Vice President Mike Pence declared his loyalty to President Trump and denounced a New York Times article suggesting that he was positioning himself to run for president in 2020 if Mr. Trump does not seek a second term, the New York Times reports.
Said Pence: “Today’s article in The New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family and our entire team. The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration.”
He added: “Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the president’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.”
— adam nagourney (@adamnagourney) August 6, 2017
David Wasserman: “Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats.”
“This is partly attributable to the nature of House districts: GOP gerrymandering and Democratic voters’ clustering in urban districts has moved the median House seat well to the right of the nation. Part of it is bad timing. Democrats have been cursed by a terrible Senate map in 2018… But there’s a larger, long-term trend at work too — one that should alarm Democrats preoccupied with the future of Congress and the Supreme Court.”
“In the last few decades, Democrats have expanded their advantages in California and New York — states with huge urban centers that combined to give Clinton a 6 million vote edge, more than twice her national margin. But those two states elect only 4 percent of the Senate. Meanwhile, Republicans have made huge advances in small rural states — think Arkansas, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and West Virginia — that wield disproportionate power in the upper chamber compared to their populations.”
The United States has had some turbulent and scandal-plagued Presidencies—yet there has never been one like Trump’s. https://t.co/pq4OdeExKD
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) August 7, 2017
“There has always been a section of the left, which I call the whiny party — the party that doesn’t really wanna win, they just wanna be pure, and if they go down swinging purely, then that’s fine.” — Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean, quoted by The Hill.
I agree completely. Those purists are worse than Republicans.
GOP SETS ANOTHER UNLIKELY TIMELINE FOR TAX “REFORM” Politico: “Republicans acknowledge that the aggressive timeline they have set up for overhauling the tax code this fall leaves them little room for error. There could be one problem with that: Obamacare isn’t going away.”
“That’s left key Senate tax writers frustrated that there’s potentially another issue to take precious time away from their tax reform efforts. Senators left Washington on Thursday for a monthlong recess and will return to a September already overloaded with legislative deadlines. With key Trump administration officials and some congressional leaders having said they want to get a tax revamp signed into law this year, tax writers believe they’ll need to make serious progress starting next month.”
White House's top white nationalist could become Trump's new communications director https://t.co/mfhHYfBDrV
— Daily Kos (@dailykos) August 6, 2017
GOP IS LOSING THE EXURBS. Wall Street Journal: “Data from Gallup show 45.5% of adults in exurban communities self-identified as Republican in the second quarter of 2017, down from 49.6% in the first quarter of 2017 and 51.6% in the fourth quarter of 2016. It was also the lowest quarterly number for self-identified Republicans in the exurbs since 2013, the earliest numbers available.”
“The data also showed an increase in self-identified Democrats in exurban counties to 40.5% from 37.3% in the first quarter of 2017 and 36.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016. The 40.5% was the highest number recorded from Democrats since 2013.”
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN OVER THE WALL. Jonathan Swan: “Some say there’s a good chance of a government shutdown before the end of the year because of deep rifts over spending priorities. No one sees Trump’s wall getting much more than a symbolic nod, which is sure to anger Trump and the Bannon faction, and could lead to a shutdown.”
“Tax reform in this calendar year seems increasingly unlikely. A bill and big debate? Yes. Something signed into law? Very hard given the points above and persistently deep disagreements over which loopholes to keep and how to pay for the tax cuts.”
Why Trump’s phone call with Australia’s Prime Minister will haunt him in court. https://t.co/S1vU8OWDDg
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) August 6, 2017
TAX “REFORM” IS IMPERILED BY HEALTHCARE FOCUS. “Congressional Republicans plan to use the next four weeks away from Washington making a public case for a sweeping rewrite of the tax code, an ambitious legislative undertaking they hope will heal divisions that opened when the party’s signature health-care bill collapsed,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“But at home in their districts, they face pressures that could make it hard to focus on taxes. Many of their constituents and party activists blame Congress, more than President Donald Trump, for the health-care stalemate and are pressing them to find a resolution. And before they can do anything, lawmakers face a load of time-sensitive fiscal business: hashing out a budget, funding the government and raising the federal debt limit. The result is a party sent home for a month-long recess to face mixed messages from voters and an uncertain path forward in the fall.”
NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS PASSED 15-0 BY UNSC. China seems to have decided it will throw its weight behind to the global campaign to increase pressure on North Korea as it warned that the reclusive state should not do anything to provoke the international community at a time when tensions are entering “a very critical phase.” China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the new U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea on Saturday were the right steps to take and expressed optimism that North Korea’s leaders would make “the right and smart decision” about how to proceed. But even as China seemed to be heeding to the U.S. calls to isolate North Korea, Wang also had a message for Washington: “We would like to urge other parties like the United States and South Korea to stop increasing tensions.”
— Louis D. Johnston (@LDJEconomics) August 6, 2017
KELLY TRYING TO TAME THE TWEETATOR? Bloomberg: “Kelly is testing his authority to tame Trump’s sometimes reckless tweeting habits. While Kelly isn’t vetting every presidential tweet, Trump has shown a willingness to consult with his chief of staff before hitting ‘send’ on certain missives that might cause an international uproar or lead to unwelcome distractions, according to three people familiar with the interactions. Kelly has been ‘offering a different way to say the same thing,’ the person said.”
“Trump has made it clear, however, that he reserves the right to ignore advice on tweets.”
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) August 5, 2017
A BIPARTISAN HEALTHCARE PUSH? “A week after an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’d consider a bipartisan effort to continue payments to insurers to avert a costly rattling of health insurance markets,” the AP reports.
McConnell also there is “still a chance” the Senate could revive the measure to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” but he acknowledged the window for that is rapidly closing.
Pretty bananas that the national security adviser of the United States is worried about Mike Cernovich https://t.co/WsRBKW0Ewy
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) August 5, 2017
OBAMA LOYALISTS OPERATING SHADOW SCIENCE OFFICE. “The network, described to STAT by officials from the previous administration who are involved, is informal yet organized, allowing for a far-reaching if largely inconspicuous effort to continue advocating for the Obama science agenda.”
“Participants have provided counsel to Democratic lawmakers and their staffs on Capitol Hill, and they have held group-wide strategy sessions much in the same fashion as they did when they worked out of a fourth-floor wing in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent the White House.”
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 6, 2017