THE GUY WHO CALLED HILLARY A BITCH GETS A SUPREME COURT SEAT. President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, NBC News reports.
“If confirmed, he would make the Supreme Court solidly conservative, joining Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch — providing a five-vote majority. He would be sure to join the conservatives more often than Kennedy, who sometimes voted with the court’s liberals in cases raising hot-button social issues.”
We think know where the Trump-Russia collusion story ends. What if we don't? https://t.co/HijdOwmAkP
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) July 9, 2018
Jonathan Chait: “The media has treated the notion that Russia has personally compromised the president of the United States as something close to a kook theory. A minority of analysts, mostly but not exclusively on the right, have promoted aggressively exculpatory interpretations of the known facts, in which every suspicious piece of evidence turns out to have a surprisingly innocent explanation. And it is possible, though unlikely, that every trail between Trump Tower and the Kremlin extends no farther than its point of current visibility.”
”What is missing from our imagination is the unlikely but possible outcome on the other end: that this is all much worse than we suspect. After all, treating a small probability as if it were nonexistent is the very error much of the news media made in covering the presidential horse race. And while the body of publicly available information about the Russia scandal is already extensive, the way it has been delivered — scoop after scoop of discrete nuggets of information — has been disorienting and difficult to follow. What would it look like if it were reassembled into a single narrative, one that distinguished between fact and speculation but didn’t myopically focus on the most certain conclusions?”
NO PEACE FOR THE GOP. “A group of Democratic Socialists and other angry protesters pursued Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) through a restaurant parking lot on Saturday, berating him with a mixture of immigration rhetoric and personal insults — and at one point an apparent threat to visit his home,” the Washington Post reports.
“The Louisville encounter was the second time in two weeks that McConnell’s private life has been disrupted by a spontaneous protest — and it was the latest in a weeks-long series of confrontations between powerful Republicans and those eager to shame them on camera, wherever they are found.”
TRUMP HEADS OFF TO EUROPE ANGRY. “Senior European officials have told Axios they are worried that Trump will spend the entire NATO summit beating up on America’s closest allies — especially Germany — for not spending enough on their defense. They’re worried he’ll make these deficiencies the focus of the summit rather than solidarity in face of the Russian threat. And that he’ll have a friendlier summit with Putin just a few days after a tense NATO gathering.”
“They also fear that Trump will say something that suggests America’s commitment to defend NATO allies against attacks is conditional upon the allies meeting their defense spending targets. They’re stressed about any suggestion from Trump that he’ll draw down U.S. troops stationed in Europe.”
“Another possibility: Trump will side with the populist, Putin-friendly leaders at the expense of America’s closest allies.”
Not just another stiffed contractor. Drivers are like hairdressers. They know your secrets/your heart.
Trump's Personal Driver for 25 Years Sues for Unpaid Overtime, calls Trump "utterly callous."https://t.co/lvPhqzfHTS
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiPrzybyla) July 9, 2018
“Donald Trump’s personal driver for more than 25 years says the billionaire real estate developer didn’t pay him overtime and raised his salary twice in 15 years, clawing back the second raise by cutting off his health benefits,” Bloomberg reports.
BEN SASSE – THE LONE NEVER TRUMPER IN THE GOP? “Ben Sasse has so far been spared the public floggings that Donald Trump inflicted on two since-vanquished GOP critics in the Senate, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker. But that may soon change. As the ‘never Trump’ faction of the Republican Party dwindles to a lonely few, the Nebraska senator has shown little interest in backing down – leaving him vulnerable to a Trump-fueled primary challenge in 2020, when he’s up for reelection,” Politico reports.
“How Sasse responds — he has a book coming out three weeks before the midterm elections and has quietly launched a new political non-profit group, fueling speculation that he might launch a Hail Mary bid for president rather than seek another term in the Senate — promises to be the next intra-GOP drama.”
THE COURT BATTLE COMES. “In a sparsely decorated ‘war room’ next to the West Wing on the White House grounds, Trump administration officials have been preparing for the president’s Supreme Court pick with an anything-can-happen approach to the historic task. With the knowledge that President Donald Trump could change his mind at the last minute — and with the president’s obsession to keep his final decision tightly held — Trump aides and Republicans familiar with the planning told Politico they initially were prepping for two possible nominees.”
“But as the president continued to talk through his decision over the long weekend at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, officials in Washington were poring over research and crafting media-ready soundbites for at least four potential picks. Ahead of the announcement officials will begin circulating talking points and biographies of a ‘universe of people’ for the court to Capitol Hill and outside allies.”
Mike Allen: “Within seconds of President Trump’s announcement of his Supreme Court pick at 9 tonight, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network will begin running digital ads targeted at Democrats in red states who might vote for confirmation. On the left, Demand Justice — a group launched in May to prepare progressives for a Court fight — plans to spend at least $5 million to oppose Trump’s nominee, with a pincer plan that pressures both Republican and Democratic senators in key states.”
So, Democrats: Do you finally get why the Supreme Court has been so important to the right? https://t.co/OOXoXK5VIY
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) July 9, 2018
THE GENDER CHASM. “The disconnect between President Trump and female voters is serious and not getting better. That’s a potentially big problem for Republicans in the November elections — but only if the women opposed to the president turn out to vote,” the Washington Post reports.
“Trump’s election divided an already fractured country, deepening the red-blue chasm that has become the defining feature of today’s politics. But the revulsion among many women toward the president adds another layer to the politics of discontent.”
“Trump is doing nothing to mitigate the problem. Just the opposite.”
WHAT’S MITCH LANDRIEU UP TO? Politico: “After eight years in his dream job and as he nears turning 58 in August, he wants to take a moment by himself to think. But ever since his speech last year about taking down four Confederate monuments — when he launched himself into the center of a national conversation about race and racism, and saw the hate that others see, and confronted what’s inside America and Americans — he hears at every turn people urging him to think about running for president, and telling him that he’s made for the moment to go up against [Trump] and what his presidency has unleashed in the country. And maybe he is, he thinks. But with a 2020 field that could include a dozen or more serious Democrats, he wonders: Is running for president the only way to get anyone to pay attention?”
“For now, Landrieu is more concerned about understanding why Trump happened, and figuring out what he is prepared to do about it. … For now, there’s no wink-wink travel or fundraising. He doesn’t have consultants, other than a rickety breakfast-nook cabinet of Donna Brazile, James Carville and Mary Matalin… What he does have is a loose affiliation of people who watched that speech last year about removing the Confederate monuments, or heard about that speech, and fell in love: a scattering of Obama alums, desperate Democrats convinced that the bald white guy from the South could be the only way to answer Trump, thought leaders and prominent African-Americans who keep pushing him.”
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) July 9, 2018
TRUMP’S CLUB MEMBERS GET TO TOUR AIR FORCE ONE. “Some members of President Trump’s exclusive Florida clubs appear to have been invited to an Air Force One tour last year, according to an invitation obtained by BuzzFeed News which was cross-checked with records received through a Freedom of Information Act request.”
“Members would not confirm or deny that they actually attended, but the invitations would raise more questions about the blurry line between Trump’s administration and his family’s private businesses. Although past administrations have given Air Force One tours to friends, family, and even donors, in this case those attending would have paid Trump’s exclusive clubs thousands of dollars annually.”
CHAOS IN THE UK OVER BREXIT. “Boris Johnson resigned as Britain’s foreign secretary on Monday, becoming the second cabinet minister to quit in less than 24 hours in protest over plans from Prime Minister Theresa May to soften the economic impact of British withdrawal from the European Union,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Johnson’s departure followed that of David Davis, who quit as Brexit secretary late Sunday, and deepens the mood of crisis gripping Mrs. May’s government three days after she thought she had won agreement from her cabinet on a Brexit plan.”
The BBC says Johnson’s exit had turned an “embarrassing and difficult situation for the PM into potentially a full-blown crisis.”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 9, 2018
TRUMP INCREASES HIS LPM (LIE PER MINUTE) RATE. “Until this month, President Trump had not made more than 60 false claims in any single week of his presidency. He has now made 100 false claims in each of the last two weeks,” the Toronto Star reports.
“After shattering his old record by uttering an astonishing 103 false claims two weeks ago, an average of 14.7 per cent, Trump delivered precisely 100 false claims last week, an average of 14.3 per day.”
HEGAR HAUL IN TEXAS. “In the 10 days after long shot Democratic candidate and veteran MJ Hegar published her widely-praised viral video, her campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-TX) raised $750,000,” the Texas Tribune reports. “It’s only the latest large fundraising figure reported by a Democratic U.S. House candidate from Texas, but it might well be one of the most jaw-dropping in the country.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset win was the latest sign of the renaissance of American socialism. But do the young writers trying to take socialism mainstream want anything more than good old FDR-style liberalism? https://t.co/99RCYGGy9L
— Washington Monthly (@washmonthly) July 9, 2018
YOU WERE THE BEST, BUT YOU ARE THE PAST. “They come after me because I’m effective. I’ve made some very powerful, rich enemies.” — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in an interview with Rolling Stone.
True. You were the best Speaker in 30 years. Best since Tip O’Neil. But it’s time to go. You’ve been Democratic Leader since 2002. 16 years. Two Presidencies. Babies born in 2002 are driving now.
GOP SENATORS COMMIT TREASON. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), back from a trip to Moscow, said that Congress “went too far in punishing Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Roll Call reports. Said Johnson: “I’ve been pretty upfront that the election interference — as serious as that was, and unacceptable — is not the greatest threat to our democracy. We’ve blown it way out of proportion.”
“In their Moscow meetings with members of Russia’s parliament last week, an all-Republican delegation of U.S. members of Congress met with at least two individuals currently sanctioned by the United States,” BuzzFeed News reports.
“U.S. law does not prohibit US officials from meeting with individuals who’ve been sanctioned, although it does prohibit providing services to them, and it is perhaps unsurprising that a congressional delegation meeting with high-level Russians would include meetings with sanctioned individuals — the point of the sanctions put in place last April was to target those perceived to be close to the Kremlin.”
I wrote a long piece about a question I’ve been dying to answer for two years: What’s so special about Canada?
Why has the country mostly avoided the global pandemic of illiberal populism—and what can it teach the world?https://t.co/klt45kui3B
— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) July 9, 2018