Republicans’ 2024 Magical Thinking
Lots of Republicans want Donald Trump to disappear from politics. Their main strategy is hope.
The scenarios Republicans find themselves fantasizing about range from the far-fetched to the morbid. In his recent book Thank You for Your Servitude, my colleague Mark Leibovich quoted a former Republican representative who bluntly summarized his party’s plan for dealing with Trump: “We’re just waiting for him to die.” As it turns out, this is not an uncommon sentiment. In my conversations with Republicans, I heard repeatedly that the least disruptive path to getting rid of Trump, grim as it sounds, might be to wait for his expiration.
As Twitter's Legal Woes Mount, It's Elon vs. Everyone
Twitter's terminally-online CEO has kicked up legal trouble from California to Germany. Those lawsuits will be devastating for a company still struggling to survive.
As you may know, Europe takes hate speech pretty seriously — and nowhere in Europe is the issue of antisemitism more incendiary than in Germany. The Germans not only passed laws that criminalize engaging in Holocaust denial and pro-Nazi speech, the government has strengthened those laws over the past three decades. Holocaust denial now falls under anti-incitement law, and in 1994 the German government upped the penalty for engaging in Holocaust denial to a maximum of five years imprisonment and a hefty fine.
It shouldn’t surprise you that, because these laws are so sensitive, social media companies like Meta, Google and (formerly) Twitter go out of their way to police Nazi-themed content. Back in 2018, Meta — then Facebook — made headlines for deleting 362 instances of antisemitic and pro-Nazi posts from its platform after Germany extended its hate speech laws to cover the Internet. Facebook’s rush to clear out Nazi content was an abrupt about-face after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stupidly opined that maybe his company wouldn’t police Holocaust denial. Zuck found that position impossible to maintain. Other tech companies chose to avoid his mistake and follow the law.
The House GOP’s sham hearings are fizzling before they even begin
In an actual hearing, unlike an interview with a captive right-wing media host, one has to explain the alleged scandal in a way that is comprehensible to those who haven’t spent hours soaking up bogus talking points. Democratic committee members will be able to channel what average voters are thinking: “What in the world are you talking about?”
Michelle Goldberg/NY Times:
The Durham Fiasco Is a Warning of What’s to Come
Thank goodness Speaker Kevin McCarthy has created a House subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government!
Last week, The New York Times reported on an outrageous example of such weaponization, the flagrant use of federal law enforcement powers to target an administration’s political enemies. I’m talking, of course, about the John Durham special counsel investigation, which was meant to root out the ostensibly corrupt origins of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and quickly came to embody the sins that Donald Trump and his allies projected onto the F.B.I.
Oh, and about that headline for today’s roundup?? See this one:
Liz Truss Crashes the (Republican) Party
The former British prime minister, banished from office after a disastrous rollout of her tax-cut plan, finds new allies in American conservatives.
Truss conceded she had made mistakes: She had not done enough to build support for her ideas and had moved too abruptly on an agenda that shocked the country. Truss did not put it this way, but she had tried to transplant American-style anti-tax politics onto British soil and she had failed.
If Truss had reconsidered the soundness of a program that sent the pound plunging, triggered emergency actions by the Bank of England and drew open scorn from the Biden administration, she did not say so. To the contrary, she seemed to believe her defective strategy of borrowing Republican ideas could be improved by borrowing more Republican ideas.
Inflation is down! But things are more expensive than they used to be.
We live in a world of choices about how news is presented. You can highlight risk, you can bury it. You can slant it towards or against the WH. But don’t think for a second that the news is presented totally neutrally.
It never is.
If you’re looking for cover for rate hikes, here it is.
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