04.23.2017 - 1:20 PM EDT

I mentioned yesterday that in the closely watched and highly consequential French election today we should remember that the President of the United States is supporting the hyper-nationalist, far-right anti-semitic candidate, Marine Le Pen. The US is almost always officially neutral in the elections of major European allies. But we’ve spent a decent amount of time working against the rise of neo-fascist and far right parties. Here we’ve weighing in in favor. I saw a few people say, well … that was in the campaign but a lot’s changed since the campaign.

Not really. He made what even the AP recognized as a de facto endorsement only two days ago.

From the AP …

04.22.2017 - 11:45 AM EDT

We know that President is undergoing a major, public ego injury tantrum because he has failed to manage any major legislative accomplishments in his first 100 days in office. The scale of the failure is so total one would almost need a Kelvin Scale of fail to capture its full extent. But in addition to all the other panicked flailing, there’s this gambit that seems to have gotten fairly little notice.

President Trump has now at least opened the door to denying he’s not even at 100 days, that people are miscounting and that is in fact at only just over 60 days. 

04.22.2017 - 10:55 AM EDT

It now seems clear that next week President Trump plans to provoke a spending showdown that could well lead to a shutdown of the federal government. This is strange for so many reasons. The modern government shutdown goes back to the mid-90s. There were technically government shutdowns in earlier decades. But these were brief spending gaps in the context of on-going negotiations. It didn’t occur to anyone to take the federal government hostage to extort policy changes from political opponents until the advent of the Newt Gingrich Speakership.

Before they become notorious reputational debacles, Gingrich was quite clear about what he was doing. He would shut the government down, break President Bill Clinton’s will with the pressure and bend Clinton to his will and policy dictation. There were two shutdowns under Clinton and the Republican Congress. There was one under President Obama in 2013 and a debt ceiling crisis in 2011 which wasn’t a shutdown but had the same legislative hostage taking dynamics. The one recurring pattern is that shutdowns happen in the context of divided government. To be more specific, they happen when there is a Democratic President and Republicans in control of one or two houses of Congress. It simply never occurred to anyone before now that there would be a shutdown crisis when one party had unified control of the entire government still less that a President whose party controlled Congress would threaten to shut the government down to extort policy concessions from a party that controls nothing.

And yet, here we are.

04.21.2017 - 4:48 PM EDT

We’re familiar with President Trump’s dystopian vision of an America in chaos, preyed on by foreigners and awash in citizens violated by feral criminals and “illegals.” Through last year’s campaign and into this year, Trump has repeatedly lied about the national crime rate, murder rates and much more. Here though is a case where anti-immigrant policies continue to be justified by at least deliberately misleading statements and what can only be called incitement.

Here’s a statement released today by the Justice Department, justifying a letter sent out to nine so-called “sanctuary cities” threatening loss of federal funds if they don’t collaborate and assist Trump administration immigration policies.

Here’s the second paragraph (emphasis added) …

04.21.2017 - 3:06 PM EDT

President Trump explains the impact of his new executive orders: “This is such a privilege for me to sign. It’s the beginning of a whole new way of life that this country hasn’t seen in really many, many years. I want to thank you and I want to god bless America.”

04.21.2017 - 2:16 PM EDT

Driven by his embarrassment over having accomplished virtually nothing (at least in terms of legislation) in his first 100 days in office, President Trump will next week try to repeal Obamacare, fund the government and avoid a government shut down and (just announced) introduce his tax reform proposal.

04.21.2017 - 9:03 AM EDT

If you clear away all the schadenfreude and chaos around Bill O’Reilly’s defenestration from the heights of the Fox News tower in midtown Manhattan, there’s a fascinating little detail. You’ve no doubt seen O’Reilly’s claims that he’d been forced out because of a liberal smear campaign against him. Everyone with half a sense has responded that O’Reilly got booted because of his years of abusive behavior, because his behavior finally became too public and because his bosses decided that the financial and reputational impact of his behavior was more than they could tolerate. What is notable though is this day after revelation that shows how in a very mendacious, embittered and embattled way he actually thought this was true.

04.20.2017 - 6:00 PM EDT

Yesterday I mentioned this week’s episode of The Josh Marshall Show, my discussion with historian Timothy Snyder. We talk about his 2003 book The Reconstruction of Nations, the tumultuous evolution of states and national identity in northeastern Europe, Russian revanchism, radical nationalism and more. I really enjoyed this discussion and I hope you do too. Click here to listen.

04.20.2017 - 4:29 PM EDT

President Trump whether he believes a “strong Europe is important for the United States”: “Yes, a strong Europe is very, very important to me as president of the United States and it is also in my opinion, in my very strong opinion, important for the United States. We want to see it. We will help it be strong, and it is very much to everybody’s advantage. I look very much forward to meeting the Pope.”

It’s notable that as normally understood, this sounds like a re-statement of decades-long US policy which President Trump, and especially candidate Trump, had departed from rather dramatically. Yet it is equally notable that this statement doesn’t include any explicit mention of the EU or NATO.

04.20.2017 - 4:16 PM EDT

Trump at press conference with Italian Prime Minister: “A responsible approach to refugees is one that seeks the eventual return of refugees to their home countries so that they can help to rebuild their own nations.”

04.20.2017 - 2:32 PM EDT

Maryland cops create new hate crime protected class (Trump supporters) to prosecute two black teens.

04.20.2017 - 11:56 AM EDT

Let’s stop for a moment and note that President Trump and his skeletal foreign policy team have accomplished the fairly difficult feat of deeply alienating South Koreans (and seemingly many Japanese as well) while notionally protecting them from the threat of a militaristic and aggressive North Korea.

CNN host and former Fox News reporter Alisyn Camerota on Sunday said that former...
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Sunday dodged questions about whether he wants President Donald Trump...
President Donald Trump on Sunday took a vague tack to explaining how exactly he...
Members of Congress on Sunday agreed: It would be irresponsible of President Donald Trump and...
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Sunday said that “one way or the other” President...

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