David A. Graham
David A. Graham
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Oklahomans Just Embarrassed Trump a Second Time

Oklahomans Just Embarrassed Trump a Second Time

For the second time in two weeks, Oklahomans have made President Donald Trump look bad. First there was the . Now Sooner State voters have under the Affordable Care Act.There’s an immediate, narrow problem for the White House, and a broader, more strategic one. In the short term, the very tight “yes” vote to turn Medicaid funding into a block grant from the federal government to states, using Oklahoma as a pilot.In a deeper sense, though, the vote is a warning sign for Trump, because it shows how he’s at odds with even many conservative voters on health care. Last week, the Trump...

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David A. Graham
Jul 2
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White Voters Are Abandoning Trump

White Voters Are Abandoning Trump

For most of the past three years, the only thing more futile than was expecting the American people to do so. No matter how successful the president was, or, more often, how chaotic and disorderly his administration was, nothing seemed to be able to shake up people’s views of Trump.Popular approval of Trump hovered in the same narrow range, roughly from 39 to 45 percent, through Charlottesville and tax reform, supposed border caravans and mass shootings, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and impeachment.As the election approaches, the president’s approval rating becomes less important...

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David A. Graham
Jun 30
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John Bolton Plumbs the Depth of Trump’s Depravity

John Bolton Plumbs the Depth of Trump’s Depravity

In June 2019, Donald Trump was desperate for a win—and he was willing to endorse Chinese concentration camps to get it.In the back half of his first term, Trump was feeling pinched. He’d escaped Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation without charges, but a Democratic House was making his life progressively more difficult and he hadn’t had a major political win in months. There were even warning signs for the economy. So when the president met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Japan, he had issues other than human rights on his mind.According to a forthcoming book by John Bolton, who...

theatlantic.com
David A. Graham
Jun 17
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Trump’s Aides Are Desperately Trying to Soothe His Anxieties

Trump’s Aides Are Desperately Trying to Soothe His Anxieties

The Trump campaign is busy fighting the battle for hearts and minds this week.Not voters’ hearts and minds—at the moment, the president’s reelection campaign is losing those left and right, with many recent polls against the presumptive Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.Instead, the Trump reelection team is busy trying to soothe the president’s own troubled mind, and his insecurities. This week, the campaign team over the next month in the Washington, D.C., area, on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. That follows an existing set of buys in May and June.Spending money this way makes little strategic...

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David A. Graham
Jun 12
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The Karen in Chief

The Karen in Chief

The United States feels like these days, so it’s only appropriate that the president would be the Karen in chief.A Karen, if you’ve somehow missed the memo, is the type of person who demands to see the manager or calls the cops, like the dog owner who to Central Park after an African American man asked her to leash her dog. As my colleague Kaitlyn Tiffany , “They’re obsessed with and their , and typically misguided, usually and with .”The term is most commonly applied to middle-aged women—but why abide by that sexist standard? A man can easily be a Karen, as Donald Trump is proving this...

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David A. Graham
May 28
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Trump Is Brazenly Interfering With the 2020 Election

Trump Is Brazenly Interfering With the 2020 Election

Imagine that the White House chief of staff wrote a secret memo, at the behest of the president of the United States, to the Treasury secretary and the director of the Office of Management and Budget. In the carefully hidden memo, the chief of staff directs the two to secretly and illegally cut off all federal funding to two key swing states, both led by Democratic governors, with the goal of rigging turnout in favor of the president’s party in the 2020 election.Now imagine that the memo leaked to The Wall Street Journal, which splashed the story across its front page. The other major...

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David A. Graham
May 20
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How to Understand ‘Obamagate’

How to Understand ‘Obamagate’

President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, , has been almost universally criticized, and while Trump has been obviously angry at the criticism, none of it managed to spur him into real action until Barack Obama weighed in. Not that he took action to improve the nation’s response, of course—instead, he demanded the prosecution of his predecessor.On May 9, CNN that Obama had labeled Trump’s pandemic response “an absolute chaotic disaster” the day before, on a call with alumni of his administration. Early the next morning, as part of a long string of Mother’s Day tweets—as...

