Morning Memo: GOPers Loudly Wail Over Dems Dodging Their Infrastructure Trap

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

Wah! Wah! Wah!

GOP senators doth protest too loudly after Democrats managed to sidestep the giant banana peel in their path. The trap the GOP set was no secret. It would play along with a watered-down bipartisan agreement on popular infrastructure items and count on moderate Democrats to wilt when it came time to pass less popular soft infrastructure and tax reforms. In announcing that he would only sign the bipartisan bill if he had a reconciliation bill on his desk at the same time, Biden kept his shot at passing his more ambitious agenda.

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) mustered fake outrage, accusing Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of “pulling the rug out from under their bipartisan negotiators.”
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) cried that the Democrats’ plan was “extortion!” and that he was done with the negotiations. “The Dems are being told you can’t get your bipartisan work product passed unless you sign on to what the left wants, and I’m not playing that game,” he told Playbook.
  • The WSJ editorial board is upset, too. “This is remarkable bad faith even for Washington,” it fumed.
  • But Republicans hadn’t exactly been shy about their gambit. Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) literally told Politico last week that “it’ll be awful hard to get those moderate Democrats to be for” a big Democrat-only spending bill because “if you do do something bipartisan on” infrastructure, “then I think doing something partisan on reconciliation — in some ways, with certain Democrats — it gets a lot harder.”

What’s Happening Today

After weeks of bad-faith attacks from Republicans demanding to know wHy sHE woN’T gO to tHe BoRder, Vice President Kamala Harris will be traveling to El Paso with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to do just that.

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  • The trip comes after Harris, whom Biden tasked with addressing the “root causes” of migration at the southern border, traveled to Mexico and Guatemala earlier this month. That was when she held a jarring press conference in which she sternly told migrants “do not come,” that “United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders,” and “if you come to our border, you will be turned back.”

Jan. 6 Lives On

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Friday afternoon will finally meet with Michael Fanone, a police officer who was seriously injured during the Capitol insurrection and has pushed for a bipartisan commission to investigate the siege.

Behind Closed Doors: Trump Fascism Edition

Trump urged top military and law enforcement officials in Oval Office meetings to “beat the fuck out” of anti-police brutality protesters during the George Floyd protests, according to CNN’s excerpt of a new book written by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.

  • His words: “That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people. Crack their skulls!”
  • He also reportedly suggested-multiple times-that the officials gun down the protesters. “Just shoot them,” the then-president told Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and then-Attorney General William Barr, according to Bender.

Look At What You’ve Done

The parents of one of the students who was killed during the 2018 Parkland school shooting tricked ex-National Rifle Association president David Keene into giving a graduation speech in front of 3,044 empty chairs, which represented the victims of gun violence who would’ve graduated this year.

  • This is what he told those students: “There are some who will continue to fight to gut the Second Amendment, but I’d be willing to bet that many of you will be among those who stand up and prevent them from succeeding.”

Watch Keene’s speech:

Must-Read

“They Seemed Like Democratic Activists. They Were Secretly Conservative Spies.” – The New York Times

Swing And A Miss-Sort Of

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R) COVID-19 vaccine incentive program via lottery, which ended on Wednesday, failed to boost the state’s vaccinated population to over 50% even though there was an initial boost.

  • Other states who offered similar programs, such as New Mexico and Colorado, also report that the vaccination rate slowed after the program was initially rolled out or that the bump in vaccination rates was small.

The Horrors The Pandemic’s Leaving Us

A shocking new study by the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University found that Americans’ life expectancy at birth plunged by far more than health researchers expected in 2020- about 1.9 years, widening the gap between the U.S. and 16 comparable countries. The disparity was even bigger among Black and Hispanic communities.

Something’s Out There

“U.S. government prepares to issue landmark report on UFOs” – Reuters

Mask Off

Fox New host Tucker Carlson invokes the threat of one of the worst genocides in modern history while trying to rile up terror among his Boomer viewers about nonexistent oppression against white people:

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