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Better Off Now — So Much Better Than ‘Better Off Dead’

GOP hoping the sequel business is good for them

Expect to see more of this: Speaker Paul D. Ryan brandishing the GOP’s Better Off Now talking points in the run-up to the November election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Expect to see more of this: Speaker Paul D. Ryan brandishing the GOP’s Better Off Now talking points in the run-up to the November election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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“Better Off Now.” No, it’s not the sequel to “Better Off Dead,” the classic surrealist teen comedy starring John Cusack.

It’s the GOP’s sequel to “A Better Way,” their talking points unveiled during the 2016 campaign. Foregoing a straight Hollywood-style reboot, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his team went for the upfront sequel. The Wisconsin Republican has been seen frequently at press events and other public appearances brandishing his “Better Off Now” pamphlet, which argues that everything is awesome when Republicans are in control of the government.

Expect to hear more about this in the coming months before the midterm elections, especially out on the trail this August, now that the House has recessed until after Labor Day. For a teaser, consider that the speaker used the word “better” 14 times during his get-out-of-town presser Thursday. 

Impeach This!

No matter how much Republican leaders might want to talk about tax cuts and the economy, it appears they’re going to have to talk about impeaching the deputy attorney general of the United States at least some of the time. 

On Wednesday evening, Freedom caucusers Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, filed a resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying he had not played ball with them in their efforts to follow along with the Russia election meddling probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. The next day, Jordan announced he was running for speaker.  

Meadows and Jordan said they were willing to hold off on forcing a vote on the impeachment resolution until after Labor Day, and then re-evaluate the situation.

So it is safe to assume this topic will come up before the midterms. 

This Week’s Podcast

Political Theater
Political Theater

What’s it like to compile a documentary history that happened when you were in grade school? Or to reflect on an event that helped shape your reporting for years to come? On this week’s Political Theater Podcast, Roll Call visual media reporter Thomas McKinless and veteran Roll Call editor David Hawkings discussed their two very different perspectives on the same event, the July 24, 1998, shooting at the Capitol that felled Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut and Detective John M. Gibson. 

Have a listen here: 

Nancy Pelosi in Jeopardy

UNITED STATES - JULY 26: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts a news conference before the House leaves for the August recess on July 26, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Check your local listings: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be on Jeopardy! on Friday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For the trivia fans among us, tune in to Jeopardy! Friday night for an appearance by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. According to her press office, the California Democrat won’t be a contestant; she will be there to provide clues for a special category. But, Idea! How about a press conference where she and the press have to abide by Jeopardy! rules?

Press: “A number of your Democratic colleagues talk about the need for change in leadership at the top, particularly in your position. Your answer to them.”

Pelosi: “What is, ‘I feel very confident in the support that I have in the House Democratic Caucus, and my focus is on winning this election because so much is at stake?’”

The Kicker

UNITED STATES - JULY 26: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., walks up the House steps for a vote in the Capitol on Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
On Capitol Hill, every Thursday is Seersucker Thursday. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., rocks the hot-weather wear Thursday as the House prepared to take its last votesbefore departing for the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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