The Coming Green Wave ~ The New York Times

This silent majority will no longer stand by as the Trump administration tries to destroy a century of bipartisan love of the land.

 

One of the national monuments being shrunk by the Trump administration is Bears Ears in UtahCredit Bob Strong/Reuters

If emotions were water, and you took all the heartbreak felt by the millions who followed the plight of a starving orca whale grieving over her dead calf, you’d have a river the size of the mighty Columbia.

If anger were a volcano, and you let loose all the rage felt by people over the daily assaults on public land by the Trump administration, you’d have an eruption with the fury of Mount St. Helens.

And if just one unorganized voting segment, the 60 million bird-watchers of America, sent a unified political message this fall, you’d have a political block with more than 10 times the membership of the National Rifle Association.

A bird-watching group in ColoradoCredit RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post, via Getty Images

A Green Wave is coming this November, the pent-up force of the most overlooked constituency in America. These independents, Teddy Roosevelt Republicans and Democrats on the sideline have been largely silent as the Trump administration has tried to destroy a century of bipartisan love of the land.

But no more. Politics, like Newton’s third law of physics, is about action and reaction. While President Trump tries to prop up the dying and dirty coal industry with taxpayer subsidies, the outdoor recreation industry has been roaring along. It is a $374-billion-a-year economy, by the government’s own calculation, and more than twice that size by private estimates.

That’s more than mining, oil, gas and logging combined. And yet, the centerpiece of a clean and growing industry is under attack by a president with a robber baron view of the natural world.

I write from the smoke-choked West, where the air quality in major cities has been worse than Beijing this month. While Trump spends his days comparing women to dogs, and tweets nonsense about rivers flowing to the sea, the biggest wildfire in California history blazes away.

After the four warmest years ever recorded, scientists have now warned that the next five will be “anomalously warm.” But Trump doesn’t even understand time zones, let alone atmospheric upheaval.

In the face of these life-altering changes, Trump is drafting rules to make it easier for major polluters to drive up the earth’s temperature. While the orcas of Puget Sound are starving, Trump is trying to weaken the law that protects endangered species. And while lovers of the outdoors break visitation records at national parks and forests, Trump is removing land from protection.

This is not green goo-goo or fantasy projection. You can see and feel the energy in places ignored by the national political press.

“If D.C. comes for our public land, water or monuments again, they’ll have to come through me,” says Xochitl Torres Small, a Democrat with an even chance of taking a longtime Republican seat in New Mexico, in an ad showing off her political chops.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah is set to shrink under the Trump administration. Credit Bob Strong/Reuters

The revolt started after Trump shrunk several national monuments in the West last year — the largest rollback of public land protection in our history. The outdoor retailer Patagonia responded with a blank screen on its web page with the statement, “The President Stole Your Land.” It was the first shot in a battle that has been raging all summer.

At the big, boisterous outdoor industry’s national trade show in Denver last month, retailers who sell to the 144 million Americans who participated in an outdoor activity last year, or the 344 million overall visitors to national parks, vowed to flex some muscle in the coming midterm elections.

They scoffed at the absurdity of propping up coal when there are more yoga instructors in the United States than people who work to produce a filthy fuel source. They were appalled that the increasingly strange interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, blamed everything but climate change for a summer of epic wildfires. And they promised to be heard this fall.

Our Hubris Will Be Our End

Then we’ll adapt and start telling ourselves new stories, just as humans have always done.

By Roy ScrantonRoy

Scranton is the author of “We’re Doomed. Now What? Essays on War and Climate Change.

The Eastern Shore of Maryland on the Delmarva PeninsulaCredit Lexey Swall for The New York Times

You can walk to the beach from where we are staying. It’s a long peel of dun-colored sand bordered by tidy rainbow summer houses, monotonous black and white condos and monstrous blue McMansions that blister the length of the Delmarva Peninsula. On the other side of the sand lies the heaving, implacable mass of unfathomable gray-green water that covers nearly three-quarters of the globe, once a boundary between the known and unknown, a limit-space of mystery and terror, now tamed, or so we think, to a vacation fun zone. There are lifeguards, though, lean summer kids with lazy tans, and to the north, rising from the low trees, towers built to defend the American coastline from Nazi subs.

