A group of so-called moderate Republicans has filed a pitiful appeal for a measly compromise bill in place of the sweeping aid package Democrats have planned. Will Joe Biden listen to them? We’ll see.
Meanwhile, just before his second impeachment trial, former President Donald Trump’s legal team is crumbling, as five attorneys abruptly quit this weekend, saying the President’s focus on unproven conspiracies made their jobs impossible.
And lastly, John Weaver, a former Republican strategist and co-founder of centrist spin-shop the Lincoln Project, is accused by 21 different men of sexual impropriety and harassment in an extensive New York Times article.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Here’s the deal. The Democrats control the House, the Senate and the Presidency. But what one group of Republicans wonder is... what if they could have a little power too?
A group of moderate Republicans including Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Sunday pleading him for a compromise stimulus bill that would pass the Senate without any procedural maneuvers, fearing that Democrats would, you know, competently use their power and bypass the filibuster to pass a sweeping stimulus bill and actually help people.
To be clear here: the Democrats are in control. They do not have to listen to the groveling moderate Republicans, who are asking Biden to simply slash unemployment aid and further tweak direct stimulus payments to serve even fewer people. They don’t have to do that!
And yet, here we are. Biden has previously indicated that he was open to further means-testing on the direct payments, and we’ve already seen how fast the Democrats moved the goalposts on $1400 payments instead of $2000 ones.
So what the question now becomes is: is an actually somewhat-helpful stimulus bill more important to the Biden administration, or do they think that curing the elusive moderate Republican consensus is a better strategy going forward. I certainly know what sounds to me like a better strategy, but then again, I’m not Joe Biden.
Impeachment Lawyers Ditch Trump
Were you enjoying the AM Quickie relatively free of Trump Administration depravity and shenanigans? We were too, but we’re going to hit you with one little blast from the past today.
That’s because Trump’s legal team is absolutely imploding in advance of his second impeachment trial. The Washington Post reports that five, count em, five lawyers quit Trump’s defense team over the weekend.
According to the post, the lawyers quit because Trump was insistent that they structure his case around the argument that he actually won the election. In other words, the big man himself wanted to lean hard into the baseless, pathetic conspiracies, while his legal team wanted him to instead argue that impeaching a President who has left office is unconstitutional. The second argument is probably a lock to make sure Trump gets off the hook. The first one, who knows?
Trump replaced the departing lawyers with two more chumps assumedly willing to play out his intensely dumb strategy in front of the Seante. The devastating thing about all this is it’ll probably still work. The Democrats probably aren’t going to get the 17 Republican votes they’d need to actually convict Trump no matter how bad his legal case is, because the Republican party does not care in any way about things like “crimes” or “laws.” But still, it’s nice to know that Trump hasn’t gotten any smarter once he left the Oval Office.
Lincoln Project Cofounder Accused
A new report by the New York Times alleges that John Weaver, a longtime Republican strategist and co-founder of the centrist-conservative PR shop the Lincoln Project acted inappropriately sexually harassed 21 young men throughout his career in politics.
The article contends that Weaver, “exploited his power,” in the words of one victim to groom men as young as 14, often pursuing them aggressively through text and DM conversations, asking about intimate physical details and hinting at sexual acts.
The harassment and grooming did not lead to actual physical encounters, fortunately, except for one case that the Times reported was consensual. None of the men involved allege that Weaver did anything criminal, fortunately, but the sheer number of accusers does suggest his behavior was part of a dangerous, predatory pattern. Remember, this is a guy who was at the time a big name in Republican politics: a top advisor to McCain in 2000 and 2008 and to John Kasich in 2016.
Weaver issued a statement on the allegations in Mid-January acknowledging inappropriate messages and apologizing if he had made anyone uncomfortable -- the standard response, in other words.
The rest of the Lincoln Project’s leadership for their part, is throwing their co-founder under the biggest bus possible, releasing a statement claiming that they were not aware of Weaver’s behavior until just a few months ago, and calling him “a predator, a liar and an abuser.”
That all may be true, but it’s highly unlikely that any of Weaver’s cronies at the organization were blissfully unaware of his predatory double life.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
What will it take to get Marjorie Taylor Greene out of Congress? Repesentative. Cori Bush, a new progressive legislator, has moved her office location with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s permission and support after a disturbing altercation with the conspiracy-obsessed congresswoman.
In Russia, government police forces cracked down on protests in support of opposition leader Alexi Navalny, who was jailed by Vladimir Putin’s regime after surviving an assassination attempt. Thousands of protesters were arrested after facing brutal assaults on the streets -- something many Americans are pretty familiar with at this point.
Don’t lose sight of the GameStop stock story this week, as we could see with markets opening on Monday how likely the day-trading Reddit army is to successfully put a squeeze on hedge-fund short-sellers. Democratizing the stock market isn’t going to really change the status quo in America, but it sure is nice to see the suits get a bit sweaty every once in a while.
And finally, after the start of the pandemic recession last year, the heads of Exxon and Chevron discussed a merger, which would bring the two biggest descendent companies of John D. Rockefeller’s famous Standard Oil monopoly back together into... well, not a monopoly this time, we swear. Federal regulators broke up Standard Oil the first time, so we can only hope that they won’t be excited to let it reform.
FEB 1, 2021 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn