Early Returns

Building Walls, Creating Chaos and Telling Lies

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

1. Peter Andreas at the Monkey Cage on how Donald Trump will build his wall -- by taking credit for what's already there. Yup. 

2. Also at the Monkey Cage, Sara Bjerg Moller on NATO and the Trump administration.

3. Three from the Monkey Cage? I guess so. Corrine McConnaughy on what political science has to say about the Women's Marches.

4. Ed Kilgore on the Republicans in Philadelphia. Very good. 

5. Fred Kaplan at Slate on the chaos at State Department and, more generally, in the new administration's national security teams. 

6. Brian Beutler on the media's failure to explain the policy differences between the candidates in 2016. That's not unfair -- but this is one instance where the Hillary Clinton campaign certainly could have done more to highlight policy consequences of the election. She did some of that (and without question she did have serious policy proposals), but her campaign focused on Trump personally, making it easier for the media to ignore policy. On the other hand, the media's focus on Clinton's quasi-scandals wasn't her fault. 

7. And this one just struck me and didn't seem to get much publicity: Trump claimed on ABC News that two killings happened in Chicago during Barack Obama's farewell speech, but -- surprise! -- it never happened. Jeremy Gorner and Jason Meisner at the Chicago Tribune report. Just worth emphasizing that nothing the president says can be assumed to be fact. Yes, all politicians spin, and all politicians occasionally cross over the line from spin to outright falsehoods -- and, yes, all politicians who are in the spotlight long enough wind up with a few whoppers they dropped, just as all of us get our facts wrong every once in a while. Trump's not like that; he's flat-out making things up (or repeating false stories) constantly. 

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