Ten minutes away, the highway connects you to an outlet mall, a Walmart and a cinema showing the latest superhero movie. We walk back and forth from the beach to the house, brave the cold Atlantic rush and the biting flies, make dinner, put the baby to bed, play a board game and sink at last into our screens, each of us burrowed into a different dark corner of the living room. Tablet light, phone light, laptop light flicker on our slack, rapt gazes.

Five hundred years ago, the people who lived here did not believe in progress. They did not believe in individual liberty, the autonomous self, the freedom of markets, human rights, the state or the concept of nature as something distinct from culture. They lived for generations without electricity, refrigeration, automobiles, Wi-Fi, on-demand streaming, police, homogenized milk, antibiotics or even The New York Times, and they were almost entirely wiped out in the centuries-long campaign of displacement and genocide that forms the through-line of North American history from 1492 to the end of the Apache Wars in the 1920s.

 

Indeed, some historians and anthropologists — such as James C. Scott, in his book “Against the Grain” — argue that life before modernity was better than our own, with more leisure time, fewer diseases and afflictions, and a more robust phenomenological and spiritual engagement with the world around us. True or not, the argument feels right, especially any time I find myself sitting by a campfire after hiking through the woods all day, or hanging out at the beach watching the waves crash.

Then I go back to my habits: the computer at which I write; the gas range, with its reliable, smokeless flame on which I heat my coffee; the flush toilet — indoors! — that carries away all bodily waste; the electric lamp I turn on to read by; the heating and air-conditioning that regulate our house’s microclimate. And I cannot help but feel an abiding sense of relief. I am adapted, whether I like it or not, to a certain built environment, a certain sense of space, a certain social order.

We humans of the Anthropocene Era, inhabitants of a global capitalist civilization built on fossil fuels, slavery and genocide, are used to living with the fruits of that civilization. We are accustomed to walking on concrete in mass produced shoes. When it rains we go inside or open an umbrella made of nylon, a synthetic polymer first designed in 1930. When we have to travel, we take a train, bus, car or plane, journeying hundreds of miles in a few hours, at speeds that would have been unimaginable 250 years ago. When it gets hot, we turn on the air-conditioning or go to the beach.

The extended coastal urban areas where about 40 percent of all humans now live, so blessedly near the sea, including this very beach town from which I write, would have been incomprehensibly strange, even grotesque, to the people who used to live here. Yet we are no different from them in any essential way, only accustomed to a different way of life, a different built environment, a different set of narratives and concepts that shape our sense of reality.

The thing we humans of the Anthropocene share with the Nanticoke and the Unami-speaking Lenape who used to live on the Delmarva Peninsula, and with the !Kung of the Kalahari, the Yukaghir of Siberia, the medieval Persians, the ancient Mayans, the blue-painted Picts, the Neolithic proto-Chinese Peiligang peoples and the Paleolithic nomads of the Pleistocene Era is precisely our ability to adapt to changing conditions, primarily through the collective use of symbolic reasoning and narrative. Homo sapiens can live almost anywhere on Earth, under almost any conditions; all we need is a story telling us why our lives matter.

In the transition from the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic eras, around 65 million years ago, when the North American continent began to take shape, much of what we call the Eastern Seaboard was under water. No human beings existed then; it would be millions of years before any hominids evolved.

Today, Delmarva’s highest point is barely above sea level, a low hill on the peninsula’s west coast where you can sit and watch Chesapeake Bay slowly rise as Antarctica and Greenland melt, as the planet warms one-tenth degree by one-tenth degree, and the world to which we have adapted changes into something else. The beach will disappear, the McMansions will fill with water, the lifeguards will age and die and even the towers built to watch for Nazis will crumble and fall.

In some unknown future, on some strange and novel shore, human beings just like us will adapt to a whole new world. You can see them sitting circled around a fire on the beach, the light flickering on their rapt faces, one telling a story about a mighty civilization doomed by its hubris, an age of wonders long past.

