Dammit! This often happens: there's too much for us here at AP to report on.
But there are some things that we simply cannot ignore.
First, Iowa’s senior senator, Republican Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is messing with the Supreme Court.
He wants RBG (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) to retire and, no doubt, Justice Anthony Kennedy as well.
Justice Kennedy will be 82 in July. Justice Ginsburg is 85.
Grassley is 84. He’s the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which must consider anyone nominated for the Supreme Court.
Guess who refused, in 2016, to consider Judge Merrick Garland, nominated by President Obama for the Supreme Court?
Bingo! Grassley, spurred on by Mitch McConnell.
Interviewed yesterday by the hyper-conservative Hugh Hewitt, the wizened Grassley said, “I just hope that if there is going to be a nominee, I hope it’s now or within two or three weeks, because we’ve got to get this done before the [midterm] election. So my message to any one of the nine Supreme Court justices, if you’re thinking about quitting this year, do it yesterday.”
Enter Connecticut’s senior senator, Democrat Richard Blumenthal, who said, “There is no principled stand. They will use whatever rationale they find expedient. There's no conviction or principle to this. There's no method to the madness.” (https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/10/grassley-supreme-court-retirements-democrats-582196)
To discuss this further, we asked associate solitary reporter Melissa Smith to set up an appointment with Grassley.
As she entered Grassley’s office, the senator was on the phone with Donald Trump.
“The only way to deal with this is for you to put me on the Supreme Court,” Grassley said.
At the other end of the conversation was associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones.
“What the ____ do you mean?” Trump yelled, in one of his calmer moments. "You’re WAY too f_____n’ old!”
“All right, the hell with it!” Grassley said. "You always do what people tell you not to do. Just go ahead and nominate your wife, for all I care!”
Next, there’s White House aide Kelly Sadler.
Trump has nominated Gina Haspel to succeed Mike Pompeo at the CIA. It’s gonna be a rough road to confirmation for her. John McCain, war hero and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is seriously ill with brain cancer at his home in Arizona and is thus unable to vote on the Haspel nomination, but he is greatly respected in the Senate, and he’s been urging his colleagues to vote against Haspel.
So Sadler said, “[McCain’s] dying anyway.”
As soon as he heard about Sadler’s comment, Trump told his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, “John, as soon as Pompeo gets tired of being Secretary of State, I want Kelly Sadler in there at Foggy Bottom. She has all the diplomatic skills needed to run my foreign policy — that is, if I knew what my foreign policy is.”
Third, it is a truth universally acknowledged that every time there’s a school shooting, Wayne LaPierre is happy.
Today, a 14-year old boy at Highland High School in Palmdale, California, shot another boy, also 14.
It’s the 21st school shooting in the US this year.
Reached at his office in Virginia, LaPierre told associate solitary reporter Susanna Sherman, “We need a lot more of those school shootings to establish our creed that school shootings enhance the public image of the NRA.”
Last, immediately after AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told his employees that it was a very big mistake for his company to hire Michael Cohen as a political consultant for $600,000, Cohen sued Stephenson for defamation and demanded three million dollars for his essential services until the mid-term election in November.