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Editor's Blog





Updated: 2017-02-21T22:52:43Z

 



Blow It Up ... But Not Just Yet

2017-02-21T17:52:43-05:00

Republicans struggle to defuse one of the bombs they planted under the Affordable Care Act.

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The Vicious Hand of Blood and Soil Reaches Out

2017-02-21T08:33:38-05:00

This evening I saw news that a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis had been vandalized overnight. Reports say that more than 100 headstones were damaged, with some substantial number toppled. This comes, as you may know, amidst an ongoing wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers across the country. To date, thankfully, all have been hoaxes. Police have yet to make a formal determination about whether this vandalism was a hate crime. Whatever the final determination, though, this incident hits very close to home. Because this is the cemetery where my mother was buried after she died in Southern California in 1981.

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Another Thought About Felix Sater

2017-02-21T00:29:58-05:00

After writing last night's post on the various adventures and crimes of Felix Sater, something occurred to me. This is not a reported claim but a possibility to consider in light of the information that has now emerged.

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Cohen Shifts Into Damage Control

2017-02-20T01:57:21-05:00

With The New York Times story about Michael Cohen and Felix Sater gaining more attention, Cohen has made an abrupt shift into damage control.

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Break the Big Stories

2017-02-19T23:15:26-05:00

If you're a reporter with an investigative bent, an interest in national security and public corruption stories, and a hunger to get to the bottom of this story and others, let me remind you were are currently looking to fill three new investigative reporter positions in our New York and DC offices. If you're interested, see the details here.

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Learning Eye-Popping Details About Mr Sater

2017-02-20T02:00:20-05:00

As I noted in my previous post, I've been keenly interested in Donald Trump's association with Felix Sater going back to last Spring. I also knew he had been an FBI informant and leveraged that status to dramatically reduce his sentence in a major financial crime. I didn't realize until this evening that there were more details about this part of the story in the public domain than I'd realized. It's rather mind-blowing.

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A Big Shoe Just Dropped

2017-02-19T17:05:06-05:00

I don't know how much attention it's received. But the appearance of the name of Felix Sater in this new article in the Times is one of the biggest shoes I've seen drop on the Trump story in some time.

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The American Experiment in Exile

2017-02-19T13:26:58-05:00

Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) comments at the security conference in Munich in recent days garnered the most attention in the US press. But the really significant comments and warnings came from Germany and France. The countries' defense and foreign ministers respectively warned the US about trying to sow divisions in Europe or even break up the European Union. (It is worth remembering that strong words aside, McCain is still providing President Trump with strong legislative support and for all hist outspokenness was not even willing to utter President Trump's name in his speeches, despite being the main target of his remarks. He's got a good way to go.) As the storied and long-serving retired US diplomat Nicholas Burns put it in a tweet, America's erstwhile European allies are now worried about America as a threat to the international order.

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Feast Your Eyes

2017-02-16T15:45:38-05:00

The 8 Craziest Moments from Trump's Impromptu Press Conference.

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About 'The Press Conference'

2017-02-16T15:26:59-05:00

This is that rare time when I think the cliched phrase is appropriate: That press conference speaks for itself. There's very little I can think to add. It all amounts to a confirmation of what most of us already know. This man is not emotionally or characterologically equipped to serve as President. He lacks the focus, the ability to commit to even a passable amount of work without immediate emotional gratification. Thus his decision to hold a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday. (It's literally a campaign event, put on by his 2020 reelection campaign). Trump lacks the emotional resilience or toughness to deal with what is the inevitable criticism and difficulties of being President, which - lets be clear - are great.

These different deficits all feed upon each other. He lacks the steadiness for the job.

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Extremely Dangerous Ground

2017-02-16T11:36:11-05:00

I want to take a moment to discuss two articles which have been published in recent days which focus on the idea that Michael Flynn was run out of office by a cabal of enemies in the intelligence and law enforcement establishment which actually has as its goal driving President Trump from office.

