EDITORS' BLOG
Where Things Stand: Gun Couple Might Lose Their Law Licenses
Prime Membership Required

Their gun-waving earned them a coveted speaking gig at the Republican National Convention last year, victimhood status in Trumpworld and the inflated confidence needed to run for Senate in Missouri.

Read More
Kyrsten Sinema’s Final Senate Term

Like many people I spent a lot of time trying to figure out Kyrsten Sinema’s motivations this year. I’ve discussed my conclusions in other posts. But what I’ve focused on more recently is that as near as I can see, unless she shifts her stance pretty dramatically the odds of Sinema being elected to a second Senate term in 2024 are pretty poor. And that’s made me consider another question: does she just misread the politics of her situation that badly or is she not planning on running?

I know I’ve thrown out a few pretty dramatic claims. So let me walk you through my reasoning. Because I think it’s pretty solid.

Read More
Armageddoning with the Democratic Coalition

Presidents usually get their first year big legislative initiatives. Maybe not in total. Maybe not entirely as they’d wished. But certainly most of the time. But there’s no question the President Fiscal/Infrastructure/Climate agenda is facing some serious headwinds. The establishment DC outlets are practically giddy with each new threat from the Senate and House “moderates” to torch the whole agenda. Joe Manchin is back to his demand for a “strategic pause” to delay consideration into a reconciliation package – a gambit that is basically guaranteed to bring the whole program down in flames. Kyrsten Sinema meanwhile, allegedly, threatened in a conversation with the President that she’ll vote against reconciliation if her bipartisan mini-bill doesn’t get a successful vote this month. So she has to get her bird in hand and then she’ll decide if anyone else gets hers.

Read More
Is the Biden Administration Being Too Timid in Combatting Covid?

The main complaint lodged against Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic is that he didn’t “follow the science.” Joe Biden has promised repeatedly to do so. But when it comes to the pandemic, there is a catch: there are conflicting scientific opinions, and our main governmental institutions in charge are having trouble deciding among them. Faced in the last months with the Delta variant, the Biden administration has not performed so well.

Read More
Responding to the Crumbling Firmament #3

From TPM Reader MV

I’m a regular reader, writing in from Australia. I really enjoy reading your analysis and thoughts at TPM. Most of the time I think it’s spot on. But on the topic of the Aukus deal, I think you are missing quite a bit of the picture. So, I thought I’d write in with a contrary view.

First off, this is not really just a choice of submarine propulsion technology. The French offer initially *was* for nuclear boats; the Australian government specifically requested a downgraded diesel/electric version, on the grounds that Australia did not (and still does not) have domestic nuclear capability to build or keep them operational. If our govt had simply decided we needed nuclear after all, they could have just upgraded to the nuclear version of the Barracuda (already in production, and I believe even an option in the contract).

Read More
Responding to the Crumbling Firmament #2

From TPM Reader HP

I was surprised to read Josh’ last edblogs on the French dispute with US and Australia (note:as French foreign minister said, they did not spat with the UK as “they were already used of their duplicity”). Josh’s inputs are usually well balanced and offer interesting arguments and perspective. But these last two articles are instead showing contempt and lack of curiosity. They sound as if Josh was only paraphrasing what a prejudiced friend at the State Department just told him.

Read More
Responding to the Crumbling Firmament #1

From TPM Reader AL

France is upset because it seems that Boris Johnson will be rewarded for his faithlessness by a Biden administration that turns out not to represent the return to sober, reliable allyship that France had expected. Instead it turns out that the international rifts signaled by Brexit and Trump are more permanent than they’d realized, as is the potential for Anglo-European conflict, an insight France gained in an instant — a coup de tonnerre. Of course they’re freaked.

