The mother of John Thune (R-S.D.), the third-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, says he needs to put some meat on his bones so he doesn’t blow away when a strong wind kicks up. “Is he getting enough to eat? I bet he’s not eating breakfast,” his mother says.
His mother says she sees him on TV and can tell he probably didn’t eat the potato rolls she sent him last week. “His aunt brought those rolls from Pennsylvania,” she says. “The man she bought them from was very nice. The rolls were good. He should eat them instead of leaving them on the counter so they get stale.”
His mother says he was always a picky eater but she’s worried he eats even less now.
“He has a lot of meetings? Then he can eat a little something between his important meetings,” she says. “He should eat the navy bean soup in the cafeteria. It’s very good. I’ve had it. They put too much salt in it but it’s very good and he should eat some every day. How long does it take to eat a bowl of soup?”
His mother says Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also looks like he doesn’t eat but if he doesn’t want to eat, “that’s his business,” she says.
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he’s bummed Congress just added $1.5 trillion to the deficit for tax cuts because that’s the exact same amount President Trump says he wants to use to rebuild the country’s crumbling infrastructure. “Just really bad timing,” Ryan told reporters after President Trump concluded his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. “We know how badly we need to repair our roads, bridges, dams, train tracks, airports, canals, ports, and other big public works projects but unfortunately we just burned through the exact same $1.5 trillion Trump says we need to pay for our tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.” More.
a government shutdown this weekend doesn’t impede the regular monthly payments that members of Congress make to to Katie, Ashleigh, and other interns and staffers who’ve agreed not to have lunch or otherwise talk to reporters from the Washington Post, New York Times, or other news organizations about their time on Capitol Hill. “People think of these non-disclosure payments as a minor budget item but I can tell you they’re not and members are very concerned that these payments not be disrupted due to the shutdown,” a staff aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said today. The aide, who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak frankly about sensitive budgetary matters, said lawmakers pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars each month to interns and aides, mostly women but also some men, who’ve signed non-disclosure agreements about their time working on the Hill. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called it “very unfortunate and unhelpful” that President Trump is destroying the United States, and said it would be better if the President didn’t destroy the institutions he has sworn to oversee or make the United States loathsome in the eyes of people around the world. He also said it would be better if the President didn’t pit Americans against Americans. “Would it be better if the President tried to strengthen our institutions? Yes, it would,” Ryan said. “Would it be better if he tried to make people look up to the United States rather than down on it? Yes. And would it be a plus if he brought Americans together rather them drive them apart? Yes, I’m sure it would be.” Ryan said he can’t speak for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but he believes the Majority Leader also thinks it’s very unfortunate and unhelpful when the President makes the United States an object of hatred and derision around the world. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) probably aren’t going to say anything about it, according to the two congressional leaders’ aides. Max Phillip, McConnell’s chief of staff, said it’s the Majority’ Leader’s intent not to say much about President Trump’s tweet comparing his nuclear button to the nuclear button of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “Would he plan to comment on that anytime soon?” Phillip said. “I wouldn’t expect that.” Phillip said there’s always a temptation to say something when the President’s son is accused of treason by a person who was the President’s top aide just a short while ago, but the Majority Leader will probably not address it. “You have to think about what you remark on and what you don’t remark on, and I think the Majority Leader will probably choose not to remark on that,” he said. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the trial balloons he’s been floating about retiring after tax reform passes have nothing to do with his plans to run against Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. “I am not planning and will not plan to offer Republican voters an alternative to the crazy man in the White House today,” Ryan said. Ryan said there’s no truth to the rumor that he would seek to give an alternative to Republican voters who don’t want to see Trump reelected but also don’t want to see a Democrat take the White House. “I know there’s speculation that I would put myself out there as a safe vote for Republicans who don’t want another Roy Moore-type debacle in 2020, but that is not the case,” he said. More.
Influential Republican strategist Stephen Bannon wasted no time after his party’s big loss in the Alabama Senate race this week to unveil a plan for losing in South Carolina, Texas, and other deep-red states in coming elections. “We have that rare opportunity to hand over Republican states to Democrats next year and in 2020 if we’re ready to seize the moment,” Bannon said in remarks to Republican supporters last night. “After decades of Republican control, we can hand these states over to Democrats by draining the swamp of the mainstream, establishment conservatives who people are willing to vote for and replace them with people that many mainstream conservatives aren’t willing to vote for.” More.
Corporations and wealthy individuals say they’ll pour their millions of dollars in cuts they stand to get from tax reform into the reelection fight of Republicans whose seats are now at risk from angry middle-class voters whose tax increases will pay for the bill. “We told the GOP they needed to pass tax cuts for the wealthy or they could forget about calling us again for political contributions,” says one billionaire who stands to save millions from tax cuts. “Now that they’re poised to deliver, we understand they need help. There are a lot of people who will want to retaliate by voting out of office anyone who voted for the tax cuts. What we’re saying is, we’re putting our new money where our mouth is.” According to polls, voters are angry that they’re facing tax hikes to pay for the cuts to corporations and the wealthy. One voter who responded to a poll was so angry she couldn’t see straight. More.
