Today's Liberal News

David A. Graham

A Sexting Scandal Puts a Politician in the Hot Seat

The whole point of Cal Cunningham was that he was supposed to be boring. The North Carolina Democrat is not the most dynamic campaigner, but polls have consistently given him a lead over the Republican incumbent, Thom Tillis, in the race for U.S. Senate.Now that lead is up in the air. On Thursday, a report revealed texts between Cunningham, a married father of two, and a Democratic strategist. The texts are less racy than, say, joggy; true to form for Cunningham, they’re rather dull.

Trump Didn’t Even Try to Keep His Own People Safe

Though it has thrown the nation into chaos, the fact that Donald Trump has contracted the coronavirus should not be especially surprising—after all, he has been careless about measures to control the virus, and protect his own health, for months. Nor should it come as a surprise that the White House is offering partial, misleading, and contradictory information. That has been a reliable theme of the Trump presidency.

Why Has the President Gone Silent?

Updated at 6:06 p.m. ET on October 2, 2020. It is a peculiar calm in the midst of the wild storm. Even as the nation descended into a frenzy over President Donald Trump’s positive coronavirus test, there was silence from the one reliable source of noise for the past five years: the president himself.At 12:54 this morning, Trump tweeted that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive.

Cancel the Debates

Pity the poor closed-caption writers. Pity the poor ASL interpreters. But most of all, pity poor us, the American electorate.Tonight was the first presidential debate of the 2020 election, and if there is any sense or mercy left in this nation, it will be the last too. The event was a shambolic shout fest, with scarcely a single morsel of substance to be found.

Trump Has Nothing Else up His Sleeve

When voters say they want politicians to run the government like a business, they should stipulate which business. Surely not the Trump Organization. A blockbuster New York Times report yesterday suggested that either the president’s real-estate empire is a boondoggle that’s losing millions of dollars a year, or it’s a massive tax-avoidance scheme. (Or perhaps it’s some of both.

Woodward Reveals How Controversies Help Trump

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our coverage of the The Atlantic Festival. Learn more and watch festival sessions here. Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump was asked about whether there would be a peaceful transfer of power. Trump replied—well, it was a bit hard to tell. Trump’s critics heard the president saying he wanted to throw out votes and wouldn’t relinquish power. His defenders conceded that he sounded stupid but simply meant that he intended to win.

Biden Is in Denial About the Republican Party

On Sunday, Joe Biden made a personal appeal to Republican senators considering whether to hold a vote on President Donald Trump’s anticipated Supreme Court nominee, asking them to wait for the result of November’s election before filling the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s spot.“Please, follow your conscience,” Biden said. “Don’t go there. Uphold your constitutional duty, your conscience; let the people speak.

A Paranoid Rant Says a Lot About Where Trumpism Is Headed

No matter how often he’s asked, Donald Trump can’t articulate what his second term as president would look like. He doesn’t need to, because Americans can see for themselves. It looks like Michael Caputo.Caputo is the top spokesperson at the Department of Health and Human Services, which is a job in which you’re supposed to shape the news, not make it. But Caputo has had a busy few days.

Kenosha Could Cost Trump the Election

It’s not hard to figure out what Donald Trump is up to at the moment: He’s making every effort to stir up racial tension and provoke violence after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. What’s harder to figure out is why.Today, Trump is traveling to Kenosha, over the objections and pleas of the governor and mayor (both Democrats), who say he will only make the situation worse, which is probably the goal anyway.

The Shooting of Jacob Blake Is a Wake-Up Call

The shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is at once freshly horrifying and achingly familiar, in the way that only a police shooting in the United States in 2020 can be.The Kenosha shooting has the dubious distinction of being the first high-profile shooting of a Black man by police since massive Black Lives Matter protests erupted earlier this summer, bringing with them enormous—but potentially ephemeral—shifts in public opinion.

The Tragedy of Herman Cain

Most Americans never took Herman Cain very seriously. He made that easy: He quoted Pokémon: The Movie 2000 in campaign speeches. He said goofy things (“Aw, shucky ducky!”) before it was “modern-day presidential.” His signature policy idea, the “9-9-9” plan, sounded more like a takeout special than a tax overhaul.By the time he died today at 74, from COVID-19, he was remembered, if at all, by that last phrase.

Congress Is a Hostile Workplace

You think your job sucks?Imagine going to work every day at an office where about half of your colleagues think you’re not just bad at what you do, but that you’re trying to destroy the whole enterprise. In fact, they spend much of their time at work denigrating you to other colleagues, tweeting nasty things about you, and trash-talking you to the media. They even publicly try to get you fired.

