White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, senior adviser Jared Kushner, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and counselor to the president Hope Hicks, for starters.
It now seems likely that President Trump will lose his bid for reelection in November and perhaps by a margin large enough to head off any effort to contest the results and unconstitutionally hold on to power. But even if this doesn’t happen in November it will happen one day. Now is the time to plan for accountability for and recovery from the catastrophe of Trumpism.
One of the most abiding criticisms of the Obama administration is that no one was held accountable for the actions that led to the 2008 financial crisis. Relatedly, but addressing a different set of equities, others criticized Obama for ‘turning the page’ on the manipulated intelligence scandals that led to the Iraq War. These are complicated questions that are beyond the scope of this discussion. But there are at least potent reasons to avoid the cycle which has plagued so many countries in which losing power means vulnerability to political prosecutions and the necessity of exile.
But we often get this part of the civic accountability calculus wrong. Prosecution and criminal punishment play an important role in combating public wrongdoing. But they are not the most important tool. Indeed it often operates at cross purposes to the far more important goal of public exposure.
At this point, multiple Republicans and Trump allies have done their damnedest to quietly nudge President Trump on masks — all without actually calling him out for it.
“Woodrow Wilson was in wide company in being a white supremacist at the turn of the 20th century, but he stands apart in having overseen the triumph of this ideology at home and abroad,” writes journalist and author Colin Woodard for Cafe.
TPM Reader BL writes in to offer a clarification on the gun-toting couple in St. Louis. It’s potentially important context in a legal sense, but in the larger context I’m not so sure that armed residents of a Gilded Age knockoff of an Italian Renaissance palazzo defending their own private street patrolled by private security guards changes the essential meaning we can draw from this cartoonish encounter:
Back in the days of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious Senate confirmation, the Washington Post killed a story that could’ve exposed a striking example of Kavanaugh’s public disingenuousness.
Here is a new source of COVID data I want to share with you: outbreak.info. There are a lot of these sites and I try to dig into just who is running them and what standards they’re using for their data. This one appears to be the work of a team headed up by Andrew Su at the Scripps Research Center Institute in La Jolla. A lot of the data is what you find at other great sites like The COVID Tracking Project, the Johns Hopkins data site, etc. But this is a team specializing in bioinformatics. So they’ve worked on creating uniform formats for COVID data so the data can be efficiently and accurately meshed together – so the data can talk to each other.
TPM Reader MD writes in with his personal account of the St. Louis protest that featured the gun-waving Bonnie and Clyde in front of their “Midwestern palazzo”:
Trump just re-tweeted images of the gun-toting St. Louis couple, so this seems destined to become a national obsession. Might as well send you my two cents.
I was in St. Louis last night. In fact, I attended the protest. Let me give you a play-by-play.
Yesterday I discussed how shifting age demographics could mean fewer deaths from the current COVID outbreaks than the ones mostly in the North in March and April. Here’s a much more granular discussion of this issue at the COVID Tracking website. Highly recommend if you’re interested in going deeper on this question.
In a letter obtained by TPM, Dallas’ mayor asked HHS Secretary Azar to continue federal support for two testing sites in his city. Sens. Cruz and Cornyn have made the same request for seven sites across the state. The incident commander of the Dallas sites is holding out hope that federal support might continue.
But as the COVID outbreak in the state intensifies, the sunset date for federal support — June 30 — is drawing near.
We should remember that until quite recently — just about a year ago — Harriet Tubman was scheduled to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. It wasn’t just an idea. Much of the work and preparation had already been done. But the plan was canceled because it made President Trump mad.
One of the most persistent mysteries of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. is why cases have largely plateaued (until the last couple weeks) while mortality figures have fallen substantially. As we’ve discussed, there’s been an ongoing debate about disentangling the evolving case counts from the ongoing rise in the number of tests being conducted every day. But particularly as cases started to rise in June it is clear that cases are growing well in excess of what can be explained by more testing. So why have the daily mortality numbers dropped? Why the disjuncture between the two numbers, even taking into account a two- or three-week lag between spikes in new cases and people succumbing to the disease?
Five years ago, former cop Seth Stoughton wrote one of the best things we’ve ever published at TPM. It was on point, expert yet accessible, and very timely. Now he’s back, with co-author Karen Collins Rice, with a new piece on the need to dramatically change police culture to embrace the guardian ethos.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) angry-tweeted it this morning. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is pushing back against the feds over it. Four members of Congress and local officials reached out to the Trump administration expressing “urgent concern” after we broke the news.
As we noted this morning, we still don’t know what was so urgent or important that Bill Barr tried to force the ouster of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York on Friday evening, even going so far as to lie in a series of press releases and letters about what US Attorney Geoff Berman had done (resigned; he hadn’t) or what President Trump had done (fired Berman; he denied it). But another critical question is why Barr thought he could trust the US Attorney from the District of New Jersey to handle whatever it was he couldn’t leave in the hands of Geoff Berman or his deputy Audrey Strauss, who would normally succeed him.
This is important. Also, I couldn’t have said it better than TPM Reader JS …
So…I took the bait and clicked on your free offer of Prime Ad Free for two weeks. I intended to bail after the free two weeks but alas…I’m not. Why? Because it’s so much better!
As I said last week, we’re so confident you’ll love Prime AF (Ad Free) we’re currently offering two weeks of AF to any Prime member totally free and with zero obligation. You can start the free trial by clicking one button and it’s just as simple to end the trial if you decide it’s not for you. Even if you don’t plan to upgrade, we’d love it if you’d just give it a try. Like JS we don’t think you’ll want to go back.
Just as important, this is a great way and a really important way to support our team’s work. It helps nudge us forward to even less dependence on paid advertising. Ready to give it a try? If you’re a Prime member, just click here. You’ll go to a page that explains the details with one simple button to push to get started.
As a man who above all things lacks discipline, Trump always tells on himself. People are rightly focusing on his casual claim to have told “his people” to “slow the testing down” to keep the COVID numbers low. The assumption has been that he’s possibly doing this now. And perhaps he is – we can never underestimate Trump’s depravity. But the US has now actually done a pretty sizable amount of testing relative to other major countries, even on a per capita basis. And the number of tests completed each day continues to creep up. There’s not a lot of clear evidence this is happening now. But there is a lot of evidence and has been for months that this is precisely what happened during the critical early weeks of the pandemic, from late January through the first weeks of March. That was the critical window of time in which the fate of tens of thousands of Americans was sealed.