The attorneys general of D.C. and Maryland will sue the God-King for corruption. Plus other stuff…. (More)

“Unprecedented constitutional violations”

Specifically, they claim he’s violating the Emoluments Clause and other constitutional provisions:

The lawsuit, the first of its kind brought by government entities, centers on the fact that Trump chose to retain ownership of his company when he became president. Trump said in January that he was shifting his business assets into a trust managed by his sons to eliminate potential conflicts of interests.

But D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) say Trump has broken many promises to keep separate his public duties and private business interests. For one, his son Eric Trump has said the president would continue to receive regular updates about his company’s financial health.

The lawsuit, a signed copy of which Racine and Frosh provided to the Washington Post on Sunday night, alleges “unprecedented constitutional violations” by Trump. The suit says Trump’s continued ownership of a global business empire has rendered the president “deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors” and has undermined the integrity of the U.S. political system.

That Post article notes that the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland may find it easier to show standing, a legal concept that is a prerequisite for any lawsuit. Private actors have no general standing to sue government officials, so a citizen or business must show a specific, individual harm from a given law or policy. But states have a co-equal legal charge to ensure that the Constitution is enforced, so a state can sue the federal government without proving harm to a specific citizen. The lawsuit claims the God-King is leveraging his office to draw business to his hotels, at the expense of public venues in the District and Maryland.

“The message is that America doesn’t want to lead”

Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said American leadership was stronger under President Obama than under the God-King:

Senator John McCain, a prominent Republican voice on foreign policy, was visibly irked when asked by the Guardian what message Trump had sent to the United Kingdom, one of America’s most enduring allies.

“What do you think the message is? The message is that America doesn’t want to lead,” McCain said, while adding of the rest of the world: “They are not sure of American leadership, whether it be in Siberia or whether it be in Antarctica.”

Asked if America’s standing on the global stage was better under Barack Obama, McCain, a fervent critic of the previous administration’s foreign policy, responded: “As far as American leadership is concerned, yes.”

The European Union are preparing to step into that vacuum with a coordinated foreign policy and defense strategy backed by integrated military resources. That may turn out to be a good thing if Europeans don’t repeat their past mistakes, or ours. But even if they make wise choices, the result would be a more multi-polar geopolitical system with the U.S., EU, and China on roughly equal footing and Russia and Britain not far behind and history shows that multi-polar systems have been less stable and more prone to major-power wars. There’s no guarantee that instability will return, but there’s also no guarantee that it won’t.

“Isn’t that terribly unfair? Here’s my carefully nuanced answer: Hell, no.”

The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan has a searing response to wingnuts who insist the media must present more positive news about the God-King:

Last month, a Harvard study reported that in Trump’s first 100 days, about 80 percent of mainstream press coverage reflected negatively on the new president. And the sheer amount of negative news was unprecedented.

Conservative media were quick to laud the study, labeling it as proof of liberal media bias — and even better from their point of view, emanating from a cultural-elite bastion like Harvard.

Trump, of course, has been playing the victim card for months.

“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media,” he complained in a commencement address last month to U.S. Coast Guard graduates. “No politician in history – and I say this with great surety – has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

Looked at through this lens, Trump’s press coverage has been a political nightmare.

Isn’t that terribly unfair?

Here’s my carefully nuanced answer: Hell, no.

That’s because when we consider negative vs. positive coverage of an elected official, we’re asking the wrong question.

The president’s supporters often say his accomplishments get short shrift. But let’s face it: Politicians have no right to expect equally balanced positive and negative coverage, or anything close to it. If a president is doing a rotten job, it’s the duty of the press to report how and why he’s doing a rotten job.

She says the press have a duty to be accurate, not a duty to be ‘balanced.’ She discusses that challenge in covering the God-King’s administration, and where our media most often fail: neglecting stories about policy and consequences while obsessing over personality-driven conflict stories. It’s truly a must-read column.

“13 Republican men are meeting in secret to make a healthcare plan”

And The Hill reports on Senate Republicans’ efforts to steamroll through a health care bill:

A path is emerging for Senate Republicans to pass their ObamaCare repeal bill, even though there are major obstacles ahead.

Critically, Senate moderates are indicating that they can agree to ending the additional federal funds for ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid, albeit on a slower timetable than other Republicans want.

A compromise on Medicaid funding would remove one of the biggest obstacles for the bill.

The moderates want the phase-out of the Medicaid funding to take seven years, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposed three years on Tuesday.

In other words, they hope to put off the damage until after the 2024 presidential elections. I wonder why….

As for how much damage there will be, no one knows yet and we’re not likely to know until hours before the vote:

McConnell is speeding toward a vote, with the goal of passing a healthcare bill the last week of June, before the Fourth of July recess.

Republicans have said there will be no committee hearings or markups for the bill, a major departure from the standard Senate process. Instead, the bill will go straight to the floor for a vote.

Democrats fear the legislation will be kept secret until just a couple of days before the vote, to minimize time for opposition to build.

“13 Republican men are meeting in secret to make a healthcare plan,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) wrote on Twitter on Friday. “Their plan is to do it so fast we can’t stop them. Stop them.”

Drafting bills in secret and holding floor votes without public hearings has become the GOP’s go-to strategy. It started with Republican-led state legislatures, and it seems their U.S. Senate and House colleagues have decided it’s the best way to keep the pesky voters at bay. So let’s not stay at bay….


Photo Credit: Wesley VanDinter (Getty Images)


Good day and good nuts