President Trump said “that his proposed tax plan would not prompt any changes to Americans’ tax-deferred retirement plans, pushing back against reports that the Republicans are weighing a proposal that would significantly reduce the income workers can save in these popular programs,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Trump’s shutdown of the proposal is the first of what many Republicans privately fear could be a presidential pattern that disrupts their efforts to pass a sweeping overhaul of the tax code. In it, Mr. Trump appeared to rule out a politically difficult idea, which, if enacted, would have provided some revenue to help pay for the tax plan.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 23, 2017
Shortly after the ABC News interview, President Trump responded to Myeshia Johnson’s remarks, asserting, “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”
“Nineteen days after her husband’s death and two days after his wrenching burial, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson said she has ‘nothing to say’ to President Trump, whose condolence call pulled the grieving widow into the center of a national controversy,” the Washington Post reports. Said Myeshia Johnson: “Very upset and hurt; it made me cry even worse.”
Making her first public comments, Johnson recalled that the president said her husband “knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways. And it made me cry. I was very angry at the tone of his voice, and how he said it.”
Matthew Yglesias: “It’s not exactly a news flash at this point that Donald Trump isn’t very fluent on questions of public policy, but his interview over the weekend with Fox Business Channel’s Maria Bartiromo is really a sobering reminder of the levels of ignorance and dishonesty that the country is dealing with.”
“Bartiromo is an extraordinarily soft interviewer who doesn’t ask Trump any difficult questions or press him on any subject. That makes the extent to which he manages to flub the interview all the more striking. He’s simply incapable of discussing any topic at any length in anything remotely resembling an informed or coherent way.”
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) October 23, 2017
Science Debate is calling for all House, Senate and Gubernatorial candidates running for office across parties to respond to 10 questions related to the greatest science policy challenges facing America. Topics cover a wide range of issues from scientific integrity in policymaking to health, cyber security medicine and the environment.
Sheril Kirshenbaum: “Until we insist that candidates address science and technology policy when campaigning, we cannot expect them to do so once they’re in office.”
McCain is asked if he's afraid of Trump. He laughs for about 15 straight second. pic.twitter.com/u7NYkkBGHf
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 23, 2017
Vox: “Don’t look now, but it’s becoming a real possibility that the government will shut down in December. Congress has until midnight on December 15 to pass a spending bill or the federal government will run out of money.”
“The tricky thing is that Republicans need at least eight Democrats in the Senate to meet the 60-vote threshold needed to pass a bill, which means they will need to make some serious compromises to get a spending bill through.”
— Michael Learmonth (@learmonth) October 23, 2017
New York Times: “According to interviews with dozens of storm victims, one of the busiest hurricane seasons in years has overwhelmed federal disaster officials. As a result, the government’s response in the two biggest affected states — Texas and Florida — has been scattershot: effective in dealing with immediate needs, but unreliable and at times inadequate in handling the aftermath, as thousands of people face unusually long delays in getting basic disaster assistance.”
“People who call FEMA’s help line at 1-800-621-FEMA have waited on hold for two, three or four hours before they even speak to a FEMA representative.”
Chris Christie on Trump: "He gets mad at me at times, he yells at me at times, but he respects me." https://t.co/fRpDlCwbDp
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) October 23, 2017
Jason Zengerle: “Christie insists that he and Trump have no problems with each other — that, in fact, they’ve been friends for years — and it’s obviously important to him that people know he views himself and the businessman turned president as peers. … Christie says of Trump: ‘He gets mad at me at times, he yells at me at times, but he respects me.’ Christie adds that he often yells back at Trump, although ‘less now that he’s president.’”
“Indeed, it’s conventional wisdom among political insiders that Christie’s problem isn’t so much with Trump as it is with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, whose father Christie sent to prison when Christie was a federal prosecutor.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “has confirmed that he will run for re-election in the Senate as an independent in 2018, despite recent pressure from some Democrats to join the party,” The Hill reports. Said Sanders: “I am an independent and I have always run in Vermont as an independent, while I caucus with the Democrats in the United States Senate. That’s what I’ve been doing for a long time and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Number one reason he will not get my vote in 2020. You want my party’s nomination? Then join it and do the hard work from the inside to change it rather than taking lazy potshots from the outside.
EPA head Pruitt is spending millions on security measures worthy of a heist movie https://t.co/8Au0qbwjHT
— Meteor_Blades (@Meteor_Blades) October 23, 2017
James Walcott asks, “Will We Ever Return to Normal After Trump?
“In the sorriest days of the Watergate scandal, the iconoclastic journalist and 60 Minutes commentator Nicholas von Hoffman compared the Nixon presidency to “a dead mouse on the American family kitchen floor. The question is: who is going to pick it up by the tail and drop it in the trash?” It would be premature to write off the Trump presidency as a deceased rodent lying on the linoleum. In its nasty defensiveness, it is closer to a cornered rat. It still has plenty of ugly fight left. But we are at the beginning of the endgame and it is not premature to start imagining how to pick through the damage the Trump presidency will leave behind and future-proof the republic so that It Can’t Happen Here never happens again. So much headspace will be opened up once Trump is no longer occupying it that we must make the most of it.
The moment Trump leaves the White House for early retirement, jail, a sanitarium, or a Russian refuge, let the reckoning begin. Cue the exodus of his cronies from the Cabinet and commence the shunning…Post-Trump, the country needs its own, domestic version of the de-Nazification program established in Germany after World War II, an inquiry into how so many alleged neo-Nazi, white-supremacist sympathizers had input into this presidency, and their connection with neo-Nazi and nativist movements overseas.”
War widow controversy is typical of administration willingness to cross any boundary to protect Trump’s fragile ego. https://t.co/b7zIcdBLaY
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) October 23, 2017
A hilarious dispatch from the Republican Civil War, and a familiar one for us Democrats are used to seeing spineless Democrats in conservative districts say they won’t vote for Pelosi as Speaker:
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has become a flashpoint for Republicans running for Senate in 2018. The Hill asked nearly two dozen Senate candidates this week if they would support McConnell as leader if elected. Not one campaign said outright that they would support him, although two candidates appear to have expressed support in the past.
Several candidates declared their opposition to McConnell and attacked their GOP primary opponents for not taking a stance on the question. Other candidates deflected, or spoke on background about the bind they’re in over the question of McConnell’s leadership. Most candidates were eager to avoid the question entirely, and ignored multiple requests for comment.”
Doug Jones is not a spineless Democrat. Here he is in deep red Alabama, and he isn’t equivocating an inch. Take a look at this ad. I can’t imagine anything more powerful.