How Trump Closed Down the Schools

This article was updated on July 17 at 2:45pm.Few things have captured Donald Trump’s fickle attention for long during the pandemic, but for the past 10 days, the president has been highly focused on one issue. He has insisted on the need for America’s schools to reopen in August with students in classrooms five days a week, hoping that this might revive the economy, and with it his reelection chances in November.

Trump Is Successfully Running Out the Clock

Fifty-five days ago, President Donald Trump was supposed to file his annual personal financial disclosures, which give a broad snapshot of his money situation. The White House gave its employees 45 extra days to file the report, citing the coronavirus pandemic, making the new deadline June 29.That was 10 days ago, and Trump still hasn’t released the disclosures.

Who Wants to Be Seen With Trump Anymore?

Donald Trump has never been much for encouraging social distancing. He might end up getting political distancing as a result.This week, five senators announced that they will skip the Republican National Convention in August. A Republican governor up for reelection said he wouldn’t attend a Trump rally in his state. And Senator Lindsey Graham disagreed publicly with Trump for what his home-state newspaper reckoned was the fifth time in three weeks.

The Backlash Against PPP Is Why the U.S. Can’t Have Nice Things

This story was updated on July 7 at 10:17 p.m.The pandemic is out of control, the economy is in the toilet, and the weather is unpleasant, but at least the schadenfreude is excellent this week.Yesterday the Small Business Administration released a list of loan recipients under the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the hastily passed CARES Act stimulus. The list is full of targets ripe for naming and shaming.

Jeff Sessions Explains Why Christians Support Trump

“In Christ there is no east or west / In him no south or north, / But one great family bound by love / Throughout the whole wide earth,” goes the old hymn.But in Donald Trump, there is division among American Christians. On one side are those who insist that the president is a Christian hero who is standing up for religious rights.

Trump Can’t Bluff His Way Out of This

“We’ve done an incredible, historic job,” President Donald Trump boasted Thursday about U.S. anti-coronavirus efforts.The president was right, but not in the way he intended. While Trump traveled to Wisconsin, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was telling reporters that he believes that 20 million Americans have been infected. The Labor Department was announcing almost 1.

The Night Trump Stopped Trying

Five years ago this month, on June 16, 2015, Donald Trump delivered one of the indelible images of 21st-century politics when he slowly descended a gold escalator to a rally announcing his candidacy for the presidency.On Saturday, he delivered another iconic image, but not the sort he wanted to produce.

The Damage of Trump’s Voter-Fraud Allegations Can’t Be Undone

It’s too early to say who will win the 2020 presidential election, but there’s a good chance that one loser will be faith in the electoral system. President Donald Trump is alleging—as he did four years ago, though sooner in the cycle this time and with greater vehemence but no more evidence—that the voting system is subject to widespread fraud. Should he win, it will give him another four years to undermine the system from within and assail voting-rights protections.

John Bolton Plumbs the Depth of Trump’s Depravity

In June 2019, Donald Trump was desperate for a win—and he was willing to endorse Chinese concentration camps to get it.In the back half of his first term, Trump was feeling pinched. He’d escaped Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation without charges, but a Democratic House was making his life progressively more difficult and he hadn’t had a major political win in months. There were even warning signs for the economy.

Trump’s West Point Stumbles Aren’t the Problem

Everyone’s feeling a little frayed these days, but even by those standards, President Donald Trump seemed a little off on Saturday, as he delivered the commencement speech at West Point.The speech was supposed to be a triumphant moment for Trump—he’d insisted on calling cadets back to the United States Military Academy, after they were sent home amid the coronavirus pandemic—but instead it raised questions about his physical fitness.

Trump’s West Point Stumbles Aren’t the Problem

Everyone’s feeling a little frayed these days, but even by those standards, President Donald Trump seemed a little off on Saturday, as he delivered the commencement speech at West Point.The speech was supposed to be a triumphant moment for Trump—he’d insisted on calling cadets back to the United States Military Academy, after they were sent home amid the coronavirus pandemic—but instead it raised questions about his physical fitness.

Trump’s Aides Are Desperately Trying to Soothe His Anxieties

The Trump campaign is busy fighting the battle for hearts and minds this week.Not voters’ hearts and minds—at the moment, the president’s reelection campaign is losing those left and right, with many recent polls showing his position slipping against the presumptive Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.Instead, the Trump reelection team is busy trying to soothe the president’s own troubled mind, and his insecurities.