• Politics

    The Ohio Special Election Is a Warning to Republicans

    By Russell Berman Republicans look poised to eke out a victory in the last major congressional bellwether before the November midterm elections. But a razor-thin margin in a suburban Ohio district the GOP has held comfortably for decades confirms that the party’s grip on control of Congress is shaky. Troy Balderson, a Republican state legislator who secured a late push from President Trump, appeared to hold off Democrat Danny O’Connor on Tuesday in a special House election in and around Ohio’s capital city of Columbus. With all precincts reporting, Balderson led 50.2 percent to 49.3 percent, although the race remained too close for the major networks and the Associated Press…

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  • Politics

    The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Special Featured

    By Elaine Godfrey Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) Today in 5 Lines After reimposing sanctions against Iran, President Trump warned in a tweet that “anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.” On the sixth day of Paul Manafort’s trial, his former deputy, Rick Gates, described how Manafort skirted taxes and used offshore companies to accept millions of dollars from Ukrainian businessmen. The Trump administration is expected to unveil a proposal that would make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens, according to NBC News. Forbes reported that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stole millions of dollars throughout his career as an investment banker.…

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  • Politics

    Jim Acosta’s Dangerous Brand of Performance Journalism

    By Todd S. Purdum The verb to accost comes from the old French that meant “to sail up close to a ship or a shoreline.” CNN’s Jim Acosta lived up to his patronymic (which has comparable coastal roots in Portuguese and Spanish) when he confronted White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders with guns blazing last week, demanding to know if she shared Donald Trump’s belief that the press is the enemy of the American people. Stipulate that Sanders traduces the truth each waking or speaking hour. Stipulate, too, that Acosta had just been the object of threatening and abusive taunts at a Trump rally in Florida. Even stipulate, if…

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  • Politics

    The Ultimate Betrayal of Paul Manafort

    By Franklin Foer You know what would be surprising? If Rick Gates and Paul Manafort had suddenly suspended their apparently deeply ingrained habits of fraudulence and thievery during the three months they ran the Donald Trump campaign. Other chapters of their recent history—the chapters bracketing the campaign—include alleged episodes of witness tampering, lying to federal prosecutors, bank and tax fraud, as well as the failure to register as agents of a foreign government. Therefore, given all that has emerged about their shared ethical framework, it’s hard to imagine that the public has received the exhaustive account of those months. To understand just how ingrained their slippery habits had become, consider…

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  • Politics

    Congress Finally Can Tell Hemp From Pot

    By Olivia Paschal Hemp is currently a Schedule I federally controlled substance, in the same legal category as LSD, heroin, and Ecstasy. Like all forms of cannabis, it was criminalized in 1970, partially because Congress was worried that law enforcement couldn’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana. “There was tremendous biological understanding of the difference, but Congress was not making policy based on this—they were basing it on fear,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of Marijuana: A Short History. Now, four years after universities and state agriculture departments were allowed to begin growing limited quantities of hemp for research purposes, Congress…

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  • Politics

    What Rick Gates’s Testimony Means for Manafort—and Trump

    By David A. Graham Robert Mueller cultivates a reputation as a staid, even dour, man of the law, but the special counsel’s team isn’t above a bit of courtroom showmanship. Last week, prosecutors trying Paul Manafort in federal court in Northern Virginia suggested they might not call Rick Gates, Manafort’s former partner and protege, to testify against him. That raised eyebrows: Gates, who pleaded guilty after being pressured by Mueller’s team, had been expected to be a star witness in the trial. And in fact, Gates took the stand Monday, and his testimony was as dramatic as expected. “Were you involved in any criminal activity with Mr. Manafort?” a prosecutor…

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    The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Gates-Crashing

    By Madeleine Carlisle Written by Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2) and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal) Today in 5 Lines Rick Gates, Paul Manafort’s longtime business partner, testified in the fifth day of Manafort’s federal trial that the two men committed crimes. The first set of U.S. sanctions on Iran prompted by President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement went into effect. President Trump endorsed controversial Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach, against the advice of senior Republican officials. Republicans are reportedly considering another attempt at repealing the Affordable Care Act if they retain control of Congress after the midterms. The California wildfires expanded over the weekend and are now the second largest in…

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  • Politics

    Trump’s War With the Koch Brothers Makes No Sense

    By Dick Polman It’s plausible to dismiss the current feud between Donald Trump and the mogul Charles Koch as merely an alpha-male ego-fest—in the words of the journalist and Koch-watcher Jane Mayer, “a plutocratic pissing match” for control of the Republican Party. Trump turned up the heat last week when he tweeted that the scion of the conservative donor network was “overrated,” which may be the first time that a president has used the same word to insult Koch and Meryl Streep. But seasoned Republicans recognize that the feud is symptomatic of broader tensions within the party—Trump’s trade wars clash with the Koch network’s traditional free-market support for open trade—and…

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  • Politics

    There’s Nothing Wrong With Black English

    By John McWhorter The Nation recently published a poem in which a homeless narrator speaks a complex, nuanced variety of English with a long and interesting history. The variety of English is Black English, and the poet is Anders Carlson-Wee, a white man. In the wake of the controversy, The Nation’s poetry editors have appended a kind of trigger warning to the poem calling its language “disparaging.” (They also apologized for its “ableist language;” the poem used the word “crippled.”) Carlson-Wee has dutifully, and perhaps wisely, apologized that “treading anywhere close to blackface is horrifying to me” and declared that the poem “didn’t work.” However, I suspect that many are…

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  • Politics

    Fear and Anxiety at Refugee Road

    By Jeremy Raff There are roughly 3,000 immigrants from Mauritania in Columbus, Ohio. They came to America fleeing persecution and slavery in the West African country. For years, ICE allowed even those with failed asylum claims to remain in the U.S. “Since Donald Trump has become president, more than 50 people I know have been detained and deported,” says a local Mauritanian community leader. A new documentary from The Atlantic, based on Franklin Foer’s article “How Trump Radicalized ICE,” visits an undocumented immigrant who says he would rather flee to Canada than risk deportation. …read more From:: The Atlantic FacebookTwitterReddit

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  • Politics

    What Did the President Just Admit?

    By David A. Graham In an attempt to defend his son Donald Trump Jr. on Sunday, President Trump may instead have incriminated him—and himself. Responding to a Washington Post report that he is increasingly concerned about his eldest son’s legal exposure, the president denied that claim in a tweet Sunday morning: Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018…

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