A number of press reports have picked up this exchange this morning between ABC’s Jonathan Karl and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. But people have missed the real significance. Priebus doesn’t discuss changing ‘press laws’ or ‘libel laws’. He specifically says that the White House has considered and continues to consider amending or even abolishing the 1st Amendment because of critical press coverage of President Trump.
Sound hyperbolic? Look at the actual exchange (emphasis added) …
So here we are at 100 Days, an arbitrary but nevertheless significant milestone in a presidency. I wanted to step back and size up its meaning, both to give ourselves some perspective but also for those from other countries who are less familiar with the US federal system.
Politico and the Times just broke news a short time ago that Jim DeMint, former Senator and now President of the Heritage Foundation, may be about to get the boot.
On the one hand, this is a pretty insider story: who runs one of the two or three big conservative think tanks in DC. But it’s a notable development on a few fronts.
Let me cut to the chase and tentatively answer the question: Yes, I’m pretty sure Fox News can suvive. At least in some form. But as we see an endless series of leaks and hints about the future of the organization, possible firings, reboots and more, there’s one part of the equation that seems uncannily to evade sustained discussion. That is how the ‘problems’ (a widespread culture of sexual harassment, hostile workplace, discrimination and general law-breaking) are almost umbilically tied to the product itself.
This is a must-read. Ruy Teixiera and John Judis are the coauthors of the still hotly debated 2002 The Emerging Democratic Majority. (I have my own pretty strong views on the matter.) In the intervening 15 years, their takes on the central premise of that book have diverged significantly. Here Judis interviews Teixeira about his new book The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century will be Better Than You Think.
Read Ruy and John’s conversation right here.
In honor of the impending hundredth day of Donald Trump’s presidency, I wanted to compile what will hopefully be a definitive list “Nobody could have known” Trump statements.
As I wrote a few days ago, one of the novelties of Trump’s presidency and public statements is not only his woeful lack of preparation and also incredible level of ignorance but his uncanny willingness to share, even eagerly share, his new discoveries. As I wrote then …
As I noted in my earlier post, the current push to get an Obamacare repeal bill through the House is basically sacrificing the electoral future of House moderates to achieve blame shifting purposes for the ‘Freedom Caucus’ and the White House. It seems up in the air now whether it’s going to be possible to get enough moderates to give in and hold a vote. But there’s something else to keep in mind regardless of the outcome.
This piece by TPM’s Tierney Sneed is really a must read for understanding the current situation with Trumpcare 2.0. The key issue is that this exercise is really not about passing a law that repeals or in some limited sense replaces Obamacare. It’s really about getting the Freedom Caucus (the far-right group among House Republicans) off the hook for failing to repeal Obamacare. And also, the 100 Days.
In early March, as part of my “Innocent Explanation” series, I discussed what I called the Mailer Standard. You can read the full background here. But the gist is that sometimes people cover up not because they know they’re guilty but because they don’t know. They don’t know whether they’re guilty or not. So they don’t know what investigators might find. In that case it was about the Kennedy assassination and the almost endless list of bad guys, unreliables and unknowns the CIA was working with in the early 1960s. I have long thought that something similar might be at work with the Trump administration with respect to the campaign’s ties to Russia and possibly Russia’s election interference campaign.
For Prime members and non-Prime members, I wanted to give you an important update on the site and any technical or ad related issues you may have seen in recent days or may see in the next few days.
A new wrinkle in the two main stories happening right now on parallel tracks on the Hill: House Democrats this morning are threatening to bail on a deal to pass a short term spending resolution to avoid a government shutdown IF House Republicans proceed with a quick vote on the revised Obamacare repeal bill.
Why would Democrats want to keep the vote from happening right away?
President Trump says he’s considering breaking up the 9th federal judicial circuit since it’s been the source of so many of his reversals. First of all, the President can’t do that. Congress has to do that. Secondly, Trump’s comments suggests that thinks that ‘breaking up’ the 9th circuit would somehow mean that all the judges on the West Coast would be fired and wouldn’t get in his way anymore. It wouldn’t. In fact, it has nothing to do with that at all. Breaking up the 9th district has always been a pet issue for some on the right. I doubt very much it will happen. But if it did, it would just mean creating a couple new districts. The same judges would still be there. Especially down at the trial level.