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Last Build Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:38:36 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2008

Red-State Dems; Rating the Presidents; 'Sanctuary Campuses'; a Survivor's Tale

2017/02Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:38:08 -0600

Good morning. It’s Monday, February 20, 2017 -- Presidents’ Day. Carl will return soon from his brief holiday; this is Tom Kavanagh filling in once again. The weather has been uncharacteristically mild here in the mid-Atlantic, though winter will officially be with us for another month, and surely hasn’t lost its bite. On this date 161 years ago, it sunk its teeth into a storm-battered packet ship crossing the North Atlantic. Technically, an iceberg struck the initial blow, but for the passengers and crew who made it into lifeboats, snow, frigid gales and high seas did the...

Red-State Dems Thread the Needle in Working With Trump402826

2017/02Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:11:16 -0600

In the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Thursday, an unusual entourage joined President Trump to watch him nix a coal mining rule put in place by his predecessor. There was the usual smattering of Republican lawmakers, of course, and a group of coal miners decked out in their gear. But among this small crowd were also two Democratic senators, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin, flanking the president as he spoke. Manchin delivered a few remarks, too, to express his pride. “These are all West Virginians,” he noted, gesturing toward his home-state miners. As Trump signed the...

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Trump's Vilification of the Media Sounds Familiar402551

2017/02Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:28:03 -0600

For reasons he cannot fathom, Donald Trump has been asked recently about anti-Semitism, not just the rising number of incidents both here and abroad but also -- as he oddly interpreted a question at his latest news conference -- his own attitudes. As for the latter, he is, by his own testimony and that of others, no anti-Semite. If he were, he'd have to hate one of his own daughters, her husband and their children, who are all observant Jews. So when he declares, "I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life," his crude hyperbole aside, I believe him. But...

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Two Cheers for a Carbon Tax202427

2017/02Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:29:15 -0600

WASHINGTON -- By all means, let's have a carbon tax. It's the best way to deal with global climate change. It would require Republicans and Democrats to compromise -- a good thing -- and would provide revenues for a government that desperately needs more revenue. Fine. But let's not pretend that a carbon tax is a panacea for either climate change or too much debt. With most Republicans -- and some Democrats -- hostile to any tax increase, a carbon tax remains a long shot. Still, the odds have shortened, because some respected Republican elders recently endorsed it. These include George...

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The Death of a Hero

2017/02Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:52:16 -0600

NEW YORK -- We buried one of my heroes on Friday. She was my mother-in-law. In the case of Helen Boyle, hero might be a form of understatement. Rather than begin with gushing words and bloated adjectives, permit me to recite just a few facts about her 85 years on this earth. She lost her father at age 5, and learned of his death from a kid on the street while she was walking home. He looked at her and said, in that mean and matter-of-fact way that kids can muster, "Your father's dead." Helen was shocked and didn't know what to say, so she snapped back, "I know," even though she didn't. When...

Conservatives on College Campuses Are Minorities

2017/02Sun, 19 Feb 2017 09:51:20 -0600

Being a minority at LMU is extremely difficult. Every day, I get the impression that the majority of students and even the faculty do not care about my interests. The atmosphere of hostility is quite palpable. The expected response to this implicit condemnation would be to demand a safe space in which to express my grievances. The only problem is that I am a different kind of minority: a conservative Republican. My description of myself as a minority may come as a surprise to many readers because I do not fit into any of the normal categories. I am a white, straight male; why would anyone...

Why Trumponomics Fails

2017/02Sun, 19 Feb 2017 07:40:05 -0600

When Donald Trump gave a speech last Friday at Boeing’s factory in North Charleston, South Carolina – unveiling Boeing’s new 787 “Dreamliner” – he congratulated Boeing for building the plane “right here” in South Carolina. It’s pure fantasy. I’ll let you know why in a moment. Trump also used the occasion to tout his “America First” economics, stating “our goal as a nation must be to rely less on imports and more on products made here in the U.S.A.” and “we want products made by our workers in our...

The Presidential Ratings Racket399699

2017/02Sun, 19 Feb 2017 07:12:25 -0600

In our capital city’s darkest hour, C-SPAN again rode to her rescue. Amid a mass outbreak of Trump Derangement Syndrome, the public programming cable channel has released its third rankings of U.S. . presidents. C-SPAN’s rankings are not an antidote, exactly, to the TDS epidemic, but this exercise is a welcome distraction as well as a needed reminder that, in the words of famed screenwriter William Goldman, “nobody knows anything.” Goldman was talking about the secret to making a Hollywood hit. But the same principle applies to judging presidents, an even more...

