Pen In Hand, Under the Bus
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
To Your Health: Under intense pressure from the President, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell plans a vote today in an attempt to revive his floundering health care bill.
President Trump tweeted this morning, “Repeal or Repeal & Replace! I have pen in hand.”
Today’s would be a procedural vote to proceed with bringing the bill to the Senate floor for debate. If it fails, it’s all over. If the procedural vote succeeds, McConnell still has several paths and parliamentary tricks available to move the bill along. One of them would be to offer a bill to repeal Obamacare without offering a replacement.
Sen. John McCain says he’s returning to Washington today, only days after announcing that he has a brain tumor. That means the majority can afford to lose only two votes from their own party.
Criticizing his party for failure so far to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Trump said, “Every Republican running for office promised immediate relief from this disastrous law, but so far, Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare.”
Real News: President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner admitted to a Senate committee yesterday what Trump and his lieutenants have been denying; meetings with representatives of Russia during the campaign and the transition period. Trump has repeatedly called questions about campaign contacts with the Russians “Fake News,” but Kushner says he had four such meetings.
Trump’s oldest son and campaign chairman also met with Russians.
Kushner called the meetings the routine business of establishing foreign relations. He came out of a private meeting with Senate investigators reading a statement to reporters at the White House saying, “I did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did.” He said Trump’s better message and smarter campaign put him over the top, not help from Russia. “Suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him,” Kushner said before departing without taking questions.
Under the Bus: Trump is stepping up his campaign against his own attorney general, tweeting this morning that, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”
Yesterday Trump targeted Attorney General Sessions, the former senator who was the most prominent early supporter of Trump’s run for President. Trump tweeted, “So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?”
If Sessions is beleaguered, Trump is the beleagurer.
It’s the third time in a week that Trump has rebuked the attorney general, the first coming in an interview with the NY Times. Trump seems to think the Russia investigations are about who won the election, not how.
Trump is frustrated that Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigations because he met with the Russian ambassador and was part of the campaign that’s under investigation. Trump possibly sees Sessions as an obstacle to shutting down the investigation by firing Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating.
Nation: A 60-year-old truck driver is charged with breaking a federal law that could bring him life in prison or even the death penalty for driving a tractor-trailer packed with illegal immigrants in the Texas heat, killing 10 of them.
James M. Bradley Jr. is charged under a federal law that prohibits knowingly transporting illegal immigrants and metes out stiff penalties if anyone dies in the process. Bradley tells investigators he didn’t know he was carrying a load of human beings until he was parked behind a San Antonio Walmart and heard noises.
The unrefrigerated or ventilated trailer was jammed with about 100 people, roughly half of whom escaped when Bradley opened the doors. Inside were the dead, the dying, and about 30 people in critical condition.
The Killer Whales: Animal rights activists are up in arms again after Kyara, the last killer whale born in captivity at SeaWorld in San Antonio, died at the age of just three months. Caretakers say the whale had pneumonia, a common ailment for killer whales. Kyara’s mother was pregnant when SeaWorld announced it was ending its killer whale breeding program.
Never Say Never Again: Actor Daniel Craig, after saying he’s done being a secret agent, announced that he has agreed to do one more James Bond movie to be released in late 2019 He once to an interviewer, “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists,” than do another Bond movie.
They Can Do Better: The Democratic National Party has unveiled its new motivational slogan: “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.” Just sings, doesn’t it?” One thing the slogan proves already; they can do better.