Welcome Back! GOP Congress Returns To Resume Kabuki Dance Of Governance
The Gist: After a two-weeks of being berated by their constituents at raucous town halls—and watching Democrats come close to flipping two solidly red districts in Kansas and Georgia—members of Congress return to DC Monday. With few legislative accomplishments under their belts so far, they now face a government funding deadline, a debt ceiling increase, demands from the White House to take another swing at repealing Obamacare, and the daunting, likely impossible task of overhauling the tax code by August.
WaPo: Trump Won’t Fire Sean Spicer Because He ‘Gets Great Ratings’
The Gist: President Donald Trump has said that he will not fire White House Press Secretary because the spokesman “gets great ratings” for his daily press briefings, the Washington Post reported on Sunday evening.
Obama To Deliver First Post-Presidency Speech In Chicago
The Gist: Former President Barack Obama is set to hold the first public event of his post-presidential life in the place where he started his political career.
From The Reporter’s Notebook
President Donald Trump on Friday said that efforts to avoid a government shutdown are “going very well,” TPM’s Esme Cribb reported. “Now, we have government not closing. I think we’ll be in great shape on that, it’s going very well,” Trump said in an interview with the Associated Press. “Obviously that takes precedent.”
Agree or Disagree?
John Judis: “To get its economy moving, France would presumably have to convince the Germans to change their current practices, which hold down consumer demand and labor costs, creating a huge trade surplus at the expense of France, Spain, and Italy, among other countries. That would require, as Macron seems to be proposing, a new fiscal-monetary pact that would have to be initiated, as before, by the EU’s two leading countries, France and Germany. With such a pact, Macron’s Nordic economic model might work. So, theoretically speaking, Macron’s strategy is not crazy. But would it work? There might be a chance if the Germans were willing, and they might be willing if the Social Democrats were able to lead a majority coalition after this September’s election. But Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats are currently leading in the polls. If Le Pen has suffered from Trump’s unpopularity, Merkel had undoubtedly benefited from it. And Merkel is much less likely to make serious concessions to Macron and France.”
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: “As far as whether science can be thought of separately from partisan politics, I would contend that it cannot be. In a democracy, people get to decide how to vote based on their beliefs, and they are free to form those beliefs based on objective observations of the world (science) or superstition or peer pressure or ignorance or any combination of these, and we accept that as the price of democratic forms of government. What we can’t allow is our government CLAIMING to be making decisions based on objective science, while in reality using “pseudo-science” to manufacture the appearance of objective, science-based policy decisions. These techniques include reliance on corporate-backed “research findings”, “creation science”, “the bell curve”, or simply the assertion of “uncertainty”. When politicians or administrators attempt to use these forms of “fake rationality” to justify their actions or position, all true scientists must push back, hard. And since it is almost always conservative Republicans who use these tactics, it’s unavoidable that science-oriented people will be aligned with Democrats, and that this will be confused with “partisanship”. On the few occasions where Republicans support spending on basic science, it’s usually tied to spending in their district (or toward a donor’s business), or to gain popular support by funding a “cure” for cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.”
Related: Britain Could See Its First Full Day Without Coal
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What We’re Reading
Journalist Describes The Loneliness And Leakiness Of Trump’s White House (NPR)
Not Everyone Is Meant To Have A Book Club (BuzzFeed)