👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ Trump’s voter fraud example? A troubled tale about Bernhard Langer meant to illustrate rampant, unchecked voter fraud. (NY Times)
tl;dr Langer was standing in line at a polling place on Election Day. Ahead of and behind Langer were voters who “did not look as if they should be allowed to vote.” Langer left feeling frustrated. Here’s the problem: Langer, who lives in Boca Raton, Fla., is a German citizen with permanent residence status in the United States who is, by law, barred from voting.
2/ Declining trust in government is denting democracy. America, which has long defined itself as a standard-bearer of democracy for the world, has become a “flawed democracy” according to the taxonomy used in the annual Democracy Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit. Although its score did not fall by much – from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016 – it was enough for it to slip just below the 8.00 threshold for a “full democracy”. (The Economist)
3/ Trump’s impulses now carry the force of the presidency. Impetuous and instinctive, convinced of broad, but hidden plots to undermine him, eager to fight and prone to what an aide called “alternative facts,” Trump has shown in just days in office that he is like few if any occupants of the White House before him. (NY Times)
4/ Those flashy executive actions could run aground. The White House failed to consult with many of the agencies and lawmakers who will be critical for their success. (Politico)
5/ Oh, and Donald Trump is building his wall on the Mexico border as undocumented crossing reaches a 40-year low. In taking his first step towards building a US-Mexico border wall, Trump begins an attack on a vanishing issue. (Quartz)
6/ Tweetstorm by Maggie Haberman of the NY Times. (Twitter)
A few final thoughts on the weekend/first few days. Trump had less than 4 hours sleep on Saturday, when he woke up and, at about 7 am., 1/— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 25, 2017
...impulse control is when he's tired or overstretched, or in an uncertain situation. All three took place Saturday. Trump is unable 3/— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 25, 2017
...as his advisers say often, at his most self-destructive when the stakes are high (see post-primary, post-convention, debates) and 5/— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 25, 2017
...the idea was that people would be around him who knew him or knew DC or could calm him. The more time ppl spend w Trump, the more they 7/— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 25, 2017
...was being treated poorly. by press. None could get him to move past the feeling of injury, to focus on the enormity at hand. 9/9— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 25, 2017
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