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"Bring Back the Crowds"

2017-02-16T08:21:28-05:00

Sometimes a single tweet can tell you as much as a ten-thousand word article.


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Russians Lament anti-Trump Purge

2017-02-16T12:05:26-05:00

Quite an astounding article published this afternoon in The Financial Times.

Russian government officials say President Trump is the target of an information war and a purge of pro-Russian officials on a par with the Great Terror of the 1930s when Stalin purged vast numbers of party officials and military officers. No, I'm not kidding.

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This Isn't Going Away

2017-02-15T12:57:43-05:00

From MarketWatch:

Under Armour Inc. was downgraded Wednesday to a rare bearish rating at Susquehanna Financial, which cited the “reputational risk” created by the chief executive’s praise of President Donald Trump.

Analyst Sam Poser cut his rating on the athletic apparel and accessories company UAA, +0.11% to negative, after being at neutral since Jan. 31, and at positive since Aug. 11. Only four of the 310, or 1.3%, of the companies covered by Susquehanna were rated negative through Tuesday.

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Very Dangerous

2017-02-15T13:29:59-05:00

Yesterday The New York Times published an article about how Russia has now deployed a cruise missile which the Pentagon believes violates the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a key agreement which was part of the winding down of the Cold War. After the article about the newly deployed missile there were further stories about a Russian spy vessel lurking off the East Coast in international waters. This is an example of the perilous position the country is now in, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.

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Ask your Qs about education, Betsy Devos, etc. today at 1 p.m.!

2017-02-15T10:19:26-05:00

Two editors from the national education news network Chalkbeat will join us in the Hive today for a live chat about education. Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization covering education in Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, New York, Tennessee, and across the country.

Feel free to submit your questions to Sarah Darville and Candace Carrington about anything from public schools, common core, education reform, charter schools and more. Drop your questions here -- if you'd like to participate but don't have a Prime membership, join here.

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Flynn Doesn't Matter. This Is About Trump

2017-02-14T23:19:40-05:00

For all we've learned over recent days about retired General Michael Flynn and his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, it's overshadowed by much more that we do not know. Indeed, based on the current evidence we don't know whether Flynn's actions were just wildly inappropriate (undermining the current president's actions with a foreign adversary weeks before taking office) or part of a larger, darker design. Whether Flynn lied to the FBI (we don't know) or lied to his colleagues is an interesting legal and possibly political question. But again, they are relatively straightforward matters which only become truly significant in terms of the bigger picture, if there is one. The truth is Michael Flynn does not matter. We have before us a question that has stood before us, centerstage, for something like a year, brazen and shameless and yet too baffling and incredible to believe: Donald Trump's bizarre and unexplained relationship with Russia and its strongman Vladimir Putin.

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They Never Learn

2017-02-14T18:08:53-05:00

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on the Flynn affair: "I just don't think it's useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We'll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we're spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense."

That was the same mindset – an aversion to accountability in exchange for perceived short-term political gain – that produced an explosion of GOP corruption in the mid-aughts. There's little evidence the party learned from that sordid period, and Trump seems likely to reproduce it, except bigger, more garishly, and with more conspicuous gilding. And his congressional enablers seem ready to help out, if only by omission of real oversight.

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Big Trouble

2017-02-14T15:46:59-05:00

Another shoe seems to have dropped. The New York Times just reported that in the short window of time between President Trump's inauguration on January 20th and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warning to the White House on January 26th, the FBI interviewed National Security Advisor Michael Flynn about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on December 29th, 2016.

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Making Sense of the Spicer's Tale

2017-02-14T15:17:39-05:00

Governments lie, about things big and small. We know this. They lie especially when they are in the midst of being engulfed in a major scandal. This is usually clear at the time. But it can also be very hard to prove. What was most conspicuous about Sean Spicer's afternoon press conference was not that so many of his claims were likely false but that the White House seemed like it hadn't even taken the time yet to get its story together.

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