Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Yellow orange edition

Donald Trump’s Saturday morning Twitter flurry, which included not one, or two, but three seperate tweets attacking Hillary Clinton should serve as a reminder that there’s one term that gets left out all too often when describing Trump. Sure. He’s a pompous jackass. Absolutely, he’s a know-nothing idiot who has not the first clue about history, or science, or the lives that are lived by people who weren’t born with a silver spoon in every orifice. But there’s one term that sums Donald Trump up better than all the rest.

He’s a coward.

Nine months after the election, Trump is still hiding behind HIllary’s skirts every time he feels the least bit of heat. 

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Abbreviated pundit roundup: A constitutional crisis in the making

Donald Trump’s comments during an interview this week with The New York Times reveal a president who believes he is above the law and who has no qualms about hinting at the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller. Indeed, as The New York Times reports:

President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused, according to three people with knowledge of the research effort.

Here is The New York Times editorial board on the interview:

In less than an hour on Wednesday afternoon, President Trump found a way to impugn the integrity and threaten the livelihoods of nearly all of the country’s top law

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Abbreviated pundit roundup: A constitutional crisis in the making

Donald Trump’s comments during an interview this week with The New York Times reveal a president who believes he is above the law and who has no qualms about hinting at the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller. Indeed, as The New York Times reports:

President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused, according to three people with knowledge of the research effort.

Here is The New York Times editorial board on the interview:

In less than an hour on Wednesday afternoon, President Trump found a way to impugn the integrity and threaten the livelihoods of nearly all of the country’s top law

Continue reading “Abbreviated pundit roundup: A constitutional crisis in the making”

Abbreviated pundit roundup: Republicans don’t have the votes to pass unpopular Trumpcare bill

We begin today’s roundup with The New York Times and its editorial on the failure of the Trumpcare bill:

Republican legislative leaders are in a bind. While they appear to have failed for now in their goal of destroying the Affordable Care Act, their eagerness to shower tax breaks on the wealthy at the expense of health coverage for millions of Americans has crimped their ability to pass other fiscal legislation.

This is not a lament. It’s just as well that they haven’t done anything big, given their goals. But it is a stunning demonstration of incompetence that, with control of the House, the Senate and the White House for six months, Republicans have not only failed to enact any major bills but have also created a legislative logjam that is bound to get worse. […]

After years spent as obstructionists, obstruction seems to be all they know. Now

Continue reading “Abbreviated pundit roundup: Republicans don’t have the votes to pass unpopular Trumpcare bill”

Abbreviated pundit roundup: Republicans don’t have the votes to pass unpopular Trumpcare bill

We begin today’s roundup with The New York Times and its editorial on the failure of the Trumpcare bill:

Republican legislative leaders are in a bind. While they appear to have failed for now in their goal of destroying the Affordable Care Act, their eagerness to shower tax breaks on the wealthy at the expense of health coverage for millions of Americans has crimped their ability to pass other fiscal legislation.

This is not a lament. It’s just as well that they haven’t done anything big, given their goals. But it is a stunning demonstration of incompetence that, with control of the House, the Senate and the White House for six months, Republicans have not only failed to enact any major bills but have also created a legislative logjam that is bound to get worse. […]

After years spent as obstructionists, obstruction seems to be all they know. Now

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Thief, traitor and liar edition

ABC:

Sixty-three percent in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, say it was inappropriate for Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign manager to have met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign. Six in 10 also think Russia tried to influence the campaign, and among those who say so, 67 percent think Trump aides helped, similar to results in April.

Yet the Russia controversy is just one on the list of Trump’s troubles. Just 38 percent say he’s making significant progress toward his goals; 55 percent think not. With no apparent help from the G-20 summit, two-thirds don’t trust him to negotiate with other world leaders — or with Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically — on America’s behalf. And about half say the country’s world leadership has grown weaker under Trump; just 27 percent say it’s gotten stronger.

WaPo (same poll):

Independents

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: It’s still fascism

Donald Trump announced his candidacy back in June of 2015, and though he got some mention in other articles, I went all the way to November before I did my first piece entirely donated to Donald.

Sixty million people died in World War II, but fascism won. It didn’t win on the battlefield. It didn’t win right away. It won because the same fears, the same greed, the same hatred that fueled its growth in the first part of the twentieth century never went away.

The symbols of fascism became anathema, but the causes … went deep. And gradually, slowly, one step at a time, all those vices became first tolerated, then treated as virtues, and then as the only acceptable view.

