Neal Gabler reminds us -- because we need the reminding! -- that Donald Trump isn't some new phenomenon in Republican politics, but the culmination of many decades of bad works from the party. He specifically cites "the decades-long transformation of Republicanism from a business-centered, small town, white Protestant set of beliefs into quite possibly America’s primary institutional force of bigotry, intellectual dishonesty, ignorance, warmongering, intractability and cruelty against the vulnerable and powerless." Also, the "liberal" media has "behaved as if extremism were business as usual." Thankfully the last paragraph reminds us that "shame" isn't a tool just for powerless scolds, but for all of us.
Marco Rubio says President Obama has contributed to the "coarsening" of American political debate -- not because he rolled over for the rich and powerful, which is what most Americans don't like about Mr. Obama, but because he once criticized Paul Ryan's budgetary vision in fairly tame terms and suggests you're "heartless" if you don't agree with him. Boo hoo. Where was Mr. Rubio when right-wingers told liberals they were traitors and with the terrorists and objectively pro-Saddam and hated America and wanted America to fail when we opposed the war in Iraq? Nowhere, naturally. Yes, I'm going to ask this of every moron who claims It's All Teh Libruls' Fault that Americans don't get along anymore.
Ben Carson endorses Mr. Trump for President as only Ben Carson can -- by saying "There are two different Donald Trumps" and suggesting that the one you don't see on TV is the kind of fellow you'd like to vote for as President. Presumably Mr. Carson wouldn't want murderers to get mercy by suggesting that their "public version" killed all those people but their "personal one" is actually very "cerebral" and capable of "good conversation." But then, desperate people don't think that far ahead.
Justin Elliott, writing at ProPublica, describes his frustrations trying to get information from "the most transparent administration ever," i.e., the Obama Administration. Mr. Elliott ascribes the lengthy delays to "incompetence and neglect," but he also says the "FOIA (the Freedom of Information Act) has been a disaster on his watch." And by the time you read about the DEA's demand for over a million dollars in fees from a Mexican reporter for files relating to the capture of the notorious druglord El Chapo, you might suspect that malice plays a larger part in the Obama Administration's FOIA problems.
Finally, in a tremendous surprise, Louisiana "resolves" its budget shortfall mostly by jacking up sales taxes on working families. I don't put the word "resolves" in ironic quotation marks merely because raising taxes on working families is a terrible idea, but also because it doesn't actually close the shortfall completely, meaning more state service cuts are likely in the offing. Heckuva job, John Bel Edwards! You've just fumbled away your opportunity to be remembered as a great Louisiana Governor -- or, even, a two-term Governor.