Ryan Zinke blames ‘environmental terrorist groups’ for severity of California wildfires ~ The Washington Post

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August 15 at 6:31 PM

Wildfires strike California every year. But they’re getting worse, causing deaths and uprooting communities. But who is to blame for these increasingly destructive wildfires?

According to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, it’s “environmental terrorist groups.”

During a radio interview with Breitbart News, Zinke said that “environmental terrorist groups” are preventing the government from managing forests and are largely responsible for the severity of the fires. But fire scientists and forestry experts have said climate change is the main factor behind the problem.

Zinke said during the interview that an overabundance of fuel load — things such as twigs and leaves that make it possible for fires to burn — make fires more intense.

“There have been a number of instances where environmental groups have submitted petitions to the Bureau of Land Management, halting companies from removing dead and dying timber until the BLM can sort through each petition point,” Department of the Interior spokesman Faith C. Vander Voort said in an email. “These actions halt proper forest management and leave the West vulnerable to incredible devastation.”

But Monica Turner, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said this argument doesn’t address the bigger problem.

“Making minor changes in the fuels [which] you then have to do repeatedly for many years is not going to solve the bigger problem of having to face climate change,” she told The Washington Post. “We cannot clear or thin our way out of this problem.”

~~~  CONTINUE READING  ~~~

A FREE PRESS

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In 1787, the year the Constitution was adopted, Thomas Jefferson famously wrote to a friend, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

That’s how he felt before he became president, anyway. Twenty years later, after enduring the oversight of the press from inside the White House, he was less sure of its value. “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper,” he wrote. “Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”

Jefferson’s discomfort was, and remains, understandable. Reporting the news in an open society is an enterprise laced with conflict. His discomfort also illustrates the need for the right he helped enshrine. As the founders believed from their own experience, a well-informed public is best equipped to root out corruption and, over the long haul, promote liberty and justice.

“Public discussion is a political duty,” the Supreme Court said in 1964. That discussion must be “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open,” and “may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

In 2018, some of the most damaging attacks are coming from government officials. Criticizing the news media — for underplaying or overplaying stories, for getting something wrong — is entirely right. News reporters and editors are human, and make mistakes. Correcting them is core to our job. But insisting that truths you don’t like are “fake news” is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the “enemy of the people” is dangerous, period.

These attacks on the press are particularly threatening to journalists in nations with a less secure rule of law and to smaller publications in the United States, already buffeted by the industry’s economic crisis. And yet the journalists at those papers continue to do the hard work of asking questions and telling the stories that you otherwise wouldn’t hear. Consider The San Luis Obispo Tribune, which wrote about the death of a jail inmate who was restrained for 46 hours. The account forced the county to change how it treats mentally ill prisoners.

Answering a call last week from The Boston Globe, The Times is joining hundreds of newspapers, from large metro-area dailies to small local weeklies, to remind readers of the value of America’s free press. These editorials, some of which we’ve excerpted, together affirm a fundamental American institution.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.

 

On the Front Lines of America’s War on Fire ~ Men’s Journal

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On a cool morning last November, Tirso Rojas, a lifelong firefighter turned disaster-cleanup specialist, parked his Chevy Silverado pickup among a cluster of burned houses in the charred foothills surrounding Santa Rosa, California. A man in a hard hat and a Day-Glo vest sat smoking a cigarette on a stump by the skeleton of a garage with a burned Nissan truck inside. Meanwhile, five other workers cut a log with chainsaws and loaded it into a chipper.

“Saw some turkeys in that tree this morning,” the guy smoking the cigarette said to Rojas, who nodded a hello.

A few of these men had come directly from Houston, where they’d spent months cleaning up after Hurricane Irma. Rojas, in charge of the crew, grabbed a length of power line lying on the ground and cast a stank-eyed glance at the men as he coiled it—they should have done this.

