Tomorrow is December. No, really. 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…
► Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is about to be put out of his misery. As the Washington Post explains:
The White House has readied a plan to oust embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has become one of the most personally loyal and politically savvy members of President Trump’s national security team, two administration officials confirmed Thursday.
The plan, hatched by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, is expected to be set in motion over the next few weeks, and has broad support within Trump’s inner circle, the officials said. But it was unclear whether Trump had signed off on the plan yet, and the president has been known to change his mind about personnel and other matters before finalizing decisions with public announcements.
Under the plan, Pompeo would likely be replaced at the CIA by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), one of Trump’s most steadfast defenders and a confidant to some leading members of the foreign policy team, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House has not publicly announced the moves.
Tillerson likely has some pretty mixed feelings about this news. Nobody likes to get fired, but when working for President Trump is the alternative…
► Arizona Sen. John McCain today announced that he will support the Republican tax plan in the U.S. Senate as the legislation inches closer to a floor vote. So much is being written about the Tax Turducken that it is difficult to even summarize the information, so instead, here are some of the top stories we’re reading today about this debacle:
– Mark Matthews of the Denver Post outlines “Six things Coloradans should watch in the Senate tax bill.”
– The Washington Post takes a look at the state of the GOP tax plan as of this morning.
– As the Atlantic reports, younger Americans will be stuck paying for tax cuts for the rich.
► It may seem these days like there is nothing a politician can do to truly derail their career, but Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and his NRSC committed a cardinal sin in politics: Betraying major donors.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► The checkbook is closed, say major Republican donors — and it doesn’t matter what happens with the GOP tax bill. From Mother Jones:
When politicians come knocking on Bill Miller’s door, he usually has big checks to deliver. But lately, Miller, a Republican lobbyist in Austin, Texas, says the major donors he advises on how and when to make their campaign contributions are not taking out their checkbooks. At all.
“I’m not saying they’ve cut them off for good, but they have cut them off temporarily,” Miller says. “This conversation has been repeated more than a few times, ‘Not going to give right now, Bill, I’m just mad. Nah, not going to give right now.’”
The reason, Miller says, is the failure of Republicans to accomplish much of anything in Washington, from their whiff on Obamacare to their ongoing wrangling over tax reform. Donors are livid, particularly because Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House and have still floundered.
► President Trump has been taking his brand of crazy to the next level this week, and it has caught the attention of media outlets around the country. As David Leonhardt writes for the New York Times, it may be time to take the subject of impeachment seriously. Elsewhere, Ezra Klein of Vox.com writes about the case for “normalizing impeachment”:
In recent months, I have grown obsessed with a seemingly simple question: Does the American political system have a remedy if we elect the wrong person to be president? There are clear answers if we elect a criminal, or if the president falls into a coma. But what if we just make a hiring mistake, as companies do all the time? What if we elect someone who proves himself or herself unfit for office — impulsive, conspiratorial, undisciplined, destructive, cruel?…
…It’s not just Senate Republicans who worry over the president’s stability. Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, told CNN that his reporting found “a consensus developing in the military, at the highest levels in the intelligence community, among Republicans in Congress, including the leaders in the business community,” that Trump “is unfit to be the president of the United States.” A subsequent poll by the Military Times found only 30 percent of commissioned officers approved of the job Trump was doing.
The fear is shared by members of Trump’s own staff. Axios’s Mike Allen reported that a collection of top White House advisers see themselves as an informal “Committee to Save America,” and they measure their success “mostly in terms of bad decisions prevented, rather than accomplishments chalked up.” The Associated Press reported that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly “agreed in the earliest weeks of Trump’s presidency that one of them should remain in the United States at all times to keep tabs on the orders rapidly emerging from the White House.”
► All we want for Christmas is for Rep. Steve Lebsock to just go away.
► Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) is a walking talking point for the Republican tax plan.
► Coloradans really don’t approve of President Trump, as the Denver Post explains:
The latest survey by Keating Research of Telluride found that 64 percent of active Colorado voters had an unfavorable view of Trump; that’s worse than a March poll by the same firm that put his unfavorable mark at 55 percent…
…Much of the decline appears driven by dissatisfaction from independents and Republicans.
About 1 in 4 — or 26 percent — of the Colorado Republicans polled in November viewed Trump unfavorably. That’s worse than the 16 percent who saw him that way in March.
► Congressional Republicans are having trouble figuring out a strategy to avoid a government shutdown in early December.
► Democratic Rep. John Conyers is resisting calls for his resignation in the wake of several allegations of sexual harassment.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Congressman Joe Barton, the Texas Republican who sent a picture of his junk to a lady friend that ended up all over the Internet, will not run for re-election.
► Corporate leaders across America continue to reject the idea spun up by Congressional Republicans that the GOP tax plan will have a trickle-down benefit for average workers. Seriously — they aren’t even pretending that they wouldn’t just pocket the extra money.