TRUMP’S HORRIBLE BUDGET. Dylan Matthews: “On Monday, President Donald Trump unveiled the second budget proposal of his presidency, encompassing proposals affecting defense and non-defense funding for government agencies, tax changes, and funding for social insurance and assistance programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps.
The budget broadly resembles the budget Trump released last year, and both closely follow budget plans put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan when he was the House Budget Committee chair. Ryan’s previous budget proposals featured trillions in cuts to programs for the poor. While Trump largely leaves the non-disability portions of
The new budget also calls for passing an Obamacare replacement bill that deeply cuts Medicaid to far below its pre-Obamacare levels, making the tax bill passed in 2017 permanent, and slashing food stamps dramatically.”
BREAKING: Trump budget calls for ACA repeal and gutting Medicaid. It slashes health care by $675 billion—far more than the $230 billion CBO estimated for Graham-Cassidy repeal. pic.twitter.com/krpfFmKrgc
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) February 12, 2018
BRAND’S REASON FOR LEAVING. Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand “had been unhappy with her job for months before the department announced her departure on Friday,” NBC News reports.
“Brand grew frustrated by vacancies at the department and fear she would be asked to oversee the Russia investigation… As far back as last fall, Brand had expressed to friends that she felt overwhelmed and unsupported in her job, especially as many key positions under her jurisdiction had still not been filled with permanent, Senate-confirmed officials.”
Josh Marshall: “Brand sees that continued association with Trump and the Trump DOJ is a threat to her reputation. Maybe that’s just based on the stuff we all see now. Maybe she sees some storm coming. Both seem possible. Either way, that’s a pretty plausible concern. She got the offer. She took it. I’ve heard speculation that perhaps Walmart is doing Trump a favor, helping get Brand out of the way. We have no basis for thinking that on the current evidence. But even if it were true, I think the same interpretation applies. She thinks the best thing for her career is to get out now. As a matter of self-interest, who can blame her.”
"The Generic is Falling! The Generic is Falling!" My new Roll Call column. Here: https://t.co/rlFrxsDfSJ
— Stuart Rothenberg (@StuPolitics) February 12, 2018
Stuart Rothenberg: “The generic ballot is just one measure of the two parties’ strengths during the cycle, which is why any analysis of the cycle should look at multiple indicators: including multiple poll questions, fundraising numbers, measures of enthusiasm, candidate recruitment and district-level survey data in competitive seats.”
“So, watch the generic ballot, but don’t become a prisoner to it.”
“Democratic prospects of taking over the House are not measurably worse than they were a month or two ago. Indeed, there are plenty of reasons to believe that they are better and improving.”
THE GOP NEEDS TO BE FUMIGATED. Tom Nichols: “Republicans once believed in limited government, fiscal restraint, support for the defense and national security establishments, family values, and a strong American role in maintaining global order. More than that, we were the party that believed in logic and prudence over emotion. Our hearts were perhaps too cold, but never bleeding.”
“Today’s Republicans, however, are a party of bellowing drama queens whose elected representatives blow up spending caps, bust the deficit, and attack America’s law enforcement and national security agencies as dangerous conspirators. Their leader expects banana republic parades, coddles the Kremlin, protects violent men in positions of responsibility, and overlooks child molestation. The rank-and-file GOP members who once claimed that liberals were creating a tyrannical monarchy in the Oval Office now applaud the expansion of the presidency into a gigantic cult of personality.”
“So, am I still a Republican?”
"In this gathering crisis of legitimacy, voters who have lost faith in the established system are easily drawn to unqualified and irresponsible outsiders who could never dream of attaining high office in better-ordered times." https://t.co/nIByTukawb
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 12, 2018
NATIONWIDE CONCEALED CARRY. “Of all the political and cultural issues that divide red states from blue ones, none is more volatile than guns and who can carry them,” 60 Minutes reports.
“Conservative rural states like Arizona and West Virginia allow almost anyone to carry a loaded firearm in public, while in urban states and big cities, it can be a felony.”
“But a piece of legislation quietly churning its way through Congress may change all that by making gun permits more like driver’s licenses, transportable across state lines. If you are allowed to carry a concealed weapon in your home state, you would be allowed to carry it in all of them.”
"The office of Sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office" : Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking at the National Sheriff's Association winter conference in DC. @vicenews pic.twitter.com/gPS6AbkS30
— Tess Owen (@misstessowen) February 12, 2018
I respect Sessions for telling the truth about his racist plans and beliefs. He is not hiding it anymore. Anglo-American. Not dirty Latino-American or African-Americans. Whites. Not Brown or Blacks. Got it.
