Sorry for the break, everyone. I spent the majority of the last week driving around the state, and what with the pinched nerve in my neck, that was even more exhausting and painful than usual. I’m attempting to catch up on the news, but I’m sure I’m missing things. I’ll pick up the threads over the next few days.
In Other News
In addition to What the Fuck Just Happened Today?, there’s a new daily site & email newsletter from Amanda Rivkin called the Trumpistan Watch. I highly recommend it for perspective on Russian and European events.
In the House, Leaders of Russia Inquiry Are Split on Whether It’s Needed
Minority Whip Dick Durbin returned from a trip to Ukraine and laid out the case for a special investigation into Russia’s influence on the election.
Durbin said U.S. allies are asking about Russian influence in the election, adding that one Polish leader in Warsaw told him, “If you don’t take Russia’s invasion into your election seriously, how will you take Putin’s invasion into Poland? Will you take that seriously?”
Also in that article, “Jeff Sessions said for the first time that he’ll recuse himself from the investigations if necessary.” About fucking time.
Trump’s budget calls for $54 billion more in military spending (seriously?!) and huge cuts to the EPA, education, and science programs. Retired U.S. military officers urge Congress to fully fund diplomacy and foreign aid.
Trump Intensifies His Attacks on Journalists and Condemns F.B.I. ‘Leakers’
Hours after the speech, as if to demonstrate Mr. Trump’s determination to punish reporters whose coverage he dislikes, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, barred journalists from The New York Times and several other news organizations from attending his daily briefing, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.
And they finally benched Kellyanne Conway.
DHS Chief Says ‘No Use Of Military Force’ In Immigration Raids; Trump Calls Roundups ‘A Military Operation’
How Trump’s campaign staffers tried to keep him off Twitter. “The trick? Making sure his media diet included a healthy dose of praise.” Our White House staff are parenting the commander in chief.
Trump gives himself a ‘C or C+’ grade for communicating with the public: Needs improvement. Yes, dear. Everyone hates you because you’re just not very good at explaining how great you are, that’s all.
Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students
Op ed: I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit.
Air Force can’t account for Trump’s claim of $1 billion in savings
Trump is performing the role of president, not doing the job. Pretty much.
"Trump read the speech very well from the TelePrompter."
~ Wolf Blitzer
That's how low the expectations have become." #trumpaddress
— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) March 1, 2017
Trump’s speech to Congress tonight was designed to make him sound like an adult, and it mostly succeeded, except maybe for the part where he threw his generals under the bus for the Yemen raid. On the other hand, 51 lies in 61 minutes would be astonishing from any other president.
Cabinet & Federal Appointees
White House accused of blocking information on Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross and his ties to Russia via the Bank of Cyprus via Putin ally Viktor Vekselberg (as previously discussed, Dec. 19)
Sessions Says DOJ to ‘Pull Back’ on Police Department Civil Rights Suits. Are we surprised.
NSA risks talent exodus amid morale slump, Trump fears. Also filed under “predictable results.”
Trio of military men gain growing influence with Trump
The Pruitt Emails: E.P.A. Chief Was Arm in Arm With Industry
EPA braces for possible ‘devastating’ 25% budget cut
Trump’s pick for Navy secretary withdraws over conflict of interest rules
The camps of protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been cleared
Welcome back, Stephanie and I hope this means your neck is feeling better.