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

308 followers
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It's Friday, June 15, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Today, Donald Trump falsely claimed -- repeatedly -- that the Justice Department has fully "exonerated" him in the Russia scandal. Even by 2018 standards, the gaslighting has reached a breathtaking scale (https://on.msnbc.com/2ylqCGm).

* On a related note, Trump spent months whining he was a victim of a system "rigged" by federal law enforcement. We now know with certainty that that everything he said was the opposite of the truth (https://on.msnbc.com/2JUuId4).

* As Paul Manafort, who ran the president's political operation, ends up in jail, Trump has a bold idea: pretend he barely knows the chairman of his campaign (https://on.msnbc.com/2JMwcTf).

*Trump has long expressed admiration for dictators, not despite their authoritarian practices, but because of them. Take his latest comments about North Korea's Kim Jong-un, for example (https://on.msnbc.com/2yev4Xg).

* If Trump and his lawyers aren't sweating over the new allegations targeting Trump's charitable foundation, they're not paying close enough attention (https://on.msnbc.com/2JT20ZY).

* House Republicans designed a "compromise" immigration bill to make their party's president happy. Imagine their surprise when Trump announced he wouldn't sign the bill he's supposed to support (https://on.msnbc.com/2LVmONU).
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It's Thursday, June 14, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Donald Trump didn't need another serious scandal, but he has one anyway. Sweeping new allegations against Trump's charitable foundation are surprisingly brutal (https://on.msnbc.com/2JLvfdP).

* We've reached the point in history at which the president is offering excuses for a communist dictator's barbaric crimes. Trump's new defense for North Korea's Kim Jong Un is tough to defend (https://on.msnbc.com/2MrMQJC).

* A Republican senator complained yesterday that his party has ended up in "a cult-like situation." Trump Jr's response to this was ... less than great (https://on.msnbc.com/2y8NJnq).

* As Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) retweets a Nazi sympathizer, the real question comes into focus: just how much is the Republican Party and its leadership prepared to tolerate from this guy? (https://on.msnbc.com/2MtvL22)

* For the first time in 70 years, the United States military won't participate in joint exercises with our South Korean allies, thanks to a controversial decision from Trump. In this case, where the American president got the idea for this move matters (https://on.msnbc.com/2sYunMu).

* The Trump administration's response to questions about the hollow "deal" with North Korea is ... problematic. I hate to break it to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but there's nothing "ludicrous" about routine accountability (https://on.msnbc.com/2JQdgTO).
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It's Wednesday, June 13, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Why are so many Republicans in Congress terrified to stand up to Donald Trump? For the answer, look no further than the results of Rep. Mark Sanford's primary in South Carolina (https://on.msnbc.com/2HLKOjW).

* According to Trump, the North Korean nuclear threat is over, and the rogue nuclear power is "no longer" a problem. If the president genuinely believes this, his ignorance may actually be dangerous (https://on.msnbc.com/2sUhtiD).

* Trump promised two weeks ago that consumers should expect "massive drops" in the price of prescription medication, starting today. It's time to check in and see if the president kept his vow (https://on.msnbc.com/2l5tspd).

* The Republican Party's Senate candidate in Virginia, running on a "vicious" platform, is too extreme for the GOP establishment. But he's apparently just right for Trump (https://on.msnbc.com/2JMxXQb).

* Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) recently tried to block some special elections in his state, fearing more setbacks for Republicans. We now know the governor was right to worry (https://on.msnbc.com/2JVxChL).

* How corrupt is EPA chief Scott Brown? His efforts to use his office to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise wasn't his only abuse regarding his spouse (https://on.msnbc.com/2t1R7uc).
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It's Tuesday, June 12, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Donald Trump wanted a great spectacle with North Korea's Kim Jong-un, and he got one. But what the White House may not want to admit is that the president is returning home empty handed (https://on.msnbc.com/2MjN6u9).

