1. J’accuse! French Election Was Unfair.
By yesterday afternoon U.S. time, it was clear that France would reject Marine Le Pen in favor of the centrist Emmanuel Macron. The election took a fraught turn in the final days when Macron dramatically announced that his party had been the victim of a major computer hack. It seemed like a repeat of the American election, with Russian trolls favoring a more extreme nationalist regime. But the alt-right press argued that French law, which forbade discussion of the emails in the media so close to an election, gave an unfair advantage to Macron.
1. But Don’t Call It Trumpcare
If you don’t succeed, try and try again. Only earlier this week, it looked as if the G.O.P. would fail a third time at repealing Obamacare. But House Republicans were able to pass the legislation mid-day yesterday, squeaking by with just one more than the 216 votes needed.
1. Tax Plan, Apple.
The top news of the week, of course, is that Trump has proposed BIG reductions in corporate and personal taxes. There aren’t a lot of details, but the Conservative Media is predictably drooling over the plan. What about those deficit hawks? Well, they seemed mostly quiet as the bigger mouths advanced 1980s supply-side theory. Cut taxes, the economy grows. The cuts will pay for themselves and maybe the wall between us and Mexico. No, wait, we forget ourselves. Mexicans will pay for that.
1. The King is Dead: Soros Did Him In
Nobody was bigger in right-wing media than Bill O’Reilly. Well, maybe Rush -- but, boy, it was close. And now the big man has been toppled. The allegations of repeat sexual harassment were too much for advertisers and, finally, for Fox. Many of his fellow conservative pundit stars seemed willing to only lightly glance at the story. LifeZette, Laura Ingraham’s site, only posted, without comment, a video of O’Reilly exploding at guests. Of course, O’Reilly famously exploded at Ingraham on air in 2013, so no love lost there.
1. Trump Outfoxes North Korea
As we reported here earlier, Trump has delighted his base by talking tough to North Korea. With American warships steaming toward the East China Sea, the rogue state tried a little toughness of its own by launching a ballistic missile test early Sunday local time. But a few minutes after takeoff, the missile blew up. There might be many reasons for the embarrassing failure, including basic technical incompetence, but one theory is that America sabotaged the missile through cyberwarfare.
1. The Latest Flip Flops: It Is Still Jared’s Fault.
The stunning past week of foreign policy U-turns has left the Alt-Right spinning. After bombing Syria, President Trump suddenly flipped on a slew of other positions, including the obsolescence of NATO (He now thinks it might serve a purpose); getting tough with China on trade (He said he no longer thought the Chinese were “currency manipulators.”); and, of course, playing nice with Russia. All this came with warning signs that the White House’s chief “America First” adviser, Steve Bannon, is on his way out.
1. Fire Kushner and Keep Bannon
By now, it’s clear that Trump’s “America First” alt-right base and media supporters were not happy with his strike on Syria last week. As anger coalesced over the weekend, the focus of the alt-right ire fell particularly hard on Trump’s son-in-law and key advisor, Jared Kushner. Kushner is Jewish and many of the attacks use the word “globalist,” which is sometimes but not always a code word for Jew. There has also been a related movement on social media to rally around Steve Bannon #KeepBannon.
1. The Perfect Storm: Susan Rice Furor Explained
The Red Media have been pounding Susan Rice over reports that the former national security adviser asked the intelligence agencies to “unmask” the names of Trump associates who had been picked up incidentally as part of the wiretapping of foreign operatives. The issue has set the Right on fire --even though Rice did nothing illegal and could just have been doing her job in learning who in the incoming Trump administration might be colluding with a hostile foreign power.
1. Playing Chicken, Gorsuch Style
So this week, the Trump administration is looking for its first big victory on anything. It expects the Senate will approve Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court even without a filibuster-proof 60 votes. The belief is that the Senate will get rid of the filibuster -- the so-called “nuclear option.” Last week, we reported that many in the Red Press were actually rooting for the nuclear option. Over the weekend, however, we detected a new strain of thinking that the option probably won’t be necessary, that the Democrats will cave on a floor vote.
1. The Nuclear Option: Work with The Democrats or Not?
As the Senate approaches a vote on the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, many in the Red Press have been rooting for the “nuclear option.” That is, conservatives would like Republican senators get rid of the filibuster, which would mean Gorsuch would only need a majority to get on the bench instead of 60 votes.
1. The Blame Game: Trump is Illin’, too
There is no doubt that Paul Ryan has taken the brunt of the blame for the GOP’s failure to Repeal and Replace. As we started noticing two weeks ago, alt-right publications like Breitbart were letting President Trump largely off the hook while drubbing the House Speaker. It appeared DJT himself was joining in the party when he tweeted out Saturday that his followers should watch Judge Jeanine Pirro’s show on Fox. She opened by calling for Ryan’s resignation. (It emerged later that his motivation might have been a promo that had promised big news related to Obama wiretapping.)
1. How to Combat Drip, Drip…? We List the Strategies.
For the Trump loyalists in the Red Media, this has been a difficult week on the Russian front. On Monday, the F.B.I. director, James Comey, confirmed at a House Intelligence Committee hearing that the bureau is investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. He also confirmed that there was no evidence that Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on Donald Trump. Then, yesterday, The Associated Press dropped a Paul Manafort bombshell: Trump’s former campaign manager had taken $10 million a year starting in 2005 from a Russian oligarch looking to “advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
1. Gorsuch Defenders Rising
As we’ve noted here before, there has been a massive effort by conservatives to mobilize grassroots support for the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, particularly in states with Democratic senators who might vote against his confirmation. Early signs this morning on Twitter are that the base is all in. Here is just a sampling from Trump supporters. Many of these people don’t have particularly large followings, but they do show how fired up the base is:
1. The President’s No Good, Terrible, Really Bad Day
Like so many news cycles in the Trump era, yesterday’s moved at lightning speed. There was a lot of news for the president, almost none of it good. Some of it, like the Dutch election going to conservatives not populists and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee saying that Obama never wiretapped him, we’ll get to later .
1. Preet Purge Outrage: A Show About Nothing
The Tump administration's decision to get rid of all 46 leftover Obama U.S. Attorneys on Friday night -- including the Southern District of New York’s crusading Preet Bharara -- drew a lot of attention over the weekend. Most stories noted, too, that just the evening before, Fox’s Sean Hannity warned of “deep state Obama holdovers embedded like barnacle in the Federal bureaucracy” and called for a purge.
1. Clash of the TItans: Trump vs. McConnell
The Far Right Media doesn’t have a lot of patience for the stately pace of legislative politics or Trump critics. (Unless, of course, they're the ones giving the criticism.) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell crossed both lines yesterday. First, he said a tax cut would likely not be completed by August. Then, McConnell retorted to a question about whether Mexico would pay for the border wall with an “Uh, No.”
1. Trump and Ryancare: Now or Never
The White House projected the message that President Trump was all-in behind Ryancare, the GOP proposal to replace Obamacare. Standing fully behind Ryancare is a hard place to be, however. Not only is the bill being hammered by the left, it is being hammered by the Far Right base, which has typically been Trump’s staunchest supporters.
1. Buzz on Right: WikiLeaks Proves Our Point
We promise we will get to women as the main theme of our newsletter, but first we have to start off with the story that dominated conservative radioland: WikiLeaks. Wikileaks released thousands of pages it claims are from the C.I.A.’s secret files, allegedly showing that the spy agency is capable hacking phones and communication apps like WhatsApp and Signal.