Breaking news: There is terribly sad news coming out of D.C. today of a gunman opening fire on the Republican Congressional softball practice. I don’t want people to think I’m ignoring this horrible tragedy which is not far from my home. My heart sank when I turned on the news this morning. I’m going to urge caution with initial information coming out of this, however, I think we all should take a moment to pray for the victims.
It’s going to be another active day in Washington: Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee at 2:30 pm Eastern time today. It sounds like a lot of the networks will be covering it live.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS NewsHour, a Trump confidant stated that the president is mulling over firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. (See what I did there?) This seems like a bad idea, but this administration has done equally perplexing things regarding this investigation (ahem… Comey) so who knows if this is legit. My feeling is it is just staff members leaking information to gauge reaction and prove to Trump this is a bad idea.
Before I get started I want to thank dear reader, Allison, who suggested changing the title to the PPDB for Polite Politics Daily Briefing. I love it!! It takes a village to run a blog, I tell you. Now without further ado… the PPDB for June 12, 2017.
Hey, how did everyone like infrastructure week? Did you even know last week was the White House’s infrastructure week? I’m going to guess probably not.
The beginning of this week is also looking to be “off message” for the administration as instead of talking about health care, jobs or literally anything else… we’re going to still be talking about Russian interference.
Reportedly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but that’s not confirmed by the committee yet. It’s also not confirmed whether it will be in closed or open session. The White House would probably prefer closed session in order to keep the issue out of the public eye and their message more on point than during “infrastructure week.” However, this would obviously not be very transparent to the public and Democrats are calling for the testimony to be open.
I’ve finally come up with a name for this roundup of news stories I’ve been writing.
You probably know that in D.C. they call the President’s Daily Briefing the “PDB.” Well, I figured that might work here, too. Only, this is your “Politics in Polite Company Daily Briefing.”
I know. I left out some initials. But I’m hoping you’ll work with me.
Anyhow, so in today’s PDB we are talking the continuation of the fallout from former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony. First, the president’s attorney threatened to sue Comey for revealing “privileged conversations.” That’s laughable considering the president tweeted about them himself. Vox has an amazing piece where they interviewed 10 legal scholars who basically say the same thing.
I almost hate to tempt fate at this point… but all has been quiet on the Twitter front since former FBI Director Jim Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (If for some reason you missed it, The New York Times has the full transcript.) I realize the moment I post this the president could decide to take out his phone and fire off some hot takes, but at this moment, we have been more than 24 hours without a presidential tweet.
Let’s savor that for a moment. BREAKING: The President has tweeted.
Well, that was short lived.
Lest you be confused about how central politics is to life in D.C., bars around town are opening at 9:30 a.m Eastern today for people to gather to watch former FBI Director James Comey testify in open session before Congress. At least one pub apparently wants to go bankrupt because it’s offering a free round of drinks each time the President Trump tweets. The hearings start at 10 a.m. Eastern/9 a.m. Central Time and will be carried on most networks, but just in case you are at work—here’s the link to CSPAN.
Still pinching myself that this happened, but last night the Kansas Legislature overrode Governor Sam Brownback’s veto ending his key legislation: income tax cuts. It’s been a tough few years as, month after month, Kansas’ revenue has fallen short of economic projections. Each year, the legislature has scrambled to fund the Constitution’s priority, education, while scraping money from highway and retirement funds. It’s pretty incredible that the Republican majority legislature took this action, but also a very good step to get the state back on track and make sure Kansas kids get a great education.
Happy Tuesday, everyone. There’s a lot going on and some great journalism happening—so I thought I would do a rundown of some of the stories I think are important to know about today. Hope you find it helpful!
After the Manchester attacks, like after so many of the other tragic incidents of domestic and international terrorism lately, the Mr. Rogers quote about looking for the helpers started circulating across social media.
Not long after, this tweetstorm surfaced from journalist and author Anthony Breznican about meeting Fred Rogers during a particularly sad time in his life. You should read the entire tweetstorm here, but grab some Kleenex first.
As I’ve aged, I’ve really started to love hiking. There’s something about wandering through nature with a friend, cut off from technology and surrounded by all of Mother Nature’s glory that just centers you.
It seems fitting that a year ago today I was spending a carefree June day hiking to the Kjenndal Glacier in Norway. I can still feel the crisp air that surrounded me as the sun shone in such a way that every drop of water and blade of grass seemed in technicolor.