Even Never Trump Evangelicals Might Be Swayed by the Supreme Court

By Emma Green

Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination is the consummation of one of the big bets behind the 2016 election. Many white Christians voted for Donald Trump because they believed he would appoint conservative justices who would protect religious liberty and advance the pro-life cause. Now, ostensibly, they’ve been vindicated. With less than two years in office, Trump will very possibly see the confirmation of his second Supreme Court nominee, another handpicked choice of the conservative legal establishment.

At the time, however, it wasn’t at all clear how this bet would play out. Particularly in the evangelical world, the divisions over the 2016 election were bitter. A number of prominent leaders stepped out to urge their fellow Christians to consider what their vote would say to the world. Two years later, their largely positive reaction to Kavanaugh’s nomination is one sign that the intense political fractures in the evangelical world are fading—at least on the surface, and at least for now.

“I’ve never seen the SBC this unified,” said one of these leaders—Russell Moore, the head of the political arm of the Southern Baptist Convention—in an interview on Wednesday. That unity has emerged in personal relationships and attitudes, he said, but it also …read more

From:: The Atlantic

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The Red-State Democrats’ Many Paths to ‘No’

By Dick Polman

Conventional wisdom decrees that red-state Democratic senators running for reelection are politically screwed, regardless of how they vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. If they signal thumbs-up, they’ll infuriate the party’s progressive base and dampen the Democratic turnout they’ll badly need. Thumbs-down, they’ll make it easier for Republicans to attack them as Trump-hating obstructionists in states the president won by double digits in 2016.

So goes the argument, as articulated by Democratic commentators like Ed Kilgore in New York magazine (“It’s a classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation”), and, more predictably, by Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham (“This is a nightmare for red-state Democrats”). The conventional solution for those Democrats presumably living that nightmare—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri—is that they should inoculate themselves at home by propelling Kavanaugh to the high court.

But there’s a countervailing view—in judicial parlance, a dissenting opinion—that these senators should eschew political calculations and seize the historic moment, that they should unite with the rest of the Democratic caucus and take a stand for principles that are currently under unprecedented attack. And by doing so, perhaps they …read more

From:: The Atlantic

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The Swamp Isn’t Easy to Drain

By Jay Cost

Donald Trump rode to Washington, D.C., on a pledge to “drain the swamp,” but so far his administration has luxuriated in the filth. Trump’s hotels have made a mint from bookings related to government business. And with the president’s tax returns still under lock and key, it remains unclear how the Trump Organization may be profiting from his various policies. Meanwhile, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt seems to have used the resources of the Environmental Protection Agency to live high on the hog, tasking staffers with attending to his personal business and receiving sweetheart deals on room and board from special interests.

And it is not just Trump. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, a Democrat, was prosecuted last year for corruption-related offenses stemming from his relationship with the ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen. Although after a mistrial the Department of Justice dropped the charges against Menendez, it is clear that Melgen lavished high-value gifts upon Menendez, and in turn received attention that the average New Jerseyan could never hope to get.

All of this comes at a time when Americans feel especially alienated from Washington, D.C. Populist movements on the left and right have advanced opposing policy solutions, but everybody from Bernie Sanders …read more

From:: The Atlantic

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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Russian to Conclusions

By Elaine Godfrey -Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) Today in 5 Lines A grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly attempting to interfere with the 2016 presidential election by hacking into computers and email systems of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The White House responded […]

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Mueller’s Blockbuster Indictment

By Paul Rosenzweig It’s always on Fridays. Almost like clockwork, each new indictment from the Special Counsel’s office released on a Friday afternoon, just in time to disrupt the weekend news cycle. Not that anyone is complaining, because this week’s indictment is a blockbuster—an 11-count indictment of 12 Russian military officers alleging that they engaged […]

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The Coincidence at the Heart of the Russia Hacking Scandal

By David A. Graham The broad outlines of Friday’s indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, charging 12 Russians with conspiracy, identity theft, and money laundering in connection with hacking during the 2016 presidential election, are not surprising. The hacking of the Democratic National Committee has been public knowledge since July 2016, and even then, the […]

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Mueller Just Uncovered a Core Russian Conspiracy

By David A. Graham A grand jury in Washington, D.C., on Friday indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers, charging them with hacking intended to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. The indictment, sought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, charge the defendants with hacking into computers and email systems of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional […]

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Steve Bannon’s British Sideshow

By Rosie Gray When President Trump made his first visit abroad last year, Steve Bannon was still at the heart of everything. A year later, Bannon is no longer by the president’s side as Trump visits the United Kingdom, after a precipitous political fall from grace earlier this year. But he’s still shown up on […]

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FBI Investigator Rejects Accusations of Anti-Trump Bias

By Natasha Bertrand Republicans hammered FBI Agent Peter Strzok over several hours of testimony Thursday, seeking to discredit the long-running federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and portray Strzok as a symbol of an agency hopelessly tainted by bias against President Trump. The hearing quickly descended into a partisan spectacle that Strzok […]

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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Strzok in the Middle

By Elaine Godfrey -Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) Today in 5 Lines During a contentious hearing before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok denied accusations that his private political views influenced his official duties overseeing the Russia investigation. President Trump released a letter he received from North Korean leader Kim […]

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How the Trade War with China Will Affect the U.S.

How the Trade War with China Will Affect the U.S.

By Sophia Myszkowski With the onset of Trump’s trade war, diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China—the world’s largest and second-largest economies, respectively—have reached a crisis point. Yasheng Huang, a political economist, MIT professor, and the author of Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics, argues that “a trade war would negatively affect the interest of U.S. consumers, […]

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