* If only Trump spoke of our allies with the affection and admiration he's now shown for one of the world's most brutal and repressive dictators. His latest praise for North Korea's Kim Jong Un is breathtaking (https://on.msnbc.com/2JxXJeW).

* The summit with North Korea helping bring a simple truth into focus: Trump has no idea the extent to which his ego is getting in the way of his foreign policy agenda (https://on.msnbc.com/2HJak9t).

* Why would Trump say North Korea is going to start denuclearizing "now," when that's obviously not true? There are a few possible answers. They're all unsettling (https://on.msnbc.com/2LJVPVe).

* A senior White House official argued, "The Trump Doctrine is 'We're America, Bitch.' That's the Trump Doctrine." The price we pay for such mindless arrogance will be high (https://on.msnbc.com/2t488UC).

* I'm not saying the president is already sketching out plans for Trump Tower Pyongyang in his mind, but let's not rule out the possibility (https://on.msnbc.com/2Mj8Hml).
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It's Monday, June 11, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* At the G-7 meeting, Donald Trump demonstrated that he knows how to alienate our closest international allies. What the American president seems incapable of demonstrating is a capacity for leadership (https://on.msnbc.com/2LIQFJc).

* Trump and his team can't even throw a dishonest tantrum about an imaginary problem without screwing up in important ways. The White House's attacks on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were interesting in ways Trump never intended (https://on.msnbc.com/2HF5mKV).

* Trump is approaching the summit in Singapore the way a single American might approach speed-dating. That's not exactly encouraging (https://on.msnbc.com/2LIBBLM).

* As Trump's antics intensity, the choice facing Republicans is not between speaking up and silence. It's between action and inaction (https://on.msnbc.com/2y2cC3R).

* In Trump's White House, there was an entire department dedicated to taping his documents back together again after the president tore them apart. So why were they fired? (https://on.msnbc.com/2JNwqN2)

* It's one of those sentences that lingers in the mind: "We've now reached the point in American history at which the sitting president's campaign chairman is jointly charged in a felony indictment with a Russian intelligence operative" (https://on.msnbc.com/2JO6iSj).
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It's Friday, June 8, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* It sure looks as if Donald Trump feels indebted to Moscow, and he doesn't mind embarrassing himself while looking for new ways to make Russia happy. Take today's comments about Russia re-joining the G-7, for example (https://on.msnbc.com/2sRiDuz).

* Trump and his Justice Department want the courts to consider Obamacare's consumer protections unconstitutional. That means, this election year, Republicans are going after protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions (https://on.msnbc.com/2JjNI4Y).

* Even by Trump standards, his latest argument about his own family-separation policy -- which he now claims to "hate" -- is indefensibly incoherent (https://on.msnbc.com/2sQjM5C).

* Trump doesn't want to prepare for his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un, and today he justified his negligence by pointing to Hillary Clinton. It makes even less sense than you might think (https://on.msnbc.com/2sT34Cu).

* Trump isn't just preoccupied with Barack Obama. He's also preoccupied with falsely accusing his predecessor of imaginary "illegal" misconduct (https://on.msnbc.com/2LBFWQJ).
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It's Thursday, June 7, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* As far as Donald Trump is concerned, he doesn't "have to prepare" for a summit with North Korea. But this isn't just a point-and-laugh-at-the-foolish-president moment. There are real policy implications to consider (https://on.msnbc.com/2M6t5qU).

* Only Trump could screw up a FEMA briefing on hurricane preparedness this badly (https://on.msnbc.com/2sOto0u).

* A variety of leaders of allied nations have tried to forge close ties with Trump, hoping an inter-personal connection might make a positive difference. Those efforts apparently haven't gone well (https://on.msnbc.com/2M4yluZ).

* Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan insist they can't take up bills -- even ones they agree with -- if Trump doesn't like them. That's not how legislative arithmetic works (https://on.msnbc.com/2M64baM).

* Republicans thought they could use their tax plan as a life-preserver as the midterms approached. We now know they thought wrong (https://on.msnbc.com/2sFCvBm).