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David A. Graham
May 15
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Donald Trump Has No Plan

Donald Trump Has No Plan

It’s been 111 days since the first reported case of the coronavirus in the United States. It’s been 57 days since President Trump issued social-distancing guidelines, and 12 days since they expired.Yet the Trump administration still has no plan for dealing with the global pandemic or its fallout. The president has cast doubt on the need for a vaccine or expanded testing. He has no evident plan for contact tracing. He has no treatment ideas beyond the drug remdesivir, since Trump’s marketing campaign for hydroxychloroquine ended in disaster. And, facing the worst economy since the Great...

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David A. Graham
May 12
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One Death Is a Tragedy. 60,000 Deaths Are a Great Success.

One Death Is a Tragedy. 60,000 Deaths Are a Great Success.

“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” President Trump said on March 29. It was a moment of clarity and wisdom, the sort of sober leadership the nation seeks from a president in times of crisis.And it was swiftly forgotten. A month later, Trump and his aides were ready to hang banners from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.“The worst of the pain and suffering is going to be behind us,” Trump said Wednesday. “We think we really have passed a big boundary. Much better days are ahead.”During the same press availability, he boasted, “We did all the...

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David A. Graham
May 2
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It’s Slowly Dawning on Trump That He’s Losing

It’s Slowly Dawning on Trump That He’s Losing

It’s far too early to know who will win the 2020 presidential election, but at the moment, President Donald Trump is losing.There’s ample polling to back that up. RealClearPolitics’s has the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, up 6.3 percent on Trump. Polling averages in each of the potentially decisive states show Biden up, too, save North Carolina—and even there, the most recent polls show Biden ahead by 5 percent. A of Texans released yesterday even has Biden up by a point in the Lone Star State.But you don’t have to take the public polling at face value. Take the president’s and...

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David A. Graham
Apr 30
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Just How Many Warnings Did Trump Need?

Just How Many Warnings Did Trump Need?

“There has been so much unnecessary death in this country,” President Donald Trump at his . “It could have been stopped and it could have been stopped short, but somebody a long time ago, it seems, decided not to do it that way. And the whole world is suffering because of it.”The remark is classic Trump—warning darkly but vaguely about unidentified enemies—but insofar as anyone made such a decision, it was the president himself. The virus is not, of course, Trump’s fault, but the federal government’s handling of the outbreak is his responsibility. And one of the more astonishing revelations...

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David A. Graham
Apr 29
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Three Ways Mueller Says Trump Is Lying

Three Ways Mueller Says Trump Is Lying

Testifying to the House Judiciary Committee this morning, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller reiterated that his investigation did not “totally exonerate” Donald Trump, as the president has stated. Further contradicting Trump, Mueller also said he did not find that the president did not obstruct justice.Both statements came in response to questions from Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, in the opening moments of the hearing.“The president has repeatedly claimed your report found there was no obstruction and it completely and totally exonerated him. That is not what your report...

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David A. Graham
Jul 24
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When Local Officials Want to Tear Down Confederate Monuments but Can't

When Local Officials Want to Tear Down Confederate Monuments but Can't

Leaders in the city of Birmingham, Alabama, had long looked askance at the Confederate monument in Linn Park, a granite obelisk soaring more than 50 feet in the air near downtown. In a city with a and a nearly 75 percent African American population, the memorial seemed like a provocation even before broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, where leaders want to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee.“With the condonement by the president of the activities that took place, or the moral equivalency of hate speech, we felt that things were beginning to get out of hand and that we needed to speak up...

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David A. Graham
Aug 25
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The Strange Effect Fact-Checking Has on Trump Fans

The Strange Effect Fact-Checking Has on Trump Fans

The era of Donald Trump has brought with it what one might view as either a golden moment or a dark age for fact-checking. The president’s extremely loose regard for the truth, even for a politician, has produced a surfeit of fresh grist to verify—or more often, debunk. Yet it doesn’t seem to make a great deal of difference. Trump’s approval rating is in the basement, but it’s his inability to get anything done and his legal troubles that seem to be hurting him; his dishonesty was already manifest during the campaign. If the bleaker view is right, then truth is a casualty of the age, and...

theatlantic.com
David A. Graham
Jul 6
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