocking aspect of that headline and story is the notion that there was any serious chance of their being deal-making between Trump and the Democrats to start with.

Line of the Day (Trump’s First 100 Days of Foreign Policy Edition)

us-politics

“Trump’s greatest foreign policy accomplishment to date is to go from massive beclowning of the executive branch to only moderate beclowning of the executive branch without the world blowing up.”–Daniel Drezner. Yup. Pretty much.

The First 100

Trump And GOP Elephant

An assessment of the 45th President’s first 100 days.

Ivanka at the G20 Women’s Summit

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Ivanka Trump forced to defend father at G20 women’s summit An audible groan went up as she told the room her father was a “tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive”.

France: Electoral Rules Matter

travel-suitcase

While the final numbers are not in, it would appear that Emmanuel Macron will win the plurality of the vote in the first round of of France’s presidential elections and Marianne Le Pen will come in second.  Due to the use of a two-round system that requires an absolute majority of the vote to win the […]

The Era of Recusal

us-politics

“I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.”–Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. CBS News:  Devin Nunes recuses himself from Russia probe. Fox Business News: As secretary of state, Mr. Tillerson, following through on his pledge to […]

A Photo for Friday: Halfsies

“Halfsies” April 3, 2017 Pike Road, AL

That Didn’t Take Long

us-politics

Via Gallup:  Majority in US No Longer Thinks Trump Keeps His Promises.

Changes in Turkey

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By a narrow margin, Turks voted for some significant changes.

French Presidential Elections on the Horizon

travel-suitcase

A week from today the French hold the first round in their presidential elections. See Matthew Shugart at Fruits and Votes for some France 2017 presidential scenarios.

On Impeachment Fantasies, Redux

Trump And GOP Elephant

The previous discussion continued.

On Impeachment Fantasies

Donald Trump Victory

Predicting election outcomes is different than predicting impeachment.

Betsy DeVos is “not a numbers person.”

Via WaPo: At a recent public forum, DeVos said her record in office should be graded on expansion of choice-friendly policies. She did not embrace a suggestion that she be judged on academic outcomes. “I’m not a numbers person,” she said. In fairness, that is one phrase and it lacks context. Also in fairness, however, if […]

The Unfriendly Skies

Via WaPo:  A man wouldn’t leave an overbooked United flight. So he was dragged off, battered and limp. United Airlines says a man wouldn’t give up his spot on an overbooked flight Sunday. So, according to witnesses and videos of the incident, he was pulled screaming from his seat by security, knocked against an arm […]

On the Evolution of SCOTUS

Supreme Court Building

When life terms means almost three decades on the bench, fights will be fierce.

On the History of the Filibuster

Senate Seal

Stop romanticizing the filibuster (and don’t appeal to the intent of the Founders).

A Photo for Friday: Give ’em an Inch

“Give ’em an Inch” March 22, 2017 Pike Road, AL

Today in “Say What?”

us-politics

Via the NYT:  Christian Bale in Talks to Play Dick Cheney in Biopic Also in talks for the still-untitled film about Mr. Cheney, the former vice president, are Steve Carell, who would play Donald Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary, and Amy Adams, who would play Mr. Cheney’s wife, Lynne. I honestly checked the date of the […]

Bannon out at NSC

us-politics

So reports Bloomberg:  Bannon Removed From National Security Council Role in Shakeup President Donald Trump reorganized his National Security Council on Wednesday, removing his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and downgrading the role of his Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, according to a person familiar with the decision and a regulatory filing. National Security Adviser H.R. […]

The Politics of Gorsuch

Scalia Seat SCOTUS

The ordinary and the extraordinary with the latest SCOTUS nomination.

More Flynn-Russia Connections

us-politics

Via the NYT:  Michael Flynn Failed to Disclose Income From Russia-Linked Entities. Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced out of the job in February, failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities on the first of two financial disclosure forms released Saturday by the Trump administration. […] Mr. Flynn has faced fierce criticism […]

The Power of Narrative: Gun Sales and Obama

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Perception v. reality.

Headline Reaction: No Kidding (SCOTUS Politics Edition)

us-politics

Via ABC News:  Political fights over Supreme Court seats nothing new

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