Rexit Plan, Tax Plan Stalls

Rexit: President Trump is preparing to eject Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, several news outlets report attributing to administration sources. Tillerson and Trump have become disenchanted with each other, to say the least.

The plan was obviously fed to the press, probably to pressure Tillerson to resign.

It would be the second departure of a cabinet officer in less than a year, and the shortest tenure at State, other than an election year, in 120 years.

The plan, again sourced to the administration, is that Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton would take over the CIA.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, issued a statement saying, “There are no personnel announcements at this time,” which is hardly an endorsement of Tillerson.

Tillerson has been busy slashing and reorganizing the State Department, cutting the budget and pushing out 2,000 career diplomats. He has clashed with President Trump over such matters as the Iran nuclear deal and North Korea, but he’s been undercut by the president, making it hard for him to be taken seriously as the voice of foreign policy.

Taxing Issues: The Republican tax bill would add $1 trillion to the deficit even if it spurs the economic growth its sponsors predict, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The news spawned an on-the-floor huddle among Republican senators trying to figure out what to do.

Senate Republican leaders were growing more confident that their bill will pass after Arizona’s John McCain said he will for in favor, despite the plan’s flaws.

  The stock market took a leap on hopes that the tax bill will pass. The Dow Jones closed above 24,000 yesterday for the first time in its history and President Trump took the credit via Twitter. “If the Dems had won the Presidential Election, the Market would be down 50% from these levels and Consumer Confidence, which is also at an all-time high, would be ‘low and glum!’”

The Weinstein Effect: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has turned on one of her own, demanding that Rep. John Conyers resign after one of five accusers gave an explicit description of sexual harassment.

“The allegations against Mr. Conyers, as we have learned more since Sunday, are serious, disappointing and very credible,” Pelosi told reporters. “Congressman Conyers should resign.”

Conyers’ accuser, former employee Marion Brown, broke a confidentiality agreement to tell NBC News about Conyers “Violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business, and then propositioning for sex. He just violated my body. He has touched me in different ways, and it was very uncomfortable and very unprofessional.”

Also in Congress, an eighth woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of groping her. He’s hanging on.

Former “Today” host Matt Lauer is flying under the radar at his home in outer Long Island where his wife and kids live full time. There’s likely more to come, and the big question is what NBC bosses knew and when they knew it about Lauer’s behavior.

The original announcement of his firing said no “current” managers knew about it, which may or may not be true, but Lauer’s rep was well known in the newsroom. CNN’s Jeff Zucker, who hired Lauer at NBC, says he knew nothing about it.

Nation: A San Francisco jury decided that a Mexican man in the country illegally is not guilty of murder in the 2015 shooting death 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle. The case was frequently mentioned by President Trump during his campaign crusade to build a border wall.

The jury decided that the death was the result of an accidental discharge of a gun in the possession Jose Zarate on San Francisco’s Pier 14. Zarate, already a convicted felon who had been deported five times, was found guilty of illegal possession of a weapon.

Shakeup: A magnitude 4.1 earthquake centered outside Dover, Del. shook the East Coast yesterday. By California standards, that’s not even soup cans off the shelf.

The Obit Page: Actor Jim Nabors, who played the annoying but popular character Gomer Pyle in the 1960s sitcom “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,” has died in Hawaii at age 86.

Nabors earned his own show after appearing as the gas station attendant on “The Andy Griffith Show.” The Pyle character was a guileless rube whose signature line was “Gollllll-leee!”

Nabors was also a middle-of-the road singer, a baritone who recorded several albums.

He married his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, a month after same-sex marriage became legal in the State of Washington.

Instant Replay:

Sen. Lindsay Graham, Nov. 30, 2017

-“You know what concerns me about the American press is this endless, endless attempt to label the man as some kind of kook, not fit to be president.”

Sen. Lindsay Graham, Feb. 17, 2016

-“I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.”


Monday, January 22, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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