November 16, 2018

CNN Files Lawsuit Against WH

The holidays are just around the corner. Now’s a GREAT time to forward us to friends and family, and not let politics ruin Thanksgiving dinner!

Washington Post

On Tuesday, CNN filed a lawsuit against the White House, claiming that the White House violated the First Amendment right to free speech as well as the due process clause by revoking Jim Acosta’s media credentials.

Reuters

See past issues

From the Left

The left thinks Acosta should get his credentials back, but acknowledges that the whole episode involves grandstanding from both sides.

“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded nearly 41 years ago that the Secret Service cannot deny a journalist White House press credentials absent a compelling purpose—and certainly cannot do so because the president is not a fan of a journalist’s reporting."

Slate

“When the Founding Fathers established freedom of the press as a constitutional right, they didn’t hedge their support with the phrase as long as they’re nice about it. A free press by design is a check on power and often a robust critic of government... Reporters are watchdogs, not trained seals."

Chicago Tribune

Many note that “while nobody thinks Acosta assaulted a White House staffer, plenty of people did find his conduct to be inappropriate grandstanding. And this face-off between Trump and CNN is just one flurry in a larger war between Trump and the mainstream press that has an element of phoniness to it... while there is a real conflict here, there is also a real confluence of interests. Trump is good for CNN’s business, and CNN is a good foil for Trump’s politics."

Vox

Trump wanted to send a message. In the case of CNN and the rest of the press, the message is that they should be nicer to him. He also wanted to send a message to his supporters that he is tough on the news media, whom he condemns as ‘enemies of the people’... Courts will rule for CNN but Trump has already won."

Bloomberg

The political calendar and Trump's approach could give grounds for optimism. Kim, who has presided over a limited form of economic development inside North Korea, is under pressure to deliver improvements in the lives of his people… So he has an incentive to try to seek economic benefits or aid from the United States and wants punishing economic sanctions lifted — a potential opening for US negotiators… Kim must realize that his chances of basking in this kind of legitimacy with a US President other than Trump are slim. So if he fears Trump could lose in 2020, he may reason the time may be ripe for a deal. And Trump wants nothing more than a big diplomatic breakthrough months before the election.”
Stephen Collinson, CNN

Regarding the Cadillac tax, “high-premium employer-based plans raise the cost of health care for everyone by encouraging the overconsumption of expensive services. This means that even Medicare and Medicaid face higher prices. Quite aside from its benefits for the health-care market, the Cadillac tax would also have the effect of expanding the tax base and making the tax code more efficient. It would raise revenues by about $15 billion a year… Rather than killing or delaying the Cadillac tax, Democrats should be trying to make it operational. The tax would raise revenue, lower costs, increase the efficiency of the tax code and give the Obamacare individual market its best chance at success.”
Karl W. Smith, Bloomberg

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right thinks Acosta’s credentials were justifiably revoked due to his inappropriate behavior.

From the Right

The right thinks Acosta’s credentials were justifiably revoked due to his inappropriate behavior.

“How can stopping a guy from trying to monopolize the floor at a press briefing which he had no legal right to attend in the first place be a violation of the First Amendment? Disruption, not viewpoint, is the grounds for revoking his press pass."

Hot Air

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer states, “Jim Acosta... damages himself and the rest of the press corps because he goes too far... nobody else does what Jim Acosta does... Never in my time at the White House was there ever a reporter who acts like Jim Acosta does, by becoming such an editorialist in the room."

The Hill

“The First Amendment prevents the President or anyone else in the federal government from restricting the ability of citizens to report and publish. Does it also require the President to listen to ill-informed lectures for as long as the lecturers choose to speak? Obviously if everyone had the right to refuse to surrender the microphone at press conferences the result would be fewer members of the press corps having an opportunity to ask questions, not more."

Wall Street Journal

“A president does not have to hold press conferences at all and can include or exclude anyone he wants. Franklin Delano Roosevelt used to hold press conferences of selected reporters in the Oval Office and prohibit them from quoting him without special permission. FDR never ranted publicly about fake news, but did refer to ‘the stupidity, cowardice and philistinism of working newspapermen.’"

Newsday

“Not only did [Trump] attack the ‘squad,’ he managed to do it in a way in which no other prominent Democrat can continue to criticize them publicly, lest they be perceived as echoing the president’s contention that they should go back where they came from. At the exact moment the accusations and counter-accusations were set to do lasting damage, Trump just had to jump in and give them an attack that would unify them all. It often seems like Trump would rather have a bad news cycle that focuses on him than a beneficial news cycle that focuses on someone else… Everyone around the president can read a poll and knows that his rage-tweeting is a liability; it is perhaps the biggest liability in a presidency that, with prosperity and a perception of peace, ought to be comfortably cruising to reelection.”
Jim Geraghty, National Review

“If Joe Biden can win his way through the primaries, he’s almost lab-engineered to beat Trump. He doesn’t cause Republican panic, he has the potential to connect with white working-class voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t in 2016, and he has a potential to connect better with black voters than Hillary did… if Biden emerges from [this] crucible, Trump will face a very different challenge than he faced in 2016.”
David French, National Review

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

Philly’s first snow: Camel roams highway, winter widens Gritty’s eyes.

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