The New Yorker‘s Susan Glasser writes the weekly online column, “Letter from Trump’s Washington.” In today’s show, she discusses how U.S. withdrawal from a Cold War-era nuclear treaty might embolden Russia and why the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, by the Saudi Arabia government, has pushed some Republicans to break publicly with President Trump.
.. Two years ago, Gianforte, a millionaire tech executive, gave a speech, at the Montana Bible College, in which he said that the concept of retirement was “not Biblical” and offered as evidence the assertion that Noah had been six hundred years old when he built the ark.
.. Quist drew national attention for his candidacy by setting aside the accumulating scandals around Donald Trump and focussing on a deeply felt revulsion toward Republican plans to gut public support for health insurance
.. Gianforte’s staffers reported that, rather than shunning the candidate, the conservative grass roots seemed to be rallying around him: his campaign pulled in more than a hundred thousand dollars in donations between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. “Gianforte, the manly and studly candidate, threw the hundred-and-twenty-five-pound wet-dishrag reporter from the Guardian to the ground,” Rush Limbaugh said.
.. Paul Ryan, the House Speaker, said, “I do not think this is acceptable behavior, but the choice will be made by the people of Montana.”
.. Steve Stivers, a congressman from Ohio, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, said, “We all make mistakes.”
.. the revelation that Trump had shared the secret locations of American nuclear submarines with the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte
The Florida-based Republican, Aaron Nevins, received and published Russian-hacked material—and in return, advised the hackers how to release their material to increase its damage to Democratic candidates. Nevins was not himself a high-ranking person in the Republican world. But the information Nevins obtained from Guccifer 2.0 was used by other Republican campaigns, including the national Republican congressional effort and Paul Ryan’s own super PAC. The earlier claim that Republicans were purely passive and unwitting beneficiaries of Russian espionage in the 2016 election has now been pierced.
In at least one instance, the cooperation was active, conscious, and initiated on the American side, not the Russian: collusion, in a word.
.. At the time, Kushner had already spent months trying to arrange fresh financing for a troubled building his family owns, 666 Fifth Avenue.
After one of those meetings, Kislyak arranged a meeting between Kushner and Sergey Gorkov, the powerful chief executive of a major Russian bank, Vnesheconombank, also known as VEB.
The U.S. had imposed financial sanctions on VEB because of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military incursions in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. (During this period the Russians were also meeting with Flynn, Trump’s incoming national security adviser.)
VEB has close ties to the Kremlin, and Gorkov attended a training academy for members of Russia’s security and intelligence services. A Trump spokeswoman has described Kushner’s meetings with the Russians as routine, which they may have been given his role at the time as Trump’s liaison to foreign powers.
But given the significance of 666 Fifth Avenue to Kushner and his family’s fortunes, it’s also possible that he saw the Russians as potential investors.
.. A remarkable number of those talkers condoned the attack, either outright or by pointing to other bad things that have happened elsewhere on earth at various points in the past. Rush Limbaugh went furthest, theatrically condemning the attack—but denigrating the reporter as a “smug and arrogant” Millennial “pajama boy” (a hugely derisive term in the conservative political lexicon) and praising Gianforte as “manly and studly.” (It’s hard to miss in some of the commentary from Trump’s elderly base a nostalgic yearning for lost physical prowess—and intense resentment of the vitality of younger generations with different views.)
.. Half a century ago, conservative commentators often blamed the riots of the 1960s on the “moral holiday” declared by permissive authorities. Leaders who might have delegitimized violence instead acquiesced in it, thus inviting more of it. For many conservatives, May 25 was a moral holiday of their own.
.. These four events each represent one of the great themes of the Trump era:
- The anti-alliance pro-Russia tilt of administration policy
- Collusion with hostile foreign nations for domestic political advantage
- Use of political power for personal financial advantage
- The breakdown of inhibitions and the weakening of sanctions against political violence.
.. But Greg Gianforte is headed to Congress. Jared Kushner and Donald Trump will soon return to the West Wing. There, they’ll continue to deploy the powers of the presidency to protect themselves. They’ll leverage dark and dangerous forces in American society to help them. Someday, maybe, they will cease to get away with it. But not yet.
According to the Old God of the Jewish and Christian Faith, what GOP candidate Greg Gianforte did the night before the special election was inexcusable.
.. But in the Bro Age, when one of your Bros does something wrong and oh-so-Broey — particularly if there’s proof that it happened so you can’t blame it on anonymous sources — the first thing you must do is defend your Bro’s actions. After Gianforte’s body slam, Twitter was full of people, even those of the blue checkmark variety, talking about how the Jacobs guy deserved it. I even caught Rob O’Neill on Fox saying that Jacobs was a “snowflake” and that the assault was “kinda funny” and that this was just “Montana Justice.”
.. Oh, and it was Gianforte who literally freaked out in a fight-or-flight panic when asked a question about a frick’n CBO score! But Ben Jacobs is the snowflake?
- .. for an entire day, countless people defended the assault because they
- didn’t like Jacobs, or
- they wanted to win an open House seat, or
- they wanted to play yet another round of whatabboutism, or
- help Donald Trump in some way or — in the case of the alt-right —
- because any attack on a Jew is defined as a good start.
let me ask the people who spent the day defending Gianforte: How do you feel now that he won? Is it all you hoped it would be? Oh, and how did you feel when he apologized? Did you regret all that Montana justice and he-had-it-coming talk? I mean, you probably didn’t really believe that stuff anyway. You just let people believe you did because the cause was so important. Or maybe you’re mad that Gianforte apologized after spending all that time arguing he did nothing wrong? Probably not — because one of the Orb’s first commandments is “Thou Shalt Not Care about Anyone’s Hypocrisy but the Enemy’s.”
.. What did you have to give up? Just any claim to the moral high ground and any credibility when it comes to condemning political violence down the line.
That’s okay, because in the Bro Age, all of the creativity is in how to leap over, skate around, or dive under objective standards of right and wrong. “Hold my beer while I abandon my principles ..