It’s going to be a scorcher this Memorial Day Weekend — don’t forgot your sunscreen. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► If you’re heading out for a road trip this Memorial Day Weekend, make sure to bring along some extra cash for rising gas prices. The average price of gasoline is creeping toward the $3.00 per gallon mark — an increase of 31% in the last year and the highest average mark since 2014. As Politico explains, rising gas prices are happening at a bad time for Republicans:
President Donald Trump is hoping a wave of tax-cut-fueled economic euphoria will boost his approval ratings and his party’s political fortunes this fall. A sharp spike in gas prices could slam the brakes on all of that…
…The increased cost of fuel is already wiping out a big chunk of the benefit Americans received from the GOP tax cuts. And things could get worse as summer approaches following the administration’s standoff with Iran and a move by oil-producing nations to tighten supplies.
The result: The economic and political benefits Trump and the GOP hoped to reap from cutting tax rates could be swamped by higher pump prices that Americans face every time they hit the road.
“If you look at the benefits of what households are getting from lower rates, roughly one-third of that is wiped out if these higher gas prices are sustained,” said Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley. “And when we drive down the street, every block we see glaring signs about how much gas costs that day and it’s all over the media. The tax cuts were a one-off. It’s a one-time level shift in your paycheck that you are not reminded of every day.”
The rise in gas prices has a greater effect on lower-income Americans, particularly those from the Southern U.S. and the blue-collar voting base that supporter Donald Trump in 2016.
► The editorial board of the New York Times takes another broad look at the Trump administration:
So, for the fourth time in a year, we’ve compiled a list of Mr. Trump’s more egregious transgressions. These items don’t represent disputes about policy, over which reasonable people may disagree. They simply serve to catalog what Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and all the other Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress and across America, through their silence, have now blessed as behavior befitting a president of the United States.
We find this guide a helpful way to avoid growing numb to what is so abnormal about this presidency, and to remind ourselves that a day may yet come when dignity and decency will matter again, even, perhaps, to Mr. McConnell and his fellow hypocrites.
Check out the entire bullet-point list from the Times, but make sure you have the antacid within reach.
► Chris Cillizza of CNN examines the (faceless) government conspiracy being peddled by President Trump:
Over the last 72 hours, the President of the United States has leaned into a conspiracy theory that goes like this: During the 2016 presidential race, President Barack Obama — via the FBI — placed a “spy” within Trump’s campaign for purely political reasons.
Trump made that charge plain in a tweet Friday morning:
“Can anyone even imagine having Spies placed in a competing campaign, by the people and party in absolute power, for the sole purpose of political advantage and gain? And to think that the party in question, even with the expenditure of far more money, LOST!”…
…But the fact that this is what Trump does shouldn’t distract us from the allegations here: Donald Trump is saying his predecessor as president used the leading law enforcement entity in the country to spy on him because Obama/the “deep state” didn’t want someone as unconventional as Trump to be president.
To be clear: There is zero public evidence that Trump’s claims are anywhere close to the truth.
Get even more smarter after the jump…