The author of Nixonland isn't buying the Trump comparisons: 'Nixon was just so shrewd, so strategic'
Nixonland author Rick Perlstein thinks comparisons between President Trump and former President Richard Nixon somewhat overestimate Trump's capabilities. In an interview with The New Yorker's David Remnick, Perlstein explained why — despite the fact that both Trump and Nixon fired federal officials leading an investigation into them — the presidents aren't really all that similar:
"I actually think the comparisons at this point obscure more than they reveal. Nixon was just so shrewd, so strategic: It's simply inconceivable he would get caught with his pants down implicating himself on the record, like Trump now does almost daily," Rick Perlstein, the author of Nixonland, told [Remnick]. "My favorite Nixon maxim was 'Never get mad unless it's on purpose.' But the words 'on purpose' and 'Donald Trump' now feel like matter and antimatter; with him, it's all impulse. Nixon was so obsessed with preparation he used to memorize answers to likely press conference questions, questions he'd delegate to staffers like Pat Buchanan to dream up. Can you imagine!? And, look, when Nixon fired Archibald Cox, he was truly backed into a corner, his king in check: That was the only move he had before the world discovered, via the tapes, that everything he'd been saying about the scandal since June, 1972, was a lie. But, even then, he managed to keep moving pieces around the board for ten more months!" [The New Yorker]
Perlstein conceded that both men are the "authors of their own predicaments" — it's just that Nixon was "so much the smoother criminal."
After spending seven years promising a repeal of ObamaCare, Senate Republicans on Friday morning were unable to pass their latest version of a health-care proposal, the Health Freedom Care Act, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared "it's time to move on."
McConnell: "It's time to move on" https://t.co/CKEVDMsNGO
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) July 28, 2017
With three Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joining Democrats in voting against the plan, it failed by one vote in what was "clearly a disappointing moment," McConnell said. He claimed that due to "skyrocketing costs," "plummeting choices," and "collapsing markets, our constituents have suffered through an awful lot under ObamaCare. We thought they deserved better."
McConnell also praised Republicans for "working hard" on the bill, which wasn't finalized until Thursday, and accused Senate Democrats of "not wanting to engage in a serious way to help those suffering under ObamaCare." Catherine Garcia
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined Democrats in voting no early Friday morning for the Republicans' last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare, with the bill failing on a vote of 49 to 51.
The bill, dubbed the Health Care Freedom Act, would have repealed ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates, defunded Planned Parenthood for a year, and allowed states to request waivers from benefits mandated by ObamaCare. It was the third defeat for the GOP this week, with two earlier proposals to repeal ObamaCare failing, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it's now "time to move on."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he is "relieved millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care, be able to deal with preexisting conditions...we are relieved, not for ourselves, but for the American people." Catherine Garcia
Honolulu on Thursday became the first major city in the United States to make it illegal for people to look at their phones and other electronic devices while walking across the street.
The bill will take effect on October 25, and also bans people from peering down at digital cameras, pagers, and laptops. The first time a person is cited, they'll be fined up to $35, and it goes up from there to $75 for a second offense in the same year. "Sometimes I wish there were laws that we didn't have to pass — that perhaps common sense would prevail," Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, "but sometimes we lack common sense."
The bill was introduced by a council member who told BuzzFeed News high schoolers in his district were concerned about their peers paying more attention to their phones than their whereabouts while walking along busy streets. Catherine Garcia
A man on an Alaskan cruise killed his wife and tried to throw her body over the balcony, FBI documents released Thursday state.
The man, 39-year-old Kenneth Manzanares of Santa Clara, Utah, was found Tuesday night with blood all over him and his cabin on the Emerald Princess ship, and has been charged with murder. The FBI, which is handling the investigation because it took place in U.S. waters, said in its documents an unidentified man entered the cabin and saw Manzanares' wife, Kristy Manzanares, also 39, on the floor, with a major head wound. The man asked Kenneth Manzanares what happened, and Manzanares replied, "She would not stop laughing at me." The man also said Manzanares tried to drag his wife's body out of the room onto the balcony, but the man stopped him, the documents state.
Manzanares was detained by a ship security officer, and held in a cabin while the boat was rerouted to Juneau. Kristy Manzanares' company, Summit Sotheby's International Realty in St. George, Utah, told The Associated Press Manzanares was "a dedicated and loving mother who juggled her business schedule to make her children a top priority." Catherine Garcia
On Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released the text of the GOP's "skinny repeal" health-care bill, which has been named the Health Care Freedom Act.
The amendment would repeal ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates for eight years, increase contribution limits to health savings accounts for three years, repeal a tax on medical devices for three years, defund Planned Parenthood for a year, and allow states to request waivers from benefits mandated by ObamaCare.
Although the proposal was just released, and several Republicans said they don't like the bill, a final vote is expected late Thursday or early Friday. Earlier in the evening, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said his chamber is open to a conference committee to work on the bill. Catherine Garcia
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Thursday that being publicly berated by President Trump multiple times over the last week has been "kind of hurtful."
Trump has been blunt in his criticism, saying he is disappointed in Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation and saying "time will tell" if Sessions gets fired from his job, but Sessions told Carlson he still thinks he "made the right decision." Sessions said he doesn't plan to resign, but knows he serves "at the pleasure of the president. If he wants to make a change, he can certainly do so and I would be glad to yield in that circumstance, no doubt about it. But I do believe that we are making tremendous progress."
Sessions was one of Trump's earliest and most vocal supporters, and he told Carlson the pair have yet to sit down and work things out, but "people have talked about it at the White House." Catherine Garcia
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) released a statement Thursday evening saying the House is open to working with the Senate to come up with a health-care bill to repeal ObamaCare, but the "burden remains on the Senate to demonstrate that it is capable of passing something that keeps our promise, as the House has already done."
His statement came after Republicans Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John McCain (Ariz.), and Ron Johnson (Wis.) shared their concerns over the Republicans' "skinny repeal" bill, which it is believed would get rid of ObamaCare's individual and employer mandate and medical device tax; the text has not been released yet. The senators said they were worried if the bill passes in the Senate, it would go to the House without the two chambers coming together to amend it.
This week, Senate Republicans tried to pass a bill that would immediately replace ObamaCare and another that repealed it over two years, and the "skinny repeal" is their latest attempt to get a bill through without needing to have the House approve it as well. Catherine Garcia