The World according to Phatz

  • Opinion: Kavanaugh’s accuser deserves a fair criminal investigation Thiru Vignarajah, a Democrat, previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland from 2009-2011 and as deputy attorney general of Maryland from 2015-2016. He was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer from 2006-2007. (PhatzNewsRoom / WAPO)    —    California professor Christine Blasey Ford has not accused Supreme Court ...
  • AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s undue credit for slowing health costs WASHINGTON (AP) — What a difference a year makes. From predicting that the Affordable Care Act would “implode” and “explode,” President Donald Trump is now claiming credit for modest average premium increases expected next year. In remarks this week, Trump appeared to cite a recent analysis by Avalere Health and The Associated Press in asserting that ...
  • Trump’s Growing Legal Team Has a Problem: It’s Operating Partly in the Dark (PhatzNewsRoom / NYT)   —  WASHINGTON — Nearly a dozen lawyers now assist President Trump in contending with two federal investigations, one in Washington and one in New York, that could pose serious threats to his presidency and his businesses. But the expanding legal team is struggling to understand where the investigations could be headed and ...
  • AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s bent reality: Cohen, clean air, taxes WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is living in an alternate reality when it comes to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and other controversies swirling around him. He laments the threat of a “perjury trap” in explaining why he’s hesitant to be interviewed by Mueller in the Russia probe, even as Trump’s lawyers assert that Mueller ...
  • Opinion: I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only ...
  • FACT CHECK: Trump’s economic fiction: ‘record’ GDP, jobs WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is distorting the truth on U.S. economic growth and jobs, pointing to record-breaking figures that don’t exist and not telling the full story on black unemployment. He cites the highest-ever gross domestic product for the U.S. that’s not there and predicts a spectacular 5 percent annual growth rate in the ...
  • Primary night takeaways: Democratic optimism, women advance (PhatzNewsRoom / AP)   —   Democrats didn’t walk away with a clear win Tuesday night. But they didn’t have to. They essentially battled Republicans to a draw in a central Ohio congressional district that should have been an easy win for the GOP. Even a too-close-to-call result was a sign of Democratic momentum and offered clues ...
  • ANALYSIS FACT CHECK: Trump’s ‘historic’ economic gains, 2016 myths WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump exaggerated his role in boosting U.S. economic growth, falsely claiming full credit for positive economic news and inaccurately declaring a “historic” turnaround. The statements capped a week of mystifying assertion in which Trump also invented history by saying he won the women’s vote in the 2016 election, saw progress with ...
  • Analysis: Trump’s Iran threat latest combative global move WASHINGTON (AP) — As the presidential tweets ricochet from one world hot spot to another, a Trump Doctrine has emerged: Claim matchless strength, suffer no slight and counter-punch harder than you are hit — at least verbally. President Donald Trump’s searing ALL CAPS response to a relatively routine Iran provocation is the latest example of Trump’s ...
  • Analysis: Trump Sheds All Notions of How a President Should Conduct Himself Abroad. (PhatzNewsRoom / NYT)   —   WASHINGTON — President Trump made one thing clear after his meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin on Monday: He is willing to take Mr. Putin’s word over those of his own intelligence agencies about whether the Russians tried to fix the 2016 election. Such an admission by a president sworn to be ...
  • Analysis: Trump’s ‘America First’ morphs into ‘Me First’ WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s “America First” slogan morphed into “Me First” as the president unloaded on the U.S. intelligence community and Justice Department to portray himself as the victim of a conspiracy to deny him legitimacy. Trump also blamed American “foolishness and stupidity” for the poor state of U.S.-Russia relations, returning to themes he ...
  • Mueller Probe: Inside Mueller’s New Army (PhatzNewsRoom / The Daily Beast)    —-   Chelsea Manning, Iranian extortionists, and Hillaryland’s original hacker—they’ve all been targets for prosecutors that now work for Team Mueller. As special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe has quietly chugged along, outraging the president and encircling some of his top campaign officials, the investigation has slowly grown. When Mueller first started his ...
  • Unions: Its back against the wall, organized labor gets feisty (PhatzNewsRoom / AP)   —   Their membership has been declining for decades. They’ve been bedeviled by crippling new laws, and by a devastating U.S. Supreme Court decision just this week. From all appearances, it would seem that labor unions are an endangered species. But here’s the surprise: Organized labor is showing new signs of life. Last year, labor ...
