Trump Apologists Muddy Waters After Flynn Pleads Guilty
President Donald Trump’s defenders are muddying the waters in the Russia scandal after his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.
Two of Trump’s confidants (Flynn and Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager) may have lied to investigators; four (also counting Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos) may have been charged with felonies, but at least, the president’s apologists argue, there is no evidence of collusion!
The tax reforms enacted in the United States Senate in the early hours of Saturday morning are a betrayal of everything Republicans campaigned on for the last eight years.
They said they cared about the debt, yet they are adding at least $1 trillion to the debt over the next ten years.
They promised to stabilize insurance markets and make health care more affordable, but repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate will do the opposite.
They complained Democrats rushed Obamacare and left insufficient time for amendments and debate, yet they enacted tax cuts without holding any hearings and by literally hand-writing changes into the bill at the last minute. Read more
Spain’s conservative People’s Party is overreaching in its attempts to silence pro-independence voices in the Catalan media.
The party has reported a Catalan radio journalist, Mònica Terribas, to the Electoral Commission for the province of Barcelona for using the terms “imprisoned ministers” and “president-in-exile” in a broadcast.
The same commission earlier banned Catalan public television from using those phrases to refer to separatist leaders who have been taken into custody or fled to Belgium.
It also accepted a request from the People’s Party to stop the Barcelona city council from coloring buildings and fountains in yellow to indicate support for the restoration of home rule.
Xavier García Albiol, the Catalan People’s Party leader, has proposed to shut down the region’s public television station, TV3, and relaunch it with “normal and plural” journalists, by which he means journalists who oppose secession.
Esteban González Pons, a conservative Spanish member of the European Parliament, tells El País there may be a role for NATO in countering Russian “fake news” about the Catalan crisis. Read more
I thought Republicans hit rock bottom when they elected a president with neither knowledge of nor interest in world affairs, a man who confessed to groping women, mocked a war hero despite himself dodging the Vietnam draft and who disparaged all Mexican immigrants as murders and rapists — but clearly I was wrong.
In Alabama, they have nominated for the Senate a man who was removed as the state’s chief justice for refusing to recognize the supremacy of the law over his own religious beliefs, who perpetuated the racist lie that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, who believes homosexuality should be illegal, that Muslims can’t serve in government and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were God’s punishment for America’s heathen ways.
And that’s not even the worst about Roy Moore. Read more
The American Culture Wars Are Officially a Strategic Threat
Donald Trump campaign people are going to jail.
This isn’t quite the fall of the Trumpian house of cards. Paul Manafort’s indictment is very specific to him and his work in Ukraine. More information must come out before we can be certain this will lead to the White House. While the revelations of George Papadopoulos create the strongest link yet, they have not produced an indictment to date.
Yet there is an essential tale here: for the first time in modern American history, a foreign power has substantially interfered with a political campaign. It’s not that others haven’t tried. The Soviet Union tried several times to back favored candidates, especially in the turbulent 1960s and 70s. But in those Cold War cases, American candidates refused the help.
This is the first time it looks like someone said yes.