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Steve Benen
390 followers -
Campaign-covering, chart-making, policy-wonking progressive blogger/reporter/commentator for MSNBC
Campaign-covering, chart-making, policy-wonking progressive blogger/reporter/commentator for MSNBC

390 followers
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It's Tuesday, February 19, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Donald Trump reportedly tried to arrange for an allied prosecutor to oversee his own hush-money case. That's ... not normal (https://on.msnbc.com/2GVTo2Z).

* Roger Stone was released on bond while awaiting trial. Then he thought it'd be a good idea to go after the judge in his own case. The trouble stems from Stone's decision to publish a photo of the judge alongside crosshairs (https://on.msnbc.com/2ICf7iX).

* The FBI launched an investigation two years ago into whether Trump was a national security threat. Republican leaders knew -- and now we know they didn't object (https://on.msnbc.com/2V5Vwsz).

* Trump may think his emergency declaration for a border wall is a political winner. There's new evidence that shows he's wrong (https://on.msnbc.com/2Xd2Mov).

* For three months, Trump has warned Democrats of dire consequences if they investigated his scandals. If the goal was to intimidate Dems into submission, the plan failed (https://on.msnbc.com/2T3WjwK).
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It's Monday, February 18, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Every president learns to live with satire and mockery. Donald Trump's authoritarian instincts, however, take him in a far less healthy direction (https://on.msnbc.com/2V6XDwq).

* Speaking to U.S. allies in Germany, Mike Pence paused for applause that never came. It was emblematic of a larger truth about Trump alienating America's closest allies (https://on.msnbc.com/2SN9Iu5).

* Trump initially said Mexico would pay for a wall. Then he said the wall would pay for itself. Now he wants the U.S. military to pay for a wall -- and Lindsey Graham is OK with that (https://on.msnbc.com/2V3vgz1).

* Has any president ever used an emergency declaration the way Trump is using one for a wall? Stephen Miller was pressed for an answer. It didn't go well (https://on.msnbc.com/2BJoAPw).

* In reality, Trump did not actually prevent a war with North Korea. There's a reason, however, he keeps pretending otherwise (https://on.msnbc.com/2tr0HHE).

* If Trump isn't inclined to listen to U.S. intelligence agencies, what intelligence is he inclined to believe? According to the former FBI deputy director, when it comes to North Korea, Trump listens to Vladimir Putin (https://on.msnbc.com/2XafzIh).
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It's Friday, February 15, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Referring to his emergency declaration, Donald Trump admitted today, "I didn't need to do this." It's a safe bet that'll be used against him in court -- and it won't be the first time his own words undermined his own case (https://on.msnbc.com/2SZTXiI).

* With his emergency declaration, Trump appears to have shown -- again -- his indifference to the rule of law. Is it a "constitutional crisis"? It's worth a closer look (https://on.msnbc.com/2tlVAbS).

* With his emergency declaration today, Trump is ignoring the wishes of the American public. And the advice of Republicans. And the fears of White House lawyers. And the meaning of the word "emergency." And... (https://on.msnbc.com/2UUEcGS).

* Republicans decried Barack Obama as a "lawless" and "imperial" president, indifferent to the rule of law. Apparently, they were just one administration too early (https://on.msnbc.com/2S1M7Al).

* With his recent shutdown gambit, Trump picked a fight that united his opponents and divided his allies. Today, with an emergency declaration, he's making the same mistake again (https://on.msnbc.com/2SyN7RL).
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It's Thursday, February 14, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Donald Trump has spent much of his career stiffing contractors, denying them the money they're owed. On the spending bill to prevent another government shutdown, he's done it again (https://on.msnbc.com/2SwzL8H).

* On the anniversary of the mass shooting in Parkland, Trump issued a statement honoring "communities where lives have been lost to gun violence." Then he edited the word "gun" (https://on.msnbc.com/2EaaZlI).

* Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, didn't just lie about trivia. Despite a plea deal, he lied to federal prosecutors about his Russian contacts. The implications of his latest legal disaster are significant (https://on.msnbc.com/2tlwr0O).

* According to the former FBI deputy director, there was, in fact, a conversation about whether officials should invoke the 25th Amendment with Trump (https://on.msnbc.com/2E92O9e).

* It's a problem that Roger Stone is peddling a conspiracy theory involving Special Counsel Special Counsel and coverage of Stone's arrest. It's a bigger problem that Republicans - including Trump - are taking it seriously (https://on.msnbc.com/2X3hRJe).

* Why is acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker's sworn testimony suddenly so important? Because one key lawmaker suspects some of his answers weren't true (https://on.msnbc.com/2EaG8W4).
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It's Wednesday, February 13, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* How bad a deal-maker is Donald Trump? To prevent another government shutdown, he's about to endorse a deal that leaves him worse off than he would've been under previous offers he rejected (https://on.msnbc.com/2UUC02b).

* As the national debt tops $22 trillion, it's pretty amazing to revisit Trump's pre-election promises. Remember when he said he could "easily" and "quickly" eliminate the debt? (https://on.msnbc.com/2X0nHLn)

* The White House and its allies have concluded that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no evidence of "collusion" between him and Russia. Is that true? Not exactly (https://on.msnbc.com/2N6cELS).

* Trump has a curious habit of proposing ideas that already exist. The problem is an extension of his unfamiliarity with basic elements of civic life (https://on.msnbc.com/2BzGmV3).

* Republican efforts to help Trump keep his tax returns keep ... evolving. Though the GOP hasn't explained the need for secrecy, the party has come up with an aggressive new posture (https://on.msnbc.com/2X1B0LF).

