On Friday, a New York Times article made the rounds which profiled the Concerned Community Citizens (“or C-Cubed”) of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, an Islamophobic group obsessing over the local population of Somali refugees and fretting about white replacement. “I think of America, the great assimilator, as a rubber band, but with this — we’re at the breaking point,” Kim Crockett, vice president of a think tank called the Center of the American Experiment, told the Times. “These aren’t people coming from Norway, let’s put it that way. These people are very visible.”
This morning, the Saint Cloud Times, the local newspaper, hit back at the Islamophobia in its community.
In an obscure move that hasn’t garnered much attention, President Trump has begun the process of withdrawing from the international postal union that establishes protocols for global mail delivery, a move which threatens to jeopardize the ability of Americans overseas to cast absentee ballots.
As recently as last week, the White House convened a meeting of stakeholders who work with overseas voters to discuss the exit, TPM has learned. But voting advocates remain apprehensive that the federal and state governments are unprepared for the ramifications of a U.S. withdrawal from the postal union, which could come as soon as this fall.
Tierney Sneed has our exclusive report.
I wouldn’t say this is altogether surprising. The President is pretty convincing on this front. But according to Jerry Nadler, in her closed door testimony, Hope Hicks told the House Judiciary Committee that she believed President Trump was serious when he said he would again accept foreign assistance in the 2020 presidential election. “Ms. Hicks made clear that she understood the president to be serious when he said that he would accept foreign interference in our elections.” The transcript of her testimony is expected to be released either today or tomorrow. As I noted last night, I expect it to come through channels like this.
The NRA has tossed (technically “suspended”) its chief lobbyist for conspiring against Wayne LaPierre in the failed coup waged against him by deposed NRA President Ollie North, erstwhile ad firm Ackerman McQueen and other anti-Wayne forces who are now all going either to the rack or the sword.
I wanted to share this moment from last night’s campaign launch speech. In terms of projection, fury and borderline eliminationist rhetoric it captured the entire performance …
welp "Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage. They want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/zIc4qMZ8Wf
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) June 19, 2019
The New York Times has a rather lengthy and Timesian piece out this morning on the on-going mystery of Jerry Falwell Jr, his wife and family and this “pool boy” who they befriended and then put into the divey youth hostel business in South Florida. For those who’ve read the earlier reporting by Politico, Buzzfeed and Reuters, there’s no big new bombshell or piece of evidence in the new piece. (If anyone’s read it and thinks otherwise, let me know.) What there is is bits and pieces of more confirmation and nuggets of detail throughout. It’s a classic Timesian piece, the kind fellow journalists often grind their teeth over. The Times comes in late, largely with other people’s reporting and makes the whole thing official with splash of Times holy water. And yet, as usual, they’ve used their name and resources to unearth enough new details and additional confirmations to put the whole edifice on a rather firmer footing.
We still have a close to inexplicable chain of events in which Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife befriended young Giancarlo Granda, a pool attendant they met at a luxe, high life hotel in Miami Beach. As the Times puts it: “The Falwells, according to the person close to them, were impressed with Mr. Granda’s ambition. Soon he was hiking and water skiing with them in Virginia. Within months, they were offering to help him get started in business in Florida.”
A new Quinnipiac poll has Joe Biden far out ahead of every other Democratic presidential candidate (41%), with Bernie Sanders (14%) and Elizabeth Warren (12%) in close to a tie. Notably, Biden and Sanders are in close to a tie among Democrats 18-49 (Biden 26%, Sanders 28%) while Democrats 50 and over are all but unanimous (Biden 52%, Sanders 5%).
Biden is beating Trump handily in a state match-up 50%-41%. And the rest are in the standard pattern. Sanders 48% v Trump 42%. Warren 47% v Trump 43%. Harris and Buttigieg both have a 1 point margin over Trump.
I want to share with you an offer we’re going to be making to existing Prime subscribers later this month and also a request, one that is very important to the future of TPM. I’d be greatly obliged if you’d give me just a few moments to explain what we’re doing and why it’s very important to the future of TPM.
Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) announces she’s decided to support beginning an impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Here’s the video of her announcement. The Cook Report rates her district (CA-45) as a R+3 district.
Today I wanted to speak directly to the people of CA-45. There's been a lot of noise in D.C. and in the press about impeachment, so I wanted to share my thoughts with you. pic.twitter.com/ceri6lHwbY
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) June 18, 2019
President Trump’s instantly notorious interview with George Stephanopoulos in which he expressed openness to receiving foreign government assistance in the 2020 presidential election sparked a flurry of pushback and denunciations. The Chair of the FEC released a statement rebuking the President. Various lawyers noted laws prohibiting candidates from accepting things of value from foreign nationals. But many of the criticisms themselves illustrate more than anything the impact almost three years of Republican gaslighting, goal post moving and obfuscation has had on the public debate in this country. The fact that accepting assistance from a foreign government – which President Trump wants to establish as the new norm – might technically be construed as a campaign finance violation is close to the least relevant thing about what happened in the 2016 election. This should also remind us that most the scandal of the 2016 election and what amounts to the permanent scandal of the Trump presidency involves wrongdoing and misrule that is simply not captured by our statutory law. They are attacks on the nature of a civic republican government and principles embedded throughout the federal constitution.
According to the Times, the Pentagon’s cybercommand is taking newly aggressive steps to inject cyberweapons into Russian critical infrastructure. But they are withholding this information from the President because among other reasons they consider him a security threat and they fear he might countermand the orders or share the information with Russian officials.
Someone asked me this morning how it is that Don McGahn still refuses to testify to Congress even after Donald Trump is literally accusing him of committing a felony by lying under oath in his testimony to the Special Counsel’s Office. One point to note here: no one thinks that the White House can bind McGahn. The White House can arguably give him a rationale, legal reason to refuse to testify. But he’s definitely free to do what he wants. So why is he still doing Trump’s bidding?
The answer is as clear as it is depressing.