Author Archive | Opinion

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

0

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

0

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

0

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 in a statement, saying, “Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement of anyone on the campaign.”

  • The indictment, filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, showed that the Russian attempt to breach the Clinton campaign’s emails happened around the same time that then-candidate Donald Trump had addressed Russia in a press conference, saying, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on President Trump to cancel his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin “until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections.”

  • During a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump accused several news organizations of spreading “fake news.” He also had tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle outside of London.

  • The state of Indiana has spent at least $21 million …read more

    From:: <a href=http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/AtlanticPoliticsChannel/~3/KBOY7XiM4Zo/ target="_blank" title="The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Russian to Conclusions” rel=nofollow>The Atlantic

0

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 in a hacking campaign against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

All 12 of the officers are said to be members of the GRU—the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army. When you think of them, imagine, if you will, colonels and lieutenants in America’s Defense Intelligence Agency and you have a rough equivalent. They are said to have stolen gigabytes of information, released it to the public through false personas, given it to one unnamed organization (which is almost certainly WikiLeaks) for disclosure, and tried to cover their tracks.

What to make of this indictment? Well, with the caveat that these are only allegations that only reflect evidence presented to a grand jury (and thus, not yet proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a trial), there is probable cause for the following conclusions:

First, Vladimir Putin has told the President …read more

From:: The Atlantic

0

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 authorities publicly stated that the perpetrators were Russian government officials. Other details, such as the apparent involvement of WikiLeaks and Trump adviser Roger Stone, were also known. Some of the details, however, are striking.

On July 27, 2016, at a Trump press conference in Florida, the candidate referred to 33,000 emails that an aide to Hillary Clinton had deleted from the former secretary of state’s personal email server. The DNC had recently announced the Russian intrusion, and Trump speculated that if Russia broke into the DNC, it would have accessed Clinton’s emails, too.

“By the way, if they hacked, they probably have her 33,000 emails,” Trump said. “I hope they do. They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted. Because you’d see some beauties there.”

That was perhaps irresponsible speculation, but it wasn’t crazy. There were widespread questions about Clinton’s information security, and whether she might …read more

From:: The Atlantic

0

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 Campaign Committee, and Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. The hackers also allegedly broke into computer systems of an unidentified state board of elections, stealing personal information for 500,000 voters.

Friday’s indictment is important because the hacking of the DNC was the origin story for the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The DNC announced in June 2016 that its computer networks had been infiltrated, and security experts quickly concluded that Russia was behind the break-in. Further investigation by multiple American intelligence committees reached the same conclusion. Since then, there have been new allegations and revelations about Russian interference, ranging from the “troll farm” that was the target of Mueller indictments earlier this year to allegations of coordination and collusion between Russians and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

President Trump has repeatedly derided Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” even as it produces indictments, guilty pleas, and a pile …read more

From:: The Atlantic

0

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 the edges of the trip, camping out in the U.K. and supporting Trump through media appearances as an unofficial surrogate.

As the president struggles through a hurricane of negative coverage and protests in Britain, Bannon turning up as a support act and surrounding himself with Trump-friendly actors could be interpreted on some level as a strategic play: to show his former boss he’s still useful, still loyal, and still the man who can flip a narrative—and maybe even flip out of office all the pesky European allies who irritate Trump so.

Bannon is “the best surrogate the president has,” said a former White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely. And Bannon may stand to benefit from the president’s compulsive TV-watching, the source said: “The more Steve goes on TV and the president sees him doing a great job defending him, …read more

From:: The Atlantic

0

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 warned would be “another victory notch” in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s belt. Through it all, Strzok maintained that he had never compromised his duties, and that the investigation was both justified and being carried out with the highest integrity.

“The fact is, after months of investigations, there is simply no evidence of bias in my professional actions,” Strzok said. “There is, however, one extraordinarily important piece of evidence supporting my integrity, the integrity of the FBI, and our lack of bias. In the summer of 2016, I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign. This information had the potential to derail and quite possibly defeat Mr. Trump. But the thought of expressing that or exposing that information never crossed my mind.”

Strzok, who headed the FBI’s counterespionage division in 2016, …read more

From:: The Atlantic

0

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 Jong Un in which Kim praised Trump’s leadership. “Great progress being made!” Trump tweeted.

  • Trump arrived in the U.K., where he met with Prime Minister Theresa May and attended a black-tie dinner. He’s expected to have tea with Queen Elizabeth II on Friday at Windsor Castle.

  • The Trump administration said that they have reunited 57 of the 103 children under the age of 5 who had been separated from their parents at the U.S. border. The 46 remaining children have been deemed “ineligible” for return.

  • The federal government reopened the investigation into the death of 14-year-old Emmett Till, 63 years after his murder.


Today on The Atlantic

  • The Nats’ Biggest Fan: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reportedly racked up between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt buying baseball tickets. How did he do it—and how did he pay it off so quickly? (David A. Graham)
  • ‘A Policy of Malign Neglect’: …read more

    From:: <a href=http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/AtlanticPoliticsChannel/~3/sBpBp1YPp-A/ target="_blank" title="The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Strzok in the Middle” rel=nofollow>The Atlantic

0

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, companies, and the financial system of the United States.”

Speaking at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival, Huang goes on to explain how the newly-imposed tariffs on Chinese goods will raise domestic prices. He also reveals how the U.S. and China can coexist “peacefully and profitably”—and why the onus is on America to bring that to fruition.

…read more

From:: The Atlantic

0

a service of
844 Elm St.
Manchester, NH 03101