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Trump's Strange Coziness With the Kremlin401673

2017/02Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:49:48 -0600

Donald Trump assured Americans Thursday that he is not acting in covert concert with Vladimir Putin. "I have nothing to do with Russia," he said during his news conference, insisting, "The whole Russian thing, that's a ruse." Those statements followed the firing of his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after it was reported that Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his pre-inauguration phone conversations with the Russian ambassador. Flynn's deception was notable because it suggested he had something to hide. When BuzzFeed published a secret dossier on Trump that...

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Can This White House Cancer Be Managed?400733

2017/02Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:33:36 -0600

WASHINGTON -- On March 21, 1973, White House counsel John Dean confronted President Richard Nixon about the growing Watergate scandal. "We have a cancer -- within, close to the presidency, that's growing," Dean warned. "It's growing daily." Dean's famous metaphor is relevant to the Trump administration -- not because the risk is precisely analogous but because it isn't. In Nixon's time, cancer was apt to be a death sentence. The tools to combat it were crude and brutal. Today, even as cancer remains a leading cause of death, for many people it can be managed as a chronic illness, capable of...

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Why the "Haves" Have More402628

2017/02Sat, 18 Feb 2017 07:40:39 -0600

On the day Facebook went public in 2012, Mark Zuckerberg made $2.3 billion from the exercise of his company stock options. That amount represented the difference between the cost to public investors for 60 million shares in the social media giant and what Zuckerberg had been given the right to pay as part of his compensation package in 2005. Later that year, Zuckerberg sold about half of those shares to pay taxes on the initial windfall. The appreciation in Facebook’s value since the IPO brought him another $1.1 billion in income from the sale. In 2013, Zuckerberg exercised more options...

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'Sanctuary Campuses' Defy Trump -- Though at a Risk402476

2017/02Sat, 18 Feb 2017 20:15:22 -0600

With the Trump administration’s immigration policy taking shape and the threat of increased deportations looming, nearly a dozen colleges around the country have begun taking a cue from so-called sanctuary cities to shield their undocumented students. Calling themselves “sanctuary campuses,” these universities say they will refuse to aid federal officials in the event of a raid on their property. Yet the majority of the self-designated campuses have one thing in common: They are private schools. For the country’s undocumented students – over 90 percent of whom...

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America Is Safer, in Less Than a Month402313

2017/02Sat, 18 Feb 2017 19:37:41 -0600

Consider this: What can we predict about the immediate political fallout if a substantial jihadist attack on American soil were to happen tomorrow? Answer: As we saw following 9/11, the visceral response is to rally around the flag; to see clearly the truth that despite our diverse spectrum of interests and opinions, there is much more connecting us than separating us. But the partisanship of the moment would profoundly affect the internal contours of that response. For starters, the response of President Donald Trump would mostly likely be predictable, somewhat juvenile, and entirely...

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Partisan Lines Stay Fixed Amid Trump Turmoil402588

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:54:41 -0600

Amid the turmoil of the first month of the Trump administration, with courts blocking his temporary travel ban and his national security adviser resigning after 24 days, the solid partisan divisions in the electorate -- modestly changed in 2016 from what they'd been over the previous two decades -- remain in place. That's apparent in roll call votes in Congress. Republicans have almost unanimously supported administration policies and appointments (except for withdrawn Labor nominee Andy Puzder). Democrats have almost unanimously opposed them, casting more "nay" votes on the president's...

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Feisty Trump; GOP Agenda Slows; 'Bubble' Interactive; Princess Alice

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 07:41:55 -0600

Good morning, it’s Friday, February 17, 2017. Carl is taking a few well-deserved days off; this is Tom Kavanagh filling in. There’s no shortage of news in Washington, but one dispatch tied to America’s past has surely grabbed Carl’s attention today: C-SPAN’s newly released presidential rankings, as determined by a poll of historians. Lincoln, Washington, FDR and Teddy Roosevelt hold the tops spots, as they did in 2009, the last time the public affairs channel conducted this survey. (There has been change, however, as Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan moved up,...

Buffeted Trump Takes to the Campaign Trail402499

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:55:37 -0600

Besieged by a swirl of controversies of his administration's own making, Donald Trump is returning to the comforts of the campaign trail. Just a month into his presidency – and following a week spent mired in fallout from his national security adviser's departure and reports of collusion between his campaign aides and Russian officials -- the president will leave Washington for friendlier and more forgiving turf this weekend at a rally of supporters in Florida. "I heard that the crowds are massive that want to be there," Trump told reporters on Thursday. He offered something of a...

