Thank You, Sinema, Very Helpful!

before the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona.
TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema participates in the pregame coin toss before the game between the Utah Utes and the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 3,... TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema participates in the pregame coin toss before the game between the Utah Utes and the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. Sinema is running against two-term congresswoman Martha McSally. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) MORE LESS
September 29, 2021 7:48 a.m.

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.

Love To Keep You Guessing

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) emerged from her White House meeting yesterday without telling Biden what exactly she objects to in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill for infrastructure, only that she still objects to it, according to Politico.

  • The Arizona Democrat reportedly told Biden that she’s “not there” and that “I’ve been very clear with you from the start.”
  • She reportedly won’t give specifics until after the bipartisan infrastructure bill has been passed.
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), an outspoken progressive, put Sinema on blast Wednesday night, accusing her of “holding up the will” of “the entire Democratic Party.”
  • Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) meeting with the President on Tuesday seemed to be similarly fruitless: Though he didn’t reveal much else about the discussion, Manchin told reporters that he’d made “no commitments” on the reconciliation bill.
  • Biden canceled his trip to Chicago today to keep working to rescue his now-endangered agenda.

Milley In The Hot Seat

Amid all the chaos with infrastructure, you might have missed Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley giving testimony in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday, where he responded to revelations that he had gone around Trump to avoid potential war with China and nuclear strikes in wake of the 2020 election.

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  • You can read our liveblog of the hearing here.
  • Our three main takeaways:
    • It’s unclear whether Trump was fully kept out of the loop on Milley’s talks with China
    • Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, who reported on Milley’s actions, might’ve missed some context.
    • The situation with China could’ve been more dangerous than was understood at the time

Key Analysis

“What the F*ck Are These People Talking About?” – Jack Holmes at Esquire

And thus we come to a point where the United States of America faces a parade of generational crises, but the most powerful legislators in the land are creating their own institutional crises to occupy their time instead. Without the filibuster, Republican senators would actually be more incentivized to cooperate: if the bill were likely to pass in some form without them, they’d be more inclined to participate in crafting a proposal they might like better.

Continuing The Forever War Wouldn’t Have Gone Anywhere, DOD Chief Says

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that despite war hawks’ howls over Biden’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, staying in the country for another year wouldn’t have been any more successful for the U.S:

Trump Allegedly Put On A Tough Guy Act With Putin On Camera

Ex-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham never once gave a press briefing-but now you can buy her new book, titled  “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” to find out what she didn’t tell you when your taxes were paying her salary, which is that (per excerpts reported by the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN):

  • Trump had a weird wink-wink-nudge-nudge moment with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the 2019 Group of 20 Summit, according to Grisham, where he told his Russian counterpart “Okay, I’m going to act a little tougher with you for a few minutes, but it’s for the cameras, and after they leave, we’ll talk. You understand.”
  • Remember Trump’s mysterious hospital visit in 2019? Grisham heavily implies it was for a colonoscopy, and she claims it was a secret because Trump didn’t want then-Vice President Mike Pence to be in power.
  • There was a White House “Music Man” who would play Trump’s favorite show tunes, including “Memory” from the musical Cats, to pacify the then-president when he was on the verge of throwing a tantrum, according to Grisham.

More Than 130 Federal Judges Oversaw Cases Involving Their Financial Interests

131 judges broke the law by hearing cases where they or their family owned stock in companies that were the plaintiffs or defendants, the Wall Street Journal found.

  • Several judges claimed that they had no idea they had those conflicts of interests until the Journal asked about them. The judges’ response to this apparently brand-new information generally amounted to “Whoopsy-daisy!”
    • “Being informed of what could be viewed as an ethical violation, even a technical one, is no fun,” Judge R. Brooke Jackson in Colorado told the Journal.

Today In ‘Why Is Ted Cruz Like This?’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who’s been working especially hard with fellow insurrectionist cheerleader Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) to block dozens of Biden’s appointees, offered this very serious defense for holding up the nominations:

Cannibalism In The Right-Wing Media Swamp

A Newsmax host Chris Salcedo accused Fox News of making an “editorial shift to the left” and said that conservatives were being “treated like pariahs” over at the network:

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