Ryan Lizza says December could break Trump’s Presidency: “Tuesday’s meeting at the White House between Trump and congressional leaders from both parties is meant to avoid a December 8th government shutdown. How much Republicans are willing to give Democrats may depend on the status of the G.O.P. tax bill. There are at least half a dozen G.O.P. senators with serious policy concerns regarding the tax proposal. And there are three Republican senators—John McCain and Jeff Flake, of Arizona, and Bob Corker, of Tennessee—who dislike Trump so much that they may be looking for reasons to oppose any legislation that empowers his Presidency. Republicans already have a ready-made conservative reason: the proposed tax changes will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion.”
“If the tax bill is cruising through the Senate—McConnell wants a vote next week—there may be less incentive for Republicans to risk a shutdown. But if it dies next week, or is delayed, Trump will be under intense pressure to avoid ending the year with no major legislative accomplishments—and the chaos of a government shutdown. In order to keep the government running, Trump would have to strike another deal with Pelosi and Schumer and sign a bipartisan spending deal that includes major Democratic priorities.”
“As a result, Trump would end his first year in office with no Republican legislative accomplishments and two deals with Pelosi and Schumer that boost the Democratic agenda. If that seems likely to happen, it would enrage conservatives and the Republican base. For Trump, December could be the month that makes or breaks his first year in office.”
The Hill: “Democrats lead their Republican rivals by 10.7 percent on the generic congressional ballot, according to the most recent RealClearPolitics average of available polling data. That mark is the highest the RCP’s average has gone since just before the 2010 elections, where Republicans netted 63 House seats.”
“It’s a gloomy sign for Republicans, and one that dovetails with President Trump’s sagging approval rating to boost Democratic optimism about taking the House and raises questions about whether Republicans will be able to take advantage of Democratic weakness on the Senate map.”
Read @lkmcgann on Pelosi and Conyers: "she ran through a list of excuses for Conyers that are the very reasons women are afraid to come forward and report sexual harassment in the first place" https://t.co/hu2v1pnhCZ
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 26, 2017
William Saletan: “The battle within the Republican Party has come down to this: Is it OK for a 32-year-old man to seduce a 14-year-old girl?”
“On one side are the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan. They have disowned Roy Moore, the party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, over allegations that he targeted, and in some cases molested, minors and other teen girls. On the other side are social conservatives, including Alabama’s state auditor, who argue that courtship between an older man and a teenage girl is consensual, biblical, good for the girl, and grounded in the natural attraction of a godly man to the ‘purity of a young woman.’ Alongside the purity camp is the tolerance camp, led by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. These Republicans don’t deny the allegations or endorse Moore’s conduct, but they support him anyway, reasoning that other issues are more important.”
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) broke his eight-day silence Sunday, after keeping a low profile since four different women shared accounts of being groped, embarrassed and, in one case, forcibly kissed, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Said Franken: “I’m embarrassed and ashamed. I’ve let a lot of people down and I’m hoping I can make it up to them and gradually regain their trust.”
He noted that he has posed for “tens of thousands of photos” over the years, but does not remember any that ended with his hand sliding down to cup women’s backsides: “I don’t remember these photographs, I don’t. This is not something I would intentionally do.”
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) November 26, 2017
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is stepping down as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee pending an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, The Hill reports.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that “failure is not an option” when it comes to the GOP’s effort on tax reform, The Hill reports.
Said Graham: “The economy needs a tax cut and the Republican Party needs to deliver, so I think we’ll get there.”
President Trump suggested to a senator earlier this year that the “Access Hollywood” video — in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia — “was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently,” the New York Times reports.
Of course, “in the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.”
— Adrienne LaFrance (@AdrienneLaF) November 26, 2017
“For the first time since 1961, Chesterfield County backed a Democrat for governor — and the driving forces in this Richmond suburb included women who defiantly trumpeted a political label their party has ducked for decades,” the Washington Post reports.
“Until Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (D) won Chesterfield County three weeks ago, the stretch of suburban and rural communities southwest of Richmond had been considered reliably Republican.”
“Yet voters infuriated by Trump, many of them women and Hispanics who have migrated to the county in recent years, are redefining Chesterfield and alarming Virginia Republicans who have depended on the area to make up for the support the party lacks in urban areas.”
Bill Schneider: “Defiance is Donald Trump’s signature attitude; it was the defining characteristic of the 2016 Trump campaign. Trump defied the political establishment, the news media, conventional wisdom, common decency, former President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and even the pope.”
“Trump’s supporters admire his defiance, which they see as fearlessness. They share his contempt for the establishment, the news media, educated elites and the norms of political correctness, all of which helps explain why Trump’s base is sticking with him now that he has antagonized the entire national establishment.”
“Are Republican voters dismayed by the indictments coming from the special counsel? Not at all. To Trump and to his base, special counsel Robert Mueller represents the national establishment passing judgment on the president.”
— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) November 25, 2017
“Officials in nearly a dozen states are preparing to notify families that a crucial health insurance program for low-income children is running out of money for the first time since its creation two decades ago, putting coverage for many at risk by the end of the year,” the Washington Post reports.
“Congress missed a Sept. 30 deadline to extend funding for CHIP, as the Children’s Health Insurance Program is known. Nearly 9 million youngsters and 370,000 pregnant women nationwide receive care because of it.”
“Many states have enough money to keep their individual programs afloat for at least a few months, but five could run out in late December if lawmakers do not act. Others will start to exhaust resources the following month.”
Politico: “While the House passed the bill earlier this month, Republicans who see final passage as a make-or-break moment for the party are worried about potential turbulence in the Senate, which is expected to vote on its own version this week.”
“Six Senate Republicans are still withholding their support for the tax cut package — enough to tank it — and others in the party said they don’t want the difference-maker to be a lack of good messengers from the White House. And so far, the pitches don’t appear to be helping. A recent Quinnipiac University Poll found that 52 percent of voters oppose the GOP tax plans, and only 25 percent support them.”
— Slate (@Slate) November 26, 2017
“The FBI failed to notify scores of U.S. officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year that the targets were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs,” the AP reports.
“Nearly 80 interviews with Americans targeted by Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, turned up only two cases in which the FBI had provided a heads-up. Even senior policymakers discovered they were targets only when the AP told them, a situation some described as bizarre and dispiriting.”
“The White House is preparing for a showdown over who will be the next leader of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a high-stakes battle that could end up in court and slow President Trump’s effort to roll back banking industry regulations,” the Washington Post reports.
“Leadership of the agency, which Trump called a ‘total disaster’ on Twitter Saturday, was thrown into doubt on an otherwise slow holiday weekend after the White House and the CFPB’s outgoing head both named acting directors to head the regulatory watchdog. On Friday, Trump named Mick Mulvaney, a longtime critic of the agency and the Office of Management and Budget director, while Richard Cordray promoted his chief of staff, Leandra English, to deputy director and said she would become acting director.“