Margaret Sullivan/The Guardian:
With democracy on the ballot, the mainstream press must change its ways
US news organizations have turned Biden’s age into a scandal and continue to cover Trump as an entertaining side show
The evidence-free Biden impeachment efforts in the House of Representatives are presented to news consumers without sufficient context. In the first round of headlines last week, most news outlets simply reported what speaker Kevin McCarthy was doing as if it were completely legitimate – the result of his likely high crimes and misdemeanors. The Washington Post presented it seriously: “Kevin McCarthy directs House committees to open formal Biden impeachment inquiries,” adding in a credulous line: “The inquiry will center on whether President Biden benefited from his son’s business dealings … ” No hint of what is really happening here. In this case, the New York Times was a welcome exception: “McCarthy, Facing an Ouster and a Shutdown, Orders an Impeachment Inquiry.” That’s more like it.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, this (on X, formerly known as Twitter, via Threadreader) from the Democratic Party Executive Director Devin Remiker:
GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is pressing forward with nullifying Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election through impeachment. But he’s thrown out a giant red herring—a vote on a make-believe redistricting bill. 🧵
His goal is that we spend the next two weeks talking about it, instead of his unprecedented, unconscionable, and unconstitutional impeachment threat. We’re not going to do that. It is worth, at best, a Twitter thread and not even by the guy who normally does our threads.
There are very serious problems with the bill— most importantly that Vos created a process designed to fail and lock in the current gerrymander perpetually instead of outright giving Republicans the power to unilaterally redraw the maps.
Last night they ensured their process can be obstructed by one party, now and in any future redistricting cycle. How? Through a bunch of amendments hastily circulated for the first time on the floor.
Craig Gilbert/The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Gilbert: Are Wisconsin’s election maps ‘rigged’? Here are the reasons the answer is yes
The results in these legislative races were already “baked in” by how the districts were drawn.
Based solely on the new redistricting plan, paying zero attention to the actual campaign, I predicted that Republicans would win 63 of 99 Assembly districts, give or take a seat.
They won 64.
Does that sound like a “rigged” system?
That’s the term that was used by the newest state Supreme Court justice, Janet Protasiewicz, in the run-up to her landslide April election victory, which gave liberals a 4-3 majority on the court. She called the legislative maps “rigged.”
Her comments outraged Republican lawmakers, who recently threatened to impeach her unless she recused herself from the current legal fight over Wisconsin’s gerrymandered districts.
Charlie Sykes/The Bulwark:
Why Wisconsin’s GOP Might Blink And why it might not.
This brings us to the even messier story: the GOP’s threat to impeach a newly elected Supreme Court Justice.
Last week, I described the move as “a power play within a putsch inside a political blunder. The collateral damage will be staggering.”
That should be obvious, and Speaker Vos is a smart politician. But it’s not clear that he can resist the temptation to take a dive that will set a dangerous precedent for the independence of the judiciary, destroy his reputation, and set off a chaotic and unpredictable chain reaction that could shift the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.
Indeed, the scheme set off a firestorm, and Democrats quickly announced a $4 million campaign targeting the Republican attack on the court. More national money was on the way, and insiders began talking about the possibility of a $100 million do-over special election.
The flood of money focused GOP minds marvelously.
Lindsay Beyerstein/Editorial Board:
House Republicans poised to launder Russian disinfo again
A skeptic’s guide to “Hunter Biden’s Laptop.”
In a hack and leak, data is stolen and dumped.
A largely genuine trove of stolen data is also the perfect place to hide forged or stolen elements, which enjoy unearned credibility because they’re packaged with real stuff. That’s why the victims of hack and leaks are advised never to confirm the authenticity of anything.
The attackers are counting on the public to draw the erroneous conclusion that, because some things are genuine, the whole package is real, and – most importantly – that it came from where the cover story says it came from, be that an imaginary collective of good-hearted “hacktivists” or a computer repair shop in Delaware. Anywhere but the GRU.
The GRU is notorious for hacking and leaking.
Susan B. Glasser/The New Yorker:
The Twilight of Mitch McConnell and the Spectre of 2024
On the dangerous reign of the octogenarians.
I suspect this is not yet the moment for an open effort to bring down McConnell, but the signs are there for a seismic power shift in the making. The possible heirs to his post are known around the Capitol as the three Johns—Senators Barrasso of Wyoming, Cornyn of Texas, and Thune of South Dakota. Like McConnell, all three are considered members of the Senate G.O.P.’s establishment wing. But none has the power, clout, or stature of McConnell, never mind the reputation for Machiavellian maneuvering that he so relished in his prime. And, if there were any doubt about the direction in which the Party’s momentum is trending, Trump’s current stampede toward the 2024 Presidential nomination seems to offer a loud answer. It speaks clearly to the moment that it was President Biden and not ex-President Trump who called McConnell with words of consolation. “He was his old self on the telephone,” Biden said, as he called the Republican whom Democrats have loved to hate in recent years “a friend.” “I’m confident he’s going to be back to his old self.”
Biden, quite simply, needs McConnell right now. At a time when many Republicans are increasingly taking their cues from Trump and questioning U.S. support for Ukraine, Biden is counting on McConnell and his Senate Republicans to push through twenty-four billion dollars in urgently needed additional funds. The fall’s marquee crisis is expected to be a showdown between the Biden Administration and McCarthy’s restive House Republicans, who have threatened to shut down the government when federal funding runs out at the end of September. What happens if McConnell is out of action to help make a deal?
From Cliff Schecter: