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.
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.
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.
When Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in late June, it looked like getting a successor nominated and confirmed by the beginning of the next Court term (and before the midterm elections) involved a tight but manageable schedule if everything went as planned.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny
By Andrew Sullivan
Inside the most unorthodox campaign in political history.
By Gabriel Sherman
There’s nothing simple about this candidacy—or candidate.
By Rebecca Traister
What should Democrats in Congress — and Barack Obama, and you — do now?
By Jonathan Chait
Select All / Nov. 9, 2016
Social media helped overturn the political order.By Max Read
The Cut / May 12, 2016
What I learned listening to Stern with my father.By Stella Bugbee
Science of Us / Dec. 9, 2016
In the richest country in the world, one bad break can trigger a downward spiral.By Jesse Singal