Morning Briefing: Donald Trump Is Officially in 'F*ck It' Mode
Most of the news of the moment is focused on Hurricane Irma — as it should be — and for those of you in its path this weekend, we hope you managed to evacuate or, barring that, that you find a place to stay safe. Keep us updated in our comment sections, if you will. Long-time troll and begrudging friend Barbado Slim is in Puerto Rico, and we haven’t heard from him in a few days. We get concerned.
As for politics: I am fascinated with Donald Trump’s deal with Schumer and Pelosi and its ramifications. He got a win — his first legislative one, really — and he’s feeling exuberant about it. A lot of pundits have been saying this, and I think it’s possible that Trump may just say fuck it, and rather than appealing to his “base,” maybe he starts pushing things that are popular. It looks like a permanent deal to protect DREAMers is all but done, according to some, and he won’t even be able to leverage money for The Wall out of it. But Trump ain’t care. The only thing he cares about is being popular, and for what it’s worth, items on the liberal agenda are generally more popular than items on the conservative agenda. If Trump actually decides to target middle class tax cuts, I’m cool with that. If he wants to protect DREAMers, awesome! But he also needs to go back and undo some unpopular actions, like booting transgender people from the military and undoing the Paris Accord.
I absolutely loathe Donald Trump, and I hate that it’s Trump who’s been granted this freedom, but of the Republicans that voted for him in the primary, he still has 98 percent of their support. Most of them say there is nothing he can do to lose that support, so why the hell not ignore the wishes of either party and simply vote on what’s going to win him more support. Instead of legislating against Obama, legislate for the popular will. If he really wants a big win, he should fucking save Obamacare, and there’s a chance he might, according to Axios: “There’s a chance this Republican president, with a Republican Congress, ends the year with this list of accomplishments: increasing spending, permanently lifting the cap on debt, propping up Obamacare after failing to repeal it, and offering new protections to children of illegal immigrants.” But for the fact that he’s a racist monster and a hotheaded moron with the brain power of a two-by-four, he seems better than the alternative, Mike Pence. And if the Democrats do win back Congress in 2018, and Trump wants to get anything done, he’ll have to play ball with the Democrat’s agenda. Either that, or he becomes an even bigger lame duck than he is now.
Anyway, it just feels like Donald Trump is in fuck it mode now, as though he’s discovered, “Hey! If I do things that more people support, people don’t hate me as much, except for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, and fuck those guys!” As a guiding governing philosophy, it’s not the worst.
— It’s probably just me, and it probably won’t last, but it feels like the worm is turning. U.N. Secretary Nikki Haley wrote this in an email to her staff after Charlottesville, for instance: “We must denounce [white nationalists, Nazis, and the KKK] at every turn, and make them feel like they are on an island and isolate them the same way they wish to isolate others,” Haley said in the email, which was sent the Thursday after the violence.”
— More from the Steve Bannon “60 Minutes” interview: Chris Christie didn’t get a cabinet position because he wasn’t there on “Billy Bush Weekend,” and Steve Bannon holds a grudge:
— Reuters is reporting that Gary Cohn is basically on his way out. Lots of people have been basically on their way out for months, and they almost always do end up out, but it generally takes a while. Democrat or not, I’m OK with Cohn bailing, because he’s all about corporate tax cuts, which no one fucking supports except corporations.
— This is concerning.
FBI Director Chris Wray in his first public comments says "I have not detected any whiff of interference" in the Russia investigation.— Ellen Nakashima (@nakashimae) September 7, 2017
Oh come on, Wray. Come on.
Bad look from a man whose very appointment was an interference in the Russia investigation. https://t.co/yDPefuVwBC— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) September 8, 2017
— Related: Don Jr. testified in front of the Senate yesterday, and basically admitted that the initial story that he and his father came up with was a lie. No shit. He also created some … discrepancies.
Media reports said POTUS personally intervened in drafting the statement. WH admits he "weighed in". Yet Junior said he never spoke to him? https://t.co/TOG1zgmEMG— Bradley P. Moss, Esq (@BradMossEsq) September 8, 2017
That’s it for now. Stay safe, Florida.