How Trump’s ego increases America’s risk from white supremacists, Russian hackers
Trump’s see-no-evilism about white violence would be worrisome if just for the moral symbolism – but the blind spot has spread to actual policy. Some of this predates the current president – a 2009 government report calling for stepped-up measures on right-wing terror was famously shelved after howls from talk radio and other conservatives –but under Trump, the government has gone much further to avoid the problem.
George Selim, a former Homeland Security and National Security Council staffer under both Democratic and Republican presidents, said the government office most directly targeting domestic terrorism has seen its budget decimated under Trump, down from $21 million to just $3 million, and its staff reduced by more than half. Earlier this month, the Daily Beast reported that an entire unit of DHS intelligence analysts who tracked would-be domestic terrorists, which used to often issue warnings to local police, was quietly disbanded. Critics note the government isn’t even keeping stats on the right-wing attacks, leaving that task for outside groups.
It seems that Team Trump has zero interest in either poking a stick in the eye of the president’s most despicable yet also most enthusiastic supporters, nor would the 45th president’s ego ever allow the acknowledgement that it was a terroristic, hateful fringe that played an important and possibly decisive role in his razor-thin 2016 election.
Fact check: he is a liar.
That’s what he describes as ‘executing babies’.
U.K. Conservatives Still Seeking Brexit Deal Before EU Election
Theresa May is still pursuing a Brexit deal that would get the U.K. out of the European Union before elections next month.
With negotiations with the opposition Labour Party set to continue next week, there’s still time for Parliament to settle on a deal before the May 23 vote, Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis said in an interview with the BBC on Sunday.
May herself has described the discussions as “difficult,” while Labour officials say she has refused to compromise. Without a cross-party agreement, the U.K. looks certain to hold elections for the European Parliament on May 23, almost three years after the country voted narrowly to leave the bloc.
Theresa may just needs to resign. Labour isn’t going to save her.
Democrats Think Biden Is Electable, But He’s Not Everyone’s First Choice
As for Sen. Bernie Sanders, who ranks second to Biden in most polls of the Democratic primary thus far, his perceived electability was on par with his popularity as a candidate. Apparently, Democratic voters don’t agree that Sanders’s socialism makes him unelectable. Meanwhile, only former Rep. Beto O’Rourke joined Biden as a candidate whose perceived electability outstripped his popularity as a candidate, although for O’Rourke, the difference was quite small. Quite a few candidates showed up at the other end of the electability spectrum, including South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. All three enjoyed decent voter support but were less likely to be seen as electable.
Globe and Mail:
Canada’s new far right: A trove of private chat room messages reveals an extremist subculture
An analysis of 150,000 chat room messages paints a picture of a group that is actively recruiting new members, buying weapons and trying to influence political parties
The Globe and Mail has obtained a trove of 150,000 messages posted between February, 2017, and early 2018 that reveal the private communications of a loosely aligned node of Canadian right-wing extremists. The record of their continuing conversations reveals a movement, energized by the rise of white ethnonationalism in the United States, that aims to upend a decades-old multicultural consensus in this country.
The discussions reviewed by The Globe and Mail originally took place on a text-and-voice application called Discord, an app meant for gamers that is also popular with the far right. The group called itself the Canadian Super Players, apparently to disguise themselves as video gamers.
Corruption Isn’t Just Another Scandal. It’s the Rot Beneath All of Them.
Here’s why we’re launching a new investigative project.
The Russia scandal was never, in the main, about whether the president would be prosecuted for a crime. It was, and is, about a bigger issue: A wealthy politician who hoped to profit from pandering to a foreign autocrat put his own financial interests above those of his country, who abetted a foreign attack, and who lied about it to those he swore to serve.
There is a word for this, but it’s not collusion. It’s corruption. And rather than laying off investigating it, as too many are suggesting now, journalism needs to back up and look at the whole thing.
This is what we have been thinking about at Mother Jones as we plan for the critical 18 months ahead. What do you, our readers, need us to do to illuminate the full picture? What lies beyond the distractions? Where can our work have the most impact?
Here’s the idea we keep coming back to, and that we keep hearing from our readers, too: With apologies to Clinton ’92, it’s the corruption, stupid. And that’s not “corruption” in the narrow sense so often used in the media—basically, exchanging wads of cash in a dark alley. It’s about the bigger picture: a system that is consistently manipulated by those with money and power for their own gain.
Jamelle Bouie/NY Times:
The Republican War on Democracy
If you can’t win playing by the rules, you change them.
Wisconsin Republicans attempted something similar after Tony Evers, a Democrat, unseated the Republican governor, Scott Walker. They advanced bills to restrict his ability to run public benefits programs and to curb his authority to set rules on implementation of state laws. They also established a new legislative power to intervene in litigation challenging state laws and wrested the right to decide on legal action against the Affordable Care Act from the attorney general’s office, placing it with the heavily gerrymandered legislature’s budget committee. A judge eventually blocked these efforts, but Republican state leaders have appealed the ruling. And Republicans in Michigan made a similar push to rein in executive power after Democrats won all three statewide races, in an attempt to keep Democrats from overturning Republican actions once they took office.
It’s clear, then, that from the White House and its allies on the Supreme Court down to individual state lawmakers, conservative Republicans have decided that their agenda cannot survive fair competition on equal ground. They reject efforts at electoral expansion — early voting, automatic registration and mail-in balloting — and embrace strategies that put the burden on voters themselves.
Trump views the Supreme Court as an ally, sowing doubt about its independence among his critics
“With this court, they seem very inclined to put on blinders when it comes to really parsing the president’s words and understanding the motives driving the policy actions he’s undertaken during his presidency,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
That has not been the case in lower courts. A Washington Post analysis found an extraordinary string of legal defeats for the administration that has stymied large parts of the president’s agenda on the environment, immigration and other matters.
CJ Roberts needs to step up and put a halt to this. He holds the balance, with the ideologues (Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh and Gorsich) voting as a bloc.
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