This week on Squawking Heads, Trump won’t throw out the first pitch at the Nationals home opener which is weird and inexplicable; Mitch McConnell chuckles condescendingly when confronted with perfectly reasonable questions and it is very unsettling; and Nikki Haley says the phrase “DC Chatter” one hundred thousand times without ever unclenching her jaw, and it made me rip my skin off and now I am just a skeleton. I should probably be thankful though because once Scott Pruitt succeeds at getting rid of all environmental regulations the resultant acid rain will be hell on human skin. So thanks Nikki I guess!
1. Who shuts shit down? Congress!
Ugh. We’re faced with yet another possible government shutdown. At this point, honestly, like, I can’t even get worked up about it. Of course Congress isn’t going to be able to pass a budget. They haven’t been able to pass one without unbelievable histrionics in years. Like, call me when it’s over, you know? Oh, what’s that, Chris Wallace? This one is different?
“There are a number of priorities that President Trump and other Republicans want that Democrats find unacceptable…One and a half billion dollars to start building the wall with Mexico, a major defense spending increase and domestic spending cuts. And some House conservatives want defunding of Planned Parenthood.”
Oh, GREAT. OK. THE WALL. AWESOME.
The New York Times
goes into even greater detail on this absolute clusterfuck, writing: “Among the cuts, the administration proposes a $1.2 billion reduction to the National Institutes of Health…and a $2.8 billion reduction to the State Department and other international operations as well as major cuts in grants for transportation, infrastructure and housing.”
When questioned about the bill, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell laughed mirthlessly and smiled toothlessly before promising repeatedly that everything is gonna be fine.
“What I’m saying, Chris, is we’re going to work all this out on a bipartisan basis,” McConnell said. “The Democrats will be fully involved in the discussion. So will the president. We’ll work it out and avoid any kind of catastrophic event.”
Yeah, somehow I’m not convinced.
2. Scott Pruitt just wants to watch the world burn…coal and natural gas.
Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator, has eyes that are as black and cold as the coal he wants to rip out of the ground. As discussed last week in this column, most people would think that if existing regulations created measurable positive change in the environment, you should keep those regulations. Not Scott Pruitt. Scott Pruitt wants us to drill, baby, drill.
“We can burn coal in clean fashion. We shouldn’t have this commitment by the U.S. government to say that fossil fuels are bad, renewables are good,” Pruitt said to Chris Wallace. “The U.S. EPA and the U.S. government should not pick winners and losers, Chris. And that’s what happened in the last several years.”
Pruitt continued spewing his own noxious gas by perpetuating the dangerous ideology that any kind of regulation was the government deeming the citizenry too dumb to take care of themselves.
“This attitude in Washington, D.C., that people in Texas and Oklahoma and Kansas and Colorado and the rest of the country don’t care about the water they drink or the air they breathe and are not going to take care of the air and the water locally and states, I just don’t believe that,” Pruitt said, driving that wedge like he was fracking for discontent. “That narrative is something we reject and we look forward to partnering with states across the country to achieve good outcomes.”
Scott Pruitt is basically Captain Pollution.
3. Mitch McConnell is still lying about Supreme Court vacancies.
“No, the tradition had been not to confirm vacancies created in the middle of a presidential year. You’d have to go back 80 years to find the last time that happened, go back to 1880s to find the last time it happened. Before that, everyone knew, including President Obama’s former White House counsel, that if the shoe had been on the other foot, they wouldn’t have filled a Republican president’s vacancy in the middle of a Supreme Court—in the middle of a presidential election. So that clearly wasn’t going to happen, even if the roles had been reversed.
He chuckled lightly throughout this interview.
4. How’s the Russia investigation going?
5. DC Ch-ch-ch-chatter
During Nikki Haley's first lap around the Sunday circuit since being appointed the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, she was asked a lot of questions about the international reaction to the Russian investigation and Trump's insistence that he was tapppppped by the Obama administration. None of which she saw fit to answer.
“To me, it's chatter I don't focus on. But you can talk to President Xi and ask him if he's reading those tweets,” Haley said without opening her jaw at all. “I don't know.”
I find it incredibly hard to believe that no one is talking about the fact that the current President of the United States is a conspiracy theory peddling, possibly treasonous, Twitter-addict. First, you cannot tell me our loose cannon president isn't unsettling the entire international community on a profound level. Second, the United Nations is still a work place and everyone gossips at their workplace. Seriously, if I worked with someone who was tweeting this much insanity on a daily basis, it is all I would be talking about.
Like, yeah, Beth, I know this Powerpoint presentation has to be done by the board meeting tonight, but we have to talk about Shannon's sub-tweeting problem. I refuse to believe diplomats aren't just as petty as the rest of us.
Haley also said she's “beating up on” Russia and Putin. She managed to say it a lot, in fact. During her brief interview with Martha Radditz, she said it six times. She also said she “called them out” eight times. On Face the Nation she was slightly more subdued, saying that she was going to “be loud” or “get loud” with countries when they step out of line. It sounds like Haley's gonna punch a girl out after school for calling her a name, not, you know, partaking in sensitive, intelligent diplomacy.
We're still talking about healthcare even though last week everyone swore we were done talking about healthcare.
Yeah, whatever you say, man.
Next week on Squawking Heads