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“There’s a certain rhythm to Donald Trump’s presidency over the past two years. First he does something even more egregious than usual, like defend violent white nationalists or side with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Then he hunkers down for the barrage of public criticism. The wave crests, and things return to normal, or at least some new version of it. Those episodes are occasionally described as “Peak Trump”—when the chaos and self-destructiveness of his presidency reaches its apex.
But now that the Russia investigation is over, ending the most immediate threat to his presidency, his behavior thus far may appear restrained in hindsight. In recent weeks, he’s shown himself willing to take even more adventurous steps to secure what he wants. Whether he’s categorically refusing to comply with congressional oversight, urging border agents to ignore judges, or reportedly offering pardons to immigration officials who defy the courts, Trump seems more eager than ever to test the electric fences of American democracy.
His predilections will take root in more favorable soil than ever. Attorney General Bill Barr has made clear over the past few weeks that he will be the loyal functionary whom Trump has long sought to install atop the Justice Department. White House advisor Stephen Miller oversaw a similar purge of the Department of Homeland Security last month, ousting Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other top officials in favor of more hardline figures who could execute the president’s legally dubious vision for border security. And with the threat of special counsel Robert Mueller now receding, even Trump’s personal lawyers are eager for a Thermidorian response.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."
"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."
"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."
"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."
"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."
"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."
"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."
"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."
"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."
"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."
"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."
"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."