Jan 25, 2017

McConnell's low expectations frustrate House conservatives

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

After Senate Leader Mitch McConnell spoke to House Republicans in Philadelphia today, a prominent conservative House member texted Axios saying a number of his colleagues were frustrated by what they heard:

"There seems to be a real frustration with the timetable that the Senate leader outlined on what the Senate will do. Some appreciate the honesty but are concerned that it will translate into very little getting accomplished."

McConnell was laying out the reality of the Senate, which is that to pass most legislation, the 52 Republican members need at least eight Democrats to join them. McConnell's message, our source paraphrases, was that "we are focused on confirmations and set low expectations for anything else." Others said McConnell was just pointing out that bills need 60 votes in the Senate.

"He was trying to convey that although the House can turn things around like that, the Senate just institutionally, by workload, cannot do as quickly," Sen. Bill Cassidy told us.

Why this matters: A big chunk of the Republican House has never had to govern. They've had the luxury of being in opposition for the Obama years. Today's tensions show that the clash between hardliners and leadership isn't over. "It's a perennial problem but I think it's more intense now because people feel that w/ unified government, we have to deliver and the Senate shouldn't be an excuse," one senior GOP aide emailed.

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Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is the rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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