Quick Takes: The Bannon/Kushner Media War

* We know that Trump’s management style is to set his subordinates against one another. Whether or not there is an actual war going on between Bannon and Kushner right now, the media is sure wrapped up in the idea. Here are some of the headlines today:

Steve Bannon Calls Jared Kushner a ‘Cuck’ and ‘Globalist’ Behind His Back

To Defend Bannon, Breitbart Has Opened Fire On The President’s Son-In-Law

* I’ve been talking about the fact that Trump’s border wall faces a lot of challenges beyond how to pay for it. Priscilla Alvarez elaborates.

Pamela Taylor’s home in Brownsville, Texas, sits in between the Rio Grande and the current border fence. Taylor, 88, voted for Donald Trump. But now, she faces the possibility that the man she voted for could take her land through eminent domain.

“As far as we’re concerned, the fence is not going to work. This fence is not working,” she said. “When you’re not here and you don’t know the area and then you say something, it’s best to get your ducks in a row.” If the administration were to present her a condemnation notice, she told me she would “definitely” take it to court.

Taylor is one of many landowners along the Texas-Mexico border who are preparing for a legal fight to keep their property…

There’s much to be done before a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is a done deal. Congress, after all, still needs to approve the funds. But even if it does, there’s a lot of Texan conservatives who will be standing in their way.

* Trump is doing a lot of stupid things. But this one ranks near the top of the list.

Environmental Protection Agency officials are proposing to eliminate two programs focused on limiting children’s exposure to lead-based paint, which is known to cause damage to developing brains and nervous systems.

The proposed cuts, outlined in a 64-page budget memo revealed by The Washington Post on Friday, would roll back programs aimed at reducing lead risks by $16.61 million and more than 70 employees, in line with a broader project by the Trump administration to devolve responsibility for environmental and health protection to state and local governments.

* Here is yet another attempt to explain the 2016 election. But this one is interesting in that it comes from Mehdi Hasan at The Intercept.

It isn’t only Republicans, it seems, who traffic in alternative facts. Since Donald Trump’s shock election victory, leading Democrats have worked hard to convince themselves, and the rest of us, that his triumph had less to do with racism and much more to do with economic anxiety — despite almost all of the available evidence suggesting otherwise…

Philip Klinkner, a political scientist at Hamilton College and an expert on race relations, has pored over this ANES [American National Election Studies] data and tells me that “whether it’s good politics to say so or not, the evidence from the 2016 election is very clear that attitudes about blacks, immigrants, and Muslims were a key component of Trump’s appeal.” For example, he says, “in 2016 Trump did worse than Mitt Romney among voters with low and moderate levels of racial resentment, but much better among those with high levels of resentment.”

The new ANES data only confirms what a plethora of studies have told us since the start of the presidential campaign: the race was about race. Klinkner himself grabbed headlines last summer when he revealed that the best way to identify a Trump supporter in the U.S. was to ask “just one simple question: is Barack Obama a Muslim?” Because, he said, “if they are white and the answer is yes, 89 percent of the time that person will have a higher opinion of Trump than Clinton.” This is economic anxiety? Really?

* If Trump actually believes what he says says, it is impossible not to question his mental health.

President Donald Trump reflected on his first weeks in office Thursday, telling reporters aboard Air Force on that “I think we’ve had one of the most successful 13 weeks in the history of the presidency,” according to a pool report.

* Finally, if you spent any time on twitter today, you saw this picture. It is making the rounds and inspiring some hilarious captions. Anyone want to place bets on whether or not it is a Bannon plant to humiliate the Son-in-Law-in-Chief?

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.