  • Opinion: We Have a Crisis of Democracy, Not Manners (PhatzNewsRoom / NYT Opinion)    —   Last year, the white nationalist Richard Spencer was kicked out of his Virginia gym after another member confronted him and called him a Nazi. This incident did not generate a national round of hand-wringing about the death of tolerance, perhaps because most people tacitly agree that it’s O.K. to shun ...
  • Analysis: Trump and Kirstjen Nielsen’s embarrassing surrender on separating families at the border (PhatzNewsRoom / WAPO)   —   The Trump administration insisted it didn’t have a policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. It said that it was merely following the law. And it said “Congress alone can fix” the mess. It just admitted that all that was nonsense — and that it badly overplayed its ...
  • Immigration Crisis Analysis: US has split up families throughout its history ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it’s not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so. Throughout American history, during times of war and unrest, authorities have cited various ...
  • Opinion: When Did Caging Kids Become the Art of the Deal? (PhatzNewsRoom / NYT Editorial Board)    —    Watching President Trump blame Democrats for his administration’s inhumane practice of snatching immigrant children from their parents at the border evokes nothing so much as an abusive husband blaming his wife for the beatings he delivers: Why do you make me do this? I hate doing this! If you’d only ...
  • Analysis: China winner from summit but wary of closer US-N. Korea ties BEIJING (AP) — The outcome of the Singapore summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was good news for one absent but key player: China. China won big at the summit after Trump made surprising pledges to suspend war games with South Korea and eventually pull U.S. troops from there. Beijing ...
  • AP EXPLAINS: War games between South Korea and United States SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump promised to end “war games” with South Korea, calling them provocative, after meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this week. His announcement appeared to catch both South Korea and the Pentagon by surprise. A brief explanation of the military exercises: ___ THE DRILLS The U.S. and South ...
  • Analysis: By Trump’s own yardstick, NKorea pact falls flat SINGAPORE (AP) — After all the hype, all the vows to tackle what’s perhaps the world’s most urgent crisis, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fell short of the kind of deal the U.S. president himself has long said is needed to settle the North’s decadeslong pursuit of nuclear weapons. For months, ...
  • As aid dries up, Gaza families pushed deeper into poverty GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Samia Hassan used to have enough money to feed her two dozen children and grandchildren. Now she spends much of her time worrying about food, scouring Gaza’s vegetable markets for end-of-day discounts or walking miles for a pot of free gruel from a soup kitchen. Large numbers of Gaza families ...
  • Donald Trump vs. Robert Mueller: Memo previews possible legal war over Russia probe (PhatzNewsRoom / WAPO)   —    WASHINGTON — President Trump and his lawyers seem ready to wage legal war on  special counsel Robert Mueller if they deem it necessary, asserting immense executive powers that could essentially make the president immune from investigation. In a January memo to Mueller now made public, Trump’s lawyers at the time made sweeping claims ...
  • Analysis: A president can’t obstruct justice? That’s not quite right, legal scholars say. (PhatzNewsRoom / WAPO)    —   The assertion by President Trump’s lawyers that he cannot obstruct justice because he has absolute authority over all federal investigations is legally problematic, analysts say, because it would essentially mean the nation’s commander in chief is above the law. But the president’s powers are expansive, and many questions remain about how Trump’s ...
  • “This Is RICO 101”: Why Robert Mueller Isn’t Taking Rudy’s Bait (PhatzNewsRoom / Vanity Fair)    —-   The Trump camp’s witch-hunt talking points are now dominating the news—but the media battle may be the wrong way to beat Mueller. “It’s exactly what Mueller has been doing his whole goddamn life,” a former F.B.I. senior official says. “It’s just that this time the boss of the family happens ...
  • Analysis: After Trump pullout, NKorea changes tune on summit TOKYO (AP) — President Donald Trump’s decision to walk away from a plan to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month in Singapore caught a lot of people off guard, including, it appears, Kim Jong Un. Every indication is that Pyongyang still wants to make the meeting happen. And as soon as possible. Pyongyang made ...
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