I still am still trying to figure out how to deal with the higher volume of news since Trump took office. At first I thought it was just a new-administration thing. Presidents always have a bunch of stuff they promised to do “on Day 1”, but eventually things settle down to the administration making one big push at a time and its enemies trying to gin up one big scandal.
But now we’re two months in, and it’s not settling down. In the Trump administration, there are literally a dozen possible scandals brewing, any one of which might turn into something major. The many conflicts of interest don’t even seem to be scandals any more; they’re just events. Trump and his people are also trying to reform healthcare, pushing a budget whose outrages I still have not fully grasped, and trying to break the tie on the Supreme Court. They’re battling the courts over their Muslim ban. They’re running a continuous disinformation campaign against the media. And then from time to time Trump starts some totally unnecessary drama, like his baseless claim that Obama wiretapped him, which has somehow morphed into an international incident.
Beyond just keeping up with the day-to-day, we need to understand the deeper currents that push events along, like the white-nationalist influence on both Trump and his base, the combination of ambition and distrust that characterizes Trump’s relationship with the old Republican establishment and conservative ideologues, the efforts of Democrats and other liberals to organize the grass-roots resistance, and the long-term effect on democracy of a degradation of public discourse.
It defies condensing. I regularly blow past the word-count I aim for each week, while simultaneously feeling like I have left out too much.
So, this week I mainly focused on the courts: I’d been wondering whether judges would be willing to block Trump’s Muslim ban on establishment-of-religion grounds, now that the new version has cleaned up the obvious due-process violations. Two did, and that should start a new round of appeals. The featured post looks at the arguments they made in “Still a Muslim Ban, Still Blocked”. That should be out before 9 EDT.
The weekly summary will futilely attempt to cover everything else: budget, ObamaCare repeal attempt, the Dutch rejecting their own Islamophobic fascist, the wiretap claim, and all the other stuff that would dominate the news cycle in a normal week, but is slipping my mind for the moment. It should come out sometime between 11 and noon.