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RCP's Interactive Tool: Do You Live in a Bubble?402452

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:32:14 -0600

Analysis “You just don’t get it because you live in a bubble!” If you’ve been in or near a heated political argument at any time in the last few years, and especially during the 2016 election season, you’ve probably heard this accusation. A liberal will argue that Donald Trump’s victory is partially explained by racial resentment, and a conservative will fire back that the accuser lives in a cosmopolitan bubble and doesn’t understand the economic frustrations of working-class whites. Conversely, liberals will claim that the conservative lives in a largely...

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The Trump-Netanyahu Alliance402289

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 04:45:07 -0600

When they met on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin were both walking wounded. Netanyahu arrived in Washington the center of a criminal investigation the chief characteristic of which is that selected details of the probe are regularly leaked to the media by anonymous sources who cannot be challenged or held to account. These anonymous sources, from inside the police and state prosecution, use hand-picked reporters who all share a visceral hatred of Netanyahu, to present a version of the probe to the public that besmirches Netanyahu and his family. The prospect...

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Flynn May Be Gone, But Serious Questions Remain400249

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 04:14:14 -0600

WASHINGTON -- President Trump confronts complicated problems as the investigation widens into Russia's attack on our political system. But his responsibilities are simple: A month ago, he swore an oath that he would "faithfully execute" his office and "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." That's apparently easier said than done. In a rambling press conference Thursday and his blizzard of tweets, Trump has dismissed inquiries into his campaign's contacts with Russia and denounced leakers as "low-life and "un-American." These statements seem more likely to...

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White House Turmoil, Party Divisions Slow GOP Agenda401287

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:24:45 -0600

Disagreements within the GOP, unyielding Democratic opposition and turmoil at the White House have frustrated congressional Republicans’ once-grand plans to quickly implement a sweeping conservative agenda in the age of President Donald Trump. Republicans entered the new Congress in January with high hopes that a GOP president would lead to a swift reversal of the Obama administration’s accomplishments and quick movement on key campaign promises, including the repeal, and then replacement, of the Affordable Care Act. They have scored some major wins early, historically rolling...

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The Deep State Targets Trump402416

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:54:47 -0600

When Gen. Michael Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser, Bill Kristol purred his satisfaction, "If it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state." To Kristol, the permanent regime, not the elected president and his government, is the real defender and rightful repository of our liberties. Yet it was this regime, the deep state, that carried out what Eli Lake of Bloomberg calls "The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn." And what were Flynn's offenses? In December, when Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats, Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador. He...

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Patriotism, Not Nationalism368925

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:19:40 -0600

National Review has sparked an important debate about nationalism. As someone who has been accused throughout her life of excessive love of country (can't count the number of times I've been reproached for arguing that despite slavery, Jim Crow and the internment of Japanese-Americans, our country is eminently lovable), I feel a bit awkward rebutting anything that travels under the name "Love of Country." Nevertheless, I must join Jonah Goldberg, Yuval Levin, Ben Shapiro and others in demurring from Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru's defense of nationalism. Lowry and Ponnuru are two of the...

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Trump's 'Fine-Tuned Machine' Is Going Haywire402085

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:50:37 -0600

WASHINGTON -- President Trump is flailing like a man who fears he's about to go under, and he hasn't even been in office a full month. His instinct is to flee to the warmth and comfort of his political base -- but he will learn that while presidents can run, they can't hide. Trump's administration faces two acute, interlocking crises: serious questions about his campaign's contacts with official and unofficial representatives of the Russian government, which U.S. intelligence agencies believe made concerted efforts to help Trump win the election; and appalling levels of dysfunction in the...

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Why the Resistance Is the Best Thing That's Happened to President Trump399600

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:18:24 -0600

Sure, it matters that President Donald Trump has a historically low favorability rating. Then again, disliking the president isn't exactly a courageous act. Plenty of Americans -- many of whom supported the president during the general election -- don't like Trump. They do realize that politics is a trade-off. Here's a more revealing question pollsters might ask people: Do you "like" any better Sens. Chuck Schumer or Elizabeth Warren, pussyhatted marchers griping about the patriarchy or the totalitarians blocking Education Secretary Betsy Devos from walking into a public school? That's the...

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We Need a Special Prosecutor401990

2017/02Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:17:36 -0600

The press has long reported that Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's one time campaign manager, had ties to Russia. Rick Gates, who worked for Manafort at the Republican convention in Cleveland, was named as an "agent of a Ukrainian oligarch" in a 2011 lawsuit. Likewise, Carter Page, a Trump advisor had ties to Russia. The intelligence community, through a series of leaks, made clear that members of the Trump campaign had been in contact with Russian agents. Given the pre-existing ties, it begs the question if those contacts were about Donald Trump and the presidential campaign or other matters....

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