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Open Thread For Night Owls. Lehmann: 'More Mush From The Taste Police'

  • AMID THE GENERAL COLLAPSE of liberal governance, it remains an unshakable article of faith among our pundit class that liberal sensibilities possess a vicelike stranglehold on our cultural life.
  • It is, at any rate, a cinch that the prescription of first resort for professional prognosticators of our national politics is this peculiar pundit brand of mind-cure.
  • The first noteworthy paradox in the taste-policing racket is that it’s a singularly lucrative and prestigious one—one that frequently elevates its adepts into the very cultural elite they profess to scorn as they deliver their camera-ready talking points.
  • The shortcoming of these prim re-education sermons is that even their hypothetical purchase on the public weal is plainly well past the sell-by date.
rss@dailykos.com (Meteor Blades) / Daily Kos | July 20, 2017, 10:47 pm

Trump's Latest Interview Highlights Four Of His Greatest Flaws

  • President Trump’s extraordinary broadside this week against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller raised eyebrows across the nation’s capital.
  • Yet at the Justice Department on Thursday morning, it was business as usual.
  • “Now Donald Trump has finally done it” is a sentence many people have said or written, but which has never yet proven true.
  • Through the course of the transcript, you can sense Trump shifting from an opening tone that is not very wary at all—“Hi fellas, how you doing!” are his first words—to a comfortable intimate-schmoozing performance before what he assumes will be a sympathetic audience.
James Fallows / The Atlantic | July 20, 2017, 10:45 pm

Somehow, Sean Hannity Managed To Talk About Hillary Clinton More Than Health Care In The Last Week

  • Over the past week, Senate Republicans worked tirelessly to take health insurance away from 32 million people -- or slightly fewer, paired with giant tax cuts for their wealthiest friends.
  • A Media Matters analysis found that from July 13 to 19, Fox News’ Sean Hannity devoted more time to so-called “scandals” surrounding Hillary Clinton than to health care -- spending 1 hour, 7 minutes and 51 seconds on his prime-time show on the Clintons compared to 44 minutes and 34 seconds on health care.
  • Although one whose main source for news is Hannity might not realize it, there has been a lot of health care news in the past week.
  • Hannity’s obsessive Clinton chatter focused on bogus and debunked smears, including accusations that she colluded with Ukraine:
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 20, 2017, 9:02 pm

<i>The Atlantic </i> Politics & Policy Daily: Area Boss Regrets Hiring Decision

  • Visible Weaknesses: James Fallows explains how President Trump’s interview with The New York Times on Wednesday highlighted four of his greatest flaws.
  • Careful What You Wish For: Ronald Brownstein argues Republicans are still focused on Reagan-era policies that shrink government even though their voters have grown more tolerant of federal spending that supports “people like them.”
  • Coming tomorrow: The first episode of Radio Atlantic will be available by tomorrow morning, July 21, including the world premiere of Jon Batiste’s full “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Our hosts, Jeffrey Goldberg, Alex Wagner, and Matt Thompson, will talk with David Frum and Molly Ball about the American idea in the era of President Trump.
  • Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.SnapshotA life-sized wax statue of First Lady Melania Trump is seen next to the wax statue of President Donald Trump during an unveiling ceremony at Madrid's wax museum in Madrid, Spain.
Elaine Godfrey / The Atlantic | July 20, 2017, 7:43 pm

U.S. Attorney’s Office Harasses Barrett Brown’s Literary Agent

  • In a phone conversation with Emily Shutt, a member of the “restitution recovery team” for the U.S.
  • Shutt would not provide Brown a direct answer to his question, even though it presumably is the basis for any subpoena.
  • What the government is pursuing with the subpoena to Writers House is not money that Brown has been fully paid.
  • That particular subpoena sought information the Justice Department could have easily obtained without going to The Intercept in an act that implicated the press freedom of the organization.
Kevin Gosztola / Shadowproof | July 20, 2017, 6:37 pm

Ben Stein: Robert Mueller Wants To Kill Trump's Political Career And Take Away His Freedom

  • LIZ MACDONALD (GUEST HOST): Ben, the president is being criticized for undercutting the Attorney General and his Justice Department during these high-level probes into Russia.
  • This is the essence of a witch hunt, done by a very accomplished witch hunter, Mr.
  • Roger Stone is calling for Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein to be fired for their “witch hunt” against Trump
  • Seven ways pro-Trump media and fake news purveyors have smeared James Comey and Robert Mueller 
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 20, 2017, 6:01 pm

Did The Japanese Prime Minister’s Wife Akie Abe Pretend Not To Speak English To Avoid Trump?

