Wiretap: The one person not to believe in the Rob Porter story is, reportedly, his ex-boss
According to a report from Axios, Donald Trump has been spotted telling a lie. This shouldn’t be surprising, except that what Trump is reportedly saying in private is that former White House aide Rob Porter is “sick” and that he believes the women who have accused him. Publicly, of course, Trump has defended Porter and wished him well while bemoaning that men can have their lives destroyed by “mere” allegations, not to mention a photo from an ex-wife of her black eye. Meanwhile, in the White House, they’re still struggling to get their story straight as to who knew what and when and how it was that Porter was fired/resigned.
Is this — finally — a moment of reckoning for Trump, or at least the beginning of the moment? Will Trump’s longstanding misogyny, made clear again in his recent defense of Rob Porter, be Trump’s undoing? David Remnick seems to think so. He cites none other than Steve Bannon himself. While watching the Golden Globes and its #MeToo theme with journalist Joshua Green, Bannon said, “You watch. The time has come. Women are gonna take charge of society. And they couldn’t juxtapose a better villain than Trump. He is the patriarch. This is a definitional moment in the culture. It’ll never be the same going forward.” Via The New Yorker.
As we debate whether Kim Jong-Un’s sister upstaged Mike Pence at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, we should also take time to take note of what a war with North Korea would actually look like. In Vox, Yochi Dreazen writes that a full-blown war with North Korea would not be as bad as you imagine. It would be much, much worse.
Russia was, of course, officially banned from the Winter Olympics for systemic doping issues, but, in a decision that still has some people shaking heads, Russian athletes were invited to participate, and nearly 170 are there in South Korea. So Russia is at the Olympics and it’s not at the Olympics. There’s no Russian National Anthem at the medals ceremony, but there is wild celebration when a Russian wins. Somehow it all seems fitting. Via The New York Times.
Michelle Cottle writes in The Atlantic that the battles over the #MeToo movement seem to be mostly among women, with men clinging to the sidelines. This intra-gender debate feels appropriate, Cottle writes, but she wonders if watching women break into factions, often generational, over #MeToo is too much like the Mommy Wars and will hold the movement back.
And so the Senate is set to begin the promised debate over immigration and the fate of the Dreamers. And no one has any idea what will happen. Can the Senate reach a compromise, and, if it does, is it one that Paul Ryan allow a vote on it in the House? And what about the president? Well, that’s always the question. Via The Washington Post.
By deciding not to shut down the government over immigration and the Dreamers, Democrats are obviously playing politics, but what kind? Are they playing the long game — in which they knew they couldn’t win the battle now, but that they may be in much better shape to do so after the 2018 midterms? Or are they playing the short game, in which the lack of a settlement is a sure way to energize Latino voters as the midterms approach? Via Slate.
Many conservatives, especially those in Congress, seem to have forgotten how, when Barack Obama was president, the national debt was the greatest crisis facing the nation. Well, at The National Review, they still remember.
What teens learn from online porn — a question parents may not even want to consider — and what we might do to help them unlearn it. Via The New York Times.
Andrew Sullivan writes in New York magazine that when he writes about campus culture, he is beset by critics who tell him that college safe spaces are college safe spaces and that there’s no real-world equivalent, so why write about it? He grants that the argument makes sense, but wonders if we don’t all live on college campuses now. (Editor’s note: We should be so lucky.)
Photo by Dion Gillard, via Flickr: Creative Commons
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