November 9, 2018

Jim Acosta Suspended from WH

In honor of Veterans Day, we'll be taking a brief hiatus. We'll be back in full swing Wednesday (new glasses and all)!

“The White House on Wednesday suspended the press pass of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta after he and President Donald Trump had a heated confrontation during a news conference.”

AP News

Following the incident, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted, “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern…”

Twitter

She later tweeted a video which many argue exaggerated Acosta’s motion, making it appear more aggressive. According to Politifact, “No expert we spoke to found evidence the video was intentionally sped up or slowed down. Instead, they found the quality and clarity of the original video was watered down, ultimately obfuscating what actually happened... it seems likely that the video was distorted as it made its way to the Internet in the form of a GIF and then back to video.”

Twitter, Politifact

See past issues

From the Left

The left believes it is wrong to take away Acosta’s credentials, and that Sarah Sanders is stoking the flames by making false accusations.

“In suspending Mr. Acosta’s press credential, Mr. Trump signaled that in his view, asking hard questions — the most basic function of a reporter — disqualifies journalists from attending White House briefings... [That] Sarah Huckabee Sanders would then use the demonstrably false claim that Mr. Acosta had laid ‘his hands on a young woman’ as a pretext to throw him out compounds the cynicism."

New York Times

“This accusation of assault... is an insult to real victims of harassment and assault. But from a White House whose President has in the past admitted ‘grabbing’ women in a sexual manner, whose record on misogyny is so poor, and who only last month praised a Republican candidate for body-slamming a reporter, it is breathtakingly hypocritical."

CNN

“Sanders is cleverly compelling progressives to prop up a Republican talking point: False allegations exist, and people will pay attention to them. When Acosta’s defenders cry out against Sanders, she can cry right back that the liberals are the ones who always insist on believing women...

“Reporters are forced to defend both their reporting on abuse allegations and their colleague who Sanders alleges is himself an abuser... This is the surest way to wage a war against the press.”

Washington Post

Lastly, “it’s unfair to the young female intern who is being thrust into this political maelstrom. As far as we know, she hasn’t accused anybody of anything. It appears that the White House is using her for its own political ends.”

The Atlantic

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 argues that the revocation is justified due to Acosta’s disrespectful behavior.

From the Right

The right argues that the revocation is justified due to Acosta’s disrespectful behavior.

“White House press credentials are not a universal right. There are implicit expectations of proper behavior, and the White House decision to suspend Acosta’s credential is warranted… try to imagine Acosta and his ilk behaving in similarly hostile fashion toward Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Keep trying, but you can’t imagine it because it never happened... Even when skeptical, they were respectful."

New York Post

Brit Hume tweeted, “A presidential press conference, no matter who is president, is a forum to ask questions as tough as you like, but don’t argue. And you get one chance, maybe one followup. Your colleagues are waiting their turns. Show them some respect and the president. It’s not about you."

Twitter

“As soon as the intern made an attempt to take the mic, it was Mr. Acosta’s role to give it up... To be bold is fine. Rudeness is okay. It can be an effective strategy with a news maker. Physical tussles over mics are not. Such behavior is unnecessary theater with no goal other than self aggrandizement."

Daily Caller

“Trump may be unusually and publicly disdainful of the press, but members of the press should not allow themselves to be dragged into needless bickering with him...

“Acosta’s approach resulted in the story being about Acosta, not anything the Trump had to answer for about the migrant caravan or the Russia investigation. And that only serves Acosta, not the people who depend on him for the news.”

The Blaze

“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...

This donkey and emu are deeply in love, and they need a home together.

Huffington Post

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