Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and the risks of analytical optimism

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True analysts cannot afford optimism. To make an accurate prediction, you cannot let what you want to happen color what is likely to happen. But that’s exactly what I’ve seen in the wake of the conviction of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the guilty plea from his former lawyer Michael Cohen. Trump-haters are … Continued

What’s the significance of the Republican criticisms of Trump and Putin in Helsinki?

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Trump met with Putin in Helsinki, then defended the Russian president. Democrats were outraged, of course, but this time many Republicans chimed in with disapproval as well. What does the language of these Republican protests tell us about the probability of an impeachment? Trump got everyone upset with this response to a reporter’s question: AP … Continued

I’ve figured out what “covfefe” means. It means we’re screwed.

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President Trump posted a mysterious tweet including a the non-word “covfefe” last night. Then he asked us to figure out the its true meaning. The meaning is clear: we must no longer take seriously anything this president says. Here’s the Tweet the president sent at 12:06am. Covfefe is not a word. It’s a mistake. But the … Continued

How our memories of Nixon are leading us astray

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I was 15 years old in August of 1974, traveling in Germany with my family, when President Nixon resigned. It made a powerful impression on me. I think, because of our shared history of that time, we all feel we understand what might be coming for Trump. But we don’t. My father had gotten a summer … Continued