It’s Not Collusion, It’s Corruption

By Russell Berman

Democrats are planning to make the scandals surrounding President Trump a key part of their pitch to recapture the House majority this fall. But the one that’s overshadowed all others—Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion—is the presidential controversy that Democratic leaders view as the least politically potent on the campaign trail.

The party sees corruption, not collusion, as the scandal-related message that will resonate most in the midterm elections—a way to connect the seemingly daily controversies of the Trump administration with the Republican Congress’s policies on health care and taxes that polls show are unpopular with the electorate.

“Instead of delivering on his promise to drain the swamp, President Trump has become the swamp,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said as she stood alongside other Democratic leaders on the steps of the Capitol last month to unveil a new anti-corruption plank in the party’s 2018 platform. “Republicans, the White House, and the Congress are cravenly beholden to big money interests, and the American people are paying the price.”

“Drain the swamp” is a familiar refrain not merely because Trump commandeered it on his way to the White House two years ago; it was a rallying cry for Pelosi when Democrats last …read more

From:: The Atlantic


‘Cult’ or Not, Trump’s Grasp on the Republican Party Is Stronger Than Ever

By David A. Graham

The last week has been one of the most consequential in the Trump presidency. From foreign affairs to the economy, domestic policy to law enforcement, the volume of important developments has been even higher than the standard, already overwhelming flow of news during this administration.

That includes the fractious G7 meeting in Canada; President Trump’s summit in Singapore with Kim Jong Un; increasing attention to the separation of families at the southern border; consequential primary-election results in Virginia and South Carolina; the release of a Justice Department Inspector General’s report into the Hillary Clinton email investigation; and, finally, the jailing on Friday of onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

What unites these moments is that nearly every case shows fresh evidence of how Donald Trump has consolidated his grasp on the Republican Party. While not every Republican official or voter agrees with him on all or every case, these events show how dissenters are marginalized and Trump’s vision reigns supreme.

Take each of these episodes in order, beginning with the G7 and North Korea. The GOP spent the Barack Obama years protesting that the president was busy turning his back on America’s …read more

From:: The Atlantic


Southern Baptists Call Off the Culture War

By Jonathan Merritt

It was immediately clear that change was afoot in Dallas. I’ve attended the annual gatherings of the Southern Baptist Convention dozens of times, but walking around the convention center this week, I was struck by how unfamiliar it all felt. When I was a child, the convention hall was a sea of silver combovers and smelled of denture paste. While the older, more traditionalist crowd was still present in Dallas, the younger, fresh-faced attendees now predominated.

“The generational shift happening in the SBC has thrust the group into the middle of an identity crisis,” says Barry Hankins, chair of the department of history at Baylor University and co-author of Baptists in America: A History. “The younger generation thinks differently than the old guard Christian right about culture and politics, and they are demanding change.”

To enact this change, young Baptists nominated 45-year old pastor J.D. Greear from North Carolina to be president of the denomination. In a campaign video, Greear called for “a new culture and a new posture in the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Refusing to cede power without a fight, fundamentalist Baptists nominated Ken Hemphill as an opposition candidate. But Greear won with nearly 70 percent of the vote, becoming …read more

From:: The Atlantic

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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Locked Up

By Lena Felton Written by Lena Felton (@lenakfelton) and Taylor Hosking (@Taylor__Hosking) Today in 5 Lines A federal judge ordered former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to jail to await trial, citing witness-tampering charges lodged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The Trump administration announced that it will move forward on imposing $50 billion worth of […]

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Mueller’s Warning to Trump: The Cover-Up Is Also a Crime

By Natasha Bertrand George Papadopoulos. Michael Flynn. Alexander van der Zwaan. Paul Manafort. Some of the most high-profile men caught up in the Russia investigation all have one thing in common: They’ve learned firsthand that the cover-up can also be a crime. All four men have either decided to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller […]

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Why Can’t Democrats Give Trump Credit on North Korea?

By Peter Beinart For congressional Democrats, it’s payback time. Ever since 2015, when Barack Obama struck a nuclear deal with Iran, prominent Republicans—including Donald Trump and his top foreign policy advisers—have accused Obama and his Democratic supporters of, in Mike Pompeo’s words, “surrender.” They’ve accused Obama of signing a deal that doesn’t meaningfully restrain Iran’s […]

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Trump’s Remarkable Admission About Dishonesty

By David A. Graham For some reason, there remains a public debate about whether the president of the United States is honest or inclined toward autocracy. There’s a certain logic to this: Voters don’t want to believe they elected a chronic liar or a skeptic of democracy and rule of law, and the traditional conventions […]

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How Trumpworld Is Spinning the FBI Report

By Natasha Bertrand In a long-awaited report, the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was not influenced by political bias, and that any hostility certain officials may have felt toward then-candidate Donald Trump didn’t affect their handling of that probe. But for Trump and his allies, […]

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Maine Voters Overrule Their Leaders

By Russell Berman For the past two years, Maine voters have been at war with their legislature and Governor Paul LePage over the way the state’s elections should be run. In 2016, Mainers approved the use of ranked-choice voting in a referendum, becoming the first state in the nation to adopt the so-called instant runoff […]

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The Fight to Define Romans 13

By Lincoln Mullen On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border by referencing the New Testament. “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13,” Sessions said, “to obey the laws of the government […]

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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: A Crack in the Trump Foundation

By Lena Felton Written by Lena Felton (@lenakfelton) and Taylor Hosking (@Taylor__Hosking) Today in 5 Lines A new lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general alleges that the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its board of directors, including the president and his three eldest children, engaged in a years-long pattern of illegal behavior. Trump […]


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