  • As part of his long, confused, rambling interview with the NYT’s Maggie Haberman yesterday, Donald Trump talked about how uncomfortable he was sitting next to Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, because she doesn’t speak a word of English.
  • PS Who can forget Trump’s disastrous never-ending handshake with Prime Minister Abe, and the eyeroll Abe gave afterwards:
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John Aravosis / AMERICAblog | July 20, 2017, 5:33 pm

Trump Is Frustrating His Advisers By Trusting Putin, But Not His Own Staff

  • President Donald Trump’s persistent overtures toward Russia are placing him increasingly at odds with his national security and foreign policy advisers, who have long urged a more cautious approach to dealing with the foreign adversary.
  • Most people, when advised that something is an issue and likely to generate problems, might think twice before engaging in a behavior a second time.
  • That addiction doesn’t just make Trump incapable of shaking off his need to go running back Putin, In fact, it seems to reinforce his tendency to throw off any restraints, ignoring even the recommendations of the Russian team in securing meetings.
  • The White House did not respond to questions about Trump’s refusal to have a note taker for his meeting with Putin, or about whether McMaster communicated his concerns to the president.
rss@dailykos.com (Mark Sumner) / Daily Kos | July 20, 2017, 4:44 pm

The CBO Scored The Latest Draft Of The Senate's Health-Care Bill

  • Keeping up with the Congressional Budget Office can be tough these days.
  • This new analysis comes amid a flurry of legislative work around Obamacare, as well as corresponding CBO activity.
Vann R. Newkirk II / The Atlantic | July 20, 2017, 4:43 pm

U.S. Attorney’s Office Harasses Publisher Of Barrett Brown’s Forthcoming Book

  • In a phone conversation with Emily Shutt, a member of the “restitution recovery team” for the U.S.
  • Shutt would not provide Brown a direct answer to his question, even though it presumably is the basis for any subpoena.
  • What the government is pursuing with the subpoena to Writers House is not money that Brown has been fully paid.
  • That particular subpoena sought information the Justice Department could have easily obtained without going to The Intercept in an act that implicated the press freedom of the organization.
Kevin Gosztola / Shadowproof | July 20, 2017, 4:37 pm

GOP Senate Candidate Josh Mandel Embraces Far Right Pizzagate Conspiracy Theorists

  • Republican US Senate candidate Josh Mandel of Ohio today embraced two men labeled by the Anti-Defamation League as being leaders of a far right movement that traffics in conspiracy theories, such as the infamous “Pizzagate” theory that led to a DC pizza parlor shooting.
  • Mandel was the Republican challenger to Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in 2012, and is running against Brown again in 2018.
  • The Alt Lite, per the ADL, “was created by the alt right to differentiate itself from right-wing activists who refused to publicly embrace white supremacist ideology.
  • The ADL, whose missions is to expose and fight extremism, listed Posobiec and Cernovich among other Alt Right, and Alt Lite, leaders in a recent publication on their Web site.
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog | July 20, 2017, 3:28 pm

<meta Charset="utf-8" /><b Id="docs-internal-guid-7f85d6e0-616c-3e7c-5aa4-279aa213f059">Devos’ Address To ALEC Furthers Alignment With Corporate-driven Education Reform </b>

  • On July 20, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will address conservative legislators and corporate lobbyists at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
  • ALEC is a corporate-funded “membership organization.” It connects right-wing state legislators across the country with model legislation that represents “the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism” and corresponds with corporate interests on a given policy issue.
  • In reporting on her upcoming address, Education Week described DeVos and ALEC as “natural allies” because DeVos promotes education policies that are beneficial to the large corporations that make up ALEC’s membership.
  • NPR also highlighted the extent to which DeVos’ and ALEC’s agendas overlap, quoting ALEC’s education policy head, Inez Feltscher, saying that DeVos "has been a wonderful champion for school choice both before and after becoming secretary of education, and advancing educational choice is one of the key issues we work on here at ALEC."
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 20, 2017, 3:00 pm

CBO Scores Trumpcare 3.0, Still Finds 15 Million More Uninsured Next Year, 22 Million In Ten Years

  • The Congressional Budget Office has scored the latest iteration of Trumpcare, the one that McConnell couldn't bring to a vote most recently, and it's not much better than the previous version.
  • But, and this is key to the negotiations taking place right now, it would reduce federal deficits by $420 billion, compared to $321 billion in the previous version, because it retains some taxes.
  • It also finds soaring premiums for older people: 64 year olds making $57,000 annually would see a premium hike from Obamacare's $6,750/year to $18,250/year, more than one-third of their income.
  • About that crap, they estimate that in 2026, the deductibles in the most common plans will be $13,000.
rss@dailykos.com (Joan McCarter) / Daily Kos | July 20, 2017, 1:43 pm

Anything They Can Do, Trump Can Do Better

  • The transcript of Donald Trump’s interview yesterday with the New York Times runs over 7,000 words.
  • Trump never acknowledges that Clinton was trying to pass an entirely different health-care bill.
Peter Beinart / The Atlantic | July 20, 2017, 1:40 pm