On Wednesday, conservative columnist George Will told MSNBC’s Ari Melber that he no longer feels that the GOP believes in the separation of powers — and fingered Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as one of the most egregious examples.
“In your view, in the way you’re stating it, is there any concern left for federalism in the congressional Republican Party as it exists?” Melber asked him.
“No. Precious little,” said Will, but despite this, he notes, the general public is more skeptical of federal power than ever before. “In 1964, 70 percent of Americans said they trusted the federal government to do the right thing all the time or almost all the right thing. Today that number is below 20 percent.”
“Which spawns cynicism,” said Melber. “You’ve been around a lot of politics. I wonder if you’ve ever seen anything quite like this, which is the public shift from Sen. Graham on the president.” He played a clip of Graham calling Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic bigot” and “a kook … unfit for office” prior to Trump’s election, and then saying that the president is doing a “fabulous job” and is “absolutely not” a racist in 2018.
“Is this politics as usual, people move around, or is this something different?” asked Melber.
“This is different in degree to the point that it’s different in kind, yes,” said Will. “Remember, he was, Lindsey Graham was the Lindsey Graham people thought was funny and interesting as long as John McCain was around to keep him on the right leash. McCain is gone and the leash is gone, and this, I’m afraid, is the real Lindsey Graham.”
New Zealand suspends America’s Cup funding after fraud, spy claims
New Zealand froze payments to America's Cup organizers Thursday as officials investigate fraud claims in the lead-up to next year's prestigious yachting regatta in Auckland.
Government officials said they had suspended payments to America's Cup Events Limited, the private company organizing the race, following allegations of spying and misuse of public money.
"We are not intending to make further payments to ACE. This will be revisited pending the outcome of the process," the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said in a statement.
The ministry has previously said it was investigating "structural and financial matters" surrounding the organization of the race but provided no further details.
Trump supporters funded a private border wall that’s already at risk of falling down
Tommy Fisher billed his new privately funded border wall as the future of deterrence, a quick-to-build steel fortress that spans 3 miles in one of the busiest Border Patrol sectors.
Unlike a generation of wall builders before him, he said he figured out how to build a structure directly on the banks of the Rio Grande, a risky but potentially game-changing step when it came to the nation’s border wall system.
Fisher has leveraged his self-described “Lamborghini” of walls to win more than $1.7 billion worth of federal contracts in Arizona.
But his showcase piece is showing signs of runoff erosion and, if it’s not fixed, could be in danger of falling into the Rio Grande, according to engineers and hydrologists who reviewed photos of the wall for ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. It never should have been built so close to the river, they say.