“What’s your plan? Qual es tu plan?” he asked them, nodding to five trees near the foundation of a house. The trees, all black and needle-less, leaned over a power line. The men sat silent.

“This one first,” Rojas said, tapping one tree. He then considered the others for a moment. “Then here, here, and here.”

Rojas, 40, has the stout build of a lumberjack, which he happens to be. That day, he wore well-seasoned Prison Blues work pants and an air of anxiety. Last year’s fires marked the biggest disaster in the Golden State since the Loma Prieta earthquake rattled the Bay Area in 1989, and the cleanup wasn’t progressing as quickly as Rojas preferred. For miles in all directions lay the ruins of some 5,500 homes that the Tubbs Fire—the most destructive in state history—had cremated in October. In order to get Northern California’s economy and its communities back on track, those buildings, plus the 30,000 burned trees that threatened to knock out power lines around them, needed to be cut and cleared as quickly as possible.

“I’m 100 percent OK with you doing this—100 percent,” he told the other sawyers, who watched him intently. “Just make sure I’m here to watch. That wire is live.”

Firefighter and disaster-cleanup specialist Tirso Rojas in 2012 during a fire in Northern California
Firefighter and disaster-cleanup specialist Tirso Rojas in 2012 during a fire in Northern California.  Kyle Dickman

That morning, I’d met Rojas before sunrise in an empty field, lit by rented floodlights and surrounded by barns. This was the biggest of four cleanup base camps that Pacific Gas and Electric, one of the nation’s largest utility companies, had established in the Santa Rosa area. Between PG&E’s camps were 4,300 workers, all brought in to fell trees and repair the electrical grid. Spread out in other nearby camps were tens of thousands more workers who had come to remove debris, inspect homesites for volatile household poisons, and repair roads, sewer pipes, stoplights, and DSL wires. In other words, to fix a broken city.

 

When the briefing started at 6 a.m, Rojas joined a semicircle of 30 men and a few women forming around the superintendent, a former smoke jumper and a longtime friend named Brad Moschetti. Disaster relief is a contract industry, and the contracts are stacked atop one another in M.C. Escheresque layers. In this case, Moschetti, Rojas, and all these other workers were local subcontractors employed by a regional subcontractor employed by a prime contractor from Tennessee that had cut its teeth cleaning up after hurricanes in the Southeast—the other type of disaster of this scale.

The workers were dressed in Carhartts streaked with oil and hunched over steaming coffees. On the crew, only Rojas and Moschetti had been career firefighters, men who intimately knew California’s woods and the disasters associated with them. The overwhelming majority were blue-collar men in their 30s and 40s. Some were locals the state insisted be hired to pump some income back into the depressed community while others were out-of-towners from Florida, Texas, and Mexico who made their living chasing catastrophes. Most of the guys here made $20 an hour plus overtime and worked 10 hours a day, six days a week, until the job was done. That would take four months.

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Author Jonathan Thompson at Sherbino Monday, August 13th

Jonathan Thompson
River of Lost Souls

Monday, August 13th – Sherbino Theater, Ridgway
Doors at 7:00 pm, presentation at 7:30pm. $5 entry at door.

Join the Mountain Independent and the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership for an evening with JONATHAN THOMPSON on his Ouray County stop for his book tour to present RIVER OF LOST SOULS.

Part elegy, part ode, part investigative science journalism, RIVER OF LOST SOULS tells the gripping story behind the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster that turned the Animas River in southwestern Colorado orange with sludge and toxic metals for over 100 miles downstream, wreaking havoc on cities, farms, and the Navajo Nation along the way.

Jonathan P. Thompson is an award-winning freelance author, journalist and editor. He usually writes about the land, culture and communities of the American West, with an emphasis on energy development, pollution, land-use politics and economics. But he’s fascinated by the complexity of the world around him, and is happy to delve into almost any topic. He is the author of River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster (Torrey House Press, February 2018) and is a contributing editor at High Country News.

Learn More

 

 

 

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“Thompson, a southwestern Colorado native, knowledgeably and sensitively addresses ethical questions at the heart of his inquiry, including what it would mean to restore the water system to its precolonial state. He effortlessly explains the technical elements of this story, such as the complex chemistry of the environmental effects of mining. This is a vivid historical account of the Animas region, and Thompson shines in giving a sense of what it means to love a place that’s been designated a ‘sacrifice zone.'” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“An elegy of sorts for a beloved natural area with a long history of human exploitation.” —FOREWORD REVIEWS
