Stop expecting real answers from Sean Spicer

We didn’t even get a straight answer on “covfefe” today. This is another installment of SpicerWatch, an occasional dive into the absurdities of the White House press briefing and the media’s obsession with spectacle. A baseline test for the effectiveness of a press secretary is to compare their performance with that of a hypothetical stranger yanked off the street. Imagine you asked someone at random about, say, the photo of Kathy Griffin holding a bloodied…

"Stop expecting real answers from Sean Spicer"

Hillary Clinton blames everyone but herself for her 2016 loss

Hillary Clinton doesn’t believe she or her campaign made any significant mistakes in the 2016 election. But speaking at the Code Conference on Wednesday, she had a long list of others she blames for her defeat. She points the finger at Russia, fake news, the sorry state of the Democratic Party, sexism, and the media that covered the email scandal “like Pearl Harbor,” among others. The Russian government At the top of the list is…

"Hillary Clinton blames everyone but herself for her 2016 loss"

Rolling back the birth control mandate is part of a much larger GOP strategy

This is the web version of VoxCare, a daily newsletter from Vox on the latest twists and turns in America’s health care debate. Like what you’re reading? Sign up to get VoxCare in your inbox here. The Republican vision for women’s health care is coming into sharp focus — and it’s a harsh reality for women of childbearing years. Today we learned that the Trump administration is making plans to roll back Obamacare’s birth control…

"Rolling back the birth control mandate is part of a much larger GOP strategy"

Quitting the Paris climate agreement would be a moral disgrace

President Trump is selling out our kids to give false hope to coal workers No laid-off coal miners will get their jobs back if President Trump pulls the United States from the Paris accord on climate change. No extra oil rigs will sprout in the Gulf. There is no employment upside to an “America First” retreat from global leadership on one of the few issues that can accurately be described as a potentially existential threat…

"Quitting the Paris climate agreement would be a moral disgrace"

The US just pulled off an important missile defense test

Rocket science is hard. Really hard. The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) just successfully tested a ground-based defense system against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), ostensibly to ensure that the US can stop threats emanating from Pyongyang or Tehran. The $244 million dollar test was described as a “very realistic” scenario based on what the intelligence community believes the North Korean or Iranian missile programs might look like in the 2020 timeframe, Vice Adm. Jim…

"The US just pulled off an important missile defense test"

The legal risks of Jared Kushner’s meeting with a Russian banker, explained

Federal investigators are fixated on a mysterious December meeting between senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and Russian banker Sergey Gorkov. Was Kushner really trying to open a direct channel of communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin? And why would he meet with the head of a state-controlled Russian bank to discuss such a thing? The content of that 30-minute meeting is the latest focus of a federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to…

"The legal risks of Jared Kushner’s meeting with a Russian banker, explained"

Trump is deciding on the Paris climate agreement with virtually no science advisers on staff

What he does have: a lot of climate change denying voices in his West Wing. President Donald Trump is on the verge of making a decision that could reverberate across generations into the future. He’s reportedly leaning toward pulling the US out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, an accord that got 190 countries working together on reducing emissions to keep global warming beneath a critical threshold of 2 degrees Celsius. Now, the Paris agreement…

"Trump is deciding on the Paris climate agreement with virtually no science advisers on staff"

Critics say Trump’s cellphone diplomacy is dangerous. Experts aren’t so sure.

The Associated Press reported today that Donald Trump has been giving his cellphone number to the leaders of allied countries like Canada, Mexico, and France and telling them to call him directly. The Associated Press took a scolding tone, suggesting that the president is endangering national security by having sensitive conversations over a mobile device. Former Pentagon adviser Derek Chollet ominously told the AP: “If you are speaking on an open line, then it’s an…

"Critics say Trump’s cellphone diplomacy is dangerous. Experts aren’t so sure."

An activist investigating a Chinese factory making Ivanka Trump shoes has been detained

And two others have disappeared. They were working on a report with damning allegations. A labor watchdog had plans to publish a blistering report next month on the labor practices of a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump-branded shoes. But the group says that over the weekend, two of its investigators in China disappeared and one was arrested there, raising yet another set of questions regarding the ethics of having a presidential administration with extensive…

"An activist investigating a Chinese factory making Ivanka Trump shoes has been detained"

Kathy Griffin’s “beheading” of Donald Trump sparked backlash — but it’s rooted in artistic tradition

Griffin joins centuries of women artists who symbolically beheaded powerful men. Comedian, entertainer, and occasional media correspondent Kathy Griffin has come under extensive media fire after participating in a violent artistic protest against President Donald Trump. As reported by TMZ on Tuesday, Griffin posed for a grisly photo shoot with somewhat notorious photographer Tyler Shields, in which she holds up a model of the president’s bloodied, decapitated head. “Tyler and I are not afraid to…

"Kathy Griffin’s “beheading” of Donald Trump sparked backlash — but it’s rooted in artistic tradition"