National News Roundup: Week 39 (October 15–21)

By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Constitutional Crisis Corners:

Your “Normal” Weird:

  • The Trump Reality Show Continues. I’m not going to dwell, simply because the most sensationalist chest-thumping seems like a vacuous distraction rather than a credible threat. But this week Trump continued the ongoing reality show, issuing more threats to McCain after the latter criticized his bonkers foreign policy and badly botching condolence calls after several soldiers were lost in Niger. Adding to the surreal reality-show feel of current politics, Dubya also said his piece about Trump (although he declined to mention him by name at any point). It’s been strange, y’all.
  • Tax Reform News.* The Senate passed a tax reform initiative this week along partisan lines, squeaking out the bare minimum of votes needed despite bloc opposition from Democrats (and Rand Paul). I place this under the ‘weird’ column rather than the ‘bad’ column for several reasons: First of all, few people have even seen the bill, despite its success on the floor; as this first fact suggests, the bill is being rushed for a variety of reasons (which I can only hope to speculate about, since the Hill is a such bizarre quagmire right now). But they are using the reconciliation process — which you may remember from the summer’s ACA Repeal Greatest Hits — to pass Go and collect their $200 without working with Democrats. And that process is inherently kind of tricky and complicated, which makes it odd that they are trying to rush and also use it. Senator Corker’s recent outbursts have caused some pundits to speculate that tax reform is the only thing keeping the GOP on board with Trump’s egregious and dangerous Presidency; if they’re right, the tax reform efforts are also odd because they’re being treated like a final hurdle to impeachment.

The Bad:

The Good:

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