A RECKONING IS COMING. David Remnick: “Trump’s cruel and clueless remarks are of a piece with the tactics he has used to tamp down all his other scandals, miscues, and embarrassments. Just as he tries to divert attention from his, and his circle’s, errors and wrongdoing in the Russia scandal by shouting ‘fake news,’ by casting blame on the F.B.I. and the Justice Department, and by deploying a congressional lackey like Devin Nunes, he diverts attention from his own encyclopedic record of miserable behavior toward women by casting doubt on the accusers. This is a neat trick, yet hardly original. It has come to the point when even Trump’s closest aides know that a reckoning is coming. It’s not going to be O.K.”
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) February 12, 2018
BUZZFEED IS WORKING TO VERIFY THE STEELE DOSSIER. “For the last six months, a team led by a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official has been traveling the globe on a secret mission to verify parts of the Trump dossier,” Foreign Policy reports.
“Their client: BuzzFeed, the news organization that first published the dossier on President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, which is now being sued over its explosive allegations.”
“The investigation, being conducted by FTI Consulting, is running in parallel to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in Kremlin-directed efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. With the special counsel probe under wraps, the BuzzFeed court case could represent the first public airing of an investigation into the veracity of some of the dossier’s claims.”
— Vox (@voxdotcom) February 12, 2018
I hope these are not the official White House Portraits that will be displayed in the White House one day. If so, I am not a fan. Yes, they are interesting and groundbreaking portraits, but I just don’t feel like they should be the official ones hung in the White House. From my reading of the article, it seems like these portraits are just the ones that will be in the Smithsonian.
TRUMP’S CENSUS PICK WITHDRAWS. “The Trump administration’s controversial pick to run the 2020 census has withdrawn from consideration to be deputy director of the US Census Bureau,” Mother Jones reports.
“In November, Politico reported that the administration planned put Thomas Brunell, a political science professor who has defended Republican redistricting efforts in more than a dozen states, in charge of the decennial census count. He was supposed to begin in late November… Now Brunell has withdrawn from consideration, according to two sources who were informed of his decision.”
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) February 12, 2018
HILLARY’S UNDER THE RADAR STRATEGY FOR 2018. Washington Post: “In the first electoral season since the stunning loss that extinguished her years-long drive for the presidency, Clinton, 70, has begun a discreet and low-profile reentry into the political fray.”
“Her emerging 2018 strategy, according to more than a dozen friends and advisers familiar with her plans, is to leverage the star power she retains in some Democratic circles on behalf of select candidates while remaining sufficiently below the radar to avoid becoming a useful target for Republicans seeking to rile up their base.”
“Most likely, they said, Clinton will attempt to help Democratic candidates who have a history of supporting her and her family, and expending her political capital in a number of the 23 congressional districts she won in 2016 but are now held by a Republican. Lending a hand to Democrats organizing at a grass-roots level is a priority, they added.”
"Exposure to Mr. Gillespie’s MS-13 ads actually helped drive white college-educated voters away from the Republicans." https://t.co/s2yyGtxhlg
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) February 12, 2018
AS GERRYMANDERED AS THE OLD UNCONSTITUTIONAL MAP. Washington Post: “On Friday, Republican leaders in the legislature submitted their new map for the governor’s approval. As directed by the Supreme Court, the new map is much more compact than the old one… The new districts generally respect county and municipal boundaries and don’t ‘wander seemingly arbitrarily across Pennsylvania,’ as the state’s Supreme Court wrote.”
“Unfortunately for Pennsylvania voters, the new districts show just as much partisan bias as the old ones.”
“Under the existing map, Democratic House candidates have routinely received roughly 50 percent of the statewide popular House vote but only five of the state’s 18 House seats. The new map is unlikely to change that.”
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) February 13, 2018
NANCY PELOSI IS INCREDIBLY UNDERRATED. Dana Houle: “Yes, of course, Pelosi is unpopular. So are Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). So is Congress. Yet, for some reason, only Pelosi gets blamed for an unpopularity that really stems from disgust with Congress and partisan polarization. Pelosi is not a scorched-earth partisan; indeed, at numerous times in her career she has been criticized for cutting deals, such as on Iraq War appropriations and Obamacare. But she also understands polarization. She sees her public role not as using policy to communicate a common ground to centrist swing voters but to expose differences between Democrats and Republicans.”
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) February 12, 2018