* The DEA has evidence that conflicts with what Trump wants to believe about the U.S./Mexico border. The result was sadly predictable (https://on.msnbc.com/2BtuZy7).
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It's Tuesday, February 12, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* It sounds scandalous: a president using his power to pressure a government agency to do a radical favor for a major donor. So why did Donald Trump publicly admit to doing this? (https://on.msnbc.com/2thcl82)

* The first president with a professional branding background has a couple of new slogans. One is a lie. The other he borrowed from Hillary Clinton (https://on.msnbc.com/2DvJVf9).

* Trump believe he has the necessary credibility to accuse others of anti-Semitism -- and assess the quality of their apologies. We've seen his record. He's clearly mistaken (https://on.msnbc.com/2N40jrJ).

* How eager is Trump to convince his followers to see him as the sole authority for truth? He's now arguing that people shouldn't believe crime statistics from his own administration (https://on.msnbc.com/2UXtnEa).

* For a guy who doesn't want a dog at the White House, Trump sure does seem focused on them. In odd ways, he can't seem to stop talking about dogs (https://on.msnbc.com/2E6cfX3).

* Voters in Utah approved Medicaid expansion. Republican policymakers in Utah responded by effectively asking those same voters a question: "Who put you in charge?" (https://on.msnbc.com/2N9mkFP)
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It's Monday, February 11, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Donald Trump's chief of staff didn't just echo his boss' threat against Democrats investigating presidential scandals. Mick Mulvaney also conceded too much about his actions in the Obama era (https://on.msnbc.com/2GD3khG).

* As Trump heads to El Paso, Texas, to sell his immigration ideas, there's one big problem: he's lying about El Paso in important ways (https://on.msnbc.com/2E3Wfoq).

* Many Americans who were expecting a big tax refund this year aren't getting one. It's not the only way in which the Republican tax plan is disappointing people (https://on.msnbc.com/2N2vaVs).

* Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) took a big gamble when she said Brett Kavanaugh would honor Roe v. Wade on the Supreme Court. Now, she has some explaining to do (https://on.msnbc.com/2GmMVyh).

* Every time we get fairly detailed information about U.S. withdrawal from Syria, which we received again yesterday, I wonder anew about Donald Trump's vow to never telegraph decisions related to national security (https://on.msnbc.com/2BxuCT2).

* Trump's doctor not only gave an assessment of the president's health, he included a prediction about Trump's future health. Can't he just have a normal physical like other presidents? (https://on.msnbc.com/2SoND4J).
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It's Friday, February 8, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Donald Trump's favorite tabloid already embarrassed Jeff Bezos. Why did its parent company make fresh threats against the Amazon CEO? It might it have something to do with the company's non-prosecution agreement, reached after it broke the law in 2016 to help elect Trump (https://on.msnbc.com/2HZXwRG).

* The case hasn't generated a lot of attention, but the Roe v Wade precedent just faced a major test at the Supreme Court. The developments offered some important lessons -- some of which were entirely unexpected (https://on.msnbc.com/2RPukfH).

* Chris Christie recently said the investigation into Trump's inaugural committee might be a bigger threat than the Robert Mueller probe. As far-fetched as that may seem, there's no denying the fact that the scandal is intensifying (https://on.msnbc.com/2TG3kkn).

* Why did Trump accuse the chairman of the Intelligence Committee of "stealing people"? We finally have an answer -- which raises questions about why the White House is "enraged" (https://on.msnbc.com/2teR9Q6).

* It's difficult to count all of the controversies surrounding Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, but now we have a striking addition to the list: Trump keeps giving jobs to his customers (https://on.msnbc.com/2N0EgSY).

* When people say it pays to be a member of Trump's inner circle, in some cases, that's literally true. Just ask former bodyguard Keith Schiller (https://on.msnbc.com/2GxuLtd).
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It's Thursday, February 7, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Donald Trump isn't just condemning the investigations into his many scandals. Today, he suggested the investigations shouldn't be "allowed" (https://on.msnbc.com/2MSRUqT).

* Trump needed someone to lead the agency charged with countering foreign disinformation. He tapped someone with Fox News experience. She's the latest in a lengthy series (https://on.msnbc.com/2SxO4ZI).

* We finally know what it takes to get the Congress to examine gun violence: It's not a mass shooting; it's an election (https://on.msnbc.com/2Gvb4SG).

* The top Republican in the House is pushing Democrats not to investigate any of Donald Trump's scandals. Oddly enough, he had a different perspective when the GOP was in charge -- and when the Obama administration was the target (https://on.msnbc.com/2RLWbND).

* Why is Donald Trump still slamming a Republican senator who lost four months ago? Because the president is still worried about keeping current GOP lawmakers in line ahead of 2020 (https://on.msnbc.com/2E0vH7P).
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It's Wednesday, February 6, 2019, and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Donald Trump seems to have some kind of corrupt bargain in mind: he’s prepared to govern, but only if Democrats look the other way on his many scandals. If he thinks this will work, he's going to be disappointed (https://on.msnbc.com/2WNyx7x).

* On a related note, when Trump talks about "unity," he seems to mean uniting around him. When he refers to "people coming together," he seems to mean coming together to give him what he wants (https://on.msnbc.com/2GeKC09).

* Why was there nothing in the State of the Union address about the deficit? Because "nobody cares," White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said. Funny, Trump's chief of staff said something very different when Obama was in office (https://on.msnbc.com/2DWaZ8Z).

* The good news: Trump called for new funding to combat childhood cancer. The bad news: he asked for an almost insultingly small amount of money (https://on.msnbc.com/2GoMSS1).

* In 2014, for reasons that never made any sense, Trump insisted Barack Obama was blowing off intelligence briefings. Five years later, the irony is extraordinary (https://on.msnbc.com/2RF6h37).

* Six months after John McCain's passing, Trump continues to express his contempt for the late senator. At this point, it's getting a little creepy (https://on.msnbc.com/2GeKPAH).
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