* Republicans keep pushing Trump to give up on his latest conspiracy theory, but the president is struggling to separate fact from fiction (https://on.msnbc.com/2M8vKjV).
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It's Wednesday, June 6, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* When a cabinet official uses his office to help advance "a potential business opportunity" for his wife, it should be a firing offense -- but in Trump World it may not be. The story of Scott Pruitt, his wife, and a Chick-fil-A franchise is a doozy, even by 2018 standards (https://on.msnbc.com/2M69qqT).

* Donald Trump responded to deadly gun violence in schools by creating a commission. That commission, we now know, will ignore guns (https://on.msnbc.com/2LvofCz).

* According to this White House, standing for our national anthem is "what makes our country special and unique," and "what sets us apart." I'm glad Team Trump thinks our country is "special," though I wish they understood why (https://on.msnbc.com/2sCCVZj).

* This week's elections haven't exactly gone the way Republicans hoped. After a Democrat won a pro-Trump state legislative special election in Missouri, a GOP consultant said, "Every suburban Republican should be petrified tonight" (https://on.msnbc.com/2JfbjDX).

* According to Rudy Giuliani, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators are "trying very, very hard to frame" Trump. He may be a little unclear on what "frame" means (https://on.msnbc.com/2sIVKcE).

* It's not enough that Trump dispatched a notorious internet troll to be our ambassador in Berlin; the State Department had to point to D-Day as an example of our relationship with Germany, too? (https://on.msnbc.com/2sCM04r)
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It's Tuesday, June 5, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Democrats are blaming Republicans for rising health care premiums, and Republicans are blaming "Obamacare," but here's the thing to keep in mind: One of the parties is correct (https://on.msnbc.com/2xIjHXq).

* If Donald Trump's recent legal assertions have seemed a little frantic, it may be because the president is already having a difficult week. Take the latest news on Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, for example (https://on.msnbc.com/2sz0D8N).

* Given a chance to defend her credibility, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn't bother (https://on.msnbc.com/2Lq2X94).

* To hear Trump tell it, we currently have the best job market in American history. His boasts aren't just wrong; they're unnecessary (https://on.msnbc.com/2kQ3Zju).

* After Trump claimed an "absolute right" to pardon himself, Ted Cruz was asked if the president is right. His answer didn't go especially well (https://on.msnbc.com/2sKdO6h).

* Asked to name Trump's foreign policy accomplishments, the White House pointed to "the strengthening of relationships with a number of foreign leaders." Maybe Trump World should've led with something else? (https://on.msnbc.com/2sFS3o4)
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It's Monday, June 4, 2018. and here are some of the highlights from the dozen or so posts I published today:

* Americans have probably never seen a memo quite like the one Donald Trump's lawyers sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The president's team genuinely seems to believe he is above the law -- which is an inherently dangerous idea (https://on.msnbc.com/2J9Kam0).

* Two years after the infamous Trump Tower meeting between Russian operates and the Trump campaign, Rudy Giuliani said, "Our recollection keeps changing" about what happened. That was unintentionally hilarious, but the significance runs deeper (https://on.msnbc.com/2LXBlJJ).

* The problem isn't that Donald Trump can't keep a secret. The problem is that he can't keep our secrets (https://on.msnbc.com/2sG3zQ7).

* Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) effectively put an end to Trump's "Spygate" fairy tale. Now the Republican congressman is paying a partisan price -- facing punishment from his ostensible allies because he told the truth (https://on.msnbc.com/2J9UISa).

* In retrospect, perhaps dispatching a conservative internet troll to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Germany was unwise (https://on.msnbc.com/2kM4prd).

* If Trump thinks Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is too expensive, he may need to explain the cost of his Mar-a-Lago trips (https://on.msnbc.com/2sAFLxc).

* A baker who discriminated against a gay couple won at the Supreme Court, but it's not quite the victory the right was hoping for (https://on.msnbc.com/2JiFu9c).
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