Mike Pence, the corporate right's inside man, poses his own risks. Pence's odds of becoming President are long but not prohibitive.
Of his forty-seven predecessors, nine eventually assumed the Presidency, because of a death or a resignation... Pence has taken care to appear extraordinarily loyal to Trump, so much so that Joel K. Goldstein, a historian and an expert on Vice-Presidents who teaches law at St. Louis University, refers to him as the "Sycophant-in-Chief."
But Pence has the political experience, the connections, the discipline, and the ideological mooring that Trump lacks. He also has a close relationship with the conservative billionaire donors who have captured the Republican Party's agenda in recent years.
Pence served twelve years in Congress, but never authored a single successful bill... Pence has lunches with the President. He's in the national-security briefings." Moreover, and crucially, Pence is the only official in the White House who can't be fired. read more
Opponents outnumbered white nationalists Saturday in peaceful "White Lives Matter" rallies in Tennessee that were punctuated by taunts and chants from both sides. In Shelbyville, the site of the first rally, some 200 white nationalists -- met by nearly twice as many counter protesters -- carried a Confederate flag and chanted for closed borders and deportations at a mid-morning gathering. At one point, counter protesters' shouts of "Black Lives Matter" were met by white nationalist chants of "blood and soil." The two sides, however, were kept well apart as law enforcement officers funneled them onto sidewalks on opposite sides of a four-lane road. In Murfreesboro, a town of 130,000 people, wary business owners had boarded up windows downtown and residents held a prayer vigil Friday night near the rally site. read more
The New Yorker: The Sackler dynasty's ruthless marketing of painkillers has generated billions of dollars -- and millions of addicts. According to Forbes, the Sacklers are now one of America's richest families, with a collective net worth of thirteen billion dollars -- more than the Rockefellers or the Mellons. The bulk of the Sacklers' fortune has been accumulated only in recent decades, yet the source of their wealth is to most people as obscure as that of the robber barons. While the Sacklers are interviewed regularly on the subject of their generosity, they almost never speak publicly about the family business, Purdue Pharma -- a privately held company, based in Stamford, Connecticut, that developed the prescription painkiller OxyContin. Upon its release, in 1995, OxyContin was hailed as a medical breakthrough, a long-lasting narcotic that could help patients suffering from moderate to severe pain. read more
Thomas Ricks: I think General John Kelly spoke from the heart at the White House on Thursday. But I was surprised and disappointed that his empathy didn't extend to the newly widowed wife who got the president's call of condolence while riding in a car with the congresswoman, a family friend. Imagine losing your spouse -- and then finding yourself in the middle of a dogfight with the White House. A few words in that direction would have gone a long way. And none of this would have been necessary had Trump been able to back down and say, "Look, I misspoke, I was trying to sympathize in that phone call and did it awkwardly." But Trump appears incapable of apology. And that reminds me that Kelly is a good man putting his talent, experience, and sense of duty to work for a bad man, a narcissistic grifter. It is heartbreaking to have someone like Trump as a commander-in-chief. He degrades everything he touches.
In an interview on "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo," Trump talked about his plan to bring the "biggest [tax] cuts ever in the history of this country."
"I think we're going to get our taxes," Trump said in the two-part interview. "I think it's going to be -- well, hopefully before the end of the year, but maybe much sooner than that."
"So there's a great spirit for it, people want to see it, and I call it tax cuts. It is tax reform also, but I call it tax cuts. It'll be the biggest cuts ever in the history of this country," Trump added.
Trump said he believes he has the votes for his historic plan to pass in Congress. He reiterated his agenda to tackle taxes and health care to promote "tremendous growth" and address the debt and deficit in the U.S. read more