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Evening Briefing: We Are So, So Sorry Alabama and Puerto Rico

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 26, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 26, 2017 |

— The Acting Drug Enforcement Administration head Chuck Rosenberg, an Obama holdover, is resigning from his post effective next week. He has been at odds with Trump, at one point noting that “We have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong” in response to Donald Trump’s suggestion that police officers use more force against criminal suspects.

— That Trump suggestion, by the by, was all part of Donald Trump’s culture war. This is all a goddamn game to the President. It’s not about running the country at all. He does not give a shit, and he’s admitted as much in private:

That right there is the prism through which we should view all of Trump’s statements. It’s not even that he’s governing in the best interests of the white, working class — he’s just stoking their anger to ensure that he has a large and enthusiastic enough base so that he and his pals can get away with any goddamn thing they want.

To wit: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who has billed taxpayers over $400,000 to charter private jets to take trips — among other destinations — to places where he owns property and to have lunch with his son. At one point, he spent $17,000 to take a private jet from D.C. to Nashville when a commercial airline would have cost taxpayers from $100-$300. Price is currently under investigation by the HHS inspector general, but we all know what the outcome to that investigation will be. The white, working class voters — outraged over NFL players taking a knee — will give Trump enough cover to ignore the fact that their money is being used to allow a goddamn millionaire to fly private jets around the country because he doesn’t feel like taking a commercial flight.

Likewise, no one is going to do shit about Jared Kushner and all those other Trump cronies using private email servers. Speaking of which, a prankster posing as Jared Kushner emailed Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, and asked his lawyer what he ought to do with the emails involving adult content. I love how nonplussed Kushner’s attorney is in this exchange:

On Monday, the prankster wrote to Lowell from the address [email protected] asking what he should do with “some correspondence on my private email … featuring adult content.”

“Can I remove these?” the prankster asked.

“Forwarded or received from WH officials?” Lowell responded.

“I think one was forwarded from a White House official, we had discussed a shared interest of sorts,” the prankster said. “It was unsolicited. Then there are a handful more, but not from officials.”

“I need to see I think all emails between you and WH (just for me and us),” Lowell wrote. “We need to send any officials emails to your WH account. Not stuff like you asked about. None of those are going anywhere.”

“But we can bury it?” the prankster responded. “I’m so embarrassed. It’s fairly specialist stuff, half naked women on a trampoline, standing on legoscenes, the tag for the movie was #standingOnTheLittlePeople :(“

Lowell replied: “Don’t delete. Don’t send to anyone. Let’s chat in a bit.”


An investigation into Kushner’s emails has been launched.

— Trump gave a few statements about Puerto Rico today. Did you all know that Puerto Rico is a big island in the ocean that trucks can’t drive to? I ask because Trump spoke as if this were the first he was hearing of it:

Why don’t you just send them some Mountain Dew, President President Herbert Camacho?

— The GOP has apparently come to a consensus on the kind of tax plan they are seeking. They want to raise the bottom tax bracket but double the standard deduction, which actually isn’t bad (it would mean more people in the lower income bracket paying no taxes). It would also lower the highest tax bracket from 39.6% to 35%. Naturally.

— Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker — one of the dwindling few establishment Republicans — announced that he would not seek reelection next year. It’s likely that Corker would have been primary’d by Bannon and Co. I suspect 2018 and beyond is going to be a lot more Trump Republicans vs. Democrats. It may result in fewer Republican seats (God, I hope so), but the Republicans that survive will be more like Roy Moore than McCain or Corker.

— Speaking of which, Roy Moore handily defeated Luther Strange in tonight’s primary in Alabama. With nearly 50 percent of the vote in, Moore is up by around 14 percent. Moore, by the way, believes that Sharia law has been enacted in part of the country, that homosexuality should be criminalized, and he tried to get Congress to refuse to seat Keith Ellison because he was Muslim. He’ll face Democrat Doug Jones in November. Recent polls show Moore with a 22 point lead over Jones. Jesus Christ: If any of you live in Alabama, I am so, so sorry. I have zero consolation I can offer you.

You could always move to New Hampshire?

— Meanwhile, there’s still a bipartisan effort in the Senate to ensure that Trump cannot fire Bob Mueller. However, the Senate cannot agree on how the bill should work, because Congress cannot get its shit together.

Related: Sean Spicer has lawyered up, and Mueller is expected to start questioning White House senior aides, including Spicer, Reince Priebus, and Don McGahn by the end of the week.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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