Weekly News Roundup & Hurricane

One Drink: It’s Infrastructure Week! (Again)

For the third time in the single year Trump has been in office, it’s infrastructure week! What that actually means at this point is anyone’s guess, because, like the two previous infrastructure weeks, the administration’s talking points reeled off course amid a multitude of self-inflicted crises.

Among the top:

  • The ongoing crisis over John Kelly’s handling of the Rob Porter scandal (the wife-beater) after the FBI contradicted the White House’s story in congressional testimony
  • Trump’s lawyer confirming he did pay Stormy Daniels hush money in an attempt to stop a lawsuit claiming the distribution was a violation of campaign finance law
  • A refusal to confirm the immigration status of Melania’s parents
  • The Vice President (and then the president’s son) lashing out at an Olympian because he was exercising his right to criticize our VP’s history of virulent homophobia
  • News of Jared and Ivanka’s multi-million dollar lines of credit being expanded.

And that’s not even counting the ongoing mess in congress over immigration and another school shooting (the 18th this year).

I guess the answer to how we’re going to improve our infrastructure in this country is the same as how we’re going to deal with gun deaths. Thoughts and prayers, everyone.

Two Drink: Travel Policy

I don’t know about you, but my company has a relatively straightforward travel policy as it relates to guests accompanying employees on business trips. They can stay in your hotel room, but the company won’t pay for any aspect of their travel.

Apparently that was too complicated for Veterans Affairs chief David Shulkin, who’s office doctored emails and made false statements to get his department to cover his wife’s travel on a ten day trip to Europe. He also had a department staffer act as a personal travel concierge. After getting caught pilfering the public purse, he plans to reimburse the government for his wife’s travel, but he seems to think he still has the credibility to remain in office. Drain the swamp.

Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, is also in trouble after it came out he claimed that sitting in coach is “politically toxic,” and that flying in first was “safer.” It’s not. He also claimed he had a “blanket waiver” to fly first on government travel. No such waver exists. This on top of the fact that the man already travels with armed guards, which no other EPA chief has done.

Shulkin is one of five (yes, five) current and former Trump officials under investigation for their travel policies.

For the record, I also hate flying in coach, but then again I’m not charging hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal travel to the American taxpayer.

Red Drink: NRA Money

In the wake of yet another school shooting, I want to use this opportunity to call everyone’s attention to a masterful piece of reporting pulled off by the NY Daily News on Twitter (where else). It replies to their thoughts and prayers in the wake of the disaster, highlighting how much money GOP senators have taken from the NRA.

In his response to the shooting, and after rescinding Obama-era restrictions on people with histories of mental illness buying guns, Trump is now saying we need to get tougher on people with histories mental illnesses buying guns.

As it emerges this shooter had a history of problematic behavior and may have had ties to white supremacist groups, it’s important to call out that mental illness is not the problem here. A history of violence and ties to extremist groups are.

Blue Drink: Bridge to Nowhere

This is two weeks old now, but I think it’s still relevant to bring up. During the last government shutdown (partial, second this year), Nancy Pelosi spent 8 hours on the floor of the house, breaking a record for the longest speech since 190-something, essentially filibustering the budget bill for not addressing immigration & the dreamers (the house doesn’t have filibusters, that’s a Senate thing).

What was the point of all of this? It was a great way to show she has a lot of stamina. I certainly couldn’t have stood for that long in four inch heels. But after flip-flopping on whether she was going to whip her democratic caucus against the bill and ultimately allowing its’ passage by non-action, I don’t really understand what the purpose of this stunt was, other than to emphasize there looks to be as little Democratic unity of message right now as there is Republican.

So we’re now heading into a mid-term election cycle in which neither party seems to stand for anything other than the underlying cultural makeup of its’ voting block over any real platform or set of governing beliefs. That’s comforting.

Silver Linings: The Olympics

If you haven’t been watching the olympics as religiously as I have been, get with the program. It’s on every NBC network. It’s zero-sum, and it’s all about beating Norway. What could be better?

Drink of the Week: Hurricane

Mardi Gras was this week, and I don’t know about you, but this week has felt like a hurricane, and I’m still drinking mine. Highly recommend.

You’ll need:

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 2 oz light rum
  • 2 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 tbsp grenadine
  • Juice of half a lime

Pour all ingredients into a shaker, shake vigorously until your hands feel as cold as the spectators look on the half pipe in Pyong Chang. Strain into a hurricane glass. Top with a little drink umbrella, an orange wheel, a cherry,  and what’s left of your personal dignity. It won’t be much.

Do Something About It

As always, we at Red Drink, Blue Drink encourage you, our devoted readers, to not only have a good drink, but to put that subsequent energy spike and loosened inhibition to good use! Our Take Action! page links to organizations we believe can help those affected in our stories above (especially victims of non-existent terrorist attacks), and we encourage you to be active in your own way to support causes that are important to you.