Nothing too new to report on the Senate front. Likely to be a vote on the supplemental emergency package today, and the rest of the weeks will be those two noms I mentioned yesterday.
The president will be on Capitol Hill this afternoon to dine with the Senate GOP caucus, and it's going to be LIT.
Happening now, on CNN and Twitter, the president and Senator and Bob Corker are in a HUGE war of words. The president started it on Twitter this morning, targeting Corker with his usual diatribe.
Corker responded pretty simply saying, "Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #AlertTheDaycareStaff"
Manu Raju just caught the Senator on camera, and Corker UN-CORKED, saying that the president will be remembered for the "Debasing of our nation", he said that the "staff all over the world would figure out ways of controlling him", that "the President has great difficulty with the truth" that the president has a "lack of desire to be competent".
He also said, no, he doesn't see the president as a role model, and that he REGRETS SUPPORTING HIM IN 2016, saying "I wouldn't do that again".
Oh to be a fly on the wall at lunch today...
Definitely watch that whole Corker interview. It's pretty profound:
Some pretty shady stuff going on down there right now.
Apparently a small Montana firm landed a $300 million contract to get the power grid up and running. The company is called Whitefish, and it was chosen over activating "mutual aid" arrangements with other utilities, many of whom have much more experience in emergency aid than this tiny company does. Whitefish has just under 300 employees in Puerto Rico currently.
Here's the stinky part: Whitefish is based in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. It's chief executive, Andy Techmanski, knows Zinke. Both men have claimed not to be involved in this situation, but many former Energy Department officials are calling it highly unusual that such a small, for-profit company would get responsibility for the entire Puerto Rican power grid. Here's the WaPo article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/small-montana-firm-lands-puerto-ricos-biggest-contract-to-get-the-power-back-on/2017/10/23/31cccc3e-b4d6-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?utm_term=.74a69041d99f
The Daily Beast took another angle, connecting Whitefish's primary financier with a private-equity firm founded and run by a man who was a major donor to the president in 2016. Here's that article: https://www.thedailybeast.com/dollar300m-puerto-rico-recovery-contract-awarded-to-tiny-utility-company-linked-to-major-trump-donor
I think that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs gave a really good update on where the investigation of Niger stands yesterday. His press briefing lasted 50 minutes long, and he was calm, composed, answered questions frankly and honestly, and he was patient.
There is still a handful of Senate hearings on the new legislation for the AUMF, and to look into precisely what happened in Niger.
SCOTUS has dismissed the travel ban 2.0 case as the ban expires today. Expect to hear from the Admin today on new screening rules for refugees.
JANE DOE ABORTION CASE
The Appeals Court ruled (again) that our friend Jane Doe can get an abortion.
SEN. JEFF FLAKE
Senate GOP YOLO ("You Only Live Once") Caucus just gained another member: Jeff Flake will not run for reelection in Arizona. Senate team YOLO: McCain, Corker, Flake. That's enough to flip unsavory 50-vote threshold legislation.
That's all I've got right now, stay tuned!
Oh also, apparently Kid Rock was on some talk show this morning and when asked if he's running for Stabenow's Senate seat, he responded, "F*%& no, why would anyone think that?" So that ends that.
FactPower note: Please view Sen. Flake's speech on the Senate floor starting 49:25 in this video. It is both gut-wrenching and poignant. FactPower wishes Sen. Flake every success in his mission throughout the balance of his term.