Republican lawmakers in the Senate say they urgently must pass tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy before the end of the year because of pressure coming from Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “Would it be better to slow down and better think through our tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy? Of course,” says John Thune (R-S.D.), the Senate whip. “Right now our own analysis is showing a $1 trillion addition to the budget deficit even after projected growth in the economy. So, if we had more time we could craft changes that address that and still give our wealthy donors what they want. Unfortunately, time is a luxury we don’t have.” That’s because Mueller’s investigation is winding down. More.
Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore said accounts of him dating teenage girls whose parents gave him permission to date them when he was in his thirties is fake news. “Let me be clear,” said Moore. “It’s not true that I dated the teenage girls whose parents gave me permission to date them.” Moore also said there’s nothing wrong with him as a man in his thirties walking around shopping malls by himself as the press accused him of doing. “The press is wrong to say I innocently and lawfully walked around malls by myself as a man in my thirties,” he said. Moore, 70, is an evangelical Christian who has been an uncompromising critic of homosexuality. He was the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court before he was removed from office in 2003 for defying a court order to take down a statute of the Ten Commandments he had erected on the courthouse grounds. More.
The U.S. Congress came together in a bipartisan fashion today to condemn the acts of gun violence that will plague the country in the months and years ahead. “We condemn the senseless taking of innocent life that we will experience in the future,” the resolution reads. “We call on all Americans to come together during these times of national trauma that will inflict us, probably twice a year if not more frequently.” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), one of the sponsors of the resolution, says it’s a step in the right direction for lawmakers to get all of their future condemnations of acts of gun violence out of the way at once, because that will free up time for other legislative priorities. More.
Weary lawmakers in the Senate, still bruised and battered from previous repeal and replace bills that swept through the chamber, are gearing up for yet another potential direct hit as the Cassidy-Graham bill strengthens into a Category 5 bill. “We’re already rationing our time and energy to get things done after dealing with the previous three bills—‘repeal-and-replace,’ ‘partial repeal,’ and ‘skinny repeal,'” says Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose no vote on the previous measures has been credited as a key to the chamber’s recovery after the unusually heavy repeal-and-replace season. Storm preparation[/caption]Collins said the Senate was just starting to make progress on other priorities like tax reform after devoting weeks to cleaning up after the previous bills, but that progress could be upended if, as predicted, Cassidy-Graham hits the chamber as a Category 5 bill. More.
California Republican Duncan Hunter, an anti-immigration hard-liner in Congress who said last week that, while President Donald Trump might be an a**hole, he’s at least “our a**hole,” lashed out in anger today at reports that his a**hole has struck an immigration deal with Democrats. “So, my a**hole isn’t my a**hole after all?” he told reporters at the Capitol this morning. “I wake up, look in the mirror, and I find there’s no a**hole attached to my backside and instead find it attached to the backside of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer?” Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Schumer (D-N.Y.) are the House and Senate minority leaders, respectively. More.
After he or someone on his staff liked a porn video on his Twitter account, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said his office had reported the incident to Twitter. “The offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported to Twitter,” said Catherine Frazier, Cruz’s communications aide. What else has his office reported to Twitter? We investigate. More.
Crafting Health Bill in Secret Necessary to Keep Cheering People From Delaying Passage, McConnell Says
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says it’s necessary for Republicans to write their bill to replace Obamacare in secret because having millions of people cheering them on while they hammer out the details would unnecessarily slow the legislative process, an injustice to the 23 million Americans waiting impatiently to lose their health insurance. “We owe it to all of the struggling Americans who stand to lose their coverage to move as quickly as we can,” McConnell told reporters at the Capitol today. McConnell said many additional people will see their premiums go up and their level of coverage go down, so it’s understandable that lawmakers don’t want to take any longer than is absolutely necessary to pass the bill. “We still have to reconcile our bill with the House bill, so we’re champing at the bit to get our bill out there,” McConnell said. More.
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) in an NPR interview this morning refused to say whether everyone in the United States is entitled to eat food, drink water, occupy space, and breathe air. “People are given bootstraps for a reason,” Smith told NPR’s Scott Simon in an interview about federal budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration. “If we’re not willing to pull ourselves up by them, why do we have them? Why do we have these bootstraps?” “Not everyone is born with bootstraps,” Simon said. “We have people who are born into poverty who don’t get adequate nutrition, don’t have heat in the winter . . . .” “But they have bootstraps,” said Smith, “because God wants us to pull ourselves up by them. Government isn’t a shoe store for poor people.” More.
Exasperated by President Donald Trump’s repeated preference for Russian national interests over those of the United States, all 48 Democratic lawmakers in the Senate sponsored a bill, “The Put America First Again Act of 2017,” to require the President to look out for American interests. “We believe the President of the United States, among all Americans, should put American interests first,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the minority leader in the Senate, said in introducing the bill. “We think it’s the least he can do.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the bill a “desperate act of grandstanding” by the Democrats and said it has as much chance of getting brought up on the Senate floor as a health care bill that would make insurance better and cheaper for more Americans. More.