“The reader will revel in the beauty of the Colorado landscape while recoiling from descriptions of cruelty towards the Native Americans and the horrors of acid mine drainage.” — BOOKLIST
“Thompson’s writing meanders through Western history, family stories, and pollution–causing activities to create a vivid and, at times, horrifying time line that shows the aftereffects of human exploitation of nature… Aficionados of Western history, environmentalists, and even general readers will enjoy this cautionary tale that takes an intimate look at the side effects of human industry.” — LIBRARY JOURNAL
“Thompson’s investigative chops are impressive. But the book is most evocative when the author negotiates the strange eddies of his personal connections to this landscape.” —SIERRA MAGAZINE
“Thompson’s debut work tells the tale of the Four Corners, its history, its people and their interaction with the land—all from the perspective of a fourth–generation Durango resident.” —THE DURANGO HERALD
“Thompson weaves his skills of investigative journalism and factual verification with the empowering tools and devices of a novelist to bring the reader directly into his new book.” —THE UTAH REVIEW
“An important book of investigative journalism, especially relevant for those living in the Mountain West.” —ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL
“By turns mournful, optimistic, angry and hilarious, Thompson offers fresh takes on everything from a mountain town’s bare knuckle politics to a young man’s loss of innocence to what it truly means to be a Westerner. Deeply researched, thoroughly unsentimental, this is a moving and rip–roaringly told tale.” —STEVE FRIEDMAN, author of Lost on Treasure Island and Driving Lessons
“A rich historical and personal account of the San Juan Basin, a region blessed and cursed by its geology. From the hard rock mining era of the late 1800s to the recent natural gas drilling boom, some things never change: the extractive industries fight common sense rules to their own—and the public’s—detriment. This book is a must read for every person who loves the West and needs to understand how we got to where we are today.” —GWEN LACHELT, La Plata County Commissioner and founder of the Western Leaders Network ​
“Equal parts The Quiet Crisis and Silent Spring, and 100% scary, timely, and so very important. Every citizen in every western mining community MUST read this book, as should every politician at every level of government.” —ANDY NETTELL, Back of Beyond Books ​
” Thompson, a fifth generation Animas Valley local, and a master craftsman of the written word, makes this book a privilege to read.” —PETER SCHERTZ, Maria’s Bookshop ​

Award–winning investigative environmental journalist Jonathan P. Thompson digs into the science, politics, and greed behind the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster, and unearths a litany of impacts wrought by a century and a half of mining, energy development, and fracking in southwestern Colorado. Amid these harsh realities, Thompson explores how a new generation is setting out to make amends.

As shocking and heartbreaking as the Gold King spill and its aftermath may be, it’s merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The disaster itself was the climax of the long and troubled story of the Gold King mine, staked by a Swedish immigrant back in 1887. And it was only the most visible manifestation of a slow–moving, multi–faceted environmental catastrophe that had been unfolding here long before the events of August 5, 2015.

Jonathan Thompson is a native Westerner with deep roots in southwestern Colorado. He has been an environmental journalist focusing on the American West since he signed on as reporter and photographer at the Silverton Standard & the Miner newspaper in 1996. He has worked and written for High Country News for over a decade, serving as editor-in-chief from 2007 to 2010. He was a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and in 2016 he was awarded the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Outstanding Beat Reporting, Small Market. He currently lives in Bulgaria with his wife Wendy and daughters Lydia and Elena.

The Day Trump Told Us There Was Attempted Collusion with Russia ~ The New Yorker

August 5, 1974, was the day the Nixon Presidency ended. On that day, Nixon heeded a Supreme Court ruling and released the so-called smoking-gun tape, a recording of a meeting, held two years earlier, with his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman. Many of Nixon’s most damaging statements came in the form of short, monosyllabic answers and near-grunts—“um huh,” the official transcript reads, at one point—as he responds to Haldeman’s idea of asking the C.I.A. to tell the F.B.I. to “stay the hell out of” the Watergate investigation. The coverup is clearly of Haldeman’s design. Nixon’s words are simple: “All right. Fine.” Then, “Right, fine.”

Haldeman’s idea seemed clever. He believed the F.B.I. was close to concluding that the break-in at the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate hotel was the work of a C.I.A.-led operation, which had something to do with Cuba and the Bay of Pigs. Nobody would have to actually lie, he seems to suggest—it wasn’t “unusual” for the C.I.A. to warn the F.B.I. to drop an investigation that could harm national security. “And that will fit rather well because the F.B.I. agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that’s what it is. This is C.I.A.”

