What’s Not Normal Today (Day 217)

Cat fight! Let’s begin with this statement from amply be-chinned Mitch McConnell, wattles all a-flutter:

“The President and I, and our teams, have been and continue to be in regular contact about our shared goals. We are working together to develop tax reform and infrastructure legislation so we can grow the economy and create jobs; to prevent a government default; to fund the government so we can advance our priorities in the short and long terms; to pass the defense authorization and defense appropriations bills so we can support our troops and help implement an effective strategy against ISIL; to provide relief from Obamacare; and to continue our progress for our nation’s veterans.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we are committed to advancing our shared agenda together and anyone who suggests otherwise is clearly not part of the conversation.”

…followed by this statement bleated out from the White House:

“President Donald J. Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell remain united on many shared priorities, including middle class tax relief, strengthening the military, constructing a southern border wall, and other important issues. They will hold previously scheduled meetings following the August recess to discuss these critical items with members of the congressional leadership and the President’s Cabinet. White House and leadership staff are coordinating regarding the details of those meetings.”

…and remind ourselves that they are both in the same party and presumably dependent upon each other to do their jobs. This ain’t normal, folks.

Here’s why it matters. Axios’ morning email thingie tells us:

Top White House and GOP leadership officials tell us the chances of a market-rattling government shutdown are rising by the day — and were even before Trump threatened at his raucous Phoenix rally on Tuesday night to use a shutdown as leverage to get funding for a border wall.

  • Trump is at war with Senate Leader McConnell and several other Republicans, complicating communications and compromising trust.
  • Congressional leadership doesn’t want a shutdown and can pass the fall bare necessities —continuing resolution / debt ceiling / Children’s Health Insurance Program extension — using mostly Democratic votes.
  • But the Freedom Caucus will hammer Speaker Ryan for doing so, and conservatives in the Senate will hammer Leader McConnell.

So Comrade Preznint Stupid wants to shut down the government to force congress to dump YUGE piles of Ameros to build his BEAUTIFUL wall and he is itching for another fight?

Goldman Sachs, in guidance to investors last Friday, pegged the odds at 50/50. This strikes us as high, but the dynamics are ominous:

  • A top Republican source put the chance as high as 75%: “The peculiar part is that almost everyone I talk to on the Hill agrees that it is more likely than not.”
  • This may all come down to Trump’s mood. As Swan puts it: “Trump is spoiling for a fight and the [conservative House] Freedom Caucus haven’t had a fight for a while. That’s a dangerous dynamic.”

Sweet Jeebus, Wall Streeters are taking bets. You know that one of those craven jackals is shorting the US, right?

Meanwhile, Commander Bunnypants is now attacking the military by demanding they remove transpeople:

White House Sets Rules for Military Transgender Ban: “The White House is expected to send guidance to the Pentagon in coming days on how to implement a new administration ban on transgender people in the military, issuing a policy that will allow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to consider a service member’s ability to deploy in deciding whether to kick them out of the military. The White House memo also directs the Pentagon to deny admittance to transgender individuals and to stop spending on medical treatment regimens for those currently serving, according to U.S. officials familiar with the document. The 2½-page memo gives Mr. Mattis six months to prepare to fully implement the new ban, according to these officials.”

I would cynically say this is the Comrade Stupid’s attempt to distract us from something else (RUSSIA), but these are real people with real careers that are really being fired because of who they are and because it is convenient for Trump. This is so un-American it makes my eyes spin in different directions.

So who’s quitting the Fourth Reich today?

Another White House council has taken a hit after President Donald Trump’s controversial response to a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Seven members of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which includes Obama appointees, resigned this week, citing Trump’s Charlottesville response and other issues. ‘Your actions have threatened the security of the homeland I took an oath to protect,’ the resigning members wrote in a letter sent Monday and obtained by HuffPost. They referenced the Aug. 15 press conference about infrastructure reform in which Trump suggested the ‘alt-left’ was also guilty of instigating violence in Charlottesville. ‘You failed to denounce the intolerance and violence of hate groups,’ the letter read.

And who else is making a mad dash for the exit? Take it away, Tiger Beat morning email thingie!

ANDY HEMMING left his job on Monday as the White House director of rapid response, according to multiple sources. A source familiar with the move told us it was a “mutually agreed upon” separation, and Hemming now plans to take a vacation (in which golf may play a big part) and then explore future opportunities. Right before his departure, he was profiled by Annie Karni (http://politi.co/2g79s6m) as the staffer the White House pays “$89,000 a year to spot and distribute positive stories from the mainstream media.”

That is a thankless job. Imagine having to find the needle in that haystack.

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4 Responses to What’s Not Normal Today (Day 217)

  1. Ellis Weiner says:

    Silly me. And I thought “rapid response” had something to do with FEMA and emergencies–not finding feel-good stories to keep Baby placated.


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