That was my view of Trump then — the manifestation of how America had grown not just to accept, but celebrate, all the hatred, prejudice, fear, and repression that marks the

Continue reading “Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: It’s still fascism”

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: It’s still fascism

Donald Trump announced his candidacy back in June of 2015, and though he got some mention in other articles, I went all the way to November before I did my first piece entirely donated to Donald.

Sixty million people died in World War II, but fascism won. It didn’t win on the battlefield. It didn’t win right away. It won because the same fears, the same greed, the same hatred that fueled its growth in the first part of the twentieth century never went away.

The symbols of fascism became anathema, but the causes … went deep. And gradually, slowly, one step at a time, all those vices became first tolerated, then treated as virtues, and then as the only acceptable view.

That was my view of Trump then — the manifestation of how America had grown not just to accept, but celebrate, all the hatred, prejudice, fear, and repression that marks the

Continue reading “Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: It’s still fascism”

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: It’s still fascism

Donald Trump announced his candidacy back in June of 2015, and though he got some mention in other articles, I went all the way to November before I did my first piece entirely donated to Donald.

Sixty million people died in World War II, but fascism won. It didn’t win on the battlefield. It didn’t win right away. It won because the same fears, the same greed, the same hatred that fueled its growth in the first part of the twentieth century never went away.

The symbols of fascism became anathema, but the causes … went deep. And gradually, slowly, one step at a time, all those vices became first tolerated, then treated as virtues, and then as the only acceptable view.

That was my view of Trump then — the manifestation of how America had grown not just to accept, but celebrate, all the hatred, prejudice, fear, and repression that marks the

Continue reading “Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: It’s still fascism”

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: It’s still fascism

Donald Trump announced his candidacy back in June of 2015, and though he got some mention in other articles, I went all the way to November before I did my first piece entirely donated to Donald.

Sixty million people died in World War II, but fascism won. It didn’t win on the battlefield. It didn’t win right away. It won because the same fears, the same greed, the same hatred that fueled its growth in the first part of the twentieth century never went away.

The symbols of fascism became anathema, but the causes … went deep. And gradually, slowly, one step at a time, all those vices became first tolerated, then treated as virtues, and then as the only acceptable view.

That was my view of Trump then — the manifestation of how America had grown not just to accept, but celebrate, all the hatred, prejudice, fear, and repression that marks the

Continue reading “Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: It’s still fascism”

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: What REALLY matters

Jeremy Peters/NY Times:

Beyond foreign policy, some conservatives saw Mr. Putin as a committed warrior in the culture wars they were losing at home. In Russia Mr. Putin led a crackdown on gay rights by taking such steps as criminalizing behavior that could be seen as promoting anything other than heterosexual relationships. This has earned him praise from leaders of the Christian right like Franklin Graham, who said in 2014 that Russia was doing more than the United States to protect its children.

Writing in 2013, Pat Buchanan, the commentator whose anti-establishment, conservative presidential campaigns in the 1990s emphasized such social issues, described Mr. Putin as a natural ally.

“In the culture war for mankind’s future, is he one of us?” Mr. Buchanan wrote, quickly answering his own question. “He is seeking to redefine the ‘Us vs. Them’ world conflict of the future as

Continue reading “Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: What REALLY matters”

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: What REALLY matters

Jeremy Peters/NY Times:

Beyond foreign policy, some conservatives saw Mr. Putin as a committed warrior in the culture wars they were losing at home. In Russia Mr. Putin led a crackdown on gay rights by taking such steps as criminalizing behavior that could be seen as promoting anything other than heterosexual relationships. This has earned him praise from leaders of the Christian right like Franklin Graham, who said in 2014 that Russia was doing more than the United States to protect its children.

Writing in 2013, Pat Buchanan, the commentator whose anti-establishment, conservative presidential campaigns in the 1990s emphasized such social issues, described Mr. Putin as a natural ally.

“In the culture war for mankind’s future, is he one of us?” Mr. Buchanan wrote, quickly answering his own question. “He is seeking to redefine the ‘Us vs. Them’ world conflict of the future as

Continue reading “Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: What REALLY matters”

Abbreviated pundit roundup: Senate GOP’s new health care bill is still horrible

We begin today’s roundup with reaction to the latest version of Trumpcare to come from the Senate GOP. First up, The Washington Post:

SENATE REPUBLICANS released Thursday a new version of their Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill. It is arguably worse than the unpopular bill that preceded it.

In their revision, Senate leaders tried to blunt the charge that the GOP wants to cut poor people’s health care to fund tax cuts for the rich. Taxes on wealthy people’s investment income were indeed maintained. But the bill would deeply slash Medicaid, the state-federal program covering the poor and near-poor, just as before. And it would still use the savings to fund an array of tax cuts, including a break for medical-device manufacturers. It would even add a new tax break expanding tax-advantaged health savings accounts, which would mostly benefit wealthier people who have savings to put into them.

