February, 2018

Why Trump Won’t Do Anything on Guns

Jonathan Swan: “Every few months, friends, family and advisers like Ivanka Trump, Rupert Murdoch and Gary Cohn fantasize Trump will tap his superpower as a force for good — to pass a big infrastructure bill, fight global warming, strike an epic immigration deal. Now, they dream of new gun controls to protect schools, kids and the innocent. He could, but he almost certainly won’t.”

“He may not fully understand the cultural significance of guns in middle America. But he believes that it’s cultural, not political, issues that truly move the needle.”

Rubio Seems to Soften Opposition to Gun Control

Politico: “The mass shootings in Newtown, Orlando, Las Vegas and even Fort Lauderdale didn’t get Marco Rubio to seriously reconsider his position on guns. But Rubio shifted on firearms Wednesday night as he weathered the righteous anger of a parent and of the students who survived the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School and who then faced him onstage at a CNN town hall in purple Florida’s liberal bastion of Broward County.”

“Jeered and booed by the crowd, buffeted by tough questions, Rubio stood alone as the only Republican onstage, in purple Florida’s liberal bastion of Broward County. He broke with President Trump on whether to arm teachers. Rubio said it was a bad idea. He said he would favor raising the minimum age to purchase an assault rifle from 18 to 21. And he said he would consider restricting the size of magazines for firearms.”

CNN: 6 things Rubio said on guns at the town hall.

Where Gun Control Advocates Could Win In 2018

Ron Brownstein: “The shifting geography of the electoral battlefield is providing gun-control advocates their best opportunity in years to tilt the balance on the issue in Congress.”

“Since the early 1990s, the National Rifle Association has sustained an impregnable congressional blockade against new gun-control measures. But the weakest link in that chain has always been the Republican-held suburban seats in the House of Representatives, where many voters support reasonable limits on gun access.”

McMaster Could Leave White House

“With tensions flaring between President Trump and national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the Pentagon is considering options that would allow the President to potentially move the three-star general out of his current role and back into the military,” CNN reports.

“A search is quietly being conducted by the Pentagon to see if there is a four-star military job suited for McMaster… Several sources told CNN that the push for a replacement comes after months of personal tension between McMaster and Trump.”

Trump Nominee for Indian Health Post Withdraws

Wall Street Journal: “President Trump’s nominee to lead the Indian Health Service has withdrawn from consideration for the job… The move by Robert Weaver, a former insurance broker, comes after the Wall Street Journal published two articles earlier this year in which former colleagues alleged he had in some cases exaggerated his work experience and left a former employer in financial disarray.”

Where the NRA Speaks Loudest

“Whenever there is a mass shooting, the National Rifle Association has a well-rehearsed response: Say very little until the inevitable discussion about gun control cools down,” the New York Times reports.

“But as the leaders of the country’s most influential gun advocacy group kept quiet after the school shooting last week in Parkland, Fla., that claimed 17 lives, a furious debate played out on NRATV, the organization’s online video channel.”

“Its hosts spoke chillingly of leftist plots to confiscate weapons, media conspiracies to brainwash Americans into supporting gun control and a ‘deep state’ campaign to undermine President Trump.”

Woman Who Had Affair with Lawmaker Now Running

“Shannon Edwards (R), whose affair with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) ended his congressional career, announced Wednesday in Pittsburgh she’s running for Congress,” the Washington Examiner reports.

“Murphy, a staunch pro-life Republican, resigned in the face of a scandal last October when it was revealed the married lawmaker had an affair with Edwards and then urged her to have an abortion during a pregnancy scare.”

Quote of the Day

“Obviously, there’s a lot of politics in it. And it’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats, but we don’t want to, the media doesn’t talk about that either.”

— Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), quoted by Roll Call, on last week’s mass shooting at a Florida high school.

New Map Is Better for Democrats Than One They Proposed

Nate Cohn: “Few people expected that the Pennsylvania congressional map, which the state Supreme Court ordered redrawn to undo Republican gerrymandering, would prove to be as favorable to Democrats as the one adopted by the court on Monday.”

“Perhaps the easiest way to convey the cause for surprise: The new map is better for Democrats — by nearly every measure — than the maps that Democrats themselves proposed.”

Trump Attacks Sessions for Not Investigating Democrats

“President Trump attacked his own attorney general on Wednesday, asking in a Twitter post why Jeff Sessions has not been investigating Democrats for Russian interference in the 2016 election,” the New York Times reports.

“In his tweet, Mr. Trump revived his offensive on Mr. Sessions, whom he once called ‘beleaguered,’ and continued his days-long Twitter comments on the ongoing special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling. It was the latest instance of the president publicly criticizing federal law enforcement.”

Toomey Open to Impeaching State Supreme Court Justices

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) called for a “conversation” about impeaching state Supreme Court justices over their new congressional map, The Hill reports.

Said Toomey: “Look, I think it’s inevitable that that conversation’s going to take place. I think state House members and state senators are going to be speaking amongst themselves and their constituents, and the fundamental question is does this blatant, unconstitutional, partisan power grab that undermines our electoral process, does that rise to the level of impeachment?”

Ex-Trump Bodyguard Paid $15K a Month by RNC

“When President Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller decided to leave his White House job last fall, many in the West Wing wondered how the president would manage without his personal security chief-turned-confidant, who had been working for Trump nearly 20 years,” NBC News reports.

“As it turns out, Schiller didn’t go very far. Within weeks of leaving his job as director of Oval Office operations, Schiller’s private security firm, KS Global Group, began collecting $15,000 a month for ‘security services’ from the Republican National Committee.”

Trump Campaign Aide Meeting with Mueller

Former Trump campaign staffer Sam Nunberg is expected to meet with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team on Thursday in Washington, ABC News reports.

Nunberg spoke on the record about the Trump campaign in Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury. Before the book published, leaked passages showed Nunberg quoted as reportedly calling President Trump as an ‘idiot’ in a conversation with Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon.”

Did Melania Trump’s Parents Rely on ‘Chain Migration’?

“The parents of first lady Melania Trump have become legal permanent residents of the United States and are close to obtaining their citizenship, according to people familiar with their status, but their attorney declined to say how or when the couple gained their green cards,” the Washington Post reports.

“Immigration experts said Viktor and Amalija Knavs very likely relied on a family reunification process that President Trump has derided as ‘chain migration’ and proposed ending in such cases.”