Nixon’s strongest statement to Haldeman is, surprisingly, a word of caution. “Don’t lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it,” he says. “Say that we wish, for the country, don’t go any further into this case, period!” When Nixon released the tape, he acknowledged that it would lead to his impeachment. Three days later, he resigned the Presidency.

Listening to the tape today, it’s hard not to imagine an alternate strategy, one that Nixon’s aide, Roger Ailes—hired at Haldeman’s request—would surely have endorsed. Nixon could have released the tape himself and declared it as proof of his innocence, pointing out that he did, in fact, tell Haldeman not to lie. He could have argued that he didn’t mean “yes” when he said “um huh”—that the transcript should have read “unh-unh,” a clear sign that he was against the whole scheme. Instead of embracing impeachment, congressional Republicans could have supported an effort to do just what Haldeman and Nixon had attempted: end the investigation.

On August 5, 2018, precisely forty-four years after the collapse of the Nixon Presidency, another President, Donald Trump, made his own public admission. In one of a series of early-morning tweets, Trump addressed a meeting that his son Donald, Jr., held with a Russian lawyer affiliated with the Russian government. “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere,” he wrote. “I did not know about it!”

The tweet contains several crucial pieces of information. First, it is a clear admission that Donald Trump, Jr.,’s original statementabout the case was inaccurate enough to be considered a lie. He had said the meeting was with an unknown person who “might have information helpful to the campaign,” and that this person “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.” This false statement was, according to his legal team, dictated by the President himself. There was good reason to mislead the American people about that meeting. Based on reporting—at the time and now—of the President’s admission, it was a conscious effort by the President’s son and two of his closest advisers to work with affiliates of the Russian government to obtain information that might sway the U.S. election in Trump’s favor. In short, it was, at minimum, a case of attempted collusion. The tweet indicates that Trump’s defense will continue to be that this attempt at collusion failed—“it went nowhere”—and that, even if it had succeeded, it would have been “totally legal and done all the time.” It is unclear why, if the meeting was entirely proper, it was important for the President to declare “I did not know about it!” or to tell the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to “stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now.”

The President’s Sunday-morning tweet should be seen as a turning point. It doesn’t teach us anything new—most students of the case already understand what Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner knew about that Trump Tower meeting. But it ends any possibility of an alternative explanation. We can all move forward understanding that there is a clear fact pattern about which there is no dispute:

• The President’s son and top advisers knowingly met with individuals connected to the Russian government, hoping to obtain dirt on their political opponent.

• Documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee and members of the Clinton campaign were later used in an overt effort to sway the election.

• When the Trump Tower meeting was uncovered, the President instructed his son and staff to lie about the meeting, and told them precisely which lies to use.

• The President is attempting to end the investigation into this meeting and other instances of attempted collusion between his campaign staff and representatives of the Russian government.

It was possible, just days ago, to believe—with an abundance of generosity toward the President and his team—that the meeting was about adoption, went nowhere, and was overblown by the Administration’s enemies. No longer. The open questions are now far more narrow: Was this a case of successful or only attempted collusion? Is attempted collusion a crime? What legal and moral responsibilities did the President and his team have when they realized that the proposed collusion was under way when the D.N.C. e-mails were leaked and published? And, crucially, what did the President know before the election, after it, and when he instructed his son to lie?

Earlier on Sunday, Trump wrote another tweet, one that repeated a common refrain: journalists are the enemy of the people. “I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People,” it read. In a way, he did provide a great service. He allowed us to move away from a no-longer-relevant debate about whether or not he and his campaign had done anything wrong. Our nation can now focus on another question: What do we do when a President has openly admitted to attempted collusion, lying, and a coverup?

  • Adam Davidson is a staff writer at The New Yorker.