Early and Often

Trump Declassifies Russia Probe Documents in Latest Attempt to Undermine Mueller

While President Trump declassifying documents “at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency,” may sound like routine presidential behavior, the directive announced by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday afternoon was actually a dramatic escalation of his attempts to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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As Chinese Find Ways to Cope With Trump’s Trade Bullying, Americans Are Still Set to Lose

President Donald Trump on Monday evening announced another round of tariffs on about $200 billion worth of goods imported from China. The tariffs will start at 10 percent, effective September 24, before rising to 25 percent at the end of the year. In combination with those announced earlier this year, Trump has now imposed levies on nearly half of all Chinese imports to the U.S.

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For Third Straight Year, Trump Administration Lowers Refugee Cap

While in the old days just a few years ago conservative Republican rebels against Chamber of Commerce/Bush-era orthodoxy worried about undocumented immigrants, the Trump administration has been very faithful to a vision of reduced immigration of every sort. Team Trump has been willing to put up with a lot of bad publicity to keep dusky foreigners out, as evidenced by its determination to apply a “zero-tolerance” policy towards asylum-seekers who cross the border illegally, even if that means separating families. But the administration is also more quietly ratcheting down the number of refugees from “bad” places with bad problems who are allowed to enter the U.S., despite the tens of millions of displaced people who need help.

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Trump Should Have Nominated a Woman to the Supreme Court

Two specters from the early 1990s haunt today’s conservatives when it comes to their efforts to reshape a closely divided Supreme Court. The first is David Souter, the “stealth justice” George H.W. Bush appointed in 1990 who eventually turned out to be a reliable member of the Court’s liberal bloc. The other is Clarence Thomas, whose relatively easy confirmation in 1991 was very nearly overturned by late-breaking revelations concerning his behavior towards women.

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Republicans: Christine Ford Won’t Have Guts to Testify Against Kavanaugh. (She Does.)

Republicans scrambling to respond to Christine Blasey Ford’s detailed sexual assault allegations against their Supreme Court nominee quickly formulated a response: Offer to let Ford testify. Then, when she doesn’t have the guts to do it, declare the case settled. “This gambit basically bets that she will decline,” reports Axios this morning, “and Republicans can then say that they tried to investigate further.”

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Three Republican Senators Open to Delaying Kavanaugh Vote Over Sexual Assault Allegation

On Sunday it looked increasingly likely that a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination could be delayed — if not derailed entirely — after three Republican senators sided with Democrats in saying they need more information on Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her while they were both teenagers.

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The Letter Accusing Kavanaugh of Sexual Assault Has Been Published

It was reported last week that Senator Dianne Feinstein had received a letter from a constituent detailing alleged sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his high school years. His accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, went public with her story on Sunday in an interview with the Washington Post, and now, the text of her letter to Feinstein has been published by CNN.

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The “Little Jerk”

Has a politician ever debased himself more in public than when Lindsey Graham eulogized his friend John McCain? Bleary-eyed from grief, the senior senator from South Carolina took his place at the lectern on the Senate floor and insisted on his own inferiority. He was the Great Man’s mascot, his funny little buddy — his “wingman,” he said — lucky to have walked in his shadow and blessed to have been loved by him. McCain, who used pejoratives as endearments, called Graham “Little Jerk.” Recalling this, Graham looked up from his notes, seeming to be considering its meaning for the first time. “You’ve all got your names,” he said darkly. “And you earned them like I did.”

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Andrew Sullivan's Liveblogs

July 28, 2016

The Last Night of the DNC

Clinton didn’t screw it up – but she didn’t soar either. She owned her wonkishness.