Russell Berman at The

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Throw more alligators in the swamp

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James Hohmann/WaPo:

Email to Donald Trump Jr. could be a smoking gun, as Russia connections deepen

THE BIG IDEA: There is a paper trail.

Last night, the New York Times reported: “Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email. The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about

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Abbreviated pundit roundup: First smoke, now fire on Trump campaign’s Russia collusion

We begin today’s roundup with The Washington Post and its editorial on the bombshell NYT report that Donald Trump Jr. accepted a meeting to obtain Russian oppo research on Hillary Clinton: 

It will be up to federal prosecutors to determine whether federal conspiracy laws or election laws barring campaigns from soliciting help from foreigners have been implicated. What we already can say is that the plausibility of the Trump camp’s narrative, in which any underhanded Russian assistance came without the campaign’s witting participation, is eroding. The president’s associates must now explain interactions with Russians that they previously insisted never took place.

David Faris at The Week notes that Don Jr. has made some pretty incriminating public statements as he has tried to deny any wrongdoing:

Because the Times story was sourced to three White House advisers, there was little sense in denying the meeting took place. Trump the Junior immediately copped

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Single payer? Let’s talk. Oh, Russia, too.

Listen to this short piece and you realize what’s missing from our reporting.

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Wittenberg Edition

A bit over a year ago, I wrote an article on Utopia. 2016 was the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s original Utopia, and it seemed like a good time to reclaim both the name and the concept of Utopia. At the time, I confidently announced that I was taking on Utopia as a project. That I wanted to provide both a definition and a path toward a Utopia that, 500 years later, would seem … Utopian. 

Frankly, when I made that statement I expected to spend this year arguing over whether we were raising the minimum wage fast enough. Whether we should be fighting to lower the age qualification for Medicare, or pressing for a public option in the ACA. I was looking forward to seeing the United States go beyond the Paris agreement, walking back from the edge in company with the rest of the world.

Instead, we’re

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: GOP health care plan is failing to get votes and here is why

NY Times:

G.O.P. Support of Senate Health Repeal Erodes During Break

A week that Senate Republicans had hoped would mobilize conservatives and shore up support for their measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act instead ended with eroding enthusiasm, as usually reliable Republican senators from red states blanched at its impact on rural communities.

I’m not going to insist it’s already failed, but it sure looks like the “it’s moderates that always fold” meme is wrong. Here’s why it might be so:

Philip Klein/WashExaminer:

Republicans, prominently with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “Better Way” proposal last year and with President Trump’s boasts, chose to abandon their long-standing approach to pre-existing conditions and embrace Obamacare’s approach instead. Once they did that, it effectively became impossible to truly repeal Obamacare. But Republicans are still dedicated to being able to claim that they passed something they can call

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Abbreviated pundit roundup: On both foreign policy and healthcare, Trump and GOP can’t get it right

We begin today’s roundup with John Cassidy at The New Yorker and his analysis of the president’s overseas trip:

Trump is scheduled to meet with both Xi and Putin on Friday at the G-20 summit. He will take into these meetings the baggage of his domestic problems, his ill-considered tweets, and his nihilistic statements about America’s place in the world. It is to be hoped that he is finally realizing that America can’t afford to go it alone. But with Trump hopes are seldom realized.

Here is Eugene Robinson’s take on the president’s speech:

The correct response to the terrorism threat, which is real, is to isolate it as an abomination that is as much a grievous insult to Islam as to any other faith — and that has taken the lives of far more Muslims than non-Muslims. The wrong response is to posit that “the West” is besieged

Continue reading “Abbreviated pundit roundup: On both foreign policy and healthcare, Trump and GOP can’t get it right”

Abbreviated pundit roundup: On both foreign policy and healthcare, Trump and GOP can’t get it right

We begin today’s roundup with John Cassidy at The New Yorker and his analysis of the president’s overseas trip:

Trump is scheduled to meet with both Xi and Putin on Friday at the G-20 summit. He will take into these meetings the baggage of his domestic problems, his ill-considered tweets, and his nihilistic statements about America’s place in the world. It is to be hoped that he is finally realizing that America can’t afford to go it alone. But with Trump hopes are seldom realized.

Here is Eugene Robinson’s take on the president’s speech:

The correct response to the terrorism threat, which is real, is to isolate it as an abomination that is as much a grievous insult to Islam as to any other faith — and that has taken the lives of far more Muslims than non-Muslims. The wrong response is to posit that “the West” is besieged

Continue reading “Abbreviated pundit roundup: On both foreign policy and healthcare, Trump and GOP can’t get it right”