Republicans have never been big fans of education, or, as they like to describe it, elitist sources of liberal, possibly Satanic ideology that allow our children’s brains to become infected with book learning and facts. Rick Santorum famously called Barack Obama a “snob” for wanting “everybody in America to go to college.” Last year, in the run-up to the midterms, the chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party reportedly accused a high-school teacher of using his position for “liberal indoctrination,” because the guy handed out voter-registration forms. Chris Christie and Scott Walker regularly demonized teachers’ unions, punishing them with draconian budget cuts. Donald Trump appointed a woman who hates schools to run the Department of Education. So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that the president’s eldest child and namesake, Donald Trump Jr., holds a similar view, which he shared last night at daddy’s rally in El Paso. Perhaps slightly less expected, though, was Donny’s call for conservatives to go after educators like a bunch of angry, monosyllabic frat boys.
Warming up the crowd for his father’s usual string of lies and bullshit, Junior told the group, “You know what I love? I love seeing some young conservatives.” Sounding like the belligerent drunk guy at the bar, the sentient Natty Lite keg continued: “Because I know it’s not easy. Keep up that fight. Bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth. You don’t have to do it.”
One, Donny has obviously been waiting years to get back at the high-school English teacher who gave him a D+ on his Grapes of Wrath essay. Two, no, we’re not going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he actually knows newborns don’t have teachers who can pitch them on socialism. Three, it’s probably safe to assume Junior believes teaching is some sort of deeply cushy gig that requires one-eighth of the talent necessary to shill condos with daddy’s name on them.
Presumably Don Jr.’s cries of “socialism!” played extremely well in the White House, where Donald Trump Sr. and his staff have been insisting for months that every Democratic policy will turn the U.S. into Venezuela. Less thrilled by Anthony Soprano’s attack were actual teachers, not to mention people who’ve probably had to sit next to little shits like Junior in class:
If you would like to receive the Levin Report in your inbox daily, click here to subscribe. Another shutdown will likely be avoided unless Trump fucks everything up again
The good news: late Monday night, lawmakers announced they’d reached a tentative agreement to avoid another shutdown at the end of this week, one whose consequences would be even more disastrous than the last. The less good news: Donald Trump is an unpredictable man-child who could very well screw things up for yuks:
Donald Trump is keeping Washington in suspense on whether he will sign off on a bipartisan spending deal, caught between G.O.P. leaders who back the agreement and conservative allies that drove him to accept a shutdown in December. Even as House Democratic leaders prepare to move the massive legislative package to the floor as early as Wednesday night, Trump is still sending mixed messages on his intentions.
Trump first told reporters on Tuesday that he doesn’t love the deal reached by congressional negotiators the previous evening. But then Trump then said he doesn’t want another shutdown either. And the president declined to rule out declaring a national emergency to deliver funding to his border wall. . . . Trump’s ambivalence seemed to freeze many in the G.O.P., with lawmakers unwilling to endorse the deal until hearing what the president’s position is. That included Senate G.O.P. conservative James Lankford of Oklahoma and moderate Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who said they also needed to see more details on the measure before deciding how they will vote.
On the bright side, it seems increasingly likely that Trump will simply sign the deal and declare mission accomplished anyway, given he’s been claiming for months that the wall he shut down the government for 35 days to get is already built.
Report: last month’s shutdown made the I.R.S. extra unlikeable
Perhaps something for the president to think about when he considers plunging the country into Round 2. (We kid! He doesn’t care, and anyway, these are things for one’s accountant to deal with):
The longest government shutdown in United States history resulted in a “shocking” number of taxpayers’ calls to the Internal Revenue Service going unreturned or being left to languish on hold for unusually long periods, according to a government audit released on Tuesday.
The audit, by the office of the National Taxpayer Advocate, found that over five million pieces of mail went unanswered and 87,000 amended tax returns were not processed during the shutdown, when thousands of I.R.S. workers were furloughed or working without pay.
The problems continued even after the shutdown, the audit found. In the week that ended February 2, shortly after agency employees returned to their jobs, fewer than half of the calls to the I.R.S.’s accounts-management lines were answered, compared with nearly 90 percent during the same week last year.
Trump still has no idea how tariffs work
“Look in China . . . those tariffs are costing them a lot of money, and they’re going into our treasury . . . we’re filling up with billions of dollars” is a scary thing the president said last night, not only because of the syntax but also because the guy who dragged us into a trade war with China still has no clue how the punitive measures function. (In fact, they’re paid for by U.S. importers, a point that has yet to penetrate the outer layer of Trump’s brain.) That’s extra worrisome in light of our March 2 deadline with China to strike a deal, at which point the U.S. has threatened to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, though apparently President Art of the Deal is feeling flexible these days:
President Donald Trump said he’s open to extending a March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products if the two sides are near an agreement, sending a conciliatory signal amid talks to resolve the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
“If we’re close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it’s going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while,” Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting Tuesday. “But generally speaking I’m not inclined” to delay increasing the tariffs, he added, meaning he’ll probably decide what to do at the last minute under counsel of Fox & Friends and announce his decision on Twitter.
This is what we’re working with here Man who watches six hours of TV a day too busy for pets
“You do love your dogs, don’t you?” Trump asked the crowd in El Paso Monday night, after extolling the drug-detecting virtues of “a good old-fashioned German shepherd” during an aside about immigration. “I wouldn’t mind having one, honestly, but I don’t have any time . . . How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn? I don’t know, I don’t feel good. Feels a little phony to me.”
Goldman Sachs C.E.O. prepares for “edgy” talk from politicians ahead of 2020 election ( CNBC)
says tax policies like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s are “missing the picture” ( The Verge)
What It’s Like to Work Inside Apple’s “Black Site” ( Bloomberg)
Lyft Founders to Tighten Grip with Supervoting Shares in I.P.O. ()
A hedge fund’s “mercenary” strategy: buy newspapers, slash jobs, sell the buildings (The Washington Post)
Marco Rubio takes aim at stock buybacks, an issue under attack by Democrats ( CNBC)
KPMG Ex-Partner Goes on Trial in “Steal the Exam” Scandal ()
CBS Execs Sold Stock Before Disclosing Moonves Claims, Suit Says ( Bloomberg)
Lottery winner wears Scream mask to hide identity ()
“Police at a Maryland university said they have received complaints about a woman wandering the campus seeking a date for her son.” ( UPI)
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