The Last Kennedy

FALL RIVER, Mass.—Four new members of the House were hanging out at a bar back at the end of 2012, after a long day of new-member orientation at Harvard’s Kennedy School: Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and Eric Swalwell of California. A woman approached the table, and caught O’Rourke’s eye. “She’s like, ‘Are you who I think you are?’ And I thought, I just won this seat in Texas and she knows about me, and this is cool. I’m big-time,” O’Rourke told me last year, a few months before his Senate run took off. “And I say, ‘Well, yeah, I think I am.’… Read More

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The Conversation

The Case for Impeachment Starting the process will rein in a president who is undermining American ideals, Yoni Appelbaum argued in March. Yoni Appelbaum acknowledges that the impeachment of Donald Trump would almost certainly not result in his removal from office, but argues that it would severely damage his political prospects. This argument ignores the significant negative effects of an impeachment effort on the Democratic Party, regarding both its election prospects and its ability to govern post-2020. Unless a clear and overwhelming consensus emerges that Trump has committed major felonies, there are two reasons the Democrats should refrain from launching an impeachment process. First, impeachment would dominate the rest of… Read More

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Ian Mulgrew: Legal regulator’s self-interest showing

The Law Society of B.C.’s battle with Jeremy Maddock of Victoria is an example of how it talks about access to justice but appears to care more about protecting its monopoly. Maddock is not a lawyer, but has a law degree from the University of Victoria, and for nearly a decade has provided research to lawyers and helped people with minor legal problems. “I sometimes appear as an agent in traffic court and have occasionally helped family, friends and others navigate the legal system, especially when I know they can’t afford lawyers,” he said. “I’ve been in traffic court since 2014. All the work I do comes to me through… Read More

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A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Moment for Political Punditry

It was one of the most consequential days of his presidency, and Donald Trump knew exactly where he wanted Americans getting their news. “Attorney General William Barr’s Press Conference today at 9:30 AM ET,” he wrote Thursday morning in a characteristically overcapitalized tweet. “Watch on @FoxNews @OANN.” In some other, quainter era, the president directing his fans to a pair of unabashedly partisan news channels might have constituted a minor scandal. A round of tut-tutting from government ethicists, perhaps; some stern head-shaking from bipartisan respectables. But for Trump, this was par for the course—and as cable-news chyrons began flashing across TV screens, it was easy to grok why he’d played… Read More

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Radio Atlantic: The Trauma at the Border

Subscribe to Radio Atlantic: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play On Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr ordered immigration judges to stop releasing asylum seekers on bail. The move signals an even fiercer immigration policy that could include the return of family separations. A few weeks ago, the president threatened to close the southern border. Days later, he fired his Homeland Security chief, who reportedly lost out to hardliners in the White House. This week on Radio Atlantic, Edward-Isaac Dovere interviews Taylor Levy, the Legal Coordinator at Annunciation House, a Catholic charity based in El Paso that provides shelter to immigrants on both sides of the southern border.… Read More

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Democrats Confront the Price of Campaign-Finance Purity

The 2020 race for the White House will undoubtedly be a battle both of ideology and personality. But it is also shaping up as a clash of two opposing forces: the ever-expanding, $1 billion industry that is a modern presidential campaign, and the Democratic Party’s move away from the top-down approach to fundraising that has fueled American politics for decades. So far, the progressive push toward campaign-finance purity is winning, and that’s worrying Democrats who believe the party literally can’t afford to leave money on the table if it wants to defeat President Donald Trump next year. The three most prolific fundraisers in the sprawling Democratic presidential primary field—Senators Bernie… Read More

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Trump’s Guardrails Are Gone

One Saturday in June 2017, President Donald Trump called Don McGahn twice at home. The president ordered the White House counsel to fire Robert Mueller, who at that point had been leading the Russia probe for one month. “You gotta do this,” Trump told him. “You gotta call Rod.” In his second call, Trump told McGahn, “Call me back when you do it.” The special counsel’s report—released on Thursday to the public—goes on to reveal that McGahn refused to call the then-Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and direct him to fire Mueller. Instead McGahn called then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and then chief strategist Steve Bannon to let them know… Read More

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Joe Biden Is Running for President

Joe Biden is running. The former vice president will make his candidacy official with a video announcement next Wednesday, according to people familiar with the discussions who have been told about them by top aides. Seriously, he’s actually made a decision. It’s taken two years of back and forth, it’ll be his third (or depending on how you count, seventh) try for the White House, many people thought he wouldn’t actually do it, but the biggest factor reshaping the 2020 Democratic primary field is actually locking into place. He wants this. He really wants this. He’s wanted this since he was first elected to the Senate in 1972, and he’s… Read More

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Vaughn Palmer: Horgan content to let senior official endorse ‘no more pipelines bill’

VICTORIA — The federal government makeover for environmental reviews of the country’s energy projects has been called a move to “swap one broken system for another,” by Alberta’s outgoing premier Rachel Notley. Incoming Premier Jason Kenney called the aforementioned Bill C-69 the “no more pipelines bill” and “a sucker punch to an already reeling Alberta economy.” Newfoundland’s Dwight Ball fretted that “it will increase regulatory burdens, costs and timelines, without enhancing environmental outcomes.” Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe and Manitoba’s Brian Pallister have voiced criticisms as well. But the legislation, which has already passed the House of Commons, did pick up one major provincial endorsement during the current round of hearings before… Read More

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The Politics & Policy Daily: It’s (Finally) Mueller Time

What We’re Following Today It’s Thursday, April 18 (and Mueller report time). Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is finally out. Mueller’s team writes that there are links between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, but concludes that “the evidence was not sufficient enough to produce criminal charges.” The report also details that the president attempted to thwart the special counsel’s investigation, but Mueller “did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct.” The special counsel determined that he was unable to definitively say whether the president obstructed justice. The president hit back quickly after the report was released, tweeting, “As I have been saying all along, NO COLLUSION –… Read More

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