What We’re Following Today
It’s Wednesday, March 27.
One Green Dream Goes Down: The Senate rejected the Green New Deal on Tuesday in a vote Democrats labeled a political stunt. In protest, 43 dems voted present. Every Republican opposed the measure—and they were joined by these three Democrats.
July 27, 2016: Attorney General William Barr reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did not establish any collusion between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government. But that actually makes Trump’s handling of Vladimir Putin—and his calls for Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email—seem much stranger.
Relatedly, Trump’s actions and rhetoric have many Americans feeling a lot of embarrassment on Trump’s behalf. A new study reports a 45 percent spike in tweets about embarrassment since Trump took office—and many of those tweets reference Trump. The study also found that people tweeted less about embarrassment during Barack Obama’s presidency than they have during Trump’s. (One exception was on October 9, 2016, the date of the second 2016 presidential debate, in which Trump called Hillary Clinton “the devil” and admitted to not paying federal taxes.)
They Weren’t Ready for This: The fallout from Barr’s summary of the Mueller report—which all but clears the president of any wrongdoing—has members of the #Resistance media scrambling to keep the outrage alive, reports McKay Coppins.
A Rocky Alliance: To understand the Democrats’ complicated relationship with Israel, look no further than the speech—and subsequent clarification, which reads close to an apology—delivered by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington this week.
Booker Is Just Fine: Although his fellow 2020 candidates are receiving more national media attention, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey is content. He’s building up a strong ground game, and his campaign hopes that as other high-profile Democrats’ efforts fizzle out, Booker will still be going strong, Edward-Isaac Dovere reports from Iowa.
Senate Transportation subcommittee chair Ted Cruz and ranking member Kyrsten Sinema talk during a hearing on commercial airline safety, on Capitol Hill. (Alex Brandon / AP)
Ideas From The Atlantic
Character Is Destiny. And Michael Avenatti Is a Bloviator. (Ken White)
“Though he habitually makes flamboyant accusations of criminality, he’s entitled to the presumption of innocence. But nobody who has followed his antics can ignore how very on brand the accusations are.” → Read on.
Democracy Requires a Public Mueller Report (Conor Friedersdorf)
“The special counsel’s probe was unlike most other DOJ cases: It was primarily a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal one. It concerned the integrity of American elections, a matter of the highest public interest.” → Read on.
Expectations for the Mueller Report Were Set Too High (James Ball)
“Anything short of Mueller leading an FBI raid on the White House and walking out with multiple members of the Trump clan in chains would have felt like an anticlimax. That is why Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s report, which neither Congress nor the public has seen in full, seems to many like a victory for the president and his allies. But it isn’t.” → Read on.
What Else We’re Reading
‣ MSNBC’s Trump-Russia Ratings Fizzle: ‘Time to Pivot to 2020’ (Maxwell Tani and Lloyd Grove, Daily Beast)
‣ For Michael Avenatti, a Luxury Lifestyle Built on a Purported House of Cards (Michael Finnegan and Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times) (🔒 Paywall)
‣ Elizabeth Warren Lays Out Plan to Target Corporate Agriculture, Support Family Farms (Brianne Pfannenstiel and Kim Norvell, Des Moines Register)
‣ The Steele Dossier, Hillary Clinton’s Malignant Gift to America (David French, National Review)
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