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BANNON’S INSURGENCY — “Bannon plotting primaries against slate of GOP incumbents” by Alex Isenstadt: “President Donald Trump’s closest allies are planning a slate of primary challenges against Republican senators, potentially undermining the party’s prospects in 2018 and further inflaming tensions between GOP leaders and the White House. … Leading the target list is Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, an outspoken critic of the president who recently published a book lamenting the rise of Trump. Bannon is intent on unseating Flake, and David Bossie, the president’s 2016 deputy campaign manager and the president of the influential conservative group Citizens United, has embarked on an effort to recruit several potential primary challengers, including former Rep. Matt Salmon. The former congressman, however, has expressed reluctance to enter the contest.” Full story.
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SPEAKER RYAN WATCH — “Trump’s deal with Democrats bolsters Ryan — for now” by Politico’s Rachael Bade and Kyle Cheney: “Donald Trump’s deal with Democrats last week — the latest setback for House Republicans in a year filled with disappointment — has opened a new rift within the GOP Conference over whether their president or their speaker is to blame. Some House conservatives have begun questioning Paul Ryan’s leadership after Republicans were forced to swallow a vote to increase the debt ceiling without corresponding spending cuts. Freedom Caucus leaders, already upset that Congress wasted months on the failed bid to repeal Obamacare, cornered Ryan (R-Wis.) after the House vote on the debt ceiling to tell him he needed to change his approach. … While most Republicans say Ryan’s hold on his post is secure, it’s unclear how long he can maintain his grip in the age of Trump. The GOP’s right flank is starting to agitate against Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). And the speaker is caught in an often-impossible position between a fractious conference and an unpredictable president.” Full story.
CALIFORNIA DREAMING — “How California could jolt the 2020 presidential race” by Politico’s David Siders and Gabriel Debenedetti: “California is pushing forward with a plan to change the state’s primary date from June to March, a move that could scramble the 2020 presidential nominating contest and swing the early weight of the campaign to the West. … By hosting an earlier primary, California could immediately gain significant clout in the party’s nominating process, since the state’s proportionate delegate haul could prove decisive in a 2020 field that’s likely to be historically crowded.” Full story.
DAILY WAR EAGLE — “Trump promised Sen. Strange a rally, but it hasn’t happened yet” by Campaign Pro’s Daniel Strauss and Josh Dawsey: “President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Sen. Luther Strange was supposed to be the whole package: a tweet, a robocall and, at the right time, a packed campaign rally in Alabama like the one Trump enjoyed during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump himself promised Strange that type of rally in a recent phone call the two had, according to people familiar with the call. … On Tuesday, he and Trump talked on the phone, during which the president reiterated his support and said he was aware that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was actively supporting [Roy] Moore.” Full story.
Days until the 2017 election: 57.
Days until the 2018 election: 421.
MINNESOTA POLITICS — “Republican women consider runs for Minnesota office — but so far, few pulling trigger” by the Minnesota Star-Tribune’s Erin Golden: “A handful of Republican women considering major political bids in Minnesota in 2018 would be looking to buck a daunting historical trend: Their party has never chosen a woman to run for governor or U.S. senator. So far, the nine Republicans to join the open race for governor in 2018 are men. So is the one candidate so far for U.S. Senate, seeking to challenge DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Both of the party’s candidates for attorney general are men, as are the state’s three members of Congress and all the declared GOP contenders so far for the other five House seats. That could still change — two Republican women told the Star Tribune they still might join the governor’s race, along with at least one considering a congressional bid. But it’s in notable contrast to the DFL, where three of the six declared candidates for governor next year are women.” Full story.
NOTHING TO SEE HERE — “US Sen. Elizabeth Warren says Democratic party is united, ‘ready to fight’” by The Springfield Republican’s Shannon Young: “Pushing back against claims that Democrats remain divided following the 2016 presidential contest, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., this week said the party is united and ‘ready to fight’ as it heads into the 2018 mid-term elections. … Instead, she argued, the real divisions exist between Democrats and Republicans. ‘One party in America said it was OK to roll back health care coverage for 25 million Americans and one party in America thinks that health care is a basic human right — I’m ready to go on that one,’ she said in an interview with the editorial board of The Republican on Friday.” Full story.
DISCUSSION TOPICS — “Not on the agenda at Michigan Republican Party Mackinac conference: President Donald Trump” by The Detroit Free Press’s Paul Egan: “Controversies surrounding the Republican president are captivating the country — and the world — and have some Republicans worried about how they will affect party fortunes in congressional midterms and other elections in 2018. But don’t look for those topics to be on the agenda when about 2,000 Republicans from Michigan and across the nation gather on Mackinac Island Sept. 22-24 for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference — a major policy confab held every two years. … Tax reform, repeal and replace of Obamacare, immigration and infrastructure ‘are important and worthy of conversations,’ said state party spokeswoman Sarah Anderson. But ‘unfortunately, we have a limited time for the conference, so there wasn’t a space for panels on those issues.’” Full story.
ADMINISTRATION SPEED READ — “A Month Has Passed Since Trump Declared an Opioid Emergency. What Next?” by The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman: “When President Trump announced in early August, following a presidential commission’s recommendations, that the opioid crisis was a “national emergency,” he called it “a serious problem the likes of which we have never had. A month has now passed, and that urgent talk has yet to translate into urgent action. While the president’s aides say they are pursuing an expedited process, it remains to be seen how and by what mechanism Mr. Trump plans to direct government resources. … In an interim report issued on July 31, Mr. [Chris] Christie’s commission recommended a declaration of a national emergency. In a statement that caught most of his advisers by surprise, and which contradicted what Mr. [HHS Secretary Tom] Price had said days earlier, Mr. Trump told reporters on Aug. 10 that he was moving forward.” Full story.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You don’t want to be in that path. That’s a path you don’t want to be in. We tried to warn everybody. For the most part, they’ve left, but that’s a bad path to be in.” — President Donald Trump in response to a question on Sunday about what message he would give to people in Hurricane Irma’s path.