Wiretap: This time, it could be Democrats who are ready to shut down the government

Maybe you remember this threat from previous administrations. But the tables have turned. Democrats are now threatening to shut down the government if Republicans can’t agree on compromise legislation that would counter what critics say is Donald Trump’s decision to sabotage Obamacare — by scrapping the Cost Sharing Reduction program that helps insurance companies keep premiums affordable. Via The Washington Post.

Andrew Sullivan: Trump’s problem is not that he’s a moron, even though he may be, but that he’s a dangerous reactionary fantasist who thinks he can somehow reconstruct the late 1950s. It seems that might even be worse. Via New York magazine.

Just in case you thought the news from Iraq was getting better these days, apparently it’s not. Reports are that Iraqi forces are beginning an assault on Kurdish-held Kirkuk, with nearby oil fields at stake. U.S. forces have, of course, trained both side of this battle, which has been inflamed by Kurdistan’s recent referendum vote for independence. Meanwhile, the Iraqi forces are joined by Iranian-supported Shiite militias. Via The New York Times.

Trump’s irrational hatred of the Iran nuclear agreement, which could lead Congress to pass further sanctions and for Iran to then abandon the deal, not only endangers our relationships with our enemies, but also with our friends. Via The New Yorker.

In a Vox explainer, we learn how Trump’s decison to decertify the Iran deal is not the same as ending it, which isn’t to say that it’s not pointless and dangerous.

Carl Cannon: Is the bipartisan disgust with Harvey Weinstein and his indefensible treatment of women a cultural turning point? It just might be. Via The Orange County Register.

From The National Review: There’s a three-way battle on the Republican budget — the House version, the Senate version and Trump’s incoherent version.

Meanwhile, Steven Bannon promises a “season of war” against Mitch McConnell and any Republicans he thinks are blocking Trump’s programs. In other words, if you didn’t get the hint in Alabama, now you know to get ready for a very busy and expensive primary season. Via Politico.

As the Democratic Party continues to move left, centrists are casting around for some big-idea programs that will help move the party back toward the middle. Via McClatchy.

Bill Clinton reviews Ron Chernow’s Grant in The New York Times Book Review. Grant’s role in protecting the right to vote and combating white supremacy is not so much a history lesson, Clinton writes, as a mirror on our times.

Long-form bonus via The Atlantic: What Facebook has done to American democracy. Let’s just say it’s nothing good. And the really strange thing is, nobody saw it coming, and that includes Facebook.

Photo by Kevin Bacher courtesy of National Park Service, via Flickr: Creative Commons. Mount Rainier’s Nisqually Entrance gates were locked during the government shutdown in October 2013.


  1. Trump Derangement Syndrome has claimed another victim. At a gala for juvenile diabetes in Denver last week George Lopez was booed off the stage after he chose to inject anti-President Trump material into his role as MC of the event which raised $1.65 million. Via Page Six.


    Is the disgust with Harvey Weinstein really bipartisan? Variety reports, “The Clinton Foundation has no plans to return up to $250,000 in contributions from Harvey Weinstein, citing the fact that the donations have been used to fund charitable programs.” Hate the sin but love the sinner’s money.


    Good news! The most well known and oldest U.S. equity benchmark, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, is set to hit 23,000 for the first time ever, notching its fourth straight 1,000 point climb over the past 12 months. According to WSJ Market Data Group that would be the largest number of such 1,000 point moves within a calendar year in the benchmark’s 120+-year history. Via marketwatch.com


    More good news! “If (President) Trump isn’t removed from office and doesn’t lead the country into some form of global catastrophe, he could secure a second term simply by maintaining his current level of support with his political base.” So says Doug Sosnik, a Democratic political strategist, was a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 2000. Via The Washington Post


    Dana Loesch, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, announced Sunday that her family had been forced to move suddenly after she received multiple death threats from gun control advocates. According to Mrs. Loesch in a horrific irony one supposed gun control advocate “threatened to shoot me in my front yard.” Via freebeacon.com


    Leah Libresco is a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight,a data journalism site. She used to believe gun control was the answer but after examining proposed gun laws she arrived at this conclusion, “I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them.” The article is well worth reading. Via The Washington Post.


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