Abbreviated pundit roundup: The GOP’s plan to make the rich richer

We begin today’s roundup with The New York Times and its editorial on the new GOP tax plan:

With their new bill that would slash taxes on the wealthy and blow up the federal budget deficit, House Republicans and President Trump are making it absolutely clear whom they are working for — the top 1 percent — and whom they consider dispensable. Well, that’s pretty much everybody else…It will take experts weeks to fully analyze the House tax bill, but what we already know is frightening enough. No Republican who cares about fairness, economic sense and the financial health of the government can support with a clear conscience this shameless wealth transfer.

Here is John Cassidy’s take at The New Yorker:

[I]n gauging how the legislation would affect corporations and very wealthy people, we can be definitive: they will benefit hugely. Despite the fact that the bill

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: What adults? Where?

Brian Beutler/Crooked Media:

The contrast between Benghazi and Niger as political events parallels the contrast between how the American political system processed revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct and how we processed similar revelations about the male leaders of Fox News—and even the Republican president of the United States.

In each case the institutions of the right responded to key developments instrumentally, revealing through the shifting scenes and casts of characters that their animating concerns weren’t protecting Americans serving in dangerous parts of the world, or protecting women in the workforce from powerful, abusive men, but making partisan brickbats of those incidents when possible, to advance unrelated goals.

The institutions of the left, by contrast, addressed each event in close to neutral fashion, guided primarily by their commitments to competent governing, and the physical well-being of fellow citizens.

This illustrates a fundamental characterological difference between the American left and

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Abbreviated pundit roundup: Attacking a Gold Star widow, tax reform lies and more

We begin today’s roundup with the continued attacks on Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson. First up, Amy Davidson Sorkin at The New Yorker:

There were two moments during her interview on “Good Morning America” when the expression of the face of Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson, was transformed by a sudden smile. One came when George Stephanopoulos asked if it was true that she and La David—who was twenty-five when he died, three weeks ago, in Niger—had met when they were just six years old. “Yes, sir,” Johnson said. The other was when he mentioned that she was expecting her third child, a daughter, in January. Her oldest child is six now. Those are circumstances that could overwhelm anyone. But Johnson, throughout the six-and-a-half-minute interview, was steady, calm, and focussed on two goals: asking for answers about how her husband had

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Politicians panic over party positioning

Josh Kraushaar/National journal (free article):

House GOP Fears Wave in 2018 as Money Woes Grow

The odds of Nancy Pelosi becoming speaker again are rising as Republican donors show frustration over the party’s stalled agenda on Capitol Hill.

Of the 53 House Republicans facing competitive races, according to Cook Political Report ratings, a whopping 21 have been outraised by at least one Democratic opponent in the just-completed fundraising quarter. That’s a stunningly high number this early in the cycle, one that illustrates just how favorable the political environment is for House Democrats….

The odds of a Democratic House takeover in 2018 have never looked greater this election cycle. One plugged-in House Democratic strategist, who has previously been circumspect about the party’s chances to win control of the lower chamber, put the chances of Nancy Pelosi again becoming speaker at a 7 (with 10 being the most

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The politics of being above politics


NY Times:

Kelly, in Defending Trump Call, Holds Up Military as an Elite Class

After his remarks, Mr. Kelly permitted only those reporters who knew families of dead service members, called Gold Star families, to ask questions.

Phil Klay, a Marine veteran and the author of “Redeployment,” a collection of short stories about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he had little problem with most of Mr. Kelly’s remarks, but took umbrage at his restrictions on the questioning.

“If the problem is that most Americans aren’t engaged, then saying that only those who are engaged can ask about this, then that is deeply counterproductive,” Mr. Klay said in an interview. “This is deeply critical to us

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: A tale of three tweets

Trump has changed the picture on his Twitter account to one that shows him chairing a meeting of FEMA in anticipation of hurricane season—just to add that extra frisson of horror you didn’t know you were missing. But rather than writing at length his morning, here’s a tale in the space of three tweets.



— Jason Sparks (@sparksjls) August 6, 2017

— Trump Draws (@TrumpDraws) August 6, 2017

Look, it’s not as if I want Donald Trump to be in Washington. So what if he’s spent 53 days vacationing at tax

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Chaos in the WH in every area


GOP lawmakers square off against Trump

Senate Republicans spent the past week boxing in the president on Russia, health care and Robert Mueller

Senate Republicans spent their last week before a four-week August recess on a series of moves with one main goal: Reining in Donald Trump.

The GOP delivered an unstated declaration of independence from their own Republican president by passing a Russia sanctions bill he resisted, rebuffing his demands they try again on health care after the spectacular implosion of Obamacare repeal, even taking steps to head off any attempt by Trump to fire the special counsel investigating him, Robert Mueller.