Thursday, July 4, 2019


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Happy Independence Day

The non-stop Trump Show is exhausting for many and/but a hit program for his base.

On this day of celebration, the commander-in-chief is at war with:

— the Democrats, “his” Pentagon, the press, and tradition, over his 4th of July military-infused rally, which might be rained on and/or draw a crowd so small that there could be an inauguration-style embarrassment up ahead.

— “his” Senate Republicans, over his budget proposal.

— the courts, the Democrats, and liberal editorial boards, over his confusing continued pursuit of a Census citizenship question rejected by the judicial branch.

— the courts and civil liberties groups, over his immigration policies.

My take: The president will continue to take heat for all of these battles.

On the merits, criticism of his stances is perfectly justified.

The challenge for our great American institutions and traditions on this grand holiday is that we have a person in the Oval Office who has a showman’s feel for how to pick his fights — and an escape artist’s capacity to slip away from one hairy situation into another fresh one.

All you need to read are the closing paragraphs of the Washington Post’s story about tonight’s expensive DC festivities that the president has programmed with himself as the star:

The president’s advisers say Trump sees the event as a way to associate himself with the flag and patriotism, which will resonate with many Americans the way his comments criticizing National Football League players for kneeling during the national anthem did.

After wading into the anthem debate, according to two former senior administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, Trump told his aides, “It’s a winning issue for me.”

“What are they going to say? I’m being too patriotic? I believe in America?” one official recounted Trump saying. “Give me a break.”

Asked about the event Wednesday, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh was unapologetic. “President Trump loves this country,” Murtaugh said. “He’ll never apologize for that.”

These tactics and mindset – and the efforts to combat them — will be the story of 2020.

In other news:

Biden vs. Harris bubbles over in Iowa.

Harris busing stance is now as confusing as her position on private health insurance.

New Iowa poll suggests Biden support has collapsed.

Warren makes a sustained play for African-American support.

Top sports story: Simmons, 76ers, working through details of max contract extension
ESPN 

Top business story: U.S. manufacturing outlook falls closer to contractionary level
Wall Street Journal

Top entertainment story: Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ eyes a $30 million opening weekend
Deadline

Big Four

Iowa

In Iowa, Kamala Harris says of Trump: ‘We have a predator living in the White House.’

Joe Biden on Donald Trump’s Fourth of July parade: ‘He misses the whole point’.

Buttigieg to roll out national service policy during Iowa visit, including ‘Climate Corps’.

Trump sends nearly $1 billion to Iowa farmers to help stem trade losses. It’s the second-largest amount, nationally.

To heal student ‘trauma,’ Tim Ryan wants a mental health counselor in every school.

Have a safe and sparkly holiday.


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