Democracy Dies in Darkness

The Plum Line | Opinion

Happy Hour Roundup

By Paul Waldman

September 10, 2018 at 6:20 PM

* Brian Schwartz reports that the Koch brothers are continuing their tradition of public service:

With the balance of power in Congress at stake in just under two months, the influential conservative Koch political network has added another campaign finance weapon to its arsenal, a new super PAC.

The latest entity, called Americans for Prosperity Action, is a sister organization to the Koch-backed nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, which describes its mission as fighting for less regulation, lower taxes and “economic prosperity for all.”

Yes indeed, economic prosperity for all, which by sheer coincidence can be achieved only by cutting the Koch brothers’ taxes and eliminating regulations that hinder the Koch brothers from maximizing their profits at the expense of any other consideration like the environment or workers’ rights. You know — prosperity for all.

* Missy Ryan, Anne Gearan, and Karen DeYoung report that the Trump administration is really showing it wants to be a neutral arbiter in the Middle East:

The Trump administration has ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington because the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” the State Department said Monday.

The decision follows an extended period of estrangement between the Palestinian Authority government on the West Bank and the administration, which has already canceled most U.S. aid to Palestinians and recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Those moves earlier this year provoked Palestinian withdrawal from talks over a still-to-be-released U.S. plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise,” the statement said. The office has been instructed to close no later than Oct. 10.

Palestinian officials vowed to fight what they called bullying tactics and “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people.

You might think the Trump administration doesn’t care at all about solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but then you remember that Jared Kushner was assigned to take care of it, so…

* Tal Kopan reports that Jeff Sessions told an incoming group of immigration judges that their real enemy is immigration lawyers.

* A new Quinnipiac poll shows Trump’s approval at 38 percent. But in good news for him, a full 48 percent of Americans say he’s mentally stable!

* Jennifer Agiesta reports that a new CNN poll shows Trump’s approval at 36 percent, and only 31 percent among independents.

* Eric Segall explains how “originalism” for conservatives on the courts has lost all its meaning.

* E.J. Dionne says that while Trump is destroying the legitimacy of the presidency, Republicans are doing the same to the Supreme Court.

* Bill Nemitz argues that Susan Collins’ entire legacy will hinge on what she does on Brett Kavanaugh, if she can wake up to what’s actually happening.

* Jamil Smith argues that if Barack Obama is going to be out there encouraging people to participate, he needs to talk about voter suppression.

* David Leonhardt argues that laundering of Russian money is the key to understanding Trump’s attacks on law enforcement.

* Jeet Heer takes a hard look at the racism threaded through the last few decades of conservative intellectual history.

* Jason Sattler urges us all to do our part in preventing Trump’s lies from going viral.

* At the American Prospect, I explored the question of whether all the Republicans who have been complicit with Donald Trump will ever face accountability.

* And Rebecca Traister explains how the punishment Serena Williams received for expressing anger is just one manifestation of a larger problem with profound political implications.


Paul Waldman is an opinion writer for the Plum Line blog.

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The Plum Line | Opinion

Happy Hour Roundup

By Paul Waldman

September 10, 2018 at 6:20 PM

* Brian Schwartz reports that the Koch brothers are continuing their tradition of public service:

With the balance of power in Congress at stake in just under two months, the influential conservative Koch political network has added another campaign finance weapon to its arsenal, a new super PAC.

The latest entity, called Americans for Prosperity Action, is a sister organization to the Koch-backed nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, which describes its mission as fighting for less regulation, lower taxes and “economic prosperity for all.”

Yes indeed, economic prosperity for all, which by sheer coincidence can be achieved only by cutting the Koch brothers’ taxes and eliminating regulations that hinder the Koch brothers from maximizing their profits at the expense of any other consideration like the environment or workers’ rights. You know — prosperity for all.

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