“The crush of unfinished business facing lawmakers when they return to the Capitol would be daunting even if Washington were functioning at peak efficiency,” the AP reports.
“It’s an agenda whose core items — tax cuts, a potential government shutdown, lots of leftover spending bills — could unravel just as easily as advance amid factionalism, gamesmanship, and a toxic political environment.”
“There’s only a four-week window until a Christmas deadline, barely enough time for complicated negotiations even if December stays on the rails. And that’s hardly a sure bet in President Trump’s capital.”
Changes to higher education tax policies could cause many students to see a big tax hike https://t.co/T55bhqopwA
— Axios (@axios) November 25, 2017
Washington Post: “With two-and-a-half weeks left until Election Day, a once unthinkable victory in the heart of the Deep South is within Jones’s reach, thanks largely to a string of sexual misconduct allegations against Republican candidate Roy Moore.”
“Jones’s campaign believes he can win only if he pieces together an unusually delicate coalition built on intense support from core Democrats and some crossover votes from Republicans disgusted with Moore. Crucial to that formula is a massive mobilization of African Americans, who make up about a quarter of Alabama’s electorate and tend to vote heavily Democratic.”
“Yet, in interviews in recent days, African American elected officials, community leaders and voters expressed concern that the Jones campaign’s turnout plan was at risk of falling short.”
Sen. Chris Coons gave Sessions 2 weeks to explain why U.S. Attorney Dana Boente was forced to resign. He didn’t. Coons is now demanding answers. pic.twitter.com/LmWXoOUOUZ
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 25, 2017
Washington Post: “Since Mueller was appointed, more people and firms have either filed or amended registrations that make public their work on behalf of foreign interests than had done so over the same time period in each of at least the past 20 years. Lobbyists, lawyers and public relations professionals who work for foreign companies and governments say Mueller’s probe has spooked K Street, and firms are likely to be more careful in their compliance with public disclosure standards.”
“NBC News reported this month that Mr. Mueller’s investigators are looking at a 2016 meeting between Mr. Rohrabacher and Mr. Flynn, whose lobbying for foreign powers has come under scrutiny by the special counsel” https://t.co/Aqe2lVKySX
— Adam Sherman (@adamshermanesq) November 25, 2017
Washington Post: “His still-evolving role in the investigations of Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice also make him a potential risk to President Trump, even as he enjoys the special status of being married to the boss’s daughter, Ivanka, and serving as one of the president’s senior confidants.”
New York Times: “According to three advisers to the president, Mr. Kelly has even discussed the possibility of Mr. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, departing the West Wing by the end of the year.”
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 25, 2017
One other thing this story reinforces: Mike Pence and Kay Ivey are bad people who know full well what they’re doing is wrong. And there is also this:
Guardian: “Activists will launch a last-ditch effort to prevent Donald Trump’s tax bill from passing in the Senate on Monday, with scores of groups planning to lay siege to politicians’ offices. Indivisible, the progressive group that aims to use Tea Party tactics to thwart the Republicans, has called for a day of action to stop the tax legislation, which the Senate is expected to vote on in the week after Thanksgiving.
According to some estimates, the GOP bill would actually raise taxes on middle-class workers over the next decade, and leave 13 million more people without insurance. A different tax bill passed the House on 16 November. “Republicans are trying to rush this tax bill through,“ said Angel Padilla, the policy director at Indivisible. “And this is kind of standard practice for Republicans now – trying to rush things without any real public input. That’s what we saw on the healthcare bill and that’s what’s happening now.””
Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker with a Russian “Journalist” explaining how the Kremlin instructed him to cover the 2016 election: “During the 2016 election, the directions from the Kremlin were less subtle than usual. “Me and my colleagues, we were given a clear instruction: to show Donald Trump in a positive way, and his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in a negative way,” he said in his speech. In a later interview, he explained to me how the instructions were relayed. “Sometimes it was a phone call. Sometimes it was a conversation,” he told me. “If Donald Trump has a successful press conference, we broadcast it for sure. And if something goes wrong with Clinton, we underline it.””
Pretty much like how Fox News operates.
NYT article on Tillerson gutting State Dept is worth reading to appreciate full scope of damage, but it's alarming how many didn't see this coming https://t.co/tV3PjhbGyj
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) November 25, 2017
New York Times: “The departures mark a new stage in the broken and increasingly contentious relationship between Mr. Tillerson and much of his department’s work force. By last spring, interviews at the time suggested, the guarded optimism that greeted his arrival had given way to concern among diplomats about his aloofness and lack of communication. By the summer, the secretary’s focus on efficiency and reorganization over policy provoked off-the-record anger.”
“Now the estrangement is in the open, as diplomats going out the door make their feelings known and members of Congress raise questions about the impact of their leaving.”
“How have we reached a point in this country when nearly half the voters of a U.S. state so mistrust, and even revile, major media outlets that they are willing to brush aside credible evidence and elect an accused sexual predator simply out of spite? How have we reached a point where a president of the United States can just declare ‘fake’ news he doesn’t like—and largely get away with it?,” Politico asks.
“In at least one survey, trust in the media—the necessary vanguard of any free society—is even lower than trust in Trump, which itself is nothing to tweet about. How on earth has this happened?”
“No, the real reason for a situation that allows the Roy Moores and Donald Trumps of the world to rise above mere laughingstock status is that the media has totally lost its connection with a large portion of the nation, almost all of them conservatives. Worse, the media has become what Trump and allies refer to as “the opposition party”—and, as such, a most useful foil for the Trump administration.”
“This problem is real. The anger against the mainstream media is deep-seated. And, as difficult it is for many to accept, much of the anger is justified.”
The real reason Trump cares so much about the Time cover- pic.twitter.com/mvvX2H39D2
— Allen Marshall (@AllenCMarshall) November 25, 2017
The Hill: “White nationalist leader Richard Spencer has been banned from entering 26 countries in Europe, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Spencer said in an interview that he hasn’t received government confirmation about his ban from the more than two dozen countries in Europe’s visa-free Schengen area, including Poland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
“I’m being treated like a criminal by the Polish government. It’s just insane,” Spencer said. “I haven’t done anything. What are they accusing me of?” Spencer said he would try and contest the ban, which would last for five years, according to the AP.”
Politico: “Heading into the 2018 elections, only one Republican Senate candidate nationwide has pledged unequivocally to back Mitch McConnell as majority leader. Most Republicans facing competitive primaries are hemming and hawing, admiring McConnell’s political savvy and fundraising apparatus — but also looking warily at his sinking approval ratings both with Republicans and the broader electorate.”
“Even in some of the red and purple states represented by Democratic senators where McConnell is hoping to pad his majority — places like Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin — the leading candidates are dodging questions about McConnell’s leadership or threatening to oppose him if the GOP Congress doesn’t deliver on the party’s legislative priorities in the coming months.”
“Sessions is methodically reshaping the Justice Department to reflect his nationalist ideology and hard-line views…” https://t.co/3t9KQjSIZh
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 24, 2017
Washington Post: “From his crackdown on illegal immigration to his reversal of Obama administration policies on criminal justice and policing, Sessions is methodically reshaping the Justice Department to reflect his nationalist ideology and hard-line views — moves drawing comparatively less public scrutiny than the ongoing investigations into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin.”
“Sessions has even adjusted the department’s legal stances in cases involving voting rights and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in a way that advocates warn might disenfranchise poor minorities and give certain religious people a license to discriminate.”
“Supporters and critics say the attorney general has been among the most effective of the Cabinet secretaries — implementing Trump’s conservative policy agenda even as the president publicly and privately toys with firing him over his decision to recuse himself from the Russia case.”