Everything All Right Down There?

Do you need Canada to step in and intervene, USA? Because things are getting weird.

Shock surprise, after repeated denials that the Kremlin influenced your election, Trump is whining that no-one is reporting the Kremlin influenced the election to hurt him. All right, all right, fine, I’ll signal boost the alleged “pee pee tape” that was reported in the New York Times, Washington Post, and a tonne of other mainstream outlets.

If it were just that, I’d declare this an ordinary Thursday. But we also have this:

“Who leaked that to you?” he asked. I said I couldn’t give him that information. He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. “What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” he said. I laughed, not sure if he really believed that such a threat would convince a journalist to reveal a source. He continued to press me and complain about the staff he’s inherited in his new job. “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves,” he said. “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.” […]

“They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: “ ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ” […]

“The swamp will not defeat him,” he said, breaking into the third person. “They’re trying to resist me, but it’s not going to work. I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they’re going to have to go fuck themselves.”

Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.”

If you haven’t guessed, that was Anthony Scaramucci less than a week into his job. It isn’t often that the most bonkers person in the news isn’t Donald Trump.

Incredibly, though, Scaramucci was sane next to much of your own Senate. Not only did a mainstream publication push a story titled “Senate Republicans hope their own Obamacare repeal won’t become law“, the headline is accurate.

Mitch McConnell is making one last frantic plea to his Senate Republican members to advance the party’s scaled-back Obamacare repeal, assuring them at a private lunch that the vote is merely aimed at getting to conference with the House rather than immediately becoming law.

The Senate majority leader picked up some key votes at lunch, with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) endorsing the shriveling repeal effort as a bridge to bicameral negotiations. Not everyone was sold, but GOP leaders were emphasizing that the bill, which would slash Obamacare’s coverage mandates and result in millions more uninsured, is not the ultimate goal.

“I believe the leader has been in communication with Speaker [Paul] Ryan on that topic,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). “The request to go to conference has to come from the House so that would probably be the best people to talk to. But I have every expectation we will.”

To sum up the process so far, the House just barely passed a healthcare bill thanks in part to a promise that they’d fix it in the Senate; today, some key Republicans held a press conference to trash the new Senate bill, with Lindsey Graham in particular saying it was “terrible policy and horrible politics” and a “fraud”… then announced they’d vote for it, provided the House promised not to follow usual procedure and put it to a vote. Instead, they want the House and Senate to hash out their vast differences and come up with a third version of this healthcare bill. If they fail on that task, these Senators want the House to abandon the legislation instead of put it to a snap vote, despite heavy pressure to pass something. All this is happening as no-one has any idea what’s in the Senate bill they’re due to vote on sometime in the next 24 hours, but they do know that critical portions will have to dropped to pass it with 50 votes.

We’re starting to get really worried for you up here. Should we call in France or the UN to help mediate?