Read More
Crumbling Firmament #2

I’ve now read up a bit more on the particulars of the blow up between the US and France. It basically comports with my original understanding. Australia feels increasingly threatened by China. The Australians contracted with the French five years ago, in a significantly different and less threatening security environment. There were already significant delays and cost overruns with the French subs. But the key is that what the US could offer was demonstrably and critically better technology. A central attribute of attack submarines is that your adversary doesn’t know where they are. The French subs are louder. The Australians had good reason to believe they’d be obsolete on delivery.

To the Australians this must have seemed an open and shut case of critical national security interests against which the anger of the French was an unfortunate but inevitable and acceptable byproduct. A more capably armed Australia, meanwhile, fits neatly into what the Biden White House has made a central feature of its national security policy: countering Chinese ambitions to challenge or displace the US Navy as the dominant naval power in East Asia.

Read More
Crumbling Firmament

France has recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia in what amounts to a tantrum over the newly announced strategic partnership uniting the US with Australia and the United Kingdom. Critically, it means scuttling a deal under which France would provide conventional submarines to Australia for one under which the US will provide nuclear submarines to Australia. As a Great Power the US can do and provide what France simply cannot. And as tensions rise in East Asia, Australia feels it needs the real thing.

This is partly over losing a weapons deal but it seems more a fit of pique over France facing the reality that it is in fact no longer or a Great Power or a Pacific power. Most people have realized this for decades. The whole dust up is at once deeply stupid and yet feels far more consequential and significant than the meagerness of the actual controversy. It seems like one of those moments where the whole global firmament shifts, even though the trigger is risible, the hurt pride of a country which hasn’t come to grips with the 1950s.

To Understand Milley’s Worries We Should Look at the Trump DOJ

Follow-on reporting about General Mark Milley’s crisis talks with his counterpart in the PLA just add more confirmation that these communications were entirely appropriate. We should be thankful they happened. We now know the calls were coordinated with the current and later the acting Secretaries of Defense. So it’s all very much by the book. As Tom Nichols explains here, the US military – and most professional militaries – invest great resources, often over decades, in military to military talks and liaison precisely for moments like this. If you need to make direct contact to defuse a potential crisis it helps a lot to have preexisting relationships in place. All of that investment is geared to moments like the ones described in the Woodward and Costa book.

There are reports that Trump, Mike Pompeo and the then-National Security Advisor didn’t know about Milley’s calls. If that’s true, then that is on the Secretaries of Defense, not Milley.

Read More

'This Is Not Who We Are’? The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility has opened an investigation after several CBP officers were seen aggressively grabbing Haitian migrants and charging at them on horses at the border in Del Rio, Texas, the Department of Homeland Security announced.

  • The DHS called the images “extremely troubling” and said that “the facts learned from the full investigation, which will be conducted swiftly, will define the appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken.”

 

Texas Doctor Who Spoke Out About Performing An Abortion Is Being Sued: The San Antonio-based doctor who wrote a Washington Post op-ed revealing that he had defied his state’s anti-abortion ban, has been hit with two lawsuits under the law, which dangles $10,000 in front of private citizens who successfully sue anyone they believe provided an abortion.

  • Neither of the plaintiffs are apparently even anti-abortion. One plaintiff, Oscar Stilley, told the New York Times that he’s trying to get the law struck down by the courts, and Felipe Gomez, the other one, claims the same thing in his lawsuit.

 

READ MORE »

| Muckraker

On the dusty tarmac of an airport in Northern Afghanistan, six planes have been waiting for days.

Read More
| Prime

We wrote yesterday about the trend of 2020 election truthers — Big Liars, Trumplicans, pick your title — exposing sensitive information about the inner workings of election software, in the name of Truth and Transparency. 

Read More
| Muckraker

The initial reports on the contents of the new book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa came trickling in this afternoon.  

Read More
| News

In May, a federal judge dismissed a Trumpy lawsuit over the 2020 election results in Antrim County, Michigan, where a clerk’s error had briefly resulted in a miscount of the vote. “Expert” witnesses in the suit had seized on the discrepancy, which they claimed was the result of Dominion voting machine technology “purposefully designed” to tamper with vote totals.

Read More
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: